Thursday, September 8, 2011

On Being Strong

Some days I don't feel strong.

I feel weak, like a stiff breeze will knock me over.

This isn't a physical weakness, though compared to the Marine there's no doubt my body is weak in comparison.
It's a mental and emotional weakness, and it surprises me when others don't see it in me. When they think I'm stronger than I see myself.

By no means am I a D.I.D. -- a damsel in distress, but I see myself differently than those who rely on me.

The Marine sees me as strong and capable of running the house, caring for our daughter, getting through college with a high gpa, and making sure our life runs smoothly whether he is home or in some random 'stan country.

The Munchkin sees me as strong because I fix her broken toys, read her stories, make the upset tummy monsters go away, and love her no matter what.

The Niece sees me as strong because I respect her, live my life relatively happily in my skin, and don't fall especially prey to the guilt guns our family often mans with shockingly good aim.

My friends say I'm strong, but really what do they see?

Everyone who knows and loves me believes I'm strong, but what they see is usually just a mask.

Yes, I can survive by myself, provide for myself and my daughter. I'm comfortable alone, and don't need approval.

I make it through months without seeing the Marine, and life continues, but sometimes when the world gets too dark, responsibilities weigh me down, and I'm scraping the bottom of my emotional barrel...

It would be nice if there was someone there to hold out their arms, offer a shoulder, or just say, "It's okay to cry. I won't think you're weak. Sometimes it takes strength to let go."

Because, I seem to keep forgetting that.



  1. What a wonderfully honest & powerful post. It's true. Sometimes I see people hurting and I want to help them solve the problem. Perhaps I'm looking at it the wrong way and next time that'll be my's my shoulder.


  2. Marc Sevigny says...

    We are definitely more critical of our own perception of ourselves than the way others perceive us. Even at the time of our greatest strength, triumph, and overall accomplishment, there is that side that wants to sit down, give up, and cry endlessly. The measure is after your down soaking your shirt in tears, do you sit there at feel sorry for yourself. No. You can't. You get up and carry on. That is the real strength of character.

    This is what I see in you. You ARE strong. Maybe I dont see what you are like everyday, but I trust that you don't wear a mask around me.

    If you need a shoulder to cry on, I'm here. But expect me to kick you in the butt afterwards. :)

    “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” --Vince Lombardi

  3. OMG,
    I wear the same mask! It always astounds me when people say, "You're so strong" cause if they could only see how I feel inside, they wouldn't say that.
    Great article!

  4. You know you can always cry on my shoulder. It's what I'm here for. I'll always be here for you when you ( yourself ) are feeling weak. It's okay to have a good cry. In fact, It's good for you. But, Like Marc said- it's what you do with yourself after you cry that makes you strong. You are stronger than you think, because you don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself. You "cowboy up" and get the job done. I admire that about you. Remember that I LOVE you no matter what!

  5. KK: Sometimes that's the best medicine. ;)

    Marc: Thank you. I admit a tear came to my eye when I read your comment. I've known you for practically ever, and you're one of my dearest friends. It's nice to know the feeling seems mutual.

    Erin: It's nice to know I'm not alone in this. Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

    Katherine: I love you too. Thank you for always being there--even far away.