The Savior Complex


“While we as people of  God are certainly called to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, that whole “we’re blessed to be a blessing” thing can still be kind of dangerous. It can be dangerous when we self-importantly place ourselves above the world, waiting to descend on those below so we can be the “blessing” they’ve been waiting for, like it or not.”
― Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

IMG_0016There once was a little girl who believed that all good things will come to her if she is really nice and helps people. However, for me, it has turned into a bad fairy tale. I am not sure if it is Chikungunya or my mother’s death that spoke to me this morning as I was sweeping my floor, yet I had an awakening. I. Have. A. Savior. Complex.

It’s the wrong time of the year to have this awakening. NO! I have too many people I have to fix this holiday season! NO! I live in freakin’ Nicaragua…in the campo…where people live in plastic shacks without running water, dirt floors, and outhouses. NO! This awakening can’t happen now!

So, what is this horrible Savior Complex and why did it dawn on me this morning that I have it? “The savior complex is a psychological construct which makes a person feel the need to save other people. This person has a strong tendency to seek people who desperately need help and to assist them, often sacrificing their own needs for these people.” ( Savior Complex Anyone?)

Let’s take a look at my careers…I was a social worker, a Special Education teacher, and worked in a Child Abuse Protection Agency.  I worked with juvenile delinquents, felons, the homeless, mentally ill, alcoholics, drug addicts, and impoverished people. On top of this, I always put others’ needs before myself and sometimes my family. Yep! The signs are all there. I. Have. A. Savior. Complex.

But, why? And why now? I have an unassertive way of helping others. Unfortunately for me, some people I help ( especially in Nicaragua because their needs are so great) become unappreciative and ungrateful. In other words…they get used to it and they expect it. They feel entitled to receive help from me, simply because they need it and they’ve always got it.

My Nicaraguan neighbor is a good example of this. For five years, we have shared our lives together as friends, extended family, and neighbors. She cleaned my house, not because I needed someone to do it, but because she needed the money.  I won’t go into all the sad details, but recently I had to cut ties with my neighbor.  So while I felt good because I could help her, I felt bitter, frustrated, and betrayed by her disloyalty at the same time.

While resuming the daily job of sweeping my floor that my neighbor used to do, I became angry! Revengeful! Hateful! How could someone whom I considered to be my friend, be so disloyal and unappreciative for the countless things we have shared? Where’s the love? Why was I overwhelmed with grief?  I. Have. A. Savior. Complex.

There are many facets to having a Savior Complex. In my limited belief, I thought that by sacrificing my needs to help others, I will get their love and approval and have a happy life. Not so!!!

I said to myself this morning, ” I can’t give anymore. My ability to give has been sucked out of me, like the vacuum cleaner that sucks up the dirt and dog hair in my house.”

Yet, with this new awakening, where do I go from here? It’s the Christmas season. A time for giving. I don’t know how to respond to this new feeling of not giving to others to seek  approval and happiness. Now that I realize I have the Savior Complex, I tell myself, it is a noble thing to do, even though I am starving and sucking the mental well-being out of myself. I. Can’t. Give. Anymore.

Now that I know I am afflicted with this new and strange feeling, I believe the best thing I can do is face up to the practical consequences it has had in my life. Being a savior is neither noble or practical for me. I have to take care of myself, first. Believe in myself, first. Know that I create my own happiness within myself, first.

It doesn’t mean that I will never be a giver again. But, I feel that I have to do it for the right reasons…not because it appears to make me happy…not because I want to feel loved and appreciated…not because I place myself above others and feel “Blessed to be a blessing.”

I am not sure where this new path is taking me, but it is a relief that I know I have a Savior Complex, and I can take baby steps to put my needs above others…to be gentle, kind, and loving to myself, and not to feel selfish for putting my needs first.

I will slowly learn to give and ask for what I want, to help and be helped. I think it is a delicate balance that I need to learn. I am grateful for this awakening…I think. I only wish it hadn’t swept over me this Christmas season. Tis the dawning of a new age…new paths…tender loving paths. I hope I can walk strongly and lovingly along this new path to become a better and stronger person.

49 thoughts on “The Savior Complex

  1. Pingback: Being Helpful | Panama Expats News

  2. I also have the Savior Complex. I have lived off shore in Costa Rica full time for 8 years now. My husband and I have been deeply involved with helping the poor (mostly Nicaraguan immigrants) but also some very poor Costa Rica citizens. There is a large barrio here called Bajo Tejares. This barrio has approx. 350 families.

