the unexpected weapon

I have always always had this stubborn independent streak.

the need to be self sufficient to the extent that no one should ever know I need the help

you might call it pride

and maybe it is

maybe I do believe deep down that help is for the weak

but I also don’t.

I don’t when I tell my friends they’re not weak to ask for my help, they’re not weak when they express emotions.

but I seem to have a double standard for myself

I cannot physically bring myself to tell people what’s wrong when I’m down,

because I’m SO afraid that they’ll find it inconsequential

I’m afraid to come across as emotional because I feel that somehow it gets you labelled as weak

I’m so afraid to come across as dependent

and here it is,

the absolute fear of being called weak

because I want to be anything but.

maybe it comes with the fact that all my life I’ve seen women be oppressed.

maybe that extra effort is to ensure that no one ever dare underestimate me on the basis of my gender

maybe it’s an in-built defense mechanism so that even if I have to work twice as hard to prove myself, I will.

maybe it’s because when you tell someone what’s wrong,

they get to know you

and that gives them power

and I want to be the ONLY one with power over myself.

because power over you in anyone else’s hands is nothing but a weapon, hardwired to destroy you when you least expect it.

and you see, this kind of thinking, this level of wariness

that’s where the problem lies.

Author: Ananya Chaure

Editor: Manas Mehta

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