Needing and waiting (and kittens)

IMG_20131027_173327Last night I had a dream, well two actually, where the first one was about kittens being killed by twisting their necks (a definite ‘what is wrong with me?’ brain production) but this piece is about the second one. So, the second dream I think was a little less shocking than the first one, although I don’t remember it as vividly as the kittens (really, what is wrong with me). I remember it was about waiting, needing, yearning, craving something and having to wait until the need/yearning/craving becomes so big and painful that my body could not deal with it any longer and wanted to scream. I’m sure I was waiting on something important but almost nothing could really justify this feeling of such a massive NEED. It was almost like a poison that redirected any attention towards anything, straight to the ‘need’. And I don’t even remember what it was.

I remember waking up with the though ‘what is wrong with me (kittens) and then, ‘needs and waiting are the same’. Great thought, and I believe it even made sense at the time. This morning, not so much, but I’ve been trying to make sense of it a bit better and I think I meant ‘unmet needs and waiting are connected’. Or something…. I haven’t fully figured it out yet but here goes.

When I crave something that I really want, when having to wait for it patiently, this feeling of need grows and grows until I can hardly contain it. This goes from really wanting to have a sandwich/biscuit/coffee to really wanting to kiss someone that doesn’t know my desire yet, to wanting some help because I can’t cope with X. The pain of the need grows when I have to wait, either because I can’t get the thing I want myself and need to wait for someone to give it to me, or because I feel I need to restrain and control myself out of decency/pride. And sometimes I wait because I want ‘it’ to happen without me needing to ask for, or push it. Sometimes I will wait for someone to stop doing something, and as I wait this need for them to stop grows and grows and grows until it becomes so painful that I need to scream ‘please stop making so much noise when you brush your teeth!!! ‘. At the same time, when asking for something we really want (like kissing someone we hardly know), this direct expression of our needs could very well chase them away. So we wait, wait until the time is right, or for it to just… happen.

And I realise that waiting for certain things is perfectly appropriate, we can’t be like little kids that will, without filter, tell others exactly what they want (‘I want a lolly/ pee/see grandma in Australia’) even when it’s not really appropriate or realistic. To tell someone what I want even feels a little bit childlike and egocentric. I think there might even be a bit of a feeling that if I want something that I need help with getting, I might not really deserve it? Let’s say I need help, not with simple things, but big things that affect my life greatly. Now, I’m not sure if I need the help of my friends or family, in a way I feel I need to be able to do this by myself, but I kind of want their help, yet I haven’t asked for it. I’ve waited for a very long time for help to arrive, such a long time that the feeling of wanting things to change, for something to arrive to end the waiting,  grew into something that was bigger than me. And then I asked for help,  and that feeling of waiting for something to arrive popped like a bubble, because I had put all my effort in blowing it up so much.  Even though I’m not much further ahead than I was, at least now I am focussing on the actual things I’m working on, instead of sitting here waiting, for this big thing to go away, and this other big thing (like ‘being okay’) to arrive.

And sitting there waiting and wanting, needing, it could become all that I thought about. Waiting for a change, instead of changing, waiting for help instead of helping myself or just asking. Waiting to feel better, and not realising that sometimes/often I already felt better. I managed to discount feeling better because I didn’t feel better ‘enough’ yet to justify how long and hard I’ve waited for it. I wanted fucking ‘Disney world on drugs’ feeling better, not just ‘ hah, the sun is out’-better. As this need and wait for change grew and grew and grew, I felt that the only change that was going to satisfy and justify this need/want, had to be a big change. Another flat, job, country, yet again. As the feeling of need grew with waiting, I blocked my ability to make small changes, one step at a time and ask for help along the way. Even though I think that’s the way things change and how ‘feeling better’ arrives, instead of expecting ‘it’ to just land on my doorstep, complete with instructions.

So wait, and need. I still don’t know what my dream was about (including the one on kittens… what is wrong with me?!), but it had to do with the pain of waiting on the thing that I need, a pain that grows and grows and grows until it is bigger than the need and getting the thing I need doesn’t satisfy anymore. And at the same time, waiting is sometimes necessary to get what we need. Sometimes things need patience, like a casserole sometimes things need time to get ready. I guess the thing that is valuable to work with is knowing when to wait and knowing when to get/ask for the thing I want or need. And making mistakes on the way is kind of the only way to learn. And there is no shame in that.





I need help

Help-Sign-Above-Water-007I need help. It’s one of the hardest things to say, even harder to admit to oneself. Having to say this means that I’ve used all my recourses to solve the problem, and have not succeeded. It means that if I don’t reach out, I will only continue falling down, do more and more damage, or make it harder and harder to keep fighting. It’s a very humble thing to say, a very trusting and a very vulnerable position to take. It’s scary as hell, incredibly hard yet I’ve convinced myself it is a sign of weakness.

Of course I want to be an adult, want to be able to do this all on my own and only CHOOSE to share something because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to. I should be a pillar of strength, one that only cries when grieving, only gives up when it’s useless, only need help when it’s a job for two. I shouldn’t be a bendy twig that cries when I’m sad or disappointed, give up when it’s just too hard, and need help to deal with things, when I just can’t do it on my own. No… That would be humiliating and childish.

At the same time though, at work I have no inhibitions to ask for help when I don’t really know how to do something. In our professional life it’s what we have to do. We have to depend on the help of others in the army, otherwise we will get killed. It’s what we have to do in school, otherwise we’ll fail/never learn. It’s what we have to do at work, otherwise we’ll muck up. These are the places where we can admit that when we don’t know what to do, we can always ask for help. When we don’t have the proper recourses or are just not strong/knowledgable enough, we can ask for someone to assist us. But to do it at home with our loved ones… god no. Even when we don’t know what to do with ourselves, or don’t have the proper recourses, suddenly asking for help is… the last resort.

It is incredibly hard to ask for help, but once I do it, without exception, it’s so much easier than the scene I had in my mind (where everything about me, my life and my relationship changes). I’ve never been disappointed in any of my friends or family who told me they needed help, from me or anyone else. Ever. Only when someone insists on not needing help and continue on damaging themselves and our relationship with each other. And actually it’s not disappointment, just a sadness for knowing how hard it is, and that feeling of ‘I cannot be weak and reach out’ is what kept them, and me from doing it.

I could see ‘the issue’ as a shackle around my ankle, something I have to drag around. And even though I’ve put it there, or allowed for it to be put there (because I was powerless or it was the safest option at the time), this doesn’t mean that I can’t ask for someone to help me take it off. The weight of the iron is what is making me weaker, so if someone would help me take it off, this would empower me. That makes sense, and everyone would understand that the help I need is not because I am weak, but because I am sensible and want to be empowered instead of trapped. Everything is simpler in analogies though…

When I say I need help, it should make me feel powerful, not weak. It should make me feel confident enough to trust people and make me look forward to being empowered. It should make me feel like a proper adult, not the adult that I though I should be when I was a kid. Also, as long as people are willing to help me, it means they have faith in me, which is pretty valuable, but often ignored. For a fear of weakness/hurt to be the reason for not seeking help, is like a fear of drowning to keep me from abandoning a sinking ship (I might get hurt vs. I will get hurt). Yet again, analogies are always so much simpler. Or maybe not.