The Illusion of Being Impervious

I won’t lie to you, good reader. Coming across as reserved, intelligent and impervious is something I desperately attempt to maintain. Being judgmental certainly helps, and the appearance of reservation and intelligence are pretty easy- just don’t say much, and when you do, say it well. Ahh, but the ever elusive quality of being emotionally impenetrable- now that’s something I don’t think I’ll ever fully grasp, try as I might.

 

Do you remember the old children’s rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?” We said it on the playground to hide our feelings from bullies; we muttered it to ourselves in middle school when the slightly less awkward preteens taunted the slightly more awkward us. Maybe some of you, like I did, waited until you were in the private confines of your bedroom before you sighed or cried over what had been said.

Thirteen years ago I went on a white water rafting trip with my youth group. We were on the bus to get to the water when the youth pastor shouted, “Hey, Bethany, you better wear a helmet over your face too. Wouldn’t want to break it!” and the whole bus erupted into laughter. Honestly, even now, I don’t get what that means. I was the youngest one on the trip at fourteen, and I remember being baffled about why the youth pastor, of all people, would single out a teenage girl to ridicule. I wasn’t particularly pretty at fourteen, and I certainly wasn’t petite (something I’ve struggled with emotionally my entire life)- I had sprouted by age twelve to be taller than my sister eight years my senior- and, it wasn’t like I was sitting on top of the food chain in the church youth group, if you know what I mean.

 

Why would a man in a spiritual leadership position pick on anyone, especially a young girl? I grew to loathe him and dread going to youth group. Lucky for me, my parents began going to a different church soon after, so I wasn’t stuck around him for much longer. Four years later I avoided him at my brother’s wedding. Obviously, what this man had said to me stuck around for years. Regardless of what the old rhyme said, words clearly hurt. And, even though he’s a diminutive 5’6 and much older, I still haven’t found the courage to write him a letter to tell him how I felt. In this one rare instance I am avoiding the confrontation.

 

Years later I would be in a relationship where we both verbally battered one another. I’m sure I raked his ego through the mud; he put my psyche on a spit and roasted it to a crisp. We brought out the absolute worst in one another, partly because of arrogance and insecurity, and partly because we were totally wrong for one another. Captain Laser Pants came along and quenched the fires, but the damage had been done. I walled up, in fear that he too would hurt me, and I would be left a little more broken. I fought to be a citadel wall against his kindness. Thank God for Captain Laser Pants and the power of love (I don’t care how cheesy that sounds- it is 100% true). I shudder to think about where my life would be without my husband’s love.

 

Maybe being impervious, or even seeming that way, is the totally wrong route. Maybe if we were all more honest, more vulnerable, our relationships would be fuller. If we dropped the facade of arrogance and we were honest with our insecurities, we’re left without armor, yes, but that’s one less layer to remove before we get to the heart of who one another is. I am going to try to skip the pretense of being put together and calm, cool and collected- I am a new mom, with fears and desires and rough patches and big, black circles under my eyes. I need makeup to look human and clothes to hide the parts of me that aren’t magazine- worthy. I want to be real, the people around me to be real, and the relationships I have to be real.

What about you?

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About mombieconfessions

I am a sarcastic mom, tried and true INTJ, my DISC profile has a high D and C with low I and S, and I'm a quirky geek (love me some Star Wars, BSG, Firefly, Dr, Who and comic books!). When I grow up I want to be an Amazon warrior with super powers and an awesome costume. Music and literature are passions, cooking and baking are hobbies, and writing a blog (such as this one) is both a cathartic release and documentation of the growth of my family and myself. View all posts by mombieconfessions

3 responses to “The Illusion of Being Impervious

  • littlecackles

    Love this.

    I’m a single momma to my boy. Real is something that has to present in our lives, because… it’s all we got. I want to teach him how to live in the now… how to be real. Glad to know someone else is on the same page. 🙂

    • mombieconfessions

      For real (hehe)! Keep on teaching him that. If it’s one thing that real women find as a turn off, it’s a pretentious/ false man. I hope he respects his mama and that your baby grows into a great man! Good for you for instilling such an important virtue. Thanks for checkin’ out my blog, too. 🙂

  • Mom

    oh sweetie….I never knew that this happened to you! It does explain some things for sure. Youth Pastors, teachers and principals of Christian schools, anyone in Christian leadership needs to remember what Jesus said about hurting the little ones….better that a millstone be hung around their neck….Nothing ever happens to us that God does not allow for whatever reason. HE may want you to use that incident so you will be sensitive to others, especially kids in what you say to them. Unfortunately incidents like this are often used as excuses for young people to turn away from Christ. HE loves them very much. HE will never fail them. People fail kids; people say dumb and mean stuff; and words hurt forever! My heart has hurt through the night for you since I first read this late last evening. And I know that Jesus was heartbroken for you and was very unhappy with said YP. It reminds me of another incident with a precious little boy years ago who was told by a pastor to not come back to his church until he cut his hair and stop playing a game that the pastor found objectionable. That story causes me deep pain everytime I think of it. Christ compels us to reach out to people, to love them, to help them…not turn them away.

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