The act of speaking to spirits doesnt change the spirits. It changes you. Act as if you were they, and you will have their power.
Okay, so this is a bit of a weird thing to start out with, but the Disney cartoon Tangled has apparently inspired a lot of abuse survivors. I never really thought about the movie in that way, or maybe I did not allow myself to think of it in that way. I knew that the movie resonated with me, but I did not know quite why. After reading some other people’s reactions to the film, people who had made it through abusive situations like I have, I realized just why I loved the film so much.
First of all is the obvious. The whole knight in shining armor idea where a man comes to the rescue and saves a princess is just appealing, though unrealistic. We should not wait on Prince Charming to rescue us any more than we should count on our parents to rescue us. Actually, we should not need to be rescued at all. As adults, we are responsible for the environment we live in. If it is abusive or unhealthy then we should take steps to change it or leave. No one should have to come rescue you; instead you should make the effort to promote change yourself.
However there is another aspect to Tangled that makes it unique from the other Disney princess stories. The witch who raised Rapunzel, her ‘mother’, is very abusive but in a subtle way. Instead of beating the girl or even yelling at her, the witch uses her words to undermine Rapunzel’s confidence and make her afraid of the outside world. So afraid that she does not leave her tower for eighteen years. This insidious form of abuse is not unknown to me. I have lived through similar things that, though they were not deliberate like the witch, undermined my confidence and made me fearful of the world outside.
The power of words is terrifying. Even internal dialogue that you work and work to change can spring up at the unlikeliest of times. If you have lived through a situation like Rapunzel’s then you know how hard it is to break free. However from reading all the abuse survivor’s letters, they found that breaking free made their lives so much happier and more fulfilling.
Amanda Carlson, a blogger as well as a former newborn care nurse contributed this post. To stay connected to her previous career and share the knowledge she gained, she began writing for www.newborncare.com. You can reach her at amanda.newborncare @ gmail.com.