Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
For this week, Denise chose: Asking for help.
I’m no good when it comes to needing help. I don’t mind lending a hand and I’m usually one of the first ones to ask if a friend or loved one needs assistance, but I don’t do well when the shoe’s on the other foot. I’ve been this way since childhood. I’d rather suffer in silence and I’m not entirely sure why.
Maybe it has something to do with vulnerability. Asking for help means letting your guard down, letting someone see you in a weak moment. I wish I could be that sort of person. The one who has no trouble showcasing her softer side.
I used to own a Chevy Blazer. The word “lemon” comes to mind when I conjure up images of this thing. There were a few redeeming qualities. My first-born was driven home from the hospital in the Blazer. It kept us safe in the winters with it’s 4×4 capabilities and felt solid. It looked durable on the outside yet had a lot of mechanical issues. Those issues cropped up shortly after the ex and I had divorced. I didn’t have a lot of money. I had a little something set aside in savings, but it was all on me with a toddler to support. Every time the Blazer broke down, I saw the money dwindle. The fuel pump. An air compressor. Cracks in this, leaks in that. I couldn’t afford to purchase a new vehicle but I wasn’t able to keep up with the maintenance. When the auto mechanic called and gave me the latest $400 estimate, I nearly broke down.
I didn’t have it.
Money is a tricky thing, and I was raised old-school. You never borrow money. It leads to discord and chaos, especially between family. And you never lend it, either. It’s considered a gift when you give someone money and you should never expect a return on a gift.
I couldn’t bring myself to ask my family for help. I didn’t want to bother my friends, either. I couldn’t ask my employer for an early paycheck. The ex? No way.
With shaky hands, I dialed my boyfriend’s number and waited. When he answered, I started to cry. I’m not a big crier. In fact, he says he’s seen me cry only a handful of times since we’ve known each other, and we’ve known each other for over a decade! There I was, crying. I felt ashamed and nervous. Scared. I literally felt fear. I calmed down enough to explain the situation. He’d witnessed the issues I’d had with the Blazer. He knew how often that piece of crap had been in and out of the auto mechanic. When I got to the part where I asked to borrow money from him, my throat became constricted. I didn’t even want to do it, but I had no other option.
I remember how sweet he had been with me. He calmed me down and told me how good it made him feel, knowing I’d reached out and asked him for help. I could have asked anyone, but I chose him. He said he understood how hard it was for me to be in the situation I’d found myself in, and he didn’t judge me for it or think ill of me. There was no expectation from him, even though I repeatedly offered to pay him back. None of that mattered to him. It’s one of the many, many reasons I married him the following year. Aside from how great my husband is, he never makes me feel like a terrible person for needing assistance.
When I ask for it, that is. I’m still tough on myself and figure I can do things on my own the majority of the time, but I’ve loosened up (somewhat). It can be a real detriment. I am very understanding when others need assistance, so why can’t I be that understanding when *I* need it? I mean, let’s face it. We all need help from time to time, and it’s okay to ask for it!