On the desire for a savior

Silvermist's picture

It is interesting what one comes up with when one allows their mind to drift. Mine brought me some very interesting revelations about both how I think, and how life can change.
To begin with: my family was emotionally highly abusive with my father gaslighting me pretty much constantly until my mid thirties (which isn't all that long ago), and a psychopath for a younger brother. It was honestly bad enough that even with classmates loving to harass me, school felt like a safer, calmer place than home was. As a result of both the abuse and the mental illnesses I had (some of a mostly genetic origin, others from the abuse), I ended up on the streets more than once. I waited around for years for someone to come and 'make everything better', or, in other words, 'save me'. And, of course, no one ever came.
Eventually, something clicked in my mind. What I needed wasn't 'someone to save me'; what I needed was the skills and knowledge to save myself. At that point, I started assessing where I needed help the most, and tackling problems one by one. And, to my astonishment at that time, it worked. The less I depended on someone else to make things better, the happier, and more stable, I became.
Yes, I still have some serious problems. I become almost completely mute and panicking almost any time a strange male approaches me for any reason in public. I still have panic attacks from being in a public place if I do not have a set reason to be there. And, yes, I still get sensory overload rather regularly. But, none of those things, by itself, is enough to keep me down. Once I started relying on myself, solving my own problems, I realized I had never needed someone to make things better. I had only needed myself. And that was a turning point in my life.
What it has taught me is something rather vital to how we deal with victims. Instead of offering the 'universal bandaid', what we should be doing with people who have been victims, is to offer to teach them how to help themselves. We should show them that we think that they *can* succeed, and just need encouragement and a little guidance. In no way should we simply 'do for' these people. It weakens them and does us no good. Everyone needs pride. Everyone needs confidence. And we do not get these by waiting for a savior. We get these from learning to help ourselves.