What does inconvenience mean to you? Is it about things? Or time? Or ….. you?
Whaaaattt did she just say?
Have you ever felt like you are an inconvenience?
No? It’s just me? Okay…
Well, I want to talk to you about it anyway. A lot of women feel like they are an inconvenience for just about everything. Sometimes we can go days or weeks without the feeling, other times it doesn’t feel like we can’t go minutes without feeling like our existence is an inconvenience.
I’m not early? I’m so sorry I inconvenienced you.
Will you please help me pick that up? Thank you, I’m so sorry for inconviencing you.
No, I’ll be just fine after surgery without extra help. Silently thinking “I don’t want to inconvenience you by letting you help us”.
Why? Why do we feel this way? Chances are it stems from our childhood. There can be many situations we encountered as kids that made us feel this way. Mine, well I was always the child who got in trouble for everything. And my parents relied on absolutely everybody else to take care of them.
Fast forward to me living on my own and going through shit adult life throws at me, and here comes the inconvenience feeling. Over and over again. The most impactful, most recent instance is coupled with my upcoming surgery.
My mother-in-law said she would come help us. I said okay. We went about life and I went through the scheduling process and she planned to help my sister-in-law with the kids during that time. I read the text as she was conflicted so I responded that we would be perfectly fine and not to worry.
Well, her original plan changed for that time, and I felt less than. I did it to myself. She probably felt I didn’t want her around for my surgery when it is the complete opposite. I don’t want to be an inconvenience. I don’t want her to miss on time with her grandkids to sit here and help me get food or pick something up or walk to the bathroom or shower. I don’t want to steal time from her. I also don’t want to rely on anybody for help.
I am a serial avoider of inconveniencing or relying on other people. It makes me feel so, so fucking horrible inside.
How do we overcome it?
By letting people help. It doesn’t have to be big gestures to start. Something small. Let someone bring a dish the next time you invite them. Let someone help setup chairs for a BBQ. Let someone cook instead of you. Ask for someone to grab you a beverage. Little things can get us used to the feeling. Little things can chip at the wall we have built.
My little thing? I let my husband set the egg plate down for BOTH dogs yesterday. When I fry eggs for breakfast, I always make the dogs one each. We give the eggs to the dogs after we finish our breakfast. We put the dogs plate on the floor, but we go through the sit and stay process to try to teach them manners. I get Chloe and my husband gets Radar. Eddie has offered to take both dogs for many weeks and I keep saying no.
Yesterday I let him. And it killed me. Today I asked him to de-tail the shrimp at the sink so I didn’t have to stand that long.
Inch by inch. That is the only way I can heal and learn how to let others do for me.
When others offer to help or when we occasionly ask for assistance, we aren’t sucking the life out of others. Most of the time, they probably don’t even notice. We only notice because of our fears and anxieties that we haven’t grown through.
To be able to grow, we need to challenge ourselves. I don’t believe there is any such thing that will heal us instantly as if a switch is flipped and we lose our fears and anxieties. I don’t think every method to overcome them works for every person. What I do think is that the only way we will heal is to try. Sometimes trying hurts. That’s okay, try again another time.
In my case, I fear relying on people and being an inconvenience, but I also fear losing those same people. Pushing them away.
Competing fears makes healing more difficult. But with determination and time, with trying different methods, it can be done.
You are not an inconvenience. I am not an inconvenience. We are human and humans need each other. There is a fine line of accepting graciously and abusing kindness of others. Why stay in the dark and push people away when we can accept love?