Have you ever felt misunderstood? I mean, have you ever felt really misunderstood by people that you thought knew you well? I certainly have. And it left me wondering if it’s in my best interest to share my feelings at all.
“I’m really hurting,” I confided. “I didn’t expect it to be this hard,” I admitted. “Even little things like sleeping alone is challenging,” I said. I was pouring out my heart to a friend. It was a few weeks after my 10 year marriage ended in divorce. As she looked at me, a wide smile spread across her face, followed by a chuckle and finally she replied, “You are too strong to be hurt.” And just like that she had dismissed my feelings.
I knew she wasn’t trying to offend me. She genuinely thought I was incapable of being
emotionally hurt. Nonetheless, her piercing words caused me to bury my feelings deep inside, reapply my makeup and pretend I’d never shared my heart.
Eleven years later, I still remember how misunderstood I felt that day. And it is still not unusual for my moments of vulnerability to be met with an incredulous expression and the comment I have heard so many times before, “You always have it all together.”
Granted, I am not an easy read. You probably wouldn’t know when I am struggling with
something or feeling insecure unless I share it. And when I share it, I am not likely to cry or look disheveled. But that does not mean that I am any less disappointed, hurt or afraid.
I make it a point to be open and honest about my life— hence this blog! Still, there is something about being a “strong woman” that makes it difficult for people to fathom that such a woman can have times of weakness.
We each might deal with it differently, but no one is immune to the pains of life. Yet there is so much pressure on us to be strong in every area and in every situation. That is impossible! You have probably heard or maybe you’ve said it before, “Be strong for your family,” “Be strong for your children,” “Be strong for your spouse.” When is it okay to be weak?… To be human? And do my moments of weakness mean I’m not a strong woman?
Honestly, I have struggles that I have yet to overcome and I have experienced hurts that have caused me to question everything I thought I knew. None of it has made my bitter, only better. But don’t misunderstand me. I am sometimes disappointed, sad, hurt, confused, insecure and afraid. Yet, I am a strong woman!