Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's Hard For Me to be Naked with my Clothes On

I consider myself to be a strong, confident, fierce, black woman. I've overcome many obstacles, climbed many mountains and beat many challenges that have come my way in my 36 years of existence. You would think after surviving Hurricane Katrina, raising four girls alone, putting myself through college and finding my way back to myself after two failed marriages I should be doing okay, right? Well, uh let me say this... that life I just mentioned in this opening paragraph has left me with some wounds. Don't get me wrong, I thank God for who I am and that my story is hopefully a testimony to someone else. However, my wounds have left me unable to be naked in front of people. (I trust that you understand I'm metaphorically speaking when I say this.) 

Some of you may be thinking, are you emotionally unavailable, do you push people away, etc...? No, I'm not and I don't do any of those things. Actually, it's quite the opposite. I want to share who I am and for people to dig deep inside and discover the emotions that I try to sometimes hide. But, I am afraid of exposing myself. It's difficult for me to get close to new people who come into my life. Because of my fear of covered nakedness, it's hard for me to make new friends. And it's sometimes uncomfortable maintaining my close relationships because at some point I do get naked. I can flash my smile, bat my eyelashes, strut in my heels and sit with people and enjoy a nice meal on any given day. And while I'm doing all of this, in my mind I'm wondering, do they see me? I'm mentally trying to hide inside of my skin and keep a barrier between myself and others because the thought of people seeing all the pieces of me is frightening to say the least. Underneath my lip gloss and behind the dimple on my left cheek is fear, pain, shame, exhaustion, and frustration. There's a battle going on inside of me. The battle is between those in the previous sentence and forgiveness, humility, patience, strength, courage, and endurance. They are all on the inside fighting to overcome each other. Why must they fight? And why don't I want you to know that they are there? They are fighting to be with me, to overtake me and so I can choose one or all of them. I don't want to be naked in front of people because in that very moment they may not see me for who I am. And because I am concentrating on them not seeing me, I may forget that I'm a warrior and more than a conqueror. ( I know it may be hard to follow but stay with me). I sometimes forget my own triumphs when I feel as if I'm being exposed. It's easier for me to have a small circle because I don't have to be vulnerable. My guards are made of cast iron being held together by the constant need to protect myself. Covered nakedness as I call it is a frightening concept because it comes with pressure to stay on top, not have a bad day, always be on your game, keep the cape on and wear the S on your chest proudly and daily. I don't want to be exposed because I don't want rejection. I want automatic acceptance and understanding. I retreat inside of myself when I feel people are rejecting me without understanding me or making preconceived notions about me. Sometimes these feelings are justified and sometimes it's the covered nakedness issue. However, I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out which one is the real deal. I give up before I give in. It's easier and safer that way in my mind. I feel as though I've dodged a bullet. And other times I feel perhaps I missed out on something.

There are parts of me on the inside I am uncomfortable with. There are parts of me I'd rather not know. There are parts of me I thought were gone but they are just on a year-round hibernation. There are parts of me that make me cry.  You may now understand why covered nakedness is a struggle. As busy and demanding as my life is, I go with the flow and deal with one situation at a time. I have an approach for just about everything. This blog has given me the courage to work on being free with my clothes on.

Do you have an issue with covered nakedness? 


  1. I'm a very private person, but I can't say that it's out of fear. I'm private because I believe that my business is exactly that. I don't feel the need to share anything unless it provides value. I believe that if no one can benefit from it, then it's a waste to say it. I don't have too many skeletons, but everyone has something about themselves that doesn't make them proud. I think that it's great that you recognize this about yourself and you're taking steps to correct it. I tend to jump head-first into getting over fears and it doesn't always work well, but it works for me. However, like you, I always show the world my best side at all times. It doesn't mean that I'm fearless or perfect. It just means that I'm content with who I am. Although I'm always "under construction," I always show the world a "finished product." It allows me to dictate how people should feel about me rather than allow them to form their own uneducated opinions. Great post.

  2. Hey beautiful lady, please be proud.
    Be who you are and "live out loud"!
    Be naked. Set your mind free.
    When you are naked, you are exposing who you are. And that's helpful to me.
    Don't get it twisted. It's the clothing of the mind that hides you.
    When I can't see who you are, you allow me to define you.
    When you are naked, you don't have to worry about what you present.
    And you won't have to fight against those feelings that you've come to resent
    So smile for the a matter of fact... strike a damn pose
    Embrace being naked while wearing your clothes.

    1. Wow, that was an amazing response! Truly amazing!

    2. Thank you so much Bobby. You are so right. Your response was awesome! :-)