Unfortunately

I think the people who feel most enraged by bullies (or feel unusually empathetic for the weak, sad, neurotic) are people who have (or had at one time) no control over the own lives.

People that have never been imprisoned and tortured (metaphorically in terms of a relationship) don't have that deep down sense of pure hate when they see someone else being manipulated, abused or controlled nor do they have that bizarre sense of "empathy" for the abused.

Isn't that what made Batman? A sense of total loss of control over his own life mixed with some delusions of grandeur? I always wondered if Batman (or any superhero) was more motivated in protecting the weak out of noble intentions....or more motivated interested in punishing the bullies (and the "weak" just happened to benefit coincidentally)? Is he Sir Lancelot defending the peasants or Charles Bronson shooting thugs on the subway?

Batman turned his sense of helplessness inward and forged his body into the ultimate weapon with which to attack the criminal populace. He reclaimed his "power" and helped Gotham.

I did something very similar...I stay in relationships that make me miserable because I feel sorry for (weak) people and mutter obscenities under my breath while stuck in morning rush hour traffic.

 

 

niceguyinhell niceguyinhell
31-35, M
35 Responses Mar 4, 2009

Forget the tiara and cape. I'm being led to the wisdom of the just. Thank you much DC.<br />
<br />
<br />
Tayer ~)~

With a nice tiara and cape I would save the world.

Damn, what a dream that would be. We could all sit around and play magic the gathering while reading the latest issues. Your comic book clan will have to be enough for now. :D

What are you saying, Krypton? You are not going to breed more comic book readers?

Self-Sacrifice is a different realm when it comes to children. This is part of why I will never have them. I am almost of the belief that when you have a child you do need to self-sacrifice. It is kind of like signing up for a certain path in life. It is unfortunate that most people don't think about the path they are embarking on when they make major decisions. You don't just get the fun stuff, you get it all. <br />
Relationships that are only friends or romantic, which to me is just friends with sexual benefits, should have boundaries in order to be healthy. In our society we glorify notions of true love and unconditional love as something aspire too. What it really means in my eyes is that it is noble to hold onto something for an entire lifetime, no matter the consequences. It makes you into a hero and a "better" person. Whatever, I am not buying, I will remain a plebian and not a hero.

i'm so glad i found this site!

Good point about the pseudo-self sacrifice'ers like George Bailey, Krypton. What's even stranger to me (and I may be alone on this one) are people that equate suffering in relationships with "real love."<br />
<br />
"I've been miserable every day for YEARS! It's a struggle to even be in the same room with my husband! We go to therapy every day just to keep from killing each other!"<br />
<br />
...And then these same people go on to explain why they think it's such a shame that the divorce rate is so high in the US!<br />
<br />
Waitaminute. No relationship is perfect, but if you're THAT miserable...what the hell is wrong with getting a divorce? Why do they think it's normal to be with someone they clearly aren't happy with? Why do they think it's normal to try and keep forcing a square peg into a round hole?<br />
<br />
We're seeing that more and more, aren't we? Everyone from Bill O'Reily to Oprah to Dr. Phil tut-tutting and shaking their head at couples who get divorced for no other reason than being incompatible and miserable.<br />
<br />
"Relationships take WORK!" they shout with perverse glee. <br />
<br />
Actually, they don't. Well obviously they require a little effort...but if you have to put that much WORK into it or FORCING a yourself to be civil to your spouse or achieve some kind of bizarre West Bank/Gaza Middle East cease-fire...then odds are you guys just aren't that ******* compatible.<br />
<br />
But it all ties together to a deeply dysfunctional psychology masquerdaing as morality. Insisting that "misery" is a normal (keyword) characteristic of marriage is a uniquely American idea.<br />
<br />
We all know relationship martyrs who go on and on about how miserable they are (or brag about how much "work" they put into relationships).<br />
<br />
Are they really being moral or heroic...or are they just being irrational?<br />
<br />
S'funny how there aren't 1,500 books about how to "save" friendships. That's because we don't have this deep and elaborate mythology (ie emotional baggage) assigned to being a friend. Being a friend is natural. You either enjoy someone's company and get along with them or you don't. If two friends drift apart...no problem! if two lovers evolve over time and drift apart....unacceptable! It's the end of America!

