Asking for Help

Last weekend Michael and I talked…a lot.  It was good, needed.  One of the issues we talked about was that I don’t ask him for help.  I try not to let him know if I’m struggling.  I try to handle things on my own.  I don't come to him with things.  This has been the status quo, standard operating procedure for awhile now.  Before we started DD he was ok with that.  He handled his stuff and I handled mine.  We really didn’t communicate much unless we felt the other really needed to know something.  But that’s not how things work now, which is of course a good thing.  However, I still haven’t really been keeping him in the loop.

Lately I’ve been struggling a bit.  I just haven’t been myself.  I imagine if you’ve been reading here you’ve already figured that out.   And thanks so much for the encouragement, by the way.  Finally I told Michael how I’d been feeling and admitted that I could use some help.  He listened and asked some questions and then he wanted to know how I thought he could help.  I told him that I had an idea, but was hesitant to ask.  Of course there was no way I was going to get away without telling him at that point, so I took a deep breath, gathered my courage and told him that I felt like I needed more structure.  He asked if that meant that I needed a list of expectations for the day or week or whatever time period.  I said yes, paused, and then bombarded him with a throng of words explaining about how I felt I should be able to handle things on my own, how I didn’t want to put more on his plate, etc.  He told me that I needed  to stop and reminded me that he had told me that I need to ask him for help when I need it and that he was glad that I had done so.  He said that it made him feel good that I was able to come to him with this.  

He asked me about my to do list.  It’s a list I’d made up for myself to stay on track.  I answered his questions about it and then he told me that he wanted me to email it to him before I went to bed.  Oh.  Um…ok.  Yeah…I can do that.  He said that he’d look it over and we’d talk about it.   Then we talked a bit more about the things going on that are making life stressful right now and how that’s been impacting both of us.  And every now and then he’d reassure me that he was glad that I’d opened up to him and asked for help.  I said that while I feel like I should be able to handle everything on my own and that while admitting that I wasn’t doing so well was hard, that I was glad that I’d told him.  I explained to him how it feels when he has expectations of me.  I told him that when I do something because he expects me to do it, I’m thinking of him and doing it to please him.  Oh, I know, these are mostly things I should do anyway, but emotionally it’s different.  And right now, for whatever reason, I just need more emotional support from him.  And I think having more structure could help me feel that connection when he’s gone.  He seemed to think that made sense and before we said goodnight he reminded me to email him that to do list so that he could look it over.

How will this all play out?  I really don’t know.  I will say that I’m feeling a bit better today.  The sun is out, shining on me through the window as I type.  That always helps.  Michael says that I’m solar powered.  I’m pretty sure he’s on to something there.  But, I think more than that, I just feel better having talked with him about all of this.  When he called I hadn’t planned on saying anything, but he could feel that I was holding something back and when he asked it just all came tumbling out.  And then I wasn’t sure if I should’ve said anything, but he was right there to reassure me.  I’m not used to feeling so needy and I really don’t know what to make of it.  While I don’t like that needy feeling, I do like how it feels to know that he’s there for me. 

This morning Michael texted me and said that he may be working on Sunday.  He never works on a Sunday.  And this is the Sunday before Christmas!  And I’m already feeling stressed and overwhelmed.  I got upset at first, but I decided not to text him back right away.  I ended up sending him an email instead.  In it I told him how I was feeling, but that I understood if he felt he needed to work on Sunday.  I asked him to pray about it and then go with whatever felt right to him.  I said that I would trust him to make the right choice, whatever it ends up being.  Do I hope that he doesn’t work on Sunday?  Of course.  But, I realize that might not be the right decision in this instance.  I really don’t know.  Hopefully we’ll both feel at peace with whatever decision he makes.  And I actually feel better having left the decision up to him.  Huh.

As a side note, I wrote this the other day and almost didn't post it today.  I guess there's still a part of me that's struggling with the whole asking for help thing and feeling insecure about it.  I really should be able to handle it all on my own.  I shouldn't need his help...which translates into, I shouldn't need him.  And therein lies the problem.  I do need him and he needs me to need him, and that's a good thing.  If I just keep telling myself that, eventually I'll wrap my head around it, right?


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