One of my friends/coworkers told me today that they could never open themselves up to the world the way I do. They described my blog as “peeling back the layers”. These words made me feel incredibly confident in my journey, in being a voice, not just for anyone who has a loved one in prison, but for fellow human beings who wade the waters of happiness and sadness, sometimes simultaneously.
Vulnerability. We are taught that it is dangerous and to be avoided. I avoided it for a long time and I’m honestly, to this day, not sure when I ultimately threw caution to the wind. I think it was when I realized that life with my husband wasn’t going to give me an easy way out. No easy button. Help? Yes. Easy? Never. It was going to be a climb and I had to go all in or not go at all. Out of that climb, I created my own world, my own dance, my own way of wading my waters.
I use this blog as a tool to cope with the stress of being married to Jeremy. It’s the least destructive and most creative way that I can think of to carry on when there isn’t anything left. When I am empty, when I’m at my most vulnerable, magic happens in the form of words and sharing.
In the past, before I loved this human who lives in a prison, I dealt with vulnerability like something that could be sent away if I drank enough or made enough red lines on my skin. I was not comfortable confronting fear or the messiness that life brings. I loved to put things on the back burner and deal with things “later”. “Later” meant putting off that messiness indefinitely.
Even just two years ago, I wasn’t comfortable coming face to face with what life was giving me and the realities of incarceration and soul crushing love. I used alcohol to forget, cutting to reset, and I sought solace in the arms of people who didn’t love me but could provide instant gratification.
True gratification and becoming comfortable with vulnerability is not instant. I finally realized that I shouldn’t be weary of vulnerability, but of anything instant and that lasts just a brief moment before throwing me back into the ring of life. I needed steady sustenance and I was going to have to create it myself.
Queue this whole vulnerability business, this being so transparent that there truly no longer was anything to hide. Ready, set, pull the bandaid off all at once. Confusion, hurt, stillness.
For me, the only way to continue on in my life with Jeremy is to be honest. Does the honesty destroy me at times? Yes. Absolutely. It destroys me and my relationship and then it rebuilds it. There is room for error but there is no room for giving honesty or vulnerability a backseat in my life. So, I’ll continue to peel back all my layers. That is where the place of peace exists and I am free.