I’m not talking about falling in love, the exhilaration of those first days and nights, weeks even. My concern when it comes to what we loosely term “love” is dependence, surrendering my independence, feeling as though I need someone.
Need that person like an addict, quietly, secretly, no one the wiser except me.
I’m talking about trusting that another will hold my heart and my confidences and not abuse them.
I’m talking about expecting him to still be here in a week or a month, maybe in a year, maybe through my worst possible self, through the money worries and sleeplessness, through long hours when he would rather be doing something else but instead he’s at my side, listening to my troubles or just with me, holding me.
I’m talking about trusting him to know me, and that feels like a precarious, profound, almost unthinkable need.
Trusting. What a complicated concept for some of us.
Does Dependence on a Person Scare You?
If I popped a pill every night to sleep, would I consider myself dependent?
If I required four cups of coffee every morning to get me going, would I say I was hooked?
How is that different from my wakeful brain and my sleeping brain knowing there is a man who loves me, who will fly with me to see my sons, who will smile at me when I’m in a dark place, who will allow me to love him?
Ah, trust. I know this difficulty to be a legacy of my childhood, and fear of it, once conquered. I know this to be a legacy of my divorce, still palpable, though I have no such issues with my sons.
Does any sort of emotional dependence scare you?
Am I alone in this terror?
Believing in Institutions (Marriage)
Once, there was a ring on my finger and I thought that meant family.
I was wrong.
Something in me was ripped open, something in me has never healed, something in me will never fully articulate the ways in which I am not the same since.
The morning comes with sunshine and that’s a rare sight these days. The clock in the kitchen is ticking and reminding me of the schedule that presses even as the weekend approaches. The refrigerator is nearly empty and that means shopping at the international market that he adores, where he lingers, where he nearly dances and his glee is infectious.
I will coordinate what I can in my day with a man willing to compromise more than I, a man who does not seem to question love, a man who cares little for its addictive properties. So I grab my independence by the throat and throttle it, aware of its staunch support and necessity to who I am and how I live my life, and equally aware that interdependence – family, friends, community – the reliance of those with whom we can be vulnerable – is critical.
But I struggle with it, still. I struggle with my vulnerability, with belief in love, with trusting aspects of my well-being to another person’s affections, judgment, tenderness, whims.
I do not want to be an addict. I do not want to be dependent on love.
But when he smiles at me, when he makes me laugh, when he says “yes, I will drive across half the country for an adventure if you like” or “yes, I will make the coffee this morning and leave you in your head, leave you to your writing, leave you so I may join you later,” I cannot imagine the world without him in it.
How strange it is to write those words.
How lovely it is to write those words.
I cannot imagine the world without him in it.