Vol. 1 No. 7
there's no such thing as fairy tales
I'll never forget playing with Barbie and Ken. She with her slim waist, large bust and perfect hair. Him with his broad shoulders and bright smile showing off beautiful white teeth.
They would have a picnic under what I imagined a cloudless day. Talking about nothing and everything, they would make plans to spend their lives together. Ken would drop to one knee (in my mind only because his knees didn't bend) and propose to Barbie, professing his undying love. They would join hands and walk off (my parents never bought me the pink convertible so they couldn't drive) into the sunset.
I grew up wanting the fairy tale.
Cinderella, Rapunzel--even Little Red Riding Hood--are saved by men. We're taught from a young age that men are heroes. It's ingrained into us that women are merely damsels in distress in some form or another. But, once our Prince Charming, Flynn or even lumberjack comes, we live happily ever after.
I believed I could live happily ever after. Refusing to accept anything less than perfect, I shamelessly had faith that it was attainable. As a child believes in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, I sought my hero for my very own fairy tale and happily ever after.
The day I discovered my husband's dirty little secret, it all came crashing down. And, I think I fell harder because I not only had to let go of what I thought was so good, but also of the childhood belief that I could have it all.
I was devastated, distraught, heartbroken.
I had to mourn what I thought I had. I had to learn to let go of what I fantasized about my entire life. My husband was NOT going to rescue me. The ugly truth was that he was the VILLAIN--not the knight in shining armor.
Letting go of the fairy tale was one of the most difficult things I ever did. I lost part of myself. My blind innocence was shattered. I ached for what I had always believed was mine. I wasn't special; not the fairy tale princess I wanted to be.
I was just me.
Coming to terms with that was the first step in my healing. Fairy tales don't exist. But, I do. I CAN be okay even if my hero doesn't rescue me. And you know what? I'm okay with happily ever after just being happy for today.
Traci is a Betrayal Recovery Specialist and the owner of Healing Betrayed Hearts. She has almost 30 years experience recovering from a relationship with a sex addict.