This idea that people who are strong are always supposed to be strong has always amazed me.
We humans can be so all-or-nothing sometimes.
None of us can be strong all the time, that’s not how humans are made. We all have moments when we need our hand held, when we need to be able to let it all fall out, to cry, to howl, to quake and quiver.
Believing that you have to be strong all of the time can be a trauma response. If you had to learn early on that you could not rely on others to meet your needs, then you may have learned that you cannot show vulnerability.
If you learned that your care-takers needed you to support and comfort them, then you learned to be the strong and reliable one and to suppress your own needs and vulnerabilities.
If you learned that your family were not going to support you being who you truly are, then you may have learned to build up a wall and to protect yourself, and it may be difficult to allow yourself to be seen for who you really are.
Know that the reasons you feel this way are totally understandable and valid. AND at the same time, they make it hard to connect, beliving you have to be strong all the time actually makes you vulnerable to collapse under the weight of all those expectations.
Be gentle with yourself and know that it is okay to be a messy human being. It may be difficult and uncomfortable at first, but it will be worth it.