I have a confession to make. Here world, I am going to admit something . Until quite recently I was addicted to the idea that someone was going to come along and save me and help me with all my problems. Here I am an intelligent, assertive person who clearly should have an idea that the idea is preposterous… but there you go I found it enticing. I can remember at 14 writing a poem about some guy whisking in the darkness to save me. There. I said it. I have a damsel in distress recovered complex. I used to know too, how to get people to come to my rescue. I had the look down, the helpless quiver… the ability to have someone else carry the heavy load ( literally and figuratively…)
I am not talking about asking men to be chivalrous… but I keep reading the same thing over and over in books lately . It’s like women feel the need to have selective amnesia and act helpless… The books goes something like this
She lay shivering in the corner, the ghosts of her past stitched ever so closely to her side. They would come so. But Chastain came ( they always have ridiculous names) and held her in his big strong tatooed arms and she knew everything would be o.k. from now on.
Oh brother. So why do women find this so appealing? Because it’s nice to think that someone else can solve your problems… it’s also quite a condescending mythology right up there with the White Man Solves Problems of Minorities myth. It’s even more intoxicating because it’s done for love.
But let’s not even talk about what it does to women… let’s talk about the effect this has on men. How can men possibly live up to this insane all knowing standard? Let’s look at the fictional qualities this person has to have
They know all the answers
So basically we expect them to know how to solve your life when they aren’t in your situation and you yourself can’t deal with it. You expect them to know exactly how to solve something in a record amount of time…. there is no consultation, give or take, learning organically together to figure this out. We are expecting immediate , straight cut answers.
Usually in this myth it is a problematic and often painful situation of the past. So this person, without any psychological or psychiatric or medical training will somehow know how to ” cure ” us ??? How dangerous is that? We are letting someone else foster important decisions and rooting our whole self confidence in those answers. For this reason, a man can feel pressured or stressed to know everything and cannot confide when they are unable to handle a situation. This is not a key to a trusting relationship is it? Oh yeah and you can never be wrong.
Men Need to be strong all the time
Men can’t cry, or be weak or even ask for help. They are the strong ones, the ones who need to endure pain for women … Isn’t that a little strange? I mean , technically speaking women endure a heck of a lot of physical pain every month and even while they are pregnant. What are we teaching men that they have to be closed off emotionally in order to solve our problems???
Enduring a concept of perfection
In order to be a savior one has to be perfect. An adonis , an epitome of wisdom and strength. You have to be this in order to be worthy of love. Again… kind of messed up isn’t it?
Realizing the archetype
The archetype of the damsel in distress has existed since the dawn of time, and it’s time to change it. We need to realize that perhaps, the damsel is that part of us that needs saving. I remember I had a dream once and there was this huge chasm and I didn’t know how to get to the other side. This guy was on the other side and he said ” Jump I will catch you!” . I did and he caught me and saved me. A friend of mine told me: “what do you think this means?” I told her I thought it had to do with my relationship. But she shook her head and told me to think harder. I then realized it had to do with me saving MYSELF. He was a symbol of my ability to find strength to do something.
And this is the gyst of this : No one can save you from yourself. No one can walk for you. No one can be your voice. You have to make that decision, you have take those steps and sing those notes. Yes, someone can help you walk but ultimately we decide this for ourselves. The only thing that saves you is yourself. Just had to repeat that one.
For me, ultimately I had to continually decide to trust in God, have faith and make my own decisions… but that’s scary because then the responsibility is solely upon yourself.