I’ve Been Through The Desert On a Post With No Name

Ever find yourself in a perpetual state of anxiety and wonder what part of your life isn’t working? Your body has a way of saying, “Yo! Something’s not right here!” and your mind has a way of saying, “What choo talkin’ bout Willis?” It’s just easier to ignore it, watch a little more Lifetime and stay away from songs by the Fray that will make you teary and mortified that you are teary over a song by the Fray at the exact same time. It’s really hard to describe to a public forum what the hell is going on with me right now, but suffice it to say that a mother’s help or ACKNOWLEDGMENT would be helpful and it’s not forthcoming hence the long and maudlin last post.

All of your responses totally overwhelmed me. I’m used to feeling like I’m all alone even when I’m not. The defense tactic I took to deal with my childhood I think kicked into full gear at about 16 when I decided that I don’t need anyone nor can I depend on anyone to help me. I’m all I got. It’s actually a useful defense at 16 but not so much at 40. At 40 it just starts to reek of being a martyr. Anyone who could relate to my last post will be able to relate to the feeling of not being able to ask for help. Even if there are people lined up around the block to offer it free of charge.

How do we explain this feeling of not wanting to ever seem vulnerable? To seem needy? Simple really. We don’t want to feel disappointed again. Disappointment that has long been buried but still so close to the surface. I don’t even like to ask my husband for help even when I’m screaming for it. Truthfully, the fight or flight feeling is always there. It dulls over time but it still lays in wait for the most stressful of situations to come up that make me want to flee or say “just forget it! Just forget everything.” But when you have a child you can’t go back. That door is shut forever. And that’s some scary stuff.

I’m sure I’ll cheer up soon and get back to my snarky ass self. Bear with me.

By the way, next Thursday I’ll be on the Today Show again talking about the parenting issue of praising/overpraising kids. Let’s just say that I don’t think too many of us are suffering from the damages of TOO HIGH SELF ESTEEM. And I’ll leave it at that.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 19, 2007 8:54 pmUncategorized13 comments  


  1. Polly Poppins said,

    Some people actually like it when you let them help you. But, I read a book that advised forcing yourself to ask for help once a day (something tiny like “please get the door?”) to get in the habit.

    | June 19, 2007 @ 10:30 pm

  2. mhutchinson said,

    Can I just tell you that you have put into words something I have such a hard time explaining to my husband. Now, I had a mother, I know she loves me, but she never would help me as a kid or teen. I felt completely independent and had to do everything myself if it was to get done. I am so where you are in that respect. I can’t ask my husband for anything and he gets upset. I never ask for help, even when I need it and his fam is available. No one understands this about me, but it makes me uncomfortable, so I don’t do it. When you find a resolution, please let me know what it was. Things would be much more pleasant if I could allow others to help out sometimes. I know they would. Have fun on the show.

    | June 20, 2007 @ 1:04 am

  3. Jane is Dating said,

    Man- I wish I could have ‘been there’ when you wrote that post. We need to drink and talk. A week doesn’t go by that I miss my mother. She always chose men over me- she always thought her looks would get her through life and I guess it did for a long time. Or maybe she stopped having her sights so high. But I was never a priority, and I thank GOD every day that he gave me my stepmom because without her I wouldn’t have developed the desire to cook and bake, I would have never known what it was to have your leg or arms or back lightly tickled until you went to sleep, I would have never seen the look of pride and love when she was brushing my long blonde hair, I would have never learned how to soothe my baby girl and hum to her the same songs she used to hum to me as a little girl, and even though I was so lucky to have her, I still get pissed at my own mother for not doing those things for me. As my daughter grows I wonder how I’ve ended up with such a broken family- I would love nothing more than to have my own mother to attend her special events but I don’t think she even deserves that- she was barely there for my events- it was my stepmom who dressed me for the first communion- I remember what my mom wore- all the men were gawking and I was embarassed.

    But you know what- going to visit her this past May and seeing her with my daughter just made me love her more. You know what she did? She took out pictures of my childhood and our family and showed them to her, she brushed her hair and braided it, she played with her and cuddled with her the same way she did with me. And even with all this, I still wish my mother was different and I do feel motherless- because truth be told my stepmom has no obligation to me except whatever she chooses to be in our lives- and for that I’m thankful. And I’m thankful I can at least share that with my daughter (except when she starts asking questions).

