These eight simple words sent via text from my girlfriend brought me to my knees. Being supportive and amazing as she always is. She called me on my bullshit, my fear of letting anyone see my hurt.
“You Don’t Always Have To Be So Strong”
My heart was brimming with anger-for-fear-of-sadness at the sight of those words. Tears were welling up in my eyes and that stupid fucking lump in my throat.
I am not good at this; I want to be sad but I won’t, I can’t.
My inner voice was screaming:
YES, I FUCKING NEED TO BE STRONG!
There is no need to cry you have been through stuff way worse than this. You don’t need anyone to get through this. You are fucking strong. Don’t let them see you cry!
I WILL NOT CRY.
I do have to be strong it is all I have ever known. I turned off weak the day my neighbour put his hands all over my three-year-old body. I did it to survive and to protect that little girl.
I held all emotion when I met an 18-year-old boy at thirteen. Who then took me to his house and raped me over and over. I had to be strong so no one would know.
YES, I FUCKING DO NEED TO BE STRONG!
Anytime there is impending danger of sadness or hurt; that is my inner dialogue. The reaction has become innate.
What it’s like “Being The Strong Girl.”
That imminent lump in my throat is common place. I own it like the scar on my cheek. It is nothing more than a part of me, all I have ever known. That lump is my defence mechanism. Physically hiding any sign of weakness, I do not want you to see.
Sadness is a luxury to me I don’t often let creep through the cracks. The few times I let it out I find myself in an inner turmoil. Angry at myself for hurting, saying to myself you are better than this Suck-it-up-princess.
There is great depth to my emotions most people will never see. Especially if you hurt me. I do not believe in giving someone the satisfaction of my tears. If I am sad, all emotions will be turned off.
When I let you into my heart, you will forever have a place in it. But be good to this heart. Just because I don’t let you see how fragile it is, doesn’t mean that it is not.
I hate when people feel sorry for me. I would rather be dragged across hot coals than have one more person look at me with that half cocked puppy dog look.
Few people will ever be close enough to see real tears flow from my eyes. If you are one of the lucky one’s, know that I will at some point try to push you away for knowing too much about me. I don’t mean to I am scared.
Each day I struggle to let my “inner child” out. To tell her she doesn’t have to be strong. It has been a conflict within myself for what feels like my entire life. Having a tough exterior does not mean I am not a mushy love mess inside. This shell is tough to crack I know, but once you are in, my heart will never let you go.
Being the “Strong Girl” is not being strong at all. In fact, the “Strong Girl” is full of fear and worry. Understand something about her before you judge her. She feels she has been given no choice but to live this way. She is protecting herself from the hurt she has once known.