A letter to the Vulnerable

They say that everything comes from the home.  They tell us that our past experiences help shape who we are as individuals in the present.  Like much of us, I had a less than grand childhood complete with a useless, neglectful biological father and the hateful, power-hungry stepfather.  My childhood, by all means, was not lifetime movie material, so why bore you with specifics?  However, I think having those past experiences with these two as “father figures” has definitely made its lasting mark on my personality.  I, of course,  anchored myself to my mother’s side and learned to stifle all emotion and thus my “resting b*tch face” was born.   Don’t get me wrong, I am one of the nicest, most hyperactive people you’ll meet, but I taught myself to conceal any form of weakness and to trust that nobody would stick around —that humans would always fail you.  I swallowed my vulnerability and prayed to God that it would never find its way out of the back door.

I could control my emotions like a light switch.  I took pride in being hard, cold, and emotionless when I had to be.  I remember my stepdad towering above me, throwing his man tantrum while he yelled in my face.  For once, I was unfazed.  I smiled internally as I stared him straight in the eye with my best blank face.  I’d hoped that my eyes were the emptiest he’d ever seen.  Noticing my expression, he yelled in my face..

           “YOU THINK YOU’RE HARD?!”

To which I replied…

           “Do you want me to be scared of you?”

Even at that young age, vulnerability was my worst enemy.  Its shows up, unexpectedly, with good intentions, but only brings feelings of shame, guilt, and weakness.  It results in a loss of power and control, which in turn is triggers me to rule my own body with the iron fist of abuse.

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Submitted: A Letter to a Past Lover

I cried after you were satisfied. You didn’t know this, but warm tears ran slowly down my face. Like many of my mistakes they were filled with salt and regrets. Like tequila shots with salt around the rim, I took the sting to be numb to what was surrounding me. This moment was fleeting like a short breeze, but within it I realized how little I loved myself. Less that I had thought I previously ever could. I cried and the tears tasted of fear and pain. I was terrified that I would always be an object for someone else’s pleasure. You laid next to me satisfied and with steroids being pumped through your blood. I laid next to you and wept because although I promised I wouldn’t, but I had too.

I replay the moments that led to this and in every moment, my mind rejected you, but drew you in to feed all the same. Sometimes I think of this and it still stings, like rubbing alcohol on an open wound. I used to think of this memory with hundreds of regrets that poured through my subconscious like a waterfall. In this moment, I realized my insecurities could no longer be dulled by the affirmation of a mans touch and grin after I had been everything he hoped for. You have been my friend for years from this low and you have never known. I felt so alone in that moment.

Like a sheep without a shepherd, I wandered through my mind grasping for protection from my ownself, looking for a reason to justify this penetration of vulnerability. For the first time, the negative voice in my head aligned with my actions and I was exactly who my subconscious told me I was. So I cried and as you turned to hold me, I held my breath, afraid that you would hear the water rolling down my cheeks. Every drop amplified through the room. My insecurities drowned out your soft breath on my neck. I drowned in myself.

For a moment, I had disconnected from myself like I’ve done so many times in the past. Insecurities ran deep, as deeply as the rooted trees from which I couldn’t even separate my own identity.  Frightened by the reality of who I was in that moment, something reacted.  Like something that was in motion by the laws of physics and could not stop, but this triggered another reaction. It would not easily be pacified. I would be lying, if I said I did not still feel regret, but I did learn something; what I would not be again. I made mistakes after this moment, but the pain I felt in that moment has remained an anchor of something that I left in the past. I was an empty vessel, a artifact that had not served a purpose in hundreds of years. I was functioning for a purpose I was never intended to and in this moment I realized this.

My tears formed into truth.