More on Asking for Help

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I’ve been brooding about the issue of asking for help since I wrote the last post, so I decided to continue writing about my feelings about help in general.

A friend pointed out that this seems to be a topic that usually is mentioned only in passing; she had never heard of a whole workshop or book about difficulties in asking for help. Instead, it’s, “Oh, by the way, asking for help is hard for some people.”

Strange, because I know an awful lot of people who just suck it up and do without. In the US, at least, it seems to be a matter of pride to be self-sufficient and to never even think about relying on somebody else. We often act insulted if we are offered help, even when it is obvious we could use a hand.

I know the issue is a biggie for me because I don’t usually brood about such things. But it was on my mind so much that I started brooding about why I was brooding about it. Not helpful.

I wondered if the adults in the cult had messed with the word “help” itself and made it mean something else entirely. I remember how they ruined the word “safe” for me. They told me that I was so evil that I would kill all the animals that were being saved for sacrifice and might kill some people, too. So they locked me in a large steel box, which they called a safe, to keep the people and animals safe, and they only let me out when the ritual was over. So “safe” means, deep down, that I am a danger to others, not that I am safe from danger. 

I asked inside and didn’t come up with anything specific. It was simply the number of times I was refused help, given help in a form I objected to, was ignored, or was punished for asking for what I needed or wanted. Wanting help became shameful, and the desire to receive help became something to be carefully hidden.

Pretending that help isn’t necessary, or isn’t welcome, is a reflex by now. Another way of saying that is that denial is my preferred defense against feeling helpless. At least now I know it! Now I can take a moment to reflect – would it be better for me to receive help or do it myself? 

The shame has lessened, thank goodness. So has the fear, to an extent. I have learned that if a doctor tries to shame or bully me into doing something, there is no need to be afraid of changing doctors. I couldn’t change parents as a kid – although I spent a great deal of time daydreaming of living in another family – but I am in control now and have every right to refuse to be treated that way.

There is plenty of stigma attached to being old or being disabled in any way. When I am in a wheelchair at the airport, people talk to the attendant and ignore me. Do they think that just because I cannot walk to the gate, I cannot think or cannot talk? Why not assume I can, and treat me like everybody else in that respect? Stigma has nothing to do with having had a cult background. Everybody who has a disability or is a “senior citizen” is treated with condescension.

Yet I still, deep down, think I am being treated that way because I did something wrong. In the cult, I was told that it was my fault and that I deserved what I got. I was told the same thing at home, too, over and over again. Such words sear the soul.

Today I went to the pool at the Jewish Community Center, where I have a membership. The administration is kind enough to give two free vouchers a month for a cab ride to or from the JCC. I used mine today. Here’s what I thought as I was riding home:

“I don’t deserve these vouchers. There are others who need them more than I do.”

“I must have exaggerated my disability to get them.”

“It’s my fault I qualify for them. It’s my fault that I am disabled.”

I felt sad and agitated. Then I got mad! “It’s not my fault I can’t drive!!! I didn’t do anything wrong. There is nothing I could have done to prevent macular degeneration. It’s not my fault at all.” It felt good to get mad – it felt like righteous anger. The emotion blasted through me and left me calm again. I was finally reacting from present-day reality. The feeling-flashback had passed.

Age-related macular degeneration, by the way, is the loss of photosensitive cells in the middle of the macula, which is the part of the eye directly behind the lens. It cannot be reversed, but it can be slowed down by wearing sunglasses and taking special vitamins, which I have been doing faithfully for about ten years. It was this condition that made me stop driving. 

There are two kinds: wet and dry. The dry kind, which I have, progresses slowly. The wet kind, in addition to the loss of photosensitive cells, is characterized by the abnormal growth of blood cells, which can rupture and instantaneously wipe out a large number of cells. Once it is diagnosed, it can be treated by monthly injections right into the eye. About a third of people 85 and older have the dry type, and another eight percent have the wet type. (I’m 82 now.) So, my friends, wear good sunglasses every time you go outdoors, and while you are at it, wear sunscreen and a hat. End of lecture!

Back to asking for help – it would be wonderful if it were possible to spend a month say, working on this issue, and be done with it once and for all. It’s not that way, at least not for me. I know that asking for help will always be difficult and that facet after facet of the problem will present itself for examination. But I also know that I will deal with whatever comes up and that I, and the people around me, will find that living with my limitations will become easier and easier. 


Upcoming Holidays

10/13 Full moon
10/13 Backward Halloween
10/14 (?) Columbus Day
10/31 Halloween/start of the Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year
11/1 All Saints’ Day
11/2 All Souls’ Day
11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day
11/12 Full moon
11/28 US Thanksgiving
12/1, 12/8, 12/15, 12/22 Sundays of Advent
12/11 Full moon
12/21 Winter solstice/Yule/St. Thomas’ Day
12/24 Christmas Eve
12/26 Annular solar eclipse. Totality visible in Saudi Arabia, southern India, Sri Lanka, parts of Indonesia, Singapore, and parts of the Philippines.
12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
9/29 – 10/1 Rosh Hashanah (New Year, Day of Judgement)
10/8 – 10/9 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
10/16 Death of Rosenburg
10/13 – 10/20 Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, harvest festival)
10/19 Death of Goering
10/20 Hitler’s actual half-birthday
10/21 Hitler’s alternative half-birthday (Note: Hitler was born on Easter, so Nazis celebrate his actual birthday and half-birthday on 4/20 and 10/20. His alternate birthday is celebrated on Easter of the current year and his alternate half-birthday six months later.)
10/21 – 10/22 Simchat Torah (celebration of the complete annual cycle of reading of the Torah)
11/9 Kristallnacht State-ordered pogroms against Jews in Germany and Austria)
12/22 – 12/30 Chanukah
(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices and the equinoxes)

7 thoughts on “More on Asking for Help

  1. This comment is from an email from a dear friend; I have permission to share it. She is right, we often have the same issues front and center. I cherish her insights for (at least) three reasons:

    1. She doesn’t have an RA background. She had more than her fair share of serious abuse and illness in her childhood, though, so she has had to struggle all her life.

