To let my walls down. I care too much about what everyone else is thinking for me to be real and raw in my own skin. Online? Right here? This is where it is for me. This is where rubber meets the road, this I can handle.
But bring vulnerable and authentic over a cup of coffee? Rare.
Maybe that’s true for more people, but when I can see your eyes and the emotional signals you subtly let off while having a conversation I’m constantly balancing how what I say affects the outcome.
I am hyper aware of the emotional temperature in any situation … which is why being engaged in a group conversation with my husband literally gives me the shakes. Which we can call my anxiety method of coping with a stressful situation.
Small groups at church? HUGE, MASSIVE hurdles for us personally as a couple. We’re both so conversationally different, yet I’m the only one who is painfully aware of it. And it’s painful.
Maybe I just struggle with anxiety? I recently took one of those multiple choice self diagnostic tests at my doctors office when we were trying to get to the bottom of a couple things (physically) and all of a sudden it dawned on me that they were testing me emotionally.
I was inline with an easy diagnosis for social anxiety, anxiety, depression and no where near close to being able to say I suffered from present panic attacks.
I asked them to please treat my body first and then we could tackle my mind. My body and mind are coneceted, I’m not sure about you? But I knew that whatever was going on inside was affecting me on the utter inside. I wanted to see what their plan of action was for recovery before I popped pills. (Something I am not against whatsoever for depression, etc)
Turns out that if I had to take that test again about my emotional health? – we’d find a very different Jodi today. (If you’re having a hard time guessing, that means better.)
Yet it’s constant that my protective mechanism is to build a wall around myself, isolation. Loneliness.
It’s also constant that the people who are allowed inside my wall are fewer and fewer as time goes on. Oftentimes hiding harder from my own husband, backing away from friends and mentors and coming up with all kinds of good ideas why engaging with other people is a bad idea.
So when it actually happens that I let it all go and yell, scream, pant and be completely unreasonable and emotional with someone … and their reaction is not to tell me how awful I am, how much of a bitch I must be (self admitted) … that they understand, maybe they even sympathize but mostly could they give me a hug? How about a beer?
I. want. to. cry. I want to cry because everything I tell myself to keep it all tucked inside, safe and away from anyone knowing the “truth” is anything but the truth.
People are people. Why I don’t let myself be one is kind of beyond me at this point.