I'm not independent and I don't wanna be
this is awesome, but i think includes a common misunderstanding around the term "co-dependency" which I think should be framed less around "needing someone else" and more around abandoning your own self, needs, boundaries, for another person's needs/comfort. There is such a thing as co-dependency that is truly toxic and I have soooo struggled with it. Its about insecurity, about needing to feel "needed" because you don't know unconditional love, its about control. My mantra that I have to always remind myself in my battle against co-dependency is: "Before I am your daughter, your sister, your aunt, niece, or cousin, I am my own person, and I will not set fire to myself to keep you warm.". That's what it feels like — sacrificing yourself and losing yourself in another person... not just needing them, but needing them to be ok/happy at your own expense.
Wow. Wowowowowowow. Since I first moved out of my parents' house, I've had this negative conception of myself for not being able to take care of myself when I'm left alone. One day alone can be a heavenly recharge. Any more than that and I fall apart real quick. I'm 36 and I've never lived alone, nor wanted to. After college, I intentionally sought out a house with a co-op vibe where we all cooked together most nights, and since then have always lived with romantic partners - for a couple of months, I even lived with an ex as a roommate and moved a new partner in at the same time. I have also always fantasized about living multigenerationally. I would love to live with my dad and stepmom, but they seem to think I'm joking whenever I bring it up. Like they can't believe I could possibly want that.
It's wild now to have read this essay and realize that I thought of myself as sort of pitiful and incompetent for so strongly needing to live with others. I internally framed it as needing eyes on me all the time so that I wouldn't shame myself with my worst behavior.
And all of this despite the fact that I have a strong academic interest in economies of care! I was holding simultaneously the intellectual knowledge of the importance of care, and the emotional knowledge of being pathetic for needing it on a personal, daily level.
Thank you for this reframing. I'll be thinking about it for a long time.
My brother has complex needs and lives with my mother and is cared for by her. I also have always planned my life in a way that envisions him in it, and it made me quite emotional to read your account. Bros! I love them!
this is THE best.. being able to depend on others is how we survive and it's fucked that we get caught up in the sigma grindset lol. every term with even a modicum of meaning gets watered down beyond recognition ('toxic' comes to mind) and with how easily available information is now, people have concinved themselves AND others that if you camt be independent, you're not strong. 0/10 would not recommend being alone tho !!
This really speaks to me today <3 And every day, truly
as much as the “i love you i want us both to eat well” part of tumblr has its flaws...it’s genuinely hard for me to eat when i’m only cooking for myself! so they may have been on to something there.
This is so validating! But also, brb sending this to a friend who got told she was co-dependent after escaping an abusive relationship.