It’s a foggy morning here in Seattle. I love mornings like this, they remind me of days when my sister and I would take long walks with our mom, through the rolling fog.

Dependence is the paradigm of you – you take care of me; you come through for me; you didn’t come through; I blame you for the results.

Independence is the paradigm of I – I can do it; I am responsible; I am self-reliant; I can choose.

Interdependence is the paradigm of we – we can do it; we can cooperate; we can combine our talents and abilities and create something great together.

Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own effort. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success. – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

On Depedence: When I met *Aeron, I was definitely independent. I was strong, I was confident in myself and I knew I could do whatever I set my mind to. My parents had raised all of us that way, they reinforced strength through trial and error, that mistakes were not stopping blocks, that we had everything we needed to make it happen. It being whatever we set our mind to. No goal was stupid, no dream unobtainable.

It was almost immediately after I moved in with Aeron I started to have a lot of doubts about myself and what I was capable of. I had never experienced someone that could be so heartless while saying that he loves you. It was small things too, for example, every time I didn’t clean the dishes right away I was labeled irresponsible, if I didn’t clean the house the way that he liked it he would have a list waiting for me when I got home from work and he would go over it with me, speaking to me as if I were a child.

He made it clear that I wasn’t to tell anyone about my mistakes because he was helping me and he didn’t want me to be embarrassed that I didn’t even know how to vacuum ….there began the isolation. Why, why, why did I listen to him?

I see in that quote what happened. I went into that relationship confident that I could take care of myself, that I was capable of doing whatever needed to be done, but I was also 20 years old. Aeron was almost 40 and I thought he was outwardly very confident, but that isn’t it, he was arrogant, he was proud and to keep feeding it he needed to put others down, including me. With his skillful manipulation of words he rendered me dependent on him after weeks of pushing the same button. “You are irresponsible, you can’t do this right, you don’t know anything, you need me, I’ll help you learn, I’ll help you get better, I’m the only one that cares.”

I didn’t believe him at first, I was just furious, I was insulted and knew that I had made a mistake in moving in with him, but I felt stuck. So I had a plan, I would submit peacefully to his demands, I would do the best that I could to show him that I was not the names he had called me. I worked my ass off doing it, but it was never good enough. After weeks of submitting to his conditions and feeling like I couldn’t tell anyone, I lost myself.

Dependence was also Aeron’s problem, he would never take ownership if things didn’t go his way. Someone else was at fault for letting him down, he was skilled at placing blame on others. My sister’s husband *Blake, is also like this. The whole world is against them, you should feel bad for them. These two guys have daddy issues….. here is a red flag, when a man nearing his 40’s has daddy issues that are unresolved, step away.

Unselfish acts are the real miracles out of which all the reported miracles grow. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s a pity we can’t ask people while on a date, to describe to us a time when they were selfless. Their answer could be a stealthy way of figuring out if they even comprehend how to put others before themselves, but how do you bring it up over appetizers?

Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible. – Cherie Carter-Scott

This week, I do believe that something which may seem impossible can happen. There are miracles, and there are dreamers, there are people with the grit and strength to push themselves to make it happen. I want to be one of those people.

Some men see things as they are and ask, “why?” I dream things that never were and ask, “Why not?” – George Bernard Shaw

Dreaming things that never were and going for it.I know it’s worth it if you just try, but trying, is the hardest part.


*Names have been changed.

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