In her article and in the comments following, the inability of breast cancer patients (and others) to reach out or accept whatever support is offered seems to be a common theme. Why do we, as women, do this?
We want to do everything ourselves. We are trained to keep our pain and vulnerability and needs unspoken. Sometimes we even try not to feel them.
That natural inclination to shoulder our own burdens plays into our reluctance to accept help. We also fall into “I’m not worthy” and “I haven’t suffered enough.” In my support group, I always felt a bit inferior because I did not have the kind of cancer that chemotherapy would have helped. These issues bedevil many of us.
But I wonder if there is yet another possibility.
Maybe it isn’t that we don’t want or need help at a given juncture.
Maybe it’s rather that we need to draw into ourselves for a time in order to process the magnitude of what has happened. In my case, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to connect with others. It was that I needed to connect with myself first.
I needed space and time to process.
I needed to write my poems.
Just a thought.