Saturday, August 15, 2009

How To Save A Life

There is a common theme to my life that seems like a positive attribute to have on the surface, but when you dig deeper, you realize it is a destructive path.
I want to save everyone.

When I was a teenager my parents got divorced and it devastated me. I mean, I could see where the path was headed, my parents fought- often. It didn't mean that it didn't come as a surprise and a terrible blow to me.
When my parents fought/argued/disagreed I would silently stick up for my father. I thought of him as the underdog, one who couldn't do what he wanted to do without being yelled at. As a married adult now, I know now that the problems were something he brought on to himself.
Marriage is hard, I get it.
When he moved out, I was nervous for him- who would wash his clothes, make sure he ate homemade meals and what would he do without us? I felt more sad for him than I did for myself.
I wanted to be the one who took care of him. Even though I was only 14 and didn't have a clue about life at all, I wanted to save him.

Fast foward a couple of years and one fucked up boyfriend later and I was in the same situation -new man. I had been dating a self-destructive guy who was sweet and loving when he wanted to be, aloof and kind of mean when he didn't.
He didn't have a supportive family actually his family was really messed up so I wanted to be the one to give him that.
The only problem was he didn't want it.

When someone really close to me did something I never thought would ever be done to me or my family my first reaction was to be livid. I wanted to physically kick the shit out of this person. The weight of my anger would come out of my fists and I would feel better.
Very surprisingly this feeling didn't last very long. It was replaced by hurt/sadness/incredulous and the feeling of wanting to help. To help the person who could not have done this in their right mind. To get through it together.

It is a recurring theme in my life.
I am not perfect, I have faults and problems and issues like everyone I tried to save. I am going to have to focus on why I want to be the saver, the heroine, the knight in shining heels.

Before I try and save anyone else, I first have to save myself.


  1. My therapist helped me realize that I was doing the same thing, worrying about everyone else and not taking time for me. You need to start with yourself.

  2. I did the same thing. I adored my father, but now as an adult I can see how much 'stuff' he really dumped on my mother when I was a kid.

    I was the peacekeeper of the family. It did take years of therapy for me to realize what a destructive path I was leading down.

    I wish my father were alive, because I was a Daddy's girl at heart and blamed my mother for everything...but now as a 40 year woman, I wish we could talk about it.

  3. Loved this post. I agree we must first take care of ourselves in order to take care of others.


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