Lost and vulnerable

by singlemomseeking on October 30, 2008

Something feels off this week, and I’m doing my best to get back on.

Some crazy person is trying to infiltrate my blog with the most personal, heinous attacks. His IP address is in Denmark. Stop it. Do you hear me?

I’m doing the best I can to shake it off.


In the meantime, A. has asked me not to blog about him. (I’ve been doing well, haven’t I?)

But I can’t hold it inside anymore. This is my blog, isn’t it?

Not long after our dinner date, A. was off to the hospital to have surgery on his shoulder (it had been scheduled a while back).

He was going to be laid out for a while. How could I see him again? Another date was out of the question, while he was healing.

But why couldn’t I just wait, patiently, for him to get back on his feet?

I could have called him. I could have sent him a card.

I can be so damn impatient. So, I offered to make him dinner.

This was not just about feeding him.

I wanted to deliver more than just food. So, I poured myself into the first-ever dairy-free lasagna I’d ever made. (He doesn’t eat dairy, which you might recall.)

It came out kind of funky with soy mozzarella cheese — I even cut little hearts out of the noodles.

My heart pounded as I drove to his house. I hadn’t been here for six years. It felt oddly familiar.

Still, I knew this wasn’t about offering dinner. This was about offering myself.

“Here, have me–”

Hold on, what about my intention to be virtuous with myself?

Please, let me stay conscious and aware.

During our brief re-encounters so far, A. has been so flattering and kind — but something about him seems unconscious. He has much unfinished business. Be careful, I tell myself. My walls are down. His are up.

So, I parked and got the lasagna out of the back seat. He heard me coming up the steps.

“Come in!” he said. “The door is open.”

I let myself in, and his home looked exactly how I’d remembered: there were photos of his kids on every wall, his living room was immaculate. (I wish I could say that my home had everything in its place!).

“Back here!” he yelled. “Keep coming around.”

I put the lasagna in the kitchen. But I was lost. His room wasn’t where I’d remembered, just off the kitchen.

“Keep coming!” he yelled, and I wandered down the hall.

There he was, laid out in his bed, with his right arm up in a sling. With his one useful hand, he paused the movie he was watching.

He looked vulnerable. He had a fat lip, from the tube the doctors had stuck up his mouth during surgery.

I stood at the edge of his bed. Why was I feeling so vulnerable, too?

We joked about the fact that I could take advantage of him, in his injured state — and then blog about it. Ha ha. After a good laugh, I said I was leaving.

When I got home, there was an email:


I don’t know what words would be appropriate so please allow me to
make an attempt:

Scrumptious; delicious; delectable; insatiably devour-able,
satisfying, and every other adjective applicable to a meal worth its
weight in culinary gold.

Thank you.”

Please tell me: How do you keep it together when you’re feeling vulnerable?

I haven’t felt this wide open in a long time. It’s very uncomfortable.


P.S. Speaking of vulnerable, Depot Dad starts his radiation today, and he needs all the support he can get, online and in person. Send him some, okay?

Photo from coniferine

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicia November 1, 2008 at 10:01 am

Hmmm…Is there a such thing as feeling vulnerable & cynical at the same time? After not dating for sooo long, I’m finally ready to “jump in”, but at the same time I’m still critical & picky. I agree w/ SDMktg-we shouldn’t have to bend over backward to prove how great we are! Bottom line is, the other person WANTS to see how great you are, or they don’t,period.


Kim October 31, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Rachel, you asked: How do you keep it together when you’re feeling vulnerable?

Keep repeating your own words to yourself: “I was hurt once before by you.”

I find that a *healthy* (not extreme) dose of cynicism in a new relationship helps balance vulnerability quite nicely. I’m practicing it myself, being suddenly single after 24 yrs of marriage. One of my new crushes says all the “right” things. It’s a little overkill sometimes, but it makes me smile and I’ll enjoy it while I’m getting it. But I’m not falling for it hook, line and sinker. Careful and cautious, my dear. If it’s meant to be, it will be. In the meantime, enjoy yourself, and never regret anything that puts a smile on your face.


