~ The Art Of Change ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Ode to the Rescuer

Posted by carolom on September 23, 2010



This poem is  dedicated to the  many women, especially those  who I meet in domestic violence shelters,  who really do believe:

If I just keep on loving him, he will change & we will have the relationship that I know is possible…

We hear the words “I thought he would change” so often inside of the walls of domestic violence shelters that I created the following dramatisation for our Talking circle so that the group of women who have sometimes had 2 or 3 relationships with violent men, could begin to unravel what keeps them there and how to recognise the pattern.

The following piece is not relevant for all  women who leave domestic violence, but for those women who sit in support groups and say “I believed him when he said he would change” and “He is a really nice guy, he just had a rotten childhood”, this piece is for you.

And for Janet who was killed in domestic violence by a man who then killed himself, leaving  four beautiful children behind.

Ode to the Rescuer:

There was something very appealing about his pain, it matched her pattern perfectly

and her pattern goes like this:

“Give me a damaged man  with potential and I will embrace him as my life mission

My personal quest!

I will claim myself to be his Rescuer and through my eyes he will see how sorely he has been denied Love

And  with the love of this Good Woman, he will heal!

He will heal

He will heal

He will heal!


With the peace of mind that I alone have brought to him, delivered to him on a sincere heart that pulses with conviction

His heart shall finally, after many troubled years finally beat with contentment in symbiotic rhythm with  my own

Ahh..this future memory  brings tears to my eyes and reminds me  to be patient and the reward will come. Of this truth I have created, I am sure.

He will change

He will change

He will change

I shall interpret his moodiness as poetic brooding,

his sarcasm as merely the shadow of his enormous artistic sensitivities and his broken promises as the unfortunate repercussions of a busy, preoccupied man.

I shall deny myself my heart’s desires,

less they place too much of a burden on his already busy mind.

I shall seduce him into security with words thinly veiled

with the false reassurance that I want nothing of him

After all he is the broken one…

Not me!

I will prove to him that I am the one single woman

on this Earth who can heal his troubled Soul.

Because I believe in him like no other has in the past

or could possibly at any time in the future….

As the rescue program gets under way I will slowly begin to allow

the duality of the situation to come to the fore

Actually I won’t have a choice!

Having ensnared him with my rescuers net

or having fallen into his

I shall wrestle with the duality of being drawn to his charismatic withdrawals

whilst also experiencing an awakening  awareness

that he is indeed mirroring my own need to  heal and rescue the wounded heart.

There is something painfully seductive about that wounded heart….

In order to ignore the needs of my own hopeful




wounded  heart

I will plunge into my rescuing role with paradox and passion

for  I am drawn to the angst of  tortured feelings

which I have misconstrued as Romance and Love

as haplessly as he is drawn to his broody silences

and the acidic observations he casts out to bait me every now and then.

And quite regularly at times.

Words that forge our bond  like “who else would put up with you or me” and

“we were meant for one another, we are as bad as each other“

will be the hypnotic  sound track of the saga of our co-dependence

He will be my co-star as my life unfolds according to the stories I believe

Stories that I have created

Fictional stories I will defend as


Alas it is a tired old script with no surprises in the Story whatsoever

but it will take me a long time to understand that to reinterpret and rewrite the lead roles

because most of  this is new to me!

And I am a stranger to myself…

Therefore I will need quite some time to realise any of this as this predictable Olde Story unfolds on a roller coaster of drama and desire

yearning and conflict

Those old ‘but I love him” scenarios and inevitable cycles replaying themselves in the guise of Love.


No this is just unlearnt lessons in re-enactment!

I will come to realise this one day

though I do not know that yet of course

Although my heart does skip a beat when he looks at me in that certain something way

Surely that must be Love?

though you may well  think I am making a banquet from a few crumbs of moments of hard earned intimacy

You are wrong of course!




I know this banquet will be rich in the fruits of my desires so long as I am patient.

