Hello? Can anyone hear me now? Anybody?! I don’t believe it. Just send me forward here like this and leave me in the lurch. There is nobody there. What’s the point of me talking if no one hears me? Here we go again. I step in when no one wants to. I like to sacrifice myself, like a real martyr. I only ever get to speak when no one is listening anyway. I am only on stage when no one is looking.
But that’s just as well, I have nothing to say anyway.
Nothing interesting or exciting to tell, no original ideas, I am not that kind of person. I’m just always there, in the background, listening. If someone is missing something, a glass is empty or anything like that, then I take care of it. If something doesn’t work out, I’m there to fix it. No matter if the son has missed the train or the father has left the car at the mechanic’s, I can help.
If someone must step in, I am there.
Of course, I can lend you money for the two days until the salary is on your account. Of course, I can come immediately, in the middle of the night, because you need someone to talk to. And of course, I will look after your dog when you go on holiday. Of course, fetching the drinks for the party, no problem. Everything is prepared, but you just noticed that you don’t have any wine glasses? I can bring them. It’s not a big deal, but could you maybe… What? Your phone’s ringing? Yeah, it’s fine. No problem. I can handle it.
I can always manage on my own.
Because when I go on holiday, I take my dog with me, as nobody has time anyway. And if he dies, I will not get a new one: I don’t want to take advantage of anyone, my needs are not that important. If I were to have a party, everything would be well organised, I’m sure of it. But probably no one would come because everyone would have other plans. But I could organise a party for you…?
If I had a son, he wouldn’t miss the train, because he could rely on me to drive him. Everyone can rely on me, always.
I’m pretty proud of that too. I’m good at sacrificing myself!
Yes, yes, that is exactly what it’s called: sacrifice. Whatever I had in mind, whatever my plans were, I throw them overboard to come to your rescue! My plans are never as important as your plans. I can sacrifice my peace, my night’s sleep, my wallet for You. I live to serve. That is my fulfilment: Your relief when everything works out. Your sigh when I save you. Ideally, the completely smooth running of your planned projects, thanks to my help in the background.
In the best case my work is invisible, but indispensable.
If I were a human being, I would be the perfect butler or steward, and would receive the appropriate praise and remuneration for my behaviour. Sacrifice as a purpose in life is no longer acceptable. But to consciously place oneself in the service of another is something a person can choose to do. But I am not a person, but only a single inner part of a human being.
I am your inner martyr.
If your chosen life role is „helicopter mother“ or „dependable friend„, then you very often let me act. You live out your martyr. But if you are „chairperson of the board“ or „talk show host“, then I probably stay in the background. And only perhaps, quite unobserved, dominate some of your personal relationships. Until suddenly you are fed up because the balance is no longer right. Because you feel exploited, and quite rightly so.
Only when I am allowed to act openly, under my own name, does it work.
„What can I do for you?“ you could ask. Or point out to your good friend that she, who has always done so much for you, now has the right to be served. So it can be a give and take, balanced and fair.
Sometimes it gets more complicated, but that is not the point. What is important is that you are conscious of the fact that you are living out your inner martyr. And that you find a way together with your partner to make the relationship balanced – whatever that may mean in your specific case.
You don’t want to think about it?
Oh, just let me do it. I’m happy to do it for you!
Heartfelt, wherever you are,
on behalf of Johanna,