Saturday, October 13, 2007


I think lack of independence has, in many ways, led to my depression and kept it from going away. My husband is away and I am noticing that I am free in a way I have not allowed myself to be in a long time.

I am free to turn on the heat when I want to without being afraid he will criticize me (I pay the not sure why he cares either way). I am free to go anywhere, with anyone, without being afraid he will get mad at me. I am free to do the things I like to do without feeling guilty about doing them. These things are informing me that I allow my husband to control me in so many ways. I give up independence to keep our relationship comfortable, to avoid conflict. I don't like that I do this.

I feel like I give away bits of myself by giving up my independence. I notice that whenever he has gone away I feel a sense of freedom that I do not feel when he is home. Alternately, my strong sense of needing my independence can be a big problem. I push people away because I feel suffocated, or feel like I need my space. I think this is a defense mechanism. I push them away before they get the chance to push me away.

I struggle so much with my fear of being rejected by others. I believe this stems from two things in my life: As a child and teenager I had to move with my family to different parts of the country every 2-3 years. Each time I moved I had to make new friends. I think I gave up some of my independence and became who people needed me to be in order to make and meet new friends.

Also, I had a father who dismissed my ideas all the time. He was the most important male role model in my life. His dismissiveness was heartbreaking as all I wanted to do was please him. I am 42 and he still dismisses me and I still try to please him. It still hurts me every time he rejects me. I do not know how to become independent in this relationship, other than avoid him, which is what I end up doing.

I have replaced my father with a husband who does the same thing. It is strange, but the more I feel dismissed, the more I struggle to be close to the person dismissing me. This affects my independence. I do not feel safe being independent because I fear I will be rejected.

1 comment:

Polar Bear said...

" I do not feel safe being independent because I fear I will be rejected."

I can certainly understand that. I know what it's like to become whatever other people want me to be. You do lose yourself when you do this.