Strength in Vulnerability

I’m really rather shitty when it comes to asking other people for help and support. I’ve definitely improved since leaving my marriage, but it’s still something I have a tough time with.

At least my reasons have changed. It used to be that I felt, deep down like I didn’t deserve help and support from others. I just simply didn’t feel worthy of it. These days it’s because I want to portray the image of the “strong and independent woman” that I’ve worked so hard to become.

It used to be that I wanted other people to magically know what it was that I needed, and simply provide it for me without being asked. I felt that if they truly knew and loved me, they would be able to offer up whatever it is I needed. But now? Now I tend to push people away and tell myself that I can do it on my own.

This includes CBG.

In the past three years I’ve had times when I just curl up inside myself. I push him away, and spend a few days being quiet, feeling like shit, and dealing with whatever is bothering me all on my own. During these times I usually tell myself many lies. I tell myself that CBG couldn’t handle providing the support that I need. I tell myself that I need to be the strong, independent and self-sufficient woman that he sees me as. I tell myself that I can’t allow my weaknesses to show…that I need to suck it up and deal with it all on my own – because it’s no one else’s job to “fix” me and my issues but me.

In talking with my ex husband over the weekend (which is another blog post entirely on its own) he reminded me that there is strength to be had in vulnerability…in speaking up for our wants and needs and allowing others to support us when we really need it.

And he’s right. Every time I push CBG away, I deny us both several things. I deny myself his comfort. I deny that wonderful feeling of allowing someone else to prop us up just for a little while. I deny my own needs. I deny CBG the ability to get to know all of me. I deny him the good feeling of helping out someone you love.

I know that this is something I need to turn around. It’s a tough one, though, since this is a tendency I’ve carried with me for most of my life. But it gets in the way of me living the best life I can live, and it gets in the way of my relationship with CBG. And if those aren’t two very good reasons to change, I don’t know what is.

7 Responses

  1. You hit on something I’ve realized lately too. It denies him the good feeling of helping me. You know I do this too.

    Live, love and learn, right?

  2. Wow, so insightful re: ‘denying him the good feeling of helping you’ – so so true. I fall into this sometimes too and just think I need to figure it out myself and thus go into overthinking tailspin mode. I am glad that you are working on this and it reminds me to do the very same.

  3. It IS so hard to allow yourself to be vulnerable to the point of asking for help. It can be a pride thing, but it can also be a fear thing. Sounds like it’s more a fear of being vulnerable thing for you. But please, do lean on CBG in times like this. You deserve his comfort and love. Never deny yourself that.

  4. Regarding being the “strong, independent woman,” I have similar issues and my therapist told me to look at it this way: Do you think any less of CBG or of your friends when they ask you for help? Of course not. You give to them because you love them and would never look down on them or think they are weak because they can’t do everything themselves.

    And “I deny CBG the ability to get to know all of me.” is an amazing insight that I hope to remember the next time I’m in a similar situation.

  5. I feel the same way you do. I tend to push people away or clam up and try and fix it on my own. Sometimes I’m scared to appear weak or vulnerable. It’s happened a couple of times in my new relationship and when I finally do open up I get a big “Why didn’t you tell me so at least I could talk to you about it or just listen”. I’m getting better at it – but it’s still hard.

  6. Well. I had some stuff to add and then I read singleishmom’s comment and really, she said it WAY better than I did. I hope it makes sense to you. 🙂 Damn therapists sometimes know what they are talking about.

  7. Love this post … I’ve had to work at asking for help since my divorce and like you at first, I never wanted to admit I needed it. I’m better at it these days.

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