Up until recently, a year and a bit ago, I thought I could be vulnerable in certain friendship groups. I would tell them my pain, cry on the phone to them, I would share my fears and even open up about certain things in my relationship. I was vulnerable with them because I thought I could trust them with my feelings. Until I realised that not all friends, regardless of how long you’ve known them or how close you perceive your relationship to be, are mature enough or are capable of knowing how to deal with or respond to your pain.
There was a day I was feeling down. I mean really down. Really really down. As in only God could comfort me down. I just had Isaiah, so I was home alone left with my baby and my thoughts. At that point I wanted to call my mum but I couldn’t because we’re estranged. Then the pain from that whole situation kicked in. The tears began. Instantly I just needed to speak to someone. Anyone. I just needed some form of encouragement. So I tried to call my Grandma, she didn’t pick up. Then I called a friend who always knew what to say…but she didn’t pick up. So I called another friend…she picked up…. but in hindsight I wish that she had never picked up or better still that I had never made the call at all. Lets just say the conversation was a car crash. An emotional car crash. Ultimately instead of making me feel better this friend made sure I ended up feeling worse than I initially did.
During the phone call I was crying a lot! I don’t think I even made sense…from my memory I remember saying the words ‘mum’, ‘abandonment’, rejection and probably asked ‘why doesn’t she love me?’ The response I got from my friend wasn’t what I had hoped or needed to hear. Her response was ‘Well you knew your mum was going to do this when u chose to marry your husband.’ Instantly my tears of hurt stopped. At that moment in time I felt as though she had poured pure alcohol over an open wound, the wound being my heart. Have you ever seen a person with fourth degree burns? Well they don’t feel any pain after they’ve been burnt. That is because the burn is so severe that their nerve endings have been damaged. At that moment in time my nerve endings were damaged. I felt nothing. Numb. My tears stopped. The pain was still very present but it wasn’t manifesting. I had to get off the call so I quickly made up a lie that my Grandma was calling me back. I was hurt. Very hurt. I was hurt with the lack of empathy and lack of sensitivity that my friend chose to present to me.
As I laid in my bed just re-evaluating my life, I began to ask myself questions; ‘Why do you let people treat and speak to you in this way?’ To ‘Would you have said that if the shoe was on the foot?’ To self blame; ‘Well it was YOUR fault Mabinty, you should know better than being vulnerable around certain people’ why couldn’t you just cry yourself to sleep like you usually do?’ Well at that point she called back, I picked up and she asked whether she had been harsh, to which I responded yes! At that point she knew I was hurt, although I can’t remember whether she apologised or not but at that very moment I realised that not everyone is to be trusted with my feelings.
So my wall of Jericho went up!
I continued…well continue to shut certain people out when it comes to emotions and issues that I go through. ‘How is the situation with your family Mabinty?’ My response; ‘Fine. So what’s been happening in your life?’. I swerve the question one time. Sorry this subtext is not for you to delve into. Not today and frankly never! I have literally mastered the art of swerving, smile and compliment the other person. Then keep it moving.
I guess what I realise now that I didn’t before was that people who I opened up to were just flying debris caught in the storm of my emotions and feelings. They weren’t to know that their actions will cause me more pain. They just responded how they thought they should have done. They were just being a friend. It was no fault of theirs. My naivety
I think that Oprah sums the whole thing up well when she compared the results of telling someone It’s like in the bible when Jesus said;
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces”.
When Oprah likened the situation spoken about in the video to this scripture I had to go back and read it carefully then I came to the same conclusion.
My feelings are sacred. My feelings are precious like pearls. So with this in mind not everyone is worthy of them. I wouldn’t give a dog the bible because it will probably tear it up. Likewise I wouldn’t open up to any and everyone. This scripture taught me to be cautious. It doesn’t mean that we’re not friends it just means that I do not want you to become flying debris in my emotional storm.
So to close;
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
I will guard my heart. I will also guard the hearts of those who choose to open up to me. My heart is sacred. Their heart is sacred. Everything we do be it spiritually led or physically led flows from the heart so why would you want to allow it to be trampled on?
Be Happy, Be Bright, Be You.
Love Mabs xx