“Jennifer, I am worried about you. Your brother told me he thinks you are exhausted and overwhelmed.” My mother’s concern feels like nails on a chalkboard to me.
“You sound like you are sick.”
“Yes, I am. That is why I am resting! Don’t worry about me, Mom.”
About two days later, I totally crashed.
When I was making a lot of money, I LOVED being helpful to other people. I adopted Christmas families, donated to charities, and gave away stuff to people in need, etc.
I felt really good being such a generous person.
Now I am at a point in my life where I need the help offered from my family.
Giving help is fun!
But accepting help? It makes me sick.
I am doing GED tutoring and job readiness training at the nonprofit where I volunteer — helping women who are trying to leave the sex industry.
Most of these women turned to stripping and prostitution because, in a world where being dependent was dangerous, sex work afforded them complete financial autonomy.
By the time they show up at the non-profit, they are asking for help. It makes them sick.
I felt so smug in my generosity, but I am learning so much from them. I am learning that it isn’t easy for me to admit that I can’t do it all on my own.
They are teaching me how to admit to my own vulnerability and to accept our frightening interdependence.
They are teaching me to have the courage to swallow my pride and to admit to another person, “Yes, I need help.”
I thought this was an interesting podcast on women, work, and babies: The Real Tradeoff for Women