Why after all these years does fear of rejection still have such a strong hold on me? Why do I still expect you to hurt me by either saying no or by ignoring me if I ask you for help? Why is this so common a fear in our society?
I realized that my lesson last week was to show me that I still have trouble asking for help. I went to an Al-Anon meeting this week and the topic of discussion was grieving, taking care of ourselves and asking for help. I wasn't surprised to see that almost everyone in the room said they had trouble asking for help.
The book that the discussion came from is one of Al-Anon's newest additions: Opening our Hearts, Transforming our Losses, Al-Anon Family Groups Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, Virginia, 2007. This book was written by Al-Anon members about the grieving process and the losses that happen from living with the family disease of alcoholism.
In my head, I know that I am worthy of asking for help. Someone said this in the Al-Anon group and I have also heard it in my grieving class. When you don't ask someone for help, you are robbing them of the experience of feeling good about themselves by reaching out to help you. It makes sense. I know that it is how I feel when I help others. Still it is difficult for me to say that I need help. It is hard to allow you to see my vulnerabilities. When I am vulnerable, I am wide open to being hurt by you. That fear is so difficult to get past.
Someone recently was talking about his own ability to grieve and said that he couldn't grieve, that he didn't know how. I have heard many old-timers in 12-Step groups talk about being on the "pity-pot". That makes me angry when I hear someone say, "Get off your pity-pot." To me, legitimate grieving is not being on a "pity-pot." Being on a "pity-pot" isn't going through the grieving process. It is using feelings and tears to attract attention to yourself because you don't know any other way to get attention. Most of us probably know a drama queen or two. For them, you never see an end to their grief. It never goes away and they never take any steps toward healing. With their tears and drama, they demand your attention. Their grief never gets resolved. It just goes on and on ruling their lives and the lives of anyone who will listen.
I have never read anything on the topic of "pity-pots." This is just my observations about it. I could even be wrong. This is just what I have observed. Some people may see me as a drama queen who can't seem to let go of my grief. I am often surprised at how other people see me. Hopefully, I am not staying struck in the grief. I do know that you have to move through grief for it to finally go away. Ignoring grief doesn't make it disappear. I know because that was what I did for many years.
Craig Harper wrote an article this week called "Unlearning" that talks about the beliefs that we have learned and how we need to unlearn some of them. You can find this article at the following link:
Craig leaves you with a list of questions to ask yourself about the beliefs you have about yourself and your life.