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Feb. 8th, 2006

There is this thing that I have, which is an unhealthy attraction to women who are in distress. I am a total suckachump for a girl whose heart is broken, because it makes me want to hold her and protect her and tell her that everything's gonna be all right.

Yeah. I know. Totally unhealthy. And I didn't recognize it until a few years ago when I was having a serious meltdown with someone who was in my life pretty strongly at the time.

Since then I've tried to work at it. I've made a conscious effort to find strong healthy women attractive. And that's a lot harder than it sounds, because I've discovered that even strong healthy women have these weird neuroses that can make them unhealthy (or unhealthy for me). And there is always a concern that I may be manufacturing an attraction where there really isn't one.

For a while I do okay. I retain my vigilance, and I slowly relax, and I become careless. Until one day I find myself wanting to hold and protect and say "everything's gonna be fine", and I feel the warmth and caring that I know will eventually bite me in the ass yet again.

I can't keep doing that. I need to be able to say "I sympathize, I feel bad for you, I wish I could do something that would make you feel better, but I can't", and let it go. I can't fix everything, or everyone. Hell, I'm not doing that good of a job of fixing myself.

But you know what? That whole thing has defined every relationship I've ever had. I don't know how to be different. I wouldn't know what to do with someone who wasn't needing me to be the protector.

Wow. That's hard stuff for me to admit to. But all of the questioning about love and romance and all of the soul-searching and introspection boils down to that.

I don't know what to do.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2006 06:57 pm (UTC)
White Knight Syndrome. Had an ex with a terminal case. Once I wasn't as depressed and full of self-loathing as I was when I (reluctantly) started dating him, he slowly chipped away at my happiness until I was back where he wanted me. Thankfully I was strong enough to tell him to bugger off. Being happy alone was better than miserable with him.

There's a time for comfort and sympathy, even with strong people. There was a situation with James and I where I just wanted to hear that everything would be okay. I literally said that to him, "I want you to tell me it will be okay," I said. He replied, "But I don't know if it will be okay," he answered (ever the pragmatist). "I don't care it it's true; just say it."

I know a lot of women would have said it didn't count when I did finally get him to say it... but it mattered to me.

Also: I struggle with separating sympathy from action. I get frustrated when I'm told about a problem and there's nothing I can do to fix it, or when the other doesn't want to hear my solutions. Sometimes I need to back off and just say "yeah, that really sucks."
Feb. 8th, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC)
I recognize that it's a terminally dysfunctional thing when carried to the extreme, and I have carried it so for many years. I don't want to be damaging and dysfunctional.

In order not to be, I seem to have to resist on a daily basis the temptation to fall into that role. It strikes me as being really similar to being an alcoholic (yeah, I know it's not the same thing), and I wonder how trying to maintain that kind of vigilance would affect a "normal" relationship.

I more and more think I'm just not cut out for it.
Feb. 8th, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
Unless you're surrounding yourself with Drama Queens, are you really tempted all the time so you feel you need constant vigilance to prevent you from rescuing broken people?

Or, is it a matter of degree: someone complains to you of work, school, social problems and your immediate (over)reaction is to want to take care of it all for them?

I can't tell from what you have said if this is a case of trying to stay sober in a room full of drunks, or if you're hearing someone say they are thirsty and automatically assuming it means they want a beer.
Feb. 8th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
Unless I'm surrounding myself with drama queens...

Well, I am on livejournal. It's unavoidable.

It is my thing. It's more that I hear someone say they're thirsty, and I want to give them a beer.
Feb. 9th, 2006 01:10 am (UTC)
I more and more think I'm just not cut out for it.

Feb. 8th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)
I could thing of worst things to be, then a man attracted to the idea of comforting women.

You could just be an ass, that gets "off" on hurting women?

Your a good guy.
Feb. 8th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Attracted to the idea of comforting women is one thing.

Becoming attracted to the women is another. That way lies pain.
Feb. 9th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)
well, you are aware of it and seem to be clear in yourself on changing the pattern.

I think certain of us attract the needies. We provide comfort in many ways and for people with holes and gaps and lots of hurt, we become very attractive.

my deal is that the partner almost instantly becomes more important than me. this is my deal, my pattern I am looking at.

for me it's certainly an esteem thing, so that's what my job is now. To be really clear about what I am and am not, leave the distortion by the roadside.

You are a beautiful man, from where I stand.
You set the goal of meeting healthy women who do not NEED you.
You will meet them because that is what you want, what you ask of yourself and the Universe.

you're 'putting it out there' even in this post.

I stand behind you, baby!
Here's to healthy relationships and healthy people, including us, ourselves.

I cast little wishes for you. It can't hurt.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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