Being strong and independent is lonely and exhausting. Considering the value I placed on being independent and impenetrable, I taught myself how to function while exhausted and lonely constantly. Through the several awful and toxic relationships, through the years of graduate school, through the loss and trauma, I spoke to no one of it and I patted myself on the back all along the way believing I had achieved strength. No one knew me, no one understood me, and no one was close to me.
When we have been harmed early in our childhood by those that were supposed to love us most, it is difficult to trust the world and it is even more challenging to feel powerful in the face of more pain. There were several years where I felt like a victim, I believed I was a victim, I saw life through the lens of being a victim.