Posted by: Judy | June 30, 2015

Schema rethink 6

6. DEPENDENCE / INCOMPETENCE – Belief that one is unable to handle one’s everyday responsibilities in a competent manner, without considerable help from others. Yes. Also another battle every day in my head.

Oh, boy.

I’m still neck deep in this one…sort of.

When I started counseling with my third counselor his goal was to make me emotionally and financially independent. After five years, my counselor was pleased to state that I was definitely emotionally independent. I was not financially independent. Even so, he knew I’d been making efforts toward that end. Life kept blowing up in my face.

Every time I make plans to move out or even start saving for a downpayment on a house, my financial situation downgrades. I’m terrified to even think about a possible place of my own because I’m sitting in the bottom of the barrel.

Putting all that aside, this is another one that improves with practice.

I was taught that I couldn’t do anything right. I believed it. I messed up on a regular basis, which only proved it was true.

I didn’t understand that making mistakes is simply part and parcel of life. Messing up is not proof a person is incompetent. It is proof a person is at least making the attempt to do something.

What I am able to do: I pay my bills. I go shopping. I cook for myself. I do my own laundry. I meet my deadlines, and if I’m not able to do so I give enough warning that other options are available. I dress myself and take care of my hair. I exercise every day. I clean up after myself. If problems arise in my little world, I take care of them. I help others. I maintain friendships, endeavoring to be available and reliable and supportive. I give my work my best effort. I endeavor to choose wisely what I agree to do so I’m not overwhelmed and am able to give whatever it is my best effort. I endeavor to take care of what belongs to me. I make goals and hold myself accountable. I accept that some of my goals aren’t reasonable or my priorities change; I don’t blame someone else for me not following through. I accept responsibility for what I do wrong and what I do right. I’m not perfect at any of it, but I am working on improving, every day. I take responsibility for making sure I have the food and water I need. I work to improve my sleep and exercise habits. I work to improve my relationship with God, every day.

I’m not as independent as I would like to be, but I’m not as dependent as I used to be. I’m improving.

I’m not so much incompetent as imperfect.

I do need help, lots of it, but this is not a flaw. God likes group projects; He wants us to work together. I endeavor to be helpful.

I grew up hearing, “I’ll do it myself.” There are a lot of things I’ve had to do myself. I didn’t do any of it perfectly. I messed up, often and sometimes badly. The important thing is that I haven’t given up. I’ve never resorted to “That’s just the way I am.” Unless it’s something I like about myself. Otherwise, change is always preferable and desirable and workable. I may do a lousy job, but I don’t give up attempting to be better.

Yes, this one is a tough one but not impossible. I’m possible.




  1. Mistakes are often just things to learn from, not an indictment of who you are. You’ve come a long way, so be proud of what you’ve done!

    • Thanks, Judith! I’m learning. 🙂

  2. This is a lesson that I learned later in life “I didn’t understand that making mistakes is simply part and parcel of life.” The amount of trial and error that goes into anything. And then I think that in our childhood we weren’t allowed the time and space to move through the ups and downs of ‘doing’ anything. And I’ve felt that recovery involves taking the time now.

    You have made tremendous progress and it is wonderful to read the changes summed up in these schemas.

    • You’re right about how we weren’t allowed to develop in a natural manner and having to do it now. The important thing to remember is that we actually are working to do it now. Perhaps the difference between becoming an N or not is the decision to do the work that many consider childish.

      Thanks ((TR))

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