Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Like a rock

All my life I've been told that I'm a strong person. Not physically but emotionally. Although I've kicked some asses, but that's not the point. Ever since my parents divorced and my dad had custody of me, I was basically forced to be his rock. I was treated and talked to like I was an adult which I'm guessing is what made me strong. I don't hate him for that because fortunately I handled it in a good way. I mean, I could have easily turned into a whining, manipulating, "poor me" kinda person, just like him. But I didn't, and for that I'm thankful.

I've never had a problem with being strong. Being the problem solver and responsible one. It's always been expected from me and I've always lived up. No one wants to fail, right? No one wants to not live up to what's expected of them, right? I know I certainly don't.

Then I started thinking, who is expecting this from me? It's me. I have put this weight on my shoulders. I have set this expectation for myself. In turn my husband relies on me to the strong one in our relationship. I'm supposed to be the problem solver and the responsible one. However, it's been this way for 5 years because I've made it that way. Well just once I'd like to have the tables turned. Just once I'd like to be weak and not have to find all the fucking answers. It's not easy. Although I've apparently done a good job at making it look that way.

For the first time in my life being strong just seems to be too much for me to handle. I've had to be strong for my dad, strong for Ethan, strong for my husband, and let's not forget all the shit I've personally had going on that I've had to stay strong for.

I've always thought that being strong was a good quality. Lately, I've been thinking that the people who are strong just end up getting fucked. God forbid you don't have an answer. God forbid you show a small sign of weakness. What the fuck do I do when I'm turned to to solve a problem that for the life of me I can't figure out? Do I just say, "Don't worry about it, I'll figure something out?" What if I don't want to figure something out? HUH? What if I just say FUCK IT?

I feel so vulnerable right now putting all of this out here, but fuck it. I am. I'm sure I'll get over this before the day's over. I'm sure this is just my hormones working overtime. Shit, I all ready feel better letting y'all read what a pussy I am.

Have a wonderful day!


Grant said...

Everybody deserves a break now and again. Maybe you should leave your family a note telling them to take care of themselves for a few days while you check into a hotel and run up a bar / porno tab.

april said...

Grant, I think I love you.

Itchy said...

Actually, I was going to suggest something really similar to what Grant said. Nobody is strong all the time, no matter what front they put up in public. It's just not possible to be that strong all the do need time for yourself and you need people around you that will understand that and say that they will take care of you for a bit...even if that just means leaving you alone or letting you do what you want/need to do.
I feel like driving up there and giving you a big hug right now...

april said...

Itchy, I all ready love you!! I'd take that big hug, I think I need it.

Maine said...

Wow, the guys above nailed it. I'm kinda the same way, in that I refuse to ever be dependent on anyone for anything. I never let anyone serve me food or help me carry a load I can carry myself, etc. It gets to be exhausting when you realize that you're kicking your own ass and only satisfying yourself with it.

Just to be fair, I find you very impressive. Considering all that there is to consider, you're almost a miracle. You probably don't get to hear it enough, but I really don't think there's a thing on earth you can't pull off, and I admire that.

But a quick hiatus from giving a fuck is only gonna help. We've all got limits, yo. Be nice to yourself, okay? You deserve it.

Dark Damian said...

Even Atlas gets tired of holding up the world sometimes. Being the strong one, you're gonna have to demand that much-needed break. Here's an idea - follow me:

1) Wake up early
2) Cook 6 Hot Pockets (pepperoni and cheese)
3) Place them strategically around the apartment in easy-to-find spots
4) Roll out

When the menfolk awaken, they can eat whatever hot pockets they find, and drink the toilet water while you vacation on a cruise ship in the Bahamas. The plan is flawless.

Alicat said...

Ok, let me tell you something I had to find out for myself. I, much like you, had a similar sort of thing going on in my family. I came to realize that you can push and push and push, but if you don't give yourself time to be taken care of then you are gonna snap. This snap is why I have been in therapy for years. Take some time off to say fuck you to the world, or end up in therapy like me. Happy day!!!

Coley said...

Girl, you know I'm the same way. But here's what I'm trying to realize: when I'm the person to find all the answers and handle all the hard stuff, I'm really taking away everyone else's opportunity to be self-sufficient. If I never ask the hard stuff of anyone else, I'm helping them continue to be a weaker human.
I've not figured out how to do this all the time, but you can't possibly take on everyone's shit all the time. It's like everyone else is saying, you will snap. And it won't be pretty.

Laurie said...


I am the same way. God forbid I'm not smiling and fucking happy 24/7 and people act like the world is fucking ending.

I say fuck it. Fuck it. Fuck everything and fuck it.

Call me if you need me.

A.J. said...

Well, it seems as though everybody else has given you whatever advice I would have given. Somtimes it's nice having nothing to bring to the table.

You should just become a self-important artist, like me. Then no one would be silly enough to depend on you for anything.

If all else fails, I'd go with the booze/porn vacation thing........and you know how to get in contact with me. We're talkin' "Titanic portrait" done the right way!

Anonymous said...

That's a tough situation, not having anyone to lean on when you need it. It's very tough to be the strong one all the time.

