This Must Change

This Must Change

Here’s reality: if anything were to happen to my sister, we’d all be screwed, because I can’t pull the weight.

That’s not entirely true, and I know it. In fact, I’ve banked on it, the fact that every time I’ve been in a dire situation, and there didn’t seem to be a way out, I found one. When I was stuck in the snow, I got out of it eventually. The time I drove off the road, I got out of that. The time my car died on me on the highway, I got out of time. When the going got tough, I’ve gotten my tough going. And yet, my first impulse is always to ask for help.


Tonight, I could have ordered a pizza. Did I realize that? Not until I’d already asked my sister to bring me food. Why? Because asking for help is my first impulse. That’s what happened with my boss several times. While it is always good to ask questions, it’s not good to do it as a first resort. Better is to engage those critical thinking skills and help yourself. And again, evidence has demonstrated that I can do it, I just have gotten really used to asking for help being my first option when it comes to women. I am fairly certain this comes from having lost my mother – I turn women I like into mother figures. But they can’t be, because as my friend has frequently pointed out, women have agency – they are not there to take care of me. And what would happen if I was put in a situation where I had to take care of somebody else? What then?

While I don’t think getting a dog is the answer (because I just plain hate dogs), there is something to the idea of having to take care of another living thing. That experience would help me a lot, and while I’m confident I would grow into it, why wait until I’m forced to? Begin here. Now. In this God forsaken city. Just as now I need to make it a point to express empathy, which means to think about how the other person must feel and parrot that emotion back to them, I also need to question it when I feel the urge to ask for help. When I feel like that’s what I want to do, I need to think about what else I can do instead. Make that a habit, and I’m on the right track.

That will prepare me better for everything. Life, relationships – all of it. Wallowing in shame and self-pity about the times I’ve failed to do this in the past will not help me. Teaching myself not to will.

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