No matter how many times you save the world, <br />
it always gets back in jeopardy again.<br />
Sometimes I just want it to stay saved.<br />
You know...for a little bit.<br />
~~~Mr. Incredible

Lilt - love the book suggestion. It is also now on my list. <br />
I find this idea of being a hero in your social interactions to be fascinating. I purposely am not like that and refuse to enter into any relationship where I am seen as "needed". My hero tendencies start and stop with my brothers. We are definitely all products of our environments. Is it really an admirable quality when you give the attention ****** the attention. I know that there are truly people out there that need things from others, but for the most part I think people do it in order to feel special. I'm kind of mean and cruel on this issue. So, onto Sherlock Holmes and our favorite George. <br />
Sherlock is wonderful and represents the completely human hero. There is nothing fantastical in either the hero or the villain. That is why he is so attractive to us. He uses science and his own human mind to save people. No ninja skills or radioactive spider needed. <br />
I really don't like 'A Wonderful Life'. He is the poster boy for self-sacrifice and precisely why being a hero to anyone besides yourself doesn't work. He comes back in the end, thanks to the supernatural world of angels. The thing is, in the real world all we have is us. There is no happy ending and people in co-dependent relationships end up suffering and then dying and wondering where their 50 years went. Oh, that is right, I was SAVING everyone. :P

This is the best, most thoughtful story and string of comments I have read on EP.

You can’t talk about psychological disorders masquerading as “heroism” without mentioning its poster child….George Bailey from "It’s A Wonderful Life!"<br />
<br />
Is George Bailey a selfless hero…or just a spineless putz who can’t stand up for himself?<br />
<br />
George Bailey’s greatest dream was the travel the world and design skyscrapers. His father dies and it’s up to George to take over Bailey Savings & Loan as he is the oldest child. He is going to put off going to college for 4 years with the understanding that when his brother Harry returns from school he’ll take over the S&L. But that jerk Harry returns with a wife and has no intention of working at the family S&L! Whoops! Sorry George! So there’s Harry just shrugging his shoulders and George’s unemployed Mother shrugging her shoulders helplessly and poor Uncle Billy too…and poor George allows himself to be emotionally blackmailed by his family into once again postponing his dreams.<br />
<br />
Working at the S&L is Uncle Billy. Now Uncle Billy has some kind of neurological disorder (a very serious mental handicap actually) that prevents him from remembering things. Yet soft-hearted co-dependent George allows this mentally disabled man to continue working at the S&L because, doggone it, ya can’t throw Uncle Billy out! He’d starve to death! Who the hell would hire a mentally impaired 65 year old man? (sigh) So once again George allows his sympathy to overrule his common sense.<br />
<br />
George eventually marries his high school sweetheart. He’s about to go off on his honeymoon when…oops! Uncle Billy “misplaced” all the money he was supposed to take to the bank. Uncle Billy handles the situation by wringing his hands, pacing about helplessly and sobbing. The S&L is going to go bankrupt because of a “run” on the bank started by mean Mr. Potter. So instead of leaving on his honeymoon George is forced into using his honeymoon money (every last dime of it) to save the S&L…otherwise Ma Bailey and a dozen other people would all be left starving in the streets (not to mention the shame George would have felt by letting down his poor dead father!)<br />
<br />
George doesn’t come across as a selfless hero in this movie so much as a spineless emotionally manipulated pasty. Toward the middle part of the film George is so overcome with anger and frustration at his own life that screams at his kids teacher (for allowing his daughter to catch cold) and then almost beats the hell out of his own kids. “Stop playing that damn piano!”<br />
<br />
The one time he lets his feelings out (yelling at his family) they are so upset with him that he has to flee the house in shame. He goes and gets drunk and then decides to kill himself so his family can get the insurance money!<br />
<br />
George thinks so little of himself that he a) never fulfills his dream to travel the world b) never goes on his honeymoon c) admits to old man Potter that HE lost the money when in fact it was Uncle Billy d) thinks it makes more sense to kill himself so his family could have money than to live!<br />