    In March of 2008 my husband suddenly dropped dead one morning! He was only 66 years old! Two months prior I had taken money out of my 401K and purchased a small house near the top of this barrio and dedicated it to God. Together we were in the process of totally gutting this house and remodeling it to serve the Women/families in this objectively poor barrio. I called this The Women’s/Family Center. I have continued this work alone, since his passing.

    My husband was my rock and the one of us who knew his limits. A true man of God who never bought into the Savior Complex. He gave of his time/talents and yes, finances, but he had limits on how much he gave and always took care of himself and my tendency to “Give Away the Farm”. I depended on him in so many ways both as a constant barometer in terms of when to stop, giving and also as my companion in a strange country, not my own. We met later in life and were together for 15 years. I have been in a very deep depression since his death.

    Before the death of my husband, I gave out of an abundance of heartfelt love. Since I have continued to give but, now it is very painful. I find that I often feel unappreciated and hurt by the behavior of others. I realize that many of the people who have been helped by the Mission and ourselves are dependent and demanding and unappreciative. Our, my, charity has become TOXIC. Not necessarily because of what we have given but, because of all the short term Mission Teams and their naïve and ignorant approach to charity in the Third World. I also have been lumped into that same mindset by the recipients as just another rich North American Gringa! Most of these recipients have learned how to manipulate and lie and bled the system. Since I live here full time and have two different days/per week, I do charity work with this group, I see and recognize these behaviors differently than those who come for 1 week once/ per year.

    I have to figure out what to do next. I realize that I need to spend some time on refilling the well for my own well being! How to empower them to change their circumstances instead of constantly pouring large amounts of water on their fires.

    I found your blog because I subscribe to The Panama Adventure and Chris embedded a link to your blog. I feel drawn to you and that we are in many respects, on the same journey. I would like to encourage you not to give up and perhaps together we can figure out how to take better care of ourselves so we can continue to help others.

    I want you to know you are not alone in this place. I and many others are standing beside you, dealing with many of the same issues you are. I am very sorry for your struggles as I am sorry for all who struggle with the demands of this life. I applaud your heart and desire to be of service to others. I also have a servant’s heart! I would like to establish a way for us to communicate outside of this blog. If you are interested please indicate, your wishes and I will provide my contact details to you.

    • Barbara, thank you so much for your intimate and thought-provoking post. Empowerment is essential, not only for your own well-being, but for the well-being of others, too.
      I have heard of other organizations that decided to stop having short-term volunteers. They say that short-term volunteers mean well, but they don’t have the time to spend understanding the needs of those they help. So, instead, they have to apply to volunteer and the positions are long-term.
      I wish I had answers to the dilemmas we face. Sometimes their needs overwhelm me. That’s when I have to step back and reassess my needs.
      Your husband sounded like a wonderful man. Like you said, he was your barometer and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you. I am so sorry to hear of your husband’s death. Yet, you are a strong woman to carry on without him. I admire you for that. I wonder if I would stay in Nicaragua if I was alone. It would be extremely difficult for me.
      I have your email address and I will contact you soon. Thanks again Barbara for your understanding and empathy. We will put our heads together to see what we can do. Sending you hugs from Ometepe Island.

  3. First, our condolences on the loss of your Mom. The loss of a parent or child is so devastating, the waves of grief are often unrelenting, especially during holidays and special family events.
    However I am grateful Kris linked over to your post, it couldn’t be more timely. We intend to retire to Panama and one thing we’ve already discussed is not over-committing. We’ve not been good at saying ‘no’ so that will be as foreign as the new land we live in. Thanks so much for sharing. Shalom, Mariah & By

    • Hola Mariah and By,
      I am very impressed that you have even discussed not over-committing. That’s usually not one of the priorities of people moving abroad. Nice!! It sounds like you are well on your way to making a successful transition to Panama.🙂
      Thank you for your lovely thoughts. I still miss my mother and the grief continues to hit me at the strangest moments. But, the holidays are over, for which I am relieved, and now I can concentrate on ME. Best wishes for your pending move.

  4. Wow, you sure got me thinking with this post! I’m so sorry to hear about your friendship. This on top of the death of your mom and your own health issues, no wonder you are depleted and burned out. that’s a great opening quote, by the way. Thanks so much for this very useful and thought proving post. I’m wishing you a peaceful and healing new year. Take good care of yourself.

    • As I gain experience I feel that expecting anything from others by going an extra step should be done ready for disappointment.

