Children are born vulnerable and at the mercy of others. They’re completely dependent on others to care for them and meet their needs. Having a parent who quickly responded to their needs and provided proper nurturing, a secure, well rounded person will develop.
In the contrary, if a parent takes a long time to respond to their baby/child or fails to meet the physical or emotional needs at all, that vulnerability is exploited and becomes interpreted to the child as a weakness in character – something bad. Over time, an anxious insecure person will develop.
Much shame and internal protective defence mechanisms can be formed, which causes an array of unhealthy coping strategies. This can happen for anyone, but is especially seen in addiction, and personalty Disorders, such as, Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder.
As a survivor of BPD I can now reflect back on the false persona I lived by. The image I portrayed to the world. This image was all I had, underneath I was an empty vessel. I was so afraid of being vulnerable I could never get close enough to anyone.
Vulnerability meant rejection and abandonment. If they really seen me, they would see that there is nothing worthwhile inside. It meant that people could destroy me.
Allowing myself to be vulnerable with certain people, little by little became a practice of mine. In fact getting vulnerable and being OK with what I viewed in myself as imperfections, made me more human, more real and helped me to connect with people.
I started to find peace and belonging in sharing my vulnerable parts with raw honesty. It started first with getting honest with myself. Asking myself things like:
What are my vulnerabilities? What do they represent? Where did they come from? What power do they hold over me? Are they childish? realistic? Once I thoroughly examined them, in time, I came to a place of understanding and acceptance.
This shifted into the next step of my personal growth where I began sharing little bits of myself and my story with others. It was not easy, but it gets easier. It has also taught me that people only have the ability to destroy you, if you let them.
Of course as an adult, I have more power than I did as a child. I just needed to find that power. I still had the childish fears, intense emotions, and a crippling sensation of powerlessness to others, but I also had the ability to think more logical and rational to work through it.
It took time to put that power into practice, in fact, showing my vulnerable parts started to give me power. It feels good to share – It feels good to cry – It feels good to be raw. Vulnerability, or imperfections as I seen them, made me beautiful on the inside, made me different from the rest and yet so completely normal and relatable. No single person is not vulnerable in some way, this we all have in common and unites us.
I mistakenly believed that vulnerabilities were imperfections, and that to be normal, loved and accepted, you must be perfect. This was yet another “lie in disguise” that I learned in my early developmental years. A lie that caused a disconnect to myself and others.
The truth: When your OK with you, that takes the power back from others and gives it back to yourself.
Keep healing, keep growing, keep finding your truth.