I remember watching and reading fairy tales from a young age. I loved these movies and books full of beautiful, gentle and loving princesses that were friends with the animals (sometimes they were even able to train them to do the housework). These princesses were always truly good, kind and lovely in every way and I could feel that same princess loveliness in myself. Sometimes these princesses were persecuted by wicked step-monsters, but they retained their loveliness no matter what hardship they endured and always triumphed in the end, maintaining their grace and loveliness all the while. They would find prince charming and true love and get married, living happily ever after. There was no need to know what happened next, I could assume it was all smooth sailing from then on.
Looking back it is easy to see how influenced I have been by these fairy tales. My mum began an affair when I was 9 years old; by the time I had turned 10 she had moved my brother, sister and I in with her new partner and my life began to resemble a fairy tale, although not in the way I had hoped. I encountered my own real life ‘step-monster’ who was really just a very hurt man with a story of his own, who had inherited 3 children he had no idea how to love or understand.
Life with my stepfather was very difficult for me. He was very abusive, called my siblings and me horrible names and was violent sometimes. Like any good princess I tried my best to protect my brother and sister and stay strong – I didn’t do such a good job of staying lovely and kind though. I became angry and fearful and began to feel that I was not a beautiful princess after all. My confidence steadily eroded and I searched desperately for someone to rescue me. I knew how the story went, all I had to do was find prince charming and it would all be ok once more.
When I was 17 I met a young man that made me believe in fairy tales again. He was kind, supportive and strong and he said he loved me. I was sure we had true love and that all my troubles were over. I felt like this relationship gave me a strength that I no longer had on my own, and I finally got the courage to move out of the home I shared with my mum and stepdad and start a new life. There was no wedding (thank goodness) – I figured we were both so young that it could happen later, and although life was still difficult I thought I was well on my way to living happily ever after.
The relationship I had with this young man was far from perfect, he had the wounds from his own step-monster to deal with and it became clear that happily ever after was a long way off. When my boyfriend told me he no longer loved me 18 months later I was devastated beyond belief. I spent 2 weeks in bed unable to eat or sleep. My body felt like a block of concrete and I cried nonstop. The fairy tale was well and truly over and I had to face life on my own again.
My illusions about love were shattered. It was clear that what I thought was true love was not love at all – I knew love shouldn’t hurt like this. The wounds I carried from my abusive home life began to surface in a big way. A year after the break up I ended up sleeping with my ex-boyfriend again in a desperate attempt to win back the love I felt was lost. Afterwards I felt sick, used and empty. I was so horrified I vowed never again to have sex with someone I did not love. I protected myself by putting up incredibly strong energetic shields and protections that made men keep their distance. Friends and acquaintances were amazed by my ability to reject men with a glance. Men kept their distance from me even though my appearance closely resembled that of a Disney princess (minus the ball gown and crown). For the next 8 years the only men I connected with were gay or family members, I kept my distance from all other men.
After about 8 years friends began to question my single status. I dreaded conversations about sex or answering people when they asked if I was in a relationship. I am terrible at lying and can’t help but answer people honestly most of the time. Once it came out that I had not had a boyfriend (or even a kiss) for so many years, I would see the puzzlement on people’s faces and more uncomfortable questions would ensue. I could feel the discomfort in people when I answered their questions, I knew that they wanted to make sense of my ‘strangeness’ – a beautiful, smart, kind and funny young woman who repels men with a glance. A lot of people seemed to form the idea that I was emotionally damaged and left it at that.
I hated this; I felt like a failure and a freak and although I could feel that my choice to be alone was a loving one, in some ways I knew that I was very hurt by the events of my past and needed to deal with them. I had been receiving psychological counselling from the age of 18 and had done all I could to work on my ‘issues’ but I could not fully break down the walls I had put up. Eventually I decided that if I could not develop a proper relationship with a man I should at least find one to sleep with, as the fact that I was not having sex seemed to disturb my friends the most. Sex had always been sacred to me and I knew first hand that sex without love (or my idea of love) was plain horrible, but my friends were all doing it and apparently having a great time.
I decided it was time to grow up, deal with my man issues and embrace my sexuality. I discovered that I could bring myself to sleep with someone I did not love if I got so drunk that I didn’t care what happened to me anymore. I did this once or twice a year for the next few years. Some of these sexual experiences were very abusive and dangerous and sometimes I would end up sleeping with someone that I did not want to. However I kept going, I told myself that this was ‘normal’ and everyone else seemed to think it was normal – in fact my friends seemed incredibly relieved; finally I could participate in conversations about sex and I didn’t make people so uncomfortable any more. I was fitting in, men were paying attention to me again, I felt desirable and powerful and I no longer believed in fairy tales.
Looking back now I can see that the years I spent this way was the time at which I gave up on love. I brought horrific abuse on myself all in the name of fitting in. It was the worst thing I had ever done. After a year or two living this way I came to the amazing work of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon and I began to know love again – not in the way I learned about in fairy tales but in a real true way.
This love is not selective or jealous, it is patient and kind and something we can all feel in our inner heart. This love allows myself and others to be exactly where we are and acknowledges our true beauty and equality. This love is real, it is incapable of causing or allowing harm and it will never end. This love heals and it is more powerful than we can even imagine. I have returned to feeling this true love for myself and others and I can feel how incredible, beautiful and lovely I am again. Most men I encounter now treat me with the same respect and love that I treat myself with and I find I am able to truly connect with the men I meet each day. I have come to appreciate men and their true gentle nature and they often blow me away with their loveliness. These are the same men I have encountered all my life, nothing has changed but the love I have for myself and the fact that I have begun to open my heart and let men in.
There may be no fairy tale ending and no white wedding but I have never felt more like a true princess (I’m still working on getting cute animals to do my housework).