For everyone who thinks I’m strong:
I am ‘strong’ because I fake it.
I have so much pressure to be the strong one that when I’m really not, I have to fake it. I have to be the strong one for my kids and for myself, because I am the only one who can ‘get it done.’
I am ‘strong’ because I don’t process anything.
I don’t think about the things that break me down, and in turn.. it sits in my heart and stews and brews until some unfortunate day when it all overflows. I don’t process anything because it is too painful, it makes me too vulnerable, it makes me hate my life too much.. and that’s a very scary, dangerous place to be in.
I am ‘strong’ because I don’t think about anything.
I make my mind go blank when things upset me, I turn my brain off when I don’t want to deal with what I have going on.. and in turn, so many emotions and events go unnoticed because I am never paying attention. I don’t think about all the pain and hurt I have just experienced. I can’t deal with it.. so it just sits inside me until the next thing reminds me of what I’ve tried so hard not to feel. And that is when things get ugly.
I am ‘strong’ because I have an image to uphold.
I have an image to uphold as the strong young woman who has been through so much, but done it with style and grace. I have so many people watching me, learning about me, hearing about me.. and everyone thinks I am so strong and put together. The truth is that I am not, but I feel so much pressure to be.
I am ‘strong’ because I am pressured to be.
I am pressured to be strong by all the people around me- all the people who hear what I have going on whom I’ve confided my true emotions in; all those people saying things like, “You are stronger than that.”
“You are better than that.”
“You can get through that.”
But I just want to scream; because, what if I am not? What if I really am not? What if I can’t?
Will all of these people be disappointed in me? Will you all think less of me if you really knew how I spent my weekend, curled up in XL man clothes (socks, underwear, and all) laying on the floor with tears making my hair sticky?
I am ‘strong’ because I have to be.
I am ‘strong’ because I have to be, for so many different reasons:
I have to be because I have kids who are watching
I have to be because I have people who look up to me
I have to be because I am the only one who has me
I have to be because I have no other choice
I have to be strong.. because I have no other choice.
But I just wanted to stop and take a second to say that right now: I am not strong, and I don’t want to be pressured to be. I don’t want to hear how I can get through anything because while I know that, I also want to know that it will be okay if I can’t. I want to know that people won’t be disappointed in me for feeling weak, or acting weak, or.. being weak.
I want to have my moments of complete sorrow and confusion and struggle without feeling like there are people watching who are thinking, “Girl, you are better than this.”
For like, two whole seconds.. I want it to be okay that I am not.
I want my words to be heard and I want them to be felt; I want people to understand me and know that I try my hardest at everything in life and that even with how I portray myself on social media -like the positive and uplifting soul who can get through anything- I am still battling many, many demons.
More than you could imagine.
More than any would ever think.
I can post a few quotes and message a few women about how strong they are; and of course, I truly believe that. But let me be completely clear here:
I do not always believe that in myself.
And right now; today, this hour, this minute, right this second… I am not the strong one.
Is that okay?