      Thankfully there are enough of us who know to sincerely say thanks that make worth that extra step but, on the other hand, too many of us who remind us that more than one little step might be foolish.

    • Aww, Kris, you are the best! I am sending you lots and lots of hugs from us…and Cappy and the cats, too. I hope to see you again this year, whether it means you come here, or we go there. Once we find a house sitter, we are headed to Panama for a little vacation after we return from my mom’s memorial service in June.

      • I hope to see you too! I am planning another bike trip, this time starting in Seattle and heading south so I’m guessing I’ll be in your area in August or later. I’ll keep in touch and hopefully the travel plans will align. If not, there are friends who want to bike north from here later in the year so one way or another, you certainly haven’t seen the last of me yet😀

  5. Pingback: Being Helpful | The Panama Adventure

  6. This is something I’ve struggled with as well. It mainly comes out when I try to write out my thoughts on something, where I start to see I’m coming from a bad angle, phrasing things in a savior sort of way. So I’m grateful for writing, for making me think more clearly.

    I have two opposing views on the subject:

    On one hand . . .

    It’s incredibly frustrating to hear people talk about poor people as if they’re not people. I overheard a family of tourist/social workers in Ometepe say two phrases that straight-up pissed me off. “Don’t take any pictures that are too terribly sad,” one counseled the other. They talked of the great suffering of these people, and how sad it was. I recoiled at the tone of it. Feeling certain they saw more suffering than existed, Western eyes grading a developing country by Western standards, giving the people a test they don’t care to take.

    Later, It’s so beautiful here.” “I know,” another responded, “I’m reluctant to put pictures on Facebook because it looks like I’m in a tropical paradise.”

    They saw the beauty of the country but didn’t want to express it. They saw the pain of the people but didn’t want to express it. Why not just tell the truth? And part of that truth is that they don’t understand a damn thing about who Nicaraguans are. They looked at conditions Nicaraguans were fine with and saw sadness where it didn’t exist.

    That disconnection from the humans around them makes them operate as the worst kind of savior – the self-righteous, obnoxious kind who can’t ever actually connect with the people around them.

    Let me be clear here, I don’t think that’s you, and I don’t think that’s me. Sometimes, bits of that type creep into our lives, and it’s important to recognize it.

    On the other hand . . .

    Worrying too much about not having a “savior complex” can cripple you from doing good things. I once posted a picture of a girl from La Chureca to Reddit, and the internet exploded. Many people loved it and my blog about philanthropy, others hated it and were disgusted with my naive, Western, slum-tourist piece-of-shit writing. I didn’t write for awhile after that experience, everything I tried to say would bring up their comments in my mind.

    I’m grateful for that learning experience, but here’s my point: there is a lot of good undone because people are afraid of being saviors, of assuming the “White burden.”

    • Wow! Jefferson, your perspective is enlightening. Disconnection from humans around them…exactly. On the other hand, and I am speaking from a tourist’s point of view, how can they possibly understand unless they are involved in a community for a long period of time? The Nicaraguans I know and respect, which are most of them, are resilient, resourceful, and hard working. But, to understand the total picture or the myths of poverty, people have to be willing to become involved. I don’t mean just spending a week in a trash dump survivor kind of thing. I mean involved and immersed in a culture or with a group of people for an extended period of time. That can’t possibly be done on a vacation or a short mission trip. No wonder they see sadness where sadness doesn’t exist.
      I guess that is why I write about my experiences with cultural immersion. I want to try to explain the misconceptions of poverty, the myths that we consider to be the truth.
      Like I said in my piece, there is a fine balance among having a savior complex, recognizing it, and still continuing to help others in need. Thank you so much, Jefferson. I enjoyed reading your perspective.

  7. You have to give yourself time now, especially after the loss of your mom, which is the greatest loss you will ever have to suffer through….perhaps this is why maybe you are re-acting so much to this neighbour thing as your emotions are all over the map…..at this time, you , for a change are expecting maybe some love coming from the larger community and you come home to this crazyness. I think it took me three to four years before I could even mention my moms passing without the tears and emotions….and so alot of my other friends have now reported the same things. Plus you got the horrible chicky munga thing that some of my friends have gotten…my brother had dengue fever, said it felt like his bones were melting off of his body…..so, we know you are a very type a, go, go do good type of person….but find a way to get through this….I read alot of spirtual nonsense when I go through hard times….it seems to help me…although I am not an overly spiritual person…just liked the thought of a larger realm out there, with someone or something to help guide me…..even Deepak Chopra and his books came to fascinate me for some reason…very strange…..or in your case, go swimming in the lake….that is next to Godliness…isnt it….you will get through this…..I came recently from caregiving for my dad for three years,. was totally spent, got cancer upon my return ….finally I am getting over this all

