Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rescuers

A dear friend sent this to me today, stating that it reminded her of what DH's FOO expects of him. In my opinion, it fits the dynamic between DH and NSIL well. [From Ruthless Compassion Institute]:

Rescuing another person is almost always doomed to backfire on both parties. Rescuing isn't at all the same thing as being helpful or kind. It's excessive, self-sacrificing & coming from a place of guilt, obligation, the need to please &/or the unconscious wish to be loved & healed through this act. The problem with rescuing is that the person being rescued, despite often really wanting to be taken care of, also resents being put in the one-down position & often can't help but leak their resentment onto the person who's being so good to them. This confuses the rescuer who then redoubles their efforts to please & care-take, which unfortunately only serves to make the rescued person feel that much more humiliated & resentful. At the same time, the rescuer can begin to feel their own resentment (even if the rescued person isn't leaking anger) as they're expending enormous amounts of energy, time & other resources in the act of rescuing without obtaining the emotional pay-off that they were expecting. They can begin to leak their own anger onto the person they're rescuing (all of this is an unconscious process, not deliberate) who then becomes extremely confused by their rescuer who's on the one hand, obviously devoted & self-sacrificing & on the other hand, snippy, sarcastic & passive-aggressive. Often, the outcome is that both parties end up hating each-other, whether or not they continue in this dynamic. The relationship can be ruptured, or it can continue in this mutually-resentful & unhappy co-dependency.

10 comments:

  1. Perfect summary.
    It's also a great way to de-focus from our own shit.<That statement reflects my OWN lil' journey down the road of Humility.
    sigh.
    TW

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    1. Very wise words. While we're focusing on someone else's issues, we don't have to deal with our own.

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  2. Because of my horribly low self-esteem issues, I tended to date guys that needed 'rescuing'. It made me feel good to be needed. They always ALWAYS ended the relationship first - they couldn't stand having been rescued. Then I got to be the victim (in my own head) who got dumped.

    I think ACONs are very prone to be rescuers (I know, a resounding duh) as we've been taught that our worth is a subjective thing. Be helpful! Be happy! Always be available! But your Dh has it even worser. Being set up by a third party to rescue someone who has been taught to be helpless and fight the rescuing. What a party.

    DH deserves a freaking medal. Or brownies. SOMETHING.

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    1. Oh no! Not brownies! He's an emotional eater! ;o)

      How about a round of hugs? I think he'd like that. (No joke).

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  3. What DH and you did was amazing and just perfect.

    No "rescuing" - just what she needs to hear, though probably not what she wants to hear. Real love and a real chance. I'm proud of you. Perhaps it was pearls before the swine, but without it you might never have known.

    She is very obviously her mother in training - the budding emotional manipulator.


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    1. Thanks PA. I too feel that we had to try. DH had to try. Otherwise, I think we'd have both always wondered, "What if?"

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  4. Thanks for sharing this. I see my self and my sister in it. But I also see my mother and my sister in it. They actually fit the dynamic so much more. My sister is resentful and angry that my mother even thinks she NEEDS rescuing, yet she continues to allow my mother to rescue her. My mother is angry that my sister continues to treat her like shit and never "appreciates" her enough and doesn't change. They both seem shocked that the same shit keeps happening, despite them both continuing to have the same behaviors. They are locked in a death spiral together.

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  5. I put my white horse out to pasture and sent my armour to the scrap yard. Everybody is managing just fine, especially me!

    Forget brownies! Hugs all round! mulderfan

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    1. I'll cheers to that! (With apple juice, or tea, or whatever non-alcoholic beverage you've got on hand!)

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  6. Hugs all around. I noticed that when I stopped trying to fix everything that my life became a lot different. I discovered that some people actually jump into their problems then wait for someone to rescue then jump right back in. Fixing computers it was my job to fix things, took me a while to realize I picked the job because it kept me in a role that I felt comfortable. If I focused on fixing things for someone else, I didn't need to fix me.

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