It was an interesting compliment made by one of my sister-friends. It evokes positive thoughts and confusion at the same time. Doomed to be Strong. Intriguing.
This morning, something happened again that thoroughly frustrated me. Another reminder of how insensitive, or maybe self-centered, some people can be. Once again I was being chastised for “ending up” an unemployed, divorced, single mom. Once again, I was having someone complain to me about how if I would only “focus” I’d be able to fix my problem AND THEIRS. It was the “THEIRS” that irritated me. I wanted to explode! This person has done everything they can NOT to provide me any kind of support: moral, physical or financial. This person has constantly told me how unintelligent I am, and loves to say I am living in a fantasy world where I expect a knight in shining armor to save me. Then this person has the nerve to complain to me that my misfortunes are affecting their ability to enjoy life as they see fit. Not because this person is providing me any support, but because I am unable to support their desires.
Absolutely ludicrous. People who truly know me, know I am the last person to ever expect anything from anyone, but always am appreciative of gifts. They also know that I would never sit around and wait to be rescued. It’s just not in my nature. I have been dubbed the Amazon Goddess for a reason. It’s no secret that my life is not a bed of roses. Right now, it is downright unbearable. Everyday, I live with the stress of wondering what I will have to give up next. Unemployment has hit me extremely hard. The bills are piling up, and I half expect to wake up every morning with the utilities shut down. Throw in a lack of child support coming from my daughter’s father, and a distinct lack of compassion or understanding from a certain few in my day-to-day life, some days just remembering to smile and get out of bed in the morning feels near impossible.
And yet, still I rise. I get up. Make breakfast for my daughter. Play. Watch a little Qubo channel. Read a book or two. Make lunch for my daughter and struggle to get her down for a nap, so I can follow through with looking for the impossible dream of GAINFUL employment. And when she wakes from her nap, I do it all again until it’s finally time to begin the “Battle of Bedtime.”
I work extremely hard at maintaining a smile throughout the entire day, but it IS hard. My daughter doesn’t need to know why we can’t do things, or why she can’t have things. She doesn’t need to know that Mommy isn’t eating because I want to make sure she has enough food. She doesn’t need to know that we read by candlelight and flashlights, not just because it’s fun, but also because I don’t want to run up the electricity bill any more than it is. I get up everyday with the intent of making her life as happy, fulfilling, adventurous and comfortable, as possible. But there are days I just want to chuck it all and say “THE HELL WITH THIS!”
Today, was one of those days where I just about had enough. I want to scream at the world and go crazy. I want to “lose it” and beat the hell out of someone who deserves it. I want to throw in the towel and say, “I’m just gonna lay down here and never get up.” But I can’t. It’s not in my nature.
I’ve survived abuses that make people shudder to hear. I’ve been beaten down so many times by life. I’ve lost so many things. I’ve sacrificed much just to watch it all get torn away from me. My life has been a constant struggle since the day I was born. But still I’ve never felt I had a right to be selfishly stupid. I watch the news and hear about how someone, somewhere had some problem, they couldn’t accept so they “lost it.” Killed themselves. Killed someone else. Committed a horrific crime. Stole a plane and dive bombed the IRS. Drove their car into a sidewalk cafe. Shot someone on the highway. Every time I hear these stories, I’m baffled. It’s not in me. It’s just not in me to give up, lie down, or take it out on someone else.
Instead, I endure the struggle. I fight back by continuing to try, and continuing to believe. I’ve had some great times in my life and done some AMAZING things. None of which would have been able to happen if it was in me to be weak. I’m not the strongest person in the world. I have my moments where I feel the specter of doom scrabbling to take over and I can’t stop the tears.
But everyday, I make a point of smiling. Of saying something that is just, happy. I may roar and whine. Grumble and groan. Worry and stress. But at the end of it all, I will always be there to help people, (even the undeserving) in the ways that are available to me. I will always keep trying. I can’t give up and I can’t be cruel, no matter how frustrating or insensitive my world can be. It’s just not in my nature.
Doomed to be strong? Maybe. I can live with that.