Did you know that there is a difference between dependence and co-dependence and independence and interdependence? Hmmmm. That must depend upon a lot of stuff! Well, it does.
To be dependent upon someone is to be in a situation where you are unable to depend upon yourself. As an example, when one is convalescing one is sometimes dependent upon another to drive them to appointments or get them a cup of tea etc. Babies are dependent upon the adults around them to feed and change them and a myriad of other things as well.
Co-dependence happens when one is thinking he or she is dependent upon another, when actually being fully capable of doing what needs to be done on their own. Emotional co-dependence kills most relationships over time because one or both parties feels that the other person is responsible in some way for who they are and how they feel and what they do or don't do and so on. This throws a big wrench into someone's life. How can a person even confidently answer the phone that is ringing if that person is co-dependent upon someone else to take responsibility for it?
Independence is when one holds self-confidence within and is a capable individual who works well in th world and is able to make one's own decisions with ease. There is no panic attack involved in the decision making process and there is no looking back and wondering if the decision made back then was the right one after all.
No one can, however, exist inside a bubble. Some folks get to thinking that if they are independent then this means that they can not in any way show enough weakness to actually have to rely upon another for anything. They see that as dependent or co-dependent. Really what we are talking about here is degrees and ranges of expectations and behaviors. So we also need to be able to incorporate inter-dependence into our lives. That way it becomes more of a "team effort" with varying tasks. If we have an appointment that is going overtime, we are able to call on the other team member to pick up the kids from their soccer practice, and other assorted things.
Today I opened a couple of new bank accounts at a new bank and found that, for the first time in almost 20 years, nothing was linked to anyone other than myself. That was an amazing feeling when it comes to money matters! Talk about independence on paper!