Two people start off as strangers. Give or take a few weeks or months and they’ve become fairly close. The relationship could be perennial. Gradually, one of the people involved starts feeling a sense of attachment to, a sense of incompleteness without, and a sense of validation and security with the other. However, this relationship eventually becomes awkward, uncomfortable and suffocating for the other person who decides that he/she has had enough and can’t take anymore of it. Now, the “one” is left with a void and a cornucopia of feelings, none of which ascribe to him/her any self-worth or consolation. Why? Because this person in question was emotionally dependent on the other.
What are the causes of emotional dependency? For most people, it arises from the want to be loved, needed and/or understood, or the desire for their feelings to be known, acknowledged and/or reciprocated. Over-attachment to loving parents or significant figures during childhood or the lack of the same could result in this state.
Emotional dependency also stems from expectation. You might have expectations of people without even knowing it. While it’s not wrong to have mild expectations in any relationship, they don’t exactly contribute to the relationship in a positive way. Most often, you expect people to fulfill needs and play roles that they are either incapable of, or unobligated to fulfill or play. Realizing the limitations of every relationship is vital for you to have realistic or, better still, no expectations from the other.
When you are emotionally dependent on someone, you are susceptible to constructing an idealized image of or fantasy involving that person. You often forget that the object of your fantasy is in fact human in nature because they have been removed from reality. This idealization always ends in disappointment or even hurt as any negative or unexpected response of the significant other can be detrimental to the emotionally dependent person.
Emotional independence is stalled by this dependency. When you invest all your love in a person who ends up saying sayonara, what do you do? Find the strength to get a move on with your life or start self-deprecating and brooding over the could-haves and should-haves? If the the latter is your reaction, then you’ll understand the consequences of emotional dependency: you are bereft of self-worth – you gave another person so much importance that you neglected the fostering of your own worth.
In order to become emotionally independent, you must practice self-consciousness and introspection. Analyze the patterns of your thought and behavior and look for destructive and negative elements in them. Do you get clingy? Do you act childish? Do you come off as needy? Do you always want someone’s undivided attention? Do you focus your attention solely on the object of your fantasy? Do you go to extremes to make someone happy? Do your feelings depend largely or entirely on another person? Does your presence or conduct make someone uncomfortable? If your answer is yes to most or all of these, you need to start cultivating self-reliance and emotional maturity. Identify and work on your fortes and your gifts. Assure yourself that you don’t need to estimate how worthy you are of being loved in terms of how much someone else loves you.
As regards to the person you were reliant on, it is best to maintain a healthy distance and set reasonable boundaries rather than deleting them from your life or pretending they never existed. Give yourself and everyone the space they deserve. If a relationship hits a sore point, don’t allow yourself to get reactive due to neediness. Emotional dependency is a potential threat to a lot of relationships. Don’t condition yourself to have a low opinion of a person who could not meet your expectations. Just because they couldn’t, it doesn’t make them bad people. They probably have enough to deal with in their own lives, or they are just not the right people to see you through your moments of doubt. Remember that you can’t force people to be there for you at all times, or force them to be in your life if they don’t want to stay.
In conclusion, emotional dependency can be addressed and it can certainly be overcome. While it can be awkward at the least or embarrassing and humiliating at the worst, it is just human nature manifesting itself. With a little self-respect and willpower, you’ll begin to see positive holistic change in your emotions and your mindset.
(Experience speaks. Feel free to talk to me about your feelings related to this post.)
Time will translate this weakness into strength;
One day even the scars will be faded like old ink on old parchment;
The mind’s eye will soon see only blurred memories,
Memories relieved of their intensity, their stimulus,
Memories robbed of their sting, their power to hurt.
The sun will conquer every lonely, dark night;
The storm will die, the sky will clear.
Pain will tire of rearing its head, its fangs will not pierce, will not kill;
It’s strangling hold will break, it will be defeated in its purpose.
Broken hearts will mend, broken people will be made whole.
One day in time, we will be set free.
Will I, one day, with tentative hands, find the resolve To draw aside my heavy black drapes
And let the sunlight in again?
Will guilt molest my heart for the need or the deed?
For not retracting those hands that drew the drapes aside?
Seeing it as I might, after a month of Sundays,
Will I shield my eyes from it,
Or teach myself to behold it anew?
That sunlight, I wonder, if it will swallow up the darkness
Or merely disguise it in golden splendor?
There are places, strange places,
Where the sun forgets to shine every once in a while,
Where sunlight can’t hide every blotch of darkness.
Those places, those sunless rooms, exist inside me.
Même si tu escalades la montagne le plus haute,Tu ne peux pas rester là toujours.
Car tu dois retourner au monde ce que tu vois d’en-haut,
Au monde où tu appartiens, le monde d’en-dessous.
La couronne de la Victoire ne reste pas
Définitivement sur une seule tête.
