Why It Is Hard for Me to Ask for Help After Leaving Abuse

April 28, 2022 Cheryl Wozny

One common trait of abuse victims I've noticed is their resiliency. I found that through the years, I perfected being self-sufficient. This admirable attribute is not as terrific as some may believe, however. My ability to tackle struggles on my own without asking for help is a negative side effect of years of abuse

Thoughts on Why It Is Hard for Me to Ask for Help

When Being Self-Sufficient Is Harmful 

"How can being self-sufficient be harmful?" you may wonder. The ability to handle anything that life throws at you is admirable and a characteristic that many individuals wish they had. However, as a victim of verbal abuse, I found that my self-reliance gets in the way of asking for help when it is necessary. 

When victims are in a cycle of abuse, they often feel unheard or unworthy. These feelings reinforce their low self-confidence, preventing them from reaching out to others. For many years after l left an abusive situation, I would still not take the chance to draw attention to myself, even when having help would have made my life easier. 

I got to the point where I would try to handle everything on my own since I believed that I was the only person I could trust. Unfortunately, this pattern would keep me in a continuous cycle of survivor burnout, even when I was no longer an active victim.

Help Is Healing 

I still struggle with asking for help, especially when it comes to my immediate family. Unfortunately, I still often fall back into bad habits of trying to handle everything until I become so overwhelmed that I lash out and blame my family for not helping me as I struggle. 

This pattern does not help me heal, and it creates a hostile environment in my home. Many times, my family members do not know I am struggling. I am taking care of things, and there are no issues from their perspective. When it finally comes to the point where I voice my frustrations, they are oblivious to how difficult things have been for me. 

It's Hard to Ask for Help, But Burnout Is Worse

Part of my therapy is learning my internal cues when I am struggling. As I begin to recognize these, I can consciously ask for help before the situation becomes too much for me.

I try to remember that I am a work in progress, and there will be times when I miss opportunities to ask for help. I may take on too many tasks and lash out at my family members for not assisting. I need to give myself the grace that I would extend to someone else in my position. 

If you are constantly facing burnout from trying to handle everything on your own, it may be beneficial for you to learn how to ask for help earlier. I know it will not happen overnight, but I take it one day at a time. 

APA Reference
Wozny, C. (2022, April 28). Why It Is Hard for Me to Ask for Help After Leaving Abuse, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Author: Cheryl Wozny

Cheryl Wozny is a freelance writer and published author of several books, including mental health resources for children titled, Why Is My Mommy So Sad? and Why is My Daddy So Sick? Writing has become her way of healing and helping others. Find Cheryl on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and her blog

Lizanne Corbit
April, 29 2022 at 3:11 pm

This is such a vital topic for so many. It could very easily be one of the most important things to focus on because overwhelm is often the first thing to trigger or break someone down. Even from a generally healthy place, if a person becomes tired and does not have help it leads to many issues that may have seemingly been overcome. Thank you for sharing, Cheryl!

May, 19 2022 at 8:17 pm

Hello Lizanne, I am Cheryl Wozny author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog here at HealthyPlace. Thank you for recognizing the struggles that I and others face when dealing with obstacles. Be well.

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