A few weeks back (or was it just last week, it seems like forever ago) Pete and I went to Verizon to get new phones. Towards the end I noticed one of my apps wasn't working right so I asked the guy and he fiddled with it for a little bit and then tossed the phone back at me and said "all set thanks bye" and started to walk away.
I look down at my phone and then at Pete's and realized it still wasn't working right. There was a moment I considered just adapting and dealing with it because I didn't want to bother the guy (who was being PAID to help me). But I persisted and he fidgeted a little more and said "oh it's the app not the phone". I pointed to Pete's and said, "His is working fine so it's clearly not the app." After several more go rounds the phone was fixed and the issue resolved.
As Pete and I walked out the store I turned to him and said that I was so reassured just knowing he was in the store. Because had I been by myself I would have just given up and walked out.
He asked why and I replied, because I felt ashamed that I need help.
I'm realizing a lot lately how much shame I'm carrying around with me.
Especially heavy is the shame I feel whenever I realize that I need someone else, anyone else. Whether it is assistance at a store, to reschedule a meeting, needing help around the house because I don't know or can't do something on my own, moving, being sick, and especially with the crazy rolling around in my head I just haven't been able to do it. So much shame.
I would never ever encourage that in anyone else, not even my worst enemy (ok, maybe her but well...I'm working on that) but it's the ONLY reaction I have to needing help.
I spend massive amounts of time composing texts, emails, even Facebook posts and Tweets so that I don't sound like I need help. So that I don't sound needy and demanding.
Because deep down, hell, right here on the surface, I feel like if I make even the slightest demand or am the tiniest bit inconvenient to you you will completely shut me out and down and I will lose my relationship with you.
It's irrational. But it's true.
I measure my words.
I measure my actions.
I think through most conversations I have to the nth degree trying to anticipate any conflict points or ways I might irritate you and I either figure out how to avoid them or come up witty retorts to make sarcastic jokes out of them.
I don't know how, or even if, I'll be able to overcome that. It seems so daunting. This word.
Which is also how I know it's the right word for me right now.