- I don't like to need it.
- I don't like to ask for it.
- I don't like to accept it.
Now over the years, and through lots and lots of therapy, I have tried to work on all of these points. Most especially #2 (and admittedly I still need some work on #3). When I found out I had actually broken my tailbone I immediately called my mother to let her know that there was the possibility that I might need help. Now most sane people who don't have issues asking for, and or accepting help, might have dropped the "might" part of that request. But I'm not that healthy and asking for help from my mother... from whom... and in response to hers and my father's feelings about help I developed these particular feelings... is complicated in it's own right.
My mother and I have opposing issues. I don't want to ask for help until it is completely unavoidable. My mother has a weird built in response that urges her (I will acknowledge that she doesn't mean it) to minimize the situation and not give in to all your needs. It's hard to explain. She wants to help but I think she has a natural inclination to protect herself from being taken advantage of. She's quick to give a "you're looking on the mend" seal of approval and leave only to duck out right before the 2nd round of hell begins.
You can see how this might be difficult. I need help but hate to ask for it. My mother wants to help but something in her keeps her from being fully helpful. Maybe you can see why I started to: #1 not want to need help, #2 not like to ask for it, and #3 not like to accept it.
Well, I don't have a lot of resources and the pain in the rear is not letting up. I've tried staying off of it completely but it's not improving and the thought of Monday morning and getting back into full days of childcare, errands, driving, meal preparation is terrifying. I just can't do it. And if I do do it I'm sure I'll be headed down a dangerous and painful path that will only make matters worse for all of us. So I called my Mom this morning and said I needed help.
I should say that we (my mother and I) have spent the last 2 years working on this dynamic together. Trying to understand where it comes from and trying to get through it. My mother is not a bad mother or a bad person. At the end of the day it isn't her fault either. It's part of being human. Resenting the people who need your help (whether you want to or not) is not that uncommon. Resenting the people who are helping you isn't that uncommon either. I should know... just ask Mr F... he's been known to feel the dark side of a *helpful*, and a *being helped*, Mrs F.
I try hard not to repeat this pattern. It's a curse not to be able to ask for help and admit you need it... and it is a curse not to be able to whole heartedly help when it's needed. I don't want my girls to grow up thinking that needing help is a weakness or that there is more personal value in being self sufficient.
Thankfully my girls have two parents. And unlike my parents who came from similar stock in the help department (I'm not anywhere near strong enough to ask my Dad to come help)... Mr F and I are polar opposites. He's one of the lucky ones who will happily serve me while I lay resting on the couch. And I say lucky because being the person to hold the resentment... and know you are doing it... and hate yourself for it... is the worst part of the whole dynamic. You want to be helpful, you want to want to be helpful, but something in you fights it every step of the way. If it was him on the couch instead of me... I'd serve him... grudgingly... and with death rays shooting from my eyes by day two.
So she's coming. She said she's happy to do it. I still feel guilty. And I'm going to try really hard to let her help without getting up to show her the *best* way to slice an apple. But that is a whole different issue... for a different day.