    • Laura, I think you are right. My emotions are all over the place. Every little thing reminds me of my Mom. I can’t even post my year in review on Facebook because there are so many photos of her. Right now, those photos remind me that I will never see her again. But, yesterday, I had a joyous moment when looking through my Mom’s old recipes for Christmas treats. Those recipes brought good memories of Mom making dozens of cookies and handing them out to her friends, and even strangers. So, one day I hope my emotions level out.
      Thank you for sharing your experiences about your Mom and Dad. It helps those who are grieving feel comforted and know that we are not alone.

  8. Wow, you really started something here with your relationships with the poorer neighbours. Thanks for being honest and starting a conversation that rarely happens. I do think that in the situation with your neighbour, maybe that one boils down to a very, very controlling personality….Remember that you did not start the relationship with her originally, as she was off to work in Costa Rica….you started a relationship with her wonderful kids and papa. Why she would bad mouth you to the new gardener is beyond me….after all you did for them. She has problems as she blamed the children of stealing from you…..as in the bed you gave to the son that she took…she did this to excuse herself from the actual stealing,by blaming her children…obviously, I think she has anger, controlling, jealous tendencies…..Leave her to herself as others have….and just dont take it to heart….she is an awful woman by the sounds of it…and this is not a scene from THE HELP or anything like it. Continue what you do best….we are all blown away by your generousity and helping out in NIcaragua…..My friends and I were so upset when you reported petty cash stolen from your new library….like I said their are awful people everywhere and really all it boils down to is how one is raised by their parents….its not a poor and rich issue at time…keep doing what you are doing…maybe see you in Nicaragua some day….we were there in 2000, after my mother died….it was so wonderful there…..on Ometeppe Island….always talk about gettting back there….Merry Christmas to you and Ron….

  9. Not intrusive at all. However, the dynamics are not similar to your scenarios. Our relationship goes back 12 years. Since we lived side by side, our lives entwined. The children, who were 9, 10, and 12 at the time, became very close to us, and vice versa. Their mother lived and worked in Costa Rica, and Papa, 74 years old, was left to raise the children. We shared our lives together. They taught us their culture and traditions, and we taught them ours.

    When we returned to live permanently, Mama had returned from CR, and the dynamics of the family changed. Mama kicked Papa out of the house, and took obsessive control, which the children resented because they were raised by Papa and Mama didn’t have too much to do with them when they were young.

    When Papa died, the children, who were now young adults, were devastated. They had no income, so I hired Mama to clean our house, and her son did our yard work. Things went from bad to worse. She accused her children of stealing from her, and threatened them constantly. She was bossy and argumentative with me, yet I always used my ‘soft voice’ and was passively respectful.

    Her son built a small casita attached to her house. We had an old couch and bed, so we gave it to her son for his casita. When it was completed, guess who took the casita? Mama. They were always yelling and fighting. I felt like I was living in a trailer court. Finally, the kids couldn’t take it anymore and they left for Costa Rica. I think she blamed us for continuing to have a relationship with her children. I always told her that we didn’t want to take sides or to be involved in her problems.

    But, the final draw was when we hired a new worker to do our yard work. After his first day of work, she confronted him and told him that we are bad people, do not trust us, and we hate Nicaraguans. He was so confused, so the next day, he came to us ( we didn’t know him well) and told us what our neighbor had said about us. So, I cut ties with her and continue to have a good relationship with her children. She lives alone now. She’s pushed everyone out of her life that cared for her.

    It isn’t like a scene out of “The Help”. We became very close to the family and shared our lives together. I thought that I had transcended cultural boundaries, and I feel like I have with her children and grandchildren. I never felt pity or sorry for them. When I saw a way that I could help, I did. And they helped us in many ways, too.

    I am not a meddler. In this case, her family walked into our lives with love, and we reciprocated with love. I never felt like economics had a part to play in this relationship. Sure, we have more money, but her family never asked for money. Never. We shared many things together, which is why I was blown away by her comments to our new worker. She didn’t deny them either. So, I am still puzzled and hurt. I suspect she is obsessed with control,so much so that she went into a rage when I said her children and grandchildren will always be a part of our lives and we refused to take sides.