Time for your husband to man up and be there for you, and carry that rock while you rest.

Equity baby.

Keep your head up sweetie.

dukethor said...

Well, I'm coming from the other side of the equation. My wife is the strong one in our family. Lately, she's been feeling the same way you have. I feel kind of overwhelmed myself, because for the last 5 years or so, in exchange for her taking care of all of this stuff, I've been waiting on her hand and foot. I cook all of the meals, get the girls ready for school, check the homework, drive everyone where they need to go (I can count on one hand the number of times she has had to drive in the last 5 years), clean the house, do the laundry, etc. But, still, being strong, responsible, etc., even without having to worry about the "little stuff" takes a big toll on her.

My heart goes out to you. If you find a solution, please let me know so I can make it happen for my wife, ok?

I will tell you exactly what I'm going to do on Tuesday, tho. Tuesday is the beginning of her work week. So, on Tuesday, I'm going down to Sam's Club to get 2 dozen roses, bring them home, put them in a vase, then bring them into her work. They will stay at her work until Saturday, and everybody is going to ask her who they are from, and why she got them. She will get to tell them that her husband got them for her, for no reason at all. That always makes her week, especially since she works with the public. There will be at least one woman per day that will ask her if she can come to her house and train her husband for her. :)

Randi said...

sometimes i think that my bff feels the way you do because she's definitely the strong one. believe me, the peeps in your life that dub you the strong one probably have some guilt about putting you in that position...

april said...

Maine: Thank you. Thank you VERY much. It's nice to know someone is impressed by me for whatever crazy reason.

DD: You know just when to make me laugh. ALWAYS!!

Alicat: You mean, this isn't snapping? I hate to see me when I do. Heads will be rolling all over the place. Come visit me in the looney bin, please?

Coley: You're right. Why would other people need to be self sufficient when I'm doing it for them. Thanks for the clarity!

Laurie: FUCK IT!! FUCK IT!! FUCK IT!! i feel a little better, thanks.

A.J.: Have you found a necklace with a huge blue stone?

Macca: I'll try, thank you. =)

Dukethor: My situation is different than yours in the sense that I take care of my son too. I get him ready for school and all that jazz. My husband is a great daddy and does help a lot. I have no complaints there. Yes, please tell my husband I'd like flowers for no reason. Women love that shit.

Randi: I'm thinking there's not so much guilt, but I could be wrong. Or I could just not be seeing it from my shoes.

Kira said...

I'll trade your husband out for an Alex clone. I know he'd be unhappy about it, but hey, it's all about me. I mean you. I mean....well, one of us. So he can deal with it. My ex hubby expected me to do it all. He was great with the kids, but I was still responsible for them. And him. And the house. And all parts of our lives. Nowadays, these things aren't the huge burden they once were because...get this...I have a PARTNER who shares in all aspects of life. I'm not talking about a situation like Dukethor described. I mean, he IS a partner, just they divide things differently. For me, I like that Alex will do the housework AND will plan life out/answer the big questions/think ahead and take care of issues without my direct input. For me, that was the solution: having a partner who was willing to take on half of every single burden in the house--more even, sometimes--all while giving flowers, chocolates, and massage. Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' about! I'll order two clones for you. That way you can have one to take care of Ethan while the other massages you, ok?

Miss Sassy said...

This is why people get sent on VACATION.
We just plow through whatever shit comes our way and forget to notice the gurneys we carry... until a day when all you have to deal with is YOU.
Oh, and hormones suck ass at helping the sitch, we all know that.

You just have your litte epiphany here with us and we'll remind you that You Rock isn't supposed to be read THAT way ;)

schmims said...

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

Leesa said...

I wrote the following on my blog this morning - about someone else, but it seems appropriate to leave for you as well:

"Anyway, I think it is helpful to suspend our beliefs every once in a while, perhaps that's the whole point of vacations. Well, I have a friend I have been writing – she is having a hard time, and I have thought that she needs some "me time" to do the same. Women need a day at the spa like men will need the first weekend in March Madness. I know hubbie thinks he could still play point guard for Georgia Tech. Talk about fantasies."

Not the full scoop, but you get the idea.

Alicat said...

April, of course I will come visit you, you know I will only be right down the hall anyways. Look for the room with padded walls and a blond girl in the corner in a straight jacket. LOL!

Frankie B said...

Hey April,
New to your site and backing up VERY slowly towards the door making no sudden movements......

Seriously though, Awesome blog you got here. And as for being strong (its over rated) You be you and let the shit fall where it may.
Be safe and take care

crestfallendespairacy said...

Take a break.

Love your writing!!

JJ said...

Seems like I missed the boat on this one. You've got some sound advice here. Let me echo Frankie B's thoughts: Being strong is totally overrated. It's cool to be in control at times, but every once in a while you just gotta relax and watch the shit hit the fan.

Side note:
I don't know who Schmims is, but let me say that God hates comment spammers. I know because God told me.
And mc2 - It looks silly when you place your own URL in a comment. You can imbed a link if you'd like (blogger accepts some HTML), but it's really unnecessary when you can choose to leave a comment as "other" and plug in your URL in the web form.

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