They say you are difficult to love, but this is untrue, they are not equipped — to handle the wild within you.
Right from the start you used to say to me ‘you’re so strong’, but you never understood how this was both a compliment and a curse.
Those words subconsciously, cast me in the role of the SuperShero without a cape — always strong enough to save the day. From the moment they left your lips and seeped through my skin, the dissonance I’ve been afraid of my whole life — began creeping in. Now they haunt me like the warped lyrics of a scratched record — a broken beat on repeat. Or the grim tale of a distant story — that I used to read.
Once upon a time…
there was a little girl who looked just like me, who wondered about what she would be. Day in and day out, she was told by grown ups as far as her eyes could see ‘ you have to be strong’, or the big, bad world would flood her with it’s wicked ideas — of who she ought to be. Be strong they’d say, or this world will tear you apart, call you outside of your name and rewrite your own heart.
Those words became my kryptonite. Now here they hang in between us like a sentence, convicting us to doing time. Every time you say them — I fade away, just a little more each night and day. Our home is supposed to be my utopia place, somewhere I can breathe — my safest space. I’m only human, it’s a wonder you just don’t see, that’s all I ever wanted to be — no Supershero, just all of me.
Sometimes I’m soft, vulnerable, insecure, afraid, tired and feel weak, I’m not strong all the time, though you insist that I be. Those words ‘you’re so strong’ give you a false sense of security, but all they ever give to me — are sleepless nights and corrupted day dreams. Of course, my strength is useful some of the time, but it doesn’t give me any immunity — from this thing called life.
Unpaid rent weighs heavy on my mind, I’m staring at the ATM as my card gets declined — you’re looking at me thinking everything’s alright.
The strong ones are armies, conditioned for warfare, acquiring the taste of blood in our mouths. The strong ones are forests evergreen — surviving relentless wildfires at the soles of our feet. The strong ones have the softest hearts that break and still beat — and ninety nine problems that drain energy.
I lay here wide awake dreaming of better days, whilst you’re peacefully sleeping the night away. I want to run to the edge and fall to pieces, but I’m stuck between this rock and hard place. My screams sound like whispers landing on deaf ears, what a time to feel alone — when you’re next to me here. I’m under pressure, being crushed by the ice around my soul, I want to melt in your arms — and come in from the cold. I’m suffocating from over thinking, I only wanna think about breathing and breathing.
This unpaid job sets me adrift — splitting continents inside me, there’s who I actually am and who you need me to be. I need your hands to help tear down the patriarchy, not just to ignite lustful desires every week. I’m finally strong enough, to ask for the help that I need. I wake you gently so you can hear me say, ‘I’d like to propose a long term trade’, you wipe sleep from your eyes and search my face… I ask you ‘please be my strength, let me be your weakness.’
I watch the slow, steady panic build in your eyes, they urge me to battle on, be a martyr — willing to die. Now I know being strong won’t save this version of us from our fate — there’s an avalanche approaching, it’s already too late.
The strong ones need reassurance, encouragement and a helping hand to hold sometimes, even when we have to go it alone and save ourselves.