Adam grew up with an alcoholic uncle. His parents were dead, so it was just the two of them. He probably would have fared better if he’d lived in a more enlightened culture in another time. But he wasn’t that lucky. His was a small English village in the 1950s.
It sucked to be Adam.
When he was old enough to leave England for the U.S., he joined a rock and roll band and its overindulgence in wet and dry goods. Adam didn’t mind. He and his bandmates were sharing the road to success during one of the most dynamic cultural rides of the 21st century – the 60s. He was a self-made man.
And then he met the love of his life, Lyssa. She came from a musical royalty, glittered with promise, and adored him as much as he idolized her.
It turns out she was dripping with demons, too, which reared up about a year into their relationship and roared like an uncontained forest fire, burning through everyone around her. But his love for her kept him at her side through shattering tantrums, suicide threats, night terrors, a gut-wrenching eating disorder.
It sucked to be Adam. But he put his faith in the power of love.
A Reason to Believe
I thought about Adam when Rod Stewart’s cover of A Reason to Believe streamed through the speakers while I drove around town running errands.
Someone like you makes it hard to live without
Someone like you makes it easy to give
And never think about myself
The song’s lyrics intrigue me. Always have. I’m never sure what Tim Hardin, its songwriter, was trying to say. Is the protagonist grateful, resentful, or resigned about being in the relationship?
In Adam’s case, perhaps it’s all three.
Some believe being in a dysfunctional relationship is better than none at all. And, of course, being neglected or outright abused—in his case emotionally—would cause even the most codependent person to resent the perpetrator. And, if Adam’s fear of being alone is strong enough, he could resign himself to living with the dysfunction and just having to deal with or repress the resentment, believing love will beat whatever comes their way.
But Is It Love or Codependency?
Codependency has become so much a part of our cultural lexicon, it’s hard to know anymore who is and isn’t codependent. And all the diagnostic nonsense associated with it is beyond the scope of this post, anyway.
There is no doubt Adam loves Lyssa fiercely. But aren’t there limits? How could a self-made man who had the sense to leave the alcoholic who raised him at his first opportunity willingly allow himself to be swallowed whole by another human being? Can love conquer all? Or is he in a cycle he can’t—or refuses to—escape?
Who knows? What I do know is that it sucks to be Adam. Perhaps Adam, and all of us who have found ourselves inside the belly of a beast, not of our own making, could use some gobbledygook.