Sunday, October 10, 2010


Recently, I watched the last half of "The Princess Bride," a story of true love, devotion, and heroism of a young woman and her beloved. Okay, it's a fairy tale and their "happy ending" is a reality only 50% of the time in our day.

A happy ending, unfortunately, is even less likely for a girl living in or having grown up in a violent home where parent figures are locked in rigid roles.

In a home with domestic violence,the father or father figure is obsessed with controlling his victim (usually her mother) by progressive, demeaning manipulation. His "mind games" cause increasing confusion and emotional disability. If these don't control her well enough, then he employs abuse of all kinds, often combined with mortal threats against his victim, kids and their pets.

By then, his victim may be so confused, terrified, and injured that she is unable to function in the home though she may hold an outside job and manage to cover her problems most of the time.

A 12-13-year-old girl in this environment may seem to do well until she enters middle school where "real dating" now begins for many kids. There, she may meet a "sweet, considerate, attentive, adoring boy" with whom she falls in love.

In fact he is so in love with her that he "cannot bear" to be out of contact with her and demands constant calls and texts. He's so in love that he turns her against friends and family or vice versa.

Gradually, she is coerced into spending all her time with him, and possibly into a sexual relationship she's not ready for and threatened with losing him if she plays a sport, babysits or hangs out with friends.

One day, he sees her talking to another male and he "loses it." Afterword, he's incredibly sorry, remorseful, loving. She believes him when he says it will never happen again.

Now she is now dealing with a monster and it is within. It's the monster who taught her how women must behave with the man in their life. The monster who forces her revisit the scenes and helpless feelings of her childhood or current home. She has no hero, male or female to rescue her.
What's a Princess Bride to do?

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