Black Knights and Damsels in Disturbia

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Humans

Okay, see, even though I prolly will finish sexism in gaming at some point, this is a topic I can really sink my teeth into.  What makes people tick is a huge fascination of mine, and conversation, content and comments on my previous post have me wanting to dig and discuss more.  This whole “bad boy-good girl”, “white knight- damsel in distress” thing, oh hell yeah, let’s roll some with that.

And heck, for this here post, we’re taking gender outta it and just talking about, well, humans who fit these roles, because sure enough, sometimes, the sex people would assign to the title does not fit. 

 Simple fact is, the “goods” and the “knights” really are not all that different.  Their methodology might be- in some ways- but when you strip it all away, they have the basic desire to help the subject of their attention/affection.  Emotionally, physically, financially, socially, whatever- they want to go in there and take what is broken and make it all better.  Why?  Well, I think the why is a far more complex thing.  I am sure that there is in fact a real desire to help and make better with these people, but there is also an amount of ego to it.  If they can be the one to fix what’s broken, well, it pumps them up a bit (or a lot) too, to be the one who did it, to be the person who succeeded where others failed, and there is a reward seeking aspect to this too- after all, if they fixed it, are they not on some level now owed by the subject of their attention/affection (and perhaps obsession in some cases)?  Self worth and accomplishment are drawn from the fixing by “goods” and “knights”, and I think often they think their reward will be devotion, gratitude affection, respect, loyalty, and perhaps even…debt owed by the one they so went above and beyond for.  These folks, when they embark upon attempting to fix what they see as a broken or maladjusted person, are looking for validation of some sort:  they really ARE the great guy or gal, they really ARE the one who can make a difference.  Often times I suspect on some deep and perhaps even not recognized by the “goods” and “knights” level, fixing, helping or saving the subject of their interest is more about them than it is about the subject themselves.  It is more about their need to be successful and recognized and thanked for that success than anything else…especially in “goods” or “knights” who are pathological about it and seeking out opportunities to attempt this become a pattern.

 Which is why I have always thought that these people, the “goods” and the “knights” should pray to whatever god they find holy at night that when they go looking, they find someone who is going to appreciate the more altruistic aspects of their efforts and can, in some way, actually be helped by them and they don’t find themselves running across an actual Black Knight or Damsel in Disturbia…

 And what do I mean by that phrase?  Well, I mean people of either sex who are honestly – for whatever reasons- legit or not- from childhood abuse to being born wrong and missing something (tm Vlad)- Bad Eggs.  Rotten ones even.  From violent to manipulative, from sociopathic to emotional vampires, from compulsive liars to stone cold plotters- bad eggs.  Black Knights and Damsels in Disturbia.  And this is not even to say that all BK’s and DD’s can’t be fixed, but chances are, doing so is beyond the capability of the Goods and the Knights, probably requires professional help, and is only worth the effort if the BK or DD honestly and for themselves wants to change or be changed.  Some do, but it has been my experience most have no interest, but

 1)     sure as shit think it is fun as hell to wreck a “Good” or “Knight” who is stupid enough to try.

2)      or are so far down the rabbit hole of whatever the hell is going on with them, they will drain anyone who tries to help them bone dry.

 The first lot, I think of as Black Knights.  Your A-Typical “bads”. Mean, hostile, rebellious for no reason other than the joy of being rebellious…the fun is in the rebellion, not any cause. Anti-social sorts with crap tempers, jaded outlooks on everyone and everything- yet somehow they manage to be slick, charming, charismatic, and draw others to them.

 I am not talking about the surly angsty kid into punk rock or the person who has had a bad string of luck that has soured them some on life…I am talking about the near if not full on sociopathic and/or narcissistic types who have come to see the world and everything it in as something that exists for their amusement, edification and can be used and discarded at their whim or convenience.  Those are the types I am talking about.

 The second lot, I consider to be the Damsels in Disturbia, who often come across as broken, pathetic, self-loathing wretches of such unimaginable need and in such pain that those of the mind to fix them can hardly help but be taken in and compelled to assist them.    But with these sorts:  It is never enough, and it never will be.  Lavishing them in kindness and positivity and affirmation is like pissing into a hurricane because they are great sucking black holes of need, and in truth, are only ever remotely happy when they are miserable and attention and kindness and sympathy and pity are focused solely and endlessly on them.

 I am not talking about someone who is suffering from depression or is stressed out or has had a bad run of luck and is beat down and exhausted, I am talking about people who revel in misery and pain and despair and will do nothing to change anything about their situations and merely exist to suck people emotionally dry before tossing them aside and moving on to their next meal. 

 And it has also been my experience and observation that when a “good” runs across a Black Knight or a White Knight runs across a Damsel in Disturbia, it is like throwing an unarmed five-year old to the lions in the Coliseum…and even more disturbing, often times, Black Knights run in a crew of other people just like them and Damsels In Disturbia will line up a few meals all at the same time. 