<br />
Uh…and this guy is the hero?

I've always been fascinated in the creation of superheros because of the creation of supervillians. Batman was a great example of that because he was a regular guy with a twisted history...his sense of justice was being a vigilante, above the law. Then after a while, criminals matched his sense of delusion to the point of where the law needed him.<br><br />
I learned a long time ago that some people don't want to be saved. And others just need temporary assistance. But saving someone leads to a potential dependency. Creating healthy bonds with others are far better than saving the world. After a while, the cries for help start to become overwhelming and too much. People who want to dedicate their time and effort to that, great. I think my perception changed once I had a family of my own, children to take care of. Maybe once they grow up or grow out of ever needing me that I'll start changing my mind...I don't know. Maybe I'll just retire and grow fruit and herd sheep. That sounds nice.

staying true to ourselves..is so important right now..<br />
<br />
*flower hugs everyone*

bbsracoon, my first reaction upon hearing that story is to say, "Don't blame yourself! You couldn't possibly have known how this person would have reacted nor could you be 100 percent certain that anything you would have said or done would have made a difference."<br />
<br />
But my second reaction is, "I would feel guilty too in that situation and nothing anyone would say would ever really absolve me in my mind."<br />
<br />
For what it's worth (manly hug) you're a good person.<br />
<br />
You're right, we are all heroes in one form or another. Or at least have the potential to be.<br />
<br />
My poor sister is struggling with unemployment, a shrinking bank account, mounting debt and the Wolf is at the door. She is terrified of what the future may hold. Will she lose her house? What'll happen to her kids? I've been trying to send her money and keep her spirits up.<br />
<br />
When the villians wear masks and have you dangling over a boiling vat of acid....at least that is a horror your mind can deal with. There are physical dangers and an actual person to fight.<br />
<br />
So much harder when the "bad guys" and the "danger" are totally intangible. When things just seem to...happen...and you don't have any real control over the situation.<br />
<br />
God...wearing a mask seems really, really tempting right now for a LOT of reasons.

lol <br />
<br />
hmm i agree about the cape but masks are so...confinning, dont you think? lol

Lilt, I looked up that book you recommended on Amazon and it looks absolutely fascinating! I am going to buy it today. Great recommendation! <br />
<br />
Girlflower...yes, I agree, we are all heroes in our own personal dramas. The emotional struggles of the average person are no less heroic/challenging/terrifying than chasing Two-Face down a dark rainy alley.<br />
<br />
To keep that in mind I am going to start wearing a mask and a cape...

all my life..i have seeked my own super hero... sometimes i have it inside of me...but most often i look for it in my relationships...<br />
<br />
being safe..is so important.<br />
<br />
Cheers to all the "superheroes"

Recommended reading...<br />
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.

Now some would argue that the violence Batman engages in is unavoidable.<br />
<br />
I disagree. Batman is as smart as Sherlock Holmes (possibly smarter! Sherlock never had to program the Bat-Mainfr<x>ame!) but Sherlock rarely ever got into physical altercations.<br />
<br />
Motivation determines methodology.<br />
<br />
Sherlock’s primary motivation was to solve crimes. Sherlock worked with the police to ensure that the crime was solved and that the guilty parties were properly convicted in a court of law by gathering physical evidence to support his theories. Sherlock rarely ever got in a fight.<br />
<br />
Batman’s primary motivation is to punish criminals (or at least himself). Batman was trained by ninjas and has the brainpower (and money and resources) to easily solve crimes and capture criminals without ever revealing himself or getting in harm’s way. Batman could capture the Riddler without ever leaving the Wayne Manor.<br />
<br />
