I have never been on my own. Ever. I went straight from my dad's house to my sister's house at sixteen, then to Dominic's mom's house after I became pregnant with Julian, and finally to an apartment with Dominic in Texas. We've been on our own for five years, but sometimes I feel just as clueless as I was at the beginning of it all. I haven't grown as much in that time as I could have, and it's largely due to the fact that I am incredibly co-dependent on Dominic. And he is co-dependent on me, so the two of us have stayed in this little bubble, knowing only each other, for all these years. We have driven each other crazy because we won't/don't want to grow up, but we know we'll always take the other back because we are just as immature ourselves. It's nice to have someone to depend on when you feel all alone in the world, with children that you're not really sure what to do with, and family that is 2,000 miles away. But with it comes a price - the price of not growing as individuals. This isn't necessarily our own choice. I can think of many times that Dominic has wanted to do things, to expand himself in some way, and I have prevented him from doing so. I haven't wanted him to get too happy, when I wasn't happy. I haven't wanted him to get to a better place in his life than I am, because for me to feel that I am better than him is a way to stay in control. And I am a control freak. There have been times when I've wanted to learn about things or pursue job opportunities, and while Dominic was always supportive he was always somewhat mocking me underneath. We had both failed each other so many times that we had no confidence in the other person to change or improve themselves in any way. Having that in the back of our minds made it easy for me to quit anything at any time, because I knew that he expected me to quit. We have been in a bubble - a self destructive bubble for five years locked in this web of equally loving and hating each other.