SDMktg October 31, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Yes! That’s what I have found and I’m thankful every day. I never want to go back to being fearful because I let someone else “make” me feel like I’m not good enough.

We all deserve to be loved for who we are without jumping through hoops. The sad thing is that a lot of the time we do it to ourselves and the other person doesn’t even want us to jump through them.

SDMktg´s last blog post…Sweet G’s Shot of the Week – Red White and Blue


singlemomseeking October 31, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Wanda: He did notice the hearts… and you’re right, SDM: I’m sure that I wanted more.

What you say really resonates: aren’t we enough, just as we are, without DOING so much for someone else?

We’re deserving, just as we are, aren’t we?


SDMktg October 31, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Funny that my comment follows wanda’s. I read this post this morning and my thoughts on being vulnerable? Stop doing so much. I killed myself to be romantic in my marriage when I should have been taking care of myself. She never appreciated the gestures and veiwed it as desperate. Looking back on it I realize it was all very one-sided and I deserved better.

I still do nice things for my girlfriend but I do it when I want to not for any other reason. Cutting the hearts strikes me as you wanting to get something from A and I’m not sure he’s deserving of that. I think a card and a call would have been perfect. You are extra vulnerable because you already know where this is going.

It is a strange time with the economy and the coming election. Everything feels sideways. I’m hoping for some calm come Thanksgiving and the holidays.

SDMktg´s last blog post…Sweet G’s Shot of the Week – Red White and Blue


wandamd October 31, 2008 at 12:51 pm

I especially love that you cut the pasta into hearts. Did he notice? Its the little things…like leaving you the last bite of brownie.


tanasie October 31, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Dairy-free cheese sounds like a crime against nature.

tanasie´s last blog post…My Dad…


singlemomseeking October 31, 2008 at 10:29 am

Single Mom, Wanda, Leah, LauraKim:

Here’s a big cyber hug, thanks for being so honest with me about your own vulnerability!


singlemomseeking October 31, 2008 at 10:29 am

Single Mom, Wanda, Leah, LauraKim:

Here’s to a big cyber hug, thanks for being so honest with me about your own vulnerability!


singlemomseeking October 31, 2008 at 10:27 am

Yes, MC and Dad’s House: you’re right on about the fact that I have leaped before looking.

My little sis was teasing me last night, about the fact that I can build a castle in the sky within 30 seconds, all in my head.

Here’s to being aware! I’m looking inside very deeply right now.


mc October 31, 2008 at 10:21 am

I feel most vulnerable in general when I don’t have much else going on in my life and/or when I’m anxious about the future.

I guess at those times I “want” someone to sweep in and impose structure and and a happy ending. A rescue fantasy, you know.

Feeling vulnerable with someone you know very very well and love and you know he loves you because you’ve been through it is totally different and of course more appropriate.

Look before you leap…


dadshouse October 31, 2008 at 8:43 am

I think being wide open is a fine feeling – after you’ve re-established trust and an intimate connection. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for heartache.

I tend to keep my guard up for quite a while before letting it down. You must be craving something that lets you be so wide open, so soon. Worth examining?

dadshouse´s last blog post…Physical Intimacy


Sinngle Mom October 31, 2008 at 8:07 am

Not sure how to handle being vulnerable… I am going through the same thing right now… I met a great wonderful guy two weeks ago. We both have this overwhelming peace with each other and just this feeling that it feels right to be together. Problem is, he is leaving for Afganastan in four months. I feel so vunderable because I am so increadibly comfortable with him and can see myself falling in love with him. But a year is a long time to go not seeing someone, especially in a new relationship. Guess we are just taking it one day at a time…..

Sinngle Mom´s last blog post…Over $500 mark


wandamd October 31, 2008 at 7:40 am

I admitted to my boyfriend the other night that I was lonely (a very vulnerable moment for a admittedly sometimes too proud single-mommy). I explained that i’d had a VERY long day at work and as you all experience it doesn’t end there…the min I walked in the door it was non-stop getting dinner ready, bedtime routine and lunches for the next day. When I finally sat down at 9pm all I really wanted was a good cry, glass of wine and someone who would take care of me for a little while.