But Batman’s main motivation is to kick the living **** out of anyone that is a criminal. Batman is not concerned with preparing a proper case to ensure that the criminals he “defeats” get convicted in a court of law (though Batman rationalizes his actions by claiming he is enforcing the law). If I beat a dope dealer half to death with a pool cue and then left them tied up in front of a police station with a note that read “Criminal!” – I doubt that would really hold up in a court of law, do you? Sherlock would have them arrested and properly adjudicated. Batman would just break their ******* legs and move on to the next scum bag.

Fundamentally “heroism” is subjective.<br />
<br />
Look at batman’s trusty butler/man servant Alfred. Now Alfred is generally viewed as a noble servant heroically helping Master Wayne by sewing up Batman’s knife wounds and generally keeping him alive. Alfred also makes many, many excuses for Bruce (to the police in order to hide Bruce’s double-life and to Wayne Industries to explain his absence from important business meetings)<br />
<br />
Sounds like classic codependent enabling behavior to me!<br />
<br />
What if Bruce was so traumatized by seeing his parents murdered in front of him that he descended into alcoholism, drug abuse and self-mutilation (the mutilation a manifestation of his self-hatred for not being able to save his parents because he was too weak)? Now what if Alfred sewed up Bruce after he cut himself in a fit of rage? What if Alfred constantly called Wayne Industries and made excuses for why Bruce couldn’t be there? Would we view Alfred as heroic, noble and selfless or as a pathetic codependent that is only making things worse?<br />
<br />
Obviously Bruce isn’t an alcoholic and he doesn’t cut himself…what he does do is go out every night and place himself in situations where he will be punched, kicked, stabbed and shot! Self-mutilation is easy to identify as a form of self-hatred. Bruce constantly putting himself in situations where he can be seriously hurt or killed is (imho) a example of someone that desperately wants to be punished, but perhaps isn’t consciously aware of it. Viewed in this context the “help” that Alfred provides Bruce seems less noble and somewhat pathetic and destructive. Giving an alcoholic a drink isn’t helping, nor is sewing someone up so they can go out and get stabbed again.<br />
<br />
Alfred himself even admits to his codependent behavior! Well, in a roundabout way he does. Every 50 issues or so Batman finds himself giving into his rage and hurting criminals far more than necessary and putting himself in danger far more frequently than necessary. Alfred is understandably concerned by this and tries to get Bruce to stop (again, very reminiscent of an enabling wife who pleads with her husband to stop drinking 3 bottles of Vodka a day). When this happens Bruce always reminds Alfred that he will never change and that if Alfred is unhappy he is free to just leave. To which Alfred always responds the same way, “I can’t do that, Bruce. Who would take care of you if I left?”<br />
<br />
Hmmm. Where have we heard that line of reasoning before?<br />
<br />
Context, ladies and gentlemen, can often blur mental illness.<br />
<br />
If Bruce became agoraphobic and hide himself in Wayne manor and spent all day cutting himself…in that context his mental illness is perfectly clear. But if he dons a bat-costume and allows himself to get stabbed every night in the context of “saving Gotham” it’s not immediately clear if he is crazy or not.<br />
<br />
Let’s take a look at a hypothetical solider in Iraq. Let’s assume this solider had his entire platoon ambushed by terrorists. Everyone around him is shot to death, yet through circumstance he manages to survive. From that moment forward Solider X (as we’ll call him) appears to be fearless. He always leads every charge, volunteers for the most dangerous missions…and even goes so far to give up his own body armor so that others in his new platoon who are without protection can have it! Solider X is recognized by the Army as one of their greatness assets and decorates him with every medal and honor they can think of. <br />
<br />
Did the horrifying murder he witnessed of his entire platoon “inspire” Solider X to bravery and selflessness…or is he clearly suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with suicidal ideation? Is he brave or does he want (unconsciously) to die?<br />
<br />
Batman actually displays classic PTSD symptomolgy. Many returning soldiers with PTSD find themselves getting into a lot of fistfights. When asked why they are candid by saying that, “Hitting someone or getting hit….both were an emotional release.”<br />
<br />