I will be Patient

I will be Patient

I will be Patient

My mantras give my life meaning and hope

They really do

Really really they do.

In the meantime I will deny that the toxins of this relationship are causing me great harm.

Souring my naiveté.

Poisoning the sweetness of my illusions whilst I continue to defend his lack of friendliness and warmth as justified

on account of the awful things he went through as a child.

The unresolved issues with his difficult father

The conflict with his  troubled mother

There was just so much trouble that went into creating his troubled life

that I share

I am perhaps the only one who really knows that

and understands him and LOVES him

The only one

The lonely one


Love will conquer all.  I think I am sure of that!

There is only one fixed rule in all of this apparent uncertainty

And this the rule I made and now obey:

I must Love him no matter how hard he is to Love.

I will Love him unconditionally

I will Love him unconditionally

I will Love him unconditionally

This one rule will make it all wonderful one day because

He will open up

He will open up

He will open up

Ultimately of course I will deny myself the right to move forward, to reach my fullest potential because I will be anchored defiantly to our co-dependence and staunchly



refer to it as


This is what I know Love to be.

The End

 I dedicate this to my lifelong friend Janet 1959 -2001who was killed by her husband who then killed himself. Your life mattered, your stories are important to be told    Carol Omer

9 Responses to “Ode to the Rescuer”

  1. Infinity said

    Thank You sooo much. I read these words with great understanding. I’m still not sure why I have to fully experience everything in order to grasp it for all it’s worth. I am able to laugh with myself now for making it through one of the toughest learnings yet. Always from the Heart, Thank You

    • carolom said

      You are very welcome Infinity…. I too can laugh at the outrageous misfortune I created, thinking it was “Love” and can see the dynamics with crystal clear clarity when other Women are re-enacting the pattern that is such a familiar dynamic between women and men….and men and women too of course!
      Whilst a woman is in the stage of “I love him and love means sticking by him”, she will remain very loyal to her pattern, oblivious to the truth that she could be experiencing a much healthier, fulfilling, mutually engaging experience of love…if only she let go of her pattern of attraction to the wounded man who doesn’t treat her how she would love to be treated……

  2. Your poem describes perfectly some women I’ve met. It seems so clear that they are doomed to fail and yet they continue to hope.

    • carolom said

      Yes Nancy, it is a very familiar story for many women. Justifying unacceptable behavior because he has had a bad childhood, working hard all the time for a morsel of approval or emotional intimacy… I am very familiar with the pattern on both a personal and professional level and see it playing out in younger Women around me all the time…and not so young! I know that regardless of what I say -or share in a poem-they will only ‘get it’ when they have exhausted their optimism and out grown their interpretation that Love = anguish and struggle because the silent wounded man needs their patience and understanding….

  3. Kate bartolo said

    I read this and thought, it can’t be me, I’m not being physically abused. But the words hit me like bricks to the head. I know he doesn’t love me and as u say it’s only when the exhausting optimism runs out, do u finally see the truth.. An outlet for that anger is what I have been searching for, I will find it

  4. I actually have a tendency to agree with everything that has been put
    into writing within “Ode to the Rescuer ~ The Art Of Change ~”.
    Thanks for all of the actual advice.Regards-Lukas

  5. Kathleen Ingram said

    You read my heart of a 21 year marriage, as emotions crush my throat and tears blur my vision you speak of me……

    I see through your poem, that I am again about to enter into another relationship that is almost the same.

    How do I stop choosing such men/boys?

    • carolom said

      Thankyou for your heart felt reply Kathleen. I think “know thy self” is the key and one of the tools that has been enormously helpful in our womens healing groups is the following piece by Dr Barbara De Angelis who answers the question “Why am I attracted to the bad boy”.
      Have a read of number two on the list and see if the negative love “formula” is relevant for you and please know that you are already creating positive changes by asking the question Kathleen.

    • Marianne Williamson:

      “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

      Love yourself, you are worthy of love.

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