Do you find it difficult to ask people for help and do you feel like you have to be independent, handling everything yourself? Or, are you afraid that you’ll be disappointed if someone doesn’t come through?
Learning to ask for help can be a way to heal from past trauma in your relationship. It can be a way to heal from hyper independence. And you will model for your kids how to accept genuine offers of help, too.
I am guilty of putting my faith in hyper independence. That was a trauma response for me.
In 2013, I was living apart from my ex with my daughter. I wasn’t going to ask him for any help, like ever again! I was generally a woman on a mission, I could do anything myself. That’s good in many ways. We don’t want to be over dependent on others.
But then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And the first thing a breast cancer survivor friend of mine said was, “You need to learn how to accept help.” That took some time to digest, but I slowly started to allow people to bring me meals, watch my kid for a few hours, etc.
As you practice accepting help, I want you to notice two things:
First, you might have some people in your life who are genuinely good, but you’re not sure yet if you can trust them. Maybe you don’t know them very well but so far they seem trustworthy and they want to help you.
When you practice allowing someone like this to help you, you’re showing your kids what it’s like to accept help, because everyone needs help sometimes. You’re showing them how to do this in a healthy, appropriate way so they can see what help looks like in a relationship that is not toxic.
If we train our kids to be suspicious of everybody, it’s not helping them.
They won’t learn to let people into their lives which means they won’t have fulfilling relationships.
Second, you might have someone close to you in your life that you go to for help like a family member. What if they respond with something that makes you feel rejected, if they don’t follow through with what they say, or if you practically have to beg them for help?
If this is a pattern and you always walk away from them feeling like crap, I’m encouraging you to stop going to this person for help.
When I escaped the abuser for the last and final time in 2016, I had rented a truck and one friend offered to help us escape. The night before, I got a call that the truck broke down and they weren’t coming. I thought I was going to have to leave with only the clothes on my back and whatever I could fit in my car.
But this friend gathered up her neighbors - people I had never met - and three vehicles showed up at the house to help me move!
Finally, don’t stay stuck feeling like a victim or a martyr. I say this with love from my heart - survivor to survivor.
I understand there could be a myriad of experiences when you were rejected when you asked for help. You might have been hurt deeply by someone close to you, you might have had things stolen or damaged. It’s painful but don’t stay there.
You get to choose from here on out how your life gets to go. That power of choice and decision is massive because it’s like throwing a pebble in a pond and seeing the ripples. It will affect other areas in your life and it will be passed down to your kids.
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God made you for this!
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