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?