February 7, 2008

You Know Who You Are

I had an epiphany of sorts in the bath today- a great place to think, you know? I have been very out of it lately with illness and pregnancy stuff and my coping mechanism is to close up and just take care of myself on my own. I don't need or want anyone else taking care of me, and I honestly was thinking today it's not because I don't need help. I think part of it is because I don't want to be seen down and not 100%. I'm supposed to be the one that has my act together. I'd rather be the caretaker than the taken care of. I'm a chronic "everything's fine, I'll be fine" sayer when that may not be the truth (like, say, when I'm in the hospital even). I do prefer to be left alone, but I certainly don't intend to make the people I love feel pushed away.

There's a couple very close friends that I'm afraid I've been doing that to lately and I am trying to figure out my rhymes & reasons while I still incredibly appreciate their offers for help. And on the flip side, when it comes time for me to offer my hand or shoulder for support, they'll see where I'm coming from in not wanting to intrude too much, but still wanting to be there. It's a dance I hope to figure out soon. I really want to be a good friend.

This is not only an obstacle in my friend-life, but also something I really have to watch with my marriage and my relationship with Christ. We are not meant to do it all on our own. Why be so hard on myself? I'm working on it.

Of course, these close friends I speak of probably know me better than I think and have already figured this all out. But, I just kinda found this out about myself today. I feel optimistic now.

And very thankful for patient friends.


  1. Ah yes, the combination of being uncomfortable with vulnerability and forgetting that letting people help is a gift to THEM, as well as you.

    I think this is an ongoing problem for strong women...knowing when not to be.

    Accepting that people that love you are dying to help, because your struggle is their struggle--no matter how many times you say you're ok, is something that I doubt you are alone in figuring out.


  2. Steph:

    You described me to a 'tee'! You should have been my child! I know exactly where you're coming from! Glad you're feeling better!
    Love you,
    Aunt Diane

  3. There's a balance between being too self-reliant and painfully vulnerable, I think. Remember that your friends love you and genuinely want to help.

  4. Oh, I understand. Boy, do I understand!

    It took me awhile to finally admit my feelings during the time after Mark was born. I never wanted to reveal my fears and, in my mind at the time, failures. When I finally opened up, the load was taken off. I think we all have areas that we chug through and learn from. It sounds like you are doing that now. And I never felt put on the backburner. I figure you have your stuff to work through and you know I am here (I've called enough - ha!).

    It's better to be teachable than not, I say.


  5. I desperately hate to ask anyone for help. I can SO relate. ((hug))

  6. I can totally relate!

    And your best friends--they know it already, you are right! (mine sure do...)

  7. I always accept help when I'm not able to do for myself. But I rarely ask, and I'd MUCH rather be left alone if I'm ill (or in labor! GO AWAY!)

  8. I agree with you -- I am always the one doing the caring and not the taking of care. I think it's just a part of motherhood.

    I also think pulling away from others is because this darn winter has been SO long!! :)

  9. I think that's why fellowship with other Believers is so important to the Christian faith. We're not meant to go this ("life") alone. :)

  10. really great thoughts. it is always lovely finding out something new about our selves. oh, and everytime i see someone "wearing their baby" i think of you! lately i've seen the carriers everywhere!

  11. So honest. I love it. Feel better!

  12. I am the same way when it comes to my motherhood. I feel like if I ask for help or appear to need/want help it makes people think I can't handle things.

  13. gah! I'm just going to send you a stinkin email, but just wanted to say here for the record that asking for help would never diminish your super woman status. ;)

    Love you.

  14. Yup, you'll always be super woman to me.


  15. It IS hard and uncomfortable to let others help. I always feel that way because I think there's always someone else that needs it more than me.


  16. I know how you are feeling. I turn in to myself all the time especially recently when my husband left for deployment.

    You are very blessed to have such wonderful friends and I'm sure they knew what was going on. You are a wise woman to be able to reflect on yourself and see what you may or may not be doing.

    Remember you are not alone when it comes to letting others help you and accepting the help too.

  17. Well I hope that your friends and family are understanding enough to realize that things aren't really normal in your life with pregnancy and everything. It's a tough time and most people can understand that--at least I hope so. Enjoy that bath!

  18. Oh goodness. Good timing for me. Thanks for that.

    And what!? Pregnant?! Congratulations!

  19. I am the exact same way. I don't know why.
    I must remember that it also makes people feel good when they can help. And sometimes letting someone help you, helps them.
    Just one more thing I need to work on.

  20. It's funny how other people can see things so clearly in us but we can't see it ourselves. I'm sure your friends understand.

  21. The people that love you the most know you already but it is rather sweet of you to put it into words the best way you can.

    Hope you are feeling better.

  22. I can VERY MUCH relate. I do the very stinkin same. xo.

  23. I'm the same way, everything could be falling apart as well as myself but when asked, need any help? I always say, no I'm fine I can handle it. Knowing darn well inside I do need help but just refuse to let anyone help because I'm the caregiver,supermom, superwife, and superworker who never stops no matter what, even when I'm on my death bed.

    It all comes from the mother in us, we want to mother not be mothered. It's really hard to let that role go, it takes practice.

  24. Hope things are getting better for you.

  25. Hmmm. I really get this. It literally makes me nervous when people try to help me when I'm struggling badly. I usually only want my husband around because I don't want others to see me if I'm feeling "a mess."

    Obviously, you're not alone :-) Glad things are looking up for you.

  26. Wow - when I read this, I thought "you described me to a 'T'" and then I read what your Aunt Diane said, and realized that I couldn't really open with that line. :)

    "I don't intend to make people I love feel pushed away," but gosh, friend, I do that too. Thanks for meditating on this. I needed to hear this reflection.

  27. Sometimes, we as women are our toughest critics on ourselves. We have such expectations of ourselves and it is difficult to ask for help in times that it is needed the most.

    I always have a difficult time admitting when I need help because for me, it always seems like something dramatic is going on in my life. It makes me feel like a failure to admit that I can't handle the obstacles that put forth in my path to learn from.

    Take comfort in knowing that your true friends likely already see this in you and love you for this quality. And, if the time should ever come and you fall, they will be there with open and loving arms to catch you.


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