The Sandbox Writing Challenge #25 — Vulnerable

This week’s challenge is What makes you feel vulnerable?

My biggest vulnerable spot is allowing myself to get too close to people online. I have this knack for getting attached to people, enjoying their company, and conversing back and forth with them. It takes me a while to fully open up to people, but it seems like when I am the most comfortable with them, something always goes wrong. They break off contact with me. This has happened more times than I care to admit. And I never know why they break contact. I don’t know if I said something wrong or misinterpreted something. I get no feedback from them. They are there one minute and the next minute they are gone. This has forced me to be a very guarded person. I don’t like being this vulnerable and I don’t like having to caution myself. But I also don’t like being hurt and a few times I was hurt so deeply that I fell into depression. The worst one happened last May and I ditched a whole blog and went off the grid for several months. I am a highly sensitive person and when someone is upset with me, it breaks my heart. But when I cannot even reach someone again to make amends, well, that is the worst part.

I am also vulnerable to narcissists. I seem to be a magnet to these kinds of people. Just about every man I have dated (and one I married) has been a narcissist. Someone explained it to me like this: “Since they have no feelings, they are attracted to those who feel too much.” This is probably true since I am an empath. I don’t know if they want to be around me so they can mirror me or destroy me.  What I *do* know is that a couple of times my relationship with these men very nearly did destroy me. Twice I have escaped just in time to save my sanity. Now I know the subtle clues and I look out for all of the red flags that they send out. It has made it quite difficult for me to even think about dating again.

Memories Come Flooding Back

It never ceases to amaze me where my childhood memories will stem from. First, I should tell you that I have a difficult time remembering my childhood. I had a childhood illness that has made my long-term memory fuzzy. Generally, I remember only bad things because those get repeated over and over again in my head forcing me to remember them. That is part of my mental illness. But every now and again, something will draw out of me childhood memories. I cherish this because it happens so rarely.

Today, after reading Shawn Bird’s poem Rockery, I was able to relive two memories. The first was the many times while out playing with my sister, I would fall down on pine cones and tear up the same place on my knee. While this is a painful memory, it is also a happy one. We lived in a small house in the country surrounded by a pine tree grove. A slim path led from our house through the woods to a neighbor’s house where my sister and I would go to play with the twins who lived there. My sister always ran ahead of me and I tried my best to keep up, but usually ended up stumbling and falling on the pine cones that covered the path. These were simpler and happier times for me before life got too complicated.

The next memory was of the hen and chicks that my paternal grandmother always grew in terracotta pots in the yard. I remember sitting on the porch staring at them and wondering how they could survive our harsh winters. I guess grandmother brought them inside in the winter, but at that time I had no clue. They were just so small and delicate. I remember thinking once that I wished I was a hen and chick, living in those pots and just soaking up the sun and rain. Again, a simpler and happier time in my life.