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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Oh my goodness! I need to fold laundry!

Therapist once told me when I got to the point when I stopped "collecting" people, and allowed them to stay in my life as long as they chose then pass through and leave while I wished for their happiness, I would know the dependency I was so afraid of was gone. I let his words remain unanswered because I was unwilling to discuss the topic at the time. But here is what he doesn't know:

1. With possibly one exception, the only person on whom I have ever been emotionally dependent is Darrin. I have worked through that, I'm in a much better place and I don't believe it will ever happen again. I'm just not the type of person to feel comfortable depending on anyone except myself. I'm not saying it won't happen, just that circumstances would have to be unusual and I would have to be considerably weak in order for that to take place, therefore--unlikely, leaning toward impossible.

2. I've never asked any person to stay--ever. I may have said I wished they would, or I loved having them in my life, but I have never coerced them in any way. Emotional blackmail is not my thing. I much prefer telling people what I think or feel, and letting them know what's happening in my life to avoid misunderstandings and avoid regrettable situations. Not everyone I love reciprocates these things for me, but people deal with life in their own ways. In fact, I would have to say that when any person has indicated our friendship (or other "-ship") has become uncomfortable, I have suggested it might be time to do something different. The last thing I wish is for someone to remain in my life out of social habit, a misplaced sense of obligation, or pity. We both deserve better.

3. If I "collect" people, it's by choice not compulsion. People fascinate me. I like them. I like to find out what makes them happy or sad, what they're interests are, what foods they like or dislike, what they see when we're both looking at the same thing...I don't just find someone because I need an emotional sponge or I'm dying for a new audience to tell all my secrets. Most people would say they don't really know that much about me unless we've been friends for at least a year (or more). There was once a person with whom I spoke sporadically--I considered him my friend. But fairly recently he was having some difficulty and I was trying to help. I mentioned my love and support for him. He baldly stated that he didn't even know me. Good point. The fact that I love him is obviously suspect. Not everyone understands that I love haphazardly and I rarely consider that other people actually like to have some sort of relationship before they love someone. Point taken. I don't tell him I love him anymore--in fact, I don't think I tell him anything anymore.

4. I always want happiness for the people I love. And I allow them to define what happiness means to them without input from me. And if they find it, I will be the first person to be happy for their happy. As for letting go, I practice it all the time. I prepare for it. I try to discuss it, but I find most people are unwilling to talk about it--which I do not understand. It's a fact of life. If we could talk about it, think about it, get ready for the time when we're no longer as important to each other, it wouldn't hurt so much when it happens. Unfortunately, logic does not seem to penetrate emotional situations. Most people think I'm trying to encourage them to leave (I'm not), or they're insulted that I even suggested it might happen (ridiculous--it always happens--even in marriages there are times of closeness and distance, children are born with the idea that one day they'll leave, friends...well...anyone who talks to me knows how I feel about the staying power of friendship, or rather, the non-existence of such a phenomenon).

So why am I afraid of dependence? This is the last thing I haven't told Therapist: I'm not afraid of it. I am afraid I'll depend on the wrong person. Co-dependence is highly unlikely to ever be a problem in my life. Misplaced dependence is definitely something I fear. I indulged in it once and ended up getting raped more times than I can count. I think I can be forgiven of that--I wasn't yet twelve, and adolescents don't always have enough knowledge to make good choices. But I'm not twelve now. And I don't believe I'll ever be in a situation where I'll be that vulnerable again. But I still wonder about dependence. Part of me is dependent on Darrin--he's my husband--that's appropriate. But someday we'll be separated by death, and I have a feeling I'll be the one left behind. What to do with that dependence then? I have no idea.

Perhaps I'll put this on my list of topics to discuss with Therapist in May. Then again, perhaps by that time I'll no longer care. Good thing my list is written in pencil.

Yeah...random title. I have a knack for choosing words which have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

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