Being able to recognize when you need help, and being able to ask for appropriate help, can become major hurdles in recovery from complex trauma. Appropriate help means asking for help with a task, rather than asking to be rescued or asking for someone else to do a task for you.
Why the ability to ask for help is important
- It shows a willingness to trust others, even if you do not completely trust, you are showing a willingness to take that chance. Broken trust is common in trauma survivors – for example the beliefs that no-one can be trusted, the world is totally unsafe, or that those you trust will exploit your trust in some way
- To ask for help is to ask for something that may be refused, it’s important to have coping skills ready in case the person who ask cannot or will not do what you ask. Will you be able to view response like “not today” or “I can’t just now” without a trauma filter? Responses like these are not a rejection of you as an individual, and allow for the possibility that help will be available another time.
- Asking for help is acknowledging that you can’t do every single thing alone, that you are not in fact, superhuman. This shows self-awareness and self-acceptance.
- If you have been emotionally abused in the past this means you will probably feel very vulnerable. To be willing to show vulnerability shows strength and courage.
- Giving and receiving help is part of developing healthy relationships, which helps heal the relationship difficulties which are part of Complex PTSD. If asking for help is ready for you, see if offering help feels different
Read the blog that inspired this post
Is it time to admit I’m in need of help? diddispatches.wordpress.com
Sometimes we must yield control to others and accept our vulnerability so we can be healed.
Kathy Magliato, Healing Hearts: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon
One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on “going it alone.” Somehow we’ve come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we’re very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It’s as if we’ve divided the world into “those who offer help” and “those who need help.” The truth is that we are both.
Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
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