    We may not share the same blood but hell, the only good thing my dad has ever done was marry this woman and I think it all happened for a reason. Otherwise I think I would have been a lost case.

    Hugs my dear…it’s all so complicated.

    | June 20, 2007 @ 2:08 am

  4. SUEB0B said,

    YOU’RE 40??? Damn, woman. You are too dang gorgeous.

    | June 20, 2007 @ 4:52 am

  5. Misty said,

    Yea, I’m about tired of myself, and I’m only 30. I’m getting better thanks to a wonderful partner, but it’s still so difficult to ask for help. And even when he does offer it, it still takes me months to accept (and then only because I make as if I’m forcing him to do it, lol)!

    I can’t wait to see the Today Show segment. We are dealing with the stepchildren this summer. Long story, short, the oldest is 8 and has gained 80 lbs in the last 3 years thanks to his wonderful Mother. He was already scared of the world, I’m sure you all heard his screams the last time we tried to teach him to ride a bike. I singlehandedly decided he was going to get over the drama this summer and signed him up for swim team. He’s only had one incident of spiking his cap and goggles so far, and we stayed far away and let the coaches deal with it. He still hasn’t taken them up on the offer of teaching him how to dive, but he is at least not throwing a temper tantrum and has decided swim team is the best thing ever. He’s actually asked to practice on his only two days off. It’s amazing what a little praise will do…..

    | June 20, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

  6. unlinced said,

    …i just vented all of this today to someone…quite honestly…i refuse to feel vulnerable…to truly need anybody at any given moment…it makes for some very lonely times…especially when i of course do need someone…

    ..i like you…you make sense even when you you’re full of doubt…that’s a special kinda thing…

    | June 20, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

  7. surcie said,

    Ooh, I can’t WAIT to see you on Today again. The last controversy was so much fun, but I hope Mere actually detects the sarcasm this time. Don’t hold back, girlfriend!

    | June 21, 2007 @ 3:13 am

  8. gmcountrymama said,

    So sorry you are feeling this way. I really don’t know why we don’t want to feel vulnerable and admit we need help. I definately never want to share that with my mother.
    As for my husband, he does his best to help and understand, but I hate to sound like a broken record to him. But he is all I have sometimes.
    You should open up to your husband, he’s there for you, he won’t judge you, he loves you. It might not make you feel worse if you contacted your mother, at least you know what to expect.
    Or, you could always call me.

    | June 21, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

  9. Catwoman said,

    Rub Matt’s sexy abs for me, will ya?

    And I agree that sometimes, accepting help and letting people in when you’ve trained yourself so well to not do so can be a very, very difficult pattern to break.

    I also still struggle with it. It’s a lot like Paris Hilton’s addiction to being in bad sex videos, just really hard to break.

    | June 21, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

  10. Izzy said,

    I honestly know what you mean about not wanting to seem vulnerable or be disappointed again. I’m just the same and thus, I totally understand this post. I get that it’s hard to trust that people will not let you down like other key figures in our lives have done. As one of your friends in the big beige box, just know that I’m feelin’ ya.

    See you on TV 🙂

    | June 22, 2007 @ 5:12 am

  11. Shawn said,

    OK, you have to get OUT OF MY HEAD. I barely even read this blog and now I feel like you are writing my life.

    I need that book on how to learn to ask for help … but then again, WHO would I ask??????

    I hope everything is OK … will e-mail.

    | June 22, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

  12. Kevin Charnas said,

    I DO know what you mean…and in recent times, I’ve started admitting more to my friends when things aren’t great. And even though I’m still disappointed, with my expectations possibly too high, I’ve found strength in being honest.

    In a HUGE way, when I admit that I need “help”, I find it extremely liberating. And somehow, through that process, I find the extra strength I need.

    And pepper spraying random people helps too.

    | June 22, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

  13. L.A. Daddy said,

    I can never ask for help. Been too independent for too long. It’s hard, too, but I’ve developed a defense mechanism… I drink 🙂

    | June 22, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

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