It has to be my least favorite kind of moment. Every time it’s ever happened is still seared into my memory, even though it’s been years since it’s happened to me.
I can vividly remember each time a person I trusted with my real self, someone I told all my secrets and who openly welcomed my quirks — the flaws that I didn’t have to share but did — turned to me in a moment of anger… and they threw those same faults back in my face.
The funny thing is that they’ve always taken it back afterward. Said they didn’t mean it. That they got carried away. Apologized.
Now, I’m a fairly forgiving person (more forgiving than most folks), but I’ve always had a hard time when this happens. Part of it is that I grew up in a house where we had to be careful what we said. Where being emotional wasn’t an excuse for bad behavior. Punishments were harsh. Non-negotiable.
But I’ve come to realize that that’s not the only reason I have such a hard time with this, with having my confidence and trust turned against me.
The bigger issue is that it makes it really hard for me to feel safe ever opening up to that person again. Because it’s hard to be vulnerable with someone when you can easily imagine them throwing those same words back in your face somewhere down the line. When you can picture them wounding you with your insecurities the moment it becomes emotionally expedient.
Truth is that nothing hurts worse than someone turning your vulnerabilities against you. It’s a relationship killer, for sure. Makes it difficult to fully trust that person ever again and can even make it hard to trust new people.