Why was I so chatty? I was seeking understanding and sympathy, while hoping to find others who had suffered something similar. I really wanted affirmation that I was not alone. Always a Harry Potter fan, I call this my "Leaky Cauldron" phase.
Little did I know, but I was embracing an opportunity to be vulnerable, a key to forming close relationships. Brené Brown, a prominent research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, explains this concept in her article in Spirituality & Health. She has been studying shame, fear and vulnerability for the past 12 years and has presented her findings in three books, on national television and in lectures across the country. She says:
"There can be no intimacy—emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, physical intimacy—without vulnerability… It's about being honest with how we feel, about our fears, about what we need, and, asking for what we need. Vulnerability is a glue that holds intimate relationships together."Since my separation, I discovered becoming more open and exposing myself in this manner actually paved the way for me to expand my circle of friends and to form closer bonds with those I already knew. Many of my new relationships were with people who were divorced, and I found solace in talking to them. They became some of my dearest friends and a great resource when going through such challenging times. As a result, I would definitely recommend that if you are recently separated that you get to know others who are further along than you as they have valuable advice to lend. One new friend had the same divorce lawyer as me, and she told me exactly what to expect in the days ahead. That was really helpful.
As time passed, I gained more self control and no longer felt the need to divulge my story at every opportunity. But I was happy that I went through this important phase because expressing my feelings enabled me to make some new friends who I really appreciate. Looking back on my former distress, I can laugh about it now. My cauldron is no longer leaky, but the positive lessons learned are still with me.