Exceptions and another example of co-dependency

I re-read the post below and it sounds a little harsh. So keep in mind that there is a difference between chronic and acute dependency. Acute problems are new and generally short-lived. Chronic can mean forever dependent, or not, depending upon all of the variables affecting the situation. See my original post on As Long As He Needs Me, June 19, 2006

I was talking about people who are chronically dependent, who take much more than they give when they could give and do much more than they do. There is a great difference, of course, between an individual who cannot hold a spoon or a fork, and one who simply has to get high.

(By the way, if you ever feel that I'm exaggerating, because I do, or that I'm wrong, please comment.)

Anyway, all that stuff I say about care-taking does not count if the dependent behavior is acute, perhaps brought on by a severe depression that requires tedious adjustment of meds, or a serious medical illness. The process of GETTING FUNCTIONAL again can take a long time.

My rant is only about people for whom getting functional never seems to happen.
A good example is Selma's kid Rick (not their real names).

Rick is 37 and Selma, 57, is still paying his car payment. He's never really held down a full-time job and there's NOTHING physically wrong with him.

Selma knows that Rick smokes pot and hangs around with lowlifes. (Rick's not a lowlife, right??!!)

Selma can't get out much because she's too broke, helping her mom and her boy Rick. She would like to get out, however. She likes to dance.
Get the difference? See why I get emotional?

Copyright 2006, TherapyDoc


Unknown said…
My husband is the Rick you describe. He says he is afraid to get a job. I had a baby. I was pregnant when I lost my job. I was supporting him while he earned his bachelors in fine arts with the goal of being a professional photographer. I was beside myself with worry over how we would pay the bills, and I was very emotional because he showed no urgency in changing his course in light of the situation. I had a job with a pharmaceutical contract research and commercialization company and made a nice living. He had been a bartender for 13 years and the money was cash, immediate and it was something he was very good at. My job entailed months of interviews before an offer was made. He could go to a restaurant or bar and start earning within the same week. Our amazing daughter is 2 now. He says he loves her more than anything, but to this day he has not applied or sought after one single job, he quit college the semester I became pregnant, and I found an old friend who needed photography work done for several people, his career choice opportunity on a platter. He did not budge. I am divorcing him. I have to because I have been toyed with and lied to and because he is very even tempered and says sweet things I would feel guilty for my anger. Anyhow, it is a situation that is so abnormal in my opinion that it has really done a number on my self esteem and sense of reality. And so, Rick makes you emotional too? That makes me feel better, because you would think he was entitled to doing nothing while apply to every job under the sun with no prospect to date. I lost my perfect credit score, my unemployed gap is hurting me, I'm a new mom and I turned 40 this year. I know I will find myself again, and believe that escaping this relationship will help greatly. I hope. Because I do love my baby girl so much and it breaks my heart. Thanks.

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