It’s a duel-edged sword, asking for help. Go to the right person and no matter the outcome, things can get better. Ask someone who will later turn around and use it against you, well that was obviously the wrong person. Several years back I desperately needed help from my ex’s parents, and they helped. But the cost of not being able to fix the problem I needed to go to them for in the first place caused such grief that I haven’t asked another person for anything more than for someone to open the door.
Money is a great divider of people and especially families. I was keeping the majority of things afloat, using every trick I had been taught in school to move money around at the necessary times, having someone else point out where to quickly stop the bleeding. Trying to juggle all of it became such a weight I didn’t know what to do. When it became apparent that I couldn’t pay the money back as quickly as I had promised, the world started to collapse. I was told to stay away from family things, cut out of everything.
The medical bills were coming in and we all know that they aren’t the most forgiving of people when it comes to payments. I set up a system to handle it, but as my health became more of an issue, more money was going out the door. Her mother was demanding things, making it impossible for us to do anything. And then her mother started demanding that she leave me. This came at a time when we had also lost our daughter, the ex spinning from a world of emotions I can’t explain because I don’t know how to. She withdrew and never came back. First just skipping things and spending time going back to grad school [something I always encouraged, willing to eat nothing for breakfast if it meant we could afford it.] I couldn’t help her overcome the notion of my failure, and with her mother constantly reminding people of it there was never a chance to do anything. It was okay for my parents to witness it all, but her family turned a blind eye.
Her last phone call to me consisted of her asking if I wanted to take care of her. Of course I did, but I couldn’t do it when she was living at her parents place. You can’t help someone when you can’t get near them. It tore my heart out to her those words and not be able to pick her up and carry her to the couch. Just let her rest while I did anything possible to make her feel better.
Since that time I haven’t asked for a thing from people. I called a friend to check on me one night when I first started the Chemotherapy, but haven’t since. My guilt overriding it all. I eventually left the area just so I could find someone I trusted to help me make it through the treatments. The friends I’m staying with are family to me, willing to kick my ass when I need it. Willing to hold my hand when I’m scared of what some doctor is going to tell me. They love me for all of the good and all of the bad that I can be. I wish that my ex’s family had been willing to do the same.
About the closest I come to asking for anything is a few times I hope that people like what I write. It doesn’t mean hitting a button, but maybe something I said clicks with them.
I know I need help, but I’m so afraid to ask for it that I just don’t talk to people anymore. Only a small handful of people know I’m sick, even they have kept my secret from others. My being in Boston has raised some questions, but others have said I’m just here teaching a seminar, or taking one. I’m not sure which at this point.
So I’ll leave this post with something I was playing on the piano the other day, my adopted niece loving the song, hating the message. It’s an important one once you get past the hurt feelings –
I have done all you asked of me, leaves me nothing to live for.
Coming undone, Way to high a price, I should pay.
You keep your pride, While I die inside.
Every day, I can’t lie anymore, won’t pretend I’ve done all I can.
You can’t imagine the hell I’m going through.
Not asking you to save me, I’m too far from heaven.
Nothing you can do to change me, But accept me as I am.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Am a Rock.”