There are some odd responses to receiving help.
- Minimizing the Assistance
Minimizing is common, especially for those who see others in worse condition.
“Don’t help me, there are so many who need it more than I do.”
It’s true that often there are others requiring greater assistance. The person with a roof leak isn’t first in line, that goes to the person with a flooded house and no place to go.
Often, the “lightly affected” feel guilty for asking, or receiving, assistance.
Someone with a broken leg shouldn’t refuse help because someone else has a gushing head wound. Severe injuries need attention, but at some point, so does the broken leg.
- Rejecting the Assistance
Some reject assistance due to stubborn pride. They would rather go down with the ship then accept a hand out, or admit they need help.
“I can take care of myself, go help somebody else.”
After Harvey, I met people with this level of pride. It offended them that I thought they needed help, so, they refused it.
The prideful person with a broken leg knows there are others needing help, others without their resilience and strength. Although their broken leg is painful, and prohibits them from getting up or walking, they still feel good about their pride being intact.
- Indulging the Assistance
Some respond to trauma by indulging every want and desire. They take advantage, demanding they get everything. Workers come to fix their damaged roof, but then are expected to repair everything in the house.
It’s the person in the hospital with a broken leg and insisting on a face lift, a tummy-tuck, and a little liposuction. Then they want a daily massage and maybe a few elective surgeries, all provided by someone else.
“I need a lot of help, while you’re fixing my leg, go ahead and fix everything.”
Some respond to trauma by demanding a level of care beyond what’s reasonable. It comes from the fear and anxiety they can’t seem to shake. So, they indulge in the help of others as a means of coping.
During Harvey, our roof leaked, and our dining room ceiling was destroyed, our kitchen ceiling was damaged, and a wall had to be stripped to the studs.
I didn’t tell anyone, that was me in the 1st group. Then I refused help, that was me in the 2nd group. Then I wanted someone to come and take care of everything, that was me in the 3rd group.
People laugh at trauma. They deny anxiety and fear. They push it into a jar, screw the lid on tight, and set it in the pantry. Not a healthy response.
We all need a little help. We need a hand and need to extend one. The best response to trauma is to deal with it intelligently, which may mean talking to someone, or getting help in some other way, or maybe offering it.
Today: Be safe, make good choices, and rely fully on God.