I posted a note on my unhidden, real Facebook page a few weeks back that said, "Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down." I'm not especially proud to admit it, but that is me all the way. I think that posting is the closest I have come to letting people who have known me since childhood understand the real me. I had few comments on it, but what interested me was that some commented who I didn't expect. I think it shows that we all have people who care for us but do it silently.
Many years ago, I was in a very serious automobile accident, so severe that I was not expected to live to get to the hospital, then not expected to live the night, then not expected to survive the week. Well, I am still here. While it was a very difficult time for me, it was a huge learning experience. I discovered things about myself that, until then, I hadn't known. My determination, my refusal to ever give up [stubborn bastard that I am] for example. However, the most valuable thing that I learned was that there are people who care about me, and they are not the cheerleaders, the 'in your face' guy or gal who wants everyone to know how good they are. They are the ones who are not struggling to get next to you in the pic, or touting how much they have done to help, or at all obvious. In fact, most of my friends don't realize they are there either. I am not a religious person, but when I have needed that extra support, they almost seem like angels who only appear when you truly need them.
A fellow blogger commented to me in a private conversation that he was sure I had my shit together quoting my 20+ years of marriage and raising my kids as proof. Yeah, raising kids is tough, but I never said I did a good job of it. I love them more than myself most times, but I have way too many faults to even start counting, and some of them have hurt my kids in ways that I regret. I am, however, VERY proud that they are generally caring, compassionate people. It took me a while to get used to the fact that they are their own selves, and not just an extension of me. Learning that with them also helped me learn that with others, and strive to be less controlling.
Many of you who read this, and especially those who bear their most personal thoughts in a blog have been tremendously helpful in my personal growth. Unfortunately, it has sometimes come with personal pain, and sometimes pain to others. But, I have found that a few tears is sometimes good for a body...it is almost cleansing, to allow us to see things more clearly. It is clear now that the older I get, the more that I see how unwise I really still am.
I don't much think I really have my shit together, though.