Vulnerability: Not for the Faint of Heart

09/09/2014 · 2 comments

in Moni Barrette, Vulnerability

LOFB - MoniAre all men weak because they own a pair of super sensitive balls, that everyone knows they can kick and probably bring the dude to his knees? Of course not!

Why then do we consider ourselves weak for showing other kinds of vulnerability? We need to see the strength in setting our personal boundaries out on Front Street so that people know what they are and that kicking them will have consequences.

In my day job as a public librarian, I deal with some scary shit. You probably wouldn’t expect that, but it’s true (seriously, my fellow librarians and I are considering writing a book). The other day, some enormous, gang-member looking lady went nuts on me, for no other reason except she was crazy that she didn’t like “That face…or that walk…I mean look at her, she’s such a bitch!”

The problem was, my own depression had been talking really loud that day. Those of you who suffer from it know what I mean. It was telling me all sorts of shitty things about my own self-worth. Add that to the fact that the insults Ms. Ghetto was throwing really triggered my inner teenage girl who had always been bullied because of the way that I walk (seriously, I have so many easier traits to pick on!).

Long story short, I handled her extremely well (if I do say so myself) but her antics had taken place in front of every single staff member on duty. I was mortified and felt like everyone else was enjoying my humiliation. The minute she was out the door I turned on my heel…and burst into tears.

Public crying is not my thing. I’m normally known for being a bad-ass, loud mouth bitch. In my nearly decade-long stint at this library, nobody had ever seen me act vulnerable, even in situations way worse than this one. And you know what? The response was amazing. When I thought nobody “had my back,” I found out it was only because they didn’t realize I wanted help. Showing my vulnerability led to better communication with the entire staff about what each of us needs from each other.

Not that we all grabbed guitars and sang fucking ”Kumbaya,” but you get the picture.

The same thing happened when our fabulous Noa showed her own vulnerable side recently. With all the trolls on the Internet, that could’ve gone seriously sideways. Instead, we got to restore just a smidge of our faith in humanity.

We need to let our guard down, every once in awhile, to prove that we are still human. Like shouting tagging in a friend when we’ve had enough, or walking into cage match fights without wearing a cup. Wait, scratch that last one. That’s not good. Unless you don’t want to have babies, in which case free birth control.

You know what, though? I haven’t been completely honest: I am a bit embarrassed that people I work with every day saw me break down like that, but what is the worst that could’ve happened? Even if it hadn’t turned out well, I will borrow another quote from Noa and say: “Fuck it, I’ll do better next time.”

About Moni:

I am a mommy, writer, and librarian extraordinaire. I love reading and writing, and reading about writing, but find that numbers are hard.

When I’m not being wordy, I can usually be found with my family, which includes my daughter, Chuckles the Warrior Princess, Duke, the shiba inu/criminal mastermind, and long-suffering Hubby Joe; or rolling around on the floor with strangers under the guise of practicing Brazilian jiu jitsu. Oh, and being serenaded with the song “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol himself, which is a true story that actually happened because the connection we share is real.

Linda G. September 10, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Loved this post Moni! I admire you for handling the Ghetto Bitch the way you did, but even more so for showing your vulnerable side. Don’t worry about showing that side of you to your co-workers, I’m sure they admire you even more now!

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