In 2004, I recorded a dream that occasionally troubles me. In my dream, I helped a man. He thanked me and said, "How may I help you?"
"I'm fine," I said and started to walk away.
“That’s your trouble," he said. "You’re all for helping, but you’re no good at receiving.”
I started to defend myself and four other people stood beside him, pointing at me. A woman said, “You don’t trust us enough to ask for our help, do you?”
I awakened and got the message. I determined that I would let others help me and I'd be more trusting.
A decade later, I haven't done much reaching out for help. Instead, I've said, "I can handle it."
The dream, however, reminds me that I'm still not able to trust others. I can blame my sexual assault in childhood, because that's where I lost the ability to trust. In my case, I'm still a sucker for people who know how to use the con-artist type language. And they've taken advantage of me, often causing me to lend them money, which they never repaid.
But the other kind of trust—the deeper level—I tend to guard and have been skeptical. As I've struggled over this, I figured out one thing. I don't open up to ask for help because I don't want to be rejected.
As a child, I could never depend on help from either of my parents. On the few occasions when I asked, I was rebuffed.
I grew up learning to depend only on myself. In my early twenties, I underwent a conversion to the Christian faith, and that helped.
Yet I still struggle. I don't want to hear that accusing voice, "You don’t trust us enough to ask for our help, do you?”
But even slow progress is still progress.