What is my biggest secret?

My biggest secret is that I don’t feel as strong as people believe I am. Over periods in my life I have heard from friends or co-workers how strong I am. It never really feels comfortable to me to hear that I am strong. For so long I put on a face that life was perfect and everything was okay. I made it through.

Most people haven’t seen the scars or emotional trauma that I went through. Being defensive upon hearing that I was viewed as strong was my normal reaction. It was as though there was a need to prove to people that I can be vulnerable. During moments of reflection, I came to realize I was strong because there was a need for it, not because it was first nature. My anger and frustration whenever the words “but you’re strong” were said had to do with the internal battle to allow myself to be vulnerable. Vulnerability was terrifying to me. Being strong helped me beat down my emotions and pretend everything was okay. It helped me play the role in the magical play going on inside my head. In the end, that was really being strong it was coping the only way I knew how.

Now I have a different relationship with the word “strong”. For those who think I am strong, it is now taken as a compliment. It means that I have worked through my biggest inner demons and have won. The more that I share with others the more I realize that there was never any other idea in my mind but to push through and become strong.Those closest too me know I am not strong all the time and the closeness comes from them seeing my vulnerability. It is about understanding that there is a time to be strong and a time to be vulnerable.


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