**I wrote this post almost a year ago, but wasn’t ready to hit publish until now. I hope it speaks to others going through the fires that forge us and helps – if only to say you’re not alone.
I weather storms.
I get up when I’m knocked down.
I figure out what I want to do, make a plan and act. If that doesn’t work, I make a new plan.
I take a beating and another and another and I endure.
I have compassion for those that have only shown me unkindness.
I face the world each day even when all I want is to crawl back into bed.
I conquer my fears.
I admit my flaws to myself even when it’s easier to deny them.
I do the right thing – not the easy one.
I take responsibility for my life and my actions.
I am strong.
But I’m tired. I’m so stinking tired…
I’m tired of being strong.
Four decades of being strong are taking their toll. Four decades of taking emotional hits. Four decades of getting back up. Four decades of facing my fears and gathering my courage.
I wish I had someone that would be strong for me. I wish I had someone that said “It’s ok, I’ll take care of this.” I wish I could let go of the struggle and know someone else has my back. I wish…
When you are little and even into adulthood, your parents are often the people you can turn to – the ones you know will hold you and make everything alright.
When you get married your spouse is supposed to be that person – the one that’s by your side supporting you through life’s challenges. The one that offers to be the strong one so that you can rest.
But what happens when those parents are absent, unreliable, or untrustworthy. What happens when at 5 you learn you’re on your own and it’s up to you to be the strong one?
What happens when instead of defending and protecting you, your spouse attacks and tears you apart? What happens when your spouse doesn’t have the strength for themselves, let alone you – when he or she becomes the tormentor rather than the protector?
There is no soft spot to land. There is no safe person to turn to or place to put down your burden for a few moments. What happens then?
People think these musings are because of my divorce and in part they are right. Yet, I want to shout that’s not all! I’m not so weak as just a divorce would break me. There’s crap in my life. Really crappy, crap.
But why do I feel just a divorce isn’t enough. Why do I think that my story is any harder than anyone else’s? No one knows what another has been through. Unless you’ve walked in their shoes, you just don’t know.
I want to scream and cuss and lash out. I want to run and run and run until my legs stop working. I want to bite and hit and kick. I want to somehow turn my emotional pain into physical.
And I know I don’t have it the worst. I know there are others with heavier burdens to bear. Others that are strong – stronger than I. Others whose strength has been forged in fires that burn hotter than mine.
But I’m tired.
I realized why I’m tired. I made it through. I survived. The load is lighter – not gone – but lighter.
Now I can allow myself to rest.
Now I can collapse and cry and feel sorry for myself. I can put down the emotional burden for a few hours and allow myself to grieve.
Grieve for the person I was before I was burned. Grieve for the innocence lost and the walls that have grown. Grieve for the trust I’ve lost as my idealism disappears in the face of realism.
I’m tired of being strong, but what choice do I have?
So I will shake out my shoulders and lift that burden back up. I will face the day and count my blessings. I will find beauty in the little things and remind myself to enjoy the moment and gather strength in the good times to carry me through the bad ones.
I will survive. I will endure. I will be happy. I will.