The knight in shining armor thing is a big piece of my identity that needs the old heave-ho.
I read way too much fantasy in my life and used the whole idea of that as a fake bulwark against low self esteem. Helping people, 'saving them'. Gorging on ego kibble at the trough of their pain or misfortune, all the while thinking that I was a good person.
My betrayed wife played a pretty classic song for me tonight. Ani Difranco Not a Pretty Girl Both my wife and Ms. Difranco hit it dead on. Here's a passage:
what if there are no damsels in distress
what if I knew that and I called your bluff?
don't you think every kitten figures out how to get down
whether or not you ever show up
The person that I need to save is myself. The cats and the girls can figure it out themselves. The only person that I have the right to save is myself.
Bullshit self-aggrandizement wrapped up in shiny armor. Bullshit self-aggrandizement in velveteen and a pretty sword. Trying to fix other people's problems with ne'er a thought to my own.
Peeling back these layers of protective delusion hurts. I'm so sorry, so sorrowful.