Monday, November 5, 2012


Why do I have such a problem asking for help?

My knee-jerk reaction would be to say it is because I've been let down in the past. That I have asked for help and not received any. Or not received the right kind of help. Half-hearted help. Forced, I-don't-really-want-to-be-doing-this help. Help that comes with begging or the expectation that you have to do something in return.

This might be the know, if I ever asked for help. If the words actually left my lips. But they haven't. I simply don't ask. Sometimes it is offered without me asking, which is ideal, but even's just as hard for me to accept it. Asking and accepting. Two things I apparently don't do very well.

Except, this all runs deeper than the fear of being disappointed and knowing it's easier to just struggle through alone.

Some might blame this on a strange little thing called my independent womanhood. You see, I was raised to do things for myself. And it pays to take care of yourself. My fierce need to be independent is ingrained in me. It's hard to shake. Asking for help threatens that, doesn't it? No, of course it doesn't! Still, I'm determined to be self-sufficient. I don't need anyone to take care of me. Well, not right now...

But what happens when I need help for reals? When I do need to be taken care of? When I'm sick? In pain? Lost? Broken? Will I just suffer in silence? Or wait until someone offers, only to tell them to piss off, while secretly hoping they will insist further?

Last night, stretched out in bed, I realized it's more than my desire to be independent. I'm not all that worried about losing it. I've been playing this game alone for so long that it will always be my natural settling point. And, just between us, I want to be taken care of. I want to have someone else tend to my needs, to have a person to rely on. I don't necessarily want to be alone, a team of one, flying solo. It's easy for me offer up support and help, but to take it? That's where I balk. Screech to a halt. Grind to a stop. Get the cold sweats.

Weird, right?

I mean, if it isn't fear of disappointment or losing my independent womanhood, what could it possibly be?

Simply put, I don't want to be an inconvenience. The idea of someone having to stop what they are doing or take time out of their day to help me actually causes me physical discomfort. As strange as it may sound, I don't want to be a burden. I don't want them to be annoyed about it, like I'm ruining their plans. I don't want someone helping me when they really don't want to, when they have better things to do. Just the act of someone picking me up closes my throat and makes me want to burrow into a hole and hide myself with leaves and twigs.  Especially if it is dark, and rainy, and only one headlight works. All I can think about is how not worth the trouble I am.

I loathe causing other people angst, annoyance, strife, worry, sadness or a disruption.

Okay, at the end of the day, all three of these things contribute to my anxieties over asking for help. My independent womanhood, the fear of being disappointed and not wanting to be an inconvenienced all exacerbate my already ridiculous inability to vocalize my wants and needs. So, what can I do?
How the heck should I know? I write the posts, I don't solve my problems. Sometimes it's unawesome to be so self aware. I guess all I can do is work through it.

Here and now, I vow to ask for help today. Well, maybe not today, but tomorrow for sure. And if not tomorrow...Friday. For sure. And the next time someone offers help, I'm going to take it. Even if it is for something silly.

Lately, it's become very clear that I'm difficult...and human.  


Sessha Batto said...

I have never been able to ask for help, even from those closest to me, hell, I have issues even accepting help freely given. Giving help, that, I can and will do - so go ahead, ask!

M.M. Bennetts said...

There's this amazing personal account from the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, where the soldier talks about having been wounded in the foot and struggling down the road trying to get to the field hospital. And how he met a chappie who'd been hit in the arm or shoulder, and who needed some support too...and how these two men, both wounded, helped each other, because each (although wounded) was sound where the other was hurt. It's like that.

No, one doesn't want to ask for help--everyone's so focused on their iPhones anyway, that they don't even notice the tears in their neighbour's eyes...and that's a bad place we've got ourselves in.

But hey, you need help, I'm here. And even if I'm hobbling, I'll do what I are worth it. Fact is, everyone is. They've just forgotten.

Cameron said...

I'm horrible about asking for help for exactly the reasons you outlined here. Even this past winter, with everything I went through, I don't think I asked for help from anyone other than my very closest family. And even then, it was more accepting the help they offered than asking outright for things.

I hate to inconvenience other people, and I often feel like I'm a burden on others, even though I know logically that's not the case. I love helping others, though, and wish I was asked for help more often!

Anonymous said...

If you were trapped in a burning building, the first thing you would do is shout:
"Women and children first."