I shared the sentiment with him on the phone and to my suprise he THANKED me for making myself so open to him and promised to remedy the feeling when I saw him next(he was out of town).

so lesson learned, pride has its place most definately but its the vulnerable side that has given me the best reward.


Leah October 31, 2008 at 6:26 am

I am very intimate with these feelings of vulnerability…it can be so scary but on the flip side it is a beautiful thing about being human. We spend so much time trying to defend ourselves, and then when those defenses crumble for whatever reason it’s hard to know what to do.

When I am feeling vulnerable, I try to spend some time being quiet and sitting with it. Usually the feeling has something very important to tell me if I listen!

Good luck to you mama…and keep your heart open! Thanks for being so authentic and honest.

Leah´s last blog post…I’ve been viewed 973 times.


laurakim October 30, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I think the planets are out of alignment or something! I have had that same off feeling all week!!

I think sometimes the feeling is just to strong to actually keep it together and you have to just give in and go with it and see where it takes you!!!!


laurakim´s last blog post…Thursday Thoughts


judy October 30, 2008 at 6:42 pm

since your first dinner with A you have blogged us with marriages, weddings, being stalked and now vulnerability

‘nough said


The Exception October 30, 2008 at 5:04 pm

We should talk Prague one of these days!! (just a side note)

The cooking for him was very sweet and wonderful. Hang on, listen to your heart, and enjoy the ride Rachel. The only way to experience life is to open yourself up to it!!

The Exception´s last blog post…More Than Just a Profile


Viv October 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm

OMG. Amy and LEM captured my thoughts exactly. I don’t/wouldn’t totally trust him, and because you do seem vulnerable, scared, easily attached/easily hurt, I would not set myself up for any of it.

Write it, but maybe don’t post it. Sure he wrote nice things about you on his blog, but who knows if it was all true. You, on the other hand, seem a lot more honest and “geniune” than this guy.

It was nice of you to go all out for him and it was nice of him to thank you that way. But those could have only been words on a screen. Go slow and keep your eyes open.

And yes, blog about whatever the hell you want.


Amy Nathan October 30, 2008 at 3:28 pm

When this happened to me I was reminded it is the World Wide Web. We put ourselves out there. Talk about vulnerable! Block that IP address if you can. Certainly don’t reply or acknowledge the person. Mine was from Thailand.

As for vulnerability a little closer to home, I think you just have to let it play out. I think scared shitless would be more apropos than vulnerable, you say over and over again that this guy has issues, unfinished business, problems.

In this wise words of my Jewish grandmothers, “This, you need?”

(insert Jewish grandmother accent for full effect)

Amy Nathan´s last blog post…In general, do you like things to be specific?


Andrea October 30, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Yikes! I have minimal words of wisdom. I would never be able to date, should something happen to my marriage, since I became a mom. Those words of kindness would have me melting in the palm of his hand. EEEEEKKKKK! I say you adopt some kind of mantra for those moments and whisper it to yourself until you are past it. That is what I have to do to get out of the store without toys when my son is in the same cart and I am tired and a toy would be nice to make him quiet. LOL

Andrea´s last blog post…What have I been up to???


T October 30, 2008 at 12:54 pm

You, me, Liz, Dad’s House… all of us are writing about being vulnerable and off somewhat. I wonder what is causing it all. I may have to see if planetary alignments are off or something!! Ha!

I love this post. Being vulnerable and lost is exactly what I’m feeling too. But you were so closed off before Rachel. This experience opened you up and now… I’m telling you, this happened for some reason. Who knows what or when or where or how but something needed you to be open. I am happy that you are sharing your feelings here as it is YOUR blog. I too wonder if I’m divulging too much… but it does feel good to let it out and know that we aren’t alone. And the bloggy love flows so freely!!!


Giant hugs. And *clink clink* I raise my glass to open vulnerability everywhere!!! (seriously, I need a vodka tonic STAT! Is it Friday yet?)

