Someone I love once told me, while I was curled in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably, “I thought you were strong.”
I looked up to see a face of disgust. I wasn’t the person he loved… I had become something horrible and pathetic. I was immediately hit with shame… then anger.
Why the fuck would he think I was strong? How has he known me all this time, and not recognize me as the weak lump of flesh I was? Who the hell was he in love with anyway? This strong person didn’t exist.
Had I somehow tricked him all this time? Had he lied to himself?
Today I told someone else that every day was a struggle. That I feel like at any moment, my crappy little world will come crashing down. I told him that it’s always felt this way… and he laughed, like he didn’t believe a word of it. “You’re a strong woman.”
…those words made me cringe. Fuck, why do they think I’m strong? What front am I putting up that makes people believe I’m well adjusted? That my world is not constantly on the verge of collapse?
Just because I mostly keep it to myself, doesn’t make it less real. “Suck it up.” “Fake it till you make it.” These are mantras. They’re supposed to make you feel like you have it together, or that sometime in the future, you’ll get the hang of it.
The other mantra, the one I try to push away, the phrase that has always been present in my mind, and I don’t have any power over, “I want to go home”.
I am not strong. I am a terrified, scrambling child. The only thing that keeps me moving is chasing this dragon… “home”. It isn’t real. It’s never where I think it will be. It’s an uneasiness, an anxiety. This feeling that the world is a horrible place I want no part of, and somewhere, something or someone is home. This fallacy, that if I suck it up and fake it long enough, I’ll find that sweet oasis where I can finally relax.