I am hurt every time I read sentences that see the ability to live with less care/interaction/attention as a sign of maturity and/or independence, or somehow implicitly as a sign of growth. Especially when it is seen as a reduction in complaining and/or requesting attention, that can be a sign of resignation as consequence of requests being ignored (cfr. learned helplessness – content warning: experimental abuse).
I refuse this interpretation of independence=maturity=growth. I refuse to see growth as a direction to aim to, or worse, an inevitable fate, that normalises the fight for having one’s needs met while everybody around consider themselves optional or at least available on their terms.
I understand that this is actually the case, from the point of view of the outside world (albeit a bleak perspective, to be fair), but it is more of a consequence than a cause: “I am more independent because I have developed sufficient internal stability and resources, so that I am not relying on external stability any longer” is a healthy, sustainable stand; and not: “I am forced to improvise and beg for external stability, available at its own rate that meets my needs only randomly – I should be thankful when I receive support, because it is not expected at all, and I should at some point stop relying on external support altogether, no matter how much I still need support”.
I am not forcing anyone (in particular, nor in general) to meet my needs, oh, that would be the wrong solution, and I have already been told often enough that I can’t expect anyone to help or even just be there. I don’t need to be told, I can see it for myself that it’s the case. My perception is that I have been cared for a certain amount of time, then support was over, without me having actually learned enough to care for myself, let alone identify my needs. I have been considered grown up by definition, which means being left alone without support, and honestly, teaching me to care for myself and to identify my needs by means of leaving me alone is the most drastic and risky way to make me learn anything. I am aware that this will sound like moving the responsibility to people around me, but my first step here is to recognise that if I only rely on my skills/resources, then I am not equipped to deal with most of the challenges that are part of my existence.
Sorry for the variously-faceted bitter stance on this. I’m tired of getting better at identifying my needs and be met with the toxic positivity of “Nice! Now you know how to deal with yourself on your own” – no? at least not right away?
I will keep thinking about this, until I find ways to process this that make sense to me.