The Price of Vulnerability

“[Ethan] has a disabled mother… that will bring alot of problems with it.”

“I realize that your desire to be independent is strong, but practicality dictates that your husband should do the things that are difficult for you such as shaving your arm pits.”

“[Sarah driving is an] Accident waiting to happen….”

These are just a few of the negative comments I’ve received on my YouTube channel. There are many, many uplifting comments, but the discouraging ones always hit me hard. They remind me that there are those who see me as a danger to my son and others. There are those who truly believe I’m less-than or that I shouldn’t be granted the same rights everyone else enjoys.

It’s easy to believe, when observing my life casually, that I’ve been surrounded by only positive forces all my life… people applauding¬†every little thing I did, patting me on the head for the smallest achievements. To some, it may appear that my life is an easy one; that adjusting the way I do comes without much effort.

Well, no one’s life is easy. Yours isn’t. Mine isn’t. We all have our own battle to fight.

I’ve chosen to open up my life to the public in the name of awareness, the name of encouragement, the name of healing. This level of vulnerability comes with a price, as people try to make sense of my life with very little information. Vulnerability doesn’t always lead to people understanding me better, but it has led to me understanding myself better.

In the face of criticism, I see who I really am. I ask myself if they’re right about me, and search out my own answers.

Criticism can drag us down, or refine us like a diamond subjected to heat and pressure.

Vulnerability is not cheap. It is not easy. But it is worth it.

6 thoughts on “The Price of Vulnerability

  1. YouTube is a brutal place… So many sweet videos we have seen have such hateful, hurtful comments. But it is also a means to reach massive numbers of people with your message. I can imagine how hard it is to read any of those and not be affected — it is about you and those you love, how could you not be affected. Stay strong. Can’t wait to read THE BOOK. And also very excited about watching your pregnancy journey.

  2. Making the choice to be vulnerable is a very difficult one. Even when it’s just with one other person. Choosing to set aside what is safe and comfortable for doing something noble and honorable, to be a voice for so many who have no voice is an extraordinary mission to be called to. I appreciate your openness to openly examine yourself in the face of criticism. However, I do disagree with you on one point. You said, “In the face of criticism, I see who I really am”. I believe you see who they think you are, which is very different. You mentioned someone making a comment about practicality dictating that your husband would have to help you with certain things that you cannot do. Why is that a bad thing? Why is it wrong to need help? Who is to say what that is supposed to look like? Is there a rule book out there somewhere? I don’t think so. And if there was, it should be thrown in the trash. A friend in need is a friend indeed. It is harder to ask for help than it is to give it, in my opinion. Knowing there are people in your life that you can count on to help, no matter how delicate in nature it might be, is such a blessing. And, knowing that you have people in your life that can ask you to help them with the same kinds of things, because the trust you and know you love them that much, is beyond awesome. You are right. Vulnerability is not cheap. It’s not easy. But it IS worth it. Let that diamond sparkle!

    • I suppose I could have worded that differently… I meant that, in looking at how others perceive me, I am forced to examine the way I perceive myself, and it gives me reason to find who/what I really am, despite others’ perception and my own. The comment about my husband helping me only bothered me because, with an able-bodied person, you assume they are independent. With a person with a disability, people assume we are dependent on the kindness of others for survival.
      The approach is just a little demeaning.
      But you are absolutely right… it takes way more strength to ask for help than it does to give it. Certainly asking for help is very difficult for those like me who fight to be seen as equal, independent, capable. But I’m so blessed to have family and friends who have been and would be here to help me when asked.

  3. Ki says:

    You know we serve a perfect God and I fight long and hard to remember His opinion is all that really counts. He made and formed you and when they criticize a person with a disability, they are really being critical of your Creator. I suppose this is not necessarily true if they are critical of your choices BUT if you make choices based on answers God has given you then I wouldn’t want to second guess Him!!

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