You don’t have to be strong all the time. Read this guest post titled, SadGirl by Angelique Jeffrey

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Originally Published on March 8h 2020.

What’s going on everyone? Y’all alright?!

So its “Women’s History Month” and every Monday of this month I’ll be highlighting the issues that a lot of us women face on a daily basis. Today let’s talk about our feelings…or my feelings. I can’t speak for everyone when I say this but dude… I am not 100%, okay and I don’t think I ever truly have been. Growing up, I’ve always been surrounded by strong women. Women that work hard to get to where they need to be, women that suck it up and do what they need to do to get shit done…as a result this is how I move through life.

The issue that comes out of moving this way is I feel as if I have to be strong at all times. No matter the inconvenience I have to figure it out, no time to cry when there’s work to be done. But what happens to those tears that never fell, those feelings that were never expressed? They turn into trauma.. and THAT turns into a vicious cycle if you don’t catch it early.

I’ve learned throughout my journey, that I am 100% a product of my environment. I don’t thoroughly understand what expression feels/looks like unless its through my work and this a direct reflection of how I was raised. If I’m not creating and releasing in that way, my feelings are never let out. I can distinctly remember being younger and reacting to a situation that took place and being told that it was just a part of life and that I had to move on from how I felt. I was given a list of issues that this person had as if my issue wasn’t enough to warrant emotion. “I have way more going on than you, so you don’t deserve to feel a way about that one thing…” But I did deserve to feel that emotion and validation should’ve been the first response.

There was a lot of “how is being (insert emotion here) going to fix it” energy growing up. And don’t get me wrong here, I don’t fault those that raised me at all! My mother did what she could with what she had, mostly raising me on her own and trying to hold a household on her back. She had no time to cry, be angry, or ask herself why. She had a child to raise and no real shoulder to lean on. A product of her own environment… my “strength” began here.

My point is, my mother should have been able to cry about her hardships out loud instead of alone where no one could hear her. They were real and her feelings should’ve been validated by those she reached out to. She shouldn’t have be forced to teach me that you have to pick yourself up and toss those emotions to the side based on her experiences. The truth is, many of us are faced with the struggle of not being validated when we do reach out and express a glimmer of the pain we feel. Being told we’re overreacting or being dramatic for feeling a human emotion within a reaction should not be the default setting. Because in reality we are not always going to be strong, we can’t be. We will break down, we will hurt, we’ll be pissed off and we won’t know how the hell to feel.. and we need to understand that this is perfectly okay! Holding in basic human emotions for the sake of not looking weak, or not wanting to give in to negativity is a major piece of our issue as women.

This is the number one reason as to why so many women are suffering from undiagnosed mental illnesses. We’re depressed, we’re anxious, we’re so fucking over all of this…but no one will know about this because we’re strong women, out here getting shit handled.

Read more posts by Angie on a word’s official website here.

You can also see the spread of this piece in Issue 41.

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