The first thing that comes to mind when I think of R E A L I Z E should be some lofty platitude such as Realize your Potential, or Realize your Dreams. In my mind’s eye I should see one of those inspirational posters with an eagle soaring above snow-covered mountain peaks with some pithy words emblazoned on it. In my mind I should hear loving words such as, “Do you realize just how much you are loved.”
But I am Wednesday’s Child, and full of woe. The glass was always empty for me when I was too young to know there’s hope beyond what is seen. I just took light-hearted comments too personally. “Don’t you realize you’re strong, you can hurt people.” It wasn’t meant to hurt, simply to inform me, to make me aware of my own muscular strength, and the potential to hurt others.
As a result, at this very young and sensitive age, I struggled not to hurt others, and found myself propelled toward my life-long role as rescuer. I unwittingly focused on collecting broken people who somehow realized and exploited my weakness. I became a Samson playing the knight rescuing a damsel in distress. But they were strong-willed people who found pleasure in governing my very life according to their inclinations once they’d grasped my secret strength, and cut my hair. I didn’t want to hurt them, to disappoint them. While longing for escape, I found myself captive by the invisible bonds of guilt. “What will happen to them if I leave?” I constantly asked myself, blinded to the reality.
What began, one after another, as a rescue, became a nightmare as each seemed to explode into greedy giants seizing more and more and more of me. Their emotional claws burrowed into me; their barbed hooks constrained me. To their delight, I gave and gave and gave. They consumed and I shriveled. Two of the women I was with the longest, were like drug-deprived addicts launching on tirades, tongue lashings, berating lectures, ridicule. Each, more than once, said, “I’m just trying to make a man out of you.” A bully only pushes someone he or she thinks is weak and will take it. What the bully wants is a reaction. If successful, the bully can feel justified in her or his bullying. Justified only in their own mind, for to me they were the most heinous and vicious perpetrators of evil actions as I’d ever experienced. Nothing I’d experienced even approached their wicked barrages.
Where does the encourager go to be encouraged? Where does the rescuer go to be rescued.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
— Psalm 121
It took many years and many failures to realize just exactly what it was that I was doing to myself. During my various ordeals, the LORD G-d watched over me and patiently waited upon me. And He was my only comfort. Then at the bottom, completely spent, he came, making possible my escape. All I really needed to do was pray, click my heals, and back to Kansas I’d go. I didn’t know I was allowed to leave. Just as the LORD parted waters for Moses and all Israel, so the LORD opened the way forward. Praise You, my Lord, my G-d.
Please Note: Rescuers are often codependent people, and the bullies most likely are personality disordered, such as Borderline or Narcissistic. While only about half of the Borderlines are male, they are the ones we most often hear about, and then the word Borderline is rarely used. We know them as abusers, wife beaters. It is difficult for a man to admit his defeat at the hands of ruthless, broken, evil Jezebels of this world. The Evangelical Christian churches make it very difficult for the victims of abusive and toxic relationships to leave their spouses. Often these abusers contain the abuse they deliver to within their intimate relationships. Those outside this tightly held circle see the abuser’s mask only—the mask of a wonderful person. One key characteristic of a Borderline or a Narcissist is that they most always project themselves as the victim, and their prey as the true abusers. I suspect most men simply suck it up and take the BLUE PILL every morning rather than face a reality that the person to whom they’d dedicated themselves to, that they’d loved, never loved them, and is simply incapable of love. It’s hard to admit failure and to realize that you’ve been bamboozled for way too long. A relationship with a Personality Disordered Person is building a sand castle on the beach, near the water, at low tide, watching it disappear during the high tides, then starting to rebuild it all over again when the water recedes. It’s a living hell—right here on Earth.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .