Friday, January 25, 2008

Throwing the Frog

(a musing on the Brothers’ Grimm “The Frog King.”)

Guess which part of the story I focused on?
I love these tales to provoke my thoughts. Please know that my thoughts do not attempt to explain, decode, or explore all the incredible imagery in these stories. But I was very happy to find one way into one theme!

Moment of Truth
During the day, she’d think loving thoughts and imagine herself happy. She’d begin dinner full of “Donna Reed,” chopping and braising. But as his arrival-time approached, she’d become tense.

Natalie forced herself to kiss him, smile, and listen to his day, but soon was criticizing his every move. And all he’d ever done was care for her. She hated herself.

Tim was a gentle, loving man but lately, if she was honest with herself (seldom), Natalie found herself despising him. His sweet disposition made her skin crawl.

The more she pulled away, the needier and clingier he became. Then she hated him more and the cycle continued, until Tim cried and Natalie convinced herself she was cruel and insane. She would apologize and they would return to “normal.”

But when going to sleep or waking up, she found herself fantasizing his death or hers. A divorce (for many reasons) was out of the question.

Then, one day, thick in their hellish cycle, Natalie found herself pushing harder and harder.

“You aren’t the man I married, you’re a child!” She hated saying those words, but they felt true! She continued, not knowing what was coming. “I can’t be sexual with you, if you’re a child. And I hate that. I hate you for that.”

And there it was. The truth. She wasn’t despicable. She wanted to be with him. But he needed to grow up. To stop living only for her and step back into the causes and adventures he’d had before they were married. She wanted the courageous man she’d dated.

Even in his pain, his denial, and his tears, Tim knew she was right.

A wave of relief swept over her. There were more struggles ahead but, with the truth told, the spell was broken.

1 comment:

Miss Tick said...

I like this site. I'm a home-made Jungian also. Here's my current rant re: the false persona.

Is it just me? In the circles I travel, it seems as though 90% of the women I meet are stressed-out and unhappy. Many of these are women with children. Their husbands seem fine.

These wonderful women suffer from depression or bitterness—two different symptoms of one cause, repressed anger. Those who refuse to lash out at others pull their frustrations inward and grow despondent. Others fight their rage-- but it emerges—often at the worst moment. At the sight of a smiling, satisfied woman, their unmet needs erupt. Do these women realize they are revealed through their clenched teeth or jealous comments?

Why have so few of us found a way out of the “nice-ness” trap that destroys our spirit and stunts our growth?

I have to put this word in quotes because “nice” is a misnomer. A woman can be charitable, she can be kind, or she can be patient. But too often “nice-ness” is really a false persona, often seething with rage behind the brittle smile.

Perhaps the “mean girls” in junior high are merely a rebellion against the untrustworthy facade of “nice.” But these girls aren’t strong, bold, outspoken, or courageous as worthy leaders. They are merely “mean,” an inversion of “nice.”

Women—we must learn to be selfish in a healthy way! We must speak our minds assertively. We must take time for ourselves-- our bodies and souls! Then our true virtues will grow. We may fight, we may even act inappropriately at times. But we shall be free of self-loathing, and grudges fueled with passive aggressive fantasies.