Bruce Wayne saw something horrible when he was a child. As an adult he goes out every night to hit someone or get hit. Alfred enables him.<br />
<br />
Heroic?

Wow, i have nothing really useful to say about this post but i have REALLY enjoyed reading it. As a psych buff, i tend to find the exploration of behavior from any angle extraordinarily interesting. <br />
<br />
Thanks for the post!

I'm still enjoying your comment...<br />
"a useful form of PTSD."

Great comment, Krypton! And yes to ElfQuest! (fist bump)

So, we did probably get a bit off topic. ;) The question of motivation in heroes. You say it well and I don't think I have ever wondered how being either guilt or rage driven affects the methodology. In both instances the hero is trying to satisfy a need within themself by doing what they do. I don't think anything is truly alturistic. Certain desires that people have can seem alturistic at first glance; volunteering, donating, and saving people while wearing a bat suit. Ultimately, I think they all get some kind of need or desire satisfied by doing it. <br />
The fact that they don't want to be a hero... I don't know about that. People may wish their life was exactly how they idealize it in their mind, but when faced with choices they choose what they want most. They have to sacrifice a normal life, but it is better than the sacrifice of living with rage or guilt. <br />
It is an interesting question of whether a hero would make a distinction between someone that has caused their predicament and someone that hasn't. I think you are correct in that they wouldn't. I think it all relates back to having a hero complex. "I am here to save others from themselves or from others. That is my purpose." <br />
Back to the last question of motivations. It depends on their goal. If a goal is simply blind revenge, then guilt by association can be rationalized. If a goal is to help a group of humanity change then it works out a little different. One difference between Iraq and Comics is that many enemies in comics are not quite human. To completely accept the idea of good-evil, they have to be somehow not as deserving of compassion. This is precisely why I enjoy ElfQuest instead of Batman. :P

dubiousone, Krypton...I was just being tongue-in-cheek with this story for the most part and, yes, I actually have read just about every book on co-dependency ever written and, yup, totally aware that I am co-dependent.<br />
<br />
But having said that...I still contend that Spider-man's hero complex is NOT more noble, sane or really heroic than the hero complex that drives the enabling behavior of the alcoholic spouse. The end results might be wildly different, but the underlying psychology is the same.<br />
<br />
Krypton made the point that there is a difference between people being mugged and someone drinking themselves to death (or having some other kind of self-induced problem). Very true....but we're talking about the HERO'S motivations, not the victims. HOW someone got into trouble and became a victim is almost beside the point. Seriously, if someone is (for example) schizophrenic and about to jump off a roof...would either Spider-Man or Batman let them kill themselves on the basis that their situation was "internally-induced" as opposed to "externally-induced"?<br />
<br />
Would Batman really say, "I'm not going to save him. He's obviously got personal problems, but he is responsible for his own actions. I would only bother if the Joker were holding him hostage!" -- no. No hero would use that rationalization.<br />
<br />
Does someone getting mugged need to be saved? Sure. Does someone drinking themselves to death need to be saved? Yes. So if both "heroes" (Spider-man and a overly-empathetic enabler) feel a compulsion to save others at the expense of their own safety and/or happiness....is there a significant difference? The reason I picked Spider-Man and not Gandhi is because Peter Parker doesn't really want to spend his life being a hero. His motivations are almost purely guilt-driven. And Batman's motivations are the polar opposite: rage-driven. Neither of these psychological motivations are particularly noble or heroic in the classical sense.<br />
<br />
Dubiousone made the point, "Who cares if Batman is acting as Sir Lancelot or Charles Bronson? The victims benefit either way."<br />
<br />
Motivation determines methodology, doesn't it?<br />
<br />
I say this only half-seriously...but look at our response to 9/11. Our goal (not unlike Batman) was primarily to punish the "bad guys" as opposed to "saving" the people of Iraq. Since our primary goal was punishment that deeply effected our methodology and outcomes. Our goal was to defeat the Republican Guard through sheer force, not to secure the Museums or prevent looting. Again, an argument could be made that our motivation (punish the evil-doers) compromised our other goals (liberate Iraq).<br />
