"My mother was a strong woman, my sisters are strong women, my daughters are strong women. I want you to be a strong woman one day," he said. "But I am a strong woman," I said.

His words pissed me off.  Even though he loved me, he did not know that much about me.  John and I were newly dating, and would go on to get married.  At that time, he didn't know how strong I already was.  It seemed like an unfair assessment.

I grew up in a home with an alcoholic mother and handicapped sister.  I put myself through college, paying most of it myself by working either or full- or part-time; it took me ten years, four colleges, three college loans, two cities, and one bad marriage.  Oh yeah, and my ex, also known as my "practice husband," that was really hard.  The divorce took a lot out of me.

I had to be strong for so much of my life.  What the heck was he talking about?

Never mind.  I want to be stronger.  Game on.

THE HARDEST-3

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