1: the quality or state of being strong : capacity for exertion or endurance
2: power to resist force : solidity, toughness
3: power of resisting attack : impregnability (oh, if only you knew)
4a : legal, logical, or moral force b : a strong attribute or inherent asset
By definition? Strength sounds pretty good. It always did to me anyway, which is why I wanted to be defined that way. Who wouldn't want to be a logical force, right? That sounds pretty awesome.
I've been powerless before and it sucked. The only thing worse than living with someone who hates your guts and wants to do everything in their power to make your life miserable is being married to and pregnant by said person. Having to rely on someone who hates you to show you such courtesies as paying the light bill and making sure you and your unborn children had food to eat? Yeah. Not fun. So very unfun, in fact, that I swore I would never be there. Never, ever go there again. No one would ever make me feel like I was a burden and especially no one would ever make my children feel like they were a burden. Ever.
Life doesn't work that way, of course. There will always be people who refer to my children as "baggage" and there will forever be people who think I'm an underdog. Someone, somewhere, will always think I'm less smart or less pretty or less insert-whatever-adjective-matters-to-you-here. I can't do anything about those people.
What I can do? Is be strong.
So that's what I did and what I continue to do.
Strength has a price, though. I suppose no one ever told me that. I suppose no one ever expected me to be very strong.
Being strong means that when everything falls apart, you are the one that everyone expects to fix it. It means that sometimes you literally cringe when your husband says, "You're the strongest person I know" because you just don't want to be. It means that you feel very, very alone sometimes. Because everyone assumes you don't need any help. Why would you? You're strong. Sometimes, even when you reach out and even when you tell people you need help, they don't help. Or can't help. Or maybe just think that they have enough of their own and can't be bothered with you. Which is okay, really, but on some level still sucks.
Strong? Is bullshit. It just is.
Or maybe I just haven't figured it out yet. Maybe there really is some way to be strong and capable and somehow far more perfect than I seem to be. Maybe some people have figured out how to be both strong and not sad. Maybe they can sleep at night and not lay awake, listening to the wind, wondering how they are going to make everything work.
Wishing that, for just a little while, they didn't have to be quite so strong.