I’ve been reading the old posts on here, and finding echoes of my own childhood.
Posted by Tommy, 2010 (childhood)
“NEVER ask for anything, wait until it is offered?”
Posted by looking4direction, 2011
“I learned the same thing: Never ask!
So I learned to hint.
Or just not say anything and then resent.
I am just now learning how to ask for things and to ask ‘naive questions’.”
YES. I got very strong messages from my parents (especially my father) not to bother other people. Not to ask for things. Basically, to minimize my needs.
My dad would do things occasionally like drive me and my friends to a movie. But I was always afraid to ask. This incident was more typical:
My family was visiting another family who had a swimming pool, and all of us kids had been told that we could use it IF an adult was there to watch. One day, my dad was the only adult in the house. We wanted to swim, so one of the kids in the other family suggested I ask my dad to watch us in the pool. I told him my dad might be more likely to say yes if he asked. I thought - based on past experience - that my dad was more likely to say yes to somebody else’s kid than to me (his own kid.) Well, the other kid didn’t believe me. So I asked my dad. And just as I predicted, he said no. I told the other kid “I told you so.”
To this day it’s extremely hard for me to “bother” people, to ask for my needs to be met. I’m constantly feeling like I’m imposing on people, just by existing.
What if….I could do Step Three BEFORE my life becomes a total disaster?