The Unholy Trinity: Ownership, Pressure, Reliance

The father, the son and the holy spirit. Three iconic images of Christianity. The Holy Trinity. Three symbols meant to guide both values and beliefs of those that choose to follow them. The embodiment of “do unto others as you would have done to yourself.” The golden rule.

Yet, for every aspect of light, there is dark. For to have one means to have the other. One could then assume if there is a holy trinity, then there must be an unholy one. And in life, particularly in high school relationships, this trinity is defined by ownership, pressure and reliance.

Parents raise their children to build their relationships on trust: trusting one’s partner, working together and being part of a team. In that relationship, both parties must rely on each other, be a part of each other’s lives and push the other to be better than they already are—all the while accepting their flaws.

Relationships are corrupted when the relying on on each other becomes an unhealthy addiction one can no longer live without.

Relationships are corrupted when being a part of one another’s lives becomes an erasure of identity, when you are no longer who you were meant to be but a possession of the other.

Relationships are corrupted when the push to be better becomes a tidal wave, crashing over you, filling your lungs and crushing you under immense pressure.

According to a comprehensive study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in ten teens carry out an act of sexual violence, through sexual coercion or by physical force, against someone else. Males ages 14 to 17 were the primary aggressors; however, at age 18, females show a spike in sexually coercive behavior. According to a study by the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, girls who took part in a survey about abusive relationships as young as 15 admitted to sexual coercion, abuse and, in some cases, rape.

This requirement to perform sexual acts the result of immense society pressure placed upon teenagers and young children at that young age.

No matter what form it may take, at its best, sexual coercion is manipulative and cruel, at its worst, sexual coercion is abusive.

For boys, to reach unattainable levels of sexual prowess and for girls to remain, simultaneously, both innocent of any sexual act and desirable for any sexual act.

Extreme pressure in relationships can also cause the crumbling of the relationship from the inside. Couples who are too young or too naive can create this pressure on each other by not knowing how to function in a real relationship.

Teenagers who experience this pressure from the inside of the relationship are often too young to know how to work it out and often end up with a failed relationship.

“Basically, we were just both naive in a sense where it was our first relationship and we both didn’t know what we were doing,” junior Valerie Lapke said.

This crippling pressure, which, more often than not, kills relationships before they begin gives headway to the darker side of society in which people are pressured into actions no one should undertake unwillingly.

Another aspect of this unholy trinity that can take over lives is ownership. This forced takeover of your partner’s life is rooted in identity erasure. Although relationships require the constant push and pull of compromise to properly function, relationships in which a part of yourself must be lost in order to maintain a hold on the other person are not worth it—for anyone.

This identity erasure creates a dependence upon the manipulator. Once becoming a part of them, once sharing their opinions, their hopes and fears, how will the victim function, left alone with only parts of the other person? Once left alone, it’s over. So, the victim will do anything within their power to maintain good relations with the abuser.

“[It’s] being manipulated to the point where you can’t function as your own human [that is hard],” junior Shyanne Arias said.

Guilt is a major aspect of the identity erasure. Manipulation of significant others almost always begins in guilt. If someone is made to feel guilty enough, then it’s highly likely they’ll follow along with almost anything the other party has said.

Manipulators make it appear that they do a better job of “loving you” so that the victim feels like they must set aside their needs in order to love the aggressor just as much. Manipulation and guilt are not love. They’re merely cheap excuses for the real thing, which takes away who a person is and who they could become.

A major part of the unholy trinity, ownership is truly the removal of the personality of an entire human. Everything they were, everything they are, and everything that they could be is destroyed in favor of the other person.

The final aspect of the unholy trinity is reliance. While reliance in a relationship can be a positive in which both members feel they can trust each other and depend on one another for their needs, reliance turns sour when the members of the relationship only want to interact with each other.

Family relationships and friend relationships are some of the most relationships in a person’s life. According to Personal Relations, an academic journal, friendships in old age may be the best predictor of well being.

In another study by author William Chopkin that featured more than 270,000 people in over 100 countries, it was uncovered that both family and friendship relationships correlated with better health and happiness overall.

The reliance that fits the unholy trinity takes these relationships away from the people in them. It takes away chances of health and happiness that these people may have based on these relationships. It forces them to rely on one person and one person only.

Even in one-sided reliant relationships, both parties suffer. The dependent person suffers because they can not exist on their own or with other people because they are too focused on their partner; however, the person being depended on also suffers because of the immense pressure placed on them, thereby leading them back to an entirely different aspect of the trinity.

All three of the unholy trinity force unhealthy and unholy aspects of relationships that cause lasting problems for the people involved in them.

You are anything but the Blessed Trinity.

Your crushing pressure, beauty and crippling reliance surround me.

I blame you for who I am.

I blame you for what I do.

I blame you for all you have done to me.

With all my strength, I reject you and everything you represent.