Wow. Has it really been so long since I wrote to you?
I’ve been pushing through a lot lately. Back in therapy working on more unresolved feelings from my past. It’s sad when something comes up in my current life and my reaction is directly tied to my childhood. All these years later… and so much effort in my quest to become whole again… yet still the scars of the past haunt my present.
Here is my latest challenge.
I have been wrestling with a need to save my friends for a long time… when it really hasn’t been them I have been trying to save. I’ve been trying to save myself when I was a child. This is why abused people often cling to abusive mates… because they are trying to change the mate so they can change their past feeling of helplessness. They are willing to risk their lives in an attempt to prove that they can actually control the other person’s nature. Because as a child, this was how they handled their situation – do everything possible to control it so that I, the child, am not victimized yet again.
When someone I love is suffering, it is very hard for me to not jump in and try to fix things… or fix them. The belief that someone is capable of overcoming their situation with help (even if they don’t want it) is a particularly powerful lure for my need.
So it’s a process of owning the fact that it’s my own need that drives this response in me. I can’t save my friends. But I can love them… I can offer them support that doesn’t compromise my boundaries, force them to change, or enable their own situation. I can feel for their suffering without condemning them for not doing something about it. When I can be in this place, I will find greater peace between us… and a healthier relationship.
To do this, I must deeply accept that it isn’t them I have been trying to rescue all this time… it is my own child-self. Every time I have done this, I am attempting to prove to myself that I can or could have controlled being a victim. I want to rescue them for the deeper reason that no one rescued me.
You will face these moments over and over again in your life, Kiddo. You will dive in and do whatever it takes to fix the problem… to fix your friends. All I ask is that you step back for a moment and ask yourself who it is that you need to fix. Because decades later, I am still trying to figure this one out.