People are needing help with food and housing. There are married parents struggling, and the numbers are growing. Imagine the struggles of a low-income single parent. I remember many years ago when I needed help.
Why is it so hard to ask for help?
As a single mother, I struggled. There was a time when I lived in subsidized housing, where my rent was based on my wages. I made a moderate income. Over time, I was recognized for my hard work and begin to receive promotions that accompanied a wage increase. Receiving more money was good for my pocket, but it jeopardized my housing situation, a catch twenty-two. I was no longer eligible for the housing program.
Uprooting my children was difficult and placed me in a position of needing help. I convinced myself that moving in with someone was a good idea. Sometimes our decisions are not in our best interest. This was one of those times.
Nonetheless, she had a large home and three children. We agreed I would pay her rent, contribute to groceries, and share in housecleaning.
It wasn’t long before I found myself in a Joseph situation. The bible story where Joseph Potiphar’s steward was lied on. Her oldest daughter lied, saying I hit her. Exactly why I understand why it is so hard to ask for help.
Three reasons why people don’t ask for help.
- Fear – The fear of feeling needy. As a single mom you tend to feel you are under the microscope, at least I did. You are afraid of being in a position of losing control of your independence, being disrespected and dishonored. The feeling of being ashamed you are in this position, afraid of what people would say. Being shunned and rejected, lied on.
- Judgement – “Don’t judge me” Being made to feel you are not capable of handling situations. You don’t want to be made to feel you made a poor decision. So, it is easier to keep it to yourself and hope things turn out for the best. Struggling in silence seems to make since at the time. People would rather die than accept a handout or receive a hand up. But where does that come from?
- Pride – Often we are too proud of admitting we have come up short. Everyone wants to be successful in life, especially as a parent. Sure, they say they want to be there for you, but are they? There’s not a shortage of help, it’s the inability to humble yourself and ask for help.
There are times when you can take care of things on your own and other times you need to ask for help.
It was a humbly experience. I didn’t leave with everything I came with, and some of those things were best left behind.
It takes courage to ask for help. Courage and compassion go hand in hand. Having the courage to ask for help often leads to an opportunity for others who genuinely care to show compassion.
Remember: Often people want to help. There are people who genuinely want to support you. Don’t allow fear, judgment and pride to keep you from what you need.
While some things remain the same, some things change. I remain a single mother. But now, I own my home, and I make good money.
I am interested in any thoughts or comments you have.
My Little Corner