My fellow blogger, the Doc Victo, talked about how she longs for a Scottish night. I admit, I too have often thought I wanted a strong and commanding male in my life. I wanted to be the Princess, the damsel in distress, to be saved by a powerful male knight. I want someone to protect me and keep me safe. But in thinking about this, I realize how totally opposite this is to my real personality.
Yes, I do want someone who makes me feel safe. But that really does not mean I want them to slay dragons for me. What I honestly want is for them not to cause me distress. I want to be able to rely on them to do what they should, when they should and be able to give back to me when and what I need for support in my life. It should be a two way street. When they are in need, I should be there for them.
This is not how it is in my reality. I live with a very needed person, who at times sucks the life out of me. I have been doing some thinking on this and came to the conclusion, I chose this path. I am the type of person who puts themselves in a place of being needed.
For example, I was not happy with my career until I began teaching. I taught in some capacity since 1981. Having my own classroom as a high school teacher was a dream. But it was exhausting. Being a teacher, you are totally in a position of giving to people what they need in some fashion. It is a constant flood of answering questions, directed and guiding and then the comforting and soothing to make students feel good. I can remember coming home and telling my husband to leave me alone for a bit so I could get out of feeling depleted and stabilize.
It sounded so terrible when I though how selfish this was, but it is not. People who are in positions such as teachers, doctors, nurses, all care-giving clinicians are all susceptible to this feeling. But being who they are, they feel guilty for it. To be in these positions, you must have a nurturing persona to begin with. It is who you are.
But there is a time when you have to step back and say I need some self-compassion. I need someone to take the load for a while. People with successful marriages have worked this out. There is a lot of research and new programs being implemented to help clinicians to learn to step back and take care of themselves. I have a program we offer in our orientation series based on the work of Dr. Kristen Neff to give our staff tools to work with when they are having burn out or are overwhelmed. http://self-compassion.org/
I thought about the idea of having someone who was my knight, my protectorate and shield, and I know I would not really like that. I am too independent and too strong to let someone over shadow me. I also do not like forceful men because of my past history with that type of being. I chose to put myself where I am. When I am disappointed with my current relationship, it is because I am measuring this person to my expectations. He too has learned to be passive and submissive and let me do for him, because I will. And the game goes on.
I also have put myself in a position at work which is completely exhausting. My day is filled with putting out fires. There is always someone in need or an issue I must deal with. Sometimes there is a line out my door of people with a questions of some sort. I come home drained and have again instituted the leave me alone for five minutes rule. I spent yesterday not doing any work related activities and stayed away from the computer. It did recharge me. I will need a longer respite soon.
I think if I lived in the days of yore, when knights in kilts were everywhere, I would still be who I am. I would be the woman in the village who had the docile husband, own either my own shop or farm, and would still be independent, be in a position of fixing either people or issues and yet, overwhelmed. It is who I am.