I Need a Man to Save Me!

The discovery of an old unhealthy program brought to light on a recent flight

I Feel Safe When There are Male Flight Attendants - WTAF???

It is true. When I'm boarding the plane and see the flight attendants I immediately look for a male. And when I see him, I feel relaxed and at ease. I will be saved.

I didn't notice this pattern of longing for a male flight attendant until our last trip to Italy. I was sitting in my seat and feeling anxious which is not normal for me. I could feel myself winding up into a full-blown panic attack. And then it happened...he walked down the aisle, chatting with customers, checking seat belts, and smiling. And I began to relax and look forward to the flight.

In my head, I shouted "what the fu%$ Susan, what is this all about" and I realized I was looking for a man to save me - literally! And I was shocked and became fully aware that every trip I take, I unconsciously look for a male flight attendant.

Let the soul searching begin. My healing journey continues to this very day but every step I take begins with honesty and vulnerability. Time for another deep dive.

Without guilt, shame or self-judgement, I asked myself "what is this?", "where did it come from?", "am I comfortable with it?". And with gentle curiousity, I explored my need for a male flight attendant.

The answer was wrapped up in old programming from childhood. I was told (on repeat) Susan, you need a man to take care of you, to provide for you, to give you security and safety, and to shine as a good wife and mother. These messages sent me down the aisle at age 26 to marry what I call "my should" husband. I was guilted and shamed into that wedding based on my age - oh the horror!

And I thought I had worked through the pattern of "you need a man to...." but there it was on an airplane of all places. One more piece of the puzzle resolved.

Next time I'm on an airplane, I will know exactly why I feel anxious and I will simply say, oh, that old story has no place here and enjoy the flight.

Why am I telling you this? Because your healing journey is not a straight line. It will twist and turn with bumps and dips along the way. But each twist brings light to your patterns and places that need your attention. As you move through your healing, it becomes easier to see the old story and move past it.

When a new twist surfaces, embrace it and take the opportunity to learn more about you, your old patterns, their origin story - that's where the healing happens.

To your amazing recovery - you've got this!

I know healing and recovery after abuse can seem overwhelming. I’ve been there with very little to no support. Here are three ways I can support you right now:

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