Sunday, December 6, 2015

One of the less bullshitty ways in which people opposed to me and E's. . .whatever involved a lot of use of the term "dependence."

Because of his situation, his illness, his history, people on both sides worried that what we were developing was some kind of imbalanced, co-dependent relationship. As things were crumbling in the week it took for us to sever ties properly, he went back to that point. "Maybe I'm being too dependent on you. Maybe I'm just using you to feel happy."

The way his sister phrased it was, "I know you think you're helping him but he's just going to use you. He's getting fixated on you."

My mom more or less expressed a similar sentiment when she caught me sneaking back into the house at 2 am, but at least she only said it once. On his side, we got to hear it multiple times, through multiple people. If anything, I learned later he filtered out a lot of it for my benefit.

I never admitted it to anyone, but I often wondered if such a thing could be said about me. Every time I heard a variation of the same lecture I thought, "how do you know I'm not using him?

What was meant as a hypothetical question eventually led me to wonder something--how do we define relationships between not-so-perfect people? Aren't we always giving things in exchange of something else?

I wanted companionship and I wanted it from him. He wanted the same. Did we use each other in that way?

It's sick to admit it, but lately I've had trouble imagining a way in which relationships can be anything except people using each other. Strip them to their core and that's what you end up with.

And I'm sure that opinion says a lot about me. Says everything about me.

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