I’ve been discussing “Savior Complexes” with one of my very dear friends a lot lately, and having it said that it was thought I was only falling for him because I had a savior complex myself, it has been weighing heavily on my mind. You see, this friend is absolutely amazing, and he has the biggest heart I’ve ever seen, but to an extreme. He will constantly give everything he has for those he cares about, and never stop to take anything for himself, even when he definitely deserves it.
He’s not the only friend I’ve watched go through this, just the one most prominent in my life right now. In fact, I will fully admit to having had a savior complex in the past. My first few relationships were based somewhat on that need to help, and that complex got me into some serious trouble as well. I am proud to say that after an experience with a damaging ex (which is a long story for another day) I finally learned to take some things for myself and not be taken advantage of. Thinking on that, I can honestly say it was for all the right reasons that I fell for said friend, and be proud of myself for that.
Anyway, at about 1:30am tonight, as I’m writing about the past few days in my paper journal, a thought struck me… It may not be accurate, but it makes valid sense to me, even when I relate it to my past experiences. Let me explain…
People who have a savior complex will most often completely ignore their own needs in order to help others. They will go out of their way to do anything for their friends and lovers, even when they realize they are being taken for granted; they will continue on acting like they don’t care that they are constantly being taken from.
Now, in having experienced this before on my own, as well as watching some of my friends go through it, I can see where people with this complex have a massive amount of their own personal trauma and emotional scars. They will undoubtedly pretend those aren’t affecting them as they continue on, helping others and ignoring their own damage. All the while, the pain inside gets worse as people continue to take from them, and they start actually believing that they deserve to get treated poorly. Thus, it perpetuates the cycle as they get worse and worse.
Finally, the point! They really want to save themselves! Deep down, they feel like they need saving, yet they’re so damaged that they don’t know how to deal with it. It’s easier to reach out and help someone else with their problems while neglecting their own. However, the need to save themselves is still strong within them, they’re just channeling it into what they’re doing for other people instead of helping themselves. It stems from self-preservation but quickly turns into self-destruction!
It’s so very interesting, the way people work. I can’t say that this thought comes to any conclusion, as I still wouldn’t be able to tell you how to fix it, but I did find it very interesting and wanted to share my thoughts on it. Right now, I’m seriously contemplating going back to school for psychology. I think I’d really enjoy it.
So if you find yourself always trying to help others, or falling for the people who are the most broken, take a deep look at yourself and what you need. Do you feel broken? Do you wish someone would sweep in and save you? Save yourself first. Take time to heal yourself and don’t let others take and take from you until you have nothing left to give. You are worth so much more. You deserve to be whole and healed. You deserve to take a little too.