For some, it may well be an unrealised youth, you hear the phrase ‘living through their kids’, to imply that someone missed the boat, and gets a second chance through their kids. A worrying concept. It could also be the case though, that they did realise their youth, and it was just fine, but the opportunity to ‘do it over’ sort of presents itself with your offspring, or just with time. We hear of people having a mid-life crisis and wanting to do impetuous things associated with youthfulness, but unfortunately many aren’t able to fund those ideas at the age we might want to do them. So, I can see why when you get to an age when you can, or maybe of a certain mindset, it can seem like a mid-life crisis, but maybe it’s just a normal life thing to happen. For some. But trying to have a life through others, is a dangerous game to play. There are various scenarios where it can manifest, not just with parents and children of course, partners, friends, colleagues, and even in the weirdest set-ups, strangers. Whether it is because they cannot form a proper life on their own, or they are dependent on others energy and attention I’m not sure, each case would be different.
In the worst-case scenarios those, we have Munchausen-by-proxy, and a well-known case of it here in the UK, where a nurse killed children, to get off on the drama and attention that then surrounded that child needing help. And there have been many cases, but on an individual level, where it’s just one mother and child, and a ‘mystery illness’, lots of attention through the other person. And perhaps there are men who do it too, but no stories spring to mind, so far I have only read about it being women, and that being said, only the ones that got caught.
With other relationships, it can be just as unhealthy, any kind of dependency on others like that. For attention, energy, validation, continuous emotional support and other things that, in the right dose, would be fine, and normal. But when it becomes a want for those things, or a craving that extends beyond normal human interaction, that’s when it gets weird. And not always as noticeable as you might think, because the person on the receiving end needs to able to firstly, spot what is going on, and secondly, have the strength of character to deal with it. Nipping it in the bud they call it, halting something dead in its tracks before it can go any further and mutate into a weirder version of itself. Knowing when someone is being entirely self-serving may seem like an obvious spot, but sadly, it’s not always so. And worse than that, are some who in some strange way, convince themselves that they are trying to help the person – on both sides. Desperately so in some cases, because it would appear they develop a severe attachment and dependency disorder, and then require the subject of their fixation, ideally, to return that dependency. For both sides, it gives them a sense of control, albeit a temporary and superficial one, and possibly even alleys some of the more outlandish behaviour that would reveals the instability in all it’s crazy glory. And perhaps, that is why some people on the receiving end, indulge that behaviour, or go along with it as best they can, for those seemingly calmer, more stable moments and to avoid ‘the drama’ or ‘the tantrum’. And sometimes it needs to be called out, and exposed for what it is, because in the face of scrutiny, often does not hold up as valid, and they know that, so will try to avoid having anyone else be able to speak against it or question it.
Being able to understand where people are coming from is incredibly important, to be able to grasp their motive and intention towards you, and understanding yours towards them equally so. It can help greatly, but between people hiding their true intentions, and people not always being confident enough to ask question, or fully interpret the answers, we are often left with confusing interactions and experiences. That isn’t anything new though, and why people talk about body language as a source of information to know what’s really going on with someone. Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast manual for it through, each person will have a slightly different version of a ‘tell’ or ‘giveaway behaviours’, which to people who have the gift, can see it straight away. Others need coaching, and some will never see it, despite trying. And just as there are varying degrees of being able to work people out for good or to help them, there are those who use it for nefarious purposes and to hold people back. To detect the fears and vulnerabilities in people, the easily led and the ones they can take advantage of, and use those fears against them. Mostly for their own gain, but sometimes just for the meanness of it, because they can. The spiteful type, you know the ones, who carry around so much bitterness and hatred, it seems to ooze out of them and spill over into normal life. There is so much to do, and think about, that there really doesn’t seem time to be hateful towards others. If they have done wrong, swift justice, no more thought. If they are awful, cut them out of your life, no more thought. Do you see a pattern there? Not only do some people waste a big portion of their lives doing something they hate, or being around people they don’t like, that when they do stop being around that, they forget to enjoy things, and keep that hateful attitude. So, they waste more time talking and thinking about something that has passed, and is gone, and is only being kept alive by their want to keep it so. Maybe it becomes so familiar, they don’t know how to leave it behind. Give time and thought to that which deserves it, and take action on that which needs it, and when it comes to interactions with others, work out whether it is you who is giving your time, or if it is someone or something taking it…