Savior vs. Saved

It is crazy ironic how calling Parker out, and then talking to Jack about the "Savior Complex" made me realize something about my own MO. If I have said it once I have typed it or spouted it off a thousand times, I DO NOT need to be saved or rescued. If I don't fall in to the needing to be "Saved" then by default do I fall under "Savior?"

This was actually quite a revelation because I never considered myself as a "savior" or one who needed "saving." I want to be strong, brave, and stand on my own two feet, so who am I trying to save?

There are numerous people in my life that are fragile, weak, must be handled with kid gloves. They are broken in some way, emotionally messed up, incapable of standing up for themselves or need someone who is stronger than they are to guide them.

Even in my youth I found those that needed "saving" or they found me. I find myself wanting to instill in them the qualities that I value and feel are important. To let them know they deserve more, they can ask for better, that they can be courageous. I naively wanted to right wrongs.

I surround myself with people, men in particular that are emotionally unavailable. After a really wonderful weekend with Jack, I was hit square in the face with the reality, with his trust depleted he is utterly emotionally unavailable. I was not the one he wished he was with but a person that filled the void. I was a band-aid to a pain he has not yet processed. It would not matter the level of friendship I may or may not be looking for, he is reluctant to see the potential.

The sad thing is; Parker, GI-Joe and even my ex fall into the same category. Somehow I must think I can change them, fix them, make them all better. I want them to see what I see in them, the potential for greatness. They are not capable, not ready or are unwilling to share their thoughts or life.

They stay guarded, refuse to trust or take risks. They have become jaded by wrongs and have detached themselves from connecting with people to avoid getting hurt. If you do not care, if you don't get attached then you are completely safe in your isolation.

Am I trying to save them by letting my strength and determination rub off on them? Helping someone, seeing them change and evolve into a stronger person makes me feel like I am making a difference, that if every person is the main character in their own story that I am the best supporting actress I can be. Make them trust, demand change, expect better, or learn to stand on their own.

Perhaps it is not completely altruistic, but a way to make a mark in a world that is bigger than me!

4 comments:

cjn said...

I am definitely not of the male sex, but you and I have a long history. We have been through many things together and through it all we have bonded and found an amazingly strong friendship.

I will be the first to admit that I am one of the "fragile, weak, must be handled with kid gloves, broken" kind of people in your life. The very first day we met, it was as if you sensed that and you gravitated to me. I was scared to death of my own shadow, but when I was by your side, I felt unstoppable!!! You have had so much patience with me over the years.

I myself wander sometimes if you are jaded and untrusting, but try to portray that you are strong and unshakable. I don't mean that in a negative way at all. I simply know that you are also wounded and tend to not allow emotion to interrupt the sensibile or realistic side of a situation.

Even your college major shows that you long to reach out and help someone, but maybe what you are really longing for from deep within, is for someone to reach out and love you??

What a strong piece!! It really made me think.. you are so gifted with the way you can put all these deep thoughts into writing..

Anonymous said...

This is a nice piece. It makes one reflection on their own position of either saved or savior. I think we are both at certain times in our lives. Both roles can be exhausting in all categories and sometimes even drain us more than we want it too.

However, one most also reflect on the reasoning of why we keep going back to the same kind of people. No matter if we think we can fix them or save them we need to remember in the end they can only save themselves and only if they want it.

There are times in my life I know I fit into both roles and some days it plain pisses me off. Other days I know my feet are planted firmly and I can stand up for myself.

Confidence is the key and no matter what role we play we need to sometimes heal from all the hurt before we go looking for another fallible human being to give us want we want, need or even desire. Most days they will let us down and then we fell even worse.

Calliope said...

Carolee,
You are probably right, I do want to be loved and understood. Sometimes I feel like I do not have the luxury of giving in to my feelings. I feel things very deeply and profoundly, however I always had to be the adult and be the realist, the only time I get to “feel” is in the privacy of my head or alone at night in my room.

Anonymous,
I do think at times we can be either and at times we are neither. We are not saving anyone or being saved by someone, we are just as we are, not strong nor weak but surviving. Healing is not a process that happens over night but over great lengths of time. We cannot put life on hold until we are all healed up. I believe that more often than not people are put in front of us for a reason, maybe to help you heal faster.

Fruit Taster said...

I wonder if this can be summed up as a reaction to just wanting to feel good. We like to gravitate toward situations where we feel better. So if you're relating to someone in a context where you can help them, it feels good to play the "savior" role. If you're relating to that person in a context where you need help, it feels good to be "saved".

If savior and saved are two extremes on a linear scale, being in the middle doesn't feel as good. It feels alright but it's harder to describe, it's not as clear to know what the dynamic is. I bet most of us would prefer a better feeling, so it's normal to gravitate toward one of the two extremes when possible.

Just some late night brainstorming...