<br />
Batman faced similar problems (again, tongue-in-cheek here guys!) He wanted to loudly announce his presence in Gotham to scare the criminals away, but a recurring theme in the book is that his very presence has the OPPOSITE effect. Criminals actually flock to Gotham and are inspired by Batman. Commissioner Gordon often asks Batman if he ever wonders if what he is doing is ultimately creating more harm than good. In the classic graphic novel THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS Batman does retire at one point...and two of his arch-villains disappear when he leaves, only to violently return once Batman comes out of retirement.<br />
<br />
Does Batman create more problems in Gotham than he solves?<br />
<br />
Does our presence in Iraq have a similar effect? People seem to be streaming into the country from neighboring countries to "take on" the US military and Al-Queda which used to be very small and localized seems to have enjoyed a huge uptick in membership and some argue that is because the US in Iraq is inspiring membership.<br />
<br />
Again, tongue-in-cheek and just food for thought.<br />
<br />
Is Spider-Man really no better than the enabling spouse of an alcoholic?<br />
<br />
Is the US military facing the exact same existential-dilemma that Batman faces over his War on Crime?

*brut ponders all of this*<br />
<br />
great points, guys. but, are superheroes real?

Personally, I believe they are completely different things. Someone needing to be saved means that they aren't causing their own problems or their own prison. When people create a world and life that they are miserable in there is no one to blame or punish. Batman knows who to punish, because someone is breaking the rule of don't purposely hurt others.

Spider-man feels a deep compulsion to "save" the people of New York because of his crippling guilt over the death of his Uncle Ben. Peter had the power and the opportunity to "take action" and stop the criminal before that same criminal later killed his Uncle Ben but did nothing. Wasn't his problem.<br />
<br />
Because of his inaction -- his indifference to stopping to the criminal -- his Uncle Ben died.<br />
<br />
Because of that earlier "inaction" Peter feels guilt and a compulsive need to save everyone. Almost like a useful version of PTSD.<br />
<br />
Are traumatic relationships really different?<br />
<br />
You breakup with someone (or have a really ****** up childhood) which results in....something happening. Suddenly there is a connection between what you "do" or "don't do" and someone else being "hurt."<br />
<br />
Spider-Man doesn't swing into action and people get hurt.<br />
<br />
A man (or woman) doesn't swing into action (such as enabling an alcoholic partner) and someone gets hurt (they get fired, get in a car wreck, etc)<br />
<br />
Is Spider-Man's compulsion to help out of crippling guilt really any different (or more noble?) then someone who stays with a drug addict to "help" out of the exact same sense of obligation/guilt?<br />
<br />
Is the hero complex that motivates Spider-Man really borne out of motives more noble than that of the enabling spouse of an alcoholic?

Spider-man feels a deep compulsion to "save" the people of New York because of his crippling guilt over the death of his Uncle Ben. Peter had the power and the opportunity to "take action" and stop the criminal before that same criminal later killed his Uncle Ben but did nothing. Wasn't his problem.<br />
<br />
Because of his inaction -- his indifference to stopping to the criminal -- his Uncle Ben died.<br />
<br />
Because of that earlier "inaction" Peter feels guilt and a compulsive need to save everyone. Almost like a useful version of PTSD.<br />
<br />
Are traumatic relationships really different?<br />
<br />
You breakup with someone (or have a really ****** up childhood) which results in....something happening. Suddenly there is a connection between what you "do" or "don't do" and someone else being "hurt."<br />
<br />
Spider-Man doesn't swing into action and people get hurt.<br />
<br />
A man (or woman) doesn't swing into action (such as enabling an alcoholic partner) and someone gets hurt (they get fired, get in a car wreck, etc)<br />
<br />
Is Spider-Man's compulsion to help out of crippling guilt really any different (or more noble?) then someone who stays with a drug addict to "help" out of the exact same sense of obligation/guilt?<br />
