The road, cont.

Wow, that tapped into a lot of hurt yesterday. It sounds like so many of us are just tired of fighting through each day.

I'm sad that the post turned into a battle between people who would like accommodations for serious health issues and people who feel hurt by being asked to make those accommodations. I was thinking about it all last night, about how I am so willing to make accommodations now, when I wasn't so much a few years ago. I think one of the reasons is that my months of gluten intolerance* were so hard emotionally. I can remember just feeling like all the strength and will had been sucked out of me because I was afraid to eat anything I hadn't prepared from scratch myself. Friends would ask me to go places with them, with our kids, and I'd have to turn them down because I couldn't face going someplace and knowing there might not be anything safe I could eat. And all it was for me was intense stomach pain, nausea, dizziness, and hot flashes.

Thinking about kids being in that situation all day, of not feeling safe, of feeling like you could get sick at any moment from something you have no control over, breaks my heart. Even if it's not immediate danger of dying, it's still imprisoning to know you could develop hives, itching, difficulty breathing, wheezing, migraines, or any of the other symptoms.

Anyway, that is only part of it. I figured out that what makes me more willing to help other people is that I can finally ask for help for myself. For years, I really could not ask anyone for help. I spent years and years white-knuckling it through, feeling like I had to be the most competent, have it all together, be on top of everything. And that asking for help was something I couldn't do.

Honestly, of all the gifts divorce has given me, the ability--the need--to ask for help and accept it has been one of the best. And as I get deeper and deeper into being enmeshed with other people when I ask them for help and offer to help them, I've started to feel my false, painful boundaries disintegrating and my integrity of self increasing.

Someone commented on the evening routines post that she was lonely. Parenting is *such* a lonely proposition a great deal of the time. Reaching out and getting enmeshed helps, though. A lot.

It is my strong wish for all of us that this new year brings us the ability and desire to ask for and accept help from others.

* In summer and fall of 2006, my body was rebelling against my bad marriage and I developed a gluten intolerance (which may or may not be the correct term for it). Eating anything with even a tiny bit of gluten, even if I didn't realize it was there (soy sauce is hidden in a TON of foods!), would make me feel sick for hours. About a week after I told my then-husband that I needed to get out of the marriage I could eat wheat and gluten again with no symptoms. Taught me to pay attention to my body.