Monday, July 18, 2011

Dependency on Others vs. Dependency on Ourselves (very important)

The comments below from Vickie were left in comments on my Friday post.  They are very important, and warrant a post of their own.  I hope you read all the way through, to my response at the bottom.

Vickie said:

Okay, one thing I just realized is this is the first time, since I have known you, that you have NOT been dependent on a 3rd party for your process.

Yes, you are taking bits and pieces from things and using tools (kay, me, whoever, therapist, doc, meds).

But you are totally standing on your own two feet.
I think this is the first time I have seen you do this (rely on yourself and not get tied into 3rd party plan or person) in regard to the outer change. And as you said, this is also the first time you have done really addressed your inner work too.

To be honest, when I see people tied to packages, partners, groups, etc, I always feel trepidation. That is sort of putting ones eggs in someone else's basket instead of our own.

yes, I get that we all support each other and we all gain ideas from other people's experiences. not talking about that. I guess what I am talking about is REALLY OWNING one's process.

we have to actually do it ourselves. We have to be dependent/responsible for ourselves.

(part of this also is our stopping feeling responsible for others as a means of avoiding our own lives. my former volunteer work is a good example.)

the dependency on others thing -

We can't have our process stop or stall because we stop going to the group (or it goes out of business), or because we loose our trainer or partner or whatever.

We have to change constantly. We can outgrown people (to put it plain) easily. The easiest way to think about this is my classes, I have needed to step up intensity many times over the years. I would think running partners would be the same as paces change. (I don't think it probably happens as much with sponsors in step programs because the fundimentals remain the same.)

but I really think that standing in our own shoes and NOT putting responsibility in someone else's hands, no matter how subtly, is a major part of the process.

this 'dependency on ourselves' and having to drop dependency on others comes into play with enabling and codependency too.

we can not straddle both worlds and stay balanced for some of these people [emphasis by Laura]. Can't play the dependency/enabling game when we aren't that way any more. this is true in blog land. it is true in real life.

And that ties into your uncle post from the other day. We all try to have those family members turn into supportive people in our lives. We can't do that for them. If they figure out how to change to fit into our lives, it is their choice. If they don't, that is their choice too. I know it is hard, because deep inside us there is a little girl who wants them to be functional. When we learn to be functional, it is very hard to deal with the nonfunctional. We can't invested in being both.

Laura's response to Vickie's comments:
I haven't been able to name why it is so hard to listen to my sister go on and on about her husband and stepson and friends--all highly dysfunctional. Or listen to my mother go on and on about her husband and all of her issues--highly dysfunctional. But that's why. I have outgrown (am outgrowing) the dysfunction. I don't want to straddle the fence any longer.

I am still too invested--I just explained (again) to my sister [Thursday] why she and her husband need marriage counseling (because they have no role models and have never learned what a good marriage or parents look like--she got it, for the first time, finally it sunk in). But, I am finished giving her advice. It takes too much out of me. Your comment has helped me see that.

I had an "after" night [Friday night]. Should have been asleep, but ate graham crackers instead. I didn't understand what had triggered it, until now. It was my sister, and probably seeing her and mom and grandmother all at Sophie's day camp play, and the culmination of all Mark's work boiling down into this last week before his test.

[Saturday] morning I weighed, accepted the .6 gain, and resolved to carry on with whole foods instead of falling into a pit of despair and sugar. Before, I would easily have tossed 3 weeks of health away for a weekend of "what the heck." Not now. Now, the healing on the inside is too important to wreck the healing on the outside.

1 comment:

Vickie said...

very glad you posted this so you have it all together.

and someone, somewhere, will have a little bell of understanding ring, because what you wrote applies to most of us.

and this is a big part of why people have such a hard time with maintenance. we have to have equilibrium (in my opinion) to do well and make changes and keep them going.

I didn't figure this out about my mother until this spring. so you will have an advantage - because this is early in your process and you will save yourself a lot of grief. I think this understanding is because you had a death/closure with your dad. I think it brought clarity to you. I had the death of my husband's mother and that brought a lot of clarity to me.

Ironically, just this morning, my mother told me to discontinue her cell phone package. Texting is one of the main ways we all communicate with her. (because texting is how we all - including my brother and his kids and everyone at my house - communicate).

and there will be a poor me (expense) martyr feelings about this. BUT, she choose to keep two TV's with full cable packages (DVR's) and her landline with full package. She is one person. The cost of one of the DVR boxes OR the landline is more than the cell phone.

it was a big statement. and it eliminated a lot of feelings I had about the fact I no longer text her all the time what the kids are doing. if she wants to know what people are doing, she needs to reach out and be involved and interested. I am no longer over compensating.

I did not drop her cell phone nor the number, I simply had the company put it on hold (I did this when oldest was in Europe for a semester, they just freeze the account so all is saved, but no charge/bill) in case she sees the light at some point.