As a young girl I watched every episode of Superman. During the summer I watched reruns. It wasn’t my idea to watch the “man of steel”, it was my brother’s favorite show. He tuned in every day. Since he was bigger than me and willing to inflict physical harm to secure his TV viewing preference, I watched too. I spent so much time with Superman, I developed an attachment to the big guy in blue tights.
I loved how kind he was to Lois Lane and that he rescued her from danger. I felt safe watching him right wrongs and restore order. It filled a need in me. I began to fantasize about the day Superman would knock at my front door, and fly me away in his arms. (In the show, he always knocked on the doors of the good guys and broke down the doors of the bad guys.) Since I was a good girl he would knock; that way my mom and dad wouldn’t notice I had flown away.
I wasn’t expecting Prince Charming, on a white horse, to knock on my door. I knew, as an evolved 10 year old in the late 60’s, he was a fairy tale. Fairy tales didn’t come true, they only broke your heart and disappointed stupid girls. I wasn’t stupid. I knew Prince Charming didn’t exist. Now Superman, HE was different, HE did exist and HE was coming to get me… Someday.
Over the last 10 years I have asked myself on different occasions and for different reasons, “ What constitutes a Super Man? I listen to my women client ask the same question, wondering if one even exists. As evolved women in the “ought’s” I think we need to ask ourselves, “Who do I hope knocks on my door and flies away with me?” “ Do I still hope for that rescue?”
To answer these questions within myself I called upon the young girl, still living within me, that believed so sweetly, so innocently in “the rescue.” I found the place in my gut that is home to my 10 year old’s emptiness. I found compassion for myself and for every young girl/woman that dreams of the solution to feeling powerless and compromised, to be a relationship. I surveyed my life recalling the men I had expected to fill my void. I cried reliving the damage this did to me, as well as, to the men I chose to be my Superman.
I came to realize that to be rescued, I first had to rescue myself. Over and over and over again. I had to be the one to knock on my internal door and fly me away to safety. No one; man, woman or child could do that for me. I had to be my own Super (Wo)Man. Not the Super Woman that does every thing for every one and never says “NO” (been there, done that) but the Super Woman that is willing to do as Thoreau suggests, “Go Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams. Live the Life You Imagine.” I drive with that quotation on the dashboard of my car. I have for the past 6 years. It has reminded me that I was up for the challenge of self rescue (but it had to be without the blue tights. I drew the line at the body suit.)
Being my own Super (Wo)Man took courage. Sometimes it seemed much easier, in some ways, to just wait to be rescued. Once I made my commitment to myself to fly (faster than a speeding bullet), there was no looking back. I made many life changes, got honest with myself and was willing to live with my grief and terror of letting go. I didn’t, nor could I have, done it without the help and support of my friends. I leapt that tall building in a single bound….well, maybe not a single bound. Maybe I needed a rope and pulley system to hoist myself over, bloodied my nose and knees in the climb, and called for helicopter rescue at the top…but…I am on the other side now and the view is amazing!
It was a long road to find my way out of my way. To finally knock on my own front door, reach to my television tranced 10 year old self sitting in front of the television, help her to her feet and fly her away with me. Maybe this time on a broom…