Strong Woman

Every time I hear the words โ€˜you are a strong woman’

I smile,

A stupid smile that doesn’t know whether to be proud or ashamed

Is being a ‘strong woman’ a compliment?

How does one become strong? With exercise?

Does your soul flex its muscles and proclaim it’s strength?

Do you get strong from pushing your mind and heart and soul to the limit..and holding back just before they collapse? And then repeat it all again?

Does the stretching and breaking and pulling apart build its tensile strength on the veneer of your womanliness?

Because I don’t feel strong

I don’t feel strong from being broken over and over and over again

I don’t feel strong from the recovery and the healing

Healing does not make you whole again

You are still broken, just glued back better together

Re-formed into a shape distorted into another dimension

Another dimension of reality

Maybe that’s where I am ‘strong’!

All I feel is tired, not strong

Does picking up the broken pieces make you strong?

I would much rather sweep them off and be done with them, once and for all

Rather than bleed on the jagged edges

And yet, here I am …

Wearing my bandages like shields…

A woman, that too strong.


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Written by Amrita Chowdhury


Second Dimension