I've been reflecting on a conversation that occurred some time ago. During a moment of weakness, I broke down, crying, and shared with someone a personal crisis I was experiencing. I gave this person insight into my personal life that revealed quite a bit of pain and was quite a contradiction to the put-together image I had managed to display for so long. (When I say put together, I mean psychologically---my attire could NEVER be described as put together).
ANYWAY, there's that awkward moment when you come to realize that you have taken off your mask and exposed yourself to someone that you don't typically let see you in your underwear (metaphorically speaking, of course). So I cleaned my face, hoped my "ugly cry" wasn't too hideous a sight, and tried to regain some semblance of composure by giving a lighthearted chuckle and saying something like "I guess my secret's out; now you know how messed up I am". The person was reassuring, and said "you have never seemed more real to me than you are right now".
The comment immediately felt like a kick in the gut and I REALLY regretted my moment of weakness. But over time, this has troubled me more and more. What the heck!? (I want to say something else, but I am trying to keep things PG). So my seeming a hot mess makes you feel better? My typing these words can't capture the tone; a dreamy, etheral sounding voice.
I'm not saying that the person was happy that I was in pain. But I AM saying that the words reveal a whole lot. #1 - Up until now I seemed fake to you? I couldn't possibly have my stuff together, there must be SOMETHING wrong with me? And from that moment on, something was lost. Not my dignity, not my self respect... I lost that person's image of me as a strong, successful woman.
I won't even begin to analyze the ramifications of that. I will simply say this. Everybody has chinks in their armour. We all need people with whom we can completely be ourselves, no pretenses and no "masks". BUT we must be careful of whom we choose to reveal our real selves. Tough lesson to learn. Vulnerability comes with a price.