Each of my grandmother’s experienced childhood traumas and both were ultra-independent. Independence is important but when it becomes a survival mechanism then it is a problem. It can be detrimental when a person becomes so independent that they fail to ask for help when they really need it.
Ultra-Independence can stem from trauma growing up, possibly in a household where you had to take on a care giver role to your siblings (as my maternal grandmother did – she was 11 years old when her mom died, leaving her to care for 4 younger siblings, the youngest barely a toddler). Or a home where your parents were distant or abusive towards you (as my paternal grandmother experienced with a truly cruel step-mother and a father so grief-stricken by the death of his 3 year old daughter, run over by a car, and his wife a year later and 3 months after my grandmother was born).
There are many other causes – being bullied as a child, a failed love affair, an abusive or narcissistic lover and the death of a loved one are a few of these.
Ultra-Independent people tend to be the rulers of the family and household, they run the show, and take on all the responsibilities and decisions at home because they don’t trust others to make the correct decisions, this results in far too much responsibility on one person that can cause one to become overwhelmed and unable to cope with the pressure anymore.
They can become so used to doing everything for their self, making all the decisions, paying their own bills, fixing all the issues that arise – alone without anyone’s help – that asking for help becomes terrifying. Even admitting that they are not coping is something an Ultra-Independent person will never dream of admitting because that implies that they need others to assist them, which is out of the question.
Ultra-Independent people also tend to take on codependent relationships, as they feel their independence allows them to fix everything and therefore can fix others and it feels safer having someone need them, than a person who will try help them. A normal independent partner scares a Ultra Independent far more than having a codependent that allows them to keep their control.
To an extent Ultra-Independence becomes codependency on one’s self ………. and they will beat themselves up if they cannot fix a situation or do all the things they need done without assistance. They can become very hard on their own self because they expect to be the super hero all the time. This can result in internal anger and disappointment. The same kind of anger as they might feel in a co –dependent relationship. These emotions and demands put onto one’s self can eventually lead to stress and burnout.
Credit for much of the content in today’s blog comes from Ultra-Independence is a Trauma response.