"Fight your fights, find your grace/and all the things that you can't change/and help somebody if you can."--Van Zant
Today, I cried in the bathroom because we had a new computer program installed in my department and a couple of others, and I was "playing with it" as I'd been told to try doing, and a woman from payroll kept offering to help and show me things. She'd gotten training directly from the guy who installed it. Smug bitch, I called her, but thankfully only in my head.
I know I'm not the only woman who has this problem, even though I was told I "had issues" (and who the hell doesn't?!) at the MBOL for bringing it up, among other extremely not-helpful things. It is a bit ironic that I'm going to ask readers for advice about this, but it's so much emotionally "safer" for me to do it online than it is face-to-face. Face-to-face is where the problems come up. Face-to-face is where I get extremely embarrassed and cry in the bathroom and other stupid shit. So here it is: I can't take help with anything that even looks like good grace.
I can give help, if I have it to give. I don't even think any less of the other person if they take it, unless they're just blatantly taking advantage of me.
But it just kills me to recognize that I need any kind of help, let alone to ask for it. Even if it's something that's really no reflection on me at all, like the piece of furniture's too heavy for me to comfortably lift, I get so embarrassed and choke out the request.
And if someone doesn't *wait* for me to ask? If they just up and decide that I need it, on their own, and make an offer, even if it's something that's really kind of little like a new computer program that I wasn't exactly born knowing? Good Gaia, I get upset. I have to repress the urge to slap the presumptuous bitch or son-of-a-bitch who dared to offer and yell out something hateful. I grunt out, "I'll *get* it. I've *got* it." I shake, I get so angry! The thing is, I feel insulted. I feel like they're calling me stupid or incompetent, and telling me I can't do it on my own. And then I have to go cry just to cool my face off.
It occurred to me, as I was hiding the evidence of tears this afternoon, that maybe this is one of the reasons why I eat as many antacids as I do. Amazing how going out in the larger world, away from the people you're closest to, can bring it home to you that you're not being normal or healthy about something. Compared to a couple women I know, love, and respect--my mom and L'Ailee--I feel like an absolute model of grace when it comes to help, which is sad. My mom can't stand asking for help or receiving it, feels insulted just like I do when someone asks, and sort of dangles it over peoples' heads if she gives it. Hers is the kind of barbed "generosity" Marie on Everybody Loves Raymond offers. And L'Ailee is so, so, so generous, instinctively so, but she'll deny it until the cows come home. If one of the many people she's helped offer her any unsolicited help, she won't talk to them for weeks. On smaller issues (like painting a ceiling), she's gotten better about asking, but for the most part, she won't ask for help even if she is actually on fire.
I think part of it is an LD thing. I have dyscalculia, or numeric-dyslexia. That can give a kid so many opportunities to feel stupid, and so much desire to prove that she's not! I wrote this poem, my senior year of high school, about how it wasn't going to rule my life now that I was leaving school. Boy, was I wrong. It doesn't rule my life, but it's never going to stop being a factor. Inside me is still this little girl who wants to scream out to the entire world, "I'm not stupid, goddamn it! I can *get* this! I'm as good as everyone else, if you just let me show you! I'm okay! Leave me alone!" Except none of us are smart at everything, and none of us can or should be left alone all the time.
Even if I don't get advice, it feels good to write it out and let it out. I have a hard time even telling the people who I pay to help me, like my therapist, about places where I need help. So even if I'm reduced to grunting inarticulateness on the way to her office early next week, I can print this out for her. Thanks for indulging me, if nothing else.
I do have other stuff to talk about.
Things are just frustrating anyway. L'Ailee's working late again. I am so impressionable. I've been getting into YouTube again. My friend (whom I talked about earlier this week; we're cool) and myself have been swapping videos. And on my own I looked for some vintage INXS last night, with Michael Hutchence. (Sorry, Jaded, that little JD kid's always gonna be nothing but a pretender to me.) Back in the day, in my early teens, watching Michael and Sinead on MTV would send me into this absolutely delightful, thrilling, almost scary hormone hurricane. Now I look at Michael Hutchence and think, "Even if he were alive, he'd be too skinny and smooth for me now, unless he was a woman. But oh, those lips! That voice!" And then there's the video for "Taste It." There is a reason that thing wasn't on MTV. There are a LOT of reasons. You can see them here, unless you're at work or kids are around. The...oh, how do I put this? Female lead? Well, she cut Michael out of his clothes with scissors while he was laying on the floor, much as an EMT would, only waaaaaaaay hotter! And then I spent a fair portion of today thinking about how hot it would be to cut my smooth, skinny L'Ailee out of one of her many tank tops, EMT-style. I told her so on her voicemail today, sitting on a bucket of I-don't-wanna-know-what in a broom closet. (And if you think that's TMI, at least I'm not sharing her response voicemail. I'll tell you, if James and Nora Joyce had had voicemail...)
Problem is, we can't actually realistically do anything about these ideas we're coming up with until Friday night, if then. Oh, schnap.
You've been so patient! I have some links. Wanna see them?
It's Happy Bunny car stuff!!!! Oh, if I had a car, I'd have the "Driving Like a Psycho Is Fun!" mat and steering wheel cover! Thanks to OOMM for the heads-up!
I love lip balm, but I didn't appreciate how funny they could be until I saw these.
There is a wonderful article in New York magazine about the radical moderate-ness of New York City.
Evolution in the big city. You can forget you're still a part of nature in a big, bustling city. Nature has its ways of reminding you, though.
Finally, look where I'm gonna be next Saturday!