The myth of the strong (black) woman
It has caused me a lot of pause because while I do believe it is an unrecognized and deep problem for that community, it happens in white and Latino communities, too. I am living it right now, and talking to God about it. A lot of responsibilities from family and work, have been thrown on me, and I can't pretend that I am equal to them. At least not all of them all the time. At least not any of them most of the time.
Some of this comes from a record of competence. Some from an unhealthy sense of wanting to be in control. Some from an even unhealthier belief that I have to live this way to be needed and that is only how I have any value, or worse, somehow God is going to be impressed by this behavior.
I know I am not the only woman, white or otherwise, who feels this way; I just don't think all of them are as self-aware (my only virtue in this regard). We can feel trapped by all the responsibilities.
Our new pastor this morning said, "If you haven't figured it out by now, let me tell you, there is no such thing as a normal person. We all have our own special kind of crazy." I imagine some of the church members were offended by it, but it's just plain true. Doing the same thing over and over expected a different result is one of those types of crazy!