<br />
Is the hero complex that motivates Spider-Man really borne out of motives more noble than that of the enabling spouse of an alcoholic?

Even Harry Potter is an orphan. It is part of the great Hero Myth. The journey always starts from a loss of some kind, they have to be alone and in need of a guide. If you haven't read Joseph Campbell's Hero Myth stuff, you would probably find it interesting. <br />
I think there is a distinction between a person that creates their own trap and one that has been trapped. A child has no choice on their life and a person that is kidnapped and tied also has no choice. An adult that makes a choice to be an addict or to not get help for depression is a different category all together. I am a firm believer that no one can save you from yourself, they may help you see a path to doing it, but that is all. A person tied up in a basement can truly be saved by a super hero. I think people that stay with others in a co-dependent relationship get something from it. They get validation that they are a good person. It is like that song by Offspring - Self Esteem. "The more you suffer. The more it shows you really care, right?"

I don't think you are off, Jake. <br />
You are quite right, all the super heroes are loners, outcasts in a way. They all seem to be burdened with their abilities.<br />
Why is that?

Loss is an important thing to think about in all of these discussions. What have you lost? And in the parallels, what have the "heroes" lost?<br />
<br />
There are definite aspects of taking control in a world that is out of control. Batman lost his parents. Superman lost his parents + his whole planet. Spider-Man lost his Uncle Ben and then, ultimately, his first love Gwen Stacy. Wonder Woman was exiled and lost her place with her people.<br />
<br />
What is interesting -- and I am off topic just a bit here -- but some of the most popular characters in comics (and possibly just in general) that really seem to hit home with people are characters that have lost something... the sentiment of this loss. This great loss that brings us to a focus around them.<br />
<br />
Could it be that loss is a call to action? A call to action not only for our heroes to step up, but for us (as an audience) to stand up and support them as well.<br />
<br />
Am I making sense here? Or is this just the mutterings of someone a bit "off"?

Where does Venom fit in?

Spider-man often tries to quit being a super hero. Every 50 issues or so he tosses his uniform into the garbage. He never wanted to be a super hero, but when he was bitten by that radioactive spider the power and the responsibility was thrust upon him. No one else could save the people of New York, so he had to do it. He's had to drop out of college, he's lost jobs...being a hero cost him a lot. No wonder he always wants to quit. He'd much rather go on a date with Mary Jane then swing into battle against Electro or the Lizard.<br />
<br />
Many people feel like that. I imagine that is what the spouse of a drug addict feels like. They don't want to stay trapped, but they feel an over powering obligation....mostly because NO ONE ELSE will step up and save these people. So they have to do it! Moving in with a emotionally manipulative manic-depressive fucktard is in many ways identical to being bitten by a radioactive spider. Whether you like it or not...the responsibility has been thrust upon you.<br />
<br />
If Peter Parker didn't care so much he wouldn't have these problems! If Peter were more of an *******, he'd be a helluva lot richer and happier!<br />
<br />
If Spider-Man hangs up his webs, he knows that Doc Octopus will take over the city. Spider-man can't live with that guilt. How could he enjoy going back to college and getting his science degree knowing that New York is being destroyed by the Rhino and he could have stopped it?<br />
<br />
So goes the thinking of the spouse or significant other of someone with a serious problem (financial, emotional, substance, whatever). They can't leave because if they do something bad will happen to this person. They can't hang up their super hero costume because they couldn't live with the guilt (or don't think they can) of knowing their inaction cost someone else their life (metaphorically speaking. As in "made them very, very sad").<br />
<br />
I admit it: I AM SPIDER-MAN!

Oh NGH don't do this anymore!! Life is too short ... you should be in a relationship that makes you happy. It should make your heart smile, and your soul sing ....