I remember once when I was talking to A in high school about something... mediocre. Something that shouldn't upset anyone but devastated me, something so small that I don't remember what it was. And she said "it would be a lot easier of we didn't all hate ourselves quite so much".
By 'we', she meant that bunch of kids at school that would maybe once have been called 'outsiders' or 'misfits' but- luckily for us- were then known as 'lesbian emos'. A group of people who were drawn together due to a variety of shared characteristics, among them queer sexuality, above-average intelligence, quirky and obscure interests and a general dissatisfaction with what those personality traits meant for us in the 'real world'. I've never felt more lonely or loved in all my life as when I was with those girls. Nothing can replace that group of friends you have in high school that smother and nurture everything you love and hate about being who you are. Sometimes I wish I could go back and correct or bask in what that group did for and to me. But mostly I am grateful that I had the experience at all so that I can compare what I feel now to something different.
Independence is zen. It's delicious and crisp and feels like an early morning on your bare skin. I like it a lot and I fought for a long time to fully experience it. And fuck, it sucks. I miss being touched, being hugged and held. I miss being seen through and having my mind read by people who heard my thoughts before I did. I miss knowing that my days would never be empty of other people because we'd promised each other we'd be there. I miss caring about someone else more than myself. And yet I hated that shit. The whole time I was Miss Self-Sacrificing (or, more, Miss Sacrificing), wearing my emotions like my favourite dress and showing off all my life's scars to anyone that would look; I was miserable. Not just teenage, hormonal, romantic melancholy miserable. No, none of the above. I hated myself for being incapable of being myself, for not being separable from anyone else. I wasn't me, there was no me, and I resented that more than I resented every single person in close proximity to me just for being there and blurring the lines between me and them.
So now when times are bad and I wish I still had the support network that I sewed myself into when I was fifteen, I tell myself about all the crying I did, the ways I made myself numb, the nights spent lying awake wondering what it was like to have this. Because now even when I have off days or horrible moods, my first instinct is to look inside myself to find a solution. No matter how large the problem, I can't seem to want to go to other people to help me fix it. I might miss the good parts of being co-dependent, but I certainly don't miss the bad. Is it fair to want joy and familial intimacy and abundant love with everybody when I don't want the pain and drama and shared sorrow? I know it's not. Because the little stuff doesn't piss me off anymore. I don't feel overwhelmed all the bloody time. I feel love but not need. So I am better off, no matter how cold I get sometimes standing out here on my own. I just need to be reminded, I think.