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Help and hinderance
Recently there have been reasons why my inability to ask or receive help has been brought up. With most people it’s because of pride or something like that. My case is very different. It has several layers and I’m going to actually share those because I think it’s high time I did. Now with most people it is a matter of pride or they just cannot function in capacity because they are usually the helpers. I’m going to dive into deeper reasons than that and some may know exactly where I come from.
I started my life poor as church mice as my grandfather said. We didn’t have the money for all the things that most kids had. I didn’t have all the name brands and the fashions that many others did. This did play into ridicule for much of my young life. Let’s face it, if you’re as old as I am you can remember bullying and the tortures that came with it growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. The words ‘kids are cruel’ is very true. It stays with you all your life. I can attest to that. Take that though and add in the torture that was my birth giver and her abuse (coupled with her mental illnesses) that made growing up even more torturous. My married life wasn’t any better, but I’ve told those stories.
So, having grown up with nothing I was later blessed in life to be able to help my friends and family when the need arose. There is nothing that I won’t do for friends and family when they are in a pinch. I also grew up being taught that I didn’t matter. I was always last on the list because it’s selfish to put myself first. Ever. Granted that has changed through the last few years but that voice is still haunting. I was also taught that if I found myself in the hole, I put myself there. I get myself out. Period. Do not expect help because no matter what I am the only one that should handle my business because I was the one that put myself there. Whether it was poor planning on my part. I didn’t do exact math. I didn’t calculate all the factors in the equation. Didn’t matter. Those are all excuses and I better figure the way out. Much of the time that was financial. I’m the first to say family is important and that family stands by each other, but because of years from birth giver and (ex) husband systematic abuse it scrambled my wiring (Thank you Lion for always being quick to point that out.) and caused me to see things from different perspectives. Meaning, I am not in the equation and better handle my own ass. Some of that is also because when I’ve been in a pinch, those that would normally help were in the same boat and that doesn’t help much. Instead of burdening them with my issues, I dug myself out. If that meant killing myself with work, so be it. If it meant having 3 jobs, so be it. I pay my own way. So, this leads to many times my inability to ask for help or be able to accept it many times. I have been working on it. Not my greatest ability, but it’s there. Those closest to me know how to approach me about this. One stepped up wrong to me. (That will come out later.)
Also, I’ve been where those are that I help. I know those pains and panic. I know what it’s like to guess about tomorrow still unsure of today. I don’t lord it over them. I just help in any way I can. I have learned more boundaries recently (again coming soon), but I will help as much as possible. I’ve been the one crying over bills and trying to figure out what to let go and what MUST be paid. Granted it’s rarely seen but I have been there. So, I offer what help I can. I don’t use it as a chance to lord it over someone. I don’t use it to remind them frequently that they owe it. I know they know they do. There’s nothing to say about it because… (here it is) I have two theories about helping (loaning money). One, it is the casino theory. You never take more than you are willing to lose to the casino. If you can’t afford to lose it, then don’t use it. Two, never slit your own throat. Which does go hand in hand with one. If helping means I’m going to have to choose things and possibly be overdrawn or lose something because of it then I won’t do it. I’ll be there for them and offer ways to help them that I can’t, but I will not put my head on the block. In either of those cases I am not losing anything and still able to help them. Even if they never pay me a dime that’s a reflection on them not me. It is also why I don’t need to make them feel bad by constantly bringing it up. As some would point out, this also makes it very easy for me to be in the position that I won’t ever get help when I need it. Again, a reflection of them not me. Also going back on my first point, I must take my medicine and deal with things myself because I fucked up. Not them. If and that’s a really big IF they help me out because they can then great. It’s me making it past even being able to ask or accept without the words “I got it” coming out of my mouth. That isn’t exactly easy for me. Many accept this and will just nod, help, and say nothing. Especially because many learned it from me. Reminding me constantly about it, lording it over me (especially when I’ve helped them), bullying me about it, and getting in my face about it will have my temper flare up and I will inevitably remind them that maybe they should step back. Also, I’ll note to never help them again. Ever.
Recently this was recalled because I got myself in a pit and panic attack. Something I haven’t had in several years. I left a job because I was waiting on another one that took longer to get. Money I was supposed to get hasn’t arrived yet and this put me in the hole. Watching bills pile up that I normally pay without fail or complaint have stacked up and will until I receive my first paycheck. It really sucks. Most of those closest to me (they know who they are) were gentle with me and reminded me what I did for them and would be doing for them in the future. They presented plans and solutions that my logical mind could handle even if my illogical brain was in a frenzy. This calmed me down and I could breathe. One though did it the wrong way. They saw a damsel in distress (their favorite kind of female) and presented it to me as begging. While probably not the intention (roads anyone?) that is how it came out and was presented. To add insult to injury, they threw words that I usually joked and smiled about at me in a more arrogant way. This was not only hurtful but also angered me. When I say it, it is known that I say it with mirth and joy because I love the people that I have said it to. When spoken to me it was haughtier and felt more like they enjoyed doing it. I cried for the first time in a long time because of how much that hurt me. The way it was presented basically made me feel like I was inept and not at all independent in any way. When I help someone (or nicely surprise someone) I do this because I love them and am trying to express what they mean to me. I do not try to tear them down in anyway. What they did to me was the complete opposite and imposed a feeling I really, really try to steer away from. I do plan to speak with them about this when we’re face to face, but honestly, I had to take some time to cool off and not let anger be my response. I had to think about things and I’m glad that I’ve had a few days to move past my anger. I may even accept their help after that conversation is had.
I’m doing this at lunch from work because I did need to get the poison out and seeing my thoughts sometimes helps me understand them better. That’s why I do this. And with the hope that it may help someone else that’s like me or in a position that I am. Thank you spending a minute with me lovely reader.
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