It’s the tightness of the neck which tells me that something is wrong within. I pay attention to other signs. The heartbeat. As expected, it’s fast and loud. So loud that I fear others might hear it. Something strange tugs in the centre of my chest. Like fear beginning to grow strong. My stomach is in knots.
But what is the reason? I haven’t had any unpleasant incident today. What is it that is making me choke? I recall the day. One by one, I rewind the incidents, running my fingers over them, touching each one, pressing a bit, seeing if it pains somewhere, tasting the words others had spoken to me, trying to know if any of them tasted bitter or sour, tried smelling the incidents looking for the smell of foul intentions. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I could sense I was missing out on something by the way the thudding in my chest had become louder by now.
Words. It had to be words. I could sense it. I was hit by them. Always am. There is nothing that can affect me the way words can. Deep or shallow, curt or polite, warm or hurtful. It had to be words. They were my panacea. And they were my venom too.
I played the tape of events in my head again. Carefully going through each one them. And just as I had guessed. There they were. My own words. I tasted them in my mouth again. Ran my tongue over each one of them. Tried to flip it around. And they left an ashen taste in my mouth.
Not because I had spoken something about anyone else. But they were about me. I had revealed something about myself to friends. The kinds you spend your time with by laughing on idiotic jokes and criticizing the people all of you collectively dislike. The conversation innocuously steered towards my insomnia. The way I deal with it. The way I could deal with it better by not spending my time reading. They asked questions. And I had to answer. I couldn’t steer the conversation towards somebody else. So there they were. Discussing me. In front of me.
While I was talking, there was a trigger inside which was asking me to do the damage control, to stop the conversation but I ignored it and now I am regretting. Nothing has happened yet due to my sharing something about myself and yet everything is so different. I feel raw, exposed. I feel vulnerable, weak. Like I am giving the power to other people to destroy me, even though the information might me trivial in their eyes. But to me, to me it’s like handing over a piece of myself and then giving them the power to trigger something that I cannot stop. Somehow, people make me feel vulnerable these days.
On the other hand, there are times when I write about myself and my life. On the blog and on social media. So one could say I am as such revealing myself. I agree I am. But that is the measured part, the harmless part. I am aware of every single word I put out there about myself. The vulnerability creeps in when I am questioned, discussed and probed. What if I say something that will let them know what I think, how I think, what I am going through? That’s the scarier part.
Does it happen to you? Do you ever feel vulnerable when you share things?