    Quien sabe. It was all too much for me. I hate confrontations, and I am grieving for the loss of my mother and hobbling around from Chikungunya. It is a relief that she is out of my life. I may never understand what triggered her anger and rage. I suspect it has nothing to do with me or because I am a wealthier white woman. It is deeper than that…psychological..which transcends culture and economics.

  10. This was a really painful post to read, knowing of the relationship with your neighbor’s family through the good times and hard times and all your work on so many projects. One thing I remember about social work is you can’t help others before you help yourself. Sacrifice isn’t often repaid. I keep tight money limits on my projects and even more so on my time. Selfish though it may sound my needs come first.

    Last year I read a book one of the missionaries had called ‘Toxic Charity’ which really opened my eyes. Well worth a look.

    You and Ron have a happy holiday. You already have everything you need.

    • Thanks, Brian. It is very painful, but fortunately I am able to continue to have a good relationship with the other family members. My neighbor lives alone now after pushing everyone who cared, away. Money was never an issue, but defaming us and threatening others is a big problem. I couldn’t handle all the drama anymore. It’s a relief. Now, I can concentrate on living my life. Hugs, Brian.

  11. Everything you say is spot on, Rebecca. I hadn’t thought of the act of charity as demonstrating who is in charge. Charity always has strings attached. Those strings come in many forms for the giver and the taker.
    I think your phrase “self-respecting” is what hit home for me the most. If we have no self-respect, how is it possible to show others respect? You’ve given me much on which to reflect. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

  12. I suffer from this same complex. I became so overwhelmed by helping so many people when I lived in Brazil that I felt like I was drowning and that they were pulling me under with them. After eleven years in Brazil I finally had to leave because it had all gotten so out of control. I finally returned last month after a 4 year break. I imagined that enough time had passed where my “reputation” for being a “saint” would have faded into the past, but within two days of returning I was confronted by one of my former “dependents” who demanded I help him and who got abusive and threatening when I declined. My only recourse was to stay far away from my former neighborhood for the rest of my stay. I realized he and others would never, ever let me start fresh or create a new reality for myself. Lesson learned. It’s a painful lesson, indeed, but a necessary one. Wishing you a happy holiday.

    • Michael, it is a painful lesson. One that I keep learning over and over, but one of these days I will get it right.🙂 I only hope I don’t have to move. Just kidding. I have to continue to be me and I will always be there for people that need help…only I’ll be more discriminating next time. Thanks for your comments.

  13. Please, take this all in stride…..you are an easy target in a poor country with so many needs. Your neighbour was close by and easy for you to help out. I grew up in a poor country and my mother was always helping out the needy. Its hard to judge people, really and the ones you dont expect to disappoint you often do. Sometimes, I just put it down to circumstance. The situation between you and your neighbours is so wide, regarding money and resourses. Alot of our neighbours had candle light while we had electricity. Its still hard for me to reconcile those differences. Some examples of what happened to us were….my mothers good friends borrowed her mixer, broke it and never even apologized, almost blaming my mom for the problem….allowing, we though trusted workmen into our home to repair things, and finding out things were missing. I could go on and on….it always seem to come down to we and them, which is an awful conclusion. I am sure in the full scale of things you have gotten alot of joy helping your neighbours out. So keep it up, dont loose faith….there are bad eggs everywhere…

    • Laura, thanks for your perspective. Sometimes it is difficult for me to see the whole picture because we live in a very poor community. Although I have always been involved with advocating for those who could not advocate for themselves, I could go back to my middle-class neighborhood after work, surrounded by professional people in tidy neighborhoods. Living here there is no escape from poverty. I have never wanted to create an us and them world. I still believe in integrating and immersing ourselves in this beautiful culture, but I need to find a balance. Thanks so much for your thoughts.

  14. It’s so hard to give up on a friendship that’s proved to be disappointing and toxic after spending years working to strengthen it. I think many people naturally want to help when they see that there’s a need and, in Nicaragua, one doesn’t have to look far. Take time to mourn your mother and the loss of your friendship and nurture yourself. I know you’ll find that there are many others who value your friendship and reciprocate rather than take. Anita

  15. I know exactly how you feel! Know that at different times in your life, you have to take care of yourself first and sometimes almost to the exclusion of the needs of others. You can’t really give if you’re empty. You give from your overflow, not necessarily material overflow, but overflow from the heart and there are times when the well is dry. Take time to feed yourself, not gluttonously, but healthily. Then there will again be seasons of giving.

