Friday, October 28, 2011

Project Three- Stop Being So Strong

Objectives-Make Me a Better Mom. Make Me a Better Wife, Make Me a Better Person

Injuries sustained-none

Difficulty level-It's pretty difficult and still a work in progress.

How Maya “Helped”-A two year old is a pro at sharing their emotions:)

So, I have a terrible habit that I acquired from my mother. It seems like a good thing,and I think it is in small doses, but I am strangely addicted to being "the strong one".

I have been through a lot in my life- let's face it-we all have. But no matter how painful,difficult, or impossible to deal with each situation seems, I inevitably deal with it by being "strong". Strong, in my case, comes as a result of acting calm, cool, and unaffected. This results in a lot of issues for me, one being the fact that I tend to look like an uncaring robot to those around me. On top of that, it leaves with me with tons of carefully hidden emotional baggage just waiting to seep out at an inopportune moment.

Yesterday, we had to put our dog down. It was horrific. He was amazing and the greatest dog I have ever had. I knew that I was going to be devastated. All week long I dreaded it, worried over it, lost sleep because of it. I was physically sick about it. Yet, when the moment came, I couldn't help but shake it off, console my husband, and look perfectly unshaken. This wasn't easy, but years of training made it possible. The real question is why? Why bother? Certainly no one would judge me for crying over a lost friend. Even if they did, I wouldn't really care. But then why the charade? I'm not really sure but I am confident there is a genetic component. My mom has the same disease.

We are " fine" just ask us. No matter the situation, the pain, the heartache, our answer is the same. " I'm fine." I think part of the reason I do this is that one of my greatest fears in life is being vulnerable. I hate to be pitied. By being in a constant state of  "okayness", at least on the outside, I can avoid those awkward moments where people search for comforting words. Somehow I believe if I can just keep it all together, I will be stronger,braver...better.

But last night as I crawled into bed next to my husband, with no one but him left to judge me, I cried. For my lost puppy, for my broken heart, and for a hundred other things that I had hidden away. For an hour I cried there in the dark, hard enough to shake my whole body. And you know what?  I  didn't 't feel weak. I felt strong, stronger than I had felt in a long time.  Ironically at my "weakest moment"  when I finally stopped pretending and admitted my humanness and my own emotional fragility, I realized I was stronger than ever.

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