I recently encountered this sentence in one of my transcription jobs. For whatever reason, it's running in a loop in my head. I keep thinking about what this might mean in different contexts. I keep wondering about those contexts in regards to myself.
Never become dependent. This has been the mantra of my life. Which doesn't mean I've always been able to adhere to it. There were a number of years when I was extremely dependent on Darrin. He insists it wasn't unhealthy, and that it was perfectly understandable, given that he was the first person I allowed myself to trust. At that point, I had to experience all the emotions that accompany vulnerability and trust. Because those feelings had been stopped for so long, it stands to reason that I would feel unable to function normally without frequent contact - physical, social, and emotional - with the person in whom I had chosen to invest.
However, that experience did not pave the way for future relationships based on trust and love. I simply put all my eggs in one basket. Darrin was the one I trusted. The end.
Eventually, I broke the dependency bond and learned more healthy ways to interact with my husband, and I recognized that in spite of myself, I had been far too reliant on him. And my mantra became even stronger. Never become dependent.
Dependency is not satisfiable. No matter how much time and love and touch is given, dependency demands more. And more. It consumes. Never become dependent.
And so my subsequent interactions with people I love have been militantly monitored. Never become dependent. No doubt, part of this is because of my ingrained belief that at any moment, someone might need to let me go so that more important things can take my place. I've sometimes asked (especially in moments when PTSD makes me feel incredibly lonely and crazy), "Please stay." But the plea is meant to be temporary. Always, people have to leave when they have to leave. I just don't want it to happen when I'm battling symptoms that feel overwhelming.
Does that make me dependent? Am I never satisfied? Do I demand or consume?
I don't know. I might. I've always made certain that anything I give emotionally, physically, or materially, is given without strings. No one should feel bound to me for any reason. Never become dependent.
Sigh... this interaction thing is really complicated. And Tolkien Boy told me a long time ago that no real relationship can exist without some degree of mutual dependence, which is different from codependency which is what he believes I am talking about when I say "dependent". And maybe he's right. But I don't depend on my children. I suppose I rely on Darrin to be my sexual partner and my lifelong friend. But there is always a degree of separation that says if he was no longer there for some reason, I would survive. I think I feel the same way about everyone in my life.
I'm not sure if that's okay or not. I would definitely rather spend the rest of my with the people I love. I'm just certain that if that was not possible, I would recover from the loss. Honestly, I think Tolkien Boy feels the same way, in spite of what he says. I think everyone feels that way unless they're under the age of 20. I think I recognized that feeling in myself when I was nine. Since that time, I'm always a little bit confused about relationships with longevity. Maybe everyone feels that way, too.