During my first marriage and the years of our relationship before the wedding I was very dependent on Paul. Mostly emotionally. I didn't realize it at the time but I almost lost myself in him. My self-esteem was so low that I depended on his view of me to help me feel better about myself. Of course I didn't realize any of this until years later after he was gone. During that first year of my widowhood I went to the other extreme. I didn't want help from anyone certainly not my family. I was depressed, angry and so dam sad. It was like I wanted to prove to myself that I could survive. That was it...I totally fell into survival mode. My dad was the one who came around the most when Paul died. And at the time I resented it. I didn't want anyone's help. Least of all him.
And then came cancer. 7 years later when I was diagnosed with breast cancer I was still single living alone. I instantly jumped back in to survival mode. I was yet again angry and terrified. I wanted to prove to myself I could somehow survive on my own. My dad once again stepped up to the plate and was instantly in my face wanting to do everything to help me. From spending everyday in the hospital with me and wanting to move in with me when I was discharged home. I told him no. I wanted to struggle and survive on my own. I often wonder if we had not had such a difficult relationship if my reaction to his offer would have been different. Of course there were times that I wished I had help but I only wanted the help of the husband I had lost. And then was angry at him all over again for leaving me.
Why do I go to such extremes? Even today, cancer free, married to a wonderful man and I still have a tough time with having support or help when I need it. Is it that I feel undeserving of it or that I want to prove to myself I don't need it? Sometimes I think that it is part of me heading back into that survival mode for when the other shoe drops....
During the tough times in your life did you welcome help from others or go into super independent mode? How did you react when others offered help? Did you ever ask for help during those times?