Asking for help

There have been many times over the last several weeks since I broke my leg that I’ve had to ask for help and I’ve realized how hard this continues to be for me. It is either something about my innate personality or it came from growing up in a big family where there were so many people with needs, I seemed to get lost in the shuffle. I was a particularly shy child who loved nothing more than to cling to my mother’s leg. Hated going to kindergarten and cried all day every day for weeks until I finally accepted it wasn’t going to change anything. But I was fully committed to not asking for help and it followed me to first grade where I found one friend to be my spokesperson. I would tell her what I needed and she would tell the teacher. You might not be surprised to hear this didn’t go over very well and it ended with me repeating first grade.

By the time my youngest and fifth sibling arrived, nine years after me, my mother was eager for me to become somewhat independent of her. I had made a couple of good friends but was fearful of adults and she thought if she had me call to make my own dental appointments, this would help. Aha! Maybe that’s why I have always hated the phone! Yes, I made my own dental appointments, but that was where it started. From there she made me join teams, signed me up for dance lessons, prodded me to ask teachers for help, and the summer after eighth grade she concocted a disasterous idea to sign me up to be a candy striper. These were all efforts to engage me in the world outside of my shyness where I preferred to hunker down with a book. My worlds were big, they were just fictional.

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