Posted by: Judy | August 16, 2017

14 of 25 Things

As I started my journey working through these, it was to clarify to myself what I went through. However, as I’ve worked, I’ve discovered a deeper reason for exploring each “Thing.” Each of the 25 Things applied to me. I also realize that I’ve worked through some. They are no longer a problem. I’ve made progress on all of them. This is an opportunity to look back and see how far I’ve come. It’s important to do that, once in a while.

Original post from The Mighty:

https://themighty.com/2017/06/childhood-emotional-abuse-adult-habits/

14. “I avoid asking help from anyone because I don’t trust anyone. I believe if someone offers me a hand, there will always be something they [want to] ask in return. I have friends but I don’t have a best friend. I keep my distance from people. Automatically, my wall blocks anyone.”

My sister combined 14, 15, and 16 in her response:

https://ptsd-acceptingcopingthriving.com/2017/07/17/different-facets/

My response:

Asking for help meant admitting weakness, failure, being wrong. I didn’t say it was true; I said that’s what it meant to me. How did I learn this? What happened when I asked for help growing up?

I was spoken to like I was stupid. “It’s easy…” “It’s simple…” “Anyone can do this. All you have to do is…” “What do we need to do to make sure you never make the mistake again?” Yes, not knowing was treated like a mistake.

For me, one of the worst was “Watch me.” I was frequently scolded for not paying attention, except I was. I simply couldn’t translate what they did into what I needed to do.

What I need: Let me do it and talk me through, step by step, and don’t skip a step and expect me to be intuitive about it. Sometimes, I am, but I’m often not. Once I’ve learned it, I enjoy exploring and trying variations, if it’s applicable.

It’s important to recognize that I needed to figure out what I needed before I could ask for it. I only figured this out a few years ago.

Like the person above stated, sometimes, asking for help required payment… I won’t go into that ugliness here, except to point out that the trade was never fair or balanced. They would give a little, and I was required to give almost everything. Then I would be required to be thankful for what they’d done for me. And if I didn’t properly verbalize my gratitude (above and beyond the price I’d been emotionally blackmailed into paying), then I was ungrateful.

To say the least, trust is a nightmare issue all it’s own. Keeping up walls, with me safely inside and unsafe people outside, was an obvious solution. It was also a healthy solution, around the abusers. I experienced a lot of disasters letting people in I thought were safe but weren’t. I didn’t know how to recognize who was safe and who wasn’t, re-enforcing the need for walls. Being alone all the time isn’t healthy. I was healthy enough to recognize that and the need for change.

I had a church leader tell me that all I needed was Jesus Christ. Yes and no. A simplistic answer for a complex problem. I replied, “How can Jesus Christ help me if I don’t trust Him?” My counselors helped me restore the trust that had been brutally stripped from me. It required practice, lots and lots of practice, pretty much like anything worthwhile.

I’m much better at asking for help when I need it. I’ve still a lot to learn, but I’m improving. Sometimes, the problem lies in not realizing I need help. Other times, I know I need help, but I don’t know what kind. I don’t like asking for blanket help because it too easily leaves the door open for offers I don’t want or need.

My last counselor didn’t ask me to drop the walls. He asked me to build gates and not one big one but a series of gates. People were allowed to enter if they met certain criteria. Of those allowed past the first gate, some were allowed to enter the next gate, working their way inward. It isn’t perfect, but it’s much better than keeping everyone out or allowing everyone in.


Responses

  1. The gate analogy makes sense to me too. It allowed varying degrees of trust instead of all or nothing.

    • Exactly.

  2. Judy, wonderful photo to end this enlightening post. “It’s important to recognize that I needed to figure out what I needed before I could ask for it.” Very wise. And with the concept of building gates vs. a wall, it allows for more flexibility ~ such a necessity in today’s world.

    • Thanks. One of our sunsets. And yes it is.


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