Episode 55

Episode 55

When you’re assaulted as a child and no one notices, much comes to your rescue, you learn to fend for yourself. Later in life, you may even doubt the sincerity of those who offer to help because well—once burned twice shy.

But if you’ve noticed, life is getting stranger and harder. And the reality that no one’s meant to do life alone is clearer than ever.

And while it seems like the scariest time to let your guard down, it’s the only way to get the help you need to manage feelings about old trauma rising up with feelings about today’s trauma.

Solo feels safe, but doesn’t always leave you sane. It’s okay to ask for help. 💜

The Motherhood Unmasked podcast with Vanessa A. Harris Episode 55 It's Okay to Ask for Help
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It’s Okay to Need Help

Well, hello and welcome. If you’re a mom who experienced childhood trauma and finds raising your kids challenging, even triggering at times—this podcast is for you.

Raise your hand if you’re quick to ask for help? If you’re like me, your hand is down and I totally get why.

No one helped you when you were hurt and vulnerable, so you decided to take care of yourself. And you made it work for you for a long time.

But now you have children to raise and sometimes you’re at a loss on just how to do it. And you need help.

You need another mother who’s been there, who can encourage you, but you won’t reach out. Why?

Because when you were in pain as a child, you learned people won’t come to your rescue, so you have to look out for yourself. You didn’t realize you sentenced yourself to carrying your burdens alone because pain gives birth to pride.

And while that survivor’s strategy worked as a little girl, it’s suffocating you as a woman and a mother.

Give the girl in you permission to go off duty. Lay aside pride. Humble yourself so you can receive the grace you need.

I know it’s easier said than done because you’ll need to let your guard down. So take baby steps.

When you’re struggling with the stroller and someone offers to hold the door—let them. Don’t dismiss them with an “I got it!”

When your friend asks how she can help—tell her. A real friend is sincere when she asks and can be trusted with your honesty. Let her bring a meal over so you get a break from cooking.

Tell her about the challenge you have figuring out appropriate discipline because all you know is the torment you experienced as a child. Tell her you need a break and ask if she could babysit for a bit.

And if you’re constantly overwhelmed, run, don’t walk and get professional counseling.

Asking for help doesn’t make you look weak. It makes you feel human. Only robots “take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.”

Your need going unmet as a child doesn’t mean you stopped having needs. You will always have needs. The little girl you thought self-preservation meant stop needing people.

And Lord knows that will never be true. Who you need is the real question.

When I wrote my book, DADDY’s Girl Forever, I knew I needed to include stories other than my own. The tricky part was taking the risk to ask these women to help me with my vision, to share their story in print.

Regina’s father abandoned her at about 7 years old after questioning her paternity. Even after losing her mother as a teenager, her father never kept his promise to be present in her life.

She’s worked ever since the age of fourteen, depending on herself to make things happen. She said, “I will work myself until I’m half dead before asking for help. I fear hearing the words ‘no’ or ‘I can’t’ from others. I seek out help so seldom that I just can’t understand why I would be turned down.”

I can relate. Can you? When you’re left to fend for yourself when you needed help the most, future no’s aren’t just an answer, they’re a trigger reinforcing “you don’t matter.”

But the truth is more complicated. Is the person you’re asking now for help aware of what you experienced as a child?

Is your expectation based more on your pain than a broader perspective that considers the person you’re asking?

Did you ask the wrong person for help?Just because they’re near doesn’t make them the best option.

Is the stress you’re putting on yourself to avoid vulnerability the best way to love yourself?

When you switch from the pride of self-preservation to self-advocacy, you keep your eyes peeled and your heart open for the person or people who will come alongside you—because you know you’re worth it.

Regina is actually a friend of mine. Part of a larger group of women I’ve known for years. Women who’ve been through their share of trauma. Women who’ve learned to lean on each other as we lean on God—the perfect father.

Women we know we can ask for help.

As I still work to build a local circle of friends here in Texas, I encourage you to do the same for you.

A wise man once said, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT

There is strength in numbers. But it may take time and intention to find your people—even if you start with one.

If you’d like more food for thought on this topic, check out the show notes for this episode at motherhoodunmasked.com/episode55.

I hope this episode encouraged you to be open to better, but it’s no replacement for someone trained to help you process your traumatic childhood experiences. Someone to help you identity safe people to let down your guard with.

So stop by motherhoodunmasked.com for help on your healing journey. You’ll find all kinds of resources, from articles and books by licensed therapists, to websites to search for a trauma therapist, to journals and other books I’ve published regarding the truth about God’s heart towards you.

Can I tell you I’m proud of you? After all you’ve been through, you keep getting up. Your soul may still be limping, but you haven’t quit. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. The best is still ahead of you.

Until next time, please remember. When it comes to you being the mother of your children, you are the woman for the job. I’m rooting for you. Take care.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast should not be taken as medical advice. The content here is for informational purposes only, and because each person is so unique, please consult your health care professional for any medical questions.

Food for Thought…

If you went out for a swim and suddenly found yourself caught in a rip current, you wouldn’t hesitate to shout, “Somebody help!” But somehow, when you get overwhelmed with life, you say nothing because you have two feet on the ground.

But when people look at you and assume you’re doing fine, but you’re not, that is the perfect time to ask for help.

And I know, you like the idea of looking like a super hero especially surviving all you did as a child. But the Avengers work together. Jesus is God, yet He recruited 12 helpers. And have you seen Batman lately? He needs friends to work with because he’s getting creepier and creepier with every new movie.

Solo feels safe, but doesn’t always leave you sane. Check out the resource page to find a trauma counselor. 💜

Need Help?


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