Thursday, May 25, 2006


I take pride in doing things on my own; in feeling capable to take on much, if not anything. This independent streak transmits and sometimes manifests as stubbornness, refusal to accept or ask for help, even when I so clearly need the assistance. Someone screamed at me once, "WHY won't you let me help you?" I could only answer, "I don't know, I just can't, don't worry. I'll work it out."

The phrases can you help me? May I borrow? Or even, do you have the time? Do not roll easily off my tongue. Independence might be my pride and my curse. Much of my life has been spent being helpful to others, being the strong one, the independent one. Having the shoe on the other foot just feels wrong.

There have been some incidents that have played a hand in my keeping my problems, wants and desires to myself. To wit:

Two years ago, an aunt I hadn't seen or spoken with for years, offered to give me money for additional schooling that she thought, my mother would want me to have. This offer was tendered provided I chose 1) a reasonably priced institution and 2) gave her the name and number of the financial officer so she could send the check there. She didn't *trust* me to..Well, she didn't trust me, I guess. After giving it some thought, I declined but wrote that I would like the opportunity to keep the lines of communication open so I could get to know her and her grand-children. I was of the opinion (although I didn't voice it) that she was feeling some guilt over having abandoned us when my dad (her brother) and mom's marriage disintegrated. I haven't heard from her since.

Younger brother decided to help me with my auto expenses, when I had one. He thought he'd relieve me of my car, ever so briefly. He did return it, minus a headlight, taillight and sporting a couple of tickets. This was a big help, let me tell you. I've tried to steer clear of his help.

There have been genuine offers, gifts and random acts that I, albeit reluctantly, as I appear to be wired that way, have accepted and for which I remain forever grateful. Finally, reaching a point in my life where I can see that it's not all bad to have a network of smart, skillful, creative, funny and kind persons who can and will offer what you need and want, when it is necessary. Independence is pride. It doesn't have to be a curse.

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