"I want to be bulletproof." I said.

Even as I said it, I wasn't 100% sure what it meant. I only knew it meant nothing could hurt me, and that was the end game I had in mind. I had set my life on a path that required a lot of vulnerability. And I was bone-weary of getting clobbered. The last attack had taken me out of the game for over a week (my head was still humming with how needlessly personal the attack had been as I sat in that giant leather chair). I needed to find that sweet spot between putting myself out there and not letting anyone get too close. That elusive line I was sure existed as a tightrope that—with practice—I would learn to walk with ease as the woman of steel.

Janey raised her eyebrow at me.

I was preparing mentally for her to ask me, "what do you mean by that?" so that I could launch into what I thought it meant, where I needed more exploring, what I wanted to accomplish. I'd show her I was ready to learn this next step, and like a good sensei, she'd show me the path.

Instead, she sat back in her chair and let her pen drop onto her notepad with a thwack.

"Oh, you don't want that."

I was taken aback. I felt my eyebrows stitch together perplexed and tried to ignore Defensive Stepper where she was eagerly raising her hand from the back of the room. Call on me! Call on ME! I know this one!

Something about the way Janey had flumped back into her seat had disarmed me. Suddenly, I wasn't in my therapist's office. I was having a conversation about an idea with a good friend. A friend who had already managed to untangle the phrase I had been grappling with for weeks—bulletproof—and knew well enough to know I didn't know what I was talking about.

"I don't?" I asked.

She shook her head, considering me. "Well, you could. But, the cost would be too high for you."

So...my suspicions were correct. Bullet proof was possible. I just really wanted it to be that easy. Some technique I could learn that would release me from the obligation of the messy parts of dealing with people. I wanted to actually learn how to really and truly not care what anyone thought! Oh, what a fine superpower that would be! What freedom!

But deep down, that super honest (sometimes annoying) part of me knew all that was total crap. Yes, for some people it might work (I bet Sociopaths are awesome at it!). But according to Janey, for me, specifically, the cost would be too high. I felt a harp-string pluck of affection for Janey reverberate through me. She's been my therapist for a couple of years now (off and on) so it's not surprising that she has come to know me so well. But I still get all warm and glowy when I feel that someone truly gets me.

"Alright," I said. "What cost?"

If I wasn't going to get to learn how to be bulletproof, I was definitely going to understand why not becoming bulletproof was a better idea. So help me!

And this, friends, is what launched me on my current quest to understand vulnerability.

Turns out I was mistaken. Vulnerability is not a weakness. It's not a chink in the armor. IT IS THE ARMOR!

It's the freaking armor, people.

(...to be continued...)