To You: Whom They Called A Strong Woman

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They called you a strong woman.

Because you’re independent, and always seem to be so confident going about your days by yourself. Because you seem fine all the time. Because you’re the one taking charge when everything goes out of line, and making it all once again calm. Because you’re the one that keeps trying to find the way out when the other have given up. Because often times you would refused a helping hand being offered your way by saying,  “It’s alright, I can do this.” Because you always seem so happy and full in your own little world, even if you have to wake up and go to bed alone, every single day.

They called you a strong woman.

You, who forever postpone your dreams to ensure that the ones around you can chase theirs. You, who make sure that everyone have enjoyed their meals before picking up whatever is left on the table. You, who always let everyone else voice their concerns and opinions first, before starting to speak. You, who will only cry when nobody is looking.

You, who always be the one retreating from a relationship when they begin the conversation with, “I know you’re a strong woman,”—as if being a strong woman makes you immune from heartbreaks.

You, whom they called a strong woman, sometimes wish they do not see you as someone strong. You wish you could rest, because life can feel so exhausting. You sometimes imagine how wonderful it is to be the one others are fighting for; and instead of being someone who is constantly fighting. You wish someone else would want to carry your life’s burden without you even asking, and not the other way around.

You, whom they called a strong woman, sometimes wish you could shed some tears when you’re sad, explode in anger, or pour your heart out whenever you are in doubt. There are days when you feel like crying—but you simply forget how to: it has been too long that you force yourself to smile whenever you’re feeling down.

You, whom they called a strong woman, sometimes want to cry out, “I want that!” and let others withdraw to give you what you want. You want to be a bit spoiled and stubborn, to have others give way to your will, not the other way around.

Sometimes, you want to be the one who gives up.

You, whom they called a strong woman, sometimes want to admit the fact that you are lonely. That after facing such a backbreaking world, you would love to come home to loving arms, that would envelope you in their embrace. Sometimes, you wish to be the one being protected; you wish you could be this vulnerable being that would invite endearment and affection.

When a relationship went wearisome, you would like to hear: “I need to stay with her, I cannot imagine hurting her,” instead of, “She’ll certainly be fine without me, she has always been a strong woman…”

You, whom they called a strong woman, carry so many burdens, so many dreams, so many responsibilities on your shoulder. You, whom they called a strong woman, sometimes question the fact: that if you are not the one to be strong, who else could carry all these?

But, you, whom they called a strong woman—yes, you: you deserve to be happy as well.

You deserve a break, to sometimes be a bit ‘selfish’, to ask for what you want, to say, “Help me, I cannot do this alone.” You are allowed to let your tears fall without having to be shadowed by a smile, to be someone being kept—instead of being released.

Because you, whom they called a strong woman, you are not always as strong as they may think you are.

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This is the English version of an article published in Kamantara.id, an Indonesian UGC website.

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