Grace Under Pressure
A quick note about the formatting of this poem:
The lines are intentionally very short. They are meant to be read as if you were short of breath, under pressure, breathing just from the top of your lungs, one line inhale, the next an exhale. I worked out just how long that was by lacing my corset as tightly as I possibly could, and seeing just how much I could inhale before feeling resistance, and then added/subtracted based on what it would be like if you were fighting for (emotional) composure on top of that pressure.
Because, yeah, that’s kinda what it feels like, really.
is a highly
It has been my experience that the standards for what are acceptable emotional responses from me are significantly different than what is acceptable from others. Not just what I accept – what is tolerated by others, as well. It is par for the course for the men I know to rage and rant, to yell and throw things when they are frustrated, but if I so much as raise my voice, display distress, I find myself facing a suddenly more angry or distressed someone; sometimes even the person who was the source of my distress in the first place.
And I know entirely too many of you know what happens next – we lock down our responses, we explain and teach, we reassure, placing ourselves last, yet again. We display – and are expected to display – a strength at our most vulnerable moments that isn’t expected from the people we should be able to count on. We are expected to carry more, bear more, sustain more, and retain our grace and self-control through it all.
And yet, somehow, we are still considered the weaker ones, despite carrying a double load.
There is more strength than the supposed-strong realize in maintaining grace and self-control under pressure, though they’d have to pull it off to realize it to know that.
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