The Dependency Doldrum

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There are three things that I loathe the most in this world: Infidelity, Insecurity and Dependency. These are something that I just cannot stand or understand. The first two are self-explanatory, but people find it weird that I have a problem with dependency. From as long as I can remember, I have always been an independent person. I hate having to depend on someone for something or have someone depend on me for something. It creates a vicious cycle that I do not want to be a part of. While some think that depending on someone else makes the other person feel important, I honestly find it really annoying. Every one should be independent in whatever they do and help others become independent too.

I had not given much thought to this until my husband and I moved into a place of our own. Having to deal with plumbers, carpenters, painters and cleaners taught me a lot. While these people do a good job mostly, having to depend on them for the basics is extremely frustrating. There was a leak in the pipe of our bathroom one day and we called the plumber to come fix it. Now, this is the plumber who has been assigned to our entire community and is expected to work until everyone is comfortably settled. After calling him multiple times, he finally turned up towards the night. By then, water was wasted for more than four hours and the overhead tank was exhausted. Did he care about it? Not one bit. He came in, quoted a price to fix it, fixed it, collected the money and left. Every part of me aches when I have to depend on people like this to get things done.

The minute we stepped into the new house, we had our neighbors prepping to move in. The first thing they asked us is, "Do you have a maid? Will she work for us as well?". This was more than one household. Honestly, as much as I would love to have constant help around the house, the very fact that I have to depend on someone to get my vessels washed, meals cooked or house mopped irks me. Plus, I have a serious case of OCD and like things done in a certain way. If I ever had a maid, I'd be exactly like how Monica was when Chandler gets them a maid. Anyway, I digress. My point is that I do not want to wait for someone to come in to do my household work. I do not want to wait for someone to wash my lunchbox so that a cook can fill it up. I also do not want to wait for someone to come cook me a meal. This dependency would eat me from within. I have seen my friends and colleagues complain when their cooks/maids go on leave or worst case abscond, I do not want to ever get there.

Another kind of dependency that troubles me the most is the financial one. I have been financially independent from a very young age and I love people who are like me. When people have to depend on others for the basics, it troubles me. My husband and I have people depending on us financially and it definitely is not easy for us. But, this is something we cannot avoid. Call it love or call it duty, this is something that needs to be done. Having said that, we are not the ones to compromise on our needs to give someone else their wants. We are nice people, not stupid people.

The most dangerous kind of dependency in my book is the emotional one. This is the one most of us are plagued with. While it is okay to emotionally lean on someone every now and then, totally depending on someone for your own emotional health is hazardous. I have seen cases where people forgive the other person for heinous stuff, just because they are emotionally dependent on the said person. It is okay to seek emotional support from family and close friends, that's why they exist, but there always is a line that must not be crossed.

I have seen a case closely where a woman had to give up on her own beliefs, her own truths and expectations, when the person she was totally dependent on did something that she could never forgive. Just because she couldn't do without the person's emotional support, she let it all go and forgave in an instant. I totally lost respect for the woman that day. I know it is hard, but nothing comes before your self-respect. Nothing.

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I'm the sort of person who wants to do her own things. It definitely is not easy to run a home and handle a full-time job, by the time the evening ends I'm tired to the bone. But, I still think that this is okay when compared to having to depend on others for your day to day things. I even get really upset when I have to rely on a cab/auto to take me to and fro, but this is still a lot better than depending on my husband or someone else to ferry me from place to place. I have seen a lot of people wait on others to get from one place to another and it boils my blood. In the day and age where cabs are available at the touch of a button, I can't believe people like this exist. Although not entirely, there is a certain level of independence in traveling on your own. I'm learning to be okay with this now as I know that the driver is doing his job and this is exactly what his job is. I do not want to adjust my schedules or give up on my me time just to be in sync in some one's timings, so that I have someone to pick me up or drop me back. This would kill me.

I know that I probably am the only one who feels like this, but this is something that troubles me a lot. I honestly feel that every human who is blessed with a healthy body is capable of taking care of themselves with minimal or no help. Be it financially, emotionally or in any other way.

What is your take on dependency?

12 comments:

  1. I totally get what you say Soumya. I too find it tedious to depend on others for stuff which I can handle myself. I always think our kids need to have basic skills education in useful skills like carpentery, electricals, plumbing etc. Financial dependence again is rather important for self-esteem. Lastly one cannot stress enough the importance of emptional independence. Personally, I think you have only yourself to blame or credit for your own unhappiness or grief. Great post!

