finding a healthy dependance

April 10, 2013Karen Courcy

aa9e733822af39e89db2I have written about dependency many times in my blog posts. I feel strongly about it, and at the same time it’s something that gets in the way of the many aspects of my life; especially my healing.

I struggle with the fear of dependency, and right now in the work that my therapist and I are getting ready to walk into, there has to be some level of me giving up my independence just a little and that scares the hell out of me.

Dependency was thrown at me at a very young age. I was forced to depend on the people who hurt me. They provided only if I abided by their wants and needs. I became an adult at a very young age, because I needed to survive the daily sexual abuse put upon me, and at the same time those are the very people I depended on – well at least that was the belief put upon me.

My fear of dependency grew when I started therapy 6 years ago. I remember reading a book about therapy before I entered into therapy and my healing and it scared the living crap out of me.

This therapist that wrote this book was narcissistic and he claimed that in order to heal his clients, they needed to depend on him, and claimed that his clients did depend on him.

I rememeber standing up after reading that part of the book (racing heart and all) and saying out loud “To hell I am! I am not depending on ANY therapist if I go to therapy, who do you think YOU are? and who are you to allow these clients to become dependent on you, you egotistical asshole!!”.

Yes those are the words I said when I shut slammed that book down and pretty much chucked the book in the trash.

Thank god I saw past the book and really took the risk in finding a good – wonderful therapist who is FAR from the guy who wrote that book, and for that I am thankful.

When I first went to therapy one of the first things I said to my therapist was “the day I become dependent on you, is the day I leave therapy”.

That line still sticks in my head, and we have a good laugh about it, even 6 years later today. He knows where my independence stands, and he respects that – but there has to be a time where maybe I need to make the gap just a little bit bigger to let more in and let that be okay.

There have been times where it has gotten in the way in my healing and it’s been frustrating!

I am starting to realize (at very slow pace) that there is a healthy boundary to independence and there is a damaging effect of independence  and right now, in the place that I am in (in the stuck place) my tight grip on independence is hurting me more than doing good.

This place of healing the “inner self” and the hard work that my therapist are working on, a little give on my end in allowing myself to be dependent is needed and I am having a tough time with that – it’s scary.

I am the type of person that when I reach out to others by text or email I always hesitate before hitting the “send” button.

When someone offers support I shuffle my feet and shyly accept but then later find ways to help myself rather than to put someone else through the trouble.

When my therapist calls me on his way home at times after a hard session to connect, when we hang up I always check to see how long we talked making sure it wasn’t too long; measuring my worth of time even though he tells me all the time, your worth all the time it takes.

When I need something from anyone, I will find 1001 ways to do it myself before I ask for the help, because the thought of someone thinking I need them scares me.

Being married I found the most wonderful husband who understands my struggles. I think God knew exactly what he was doing when he put my husband Tim into my life because the relationship in my 22 years of marriage is nothing like the relationships I was born into. I dont depend on my husband, I love and honor him as he loves and honors me – it’s equal, it’s safe, it’s nothing short of amazing.

But dependance in a whole – I fear it and it has to be one of my biggest fears that I struggle with day in and day out.

We (my therapist and I) are starting to think that the young part of me is the part that still holds onto the fear of dependance, while the adult me today is so strong about not letting anything get in the way of that independence.. I truly believe that.

Today in session, I came to realize in a very big way that in order to move out of this stuck place – in order to work with the “inner self” and move out of this stuck place I have been in – I have to let go of the tight grip on independence just a little, because if I dont, I will not move out of this stuck place I am.

I came home and sat with this for a while today and I realized that maybe there is a fine line between independence and a healthy dependance. maybe I do need the people in my life, and maybe by truly taking the hands of my support for ME and not anyone one else that is just may be okay.

Tomorrow is a big day in therapy . . . we planned another 2 hour session to work on the inner self that is stuck, and a huge part of me has to trust my therapist and allow myself to be a little dependent on his wisdom, his support  his knowing how to take this path, his hand and help.. I have to depend on the trust.

Another big part of tomorrow is that I am meeting up with my priest “Father Paul”. I want to open up to him about my struggle showing up for church, and I want to grasp his support, but I am a little scared … but I am going to try.

I need to find a way to depend on the support on the outside as I work hard on the inside …

I am not saying it’s going to be easy and I am sure I am going to struggle with this.. but there has to be a fine line in seeing that there is a healthy dependance and not all dependance = abuse, rejection and neglect ..

I am loved and supported and people want to be a part of that, I need to find a way to accept that in order to heal and that is what I am working towards.

Im nervous about tomorrow’s session, because we hit on something huge working with the inner self healing / inner child healing and there is a huge part of this that needs to open myself to healthy dependance .. it’s scary, but exciting because deep inside I know that is where the healing begins – I just need to accept it.


