I’d Rather Not Ask

This week’s prompt for #LifeThisWeek is “Questions”. Denyse writes in her original post that she tended to be a question-asker until she was faced with a cancer diagnosis, when she felt too overwhelmed to ask questions. And maybe, I’m assuming here, also a little too self-conscious. She was able to ask some of her questions eventually but even still encounters things she didn’t even know she wanted to know.

I am not a huge question-asker. Like, over the past week, I’ve been asking lots of polymer clay-related questions, but I’ve felt self-conscious each time. I’d rather solve my own problems than ask for help.

Unfortunately, with me being multiply-disabled, that’s often hard. Even when my only recognized disability was blindness, I struggled with asking for help for those things that those who are just blind usually get help with. I’d rather figure things out on my own, only to get frustrated and distressed when things didn’t work out. I considered myself fiercely independent, but I really wasn’t.

As my father at one point said: “You have an issue with only saying when you think people should have helped you.” I realize that’s rather disrespectful indeed, because, well, other people are not mind readers and cannot have guessed that I wanted to ask for help. Then again, I didn’t necessarily want to ask for help.

I’m trying to learn to ask for both explanations and assistance when I need it now, but I often still feel very self-conscious. This happens especially online, where people can’t tell right away that I’m disabled. For example, people in the polymer clay Facebook groups often suggest I watch YouTube videos, so then I feel kind of obligated to say that those won’t work for me as I’m blind. I do tend to say that I’ll ask my support staff for help, because of course I can’t expect a random person online to explain everything in plain text. Each time I feel I have to mention my disabilities though, I feel some of my self-esteem go. I’m not sure that’s justified, but it’s the way it is.

22 thoughts on “I’d Rather Not Ask

  1. I think along the same lines. Being disabled is simply irrelevant most of the time so I do not disclose it (usually).

    There are certain circumstances, though. I’m not exaggerating anything, but I am describing a bad day. For example, when dealing with the state. They need to know the sort of effort I put in just to make it through each day, hust so that I get the assistance to which I am entitled.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I totally get why for government agencies etc. you’d want to describe a bad day. After all, they’re aiming at providing as little assistance as they possibly can, so you need to “exaggerate” your disabilities a little. In other situations though, it may be more tempting to minimize your impairments.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Anyone receiving a cancer diagnosis should ask all the questions they can imagine, no matter how personal or private they may be. And be their own advocate, researching as much as possible.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, I wasn’t meaning to say that Denyse didn’t do that as much as she possibly could. I have fortunately never faced a cancer diagnosis so far, so I can’t speak from experience here, but I do know that with health challenges, it’s hard to have the right questions ready, even with conditions that aren’t life-threatening. I’m assuming that with your cancer diagnosis, you did have the ability to ask all your questions, but please don’t assume everyone has that ability.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the reminder. I agree. People can always politely refuse when they can’t/don’t want to help and that doesn’t mean I had no right to ask.


  3. Asking for help is not easy for some. It sorts of translates into I am unable to cope. I have this problem too. But I’m trying to learn how to ask and accept help when I need it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I find it too tiring to explain things to people. They’re all “go for a run” or the horrible classic “do yoga” and I give up in a puddle of can’t be bothered because it’s not worth the effort to say such things are actually NOT safe for me with my blur of unhealing injuries.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, Astrid, thank you for the shout out about my post. As I wrote, above to one of your commenters, I sure did ask questions but it took me a couple of weeks once the shock wore off. I hope that you find, over time, that questions are not sign of weakness but of vulnerability and that when do that you are actually being a risk taker and strong.

    Thank you for linking up this week for #LifeThisWeek. Glad you could join in. Hope to see you next Monday. Cheers, Denyse.

    Liked by 1 person

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