Thursday, January 08, 2009

A model of transparency

Yesterday I met with my therapist who is quite wise in the ways of sex addicts and their problems with honesty and transparency, and shared with her my goal for the new year to become less of a leader and more of a participant.

I told her that I have subconsciously sought out leadership roles in order to support the facade of "having it all together." I fear judgment, because I fear rejection even more, and to compensate for that I like to pretend that "everything's fine and dandy!" I do not like to talk about myself, even to myself. I'd much rather be in a position of examining other people's lives and giving advice.

But this is not what recovery is about. Recovery, as I have so aptly told others, is about self discovery, self-acceptance and cultivating a fulfilling relationship with a power greater than myself.

My therapist told me that real leadership would mean working toward becoming a "model of transparency." My mouth dropped open. I thought, this woman clearly does not know who she is talking to. Transparency? As in a life lived in a glass house, free for the world to see? Are you kidding me? But I've done such a good job of setting a fine example without all that full disclosure.

This means that I have to admit my weaknesses, share when I have slip ups, let the world see my vulnerabilities! This means I have to be who I say I am and do what I say I do. Are you sure this is the only way, boss? I've made the shell of a life out of showing people the person I think they want to see and controlling their emotions by avoiding conflict and averting the truth. What if they find out the person I really am is not as good?

This is scary stuff, folks. Really scary stuff. So if you start scratching your heads and wondering where that other Rae went ... just remember that she's trying to expand her comfort zone and learn a little about this transparency stuff. On the other hand, feel free to ask me a bunch of questions in order to support my attempts to be transparent.

6 comments:

MargauxMeade said...

"I told her that I have subconsciously sought out leadership roles in order to support the facade of "having it all together." I fear judgment, because I fear rejection even more, and to compensate for that I like to pretend that "everything's fine and dandy!" I do not like to talk about myself, even to myself. I'd much rather be in a position of examining other people's lives and giving advice."

Rae, I relate to this so much. As a codependent, I've blamed my husband, the sex addict, over and over for being the "fuckup" so that I could trick myself into believing I have it all together. It's only now, after 9 months of recovery and working the steps, that I'm finally able to step back (still, usually after the fact) and look at my character defects and my role in our dysfunction. In many ways, it's liberating because I'm able to see that I do indeed have control in a situation that I thought my husband controlled by being the "fuckup." I no longer sit around and think "God, if only he could change." I now think, "How can I change?"

vicariousrising said...

Letting people see all of our flaws takes a ton of bravery. Don't feel bad if it comes slowly and with great difficulty. I can't imagine anyone is 100% at it.

One good thing about it, though, is that there aren't stories to keep straight and facades to hold up. A lot less tension that way.

I've always said I like my privacy, but should government decide to really spy on us like some people fear, I could handle it because I am living my life in a way that I can hold my head up. If the government wants to watch me shower or pick my nose, then I think I can live with that. If I am living my life the way I am trying to in sobriety, I think I could stand up to those sort of invasions.

I'd hate it, though.

Another wonderful post. You are growing like mad, woman!

thegentlepath said...

Transparency and appropriate boundaries -- if you get this figured out please, please, please share it here!

Misery Marketing said...

It seems like ruination and yet we somehow sense that it is actually liberation but the fear of what it seem like usually wins out. Weird. I'll tell you it scares the crap outta me and Im nowhere near considering sharing my deepest flaw and failures openly. Not even in an anonymous blog for fear of being outed. I find it ironic that the little word I have to type to post this comment is "werped". I feel werped.

twodogsblogging said...

Key to leadership, IMHO, is the ability to say, "I was wrong" and "I'm sorry," even when sometimes you didn't do anything wrong. Great post.

Scott W said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

I like this post. We are as sick as our secrets, thus becoming transparent lets us live a life of honesty. That's how I see it.