What’s Your Definition of Vulnerable?

11111058_848401048575319_1692519829997846752_n A few years back one of my writing teachers told me that he loved my writing, but he felt I was holding back. He said, “I can feel you guarding yourself. You needed to be more vulnerable; edit yourself less.” It’s hard to be vulnerable when we have been taught since we were young to edit so much of ourselves for the world. It’s hard to be bare bones vulnerable isn’t it? I’ve decided to push myself in my writing and to work hard on being truly vulnerable (I think I am pretty vulnerable already to be honest, but I am going to try to rip of the what’s left of the veil). It’s not easy to let your insecurities hang out for everyone to see. Truth is though that the people who move me the most are the people who can do just this. They talk about their truth and they are so open in all the details. This takes real bravery and I really want to become that person. I get tired sometimes of writing about my experience with domestic violence because there is much more to me than that. However, I know that my work is important and that I am a voice for many that don’t have one or can’t find the right words yet. I will never stop be an advocate, but I am going to try to broaden my blog up a bit with more of Ella; a more diversified view of me and my world. I was thinking about my Dad the other day. He is an amazing man and I love him so very much. He has been such an example to me in so many ways and has taught me what it means to be humble and steadfast in your convictions. I wanted to write a piece about him so that you would have an idea of where I come from; my history. (All of this is keeping in line with me being vulnerable.) So, I started to comprise this piece in my head and I was getting really excited about it, until I realized my truth like a brick to the head. I cannot write about my Dad in my blog. I can’t write about my mother, my AMAZING Grandmother, my siblings, or my darling children. I can’t write about my career before I started Rebel Thriver. Shit, I can’t even talk about my life before I left my abusive husband. This all came rushing back to me in a second flat. The blood pulsed through my veins and my heart started pounding so loud I could hear it out loud. YES, I have forgiven, but in moments like this the band-aid gets torn off and the pain cuts deep. The anger bubbles to the surface again, and again, and again. MOTHER**UCKER! He, and by he I refer to my abuser, has taken SO much from my life. He has taken my ability to freely write about my past. My history is so incredibly pertinent to who I am today, but when I write I must edit, edit, edit. I cannot be as vulnerable as I would like to be because of this man. It’s been years and his reach is still as long. He still has some control over my life and it infuriates me. I have come so far and worked so incredibly hard to heal myself, forgive the past, and learn a new way of being, but I cannot get away from this man. That is what domestic violence does to you. It comes in and grabs a hold of you by the neck, clamps down hard, and shakes you to your core. It tries to sever your roots and leave you wilting in the corner, thirsty and unable to bloom. It’s exhausting and it seeps into the tiny corners of your life and it is so damned hard to clean up. One step forward, two steps back. Instead of writing about my amazing Dad I am back full circle to domestic violence. It really is like this and I know that there are those of you out there who get this. How can one person wreak such havoc and destruction on another human being. People who are in situations like this are the epitome of vulnerable. They are open to being hurt and attacked at any given moment. Just another reason it’s hard to stop editing myself. I built some pretty big walls around my fortress over the years. My mother would like to see me “move on” and leave all the domestic violence in the past. She wants to see me have a “normal” life. There is nothing normal about my life, and as time passes and my children get bigger I deal with it on new levels everyday. Adolescence has brought up things that I wish wouldn’t surface and I have a child with PTSD and Acute Anxiety just like me. How bad is it exactly? Disabling. Remember that not all wounds are visible. Yes, we look like a “normal” family, but there is nothing normal about us. We have experienced a kind of hell on earth that not everyone can fathom. We are survivors because we made it out alive.  I walked away from everything with the clothes on my back and started completely over. How do I just move on and leave it behind? There is no way that I can do that for I would leave behind a part of me and so many victims who have no voice. I speak for them not just myself. I guess it is here that I find my vulnerability. I guess it is here in this great melting pot of experiences and emotions that we connect. I know its not always easy to share with others how you are feeling when everything is locked up inside like a steel vault. It’s much healthier to be real about it and let it flow if you can. So this is my reality, and want you to know that some days are better than others. I don’t like being held back and I have so much to say, but I can’t. I must bite my tongue in order to protect myself and my children. I am not going to stop trying to find ways to express whats inside of me. I may need to talk in parables, but I will be heard somehow. It really is amazing how one relationship can change the entire trajectory of your life. How’s that for being vulnerable? xo Ella

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