I do not want to be strong

A lament on toxic strength and independence

Balpolam Idi
3 min readApr 23, 2023
Photo by Lazham Gaina

Strength is the last thing I wish upon myself.

This world has cheered me into a suicide mission. I want to be soft. I want to be surrounded by tenderness. Not in a way that glorifies a supposed weakness I have, but in a way that celebrates my capability yet wishes to relieve me of it. Complex, I know. But this is where I am. I do not want to hear one more ‘compliment’ about how I am a strong woman. Tired, that’s what I am. A very tired woman.

I was a severely needy baby. Highly dependent, constantly craving physical touch, affection, and affirmation. Unfortunately, such neediness makes you vulnerable to predators. Over time, I became more closed off, determined to be self-sufficient at the very least, if not entirely independent, never needing another to the point of being at their mercy. It was a brilliant idea, safe even. It helped me heal but it also wounded me deeply.

I love this song by Britt Nicole called Safe

I’m strong enough
I’ve always told myself
I never wanna need somebody else
But I’ve already fallen from that hill
So I’m dropping my guard,
Here’s your chance at my heart and

Oh, no
My walls are gonna break
So close
It’s more than I can take
I’m so tired of turning and running away
When love just isn’t safe

You’re not safe
And that’s OK

I will speak for myself. I feel the need to be brave, and strong and all the other adjectives that represent stretching myself to accommodate the harsh realities of life spring from a plethora of reasons. But Chief has been my fear of being unsafe or trusting the wrong people to catch me. This is not to say there is something wrong with being strong or that it’s a non-feminine virtue, I am just tired of having to live up to this front of the strong woman people seem to think I am.

Half the time, I am frightened out of my wits, anxious about almost everything, confused, weak and oh so very weary. But who that one epp? So every morning, I pull up my big girl pants and wear my facepaint because darling, we are going to war and you need to be ‘strong and courageous’. I try to tell you by how often I cry, that I am not made of titanium. I try to whisper through the stories I tell that my heart is fragile and easily fractured. I wear my heart on my sleeve — that is untrue. I do not. I fear that I will become that scared little girl again. So if I tell you my fears and ramble about my struggles, I feel safe with you.

I want to thank you, who have been my safe haven in this broken, pain-filled world. Each of you is slowly restoring my faith in humanity, bit by bit, I am more convinced that love and life may not be safe and that’s okay. I am still tired. I don’t want to be strong. I want to sleep. But I hope that I also make you feel safe. I hope you know that I would like to be your crutch when you are feeble. When you are weary, you can rest here. I am here. Not as a strong woman, but as one dishing out love and tenderness.

Love, Ballie 💖

Hi, Thank you for reading and keeping my fingers writing.✨🥺 If you enjoyed reading this, please help make this post more visible to those who may like it or learn from it by clapping as many times as you can. 🙏🏾 I would also love to hear from you on this. What are your thoughts?



Balpolam Idi

Live, Love, Give. But most importantly, Dream. Learner. Teacher. Wanderer.