    Hope that doesn’t sound too pretentious. 🙂 May you be filled during this Christmas season!

    janet

    • Janet, I don’t think it sounds pretentious one bit! I love your thoughts. I am taking it easy this holiday season…watching a lot of Netflix movies and only doing what I really want to do. Unfortunately, I still have to clean my house, but it is therapeutic for me getting my little nest clean and tidy.🙂 My tank isn’t completely empty and I fill it up with the love and caring of my blogging friends, like you. Thanks so much.

      • I need not only to clean but to get going on the decluttering. However, I know I have to wait until after the holidays to do it, so I’m trying to stash everything out of sight and concentrate on the decorating and enjoying Advent, Christmas, and family time. After that, it’s nose to the grindstone time!! 🙂

  16. “Unfortunately for me, some people I help… become unappreciative and ungrateful. In other words…they get used to it and they expect it. They feel entitled to receive help from me, simply because they need it and they’ve always got it.”This concept especially hit home — it is the same in Mexico — my first realization of this hit hard….
    Thanks for putting this into such eloquent, concise thoughts and feelings….

  17. As others have said here, please, please don’t be so hard on yourself! I think this is a wonderful awakening and will lead to all kinds of good things for you (first) and the people around you (second). Years ago, someone invited me to understand the difference between service and sacrifice. They said that service is like giving from a heart that is full to overflowing, while sacrifice is giving from a heart that is leaking any love that comes in and is constantly empty. It’s the difference between having a good meal and then serving a banquet, or serving the banquet first and then trying to make a meal from the rejected scraps left on other people’s plates. Personally, I’m not very good at filling myself up first and am really aware now that I’m waaaaay beyond burnout in my work. But I do try to stay conscious to take care of myself before I attempt to help anyone else (I just need to stop and retire already!) So I hope you will create banquets of caring for yourself and fill up your heart from those who love you before you worry about this “season of giving”. You’ve never needed a particular season to be generous!

  18. WHAT A FANTASTIC ARTICLE ,,YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!

    We all are on different paths ,,,,each of us have our course of learning and growing .
    Try not to be sooooo hard on yourself ,,,don’t judge your thoughts and feelings ,stay open to your own beliefs ,,nor ,,,judge others …
    be aware of all the amazing great paths you alone have already tread on,,,where they led you , look back at what you’ve learned about life ,,,,and death ,,,about past and pre sent ,, hasn’t it been an amazing journey????
    what a pre sent …..WHAT A GIFT !!!!!!!!!!!
    Isn’t life fascinating , and difficult and sad , and terrible and mean ,,and joyful and ,,,and ,,,,and …

    Behold the grace , the beauty, the WOW,,, grateful … for each breath, every sigh , every tear , every injustice , every day.

    Give to your Self this CHRISTMAS …give yourself a hug ,,a kudo for all of the people u helped in your heart….. whether it worked out or not ,,it doesn’t matter ,,u gave of u,,,and its u who walk your path,,,only u,,,

    and of my path ……..I WALK MY TALK….and am thankful for my giving heart .

    May YOU HAVE A BLESSED ,,,,WONDROUS ,PEACEFUL CHRISTMAS …FULL OF ALL THE LOVE
    YOU ARE!!!!!!

    LIGHT ,
    Heidi

  19. “Savior Complex” sounds awful egomaniacal. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s natural to expect some gratitude when we help people who are down and out. It’s a basic western value. My parents taught me to be grateful, and that saying “thank you” and smiling costs you nothing. I’ve been around 68 years, doing many things, including social work. It’s been my experience that many poor people (not all) born into poverty stay in poverty due to their personalities and attitudes. Those who climb out of the pit are usually likeable, hardworking, and positive.
    Try to think about those in your life who are a little more gracious when helped out.

    Tom

    • Yes, Tom. The Savior Complex is egotistical. Hopefully, I can put that behind me, soon. I believe you when you say that those born into poverty stay in poverty due to their personalities and attitudes. I have generally been an optimistic person, but I can be terribly hurt when my well runs dry…I just need to refill it. Thanks so much for your thoughts, Tom.

  20. Really wonderful post and I know exactly what you are talking about. There are even some people who get into relationships to “help/save” the other person. They want to feel needed.as we all do but are going about it in the wrong manner. Take your time and heal your heart and fill your inner well for yourself. You will eventually get there and discover what it is that you can allow yourself to do. ((HUGS)) I sincerely hope you have a blessed holiday!

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