I had a scheduled call with the bank today. Just routine stuff. Routine stuff which you would just a year ago pop into the branch and sort out at the counter. Nothing is routine now.

Anyway during the call the bank person asked a couple of not really banking questions that kinda through me

Can I ask. Are you ok. Are you coping. It must be so tough. Are you getting the support you need.”

That’s the bank saying that……

Now before I go on – I am ok. I am coping. A bit of support would be nice but it’s not happening. But here’s the thing. I could so easily be doing not so well in this single parenting gig. Really struggling. Getting no support. Desperate. Looking over the precipice. Sadly many are. In fact forget the single bit, many people are….

I became a single parent in 2016 following the death of my partner. In that time the only official person to ask how I was doing was that bank person. No doctor, no school professional, no education specialist, no one from the local services. NO ONE in the support areas has ever asked what the bank person asked. How many people are struggling and nobody finds out. Nobody asks. I guess the assumption is that those that struggle will always put their hand up. Sadly that might not happen.

That is such a worrying thought.

109 thoughts on “Just ask once

  1. It’s very sad. And not everyone asks for help, not by a long stretch. What a shock to receive concern from a bank employee! It’s really nice that she/he asked, but it’s a sad commentary on the state of affairs in general.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow, Gary, this gave me goosebumps, still does. How touching is that? Sad that the ones you would expect to ask don’t. But the more valued the kind attitude of that bank person is. I am very moved.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. That is the characteristic of the problem. You don’t tell anyone about it, so nobody knows… the more important that smile is to share whenever you can because you never know!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. God bless that bank employee – now that’s customer service! So many people are falling through the cracks because nobody asks. I know the suicide rate has increased substantially because of the pandemic. It is worrisome and incredibly sad.

    I am glad you are okay. You really are a testament to the human spirit!

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I know WP has saved my sanity throughout this pandemic. But many people do not even own a computer, never mind having a place to call home. Thinking about that makes me even more grateful for all the things I take for granted.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I am just reading Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch and this line really struck me: “Do not be discouraged by what you have not done, but be encouraged by what you WILL do.”

        Isn’t that perfect? Yes, there is definitely a mental health pandemic underway. There was a huge issue even before the virus hit but it has made it so much worst! Hang in there my friend, this too shall pass. It will, as has all other calamities that have been visited on this world of ours.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. He’s written several books with the same name, the one I am presently perusing is book 4, A new and unexpected dialogue. That’s the one I pulled the quote from (pg. 113 I believe 🙂


  4. These responses above, and probably below, frighten me, Gary. Have we all lost our sense of caution, of suspicion, of ulterior motives? It seems I am the first to question the questioner.
    I’m only partly serious, it was nice for someone to care enough to ask if you are okay. But giving where it came from, I might be wondering what other service they would have tried to sell you if you had said you were not getting the support you need.
    Yes, I am capable of cynicism, it is a bane of my existence. But I look gift horses in the mouth, because other gift horses have bitten me.
    Hope you have a nice day in spite of me.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. It is crazy for anyone to think that people will necessarily put their hand up, as you put it, if they need help. You must have been pretty thrown by the bank of all places (even though my father was a bank manager and was the kind who would have asked but that was in the days before banks became the kinds of places they tend to be today. Glad there is still a bit of soul there.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I think that we will be seeing the fallout of people NOT doing okay for many years to come. There is still such a stigma. Especially in UK… the whole “stiff upper lip” mentality. It’s heartbreaking to think of folks struggling when just a kind word would help.
    Your NHS is going to be overrun with physical manifestations of the stress of the past year (and counting).

    I think people are afraid to ask because what if the person says they ARE struggling? Then what do they do?
    The answer is offer to listen. Listening to each other goes a long way. It helps to know we’re not alone. 💌💌💌

    Liked by 4 people

  7. There are kind people out there. I struggle daily, and will never admit it to anyone. My son died in 2016. Most days are a struggle, yet no one ever realizes or asks. My heart goes out to you.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. It was good of the person to ask. I do wonder what would happen if you said you weren’t. There is very little support out there these days. Services cut due to furloughed staff, the pandemic, lack of funding, and for many who are struggling the waiting lists are atrocious. Of course they were before the pandemic but are even harder to access now. For parents of children with ASD it can be quite a lonely life as it is, with lack of awareness and understanding being extremely frustrating at times. I know you don’t know me and I have no idea how you would even send a message but I’m happy to chat if needed. Sometimes all we need is for someone to listen without advice or solutions. Just to be heard can make the world of difference.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I’ve have answered honestly on occasion, and more people than not are appalled that I dared to lay my burden on them. They scurry away like cockroahes from light. Hopefully they stopped asking such a question so frivolous.
        But I doubt it.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. It must have been so hard to deal with!! But you came out brave and its always so good a feeling when people you don’t really know, tell you that you aren’t alone even though it might feel so…

    Liked by 1 person

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