When the question of personal identity arises, there are many variables that need to be borne in mind. While determinants like culture and religion may be separated, the influence of basic human interaction cannot be removed even from one’s most private sense of self.
It is through interaction with others and one’s relationship to or with them that one’s private identity of Self can be understood most accurately and for a pathologically code- pendent person, it is their only means of understanding their own identity. They are unable to see themselves outside of their relationship to the proverbial Other. Grey Matter is a graphic novel that sees the dissolution of a woman’s mental state after her husband, having felt smothered and held back for ages, decides to leave. She is, as per the aforementioned equation, the codependent Self and her husband is the Other. Like the ‘lacking self’ Sartre talks about, Fera finds her identity coming apart at the seams when her constantly giving Other removes himself from the picture and she struggles to hold herself up along with the entirety of her notion of reality whereby her neurosis manifests in a Kafkaesque manner pitching her against herself.