I was discussing with someone about my need to “rescue” those around me, in my relationships with both women and men. I have often overstepped the healthy relationship boundaries and have taken on the role of the person who is available 24/7 no matter what the situation, no matter what plans I may have already made.
The end result of this was ultimate burnout for me leading to me having to back off the relationship which then led to resentment and feelings of abandonment in the other person who had grown accustomed and reliant to my role in their life.
It wasn’t until I went to women’s supports groups after leaving my ex that I realised that being a “Rescuer” was an actual THING. I mean, when you’re in the middle of it all, it seems okay. I mean, you’re helping people, and it comes from a desire to care so how bad can it be, right? And I need to explain, I’m not talking about baking some cookies for the new neighbour that’s just moved in.
What I am talking about is trying to create a safe bubble so that my ex wouldn’t have a cause to have an angry outburst so tip toeing around any conflict that we did have. It led to me apologising on his behalf to a friend that he verbally assaulted and taking responsibility and downplaying his actions multiple times. And ultimately it led to me never speaking up or acknowledging just how much his behaviour affected me.
And with close female friends it has looked like rushing round to her house when she was hyperventilating due to her ex being half an hour late bringing their daughter home and she was worried he has run off with her and is never coming back …
And yes, I have quite literally got myself into those situations. It took quite some time before I was able to begin to understand that acting as a rescuer is actually not doing anybody any favours. I am actually enabling their behaviour, and unless I take a step back, then nothing is going to change.
And in all honesty, rescuing and the desire to be the rescuer and “save those around me” is something that has been a massive part of my existence right up to now. That is a big part of why I married the man I married. And why I have had those kind of friendships where I go over and beyond, responding to frantic calls and trying to make sure I am 100% available but to multiple people at once.
This is a part of me I am still very much navigating my way through. I have had to take a step back in several relationships and have done a lot of soul searching lately.
I don’t believe we were made to carry others burdens and “fix them” and put their broken pieces back together. I don’t believe we can. I don’t believe I can. I can’t even do that for myself.
I will always care deeply about relationships and those around me. But I want to try and do this with healthy boundaries in place. And there is something to be said for the old adage that you cannot give out of an empty vessel. You need to make sure that you engage in your own self care and you cannot do this if you are constantly jumping from one person’s drama to another.
This is me leaving my rescuing past behind and stepping forward into a new and glorious future.
I am sure there are people out there who can relate to this, hope this helps in some small way.