    2. Her personality is very different from mine so we have a great deal to learn from each other. She’s more of a fighter, more adventurous, more out in the world than I am. I’m quieter and tend to hang back and observe things.

    Our differences mean we have different takes on the same issue

    3. The fact that she shares so much with me means she likes me!


    In reading your most recent post on asking for help, I am struck by how we mirror each other in the issues that are forefront for us.

    For me, of late, the newest awareness is that asking for help with my physical limits makes its imprint on me that I DO need help and that once I get the help I see how much I did need it. It makes my situation more real to me.

    Also, it also makes me deal directly with feeling “less than” if I say I can’t do it or even just want someone to help me do it. I then have the feelings of helplessness, incompetence, weakening, loss etc. come up that are in my head and in my patterning that need to GO GO GO far away anyway.

    The best way for them to go away for me is to tolerate them, thus go through them rather than continue to avoid them. The avoidance hasn’t worked so far. The part where I realize it makes me feel more supported by people and the Universe if I ask has been not in my range of human choices until lately. I had to be crawling before I could ask for help. Now I can stand but prefer to have someone stand with me or even just accompany me.

    I realized that when I had a ten-year-old boy help me put things away and organize some stuff in the garage. True it focused me on a date and time and also he could pick things off the floor easier etc, but it was having someone there to be with me int eh task I kept putting off. It is easier for me when I pay someone and now I am learning how to be more gracious, say thank you and tolerate my NEED to pay them back with a gift or money. It is like giving candy to kids in kindergarten in order to be liked.

    Lastly, for me, also I have to repeat to myself how much it means to me and to my friends and many others to do something nice for someone. IT feels so good and it is such a nice concrete way to show support rather than just say it. It keeps that good energy afloat or, better put, joins in with the general goodwill we need to keep afloat as humans. If someone offers and doesn’t mean it, then THEY should suffer the consequences of their insincerity rather than me thinking they really don’t mean it.
    Just sharing my most recent finding on the subject for me.



  2. Beautiful post. Righteous anger indeed. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where people were emotionally intelligent and we didn’t even need to ask for certain kinds of help, or in some cases, basic human decency?
    Fun nerdy fact about emotional neglect, it does literally sear us. Emotional neglect in childhood causes tiny tears on the surface of the brain; actual holes where love should’ve been. The good news is they can heal! By loving ourselves and being properly cared for, whether we’re 22, 42 or 82, those scars can heal. Love is that powerful.
    You deserve to be loved and cared for.


    1. And what a beautiful comment. We are working toward that world, aren’t we? Not in our generation, but if more and more of us work, every year, every day, someday it will happen. And what a wonderful thought, that there is a biological basis that love heals. Even if it doesn’t smooth out the damaged brain surface, it feels good to give love, and with practice it also feels good to receive it.

      I was reading your blog and you are a kindred soul and a really good writer. Glad we found each other!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I 100% agree Jean. I’m glad we found each other too. Keep taking good care of you and sharing your important insights with the world. ❤️


  3. I hatehatehatehatehate asking for help!!! And am in a position of great need now in which I am overwhelmingly needy. I stopped asking for help because my life has become a black hole of insufficiency. Still, offers of help come. Which I accept. Gratefully. Yet I hate taking the unsolicited help almost as much as I hate asking for any. Cult related? What isn’t?


  4. I have been thinking about this stuff, on and off. What it must be like to be filled with doubt or uncertainty after a life time of abuse. How hard it must be to trust one’s internal feelings. It might be the toughest obstacle to overcome. And worse, who do you trust for help? The entirety of psychology and Psychiatry are just extensions of the CIA monsters. I can see where even finding help would be a problem. All I can do is tell you how I feel or think, having had far less abuse done to me, although having tourettes (undiagnosed) and a real @$$hole for a father, I have grinded my teeth away to nothing. If anyone wants my opinion, I am more than open to offer my view. What I can say is that you all show a determination to get better and after what you have gone thru, that is no small thing. I myself believe in God and the Bible. For sure, the Bible is the opposite of Satanism. My work on psychology and the Bible and prophecy are extensive. My site is down right now as I switch hosts. It should be back up soon. But I imagine that trust or exploration has to be hard for recovering ritual abuse victims.


    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I imagine you have many of the same issues that we do, and I welcome you here.

      As for CIA and the helping professions, not all of us are contaminated. They planted disinformation, which we must counter, and they put up obstacales, which we must work around. Their influence is far greater than their numbers due to their skill in manipulating people and the money they have at their disposal. Luckily, we can learn to identify who is trustworthy and who fails the test.


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