I often wonder why I ended up in such a controlling relationship and for so long.
Could it have been what I read as a little girl?
I certainly was never picked to be an angel, fairy or a princess, I wasn’t even a bridesmaid (my older tomboy sister was twice and she ruined the photos with her rebelling, unhappy, ‘big lip’ pose!)
In the primary school pantomime, Dick Whittington, I was the baddie, King Rat! In my cloak (with its sequins, that my mum spent many nights stitching) and my milk bottle top, fingered, black gloves….. I was never the Princess.
My mum always kept my hair short as a little girl, but as soon as I could, I had long hair (5 year-old me, was envious of Susan in our class in Infant School, with her long blonde princess hair! Her hair was that long, that she could chew on it during Story time, with the teacher reading ‘The Adventures of The Little Wooden Horse’! The things that made you jealous when you were little!)
As well as the long hair, I wore flowery dresses, I liked dancing and I liked pink. I had all the makings of a princess!
I can’t really remember been keen on having a boyfriend though …. my Prince Charming!
I went to an all-girls Grammar School, where having a boyfriend back then, wasn’t all that important as it seems to be to teenagers in High School now!
(My younger son recently explained to me that you must have a girlfriend at his High School, otherwise the other boys will call you ‘Gay’!)
I remember teenage me, turning down ‘Ben’ asking me out, my friend fancied him and she had been wearing shorter and shorter skirts just to get him to notice her (Cinderella didn’t do that). He was handsome, Ben, tall, 14, lovely black curly hair, blue eyes and he made me laugh! Maybe I turned down my Prince Charming …. Missed my chance?
Anyway ….. back to Cinderella.
She was living in a controlling, abusive household, in enforced poverty. Her sisters were bullying her, her step-mother was bullying her, she needed to escape and ‘voila’ there was her Fairy Godmother who changed her poverty to riches, just so she could ‘go to the ball!’
He only danced with her one night! He didn’t know her before that. He swept her, off her feet and ‘They lived happily Ever After’!
Really …. I mean Really?????
What was the age difference between Cinderella and Prince Charming?
When I am counselling teenagers online who have been raped and/or in an abusive relationship, there are 2 things I try to determine:-
- The teenage girl’s age
- The abusive boyfriend/husband/rapist’s age
The reason I am interested in the male’s age is because when I was in the Women’s Refuge, I read that in most Domestic Violence cases, the girl/woman is either, very young (naïve and vulnerable) or maybe a few years younger than the male abuser. The age difference giving the male abuser psychological power (playing on his seniority, age) over the girl or younger woman! Automatically creating the Master/Servant relationship (as mentioned in my previous article)!
What was sad, about the situation of the teenage girls I spoke with, from Australia, is that all of them had come from families where they had been abused as children and that they didn’t understand that their partner had also been abusive. So many said, it can’t be rape if you are in a relationship with the man. Also, so many said they thought, that is what happens in a normal relationship as their abusive partners had convinced them. They assumed they should make Dinner, ‘keep house’, follow their partner’s orders and receive punishment if they didn’t obey!
These were much older men, often twice their age using these girls for their vulnerability. Getting these teenage girls to feel sorry for their abusers and believing that the punishments they received were just!
They told the girls that they were playing ‘a game’ and the younger ones, were bought ice-cream and dolls as a ‘reward’ for complying!
Is it the early Fairy Stories that influence these girls into such compliance in these relationships? Is it the aim of girls today, to meet their Prince Charming?
One thing you should never do, is ‘rush’ a relationship along.
You need to know who he really is! If you don’t know each other properly, you won’t know how to deal with disputes and you won’t know if you have anything in common.
Don’t rush into a relationship with someone, as you won’t know if he has previous history of abuse, as he is very good and convincing at ‘being nice and caring’. A Charmer!
How does he lure women into his trap in the first place? Remember the Child Catcher on ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ‘… “Lollipops …”!
Don’t ‘rush’ to move in with them, even if your partner puts pressure on you (this is a ‘red flag’ situation for a potential abusive relationship).
Don’t ‘rush’ to get engaged or married.
Don’t get together with someone who wants your money or your popularity (no matter how much they play on their poverty i.e. loans or credit cards they have never paid back or taking you to their place, where it is clear they can’t take care of themselves (usually because their mum, was their last servant) … during this type of relationship you will more than likely swap places and you will be stripped of finance and confidence and be lonely, before you know it, watching him take it all for himself!
Don’t ‘rush’ into the relationship because you are escaping something in your family home, because you are automatically showing your new partner your vulnerability and risking more abuse, as the vulnerable you, will more than likely, be easily controlled by your new boyfriend.
Run a hundred miles away from any man who says, ‘I own you’ or ‘I bought you’ even if it is said in jest. You are nobody’s property.
So …. what really happened with Cinderella and Prince Charming ……