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Email: timschnabel44@gmail.com

Tim Schnabel is a retired marriage and family therapist from Walton County.

Schnabel: Learning how to ask for help is tough, especially after a lifetime of self-reliance

Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2019 12:00 am

Asking for help has never been easy for Nancy and especially for myself. Each of us growing up in homes where parents were sometimes absent or unavailable even when present, set the stage for premature pseudo-independence. If a child in a home seldom, if ever, witnesses a parent asking for help, then there is little permission for him or her to do so. This gets further ingrained when the child asking for help is responded to with criticism or by being discounted.

What often gets modeled is a form of suffering and an emerging inherent fragile self-worth that can be easily shattered when asking for help. In other words, to ask for help makes us “less than.” Trauma experienced especially as a child, but certainly for each of us at whatever stage of life, never goes away or dissipates without help. In other words, without help, we continue to suffer. Without changing the behavior, we continue to suffer.

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