Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Superheroes Anonymous: Here I Come to Save the Day

I just had a long talk with a friend who is helping another friend get away from her drug addict husband.

It was a classic superhero addiction. My friend felt compelled to reach out and support the abused woman that she didn't think about her own family's safety.

And I can't save either of them anyway. Would be too arrogant and judgmental, even for me.

Having consulted on five messy divorce cases before, I understand that when it comes to relationships, people will do whatever they want to anyway.

I develop strategies for all five and things might have been easier had they listened to my giganormous intellect. But no. They never do. And they lose the kids or the house. Or ask me to do shit I don't want to do. Like illegal shit. I got my nose bloodied for minding other people's business.

I couldn't advise my friend not to do anything, or to do anything. I simply shared with her my horrific experiences dealing with other people's problems. And more importantly, I sat very still and listened to what she's going through, trying to be the one to come in and save the day.

There's not much I can do for them, really. I also need to keep my superhero instincts in check.

What was obvious was to get real legal advice. A divorce lawyer who has done perhaps a few hundred cases. And get help from some women's NGO or some shit like that.

But to get involved directly is risky.

I have seen enough Oprah to know that the person who helps usually get some heat.

Running away from the house would require planning. Every abuse needs to be documented. You must build a case. Watch police procedurals and courtroom dramas to figure out the rudimentary basics of legalese. Things are both similar and different in Malaysia. Blah blah blah.

I did not dispense any advice, which is good as I am still a recovering superhero. Just listen, and share.

It was not easy. I see people walking towards potholes and my instincts just scream inside. But I accepted the screams. All of it. I will not try to 'save' anyone anymore. I can't, anyway.

I just save myself. Not out of selfishness, but from a deeper, basic understanding of freedom. Allowing things to happen. Allowing people to fuck up and discover shit on their own. And allowing myself the room to breathe.

I will get my chance to change the world in a big way. And for that, I would simply be creating the tools. Some people, the only thing they have are their lives. The decision to step through any door is in their hands, not mine. I will not be responsible for the happiness or misery of six billion people.

The time will come. Slowly, but surely. I will keep the doors open for as long as I can. For as long as it doesn't destroy me. And after that, it would be time to let go. And be free.