T´s last blog post…Fork in the Blog


singlemomseeking October 30, 2008 at 12:35 pm

LEM: You have a great point about keeping a private journal, and not baring yourself. Just yet.

I think about this a lot.

I DO keep a journal, pages and pages, only for my eyes. I wonder why some of us blog openly… and some don’t? I see both sides.

As Liz — and Kendall — say:

When you write here, openly, there are people (like you, LEM!) who step forward and wrap you “in support and kind words and reassurance.”

(Thanks to all of you, really.)

As Butterfly Mom suggests: It’s somehow a relief to know that we’re not all alone in this.



buterflymom October 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm

I think being wide open is great. you are ready for something new. you’ve had time to heal from your last relationship that broke up, what a year or so ago. i think the vulnerable feeling is a red flag to slow down. he just broke up with this last girlfriend.

i think everyone needs a space in between to sort things out. i’ve made that mistake before and hope not to again.

and from reading his blog, it sounds like he is sorting out many things. give it some time and be friends…….and maybe explore something new for you.

i think things work out how they are supposed to, even if we have a hard time with it.

good luck. i love reading your blog and knowing that i’m not the only single mom trying to figure it all out.


Legal Editor Mom October 30, 2008 at 12:25 pm

It’s definitely YOUR blog and you definitely should write about what YOU want.

That said, I don’t quite grasp why you’d bare your soul this way, knowing that he reads it. IMO, this is not wise. I don’t care how attractive or charming he is. I can understand wanting feedback from your readers normally, but I’d be more selective about what I write about. And if it’s the writing part that’s therapeutic for you, might a suggest a journal? There are online journals that you can share or not share with the public every entry that you post. This is what I do when I’m feeling vulnerable, or any other emotion that I need to shake or simply want to express.


Eathan October 30, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I hate all the cyber stalkers.

Oh yeah…back to your blog..it is your blog. I think he’s very lucky to have someone go through all the trouble to bring him a meal and a beautiful woman at the same time. I’m almost jealous. 🙂

Usually keeping it together costs about $300 for the hour. – therapist. Or a good movie.

Eathan´s last blog post…No Morning Sex?


liz October 30, 2008 at 11:49 am

I am all too familiar (as you well know!) with feeling vulnerable. And you have already done what I do when I feel that way…I write about it. And then the blogosphere wraps me in support and kind words and reassurance that I’m not alone, that I’m not the only one to feel this way.

Being wide open is hard, but I don’t know any other way to be. I tried, and it didn’t even last 24 hours! Being wide open means we are ready to accept powerful emotions — both good and bad. We hope for more of the good than the bad, but life has its ups and downs.

But I hope that being wide open bring goodness to you soon…

liz´s last blog post…Need vs. Want


Kendall October 30, 2008 at 11:49 am

I either write about it as I did with my last post or cook or sing. Sometimes, a combination of all three.

I know that I can’t afford to lose it so I do my best to soldier on.

Kendall´s last blog post…The Day The Innocence Died


Erin October 30, 2008 at 11:42 am

Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my post. I just realized something when I visited your site. This past winter I was going through a rough patch and dealing with the ex, courts and all that crap. I think I googled something to the effect of “getting over an affair, single mothers” or something similar and it brought me to your site. I can’t remember what post it was, but it moved me to tears and filled me with hope. Thank you so much for that! Now that I have my own blog, I have found yours again! I’m going to add you to my blogroll. Thank you so much!


mc October 30, 2008 at 11:30 am

Yes, it IS your blog! I’ve had cyberstalkers before and I know the pain, but you have to remember that he’s only doing it because he’s impotent.

Stay strong, figure out how to block that jerk’s IP address, and delete his messages unread as much as possible. You might also think about generating some kind of threatening, lawyer-y sounding form letter and sending it to him as an autoreply every single time. Or try to get his service (AOL or whatever) to send him a cease & desist letter.

And yay on the lasagna! Sounds like you are cooking up something there that could be good.


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