  • Hanna D

    April 10, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    Oh Karen. I am going to take a risk here, a huge risk, because I don’t want to dismiss or move past your feelings and fears, but you are far from dependent on people. I think that (from how I have gotten to know you) you have set up such great boundaries that even if you got close, people would know where you stand.

    Your therapist is right, there has to be some kind of dependance to heal, and if it’s getting in the way of healing, you need to let go of that vice grip a little.

    To be honest, a lot of therapist deal with the opposite issue, we deal with a lot of clients who become too dependent on their therapist that healing is impossible because they are not getting to the core of healing – rather they are just relying on the support and comfort.

    you are a rare gem my friend – and there is nothing wrong with holding onto that – but just let go just a little and you will be amazed at what you find on the other side of that.


    1. KarenBeth

      April 10, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      Hanna, thank you and that makes me feel a bit better to know that I am on the other end of the spectrum lol.

      Funny because I said that in therapy today, I said “I wonder what I would be capable of in my healing if I allow dependency, even if a little to take place”..

      I will try, thats all I can do, is work towards that!

      Thank you Hanna, as always

  • Sharon O

    April 10, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    funny that was your first thought with your therapist, (about your dependence) MY first question when I interviewed my counselor.
    I said “SO how long are you going to be in the area and do you plan on leaving any time in the future?”
    No abandonment issues here :o)
    Actually one counselor who I saw left, like as in moved away and didn’t plan on telling me till after he moved. Yeah that did not work. I confronted him.
    God will bring you to the place you need to be tomorrow and you will know when it is over, it was worth the wait.

    1. KarenBeth

      April 11, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      Sharon, wow . thats funny what you asked when you first started lol .

      my whole motto is, I never think about the end, I just keep going until the path changes 🙂 I will continue to work hard in therapy however long that process is ..

      I was never afraid of abandonment, I think my independence kicked that fear to the curb heheh but to be honest, there are times I wish I didn’t struggle with this.

  • ziggy40

    April 11, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    Hey there, I’m a blog friend of ‘ Gel’s , you write really well. I have struggled with this issue as well. For me, to start that trust, I separated my, ‘little self ‘ from my adult self. I am SLOWLY learning not just asking for SOME help , to follow though and risk taking it. I put an imaginary wall around ‘little self’, I get help in what she may need, I’m frightened of hurting her further. I realize, ‘she’ will need support as I go though this LONG therapy road, I’m not ready to trust her depending on anyone yet. It’s been for me, a positive experience to feel some support from others, I don’t think of it as ‘dependence ‘ as I’m ‘leaning’ on my T , he’s NOT picking me up and carrying me, I’m just leaning, it feels ok as I get to, ‘have a rest’ as I do trust him. My ‘little’ self, well, I’m not ready just yet to show her, I have started to describe her and what I see she is feeling, I still keep her from others. I don’t know that this makes sense. It was how I started to trust, to realize its NOT giving up all control, it’s being open to ‘lean ‘ and take a break, in this I feel I can stop leaning and start walking alone if I feel unsafe!! Sending compassionate , soothing thoughts to your inner child, hoping you can ‘sit with her’ as you move though this pain!!!!

    1. KarenBeth

      April 11, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      Hi Ziggy!! thank you very much for your response … nice to see you here! working with the young part of me has been a hard move to move into.. there was denial at first.. but I think the true healing is healing what the young part of me didn’t have or see .. and that was support, love and care…

      It’s hard hard work, but work that is needed.. thank you for your nice response ..

  • Gel

    April 11, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Wow you are really moving forward and it’s so inspiring! It’s also inspiring to see how all the trust you’ve built up with your T. is helping you be ready to go deeper in this area of healthy dependence.

    This line sticks out to me: “…let go of the tight grip on independence JUST A LITTLE…” My emphasis on ‘just a little’. To really honor that wall of independence as it has been a very important helpful strategy for your survival. So letting the change happen in small increments seems totally valid and kind. (OK you probably already know that. I guess I needed to write it for myself.)

    I know I have my own version of a wall of protection, that keeps me from letting help in. I have thought of it as being trust issues…fear of being taken over by someone else if I let them in. It seems like an all or nothing way of thinking.

    There is so much of you in this post that I’m going to re-read it. I am hearing more power and energy in how you are writing and it’s exciting to see more of who you are. Very colorful and feisty! It’s also really nice to hear more about your life with your husband. I suspected that you must have a terrific guy and a strong marriage. So nice to hear!

    Thanks for giving me more food for thought.
    Blessings on your way!

  • KarenBeth

    April 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Gel …. yes .. my husband is amazing!!! married 22 years, have 3 boys ages 21, 16 an 13.. we got married at 19 years old.. he is a huge part of my support system, and although he doesn’t know the whole story of my past, it’s nice that he is there for me in other ways … it’s amazing that God found me someone being a person of a total difference than what I grew up around and I am glad I didn’t get caught into a relationship that masks what I thought was the right kind of love – I would have to say God looked out for me in a huge way ..

    Thank you Gel … today’s session was intense.. I am so worn out!

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