I’m not quite comfortable asking for help. Actually, it makes my skin crawl in bad ways. I’m finding ways to get comfortable with the uncomfortable and I’m asking for help. Yesterday was a day where I was being aggressive. It looked like confidence because that is what my buffer of safety looks like. It’s bold. It’s the audacity to say what I want to. It sounds like, “You’re beautiful love, but that doesn’t mean I want you.” It’s not nice and it’s a perfect mirror for what I was feeling. I was a bit out of control. I was uncomfortable in my body. I needed a timeout. I needed to be alone. I needed to find my center. I went out alone and within a few moments I was okay again. I know what I needed to do to reset and I did it. The problem with that is I do it while shutting others out.
This morning was a better morning. It was a good day. I took a walk and found peace in my stride. I was productive at work, if maybe slightly scatterbrained. It was really great.
Early in the evening I was given words that came with weight. It felt like anger wanted to claim me. It felt like sadness was ready with a blanket to smother me. It looked like my mask was firmly in place because I was ready to hide in self destruction again. That moment I saw the choices before me and I shifted. I walked and talked with a great friend. She gave me the perspective of a man as only she could because she was one once. She gave me a direction for my boldness and I find that I’m a bit timid in taking her advice, even if I really want to. This is new. I like this new. Our conversation shifted to the week I’ve had and she celebrated the idea that I’m willing to consider more than a few dates because she sees this as growth, just as much as I do. I even told her that there’s a new person holding my attention in unexpected ways and it’s odd that I won’t refer to him as a boy. That says a lot.
I called three other women and even talked to two of them. My world had righted itself by the time I got home. I don’t know if it was faster to enlist a few women to support me, but I’m glad I trusted them to help me and I’m glad we communicated on a deeper level.
I was a stay at home mom for 15 years. I was completely reliant on my ex. Our relationship was based in isolation. He was my world. I ignored friendships. I turned my back on family. All financial decisions were his and any shopping I wanted to do came with enough shame that I would hide Target receipts and buy Amazon gift cards with groceries so I could support my reading habit.
When my ex left it was first emotionally. I had isolated myself to the point where he was everything and then I was nothing. Physically he left. I was so used to getting hugs and snuggles and suddenly it was just me, my teenage boys and my little one that wouldn’t give me space. Then it was financial. In September of last year he promised to never give me another penny and it’s not a promise he’s broken. I had to figure things out.
I figured out finances, and self soothing through the pain. I figured out how to find balance at home with the boys and when they are away. It was hard. I was able to learn from a breakup in my early adolescence that numbing the pain just gives you delayed grief. It’s like renting a storage space for your late aunt’s things. You will get to them when you can, and in the mean time, you’re willing to make monthly installments on delaying grief. When you finally start to get through it all, you’re faced with the grief and the anomie from a ripped off bandage that is covering something that was scabbed over and stiff and the world that kept going when you first lost her is still going, but they don’t understand you might need to pause a moment because it’s fresh pain that comes in waves. It was emotionally draining. I didn’t numb the pain in alcohol or men that I really wasn’t interested in. If anything, I got really picky with who I wanted to spend my time with. I got it together. I figured it out. It was hard and the idea of becoming dependent on someone else again scares me.
I’m stretching who I was into who I am becoming.
When I was hiking a few weeks ago, and dangerously dehydrated, I was still too proud to ask for help. I knew it was dumb to go farther than I planned with the small amount of water I had with me. It was just as ridiculous to go hiking alone, but being alone has become the theme of my life. I was determined to get to where I was going, and a bit freaked out about my condition, but I never once asked for help. It was offered. I’m really thankful to the three people that offered help without my asking. But it was dumb.
If I were a car my asker would be broken. It’s in my gut, right below the high beams.
I almost didn’t take my Advanced class when I did. I didn’t have the funds and I was willing to wait until I did. My friend noticed my aversion to asking for help. She challenged me to stretch and ask for help. She wanted me to start a Go Fund Me page and she coached me throughout the process, being one of my greatest contributors. I started another one for this third class, but I’m in a place where it’s okay if I don’t make my goal. I came up with the deposit on my own. I’m getting some help through Go Fund Me, but I realized even if I don’t make the tuition, I’ll be okay. I’d be okay with taking the class later, if that’s what it comes down to. For me, I was proud of the moment I asked for help. Even if enough help doesn’t come, I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone.
I asked for help tonight. Rather than run to the ocean, I talked it out. I asked for someone to listen to my frustrations and the parts that were angry. I listened to wisdom I was incapable of. I got it out and allowed the stretching that is forcing me to grow. I didn’t go out to be seen.
I chose to spend my last kid-free night for 5 days at home, in bed and reading someone else’s blog. I kept having wow moments at how lost I was, and how I could still feel the excitement though the gibberish (to me) haze of stats and my inner reckoning with, “I thought it was a football that gets thrown and caught and then there’s running to the end zone with it. What is all this other jargon?” Clearly I don’t speak sport stats, yet I kept reading. Interesting.