“We spend our whole lives believing that our parents have our best interests at heart. From the moment we are given the gift of life to our last breath, we go about our day-to-day lives thinking that the hideous outfits our parents dressed us up in as kids, and so much more, came purely out of love.
But what if that’s not the case? What if the beautiful woman we call Mom is secretly our greatest enemy. No one ever seemed to question the possibility that the fairy godmother and the evil queen were the same actor because being deceived by our parents, especially our mothers, is out of the question. The same way we excused neon pink leggings at age 8, we excused being told ‘no’ to wearing booty shorts to school. But is there really a difference?
I used to think that all parents experienced joy from seeing their kids smile and laugh both in and outside of the house, but the older I got, I learnt that this wasn’t always the truth. My home was my castle and that will always be my reality. There my mom is the queen and I am the princess, even though I’ve heard stories where home is jail, where Mom is the guard and the kid are the prisoner, even if they don’t realize it.
We forget to take a closer look at the actions of those that are close to us, especially our parents, as we get older. We don’t think to reconsider the fundamentals we have accepted —that our parents are the only ones that matter and that we need to always put family first — is a healthy lifestyle choice. Of course, family is important but not to the point that they are the only ones who can supply their kids’ happiness, values, and path in life.
The acts of excessively controlling parenting, which borders abuse, doesn’t help us in the long run, but weakens us so that we become submissive in life, and especially in love. We become like ‘prisoners’ who still find excuses for being told ‘no’ or getting put down for holding a different opinion. Products of these relationships don’t know any better, but it doesn’t mean they can’t get ‘better.’
Eventually, everyone gets the keys to their freedom by fortune or by fighting, and this I know to be true. The reality that my home is my castle will forever remain the same because I was fortunate. Even though those who experience their home as jail need to learn to follow their fortune through fighting, and for once the damsel in distress isn’t the princess at all, but the prisoner awaiting a prince.
The funny thing is that whether your mom is a fairy godmother or an evil queen, YOU can end up being fortunate either way, but the key here is fighting for what you deem is right. The days of saying ‘yes, and…’ need to stop when your world is constantly being taken over by the people you believed could and would never hurt you.
Fortunately, I got to learn this first-hand. I watched as my partner was coerced into thinking that just because it’s Mom or Dad, they can say whatever they want, whenever they feel like it. It taught me why it’s called jail and why the guards hold a key, because no matter whether it’s your living room, bedroom, or kitchen, you’re never truly free and you always still watch your freedom being dangled up close, right in front of your face. Swinging back and forth as you sit there in silence, until you just snap and then your fortune clicks. You learn from the evil queen and the hunter a hard lesson that some people don’t want your life to be yours. Mom, dad, uncle, aunt, sister, brother, or the voice in your head can sometimes be your own worst enemy, but as long as you realize it before it’s too late, you’re fortunate to be able to fight for your freedom.
You might be wondering why I say I was fortunate to learn that my partner’s mom was a jail guard. Well, it taught me a valuable lesson, which I wish I learned way sooner than in my early twenties. I witnessed and experienced how people can pretend to be close to you for their own cruel agenda and selfish satisfaction, and this was important to learn, even if I was late to the game. You see it in the movies, especially in the fairy tales, how backstabbing and sabotaging others give people an excuse to use their evil powers. However, you don’t really believe it till it’s you in the glass slippers and your partner’s mother is getting her toes cut off to try and fit in the shoes that belong to you. But no matter how evil or rotten you are, trying to walk around in shoes that are too big or too small can only work for so long.
Yes, the situation was rough, and the four months were not the highlight of my year. However, I learned a lot more about myself and my partner, and about what we need to value versus what we think we need to value. Five, ten, or twenty years from now the glass slippers and the jail guard’s long cape are going to hang in the back of the closet collecting dust, and all you’re left with is the person walking barefoot on the ground or walking outside with a cloak, because your cape went out of fashion. Today, I still see myself as a fortunate princess. I can look back with happiness, as I have my own values to raise me up, instead of some clear and shiny heels, whereas the jail guard or the evil queen still needs something to cover her up when she goes out into the real world – sunglasses, jackets, hats, etc. People forget the 2010 limited edition Louis Vuitton scarf or Gucci sunglasses, but people don’t forget how you looked in them.
If there is any piece of advice I would give, today, tomorrow, and in twenty years, it is to retire your costumes now and rely on your own values that no fairy tale or action movie can use to create a despicable character. Learn that total control isn’t as positive as people think and that the more you fight to be in the spotlight, the more open you are open to criticism. We all grow as we go, so if there is anything you take away from this, it’s to never forget that people need space and a safe place where they can be themselves without judgement.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Maya Leah. Visit her website here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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