Peering In and Down from the Top

January 25, 2012

in Life Lessons

rock climbing

Peering down from the top of an indoor climbing wall on Sunday, my belayer continued to repeat she was prepared for me to descend. It was good to know, but I wasn’t ready. As I clung to the top, I had a moment of contemplation. This really wasn’t the appropriate time for self-reflection, but these moments often strike at inopportune times. Ignoring the calls below, I remained at the top of the wall and thought about how I was feeling.

Do I have a trust issue?

Is this related to my strong independence?

Why can’t I release the wall?

What is wrong with me?

Looking around, I realized the other students in the rock climbing class were happily releasing from the wall, as if they had no concerns about falling to their death. None of them were worried their belayer wasn’t doing his job.

The belayer on the ground had just learned to belay in the class we were taking. Maybe that was part of my hesitation. But then I thought back two years to a day I went climbing with the kids. It was a different facility and staff handled all the belaying. Even in that situation I remember telling the guy I climbed up by myself and I planned to climb my way down. He explained that it was a lot more work and not typical, but didn’t give me a hard time about my odd choice of descent.

I went to lunch with The Boyfriend the day after the rock climbing adventure. I decided to tell him the news from all this self-reflection on Sunday.

While he was happily munching on pizza, unaware of what was coming next, I said, “I have trust issues.”

The Boyfriend asked, “Where is this coming from?”

As I explained all of this to him, he started to laugh. He opined my issue wasn’t trust, as he believes I am overly trusting at times. “It’s that damn independent streak of yours,” he stated. “And your stubbornness,” he added.

Being a single mom has forced me to loosen up a bit, and allow others to help. The Boyfriend is right though; independence and stubbornness can still get the best of me. While I don’t have self-improvement type New Year’s resolutions for 2012, this is something to be mindful of in 2012. It would be nice to let go more and allow people to help when they ask. Or, better yet, even ask for help myself.

Do you have a difficult time asking for help?

How do you overcome this?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

kim January 25, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I have this same problem. I have conquered it a few times…but it keeps creeping back. The issue of control is a big one for me.
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 26, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I guess we just have to stay mindful of the issue.


Eric January 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I was hard-wired by my parents to believe that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. While I understand now that they were only trying to prepare me for adulthood, the side effect is that I have become a control freak. It’s affected many things in my life, though I do still trust people.

If they do things my way. :-)
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Ha! You sound like me! I am getting better at requiring it be done my way though, but do struggle with the issue of allowing help. The Boyfriend is a very strong man (read: strong-willed and also stubborn) and he won’t take no for an answer when I put up a fight. Somehow it is working for us.


Heather O. September 9, 2012 at 2:17 am

This sounds just like me, Eric. I was raised to believe that no one else can do as good a job as you can, so you might as well just do it. To this day, I have difficulty letting anyone else, even the husband and kids, handle even the most basic tasks. Sounds silly, but it’s unfortunately true.

I love it when my husband offers to do the laundry, but I end up bombarding him with such a long list of “don’t forgets” and “please dos” that I irritate both of us. And you know, he knows how to do laundry… he’s 36 years old, for goodness sake.

So yeah, I have issues. I do still basically trust people, just not necessarily to do *my* chores and tasks.
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Brett Minor January 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I am the same way. I am very independent and just want people to stay out of my way. It has damaged several relationships.
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm

I am working on this. I honestly didn’t realize the significance of the issue until I was at the top of that wall on Sunday.


karen mo January 26, 2012 at 12:37 pm

this is a huge issue for me… also a new single mom. i vacillate between trusting nobody & wanting to do everything myself to trusting too much & investing too much in others, I think. trying to find the middle…

love your posts… keeping me going :)


Naked Girl in a Dress January 26, 2012 at 2:23 pm

I seem to be very trusting of people, but then not able to allow people to help me. It’s frustrating at times. We can work towards that middle ground together. Let me know if you make progress!


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