I have a curious habit, or tendency, or trait, whatever, that I wish I could harness for use for myself. Occasionally, my friends have gotten themselves involved with abusive relationships. Some are emotional, others physical and emotional, etc. There are many types of abuse. For some reason, the abuser tends to not like me. Tells my friend that “that woman has to go” because “she’s a bad influence” or some such. Namely, I encourage personal empowerment at every turn. That’s a particularly foul trait if someone is trying to gain a stranglehold of power over someone that I’m friends with.
In one case, I actively recognized what was going on but also actively recognized that if I pushed this here, now … then in the years ahead when my friend truly needed me, she would not believe I’d be there for her. So I stood back and closed my eyes, praying that my friend would wake up. Knowing there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stop it. I made sure to stay in touch, but not so much that ire was raised and hands were forced. Fortunately, she did wake … 20+ years later. But she woke up. And she called me. Not as a first line or anything, but still, she called me and I work long distance to support her, to encourage her personal strength and glorious spirit. Now she sees that her soon-to-be-ex-husband actively tried to get her to stop being friends with me, and she now recalls all the bad things he had to say.
Now I have another friend who’s controlling spouse also does not like me. Huzzah! Well, for me. Not for him. He has to deal with it day-to-day, and like a steady drip of water torture that type of behavior slowly wears down even the most stalwart of rocks.
But I am left to wonder … why in the hell can’t I bring that into my own life? My own abuser just finally decided I was a horrible person because I refused to change every behavior I had to accommodate her and that meant I’m just an inconsiderate person who constantly attacks her. *gives side eye* What’s utterly hysterical to me is that this person has literally never even remotely seen me angry. I don’t think there are too many people who have. A couple days ago I was looking up something for the cost and blurted out incredulously “you have got to be fucking kidding me?!” She ran in all wide-eyed and asked why I was so pissed. “Honey, that wasn’t mad. You’ve never seen me mad.” After 6 years and a lot of emotional abuse later, I’ve never gotten mad. Huh. Forget the whole ‘attacking constantly’ crap. My brain literally just doesn’t work that way. But anyway, because I’m such a horrible person who refused to re-order my entire personality to suit her need to control everything, I’m a terrible person and she has now emotionally disengaged from me.
I felt it. Literally FELT the disengagement. Like an IV suddenly getting pulled out. For first time in years I could breath. I almost skipped out of the room that day, I felt so much better. It’s been a long, slow recovery energetically speaking but I realized a lot in that time. Am still realizing a lot … like what I discovered in this post.
While I encourage and actively work to help others empower themselves, I will choose to disempower myself time after time. It’s like I’m not important enough to stand up for. I’m not important enough to stick around to protect myself for. I abandon myself at the first opportunity in favor of someone else.
I was reading today an article that said some men will actively choose the emotionally or mentally ill woman, because then she will be that much more grateful to him for “saving” her. That sounds very much like something I’ve said to myself before. And this is where understanding your own archetypes comes in handy.
I LOOOOOOVE the Knight archetype. Love him!! Love love love. While there are many faces to the knight, the one I love is the Adventurer Knight. Not too long ago I was out walking with my husband and I pointed out this totally awesome house in our neighborhood that I adore. It’s got a stone façade and turrets. Yes, turrets. It’s a house castle. Freakin’ A!! I told him I love that house and he snidely says “Of course you do; you’re a princess.” I was furious at that comment. Finally I was able to blurt out later on “no, you fucker, I love that house because it’s an amazingly defensible position and it’s stone! STONE! I love it because I’m a damn knight and knights live in and defend castles.” O.o
I’m a knight? Hell yes, I’m a knight. How could I not see it? I made my brother “joust” with me in the backyard as kids. I took off the trashcan lids, we drew out our shields and then taped them to the inside of the lid. We used bike flags as lances, and the goal was to punch through the paper and catch the plastic handle underneath, then flip the lid out of the opponents hands. I even made him “trot” across the yard, pretending we were on horses. He had no interest in this, but he gamely went along because he’s the younger brother and as the older sibling I had that power. heh. I’ve been very slowly learning the horse games for years as well. Of COURSE I’m a knight. Duh.
But a disempower knight, one who doesn’t even recognize that I am one. As is the way with un-owned archetypes, they have to be engaged through the shadow until we’re ready to bring them into the light. So I’ve been in numerous relationships with White Knight/Rescuers, another form of the disempowered knight, and in order to fulfill this arrangement I must become the Rescued, which means kneecapping myself. I actively break myself in the presence of a Rescuer Knight in order to be rescued, and it kills me every time. I look back on the emotional MESS I was before I left home over a decade ago, and I see exactly the same pattern then as I’m seeing in myself now. *Monty Python voice* “But I’m getting better.”
So why couldn’t I rescue myself? Why couldn’t I defend myself? Because I hadn’t owned the knight yet. I didn’t even know it was there. I don’t necessarily think I’m a rescuer, per se. Most people I know with the rescuer archetype will find things to be rescued, whether it’s people or animals. Me? Nope, nothing. Only that one kitten I wrote about but that was a test of a different sort, not a ‘rescue’. It also actively pisses me off that every animal is now a “rescue”. I didn’t “rescue” my dog or my cat, I adopted them. Rescue to me is something bigger than “I went to the pound and picked out an animal that would have otherwise been executed.” But maybe that’s just me. Anyhoooo…
I encourage others to empower themselves, to take control of their energy and their lives in order to fulfill the greatness they are capable of … which is what the White Knight should do. A hand up. So I can briefly be the White Knight to those who need it, and the Knight when instead they need a splash of adventure.
Lol – I am Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Not because I’m too stupid to recognize they are windmills, but because sometimes the absurd is exactly the adventure that is called for.
But a Knight all the same. A protector, a guardian, a champion for the disempowered, a seeker of adventure and personal challenges, and a voice of encouragement. I think, first, I have to learn how to be those things for myself. I have to own that I am a Knight.
About the Featured Image: Perfect! A spot of fun (peppermint knight, bwahahaha), a female, and totally awesome. The artist is on DeviantArt here and has the username of the-illustr8or.