Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dependence of Another Kind.

There was a time when I was sure I would never become dependent on another person. It was just after high school and I had finally, finally, managed to extricate myself from a long-time abusive relationship. After a period of time of sleeping too much and blowing off shifts at my part-time job, while at the same time taking care of my grandmother and going to an adult high school for some courses I didn't need per se, but wanted, I was starting to feel like me. I liked feeling so independent.

Then I met, and ultimately dated, a man where power struggles just didn't exist. There was no jealousy, none of the 'who has the upper hand' BS. I didn't realize that it was possible to have a jealousy-free relationship! From the start, it was clear that this wasn't just any old relationship.

Shortly after we first went on a real date, he left for the summer field season. I wasn't sure how things would work out but I knew it was worth giving a chance. Over the years that followed, I was fortunate enough to go work in his camp for part of the summer. I learned first hand why he loved what he did. I loved it too. Despite getting eaten alive by the bugs! They really should do a "survivor" in Northern Ontario or central Newfoundland. I loved living outside, pushing my body to its physical max, and being mentally challenged at the same time.

Over the last 11 years, our lives have grown and changed. I moved away for two years for grad school. He's been doing field work most summers. We've gone from students to professionals (albeit goofy ones, at times).  He's my right hand man. Could I live without him? Yeah. But life is so much better together. What we don't do together, we divide and conquer.

This summer, I don't just have to say good-bye once, but three times. Due to meetings in another province and a conference overseas, he's come and gone twice in the last 10 days. In 4 weeks, I'll say good-bye until at least mid-August. I'm finding it harder this year. Maybe it's the new house. Maybe it's that I'm leasing a horse now and am sitting in front of the computer instead of being at the barn, where I should be. I was just too tired and had already spent over 2 hours driving today, got home late, and had nothing to eat. I've already used up all the pre-made meals I had stock-piled. I don't feel like cooking. I won't shirk my responsibilities to Hazel, who gets a lot of daily exercise. I'm tired. Exhausted, actually.

All of this has me reflecting on dependence. I have no problem admitting that I am somewhat dependent on my husband. I feel no shame in it whatsoever. It doesn't take away any of my strength or independence. It is just the inevitable way lives become entwined. This is, after all, why we gather in societies, communities, families. It's just easier. Not to mention a whole lot more fun! It takes a village to raise a child, as they say.

I know I will hit my stride and get used to a new routine. Somehow, I'll figure out how to ride my 3 days a week. I'll be fine and enjoy the summer in the house we've worked so hard to make happen. But I will also sometimes be lonely. I will wish my husband was here to see the vegetables grow. I will think of him when I pick the first currants and take the first bite of a sun-warmed tomato. I will also wish he was here to do some of the lawn-mowing and dog walking. I will long for someone to cook for. I will stretch out luxuriously and take up the whole bed while at the same time wishing his body was next to mine. I will laugh and I will cry, often at the same time.

I am dependent on you, my love. Dependence of another kind.


Jason said...

Excellent post !

I've had the same thoughts about my marriage and partnership with Melissa many times but I haven't ever managed to write them down in exactly the way you did here.

Thanks for sharing !

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

I think dependence is the wrong word as it can carry a negative connotation. A great marriage/relationship is truly a union where two become one (in a healthy way), and it is a great feeling to be in one of those relationships. I love my Jason and hate it when he is away.

RuckusButt said...

Thanks Jason.

I used the word dependence purposely to contrast the negative and positive. It's good to be a dependable person yet it's not seen as positive to depend on someone. Hmm. I still think it's the right word (though there could be others). This is just my commentary on the fact that dependence is not always a bad thing, that it can be very healthy. It's the context that matters, not the label. Or at least that's what I was trying to get across.

Golden the Pony Girl said...

My husband and I are inseparable and I have a really hard time being away from him. It is an uncomfortable feeling! I am like you-- I never thought I would feel so dependent!

Going to graduate school I am going to spend a lot of time in the field maybe even in other countries. I feel bad for leaving him but he is much stronger than I am when it comes to separation. I have so much fun in field I can deal with it but the one time he went off without me for a month I thought I was going to due!

He sounds like an amazing person and these dependent feelings are just the negative consequences of having such a good relationship! That's how I see it anyways ;)

RuckusButt said...

I think it's always harder to be the one "left behind," so to speak. Whether it's for school, conferences, field work etc., the one who leaves is the one with the new, exciting stuff happening. I think it's a good feeling, even if it hurts sometimes. It's kind of a good hurt.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard" -this was my FB status a few days ago :) It's from the movie "Annie" (right, Jess?)

Jason said...

How about interdependence as the word of choice ? Every living thing is interdependent with others; no negative connotation there at all ?

RuckusButt said...

I was trying to think of other words this evening while out walking. I couldn't come up with anything that really covered it. Reliance, to rely on, is similar but makes me think of a good car more than a life partner. Ah, there go those associations again.

I also still believe in the idea that although the word dependence has a negative connotation, it doesn't necessarily have to. I felt like taking back the word.

I like interdependence. It implies we both depend on each other equally. And that's true. Indeed, we are interdependent with many things in life. The only caveat is that I was speaking solely from my own perspective in my post, while interdependence implies his position which was beside the point for me when I wrote the post.

Shaheen said...

Beautifully written and truly touching.

I am the same with my husband, who became my first ever boyfriend, then fiancee and now Best Friend.

Cherish. Even when its hard being apart.