Ok so I need to figure out a few things which probably means long entries here. Before I start to think about how this relationship is developing and what it means for me I need to delve into a topic I have been avoiding for some time.
Having had a discussion with a friend about dependence I was giving some thought to how I feel about in/dependence and how I feel I fare in relationships not only as a little but also as the bright confident woman that I am.
Perhaps I should start by saying I don’t believe in absolutes in general and much less so in relationships because life is too complex for black or white so perhaps shifting here and there, somewhere on the colour spectrum would be much more realistic.
As an adjective an independent person is one who is “free from outside control; not subject to another’s authority”, “not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence” (I’m lucky enough that I can support myself and do not depend on anyone else), and “capable of thinking or acting for oneself”.
I was particularly amused at the synonyms for the first part of the definition… freethinking, individualistic, unconventional, maverick; free, liberated, bold, free-spirited, unconstrained, unrestrained, unfettered,untrammelled, unhampered; undisciplined, wild, wilful, headstrong, contrary
free from outside control
How can anyone be totally free from outside control? I mean everything around you in some way influences your actions… ok let’s say in this context this is more to do with outside control from your “other” because otherwise we’ll be here all day…. in that case this is where I land somewhere on the spectrum. I am predisposed to give away much of the control with (historical) disastrous results. This is something I need to address and it’s not easy. Years of bad behaviour are difficult to unlearn even when you can see it and identify it.
Outside the context of love/romantic interest relationships, with people I do not know or trust (yet) I give little or no control. I am able to filter how they affect me in a no nonsense kind of way perhaps this is one of the best lessons I learned from my career in a cut throat industry. Any negative feelings are short lived and I bounce right back with a great deal of resilience.
So what is it about getting close to someone that makes me slowly but surely give it all away? – it’s difficult to write here but I have some theories, one is that I corelate love with control, the more you give it away the more the other person will love you it’s like a currency, you pay for love with your submission. This is so ridiculously untrue of course that I’m almost ashamed of it. I can see it but it is really difficult to break away from it.
A side effect of this is that it leaves me totally vulnerable to the whims of the person/s I am close to and also it is an unfair burden on them it makes the relationship unbalanced and unhealthy probably one of the major causes of failure in previous relationships. I lose not only the control over my wants and desires, my body, but also my sense of self in the process. It is a terrifying prospect and it’s taken me quite a while to find out who I am again after having gone through that.
I’m a big believer in personal responsibility and yet this, in a place where I should truly embrace it, I feel deficient. In an effort to keep history from repeating itself I’m trying hard to keep my eyes open so that I can stop it before it happens.
So the lesson for me is not to give away all control in exchange for love or affection because:
- The person in love with me is in love with who I am as a person and not with the control that I’ve given away to them over me
- No one is asking me to do so (unless this is playtime… 😉 )
- I am responsible to make my own decisions and able to face the consequences accordingly, I feel more fulfilled and satisfied as a result
“capable of thinking or acting for oneself”
I certainly don’t lack the capability for doing both of these. In life in general and at work I exercise these skills continuously. I wouldn’t have survived without them I think. In relationships whilst I am capable of thinking for myself, acting for myself can be a little more tricky but definitely doable.
Overall I think this was a good exercise for me, I have a better idea now where my weaknesses are so I can learn to address them and not ignore them or brush them off. I’m also aware however that having said all this I have little experience over the last decade so it will be difficult at times and I am will make mistakes but at least I feel like I am making progress. In general I feel very independent, confident and happy, living by myself I think has taught me a lot of good skills.
The little in me smiles waiting for daddy to say “good girl” and the confident beautiful woman that I am sits up straight in her chair 🙂