People are always telling me how strong I am…as though it’s a compliment or something. But it isn’t…not for me. Because I never feel strong, and being told I’m strong feels insulting when I am hands down the weakest person I know. When my life’s story is that I have always been the unwanted, unloved, ignored, insulted, or abandoned one who never even had the guts or strength to breathe without apologizing for taking up someone else’s air. The one so desperate for a friend that she’d jump at any measure of attention just because it felt like hope that I was worth something. And that’s all I ever wanted from before I can remember – to just feel and be worth more than someone else’s beating post. But I never was. And nobody ever sees that. Why? Because nobody thinks about the people they perceive as “strong”, even if those people are dying right in front of them.
The reality is I’m not strong, and never have been. But nobody ever saw that and so I numbed the pain, shut everyone out, pursued abusive relationships, and sold my soul to the devil just because he offered a better looking lie than any reality I had ever known. I lost myself and the capacity to handle life without completely tuning out or shutting down. And now it takes every ounce of sanity and strength I have, every single day, just to pretend to be normal for long enough to keep people from asking too many questions.
Strong? I have never been strong. And I hate being told that I am because I can’t even hold myself together long enough to get through a day without thinking about how nice it would be to not wake up. But nobody ever sees that because, quite frankly, they just don’t want to. So they tell themselves, “she’s strong.”