Holding Out for a Hero?

Bonnie Tyler sang a song for the movie Foot Loose that still gets my blood pumping when I hear it.

Holding Out for a Hero

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream
of what I need.

I need a hero.
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night.
He’s gotta be strong,
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight.
I need a hero.
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light.
He’s gotta be sure,
And it’s gotta be soon,
And he’s gotta be larger than life

 “What the hell do I need with a hero?” I’ve heard some say. “No one was there for us when we were being abused. We don’t need anyone now!” I heard a similar statement come out of Alley’s mouth when she first came out. I’ve read this sentiment on other people’s blogs. I’ve read various themes of this in reference to books by “experts.” Heck, I’ve thought it myself after 20 years of praying that a silent God would help my hurting wife heal. No answer? Fine! I don’t need a hero. I don’t need a savior. I don’t need anyone’s help!

 But regardless how we feel, there seems to be a part in each of us who still WANTS to be saved, who still wants a knight in shining armor to rescue you, who still wishes there was a Superman or Spiderman to fight the bad guys for me. When we are powerless to defend ourselves, we want a champion to fight for us like in Leverage, The Equalizer, The A-Team, etc., etc. And if we are battered and bloodied, we want someone willing to nurse us back to health. Even though Hollywood focuses on the flashy heroes, they still “get it” some. I hope we can, too.

Moreover, the theme of a hero sacrificing himself for another is not uncommon. Literature is filled with this theme. This summer at the movies Thor got his hammer and power back when he allowed his brother’s robot to kill him in order to save the townspeople and his friends. In an earlier book Ron enabled Hermoine and Harry to continue on their journey when he sacrificed himself in a deadly, life-sized game of chess. In the Bible sacrificial love is always seen as the best kind of love for others.

But self-sacrificing seems to be out-of-style if you read some of the popular self-help literature. My uncle and I talked about this theme earlier this week. We wondered if the problem is that a life of self-sacrifice isn’t nearly as glamorous as a self-sacrificing death.

Here’s the problem. When Ron died in the Harry Potter movie it was a powerful and moving scene, but living sacrificially day in and day out for someone else isn’t nearly so glamorous. Each day is filled with little decisions to put someone else’s needs above your own. Not only isn’t it glamorous, but sometimes it’s tiring and tedious and hurts to ignore your own desires. But a sacrificial helper is exactly what someone with multiple personality disorder, more recently known as dissociative identity disorder needs to heal.

If you’ve got a spouse, partner or loved one with this disorder, essentially you’ve got someone with numerous little children hidden inside. Those littles, middles and teens aren’t much different than normal children except they are trapped inside an adult body. And a normal child needs a lot of love and sacrifice during the growing up process from his/her parent or guardian. That goes double for a child affected by major trauma issues.

For those of us in a position to be a hero for our spouse or loved one, let’s make sure we don’t make them regret our help by demanding payment in any form. And let’s be sure we aren’t arrogant about the help we give either. And no one likes to be around a person with a martyr complex. Hero’s with attitude aren’t needed.

And for those on the other side who have been traumatized, who needed a hero desperately, but one never came to rescue you as a little girl or boy. Some day a true hero may come your way, and it would be a tragedy to push him or her away because of the lack of a hero in the past. Even if you don’t want or need a hero, one of the littles may NEED a hero. I’m not saying don’t be careful, but be open to a hero for others within the network if the right one comes along.

My girls waited 40 years before a hero entered their lives. He wasn’t perfect, and he had his own issues he had to work through in the beginning. In fact his track record was pretty spotty for the first 20 years he was a part of their lives (without knowing it). But they gave him another chance in spite of repeated failures, and this time those little girls got their hero (warts and all ). My hope is the same for each of you reading this!


Sam, I Am


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jeffssong
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 08:12:24

    We really liked this post, Sam I Am. Really. I know there’s been times when we needed a hero – but we learned: there are no heroes for us; not now, not ever. We have to do it alone . . .

    If there is anybody who is ‘my hero’ it’s gotta be Mikie (our little ‘core’ one) and Matthew (the teen). They’ve proved themselves over and over – especially during our stint in Puerto Rico. Mikie, the Soldier, and Matthew are the ones who kept us alive – Mikie slugging it out – walking ‘for years’ (in his opinion) – “foot bloody, kept sticking to shoe” (he is thinking) – while Matthew watched for threats and the Soldier made efforts to keep us alive. They earned a LOT of respect from “others” – it was ungodly (and yet . . . we were filled with religion at the time) – and I (pushed to the “back”) kept watching – amazed at little Mikie’s endurance and endurance to pain, and the way that Matthew kept helping him. Between the all of us, “I” made it out alive …

    However, it’s not only good to see someone acting as someone’s “hero” – especially a DID person – you helping Karen and her littles and all. Not just good, but GREAT – God Blessed in my mind, religion, and soul. Anyone who can do what you have done (and are doing) – nurturing, caring, attempting to understand – and THEN understanding – well, you don’t know how special of a man that makes you (to us, the “system”, et all). To take the road less blazed; the path others have frowned on – well, that’s the path most heroes have taken. And (in my opinion) – it has done you good, as well as doing Karen and her others good as well. Take a bow, Sam – you have done well, and your “audience” approves. (Or at least these in here.)

    Hope you have a blessed weekend, and that you and your girls have a great life . . . it appears you are on your way! 😀


    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 20, 2011 @ 09:14:39

      Jeff and all,

      thanks…but I hope this didn’t come off like me asking for praise. Some days I feel like someone has me face down on the floor with a foot on my back and one arm twisted in the air saying, “Are you going to do the right thing or not?” But I love my girls and the healing that’s going on in their lives.

      I hope someday a hero comes your way, too!



  2. Elle
    Aug 24, 2011 @ 01:22:34

    Hi Sam,

    This was beautifully written. Thank you for reminding us (not that we needed reminding) how lucky we are to have found our hero.

    Elle & Family


  3. Sandy
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 14:12:36

    It is so touching to read blogs like yours and Ben’s. I’m not sure how you guys do it, just like I don’t understand how my own husband manages to support me. Thank you for sharing 🙂 It really helps when it feels like there are people out there who understand.


  4. Sandra (@SandraHeretic)
    May 26, 2013 @ 19:10:33

    Holding out for a hero…because part of DID is realizing that You are your own hero: you sacrificed coherence, linear-thinking, holism, for the great good, the survival of the whole. And it would be dishonoring to that sacrifice to accept anything less that heroism in your partner.


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