Fall into the trap of fairy tales and one day stop believing in happy ever after.
|Fairy tales got it wrong. Who thought it was a good idea to teach young girls that life is about waiting for a Prince to save you, marrying them and living "happily ever after"? It's a beautiful fantasy, but what happens when the girls grow up and realise all they believe in was a lie? Reality harshly shatters the fragile world they grew up in and forces them to see that they never will get their happily ever after. Take your average fairy tale. Somewhere along the way, the beautiful girl gets saved by a handsome Prince, whom she immediately falls in love with, they then get married and bibbity bobbity boo they are happy forever more. Many say that children will think nothing of the stories, that they think nothing more than it being a story to help them fall asleep.
I bought into the little stories I was read as a child. I learnt that no matter how bad things got, whether my parents died, I was put under a spell, locked in a tower and guarded by a dragon or poisoned by a witch, a very handsome (and very rich) prince in bright colours would suddenly arrive and sweep me off my feet, saving the day. I learnt that the bad guys were old, ugly, dressed in black, and my hero would be bright, bold and beautiful. I learnt that once I was saved, I would fall in mutual love with my knight in shining armour and we would be married and I would be happy and live an amazing life. I grew up eagerly awaiting the day my Prince came, waiting for my happily ever after to begin. The problem with growing up in magic kingdoms is that the real world is slightly different. When things got bad, I waited. I lived through it, silently, patiently, hoping to be saved. As I grew older I suffered the pain of learning that all I had believed in was a lie. I saw my world crumble into ashes. I realised that nobody is going to save you. I lost the hope that I would ever get my own happy ending. How could the world be so cruel? From a young age I hated the world I lived in because it wasn't my fairy tale land that I had created, with the help of beautifully crafted stories. I couldn't understand why bad things happened to good people, and vice versa. I realised you can't trust anyone. I also realised you can't believe in anything. I lost all hope. I stopped looking into the future awaiting true love and happiness. I stopped thinking such a thing could exist. Love was only in books. Not for the real world. On earth, people hurt each other, physically and emotionally, every day. When you love someone you don't hurt them. You save them. That is what I had grown up knowing. When my world dissolved and I didn't know what to think, that was the only thing I was sure of. Love and happiness were works of fiction.
To recreate my world of paradise and happily ever after's, I turned back to the pages that once lead me so astray. I would retreat into the magic worlds delicately woven by words strung together by beautiful minds. Living in a fantasy world was where I was at home. I was never comfortable in my own skin until I was living through a character inside a treasured book. When it finally ended, I was forced to remember I was trapped in this hateful world. So I'd pick up another. And that's where I found sanctuary. I lived through the characters on the pages, I helped fight their battles, lived through their struggles and clung to the shreds of hope they always had that I desperately wished I could find. Whenever love worked it's way into the pages I'd see how characters looked at people they loved, how they spoke to them, how they treated them. I had never seen that in all my years in the real world. When a character was happy, I noted their expression, their emotions, their actions and their words. None I'd ever been so lucky to experience or witness. I stopped believing in love, but more importantly, I stopped believing in a happily ever after.