This week has not gone well and I am feeling very vulnerable at the moment. I have been dealing with a situation at work where I have become highly emotionally invested. I wrote about this in When missy came to work and then again in Square pegs, round holes and submission; the whole situation has consumed a part of me for quite a while now. This shouldn’t happen of course, work is just work, but when your job is about people and about protecting them, then it isn’t always as easy as that. Sometimes you get something ongoing which breaks through and this has been one of those times. I have invested not just a lot of time, but a huge amount of emotion into it so when it all literally blew up in my face this week it was hard.
When I write about vulnerability, I usually see that as a positive thing. It is about exposing myself and my feelings to HisLordship and being open and honest with him. It is positive because I trust him to protect me and to look after me, which he does. It feels like a safe sort of vulnerability. It feels like I have shown him the real me, the me who is stripped bare before him and he has seen that and shown me his love and acceptance in exchange. I have grown used to this and view it as a positive counterpart to my strength. I have got better at managing those two sides so that they compliment and work together. Occasionally there will be a clash or a crossover but usually it seems to work very well.
This week I was the other vulnerable – the bad one, the one where it is out there, the one where you aren’t actually safe. The definition of vulnerable is: exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed physically or emotionally. This was not only a physical threat, but had an emotional edge to it too as the very person I have tried so hard to protect was now the one who was threatening me, so that meant that the emotional combined with the physical, in a situation where there was no safety for me. That pretty much overwhelmed me afterwards. I held it together for the time that I had to and tried not to show outwardly how I felt.
This is where it gets complicated I think and the two different vulnerabilities play out in different ways. I was physically vulnerable but didn’t show it. I was emotionally hurt and was able to hide that also. I am quite a calm person so remained like that and on the outside that is what people saw. I focussed not on how I felt but on what I had to do and it seemed to work to minimise things. The closer I got to home, the more it all fell away, the weaker I became and the less easily I hid how I felt. I opened our front door, walked into the house and threw myself at Sir. He just held me very tightly and told me that I was safe.
The safe vulnerability was back. I didn’t have to hide or pretend or be strong. He would look after me and I could lean on his strength and I just let go. We spoke about what had happened and I knew that he was angry about it but he didn’t focus on that. He made it clear that it was unacceptable for me to have been put in that position so I knew that I had his support but he focussed not on those things. He concentrated on helping me work through what I was feeling. This undoubtedly ruined his night and probably the rest of the week but he adapted and let me lean in him.
I suppose what I am saying is that the vulnerability I have with him allowed me to let him help me through a situation where I had really been in danger, or at least to deal with the emotional aftermath. It seems odd that the thing that makes you weak can actually make you stronger too but that is exactly how it felt. Through that vulnerability I was able to find the strength I needed to continue to appear strong to, and for, everyone else. We cannot always protect ourselves and niether can we count on others to do it for us. Sometimes, through no fault of our own we are placed in situations where the threat and the risk is high.
It hurts to have invested so much only to have the tables turned on me but it has been a good reminder of why it is important to focus on the relationships that really matter. Sometimes it seems that everyone wants a piece of you and I have to remind myself to make sure it is only ever a piece. My nature is one where I try to give more and become caught up in it all but really that is why I need this dynamic. I need to give myself somewhere it is safe for me to do so. I need to know that someone else has my back and will be a check over the way I try to throw myself into things. I need someone there to remind me that not all fights are mine and not all fights are worth my time. I need someone to draw the line for me when I keep moving with the shifting goal posts.
I love to be stripped bare and for Sir to see who I really am. Showing him my vulnerability is not a risk, in fact it leads to the closest connection that can be felt to another person. It remains a positive and something which I will continue to do. He is my strength and I know that he will protect me. No one person can ever change the things that will happen in life but they can change how you deal with and manage them, and that is what being vulnerable with him gives me. I have come to see vulnerability not as a weakness but as a strength, as it binds us and allows us to be more intimately entwined.