Being Rescued

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Being Rescued

Postby Nick » Fri Oct 27, 2000 9:04 am

I've been working on the issue of "being rescued". Barbara discusses the subject on Page 85 of "I could do anything...." I seem to be sitting around waiting for someone to rescue me from being stuck. Can anyone relate?
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Postby DebraG » Fri Oct 27, 2000 12:51 pm

Nick, I can relate. I was the same way. Then I found some gifts that were given to me or blown my way (depending on your thinking), and my life is again my own, dependent totally on me. Now the question begs to be asked... did you just ask this question to gather information or are you wanting to change this? Debra
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Postby Nick » Fri Oct 27, 2000 1:01 pm

Thanks, Debra. Definitely want to change. Reason I posed the question is because I have found so little in the literature as to what it might be related to. Barbara's reference in her book is somewhat short. I know some of the other "demons" I've dealt with over the years, and I would like a better understanding of this one to see if there's some relationship between it and the others. Abandonment was a big one for me for a number of years, for example. Thanks for your help.
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Postby Orchid » Fri Oct 27, 2000 1:16 pm

Hi, This might sound like a strange solution, but it helped me. Read books (especially autobiographies and biographies) about people who did things. They don't have to be big things, they can be just books about a grandmother somewhere who lived an interesting life. By seeing examples of people who took control of their own life and situations, it helped me to believe that I could too. Also, whenever I would catch myself daydreaming about someone coming and "rescuing" me (or winning the lottery or something) I would stop and try to trace it back to the exact problem I was daydreaming myself out of. Then I would try to imagine a situation that was similar but worse... For example, I still had the problem but I also didn't have any friends to help me. Then I would try to solve the worse problem. I would try to exaggerate my problem to the point that no one could rescue me. Example: In real life I was in school and very broke. So I would imagine that a huge depression hit and no one had any money and everyone was starving. I would imagine that I didn't have any food in my cabinets and all the restaurants were out of business. I would try to figure out where I could get food and also a warm coat, because I would imagine that it was cold out and I didn't have heat. By the time I got done imagining, several things had happened to my state of mind. First, I realized that no matter what my problem was, it could be much, much worse. For some reason this helped me. I figure if people can live through war and concentration camps, I can live through my life. Second, I got into a problem-solving state of mind. Third, I recognized that if I could find solutions to worse problems than my own, then there must be a way that I could solve my real problems. The real trick to this is not bringing in a "deus ex machina" to solve the problems. I had to find realistic ways to solve the imaginary problems. Anyway, I found both reading and imagining to be very empowering. Hope this helps. If you have any questions, please ask.
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Postby Arsinoe » Fri Oct 27, 2000 4:10 pm

Interesting discussion topic. Right now I am grappling somewhat with the same issue, wanting to be rescued. My strategy for dealing with it has been to make a list of some of the things that I do have in my life that would be part of many other people's dreams. For example, I was blessed with stable and loving parents who are still alive and enjoying good health. I am also fortunate to live in a cheap apartment, smack in the middle of one of the world's most expensive Cities. That latter observation has recently motivated me. I realized that I already had something that would be a goal of many people. So, even though I am dead broke, I have begun to turn my physical space into the kind of place that where I really want to live. "Count your blessings" is a bit simplistic, but I have found it to be a good energizer. P.S. I still would not mind being "rescued."
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Postby jschwartzen » Fri Oct 27, 2000 5:46 pm

Orchid, I love your idea about imagining a worse situation. I think I'll try that next time I'm feeling down. For myself, I find that I get into the state of wanting to be rescued when I've convinced myself that I can't solve my own problems. Usually this comes from having tried and failed in the past. Or more precisely, from having failed in the past and had other people (or possibly yourself) make you feel like YOU are a failure... like YOU just can't do it. But as you probably know, people who are confident and successful simply think differently about failure. When they fail at something, they don't think that they will always fail at it. Generally they figure that next time they'll succeed. And in almost anything you do, that's usually the truth. If you try again, you'll probably accomplish what you want eventually. I think there are two things you can do to help you get there (in addition to the other great suggestions!). First, start to notice the areas of your life in which you ARE already doing alright, and making progress. It's easy to take ourselves for granted! But it helps to keep in mind those times when you have been successful and overcome problem in the past. Second, find some small things that you can do and you know won't be too difficult. If you allow yourself to feel good about taking some small steps (it doesn't even have to be in the area of what you are "stuck" in) then I think it can help you to have more creativity in other areas where you need it. Actually, this post has helped me to clarify some of my own ideas about this. Thanks for posting! Jeremy
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Postby Dax » Sat Oct 28, 2000 3:57 am

