Growing up and as an young adult I was raised to be independent and strong. I heard things like don’t depend on no man, and do what you have to for yourself. It was like a badge of honor to be considered a S.I.B.W. (strong independent black woman). When my family would give me praise and put me on a pedal stool for handling my business and doing things on my own, I felt good and empowered. Especially when it came from those same women who I taught me to be a S.I.B.W. As I have gotten older, I’m starting to think that being a S.I.B.W. is over rated.
One thing that I noticed about being a S.I.B.W. is the way people don’t take how you feel into consideration. You’re strong so you don’t get to be emotional, sad, vulnerable, or hurt. These are signs of weakness and because you’re considered strong you’re not allowed to have these feelings. When you try to tell people how you feel and their response is you’re tripping. When you are going through emotional stuff people think she’s strong she’ll be ok. S.I.B.W. have a tenenceny to ignore thier feelings or push them aside. As result S.I.B.W. become resentful and angry.
Being a S.I.B.W. also comes with the assumption that you can do it all, and do it alone. Part of this is what you’re taught as a child, especially if you grow up in a single parent home. You’re not taught to just be able to care for yourself and do things on your own. You’re taught that you don’t need anyone to help you and you are all you have. What happens is people will assume you got it or you’ll figure it out. Getting help is almost impossible. The other thing is you become prideful, so you try to do it all on your own. Either way you find yourself carrying more weight than you can handle.
If carrying the the title S.I.B.W. is become more of a burden than a badge of honor, you are not alone. Let me be the one to say screw that title. Yes you are an awesome black women with the ability to do so many things on your own, but honey breathe! Give yourself permission to drop the title. Say no when you have to. Ask for help when you need it. Express how you feel! Being strong and independent is overrated.
Understand you are more than just a Strong Independent Black Woman. You can are wise, caring, lovining, vulnerable, bold, brave, and diligent!!!! Celebrate that!
When are better when you do better!
Peace and Love!!