i have always been desperate to share, to have people know me. i may even have been an oversharer at times, because more than anything, i’ve just wanted to connect with people, in a meaningful way. skipping past the small talk and formalities to get to what’s real. sometimes, i have been so thirsty for connection that i will foster intimacy where there isn’t any, prolonging relationships out of fear of loss, which, as you can imagine, just ended up hurting even more.
historically, i’ve usually put myself out there, way out. not because i was so confident, but because i wasn’t. because i learned that most people really like humour, and self-deprecation, and intelligence, and i could control the room better if i shared who i was, if i laid my cards on the table. i was not interested in playing games, other than that i would get me before anyone else ever could. i am a master reader of body language and non-verbal cues, one of the greatest gifts my unpredictable, volatile mother and father gave me.
and jesus, i was persistent…i always believed the best of people, that if they could see my intentions, if they knew my heart, they would understand. if i shared enough i could be seen, i would be loved. and, i believed that someone would be interested in what was inside…so i shared and shared and shared, all kinds of random things, pseudo-truths, things i thought were important. even if no one shared back, even if they didn’t deserve it or want it, even when they hurt me in return.
i didn’t let many people all the way in. hell, i didn’t let myself all the way in, right? but interestingly, as i did, i started to realize that sharing is sacred act; one i no longer wish to grant to everyone i meet. my heart is very tender, and very bruised, especially over these past few years. and the essence of who i am…who i was…who i’m becoming…is not for public consumption.
so today, over and over, the image that comes to mind is one i’ve written in a poem to my therapist a couple years ago: how i’ve unfurled, and brought her my hurts and my terror and my ugliness and my pain, like small children do with handfuls of bugs or frogs or dandelions, with scribbled pictures, or wobbly somersaults in the grass. like wild leaps from diving boards, to make the biggest splash. like how they might run to you, breathless with anticipation, a water-polished rock in the centre of their palm, for your inspection and approval.
how her tending to me has healed me. and how much more easy, yet hard it is to share my self with others. and how, when i do, the ones i have chosen to stay near continue to heal me and love me. (i’m looking at you, pocketbrit.)