Codependency is often seen as a negative thing, where one person enables another to bad behaviour or habits, and there is definitely evidence to support this. But I believe that it is possible for codependence to be something positive too. There is a tendency to take a word and give it just one meaning, to reject any other interpretation in favour of it. Submissy has written a brilliant post on how to spot the things that would mean your relationship is unhealthy, and I urge you to read it. My focus today is on how I believe that within a partnership and indeed a D/s relationship there is a significant dependence on each other. In discussing this topic I am going to do something I don’t normally do – add a content advisory. I am planning to discuss my current mental state and my physical state, so if you are not comfortable reading about depression and disability I suggest you do not read further. For those who are interested in reading how becoming physically disabled has affected my mental state, and my dependence on Mr H, read on.
Tell me about it.
Regular followers will now that so far 2020 has been a bit of a tough one. My back/sciatic pain has grown steadily worse since since my PIP assessment at the end of December and I am no longer working. I am now dependent on Mr H for many basic things. I am trying very hard to remain positive but it isn’t easy. It isn’t easy at all, but it is made possible by the support and love we have for each other. That said, I am not perfect and I do not always communicate my needs effectively, mostly this is because I fear rejection. If you don’t ask then your request can’t be rejected. See the logic?
Lean on me when you're not strong.
Mr H is a pretty quiet man, he isn’t chatty and he doesn’t talk about his ‘feelings’ often. I bottle mine up, because I do not want to drag Mr H into the darkness that often surrounds me. When he needs to share he does, and I eventually share my feelings when I can’t hold them in. Usually in a spectacular emotional meltdown. Thankfully Mr H deals with them well.
You know how they say opposites attract? Mr H and I definitely fit this description. He is calm where I am not. I am impatient where he is not. We compliment each other well. When I am well we share the cooking and cleaning. We support and encourage each other. We are a team. Even the roles of Dominant and submissive have not changed the way we work as a team. I would say we are most definitely codependent because I can’t imagine my life without him and he would say the same. That isn’t to say we couldn’t live without the other, rather we choose not to.
Of course over the last few months my dependence on Mr H has become quite profound. He would say that this is part of life and marriage. In sickness and health and all that. But, I find it quite frustrating. I do not want to be a burden and it is virtually impossible to have spontaneous mind blowing kinky sex when you’re in pain.
I have finally received a diagnosis for the cause of the pain I am in. The pain is being caused by the disc at L5/S1. When I stand or sit upright the load on my spine causes the disc space to collapse, and this in turn squashes the disc. Just as with any shape if you compress it it will become larger.
When the disc bulges out it then compresses the exiting nerves causing the pain to radiate down my sciatic nerve and irritate the cauda equina nerves causing numbness in the saddle area of my body.
At present the only way to manage this is to remove the load from my spine by remaining in a reclined / supported position. Within minutes of standing up the pain I experience is unbearable. I start to shake, and feel sick from it. Sitting is a little more bearable but not for long. Essentially I have become almost entirely dependent on Mr H. The only thing I can manage for myself at the moment is going to the toilet. And making the occasional drink. Seriously.
Mr H has to assist me getting dressed and washed. He helps me shower and wash my hair. He dries my hair for me and has a funny hairdresser impression while does that makes me smile. I am not able to make my own food, because I can’t stand up long enough to get downstairs, make it (even a simple microwave meal) and carry it to a suitable location to eat it. I have to use two crutches to move about. Even making a drink can be impossible if the pain gets too much. S2 has now registered as my carer and during the day when Mr H is at work he makes me drinks and brings me food as needed. I am often overwhelmed with feelings of despair and I have spent many days over the last few weeks crying. I want so much to not hurt, to be able to hold up my end of the partnership, to go out.
The decision to cancel our trip to London, and Eroticon, compounded these feelings. Something we have looked forward to for months has been snatched away. I am isolated and alone. Yes, S2 is at home but he is not someone I can talk to really – not the way you can talk to a friend. I know Mr H wishes vehemently that he could take the pain for me. On the other hand wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy (if I had any).
I am now facing a few months of this. The hospital has a plan for treating me in place, but it will take time. The only way to fix this problem is to stop my spinal column placing downward force on the disc by fusing the spinal column at that joint. This will come with a lengthy recovery and rehabilitation, and as such I am unlikely to return to work this year. I am likely to spend the next five or six months at home, with little or no adult company, dependent on Mr H for companionship, for the ability to leave the house, for everything I need.
I don't want to hurt you.
From Mr H’s point of view, he is worried about hurting me and we have not had sex in a while because of it. We have over the last few days talked about this and I am hopeful that I have reassured his fears. The last thing I want is to spend the next few months feeling more and more rejected and unattractive. We will have to change little things, no sitting, kneeling or standing, but there are still plenty of ways to play and I hope we can have fun while we experiment with them.
Impact play is not a good idea at the moment. For one thing as we do not know how affected my feeling is, there is a possibility that I could be hurt and not know it, although so far my experience is that the pain is magnified not reduced. In normal circumstances I find the impact play helps to reduce the pain I feel. At the moment when the cane strikes my bottom it sends a wave of pain down my sciatic nerve, it isn’t pleasurable or relaxing and so we have put impact play away for the time being.
D/s and codependency.
From the point of view of Dominance and submission, there is I think, a need for codependency. The Dominant depends on the agreement of the submissive, their trust and cooperation. The submissive depends on the Dominant to maintain and respect the agreed boundaries, and trust them not to abuse the power given to them. The more the Dominant gives the more the submissive gives. The more the submissive gives the more the Dominant gives. In my experience the deeper level of intimacy that D/s provides makes a couple more codependent than in a normal relationship. I read so many blogs where ‘life’ has affected the dynamic leaving one or both parties feeling a little lost. The dynamic creates a dependency that is easily disrupted leaving feelings of uncertainty in its place. I believe therefore that the participants of a D/s dynamic become codependent on the dynamic being in place, and fear what will happen should that dynamic collapse.
After all once you have experienced tasted heaven it is hard to imagine living any other way.