Défaite peut chante ses ballades tristes à voix basse
Pendant que la Victoire chante ses hymnes clairets.
Le goût du Triomphe est doux
Comme le lait avec le chèvrefeuille.
Défaite est un pichet de médecine amère,
S’attardant écoeurante aux papilles.
Mais cher âme abattu et battu,
Aujourd’hui il y aura une blessure, il y a de l’épreuve,
Demain il y aurait seule une cicatrice, une mémoire.
Je m’oppose à ce que tu émeuves.
You’re in a crowd, but you’re alone. You explain, but that just makes things harder to understand than they initially were. You speak, but you can’t be heard, or you’re not listened to. When you’re silent, everyone hears. When you’re down, no one wants to help you up, but when you’re up, everyone wants to drag you down. They tell you to hold on when you’re trying to let go. They tell you to let go when you’re trying to hold on. You’re dying while you’re living, and living while you’re dying.
Life is pervaded by the essence of irrational irony.
You talk to a person present in the flesh and you’re ignored. You talk to your “wall” on a social media platform and people who aren’t well-enough acquainted with you connect the dots of your untold emotions. You are forced to wear a smile that conceals the scars lest someone should see them and question your sanity or gloat over your probable insanity. You are forced to line your eyes with kohl to camouflage the deed all the midnight tears have done, because people seem to notice, but won’t seem to understand. You love someone, but your love to them is no more than the earth they trample underfoot.
Life is garnished with the oil of inexplicable indifference.
You are told by people that you will be understood, but ultimately, you end up being either not understood or misunderstood. You are told to stay put by someone who persistently tries to push you off balance when you’re like a feather amidst an air current. You choose your path and traverse it only to realize you’ve been treading the wrong way all this while. You gain something only to realize it won’t last forever, but you lose something and realize that it will be lost forever, like a drop in a boundless ocean.
Life is sprinkled with a dash of inevitable idiosyncrasy.
But life has to go on through it all, doesn’t it? And it does…
You know you’re not losing life’s battle, you’re just fighting your way up from the bottom.
Life is crowned with the indomitable spirit that surmounts the issues so insurmountable.
“I’m over my head and there’s no way out. It’s like I’m underwater trying not to drown.” — Nikki Flores in ‘Underwater’
Have you ever felt that way at any point in your life? At one moment you felt as light as a feather that you could even walk on the surface of the blue, but all too suddenly, you just felt heavier and noticed that you were sinking with no way out. You don’t want to die, but you don’t know how to evade death from happening.
Maybe you’re suffocating, your lungs are in agony, your limbs are flailing helplessly, and the weight of your heavy heart keeps acting in your disfavor. It’s like wanting to live but not being able to stay alive.
But maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Even someone who looks too big for even the weighing scale to affix a number in kilos to is capable of floating.
Resurfacing is a great deal harder than floating, but it isn’t unfeasible. There comes a time when you’re just holding on by a flimsy thread that can only last for so long before unraveling and coming apart and that is the moment of truth wherein you decide to go down silently or to rise to the surface fighting even when you’re being tested.
To live or to die. That is the choice to be made in a situation as critical as the one at hand.
When you let go of those weighty feelings that are attached to you like a ball and chain, they will sink to the bottom of the ocean where they belong and you can propel yourself upward where you see the dancing reflection of the sun on the surface.
You feel drained. You feel hazy. You feel relieved.
The odds will perpetually try to suck us in and suck the life out of us, but to drown in them or to break free of their iron grip and stronger-than-gravity pull is a choice you have to make. It’s worth the fight to stay alive after all, isn’t it?
“Hey, I have big news for you!” I say.
“Hey, there’s a party in my house this weekend.”
“Hey, I have a boyfriend.”
Everyone wants the details.
“I feel so lonely. I need someone.”
No one cares.
What bestial reality!
It must baffle you when you try to make sense of indifference these days. But it’s just natural for people to not want to partake in your sorrow. It’s like giving them a choice between maple syrup and pulverized bitter squash.
Jettisoned as you may be, know that people don’t leave you to show you that you’re weaker without them, but to show you that you’re stronger on your own. Everyone says that his life is packed to the brim with his own sorrows that he hasn’t any room for that of another, but it’s mind-boggling as to how the same hearts that appear to be filled to the brim with sentiments of melancholy are avid partakers in activities and talks of pleasure.
Everyone wants to be with you when your happiness is at its pinnacle but no one really accompanies you down to the vale when you’re overwhelmed with sadness.
But don’t worry, because those who taste pleasure too often will wind up miserable just like those who drink too much of maple syrup might be on the waiting list of Mr. Diabetes. Those who know sorrow will just come closer to what they are and will eventually learn to discover the real meaning of life- not in the form of vague delectation- but in its every sense. Bitter squash might cause a tongue to recoil and a face to squirm, but it doesn’t kill. It just makes you healthier and stronger.