"I have taken some deeply personal risks recently and said exactly what I mean to the people closest to me…even if it meant I could lose them."
-Ms. Mix and Bitch
I just read this on one of my favorite blogs, Mix Tape Therapy. And it really hit home for me.
For the most part, I am a direct person. Brutally direct. Direct to a fault. And it has definitely cost me friendships and relationships. I've been doing a lot of soul-searching recently, for many reasons, but I've been dwelling on this aspect in particular because it has come around again in my life.
I began to question whether it is worth it. Is it worth it to tell someone how I feel, knowing that the cost might be no longer having that person in my life? Is it worth it to put myself out there, even if it is just relating a feeling? Is it worth it to say something to someone, knowing full well that they might not be able to handle my truth? Sure, I get it off my chest. But at the end of the day, does it really matter? It is easy to say "Yes. Be true to yourself." But it is not so easy in practice, especially when someone straight up walks away. There have been times that I have been honest and lost a friend, and eventually that friend came back. But there have also been times when that friend left and never looked back. I usually console myself with thoughts of "meant to be" and shit like that. Then I question whether all this heartache is worth it. Is it worth it? Can't I just keep my fucking mouth shut? Can't I bear this on my own?
The flip side is, do I not say what is in my heart? When I am hurt, or scared, or insecure in some way, is it better to let it be? Is it better to hide that feeling and keep my friends close?
I have recently had to face some pretty hard truths about myself, and it has not been easy. My usual support network is kinda M.I.A., and so I've been relying on writing and drinking to ease this. But no matter how much I write or drink to forget, these self-truths remain. No matter how much I push them away, they remain. I spoke to a friend from my heart, and things didn't go well. At all. So I became even more introverted and scared, and angry at myself for speaking up. It was not something I could talk to my husband about, either. I was so scared of his reaction, especially after things went bad with my friend, and he and I were already having some pretty serious problems.
But I took a chance. I took a chance on him.
At first, it seemed that things would end. It seemed that this was going to be the straw that broke us. But it wasn't, and now that I have given him some time to process, I'm realizing what a truly outstanding man he is, and how lucky I am to already be married to him. He embraced me. He embraced me for the complicated, passionate, brazen, outspoken person that I am. He embraced me for my flaws and my talents. He shocked me with his ability to love and accept. Trust me when I say that what I told him was NOT easy for either of us. Yet, here I am, and here he is, and we are as strong as we have ever been, even with this unveiled secret between us.
People are strong enough. The people that love you for you are strong enough.
There are still people in my life, like my mom, that I cannot say certain things to; I accept that. They have become second tier in my sphere of relationships. I know what I can and can't expect, and that is an important line to draw. The hard part is discovering that line in the first place without losing someone.
I know now that I will always be direct. It is who I am, and for the most part, that is a big reason why my friends love me. I also know that it will cost me relationships for the rest of my life. I am beginning to accept that. It challenges my biggest fear: my fear of rejection. But having struggled with things far more painful, I also know that this fear does not control me. That ugly voice in my head that shouts at me holds no sway over my actions. I can challenge my own worst fears. It doesn't mean that I overcome the fear; it is still there and it is just as strong every time. But I challenge it anyway. Just as I challenge the people in my life. I want to be the water that polishes everyone in my life to be their best. I want to be my own water.