HomemathThe Dilemma of Needing Help

One of the most humbling things in the world is asking for help.

Today, I was thinking about how I’ll need to take at least one math class when I go back to school, and asked my husband if he’d be willing to help me with that homework when the time came. If anything, he could double check my work and point out number reversals.

Math is a little strange for me. I was very good at figuring the theorems out, but the actual numbers always get in the way. I’m pretty sure that’s directly related to my dyslexia, since they move around just as letters do for me.¬†Ones and zeros disappear on me, too. Maybe I’ll get to add dyscalculia to my list of labels.

I vividly remember the last time I had to take a math course. Every time I tried solving a problem involving a one or zero, I couldn’t get it right. I constantly misplaced decimal points, and fractions? Fractions were terrible. Just looking at them gave me a headache.

I had to read through my work repeatedly before I caught the problem. If I caught the problem.

Back then, I didn’t have any sort of accommodation or feedback. I was too ashamed to see the math tutor, simply because I felt as if I should be able to do it myself.

That seems to be a problem for a lot of people. There’s a sense of forced independence in our culture that does much more harm than good. If you can’t do everything on your own, you’re worthless. If you need help, you may as well find a corner to rot in.

While independence is generally a good thing, everyone still needs help from time to time. That comes with being human. Why should needing academic help be shamed any more than needing help moving a heavy piece of furniture?

I have the feeling that one of my biggest problems this time around is knowing when to ask for assistance and when to bull through on my own. I still have a tendency to overload myself with difficult tasks, then not wanting to ask for help when I’m in over my head.

Next week, I’m seeing a local neuropsychologist for a consultation about my LD reassessment. Maybe I’ll ask her if she has any ideas about how to get past that block.


The Dilemma of Needing Help — 2 Comments

  1. One thing: We are biologically wired to live in tribed. WHich is, why too much individualism rings biologically wrong to me. Like a fish which is forced up a tree. Will never work optimally.

    • So true. We are hardwired to be social in some shape or form. I think part of the problem on this end of the pond is that independence is a fundamental part of the American culture. Unfortunately, it’s gotten to the degree that asking for help is seen as weakness and heavily discouraged in many groups.

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