Saturday, November 2, 2013

WTF is wrong with me?

I have a problem. Every time I need help from someone, I cringe. I imagine all sorts of things the other person might think of me, such as I am selfish, or dependent, or weak, or I am using them and so on. In the process of imagining all this, I actually become that selfish dependent weak person. Now, I don't like being that kind of person, so as far as possible, I don't ask anyone for help. If I must seek help, I am so apologetic that the other person has to counter it with their it's-no-big-deal responses, making the whole situation very awkward. And after someone has helped me, I just can't let go of this feeling of immense obligation that is not good in any healthy relationship. And this is true for everyone- strangers, colleagues, my good friends, even my close family. And it has been like this for as long as I can remember, right back to when I was a young child.

Yesterday, I mentioned this issue to a very good, older, wiser friend, but instead of sympathy or understanding, I got a massive dose of scolding. She told me that I was totally messed up, had a shitty attitude and was most selfish and patronizing. Her point was that I wanted for myself all the joy that one derives from helping others, and didn't want to give anyone a chance to receive that joy from me.

It was a shocker. It is indeed true that I love taking care of people. Nothing gives me more happiness than that. And I never feel that the people receiving from me owe me anything in return. If indeed I am denying people the same kind of happiness out of some misplaced sense of guilt, I would be foolish at best and downright mean at worst.

But is it really true? How come I understand intellectually what this friend said, but can't believe it deep down? Why do I doubt that some people may like to do something for me just as I like to do for them? What is it that doesn't allow me to accept simple acts of kindness or friendship gracefully and as my right? Why can't I believe I am deserving of such acts? What drives me to be so darn independent that I never ever have to ask for any help from anyone? What am I protecting? What do I fear deep down? How lowly do I think of myself?

What the fuck is wrong with me?

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