Vulnerability is my worst enemy. Opening up to someone is the hardest thing to do when they could potentially be ripped out of your life instantly without warning. And it’s because of that sole fact that vulnerability is something I struggle with immensely. When you have moved every few years and lost friendships that had the potential to be so much more than they were, it’s hard to even want to make new friends. Thus resulting in the feeling of loss that is so prevalent throughout the lives of many TCK’s – so much that if our lives were a work of literature, the underlying theme would be the emotions around loss. Every time a friendship ended without warning, it felt like a loss. Every time I had to pick up and move, a little piece of myself was left in that country. And that little piece of me was the potential that those friendships could have been. But unfortunately they were not meant to be and it’s accepting those losses and realizing that there is nothing you can do about it that will get you through.
As for the vulnerability aspect: being vulnerable is a scary thought. Laying yourself out in the opened for someone to see is an anxiety-inducing feat. However, once those walls break down and all the masks come off, you’ll feel free. As soon as you let the walls that once stood crumble and let the people around you see yourself for who you truly are, you will also feel more comfortable with yourself. After all, if the people who you surround yourself with accept you for all your flaws and insecurities and love you unconditionally even with those flaws (whatever they may be), then why should you not be able to love yourself? And it is this very aspect of being vulnerable that allows us, as humans, to grow and love deeper. If you can love yourself for who you are regardless of everything you hate about yourself, then you can also allow the people around you to love you. And it is this love that we feel that ultimately makes us feel vulnerable and this is why I have always shut people out. But I have learned, if you let them in, life is so much brighter and better.
It is the people who love you that make all the losses bearable. The wounds are still there; trust me I feel them. And the thoughts of all those friendships that could have been something more than they were sting me to my core. But the people that I surround myself with on a daily basis allow me to move on and accept those losses for what they are. Everyone deals with loss but not everyone moves on. And as a TCK you have to let go. If you hold onto something that could have been, for too long, you’ll never progress. Learning to cope and let go of the losses will allow you to be vulnerable and will ultimately allow you to feel more content with your own life. And on those days, when it stings, remind yourself how incredibly lucky you are to have people in your life, that make you love yourself to your core and that love you to your core. And all those losses cannot compare to the amount of love that you feel each and everyday from the people currently in your life. It won’t heal the losses but it’ll make them a little more bearable.