There are certain things people never talk about. And if they do talk about them, it is generally only with the closest of friends in sincere moments of quiet understanding, or with relative strangers because we’re afraid of losing friends by being honest.
That’s why it is so hard to have a blog linked to my personal accounts where friends and family members of all types of relationships can see what I post. It is like putting a mirror in the middle of the road with a sign that says “please don’t break me.” Every time I post something about autism or depression or suicide, I pray that I won’t be broken. I hope that people will understand. I hope that it won’t make people afraid of being themselves around me or nervous to talk to me or resentful of how I feel or think about things.
Every post is a risk. Every post means allowing myself to be seen as human, and let’s face it, we don’t like being human. Being human is vulnerable. Humans get hurt. They die and suffer and make mistakes. We would much rather feel invincible. And it is easy to feel invincible in this world. We can hide behind our electronic devices, not feel the elements by staying in our houses or cars or offices, and social media is almost designed to make us seem invincible by posting only the moments we want to glory in. It is easy to feel invincible when there are metal, plastic, tangible machines always between us and the rest of the world.
However, most of us know to some extent that we are not invincible. Here is where the gap lies. We have an image of invincibility that we put out to the rest of the world, while silently guarding the vulnerable person that we see inside ourselves.
I don’t want to be like that. As hard as it is to be vulnerable, I don’t want to hide behind walls I myself create. I want to be me always so that no one is surprised when I do something human.
It is hard though. Even though I know why I do this and I wouldn’t want to go back to hiding, it is hard to continue to be vulnerable. What keeps me going though are the messages I get that say, “I connect with what you’re going through.” The times when people tell me they understand or relate to a post. And it reminds me that I have to keep doing this because being vulnerable is the only way out of being scared. It may be hard, but if it helps one person it is worth it. And I know it always helps at least one person, me.