Damsel In Distress Vs. Leading Lady
I spent the majority of my childhood + teenage years watching movies and soap operas, wishing I was the girl getting rescued from a castle, or the girl getting fought over by two beautiful men. I dreamed up scenarios in my head of futures with boys who I barely knew or trying to change my appearance, speech, or personality to resemble to what I thought was a “dream girl”—when in reality it was a damsel in distress.
The summer before I started high school, I went to a party and met a guy. He was nice and said all the right things and I was completely smitten. He was a freshman in college, he had a car and worked at the jewelry department at Macy’s meaning I got jewelry all the time (score). He would pick me up on the weekends and spontaneously take me to places i’ve never been and sneak in when my mom wasn’t home and say things like “I missed you all day.” I was certain he was my prince charming.
The summer before my junior year, we went to a party and we drank way too much. I don’t remember much, but the morning after I woke up at a friend's house, in pain. My girlfriends woke me up and were grinning at me “Tell us everything”. I felt so lost. I grabbed my phone and saw long sappy texts from him saying things like: “Last night was incredible”,“I love you” and so forth. I got in the shower, sat down in the tub and cried and cried; trying so hard to remember what happened the night before, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t believe that was my first time, in the front seat of a car, drunk. I felt completely numb, emotionless, robbed.
I realized then that being the damsel in distress wasn’t all that it's talked up to be when the distress came from the person that was meant to rescue me.
But what I did after was worse. I put on a face and made up a romantic story that consisted of thoughtful conversations we never actually had about being so madly in love that we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other.
Shortly after the romance was over. He started to disappear for weeks at a time, and I spent majority of that summer waiting by the phone for him to call, crying, begging him to respond or trying to sell him on the idea of being with me. When I finally would hear from him the language had completely shifted, it became harsh and distant. But that only made me want to pull him closer. I couldn’t lose him, he was it. He had to be the one.
I started to read “how to” articles on how to have a successful relationship and sex life. I even watched porn, just because I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing or what it was missing as if I was going to learn some essential meaning behind it. I had no idea what sex was, what true intimacy was, but I knew in my heart that it was hurting me, that it wasn’t right.
This intimacy that I had with him was addicting, it felt so safe and yet, made me so scared I’d lose him constantly. When I sensed it slipping away, i felt exposed and confused. This made me doubt my actual ability to give and receive love, made me paranoid, jealous, sad, confused, anxious. I didn’t know how to deal with the emotions that came alongside this relationship that I so badly wanted to keep.
For so long, I thought that sex was “how to keep someone”, “what people did”, what it meant to be cared for, truly loved. I tried to find my answers on magazines and television, because that’s where the fantasy came from in the first place.
I was certain that true intimacy only came from sex. But intimacy is way more than sex. Intimacy, if not done the right way does more harm than good. It’s this vulnerable, beautiful thing you possess and when taken out of context—completely breaks you. It’s where my heartbreak came from because it was designed for your most soulful + foundational + eternal relationships. When experienced outside of that it will feel like a gap, hole, missing piece. Our mind, spirit, soul desires eternal relationships, but we are not designed for sexual dissatisfaction and heartbreak. It’s not our mold + not what God intended.
But I only learned true care when I found the one who is most careful with me. No, not a boy—Jesus. When I started a relationship with Jesus, I didn’t need a serious intervention about my sex life and what God intended for me. I actually just knew it in my heart. I knew because of how I felt; how I felt before, after, and every time I fell on my face repeatedly.
In 1 Peter 6-7 “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”
A perfect example of God’s love: God is so mindful of me. He is mindful of how I feel, and He is careful with me, my heart, my relationships. He knows everything about me and yet He listens to me, and chooses to listen, and talk, and love me everyday more and more as if it’s the very first day. He is not a God that I need to impress, or beg to love me, or teach how to take care of me or wait by the phone to call. I don’t need to try and change him, or fix him. He never changes, He is perfect, and He loves me so well.
This is what comes along with Jesus: true intimacy. Which is no longer rooted in emotions or a need to be rescued like the damsels in distress. Instead it’s rooted from devotion and authentic love because you’ve already been rescued and now you are the leading lady!
I love you
You are the leading ladies!