Symbiosis


Symbiotic relationships simply put, are those with no boundaries. Often found with parent and child, a mother who eats off the child’s plate or goes through their things snooping. There are no boundaries and the child accepts it and feels guilt for having a life, so the cycle continues. Also many symbiotic relationships can morph from romantic bond to a brother and sister relationship or a rescuer and victim relationship or the partners may mother/father each other in a parent and child type of bond. The boundaries are so skewed that the couple cannot function without each other. It comes to mind the image of  the Ouroboros, the snake who eats its own tail, a very ancient symbol which means, that which feeds you kills you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros

However the snake is constantly recreating itself. This is a more hopeful symbol than the images we get from Symbiosis which is constant feeding on each other to survive. It seems death represents change. The death of the bond creates the freedom to re-create.

Many people in symbiotic and co-dependent relationships say that they feel trapped by needy people, but perhaps they are trapped by their own neediness. You never know what’s going on in some one’s home, inside their marriage. Symbiotic and Co-dependent relationships end when one or both partners accept responsibility for their own emotional and physical well-being. Such people are then free to create healthier relationships …perhaps with each other.

From Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places by Jed Diamond

  • Healthy love is fluid and dynamic. Addictive love fears change.
  • Healthy love is gentle and comfortable. Addictive love is combative.
  • Healthy love encourages honesty. Addictive love encourages secrets.
  • Healthy love is unique. There are no ideal lovers. Addictive love is stereotyped.
  • Healthy love creates life and joy. Addictive love creates melodrama and suffering.
  • Healthy love is accepting the partner you have. Addictive love looks for more or better.
  • Healthy love is based on your desire to be with a person. Addictive love is based on need.
  • Healthy love is making yourself happy. Addictive love seeks someone to make you happy.
  • Healthy love develops after you feel safe. Addictive love tries to create bonds to avoid fear.
Secrets kill a relationship. Lack of trust and lack of faith are total deal killers. But many will accept this type of abuse, because they feel so bad about themselves they think they deserve nothing better. The intimacy dies and the two exist in faux existence perhaps living in their past successes and emotional ties which have long past.
Maybe they don’t deserve any better. Maybe they are a couple of losers who should just live with each other in a void and suffer their Karma forever LOL. Karma’s a Bitch. In any case, there is help to be had if the partners seek spiritual or psychological help. Without help and willingness to change and let go, it is doubtful that people who are embedded in these sick relationships have to tools to be honest and change their lives without outside help.
Leap of faith.. it takes fear to be courageous
Personally I believe, Twelve step programs are really good ways to start. As much as I resist Al-Anon, it has helped me tremendously.
I have learned a lot about myself through fucking up, but taking the lesson to the next level is what is in a Fool’s bag.
Note from a Sober Driver contributor:

There are 4 types of symbiosis

Mutualism- involves two species, both benefit

Commensalism- involves two species, one benefits the other is not harmed or helped

Parasitism- involves two species, one benefits the other is harmed

Amensalism- one species is inhibited or completely obliterated and one is unaffected.

For the time being we are going to discuss these types of symbiosis as they pertain to human relationships.

We all strive towards Mutualism. We strive to coexist with others in a manner that is not only enjoyable, but beneficial to both parties and neither party is harmed. Mutualism is also frequently a life long relationship between two species and weather obligate for one species or one is obligate(by necessity), the other facultative(optional). In the relationship both species are obligate, both need each other to survive. In the obligate/facultative relationship the obligate species needs the facultative species to survive, the facultative species does not necessarily need the obligate.

Commensalsim as stated previously, is a relationship between two species where one specie benefits, and the other is not harmed or helped by its presence. The extent by which the one is helped can be extended to things like housing and transportation. This sort of symbiosis in a human relationship is comparable to having a room-mate that pays rent and may or may not clean. Their presences are neither a hindrance or a help.

We are all very familiar with parasitism, one specie is harmed one benefits. A parasite is defined by its host and lifestyle, most parasites are obligate. They can invade your intestines, your blood, your integument, your brains. The harm they can cause can be minimal to severe, based on what body system they attack, and what they are going to take. A parasite can take one blood meal from its host and leave or it can latch on and continue to take blood meals for as long as they or we live. Animals and plants alike are both plagued by parasites and we are constantly as risk of becoming hosts. None of us are able to escape this in our personal dealings with other humans. Recovery  from this sort of symbiotic relationship starts with getting rid of the parasite in question. In order not to be drained of our life or at the very least irritated, we need to acquire some antiparasitic, i.e. some perspective. It is also important to recognize when one is the host in said parasitic relationship, which because of its many variations can be difficult. The best thing is to go with your first instinct, if you feel as though you are being used for someone else’s benefit, it’s surprising how often that little voice in the back of your mind is correct. It does how ever take recognition of self-worth to get out of a relationship that is parasitic. Sadly so few people do.

The most destructive symbiotic relationship is Amensalism. The host is completely drained or inhibited by another specie. The larger stronger specie drains the smaller and weaker specie till it die. When speaking on relationships, the hosts that do not find themselves a way out of parasitic symbiosis become victims of amensalism. The host has been used to the extent that they are weak and unable to sustain its own life. 

These relationships all represent different ways in which we as humans fight for life. 

Holly Go Lightly  and the Broke Offs

Clean in Two 2008



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