I went from blatantly sobbing in front of my mom when my toys broke to locking myself in my room whenever I had a breakdown. Maybe it’s because my family doesn’t talk about emotions often or because I started caring too much about other people’s opinions. Whatever the reason, I started to build this strong exterior around myself like a brick wall. I hated being vulnerable around my classmates and especially around adults. Crying, a human expression of grief or happiness, became a shameful action I didn’t want anybody to see. I hid my emotions behind this brick wall and relied on it to protect me.
Although this wall prevented me from embarrassing myself in front of people, it harmed me at the same time. On my mom’s birthday, I gave her a playful card and a test I got a perfect score on attached to it. When I handed it to her, I felt myself on the verge of tears. I thought about how I wanted to tell her that I loved her, and how I wanted to thank her for being such a great mother and for sacrificing so much for me. But the brick wall stood strong, so I shut myself up and went back to my room.
Being vulnerable is extremely important in relationships. A friendship where it’s only joking and playing around is fun, but it can also feel lonely. It’s healthy to have a friend you can talk to when times get rough. We need people whom we can rant to about our horrible days. We need people whom we can sit down with and just cry in front of. Feelings exist, and we should not act like they don’t.
I still struggle with talking about my deepest feelings and opening up to my loved ones. I turned to a personal diary to write my feelings in. I even turned to my blog to rant to strangers online. Of course, it’ll take a while for me to climb over that same brick wall. But I’m still trying, and that’s what counts.