It is nine minutes shy of the witching hour, and she is staring in half-comprehension at the heavily annotated copywriters’ pyramid in her notebook, finger-stirring and nursing a slightly sugared cup of chamomile tea.
One day, she realized that the
she was holding onto for dear life
belonged to the air.
She’d held onto it
longer than was necessary.
Not wanting to hurt
its myrtle wings
she had come to love,
not wanting to see it struggle
to break loose,
she set it free.
It was a butterfly unlike the
counterparts of its species –
the dust of its wings never left
the ridges of her fingers.
Thenceforth she sat
on the blue-gray cobblestones
flanked by withered patches
of pink carnations
and strewn with dead leaves.
Dragonflies, aphids, grasshoppers
like mocking winged missiles
would slowly approach and hastily retreat.
They’d whisper loudly,
Don’t get too close, it’s dangerous,
for the butterfly-catcher to hear.
Searching, sometimes for hours,
she watched slow-beating wings
draw from the bosoms of
but the pairs of wings she saw
were either too gaudy as
a gypsy’s motley patch-dress,
or too unremarkably plain as
a scullery maid’s aged apron.
At long last, one evening
when the dusk was robbing
the last colors of the day,
she spotted it – her myrtle-green butterfly –
near the golden-hearted purple irises.
With the caution of
a person crossing a field
sown with landmines,
the febrile franticness of
a lone soul crossing
a fraying drawbridge,
she made her painstaking way thither.
Like a sinner, going down
on bended knees,
the butterfly-catcher whispered
I’ve been waiting to see you
just to say
I’m sorry for catching you
the other day.
Though it wasn’t eternity,
I held onto you too long,
but then I let you go because
it’s not where you belong.
It made me so happy when I held you,
But happiness isn’t happiness
if the other’s not happy too.
Myrtle-green butterfly, you were
special to me,
but you were never mine for the keeping
so I set you free.
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.
With coal dust in your myopic eyes
You see warped, distorted images
Like reflections in carnival mirrors,
The surface of disturbed water,
Or the cave of a polished spoon.
Seeing with a visual apparatus
Slick with a film of judgment
Perhaps renders your discolored,
Tinged view of my world and me
To yourself most sightly.
But, how long will you bear to see nightshade where there actually bloom roses?
Serpents where there actually stand people?
Relieve yourself of that judgmental culture, your cataract, your coal dust.
Do yourself a favor: wash your eyes and see,
Behold the beauty that is,
Rather than contriving an ugliness that never was.