Confessions of an Ex-StrongBlackWoman

black women and resiliency

I remember years ago when I used to brag about living "the beautiful struggle" to my friends, family, and co-workers.  Though I wasn't in the best financial state or had A+ credit, I felt that "suffering need" (as my mother called it) was necessary for growth.  I have always been taught that struggling and suffering through various storms of life built strength and character.  As a woman I had to be strong.  As a woman I had to be able to persevere through the stormiest weather.

But recently, I've been feeling differently. Why again should I have to suffer and undergo extreme hardships SO OFTEN?  Don't get me wrong, I wanna throw up my fist and proclaim my "Womanisms" because I am proud.  I just can't figure out for the life of me why this proclamation doesn't disable the weakness within me.  I have always looked at my mother and my grandmother for inspiration because to me, these are the WOMEN WARRIORS in my life.  They are so strong and resilient.  They can deal with grief, sadness, disappointment, health issues, anger, and deprivations of sorts all with a poker face and a prayer.  I, on the other hand, wear my heart on my sleeve and my emotions on my collar.  I will cry if I'm sad, mad, or overly glad.  Now if I came from this caliber of women (such as mom and grandma), why am I so weak?  What is wrong with my wiring? I know it's not because I haven't weathered enough storms to be bulletproof, so to speak, because I definitely have been there, done that, and have the war wounds to prove it.  So why can't I be as tough as nails?

The issue that bothers me even more than my sensitivity is my inclination to mask my sensitivity.  Why do I feel that I have to hide my emotions?  Perhaps it is because of societal standards forced upon me.  A woman who appears to be sensitive is never taken seriously or is perceived to be emotionally unstable.  But a woman who never shows emotion is seen as cold-hearted or emotionally detached.  How does one reach a happy medium?  I am asking more questions than I am willing to find the answers for here.  So I have decided to strip myself of a few titles.

I no longer want to be anyone's poster child for strength and resiliency.  It takes too much responsibility to be the strong, unwavering one in the scenario all the time.  That causes one to constantly put on a mask and shiny armor, as if that will shield and protect everyone from danger.  The reality of the matter is abandoning one's emotions will only cause stress, anxiety, and long-term health problems.  In short, I reserve the right to be a damsel in distress every now and again.  So should you.
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