letting someone care . . .
It’s no secret that I have an incredible hard time allowing someone to love and care for me without taking 3 steps back and building an ankle size wall just in case I get hurt.
Today in therapy my therapist took my hand, and gently told me words that I was not prepared to hear; words I usually run from while my fingers are in my ears trying hard to avoid it at all costs – he said “somewhere deep inside you want to be loved and cared for and that is OK”.
I noticed that my immediate reaction was tears in defense saying “NO! no I don’t” (that was the 3 steps back and the ankle built wall that I am so good at doing).
I think even I was a little taken back by my tears and immediate defense, and truly wondering inside if I did need or want.
I call it the dreaded “D” word.. DEPENDENCY! I fear dependency! the thought of being dependent on another person to make me feel whole or connected makes me want to run far far away!
My relationship with God is the same.. I don’t ask God for help, I just thank him. I told my therapist last week that I dont ask God for things because he has 1 billion people ahead of me that is in more need than my little problems. He reminded me that with God, there is no waiting list, he’s there whenever you need him, you just need to accept – much like the people in my life today.
I haven’t quite figured out why I am so scared of dependency. I have pretty much taken care of myself all my life. Maybe it has to do with rejection – if I don’t ask, I cannot get rejected.
When I was little, I would hide small little notes in my dads wallet before he went to work, because I was afraid to ask him myself. I was afraid of the answer. I would ponder all day about him seeing that “note” – afraid of the answer – afraid of the rejection. Its so much easier to just go without, than to be rejected.
Today, I do the same thing (no I don’t leave notes in people’s wallet) – but I do hide behind a lot of things. I will send a text to someone and put my phone on silent so that I don’t hear the response back, and I will only look when I am ready for the possible rejection. Sometimes I will be afraid to even look at my phone in fear that the person who I asked something of; just didn’t care to answer.
If I have something hard to ask, I will hide behind an email, instead of talking to the person. I will leave a voicemail to someone to where it’s not instant – there is time for the possible rejection or acception. I brace myself for the storm, but it’s not a storm, it’s a need or a want that I am simply too scared to accept.
Taking care of myself is the easy route, but then there is also a curse to that – the curse being that when I am having a hard time, I am alone in the hard; unless I reach out. The curse is, I never get to experience what it’s like to have a HUG when I truly NEED one unless it’s given to me. I dont have a problem hugging another person in need, or hearing another person when they need something – but when I need a hug or comfort or need something from someone else, I have to justify it as being OK.
When I was in the hospital at the beginning of May for 4 days, the nurses were so mad at me because I would always get up and get my own drinks, and or whatever I needed. The nurse put me back in bed and said “call me if you need anything”. Well it took about 5 times of them getting angry with me before I got the message! I would try the same trick on the NEW nurse when they switched shifts until I heard one nurse outside of my room telling the new nurse on shift “she is really sweet, but it’s hard to keep her in bed to get well”.
It was hard having a nurse there caring for me, pampering me, helping me, attending to my every need. I felt bad for the nurse not realizing “this is her job”. I just wanted to do it myself – actually I thought I had to do it myself.
I am finding more and more in this healing work that its harder to do it alone, but in real, deep inside, I know I am not alone! I just need to accept it. I need to let someone care for me and let it be OK.
In talking about this in session today, my therapist reminded me and told me that he cares very much about me, and although the blood was rushing to my head in fear of those words because I tend to block those things out getting ready to reject it; I accepted it and heard it. It took a few moments as I shook my head a couple of times trying to make sense of the words “I care about you”.. but I took a chance to hear it and accept it.
I even struggle sometimes to let my own husband know I need help.. I will sometimes walk into his office, think about it, ponder it, and sometimes I end up walking out of the room and try and handle it on my own. BUT being married 20 years, I think my husband has picked up on the “Karen needs something face” – I just need to learn how to accept it.
I dont think my fear of losing my indapendance will ever go away, it’s too strong. It’s internally built, but I can nudge it a little and try and accept the people in my life who do care and love me; I just need to try and find a way to fully accept it without the “taking 3 steps back to build the ankle sized wall”.
So today I am accepting all that was offered to me in connection, and I am going to take one step at a time to try and find self worth in those connections that were offered to me.
One step at a time – letting someone care.
June 19, 2012 at 3:48 PM
Karen dear – first of all, I am SO THRILLED that you are back to writing. I am so thrilled that you have a new blog, and that you are doing what you are meant to do (writing to help others).
I am going to be blunt – without even knowing you in person, I don’t think you can stop people from loving the person that you are. You draw this energy that is hard NOT to love, I just wish you could accept it.
I also know that Its not easy to accept being cared for when you are a survivor of abuse, because what comes first is your defense.
Your therapist is right, it’s OK to want to be cared for and loved, you need that in your life right now to heal just like people need water to live.
I love this blog writing and may share it. I love the part about you leaving notes in your fathers wallet, for some reason, I can picture you doing that very softly, and gently, and carefully. Makes me sad though.
Thank you for emailing me about your new blog, I am excited for this new path of yours and can’t wait to read about it.
June 19, 2012 at 3:51 PM
I have to admit, I had tears when I read about the note in the wallet, or how you have to shut your phone off when you send a text. It must be hard living a life constantly in fear. I cannot imagine not turning to those who I need. I cannot imagine trying to do it myself, and here you are living it everyday?
Thank you for letting me know that your blog was moved, I thoroughly enjoy reading your healing journey.
June 19, 2012 at 3:58 PM
I’m amazed at how much this is true to me and seeing it in words….I have no words, and Yes, I do all of those things still….I like my bubble and I’m afraid to talk to any and everyone and the response is always worse. Thanks, Love ya, Melissa
Deanna J. H.
June 19, 2012 at 3:58 PM
Hi There Karen,
I first of all want to say thank you for letting me know about your new blog. I was wondering why I wasn’t getting emails about your blog updating, and then I checked and your blog was down and I got worried, so thank you.
By the way, your profile photo for your blog is gorgeous, I would love to have HALF of your hair 🙂
I love this blog you wrote today. I agree with what Shannon said, I cannot imagine putting a note in a wallet because you were afraid to ask, and I can’t even imagine or fathom being scared to look at your phone afraid of the result of the need?
I truly hope that you find the strength to accept those who love you, but at the same time, no one knows what it’s like to be you, we can only accept you for who you are, and hope that you can see what we see.
Suzie Gallagher (@pootlesuzie)
June 19, 2012 at 6:33 PM
Welcome back to blog life Karen. I connected with much of your post. I remember the time when I never asked God for anything – I was self sufficient, I was self sacrificing, but all these are about self and I learned to be God centred. It is hard to ask for help. I still don’t do hugs easily! There is love coming at you from Ireland and virtual hugs too.
Blessings to you, your family, your healing and your therapist
June 19, 2012 at 6:34 PM
Karen, I’m always touched by your words. I’m glad that your new blog is up and you are back to writing.