A bit like this. . .


This tray sits in the “pink” room’s window. I can see it from the hallway when I walk past, and the light pouring through it is so beautiful. I keep trying to capture it, but I either end up with an overexposed photo (see above) or I miss the moment altogether.

I’m feeling a little like this photo. I always do when I start writing what’s really running in loops in my head. I suspect we all feel a bit exposed whenever we put ourselves out there. And it’s never fun to be reminded that we are not universally loved or cherished. The world can get… petty.

That pettiness crashed into my world, this week. I thought I had all the hatches proverbially battened down, but I missed one.  The temptation to draw back into my head to nurse the hurtful things said in my own private misery is pretty alluring. So is the desire to “set the record straight”.  Some people are fabulists and it’s hard when they start fibbing about you. Directly to you, as if you don’t know who you are and don’t remember what happened.  I’ve bounced between both of these “reactions” all week.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that fading away won’t make me feel less exposed. A less negative way to see that exposure is to see it as vulnerability. Vulnerability and authenticity are good things. Sure, it’s hard, but most worthwhile things are. So, I keep writing my truth.

I’ve also come to realize that “setting the record straight” isn’t necessary either. Letting other people be wrong about you is a difficult thing to do: but unless you’re in politics, it won’t kill you.

It really won’t.

And here’s the thing, as much it might be therapeutic to disabuse your abuser of their misinterpretations, it really falls on deaf ears. It’s been a liberating realization to discover that, despite my own personal code of ethics, some things just don’t need a response. And some people don’t deserve a response.

But you do.

So, I’m going to stand here, back-lit a little more than I like (did I remember to wear a slip with this dress??) and tell YOU my truth.  And if that gets uncomfortable or hard or difficult, you can look away. It’s OK. I’m already about as vulnerable as I can be, I don’t think I can get any more naked.

4 Responses to “Overexposed”

  • IZ:

    Being vulnerable is good. Being authentic too. Telling your story to your friends? Of course! Bring it on. And I think you are wise to not spend your time engaging that which would make anyone crazy. There’s no fight because you aren’t even getting into the boxing ring. I think that’s perfect.

    I was reading a really interesting study on Resiliency. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3132556/ They discuss one’s ability to “bounce back” by finding positive meaning in stressful encounters. One can infer that by purposefully limiting potential trigger environments, one can improve one’s long-term outlook and resiliency. So our 80-year old “angel” not only spoke from experience, but fully embodied an entire area of scientific study! How cool is that?

    And yes, I apparently live life by Pixar… http://vimeo.com/45732240

  • Love this post and it really resonates with me and the past couple years of my life trying to deal with Patt’s family. Letting other people be wrong about me or the situation has been incredibly difficult, but their alternate view of reality wouldn’t permit any kind of actual conversation. Hang in there, my friend.

    • wende:

      It’s crazy making right? I feel you so much on this. *actual* conversation being the thing missing in the process. And you know that when people start invalidating your experiences, it’s done. That’s the big hint.

      And you hang in there too!!

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