Fear Of Vulnerability? Or…

Fear Of header image shows me in an inverted rope suspension. Turquoise bra and tights, and hip harness in purple rope.

I don’t remember how the conversation started, but on the weekend SWL and I ended up discussing things we’d seen on TV as children which had led to a consuming fear through our formative years. Mine was a seemingly innocuous episode of Casualty, a British drama set in an accident and emergency unit which we would watch every week. The scene that grabbed my attention was of a farmer, in his tractor, cutting hedges. In the hedge is a metal wire fence, which gets caught up in the hedge trimmer and a sharp piece comes flying out, directly into the neck of the driver caught up behind the tractor. As a girl growing up in a farming community, we would often be held up by tractors. I would clasp my hands to my neck whenever we were, protecting myself from a highly improbable catastrophe.

The fear is real!

Even now, (maybe) three decades later, I get nervous when following a hedge trimming tractor. I don’t panic, nor do I protect myself from impending doom. But I do get a flutter in my tummy, a mild racing in my chest.

If I respond so readily to the memories of fictional peril after all this time, is it any wonder that I might experience heightened anxiety over more recent, lived experiences. Fear of history repeating itself?

Openness and honesty is something I have given and requested, since taking my initial leap of faith.

However, it is not something I’ve always been granted in return.

But things are changing. Those lines of communication are open and direct. My worry has been noted, recognised, and steps taken to improve my experience. Even though my worry was different than D thought, in this case just knowing that he’s seen *something* is up and responded is enough to ease my actual brain fart. And means we can talk about that, in relation to where we are now.

Spend enough time being bound by your own insecurities and you’ll start believing you can’t move. That your entire being is insecure.

I’ve cried a lot the last week or so.

Not because I’m upset and sad. (OK, a little because I’m upset and sad, but that’s a different tale.) More relief that my fear of… (my own shadow?) are unfounded.

I have been reciting certain narratives for so long, I’ve also protected myself with a prickly exterior. Not only can negative opinions not get in, they also can’t get out. While I’m still not particularly polite to the numpties in my inbox and comments, I have found that, with D, I can soften. Much like I can with all of my good friends, but with the added vulnerability of power exchange and emotional (as well as physical) intimacy. While I soften with him, I also have to give myself permission to be kinder to myself. (It’s one thing advising friends to be kind to themselves, quite another to treat myself as I would a friend. Part of my masochism perhaps?) That has led to me not just being off balance and leaning in, but tumbling into a weird world of not-quite-right-but-not-wrong-ness.

Sometimes you need to be viewed from a fresh perspective, be tipped upside down and shaken about a bit. Only then can those fears to be released.

Rather than it accidentally happening, I’m now allowing the vulnerability to be on display.

Sometimes I’m even asking for hugs and affection when I need them, as well as sadistic care and attention! And I know he will grant those needs as soon as he can, if it’s within his power to do so.

Fear of a situation isn’t a reason to stop, not in and of itself.

I don’t need (or even want) to close myself off again. And finding myself wrapped up in D brings so much joy, that it is safe to be brave. To face the parts of me that cause terror in my soul. Not just in the safe space of a theory lesson with my therapist. But by pulling up my big knickers and getting out there to practise! Fortunately he is a patient man, kind and nurturing. One who welcomes this side of me that I find so embarrassing and hard to share.

And I’ve discovered it’s not fear of vulnerability that I struggle with. Hell, I’ve been putting myself in tight spots for a long time, making myself vulnerable, taking calculated risks. More that I find it hard to acknowledge my insecurities. But to be truly vulnerable I need to do just that, while openly and honestly communicating what they are (when I understand them) so that those I’m being vulnerable with can help.

And once I’ve been helped over the wall of fear, and I’ve understood what the heck was going on in there, all is quiet again. Bliss!

As always, a huge thanks to 1001011 for the amazing rope. I almost feel bad that I’ve not spoken about this picture, but I love that it illustrates my overflowing feelings better than words. (Though I always feel fierce in his ropes, rather than vulnerable, so perhaps I should have found another image!)

I’m still loving the prompts from Mrs Fever’s 43 for ’23. This post is being shared to my plagiarised version for number 6 – I am scared of…



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