I don’t like it when people help me. It’s painful! Or at least vulnerable.
For one thing, I don’t want to put anyone out. When I had pneumonia, a friend offered to come get my kids for the day. And I almost said, “No, I’ll be fine,” because I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone. I had freakin’ pneumonia, people! And I was still trying to not be a bother.
But I think, even more than that, my introvert side is hesitant to allow people free access to my Personal Zone. Because sometimes my Personal Zone (i.e. my bathroom) is kind of messy.
When Phoebe came along, friends started to offer help. By default, I was ready to brush them aside with, “Thanks, but I think we’re OK.” Chris, who knows I do this, convinced me that I needed to let people help me.
One of his persuasion tactics was asking a friend to pick the kids up for school for the first two weeks after he went back to work. He told me the plan once it was all settled. So I decided to throw caution to the wind and jump headfirst into being helped.
I mean, I’m still not OK with people dropping by the house unannounced (I might have a mild panic attack… or more likely, just not answer the door). But when people offer help, I’m learning to accept.
In the past few weeks, friends watched my kids so I could run errands. They brought food. Someone even came over and dyed my (unwashed) hair. And most of the time, I hadn’t had a shower, my sink was full of dishes, and I hadn’t cleaned the bathroom in a week.
Because, apparently there are people who love me enough to not mind that I have no makeup on and can’t remember the last time I swept my floors. They don’t care if my table is covered with stacks of papers that my husband considers a filing system. Or if all of our laundry is unfolded and my house smells like poopy diapers.
And I think I feel OK with allowing people like that into my messy chaos once in awhile. At least more OK than I would have been a couple of years ago.
Maybe this means I’ve gotten over myself just a little bit more. Maybe I’m becoming a healthier person. Or maybe I’m just too tired to care.