Greetings the board! Funnily enough, my expectation was always that I would rescue MYSELF! By that I mean, I always had a vague idea that I would be successful in the future, therefore wouldn't have to worry too much about things now (ie: don't worry about saving for retirement, I'll be successful by then and earning a lot of money).. Of course, this rationale falls down because in order to be successful in the future I have to start getting successful by doing stuff now!!! It's a real catch-22, one that thankfully I've managed to mostly see my way out of in recent years. Anyone else have this version of the rescue fantasy? Cheers, Rowan
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Postby d. olsen » Sat Oct 28, 2000 6:08 am

Nick, you have begun a terrific search here. May I ask horribly personal questions? What do you think you need to stop feeling like a failure? Do you need to succeed at something? If so, what have you been wanting to do? Or do you need someone to stop telling you that you are failing? Or do you need someone to tell you that you are successful? Or do you need someone to give you permission to succeed or to break free? Rowan, I know where you're coming from. You too, Jeremy. I always thought I'd be wildly successful, wondering which barrel of money to count next. Guess what? I am discovering that not one of the things I did during the past 30 years included saving for the future when I might not be on top of the heap. So now I am utterly frugal, try to save and forming a new life which includes being more mindful of what I have, how I use it and how the future might affect me. (God, I sound too smart to be real!) Seriously, it struck me this summer, when the trees fell around us, instead of on us, that I was being successfully mature about the problem, because I was able to see it as we were being given wood for the winter, rather than another chore this summer. -- Nick, I am defining that mind-set change as success. And I do, finally, manage to take myself in hand sometimes and say, "ok, you've done so many good things this week/month/year, you can find a way this time too." That process, a sort of mental polishing up of my old medals, helps a great deal. I also notice that in the times I feel most like a failure it's always connected to those times when people told me "you can't because..." You know -- because you don't have the right degree; you don't have the right family connections; you're too Italian; you don't have the right clothes; you don't belong; you can't see things our way; you're too sensitive; you're too inquisitive; you're too moody; you're too intense. Having heard these things so often, I find the old fears of rejection coming up when I find myself in territory that feels really unfamiliar to me. To counter the fear, I have developed a hearty public persona -- I smile, I tell funny stories, I talk about my past world travels, I have even stooped so low as to namedrop -- 'casually' mentioning the song lyrics I wrote, how the man who wrote the music is on Broadway now -- you know, shameless! (I don't mention that the song has sold about 32 copies!) But as the years go on, even this exercise is getting too tedious. I find I avoid places where I have to pull out that persona and make it talk, in favor of gathering with people who know me and don't mind my warts. So the most connection to success I find lately is when I can be myself. (Does that sound like depressingly familiar advice?) I'm not a full-fledged Bierkenstock-wearing log cabin pioneer, only someone on a small income learning to be smart about how I relate to the planet. I'm not a famous landscape designer, only a person who loves gardening and is making a bit of money helping other people find out how much fun it is. I'm not a famous novelist, only beginning to be successful at freelance writing (I'll write anything honest for a few honest bucks). I'm not the Mother of the Year -- but I do try to give my child something from my heart every day. I'm not a gifted Christian --I can't wuote tons of scripture and I don't do the Midnight Run or work at mission kitchens. But I will fill my Operation Christmas Child box and I do donate old clothes to the Salvation Army. Every time I remind myself that who I am is ok, I succeed again. Like moving all the computers out of the dining room -- it took me a year of indecision, but it's done now and Tom is happy about it too, and we're ready to gear up for painting. -- Nick, conquering that indecision and getting started on actually moving the stuff is my idea of success, too. Don't give up yourself -- there are worlds for you to conquer. The tough part is defining them and accepting that a conquest doesn't have to be big to be a success. dianne [This message has been edited by d. olsen (edited October 28, 2000).]
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Postby Nick » Sat Oct 28, 2000 11:51 am

Thanks everybody for your support. I don't really know what I am dealing with right now. A part of me tells me it's not fear of success or failure, but I could be fooling myself. No one seems to be on my back thinking I'm a failure. I don't even think I feel that way. Don't think I am trying to prove myself to anyone other than myself. I have been stuck in the past and have been able to use some of the suggestions you all have posed above to get myself moving. This time seems to be different. Nothing seems to work. I'm "more stuck" (stuckier??). These past few years have presented me with opportunities for learning which have been new to me - turning 50, losing my mother, 3 bouts of cancer with my partner. These last few years have made me face my own mortality more so than in any other phase of my life. A college room mate of mine had a favorite expression: "Life is hell, and then you die". I thought he was a pessimist. 30 years later, I find myself feeling that way. It just seems harder lately to look at the part of the glass that is still very full. Looking forward to your thoughts. Nick.
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Postby Helena » Sat Oct 28, 2000 1:27 pm

