You might ask yourself: Could a crutch be something I actually want? Could it be that once I’ve healed myself from Factor-x’s influence, what served as a crutch is now something I’ll want to keep?
Say that we might have been using someone as a crutch in a mostly Factor-x–driven friendship or relationship. Once we’re healed, if we see we like the person for who they are rather than because of the influence of our Factor-x, can we now continue to have a healthy friendship or relationship with the person?
Yes, we can. Let’s look at a house, car, job, friend or partner. Let’s say we once extracted value or self-worth from our upmarket house or fancy car or glamorous job, or from a fabulous friend or partner—or even that we were using a friend or partner as a crutch against loneliness or feelings of inadequacy. And let’s say we’ve shaken our behavior at the root cause of extracting self-worth and other values imposed by Factor-x. Now, once we’ve seen our behavior and addressed the cause—where it originates with our Factor-x—then certainly we’d likely keep those possessions, retain our friendship, stay in our job, or remain with our partner. In this case, there’s no need to toss out our possessions, break up a friendship, or leave our partner.
Thus, there are some crutches we’d probably not want to get rid of after waking up to our Factor-x–driven ways. But there might be other crutches we won’t want to retain after seeing our ways and then freeing ourselves; the abuse of ourselves or others is an example of a crutch we would definitely shed. But, there is a danger in the dynamic of retaining a crutch after seeing our ways and our dependency on it. We could easily kid ourselves into thinking and justifying to ourselves that we have indeed shaken the need for the crutch while we still unknowingly extract self-worth from it.
It’s not farfetched that what was previously a crutch, once the value extracted from it isn’t necessary for our self-worth anymore, is then seen for what it is: a house is merely a roof over our head; a car is just transport; a friend is simply someone to share common interests with; a partner is purely someone to share our life with, and so forth. No reason likely exists to toss those out. Yet the above might not be the case: When we get over our need for the crutch and we see we don’t want a possession—say the possession doesn’t suit us anymore, or we recognize we just don’t get along with someone we previously saw as a friend or partner—then in all likelihood, we’d get rid of the possession or break off the friendship or break up with our partner.
So after freeing yourself, if you find yourself wanting to retain the thing or person you once used as a crutch, be careful; doing so might mean you haven’t shaken the need yet. Also, in looking back at a crutch-based relationship, it’s likely it wasn’t a real friendship or partnership with that person to begin with.