“My life is an open book.”

Perhaps I’ve gone too long following this creed with little adversity. Perhaps I was in need of a reality check that not everyone will enjoy what’s written.

Firstly, I’ve never felt that hiding who I am is healthy. Frankly, I’ve never been capable of hiding my innermost self. Sometimes my mouth is quicker than my brain, but it is always slower than my heart. Initially, I might not understand someone’s lifestyle or their actions. But usually after a revealing conversation, we find common ground. I pride myself on being open-minded enough to offer compassion to all different kinds of people. Granted, this type of altruism is radically withdrawn and shifted into hostility when people don’t offer the same.

Secondly, I’m pretty good at discerning who to reveal myself to in the first place. This typically eliminates the whole problem of being judged, lectured, or otherwise spurned.  But not always.

The past few months have been difficult for me mentally, emotionally, and physically. Situations have arisen that have been terribly uncomfortable. New stressors have presented themselves – forcefully. It has been a very big adjustment period in my life and I’ve been sort of scrambling to rise up to the task. So I initially sought out support where I thought I should openly find it – in a family member.

Bad idea.

Some people don’t mean to not get it. They intend to help. They think they might be giving you an appropriate or much needed pep talk. I can’t really be mad, can I? It was my choice to be vulnerable and I just didn’t like the response. The intentions were well-placed…..Right? [Randomly remembering that saying, “The pathway to hell is paved with good intentions.”]

Clearly, I like good quotes, so here is an entirely appropriate one: “The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.” -Albert Camus

Then there’s the people that flat out don’t want to get it. They have already picked their side, but you didn’t realize it. Thinking maybe you can glean some new information that will be helpful in solving a problem, or at the very least make your heart known, you put yourself out there. You take a chance. Aided by liquid courage and the giddiness of a potentially new confidant, you close your eyes and leap into vulnerability….and slam face first into the concrete. Kind of like a sucker punch, it stuns you. Then it hurts.

Finally, there are the friends you thought would always be there for you. You reach out, grasping for a hand that has been steady for a decade. Maybe the hand was removed long before you realized but in the moment, in that desperation, you flail around wildly waiting for their familiar fingers to grip yours and pull you up – only to find an empty hand. It’s a lonely place. I keep thinking it’ll change. I keep hoping they’ll come back around. Then I look at their life and realize they probably outgrew the friendship long before I did and then I’m just sad.

My life / You electrify my life / Let’s conspire to ignite / All the souls that would die just to feel alive / I’ll never let you go / If you promise not to fade away