Dear Nick, My therapist gave me this slip of paper with a quote from Anna Quindlen: 'I walked for miles at night along the beach, composing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.'I thought it was really nice and spoke directly to me. I still wish someone would step out of the darkness and into my life, although I'm trying to rescue myself, it isn't easy. By the way Dianne, I LOVED what you said! It was exactly what I needed to hear (like yourself the way you are.) Helena
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Postby Dove » Mon Oct 30, 2000 5:51 am

Presently I can relate more than ever to many of the postings in this thread. For years I have been the rescuer. I was always there to guide and show and help others. I have even given up my own dreams and desires of things to achieve to help others. There was always the "agreement" with the one being rescued or helped that they in return would be there for me. Well, I have been unemployed since Feb 2000 and none of the people have been here for me. As a matter of fact many have actually told me off and won't speak to me. This left me feeling even more devastated by the events. Then the greatest love I have ever known has a habit of destroying love so that went along with all the other aspects. I have cried that I would just like for someone to do what I have done for so many others. Provide the comfort, the support and encouragement to achieve what I want. I have started seeing what things I can do to make accomplishments. Yesterday I hung the last curtain I made in my living room. They are so beautiful the could be on they cover of Victorian Magazine. But they are hanging in my living room and I made them. The difficult thing was I have had the material since June. The love of my life and I picked out the material together we shared the image of the finished curtains and there was so much joy that day as we were adding to the aspect of our life together. Then I was told I might be remembered at the time of sending Christmas cards, but maybe not. Making these curtains was such a challenge. Many times I sat at my sewing machine and cried but just held onto the material and sat there until the tears passed and started sewing again. I have actually put the big dreams and desires away. I actually gave them to God, and now I am not worried about them. I am doing a sort of 12 step recovery program for myself where I am taking one day at a time and focusing this day on one thing that will make me feel that I have accomplished something. I am researching material for an article to write and that is my next project while I challenge myself physically with learning to fly an airplane. At the moment I do not look to the future or to the dreams that didn't come true as I had been. Nor am I looking at those who let me down. This is because I am looking at me and saying I am here and I have within me the knowledge and strength to do what ever the challenges of this day are. When the old dreams and their remains resurface I just say what Scarlet O'Hara said "I'll worry about that tomorrow!" Just being here now in this moment today is a challenge and I am doing it by staying focused with now and what I NEED more than what I want to do. [This message has been edited by Dove (edited October 30, 2000).] [This message has been edited by Dove (edited October 30, 2000).]
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Postby riverleaf » Sat Nov 04, 2000 8:31 pm

For women waiting to be rescued: the book, "The Cinderella Complex" I do wait around to be rescued myself. One thought in my head was most certainly solidified by my mother if not placed by her, "whatever a woman accomplishes in her life, it doesn't mean anything unless she has a husband and family". My mom doesn't value anything I do, unless it accords with those goals. The other thought, which I think Barbara mentions, is that if I have to rescue myself, then that means that no one else really cares about or loves me. I would certainly try to rescue anyone I loved who was in trouble, wouldn't they then try to rescue me? I was awed by what Orchid said. Nick, perhaps you have spent so much of your energy caring for other people, that you are feeling drained and in need of rescue (a loan of strength)? Perhaps you are waiting for a rescue from a god? Perhaps there is some anger there that all this should happen to you? I believe life is suffering (I am a buddhist) but I also believe there is a way out - a method to rescuing oneself. Grin. But there is a lot of fear and anger tied up in facing death and feeling one's morality. Most people feel some sort of trepidation at least. Are you feeling the need to be rescue d from those feelings? Or rescued from your own death? Now I am just sprouting off thoughts, brainstorming, so take what you can use and toss out all the extras.
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Postby d. olsen » Mon Nov 06, 2000 5:48 am

