Can I Ask You a Question?

I have a hard time asking for help.  I think I should be able to do it all on my own.  If it’s a certain subject, I don’t know too much about, then it’s okay to search out an answer.  But if I feel it’s something that I should know about and should be able to do, then I won’t ask.  I’ll try to figure it out myself.  And whilst this is a positive thing on one hand (I rarely give up and quit), it’s really not on the other hand.

I’m a bit of a control freak.  I’d rather see a project all the way through and suffer sleep deprivation/malnutrition/other medical ailments and know it’s done to the best of my ability than to delegate and be unsure of the outcome.

For me, part of the eating disorder is deprivation.  Only the necessary is okay.  Wanting something is excessive.  And I should be capable enough to do it on my own.  Or I should be adult enough to handle it.  My fear stems from being too much of a burden to anyone.  I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or do something they don’t want to.

I’ve slowly gotten better over the years.  I started by asking people I’m not really connected to.  A sales person, a server, a customer service rep.  They had no emotional stake in my life and I couldn’t be a burden because it was in their job descriptions to answer my questions.  It was hard.  I felt embarrassed and probably apologized 100 times, but I made it through.

For the most part, I can ask my husband for help with something specific.  And that’s huge growth within the almost 4 years we’ve been together.  However, I still have a very hard time asking for something that I want.  Sometimes, I can, but most of the time, I just can’t bring myself to do it.  And this is hard for my husband.  He knows I want something, but have difficulty in asking for it.  Now I’m not talking about material goods.  It’s more a long the lines of wanting a hug, doing something, just sitting there silently, etc.  He gets upset when I don’t ask.  I get upset  when I can’t ask.

My eating disorder tells me that I don’t deserve it.  I don’t deserve the hug or whatever, so I shouldn’t ask.  I would feel guilty and ashamed if I received something I didn’t deserve.  It’s this whole train of thought that cycles around the need to punish myself.  It’s a hard concept to grasp logically.  I haven’t done anything that I need to be punished for.  Basically, I’m punishing myself for existing.

And that’s sad.

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