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Accepting help

messyleslie posted 6/1/2020 01:36 AM

A couple of weeks ago I finally hit my breaking point and asked for help from friends. I've basically been doing everything around the house and for my three young kids for the last three years while my WH had a mental breakdown and dealt with addiction issues.

My friends have been supportive throughout and wonderful and kind, but his last turn of being horrible to me had me at the edge of a nervous breakdown and a wise friend told me to stop and let my friends step in and take care of me.

I've been getting groceries and flowers and meals every single evening of the past two weeks. And every time someone would drop something off I would stand at my door and just sob. I felt so completely overwhelmed at their kindness and love towards me. Yesterday I had a group of 4 men (husbands of friends) come and spend many hours cleaning my roof, power washing my patio and driveway and house and blowing and raking and doing all of the things. Another friend's husband couldn't come and help so he hired his lawn service to come and my yard looks amazing. I spent the entire day inside just weeping as they worked outside. I could barely muster a thank you without breaking down.

I talked to my counselor a little bit about it and I think its partly delayed grief and sadness - I've held it all in and now I'm breaking and its emotional to have someone step in and help. And I think its also that for so many years I begged my WH to see me and acknowledge my work and everything I was doing. And now I am being seen - my friends are acknowledging how impossible it is to do what I am doing and what I have been doing and they are loving and serving me and it feels amazing. But its also a little bittersweet because it makes me aware of the fact that its not my WH doing it, and it never will be.

I also realized that I think I am so used to abuse that someone doing something as simple as power washing my driveway felt like this giant act of kindness - I get it is, but its maybe not as big as it felt to me. To these men this is just what you do to take care of your home, and my WH was always so consumed by his addiction and his mental illness that he never did this stuff - I did. And I just got mad at the huge amount of time and energy that I have spent doing everything when I could have been spending time with my kids and enjoying life. I always used to look at photos of friends out and about doing all this fun stuff and feel so frustrated with myself that I couldn't even keep my house clean, much less have picnics and backyard camp outs and all that fun stuff. But I realized today that these women have husbands that help and are present and they are not carrying the physical load of doing everything, and they aren't carrying the mental load of dealing with abuse and mental illness and addiction in the home.

I don't think I have ever been this weepy at someone's kindness - its just so hard to let people help me. Did anyone else just fall apart when people helped?

Hurtingnconfused posted 6/1/2020 03:46 AM

You are heard, you are appreciated! And yes..., Itís hard to be strong for everyone else then fall apart when itís offered back

cactusflower posted 6/1/2020 07:51 AM

OMG can I relate to your post. The thought of anyone doing anything special for me is so foreign that if it ever did happen I would ball my eyes out.

The image of having 4 husbands on your doorstep, there to help you, would be overwhelming to me too. I couldn't even get my family to support me - they actually turned against me and punished me - even though I had been there for them countless times.

Hugs to you from afar - I get it. I can only hope that one day I receive that kind of kindness.


The1stWife posted 6/1/2020 13:22 PM

You have a wonderful tribe surrounding you.

You are blessed

Planetx posted 6/1/2020 17:20 PM

What wonderful friends! I always think that people just say they can help just for something to say. But, my dad came to me recently and I had actually hurt his feelings because I never asked him to babysit or anything! I think we've just been called a burden for so long, we can't even imagine that people actually like us and want to do nice things.

Justsomeguy posted 6/1/2020 20:59 PM

I have trouble asking for and accepting help. Huge FOO issues there... Anyway, I very dear friend gave me a bracelet with the words "permission to recieve" on it. It was given to her right after her separation. I'm learning, but it's not easy. I am glad you have good people in your world.

thisisterrible posted 6/5/2020 10:37 AM

I got tears in my eyes just reading your post and picturing all those nice things people were doing for you. And I've got to admit - I'm a little jealous.

learningtofeel posted 6/5/2020 16:41 PM

I'm so proud of you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable and let all those wonderful friends help you, and allowing yourself to feel it as care.

Bleu posted 6/7/2020 22:11 PM

But its also a little bittersweet because it makes me aware of the fact that its not my WH doing it, and it never will be.

I have felt the gratitude and hurt when friends and loved ones step up to fill the shoes of my STBXWH.

It is phenomenal that you have such amazing people around you.

I hope you savor a few moments for yourself. You deserve it!

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