I’m gonna be talking about the losses from transparency. In short, this medium has cost me but I don’t want it any other way.
When I started writing, I felt like God wanted me to. I felt like I was being obedient to Him. I felt like I was responding to whatever He asked me to capture.
Are there benefits ? Yes. The biggest one being catharsis. It’s been life changing, life saving, life affirming for me to capture these thoughts. The biggest reason has been the fact that it’s gonna be public.
One of the reasons why a testimony is significant is because it’s public. How can you testify to the awesomeness of your wife and do it in private. That is a compliment. A testimony is a public confession of a private experience.
The privacy is essential. It requires a vulnerability to reveal what folks won’t know or see otherwise.
The public nature in my case is significant because now that I have been writing for 3 ish years. I now recognize the purpose and the trend, and inspiration.
I am the villain of my own story. Because the stories capture the moment I puncture pain, problems, trauma that have held me captive.
In a sense, others might read a sick soul, I get to be the nurse and the patient. The nurse because I don’t have the prescription but I get to document the symptoms and in so doing, invite the doctor — Jesus — in to lead me to healing.
When I wrote about my stream of consciousness and acutely captured my journey through being rejected because of my sexual language and emphasis when communicating with a woman that I liked. I also captured a casualty of my sexual interest. The woman I didn’t like but could choose.
I lost a lot.
I lost a lot of respect.
Respect of my Brothers
I have belong to a WhatsApp group of a select high school friends. Friends now but we weren’t all tight in secondary school, but it’s become my favorite part of my day engulfed in dialog about life from so many different angles. I share my posts with them and they encourage me when needed but they also call me out.
They called me out on this one. It was so painful. Because these are people that knew me as a good boy, a holy guy. I had reasons to protect my branding etc. but therein lies the beauty of this journey; because to be known as anyone other than the work in progress mess that I am, is to rob myself of freedom that comes from aligning identity and branding. I no longer want to be a cage to how I am perceived but rather to be perceived for who I am.
At first, I felt affirmed that the way I behaved was justified because of the pain and trauma that they originate from but eventually the conversation shifted to highlight the impact that my recklessness was causing. If I am the villain, there are victims, hero’s, and others significantly negatively impacted by my healing journey. This was the most scathing remark:
Except… no one is really holding you accountable. They are. extending a judicious amount of grace and patience which is likely feeding into some dark narcissistic (and likely destructive) fetish of yours.
It threw me into a tailspin. Narcissistic especially is a trigger word for me. So much so, I have a post about my fears around it. It dawned on me that I was the player that I preached against many years ago.
I was selfishly focused on my goals in dating — to get to know who I am and what I like in a partner. I had completely zoned out the other humans involved in that journey and process. Their emotions, their heart, their body, their affection have all become tools that I was flippantly using to “get better.”
If I didn’t Obey and write about this uncomfortable topic, if I didn’t Testify. I would not present my brothers with a chance to speak truth into me and to hold me accountable. To maybe point out how I can get better without hurting others in the process.
I hated so much the fact that I had become so callous; perfecting the art of not doing anything socially wrong yet very much leaving amazing women used and hurt and indirectly communicating that they were not enough.
I had lost the respect of my sisters, lovers
This one is short and sweet. Nobody wants to invest their time on a douchebag. A guy who is myopic in his thinking. Armed with an emotional dagger and swinging it around unaware or irresponsibly discarding the gashes inflicted on others.
It’s one thing to take the gashes when you believe the guy is healing and intentional about it. It’s another to recognize it’s a pattern that he seems to be relishing.
The losses and The irrelevance of Why
I set out not to become the victim of this story or the hero. I set out to capture the cost of vulnerability. The cost of transparency.
You see, when a problem gets defined. It doesn’t always come with jubilation. There are some problems that are better left undiagnosed. Better is an amusing word choice here since it’s not optimized for outcome but for emotional bliss. In other words, is it better to not know that my dad has cancer and just live blissfully ignorant. Losing moments but also enjoying moments without forcing myself to maximize time. Is it better to have ADHD and not know it. Just fight through its limitations and strength without employing medical intervention that sometimes makes things worse.
By penning these thoughts, I get to discover sometimes define problems in my life real time. Other times I pen symptoms that others do clearly can diagnose and more than that; they can also assess the impact of my untreated ailment.
The cost though is the abandonment by those who now know that I am sick. Or those who suspected but held on for other reasons; those who by recognizing that I am sick; also recognize that I have hurt them.
This dominos of recognition, recollection, reaction and release can be so detoxifying and yet very much retraumatizing. I have abandonment trauma that I age dealt with for so long. Yet, I find these posts are a form of sabotage.
It’s like I am writing in a tone — cold hard facts yet the subject matter — emotions — are anything but conducive to cold, hard or facts.
Emotions are like snake. Defining them is like grasping a snake with salt.
I’ve lost lovers. I have lost sisters. I have lost friends. I am finding myself.
So I ask, who would you rather keep if you know it will cost you, yourself ?