Help Wanted?

This week, I was nearby when someone was being assaulted.  The victim knew the person who was hurting her, and it was unclear if she would have wanted me to call the police on her behalf.  I had my phone in one hand and my brand new pepper spray in the other, and I froze.  I could feel my heart beating and I could hear the blood rushing in my ears.  I wanted to make myself invisible so that I would not be drawn into the violence. 

Later, I felt guilty that I didn’t help.  It all happened so fast, and my response felt primitive.  I am still trying to process it. 

Helping is usually my inclination, both personally and professionally, but it is not always clear when to ask for help, or who to ask for it.  It is also my inclination to fend for myself. I am used to being on my own.  Asking for help feels foreign, and a bit scary.

I am in the midst of changing my life.  I have taken my songwriter-self out of the margins, and I am working to create a musical living. I wonder if help is available, and if so, who do I ask for it?  Who would offer?  Who would I offend?  Who can I partner with, so that in helping each other, we both succeed? How can I build a team, or join one?

These are questions I am trying to answer.  I believe that I need to get clearer about what I need and what help would look like, and then take the risk of asking.  It is interesting to me that in my experience, helping feels good, but asking for help feels scary. 

Do you ask for help?

6 comments

  • Clara Bellino

    Clara Bellino

    I love how you write Denise, and I like that you isolated the fact that it's easier for you to help than ask for help. When I attended and spoke at the Independent Music Conference a number of the professionals who spoke, in different fields, kept reiterating how they want to help. How you ask matters. But if you do your research and find out what they're about and are genuinely appreciative of that is a good way to approach. Develop a relationship. When you're there for people, because you want to be, it makes it easier to ask I think. I also, in asking for help there, tried to follow my instinct as to who felt "right". The people who are to be your helpers will be happy to hear from you. You provide your value, and they provide theirs.

    I love how you write Denise, and I like that you isolated the fact that it's easier for you to help than ask for help. When I attended and spoke at the Independent Music Conference a number of the professionals who spoke, in different fields, kept reiterating how they want to help. How you ask matters. But if you do your research and find out what they're about and are genuinely appreciative of that is a good way to approach. Develop a relationship. When you're there for people, because you want to be, it makes it easier to ask I think. I also, in asking for help there, tried to follow my instinct as to who felt "right". The people who are to be your helpers will be happy to hear from you. You provide your value, and they provide theirs.

  • Denise

    Denise

    Thanks Clara. That rings true. I appreciate you sharing this. My next step to to clarify what I am asking for. It feels good to have you in my corner. I am in yours too... My best, Denise

    Thanks Clara. That rings true. I appreciate you sharing this. My next step to to clarify what I am asking for. It feels good to have you in my corner. I am in yours too...
    My best,
    Denise

  • Clara Bellino

    Clara Bellino

    Thank you Denise! It is great to know we are in each others' corners :) I know you will figure out what you know you would like help with. And then, it might surprise you that some people are offering help in areas you hadn't even thought of asking help in, but you find yourself thinking, why not? I bet I can learn something from this person. Have fun, xo

    Thank you Denise! It is great to know we are in each others' corners smile I know you will figure out what you know you would like help with. And then, it might surprise you that some people are offering help in areas you hadn't even thought of asking help in, but you find yourself thinking, why not? I bet I can learn something from this person. Have fun, xo

  • Denise

    Denise

    I think you are right! Thanks again Clara...

    I think you are right!
    Thanks again Clara...

  • Knitman

    Knitman

    Asking for help can be extremely difficult and painful thing to do. I consider it one of the greatest gifts of my recovery that I'm able to ask for help easily. I used to be into self harm in a big way and I did seek help for it. Unfortunately these so-called professionals of whom I asked help did not have a clue how to help me. Not one of them even considered my past and by that I mean they did not ask and the one I had the courage to tell told me that that was over and done with and what we were trying to deal with was the self harm! It was not until I found a really good therapist who did not concentrate on the self harm but who wanted to know in detail the years of violence and sexual abuse and some of the sexual abuse included filming of the abuse. This therapist also had to de-programme me from my religious thinking which was a huge stumbling block in any ability to get well. I came to trust him and I started to tell him the truth but I also became absolutely terrified because I truly believed that God would strike me down dead for telling on my parents. Honour thy father and my mother. Commandment that can have terrible consequences. Anyway I got the help that I needed and my life changed beyond measure. The best way I can describe it is that I ceased to live in monochrome and started to live in Technicolor. I have brain damage and a disintegrating spine. I use an electric wheelchair. I often have to ask people for help. Most usually in shops because items are too high for me to reach. People are always very kind and they helped me. I am not embarrassed to ask for help although I was at first and even today if I am having one of those emotional flashback days, asking for help can be impossible. I am sure this is much more than you wanted Denise but it is my experience of asking for help and why it is absolutely necessary for all of us to accept the fact that all of us need help and that we need to be able to ask for it. Pride can be a real f*cker!!

    Asking for help can be extremely difficult and painful thing to do. I consider it one of the greatest gifts of my recovery that I'm able to ask for help easily.

    I used to be into self harm in a big way and I did seek help for it. Unfortunately these so-called professionals of whom I asked help did not have a clue how to help me. Not one of them even considered my past and by that I mean they did not ask and the one I had the courage to tell told me that that was over and done with and what we were trying to deal with was the self harm!

    It was not until I found a really good therapist who did not concentrate on the self harm but who wanted to know in detail the years of violence and sexual abuse and some of the sexual abuse included filming of the abuse. This therapist also had to de-programme me from my religious thinking which was a huge stumbling block in any ability to get well. I came to trust him and I started to tell him the truth but I also became absolutely terrified because I truly believed that God would strike me down dead for telling on my parents. Honour thy father and my mother. Commandment that can have terrible consequences.

    Anyway I got the help that I needed and my life changed beyond measure. The best way I can describe it is that I ceased to live in monochrome and started to live in Technicolor.

    I have brain damage and a disintegrating spine. I use an electric wheelchair. I often have to ask people for help. Most usually in shops because items are too high for me to reach. People are always very kind and they helped me. I am not embarrassed to ask for help although I was at first and even today if I am having one of those emotional flashback days, asking for help can be impossible.

    I am sure this is much more than you wanted Denise but it is my experience of asking for help and why it is absolutely necessary for all of us to accept the fact that all of us need help and that we need to be able to ask for it. Pride can be a real f*cker!!

  • Denise

    Denise

    Dear Knitman, Thank you for sharing your story here. It is a powerful one. My heart hears your pain, and I wish you had been spared that. It is good to know you are thriving now,even as you deal with the consequences of the abuse you suffered. I too am learning the transformative powers of asking for help. There is a lot of kindness in the world looking for a home. Thank you for reading my blog, and for adding your voice. Much appreciated. My best to you, Denise

    Dear Knitman,
    Thank you for sharing your story here. It is a powerful one. My heart hears your pain, and I wish you had been spared that. It is good to know you are thriving now,even as you deal with the consequences of the abuse you suffered. I too am learning the transformative powers of asking for help. There is a lot of kindness in the world looking for a home. Thank you for reading my blog, and for adding your voice. Much appreciated.
    My best to you,
    Denise

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