Asking for help is an interesting thing...
Here's what I've learned through losing use of my dominant arm for the last week and a bit.
I’m fine by the way, in case you haven’t seen my previous post about this, it’s not serious, and I’m getting more use of my arm back more each day – woohoo!
This last week my fiancé has helped me make food for my horse (pictured – what a legend 🥰), he’s hung the washing out and brought it in, he’s done all the dishes and the majority of the cooking. He’s cleaned the kitty litter tray, gotten things off top shelves, made snacks and coffee for me and generally ensured our house kept functioning while I only had one wing.
I was prepared for some discomfort at not being able to do the things I normally would, maybe even some guilt. I knew I’d feel very grateful!
What I was not prepared for was the relief, and grief.
Through life forcing my hand (haha, sorry, bad pun), I’ve had to slow down and hand over much of what I’m usually responsible for.
What I’ve seen and felt in the absence of all that ‘doing’, are the ways that sometimes, I still over-function, and over-give, to get love.
Feeling the truth that I will sometimes sneakily abandon myself and try to be ‘the perfect partner’, to please, to appear super competent, to be loved and to feel safe, was way harder than the small feelings of guilt I’ve experienced in the process.
It’s not uncommon advice to women to ‘ask for more help’, but there are some essential steps before that which I don’t hear talked about…
See, before a woman can ask for help, she needs to know what she Needs Help With. She must Know that its RIGHT that she get help there. To know that, she must confront the parts of her psyche that want her to minimise her needs and care for others first to stay safe. She must confront the parts of her that believe if she were to Receive, it would make her bad or selfish (ie, compromise that safety).
Only then, will she be able to feel her need, understand it, hold it as right and take action on asking for support.
If you grew up in a relatively relationally and emotionally healthy household, this process will likely be natural. But for many women who have what I’d call an ‘instinct injury’ in this area, holding our needs as right and following them through to fruition can be fraught with challenge.
The first step on this journey, is to slow down and learn to feel yourself more deeply. To become more intimate and familiar with your inner world, and start being honest with YOURSELF about your needs and desires.
I’m grateful for this opportunity to have seen this subtle layer of self abandonment I was still running. It was uncomfortable, but now I have the power to make some changes.
Where are you on the journey of asking for help and support?
Can you feel and understand your own needs? Can you then hold those needs as ‘good’ and ‘right’ and reveal them to others in your life without shame or guilt?
For most women I’ve worked with and met, this is an unfolding and ever-evolving journey, so whatever your answers to the above questions were, its perfect.