Saturday, April 23, 2011

Burkas and Bikinis

Emotional basket case.
An open book.
Wearing your feelings on the outside.

All the above phrases have been used to describe me and boyfriends in my past have used my "free expression of emotion" as a grounds for ending the relationship. The best description yet, came to me last week through my sister who reported how my parents had described me: "Kaitlin wears an emotional bikini." At first, I was just slightly offended until I told my husband who laughed and said, "Wow, that's so true!" Then, I was a little more offended... until he said, "Honey, I would rather you wear a bikini than a wear a costume like most of the world. You are true to yourself and you share from your heart." Since my husband was in a previous relationship with a girl who was an emotional vault, he appreciates being aware of everything I'm thinking and feeling. It's not always pretty, but it's real.

Even though sharing my personal life with friends and family has always come naturally to me, sharing my infertility story has been one of the toughest transparency tests yet. The first week I started blogging, I felt nauseous every day just knowing that one of the tenderest areas of my heart was out there for the world to read. I was sharing this struggle with a close friend who happens to be the polar-opposite of me in her level of "sharing." She said, "Well, if you wear an emotional bikini then I wear an emotional burka." We both started laughing, but I started thinking. You know, there's room in the world for both. As I read through other fertility blogs, I, myself, was shocked at just how much detail some people share. Then there are some blogs that are 100% anonymous.

I grew up as a full-blown extravert in an immediate family of introverts and an extended family who kept their feelings private. I was often asked to stop talking and just be quiet for a few minutes. My sisters must have thought my emotional roller coaster of the teen years put me pretty close to nut-so. And there were moments, I admit, that I probably was teetering on the edge of "emotionally disturbed." With age, comes wisdom, right? I've learned over time with whom to share and what to share....and most importantly I've learned to put virtual duct tape on my mouth during that time of the month! There is a time and place for everything.

This is my time to share about infertility and this is the place to get some of those details and emotions recorded for posterity! What I believe is important in everyone's emotional health, is that they find someone and someway to express their true thoughts and feelings. Like my friend who is very private, she has found the outlet she needs in a mother, husband, close friend. She doesn't need everyone in her world, knowing every detail of her life, to feel happy and free. What I believe is unhealthy is when people hide their emotions, don't confide in anyone, and project an image of themselves that is not their reality. This is the costume analogy. 

Be real. Be vulnerable. Be free. I have found people in my life that I can trust with some of the deepest, darkest, and most beautiful parts of my heart, but my husband and my God get ALL of me...the good, the bad, and the ugly!

1 comment:

  1. And I love every bit of you! ;-)
    - your husband