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    1. Oh thank God! I was thinking I was the only one like this. Thank you so much for your comment.

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  2. As someone who has also recently shifted I get you on the first bit. It is absolutely frustrating to have to wait for carpenters, electricians and plumbers. I have to admit though that I need to depend on maids and drivers - annoying as it may be I wouldn't manage without them - or I'd not get as much done without them. They're a necessary evil that I live with.
    Another confession - I need my people around me emotionally too. That's how families and friendships grow and are strengthened. I'd be nowhere if I didn't have people who I could depend on blindly, people who are available to me when I need them. It's not all bad Soumya.
    Of course sometimes it's not the best place to be in but I wouldn't be able to be any other way even if I tried.

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    1. Oh shifting and dealing with these people nearly killed me, else I sure would have ended up killing them!

      Being emotionally dependent on close family and friends is totally normal, but have you seen people being emotionally dependent to the extent of expecting the other person to only focus on your life and not theirs? That is really scary. Trust and love is one thing, having them do everything in your life is another.

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  3. I have mixed feelings about this. I am fiercely independent. I drive my car. I do everything that my man does except perhaps be proficient in carpentry, plumbing, electrical work like him. I took care of my kids from when they were babies. I never had babysitters and I have never had full time help at home. As I do so much along with professional work, cooking, raising kids, I don't mind depending upon others like my househelp to ease my life a bit. I only see it as easing my life because I have only two hands and 24 hours to do it all in.

    About emotional dependency, why not? We have a partner, kids, close friends, close relatives because we can emotionally depend on them. I love that feeling. I am there for them as well. I don't see it being bad in any way. I don't think we should look at extremes but we must make the most of the resources we have at hand.

    Besides which, one think I do is try not to judge people. People are so different and so complex. If it works for them that their husband drives them around, who am I to complain? After all, it is their life. I like to be financially independent as well. Have been earning most of my life except for short periods when I took sabbaticals with kids' births. I never felt that I had to rely on my husband's earning because frankly we earn together. When he wanted to take a sabbatical and do his own thing, I supported the family financially. I see it as give and take and not dependence.

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    1. Give and take sounds so much better, Rachna :)

      But, the stuff I've seen and the life I have lead hasn't been easy. I've seen women expecting men to drop everything they have just so that they can go somewhere. I have seen women fights with their husbands for not making enough money while they sit at home and watch TV. I have seen women expect luxuries in the form of helps at home without them lifting a finger or going out to work. This is something I never understand. There is a difference in people wanting to do things for you and you forcing people to do things for you. When you see something this closely and on a regular basis you cannot help but be repelled by it. That's where I'm coming from.

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    2. I get you totally. In my opinion, no extreme is good. Hence women who are completely dependent on their husbands or husbands who can't do a thing around the home are equally bad. And perhaps for some people it works that way. I don't know. Per se we need to depend upon others because we are human beings. But one must have a balance.

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    3. Balance, oh yeah! But, who would teach people that.

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  4. Well I do agree with you that plumbers and carpenters and their like get on to our nerves, an whether we like it or not, we are dependent on them.

    Emotionally to a certain extent I depend on my spouse for he sure does soothe my nerves when life drives me crazy.

    Frankly much as I would love to be on my own without having to depend on anyone, sometimes we just dont have a choice. As they say man is a social animal!!

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    1. I'm thinking of becoming a plumber now, with the money they make every hour! :D

      Emotional dependence on the partner is totally normal, dependence on others who have their own things to care for is another thing altogether.

      I understand where you are coming from. That's totally okay as long as people are trying their best to be independent. The ones who don't even bother and think it is their birthright for others to "take care" of them are the problem.

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  5. Oh I hear you girl. I have a thing for dependency too and it pulls my teeth out when people lean on me too much.

    You are strides ahead as you have taken out the maids form your life too - that is one aspect that I need in my life though its okay with me if they go on leave as I am pretty sorted routine wise.

    Tell me about plumbers and their ilk. I deal with this tribe almost daily in my line of work and it sets my teeth to the edge. Hate the wastage of water - feel it with you :-(

    Just dont burn yourself out with all the independence- some times its really good to sit in the backseat and let someone else drive. Value your time and self worth and ofcourse sanity to not over do this!! Take care my gurl! XOXO

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    1. Oh I can't even imagine how it must be for you to deal with them daily, I'd have lost it :(

      Oh yes, I'm slowly learning to calm down and not do everything at home. I'm also opening up to the possibility of having a help at home somewhere down the line. That's a big step for me.

      Love!

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