Lightbulb

My sister-in-law had a moment of clarity today that I am loving. 

“Just because someone needs you doesn’t mean they love you.”

How true is this?! My goodness! How often do we fall for the wrong people? How often do we look at what they can do for us instead of at the quality of their character?

I seem to think that if you say “I love you” in the first days and weeks of a romance you’re really saying “I need you.” Sure it could blossom into something more, but you are really just reacting to the things that they have done for you.

Need and love can feel the same when you are infatuated with someone. I don’t want to think that I am with someone out of need. There is something crippling about that. It just seems to me that you wouldn’t have anywhere to grow if you were in a relationship based on needing what the other has got whether that is monetary, emotional, or psychological.

I have been in a codependant relationship for my entire adult existence. I know what it is like to be the person needed. I know what if feels like to feel inadequate. I know what it’s like to want to try to be what this person needs but falling short; and being blamed for their shortcomings. This is not a relationship that I recommend. This is not a relationship that I want to continue, ever, no matter the phone calls of anger, desperation, or uninhibited sorrow.

I have grown.

I think that if you are not allowed to grow you will die. There are many styles of growth personal, interpersonal, professional, and mental. As we age and have experiences we evolve. We follow different paths and make choices and learn from all of it. How are you going to remain the same if you go through all this?

The expectation to remain the same at 30, as you were at 20, is unrealistic.

This reminds me of one of my other favorite quotes from Lillian Gershwin. “People change all the time and forget to tell each other.”

That is something that in a codependant/alcoholic/addictive relationship you don’t understand. You must communicate with your partner, and if your partner is in a stupor for 90% of your time together there is no communicating. One day 10 years later they wake up and expect you to be the same person. It’s just not reality.

I was writing my story down the other night just so that I can have a reminder of the hell I have gone through, and it is so ridiculous that I even stayed for as long as I did. (No this isn’t meant to slam him.) This is just a statement of fact. So many times I should have cut my losses and left and yet, I couldn’t.

I didn’t see that all that was going on was him NEEDING me. He needed me to pay the bills and make sure life was in order so that he could live in his unconsciousness. I was pathetic thinking that was all I deserved out of life.

This leads me to my lightbulb. This leads me to thinking my sister-in-law’s moment of clarity was just amazing today, because I have been thinking about that relationship a lot lately.

I don’t want to be needed. I want to be loved. I deserve to be treated with kindness, respect, and gratitude. For that person, who ever they may be, I would give the world. I would take care of them better than they could comprehend.

Don’t we all deserve that though? Don’t we all deserve to be treated with kindness, respect, gratitude, and love?

I hope that my little lightbulb helps you examine your own relationships and see if there is some way that you could improve them. Either improve them or understand that there is nothing you can do that will improve them. If you are where I was a year ago realize there is so much more out here.

There is life. There is love. There is hope. There is happiness.

Love and hugs to you this Wednesday!

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8 thoughts on “Lightbulb

  1. jadedheart says:

    Wow, great way of putting all that into words! Very inspiring for anyone still struggling. I went through my own light bulb moment recently and was finally able to walk away from who/what I finally realized I could never fix.

    • Megan DaGata says:

      That is the hardest part I think. Finally deciding that all you can do is walk away. There is nothing you can ever do that will make it turn out well. No amount of back flips or heart ache. Thanks for reading and for commenting!

      • Dana says:

        …and giving yourself permission to not be resposible anymore!!! You are the ONLY adult you are responsible for. You cannot make decisions for anyone else and are not responsible for consequences of decisions you aren’t making. That’s not to say you may not reap what they sow from time to time, but eventually that connection fades. I know, at lot easier said than done for someone who is used to being THE responsible one but give yourself permission to pass the baton! It wasn’t your race to begin with!

      • jadedheart says:

        Haha, I definitely chucked the baton and felt a lot better for having done it! And yeah, I will definitely be dealing with the financial consquences for quite a while. But dealing with paying down the debt on my own is better than staying in the situation I was in.

  2. Dana says:

    Since I am the sister-in-law with the moment of clarity, I feel compelled to add. Most of my clarity lately is coming from two relationships I have found myself lucky enough to be enthralled with for the past few months. The first is with someone I am certain was put here specifically for me by the second – GOD. Although the order of the two should be reversed – and ultimately are – the second probably wouldn’t exist (or anytime soon anyways) without the first, so I must give credit to Ray for guiding me in what I believe is the right direction.

    These two relationships are constantly teaching me things about myself and causing these “light bulbs” to turn on, but Sunday mornings have become very enlightening for me. Although God is ever-present, Church provides a setting/environment free of the everyday chatter that allows Ray and I time to reflect on the “things” that inspire, intrigue, bewilder or otherwise weigh on our minds. I like to think of my mind as a ball of yarn – thoughts, emotions, experience and intelligence so intertwined and tangled that it’s impossible to see where one ends and the next begins. Pastor never fails to preach on the exact subject we need him to and pass along just the right message to “untangle” us and let a little bit of light shine through.

    This past Sunday’s sermon was on Love and the need for every person to Love and feel Loved. When we left Church, Ray read a scripture to me that we had discussed once before and fit with the day’s message perfectly: Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things…” The heart’s need for Love is so strong and powerful that if often “tricks” us into thinking we have found it when we experience emotions that make us feel good – lust being the most common. I am a very kind and caring person, and it makes me feel good to make others happy – my equivalent to lust, I suppose. In past relationships, I have always confused their need for me for Love. My heart told me that if they needed me, they would want me around. My heart told me that if they needed me, they would Love me for the things I could provide them. Wanting someone around for the things they can do for you is selfish, and Love, the type of Love we find in God, is not. In fact, it is the exact opposite of selfishness. It is not superficial or focused on the short-term fulfillment of needs.

    Please don’t mistake the message here. True Love is symbiotic and only develops and exists when two people give equally to “produce” an environment conducive to comfort, kindness, caring, and all the rest of the “good” things in life. This requires a certain amount of “doing” on each other’s part, but the relationship is much more deeply seeded and is not held together by the day to day activities. For example, if you are in a relationship with someone who you depend on to support you financially, what happens if you win the lottery and no longer need that person to pay the bills? You may tell each other you are in Love, but would there still be enough of a connection there to hold the relationship together? Would there be enough interesting conversation, enough mutual respect, and enough consideration to keep the two of you on the same path – or would you end up going in different directions? True Love is pliable and adapts to worldly circumstances.

    I have never really considered myself a writer, but my comment seems to have turned into a blog of its own. It’s not that I haven’t tried to write before, but I couldn’t organize my thoughts into anything I thought the general public would find “readable.” Perhaps it’s not that the “light bulb” moments didn’t exists, but rather that the ball was wound too tight for the light to shine through to the page in front of me. Perhaps it’s time to unravel.

  3. critters and crayons says:

    So true and so sorry it’s a lightbulb moment forged through painful experience. I think it can be easy for people to look at someone at 30 and say “you’ve changed” without realizing that everything around you changed so you had to grow- which probably means you behave differently to adjust but that you aren’t necessarily different. Like you say- someone has to let you grow. 🙂

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