Nick, just another thought, brought on my the previous posts. [Dove, your post is so poignant, it brought tears to my eyes.] Sometimes (often?) change is like death. When you move from a town or a house or apartment, or leave a job, that part of your life is somehow dying. Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye. Sometimes we hang around the old thing far too long. When a person close to us dies, people around us often try to comfort us by saying "She'll always be in our hearts," as if that would be enough. But we do come around, after all, to realizing that the person isn't in our lives every day, not cooking or teaching or driving, and yet, memories linger. Some sweetly, some with pain. Then, because life is the thing we must have with us, we move on. And that's how, as the Bible puts it, "dying to oneself" feels when we change something dramatic in our lives. We feel pain when that old something has been so big, even if we look forward to the new thing. But in order to have the new, we must let the old die off. So you're allowing something old, the pattern you've recognized, die off, in favor of taking up something new: a willingness to observe more closely, pay attention to your own innner self more closely, and take care of yourself more seriously. That's a life-affirming change. That is not to say your new life habits will come easily or swiftly. Sometimes they do, but not always. For example, I drank heavily in my younger days. Going to a bar or a club was a regular form of entertainment. Parties always meant drinking to excess. As I drifted away from alcohol, and began drinking less and less, I began to change my habit of thinking about beverages: a cool drink now means lemonade or seltzer, not gin and tonic. A pizza goes with diet soda, not beer. A cold evening in front of the fire goes with hot cocoa, not rum toddies. This change has taken about ten years. But the new way of thinking is part or me now, just as the old way of thinking was part of me. And there's no question of turning back -- it's just: this is the way I am. (I only wish I could feel the same way about butter, fattening meats and mayonnaise!) d
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Postby Nick » Mon Nov 06, 2000 2:43 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind words of comfort and wisdom. Your thoughts have made me think about the changes which have taken place in my life these last few years, and the role change plays in our lives as we grow. It's been hard lately to remember that the night has come, and the sun will be here in the morning. Thank you for reminding me.
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Postby Dove » Tue Nov 07, 2000 6:19 pm

Since giving the dreams away and letting the doubts and fears and fantasies go chase the dreams where they might be today I have felt a tremendous amount of freedom within. It has given me a perspective of being unlimited that I never saw before. As I go through each day doing what I need to do to have what I need. I see the wonder and things are unfolding before me in a mysterious way. I am taking the steps towards these new doors opening with a bit more caution than I would have in the past. I wish to mention one thing in response to Riverleaf's question about death. I see death very differently than many people. I have faced death literally in this life three times. Once at the hand of the man who was my first husband, once in the Western Caribbean and once in a storm in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm in the Caribbean is the one where I am most certain of having drowned. As I read the book "The Perfect Storm," the author had interviewed survivors who had drowned, pronounced dead and they revived. The author gave their graphic description. I knew then I had felt those same things. I cannot to this day explain why or how the three other crew members and I were spared and brought back to life. Since that event my life changed so dramatically. This event happened ten days before my 23rd birthday. Since I was the first person to come to the surface of the water I was there and watched as the other three popped up and saw what they looked like as they broke the surface. It was as though a force was pushing them out of the water there bodies at first were limp then they went straight as a board and water and sputum shot out of their mouths with great force. I heard them as I can recall the sound of my own breath returning to my body. It was a hollow almost inward screaming sound a chilling howling of sorts. Each one came up one at a time. The boat we were on was still over 70 feet below us in the ocean for the tip of the mast which was 72 feet off the water was just in front of me. When we were hit with the wave that crashed over us we were all tied to the boat with the lines to our safety harnesses. Somehow we were untied/uncleated and we each were forced to the surface, by what, I cannot say as we were in 6,000 fathoms of water. Then the boat just floated right up under our feet as it too came to the surface with no apparent damage from this wave's hit. The wave that had previously rolled the boat had cause a tremendous amount of damage. But this time we and the boat were miraculously saved. We were headed to an Island that was extremely primative. I had such a wonderful place to recover from so much in my life. I had only been divorced for 3 months from the man who had tried to kill me when this happened. I lived for a year on that island where there were no televisions, no telephones, no paved roads, and the people were real and true. It was the greatest place in the world to recover. It was truly a shock to my system when I returned to the USA. I think I can truly relate to the quote about "dying to oneself." My relationship to the Universe has again taken a major shift. Have you read "Who Moved My Cheese?" It is a great little book and fun to read. It talks about change and how it is a part of life. As I wrote this post I have a sense of knowing that even though those I helped were not here for me. The one who saved me before is here with me and I know I have nothing to worry about. If by chance the life ring didn't get thrown to me then it means it is my time to go and I will go with wonder for what the next journey will be. [This message has been edited by Dove (edited November 07, 2000).]
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