Feeling scared is a legitimate feeling that society downplays and disregards. We are often told that bravery indicates strength and being scared or afraid is a sign of weakness. The social stigma around being weak has transpired through the way we speak to each other, social interactions, how we display ourselves on social media, and finally how we truly feel about ourselves. Most of, us are brainwashed into feeling that our emotions are not valid because of how people will perceive us. For instance, crying in public will show people I am vulnerable, and I cannot do that because I need to be seen as a strong individual. An individual in which no one can walk over and a person who is in charge.
I can attest to this because I too was afraid of being scared and feeling alone. Some aspects of my trauma and pain I have mustered up the strength to talk about publicly but others I still cringe at the thought. Feeling scared and worried should not be a taboo thing. Gender and societal class play a huge role as to why people feel like they have to hide how they feel and not express their feelings. I know that I am merely a sole human being, but I want to emphasize how important it is to not undermine anyone’s feelings and allow people and yourself to feel all emotions possible.
I remember when I received a phone call about my brother being murdered and how disheartened I was. To hear that the person I loved so dearly was shot thirty times crushed me. I couldn’t fathom what I was hearing. I thought I had to be brave for my mourning parents, especially my father. While I was trying to show I brave face, I was killing myself on the inside. Forcing myself to shorten my grieving period, I tried to stay away from my friends and family because I was scared that I would break down and not be able to stop crying. I stopped playing sports because it was the only happiness I had, and I felt wrong for being happy during my grieving. I wanted so desperately to shut everyone out, but I knew that would only hurt me more.
After my mother saw how depressed I got and how empty I looked, she talked to me. She said, “mourning is for the strong not the weak, it takes a strong person to cry and be vulnerable even when they want to put on a brave face.” After hearing those words, I cried the pain and rage away, but I also decided to write about how I felt. I was no longer victim of my emotions; I was not afraid to be afraid.
I want to say to whoever is reading this it is okay not to have the answers, or feeling worried, or even confused. The human emotions is not a simple thing to understand it a complex systematic machine that has intricate parts to it. Never feel like you have to put on a brave face for someone because they are living their life while you’re a prisoner in yours!