 I have seen it, and I can say with some authority, it ain’t pretty.  The “Goods” and “Knights” that take this shit on?  They end up wasted and destroyed and wrung out to dry.  They get used, abused, tormented, passed around, broken, beaten up, beaten down, yanked around and can end up anywhere from financial ruin to six feet in the ground.

 And much like “Goods” and “Knights” go looking for people in need of their saving or amazing and awesome ability to love, BK’s and DD’s will look for their next victim and can generally smell fresh blood in the water.   

 Simple fact is, it’s impossible to fix anyone who merely wants to break you for kicks, and it is impossible to fill a hole that has no bottom, and no amount of goodness or love or noble intent is ever gonna change that.

 Seeing is believing, and I have seen it, watched it, dealt with it, seen how it all played out- though I ain’t never been a “Good Girl” or a “White Knight”.

*even more volatile and disturbing is when a BK hooks up with a DD, but that’s a whole different story I’m not sure I want to tell and well, those sorts sorta deserve each other, no?

  1. dead_vladimir says:

    I agree it seems a lot of times in the case of people who are the good ones going to save the bad ones it is more about the person with the savior complex
    which is why i think even in cases where it could of worked out it doesn’t

    a lot of supposed altruism though is like that all about the person doing it and not actually caring

    Some people also find validation in the drama, some people look for the impossible and the suffering it brings because it is their idenity

    and some are just masochists

  2. rootietoot says:

    There are some people who are good because they’re good. not out of some hope for pats on the back, but simply because they are. those are the ones who stop in the rain to help change a tire, load someone’s groceries for them, or such like, in addition to never cheating on their taxes or spouse. Likewise there are people who are bad because they’re bad. that whole spectrum thing again.

    Have you ever studies the psychology of Evil? it’s not a popular thing, because calling someone Evil is making a judgement about them and psychologists aren’t supposed to do that, but it’s very interesting. Scott Peck has a book about it called People of the Lie, and Malachai Martin has written some stuff as well. I think you’d find Peck’s book interesting.

    • Ren says:

      I’ve not read those books, but I will look into them…I have seen the shrink (forget his name thou) who does the show on “most evil” criminals, and the check list and combos of disorders he uses t o rank them on that scale.

      • rootietoot says:

        The evil Scott Peck talks about mostly is the ‘under the radar’ type- not nasty criminals who eat babies, but people who drift through life leaving a wake of confusion and destruction behind them, and everyone left over wonders what the hell just happened. Much like your Black Knight and Damsel in Disturbia types. It’s eye opening and very interesting stuff. Malachai Martin is a Catholic priest, and he deals with the more religious based stuff like exocisms and the like, very fascinating to a die-hard reformationist like myself.
        Peck also discussed evil as a disorder, how to diagnose it, whether or not it can be ‘cured’, that sort of thing.

  3. Roy Kay says:

    I almost invariably act with some cognizant aspect of greed. The way I see it, benefiting another person isn’t all that sustainable unless there is some mutual benefit in maintaining the ongoing relationship. Otherwise you WILL be bled dry by the BKns and DDs. Either that or you will bleed them dry by insisting that you have GIVEN THEM SOOOOO MUCH.

    The nature of this may vary, of course. If I aid a stranger, I just figure that good will breeds more of itself and that I am building on the kindnesses I have received in buy us all a more gracious world. For something more intense, I look for mutual benefit – economic, emotional, intellectual, physical. I want us both to get something out of the deal and do so forever. Because basically I don’t want either of us to be a Martyr – ugh! It’s also a good check to be explicitly mutually exploitative. It keeps people from getting too delusional about their virtue.

  4. I’ve been reading a book by Eric Berne MD (“What Do You Say After You Say Hello?”) about what he called “script analysis”, and there’s quite a bit in there that reflects on this kind of thing. Berne seems to think that Goods have a subconscious script that is driving them to seek a genuine BK to fulfil their fairytale ending (e.g. being eaten by the wolf); and that likewise Knights are actually seeking a DD to fulfil their own script ending. And that’s why this stuff unfolds.

    I’m not keen on all of Berne’s conclusions (I think it likely that much of his data came from people seeking psychiatric help, which may have influenced how he views people in general…) and I don’t like his theory that these script decisions are all set in place before we’re six years old. But I think that there is some value in the idea that sometimes these roles are unconsciously chosen to fulfil what some deep seated belief about ourselves tells us.

    I once ran into a serious DD and I know I have Knight tendencies; but the fact that I know it and don’t want to play that game any more meant she got frustrated with my “lack of commitment”. All the better for me, I think!

  5. That’s what the fascination is for the Casey Anthony trial… it’s rare to get a close-up of such a person. Lots of people have never seen one. Cold-blooded sociopaths are amazing; they can cry and look sad on cue.

    Me and Mr Daisy have been wondering what kind of rescuer-fan mail she is getting during the trial.

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