When Sir and I came together, one of his bottom line, non-negotiable requirements was that of full transparency. I had lived my entire life keeping all of my innermost thoughts and feelings to myself. I had been taught from an early age that no one cares about my dreams, hopes, thoughts, feelings, problems, questions, etc. Not only didn’t they care, but to express them in any way was to burden someone else with my selfishness. I learned to be strong and self-sufficient. I was the sounding board for everyone in my life, but learned never to ask for help myself. I learned to rein in my emotions as well. To express overt happiness or sadness, anger or frustration, celebration or grief, all meant I was either burdening others or gloating. I learned to have no expectations of others. I truly was my own island.
So the idea of being transparent was paralyzing for me. I didn’t know HOW to express myself because I had never had practice. Each time I tried to go there in previous relationships, particularly my marriage, I was told I was being ridiculous, or that no one cared, or that I was selfish. I kept thinking that as soon as I voiced my feelings, fears, thoughts, dreams, or problems, Sir would do the same thing everyone in my past had done. He would see me as less than. He would wonder just exactly what it was he got himself into with me. He would leave me if he knew the real me, the hidden me inside.
In the early months, my transparency must have been like pulling teeth for him. I would walk around with this thought in my head that I felt qualified for this transparency thing, but the fears got the better of me. I would struggle with it for days. I would become quiet and withdrawn. Idle chitchat became difficult because I was afraid I would blurt out this THING that was overshadowing everything. But pull he did. He would allow me to struggle with it. He would watch me and bide his time. And when he thought I had beaten myself up enough, he would pull it out of me.
As this process progressed, suddenly I wasn’t only beginning to learn to express myself, I was feeling things I hadn’t let myself feel before. I couldn’t get a handle on my emotions. My mood swings became difficult for both of us to live with. One word or action could set off all of my insecurities. But slowly, transparency became easier. Instead of struggling for days, I might sit on it for 24 hours. And then I just blurted out everything. Every single thought in my head was spoken. I bored him to death with all my talking. And sometimes, I would be inappropriately transparent with others. I had removed all my filters to be transparent with him, and that included filters with others as well.
Once I became fully transparent with him, the first thing he had to do was teach me how to filter others while still remaining transparent with him. That was a little more difficult. I would filter with him, too. So it took awhile to find a healthy balance.
After almost 3 years, I’ve found the happy place with transparency. He is my go-to confidante. Which sometimes makes it hard if I need to talk out something I’m struggling with but want to talk to someone other than him. I sit on it for a few days and mull things over in my own head, and then just tell him about it. It feels good to know that I can truly tell him anything and it won’t change the way he sees me or feels about me. Unless it makes him feel even more strongly about me. It was what we were shooting for. And it’s a good place to be.