Can we talk more about nurturing Todd and touch-starved Dirk? It seems there is much to be said.
You are asking a lot. Or rather two separate things that I suspect will dovetail neatly together. Unfortunately that means this answer is going to be long. Fortunately I can wax lyrical on both.
Let’s start with Todd.
We know a few things about Todd. We know Todd was kind of a self-absorbed asshole for a significant portion of his life. We know that he has a tendency to lie, cheat and steal. We know that Todd spent a significant portion of his life putting himself and his own interests ahead of everyone else’s. We know that all of this changed the second Amanda got sick. We know that he carries a tremendous amount of guilt for the things he’s done. We know he is mired in self-loathing.
We also know that he is the first person to help when no one else ever has. We know that he prioritizes Amanda above even his own safety.
Now I suspect some people would assume this is Todd’s version of atonement. I don’t think that’s the case.
Now, don’t get me wrong. People can change. People change all the time. Life and experience shapes and molds us, and we in turn adapt accordingly. But a person’s core personality is still their core personality. You don’t start an ESFJ only to become an ISTJ*.
So I suspect Todd’s caregiver tendencies have always been there. This isn’t counterintuitive. People who are drawn to care for others are more than capable of hurting others, just as a nurturing personality type does not always preclude selfishness.