Choose Your Own Fairy-Tale Ending to Abuse

January 13, 2013 Kellie Jo Holly

Part 3 in which our princess looks like a madman while our knight basks in the glory of his conquest. Will our princess escape? Does she know she's abused?

Part 1: The Abusive Relationship and Its Fairy-tale Beginning
Part 2: The Hidden Tale of Abuse

Part 3 of Our Fairy-tale:

Previously, we left our princess and her friends confused and our knight deeply satisfied with himself. This is exactly as our knight wants it to be! He overpowered the princess and made her his newest trophy. From the outside looking in, it appears that the brave knight lives a dream: beautiful wife, beautiful home, loyal servants as friends, and the ability to take on new adventures (and lovers) without so much as a sideways glance from his wife. Our knight won his battle. He retains his glorious reputation, and that is all that matters to him.

Part 3 in which our princess looks like a madman while our knight basks in the glory of his conquest. Will our princess escape? Does she know she's abused?Meanwhile, our princess behaves as if she's pricked her finger on one too many poison spindles. The castle staff observes her pacing the halls, talking to herself, and neglecting to care for her beautiful Rapunzel-like hair. Her under-eyes are dark. She has a worry line on her forehead too soon for someone so young. She keeps the staff at arm's length but seems to want their company at the same time. She apologizes to them for nothing and repeats each request in five different ways (as if the staff is too stupid to understand what she said the first time). She insults the staff by going behind them, re-cleaning the silver and re-sweeping the floor. Half of the castle staff fear she is going mad and will snap in the next breeze; the other half finds her cold and worries what tales she reports to the knight.

Our princess cannot see from any perspective other than her own immediate situation. The knight keeps her alternating between love and fear, and the extremes of those emotions keep her firmly rooted in the present. She cannot make sense of the past and she cannot see into the future. She is so grateful for the knight's love (when he shows it) that she forces herself to forget the fear. She obsesses over what the knight is doing and whom he is with when they're apart. She cannot sleep, partly afraid the knight won't come visit her and partly afraid he will. She cannot predict his moods and often times he expresses his rage by humiliating her, blaming her for his problems.

She is lonely, but afraid what the knight will say if she speaks to the staff - especially the male staff. She feels inadequate, unable to communicate her true feelings. She wonders if her mind is giving out on her. The knight does not seem to understand her most of the time. There are so many questions to answer and no one to help her find the truth! She fills her days re-doing the staff's chores in hope that the knight will stop threatening to behead them and find less to be angry about during his visits.

Far away in another kingdom, the woodland creatures remain loyal to the princess. They keep her in their thoughts and hope she has the life she dreamed. The owl and the dove continue to piece together the knight's story, and it begins to sound more like a nightmare than a fairytale. The owl bravely flies to the princess' bedroom window under the cover of night. She observes the princess' strange behavior, then sees the knight enter the bedroom and harshly insult the princess. The owl wants to fly inside and rip the scalp off of the knight but intuitively knows that doing so will only harm the princess. She flies off into the night, saddened, to report to the dove the truth of their friend's romance.

The owl and the dove gather the other woodland creatures. The moles agree to dig a large tunnel under the palace wall to outside the princess' window. The creatures will find the princess and ask her to sneak away with them, back to her loving home.

Choose Your Own Adventure

At first, our princess does not see the opening to the tunnel beneath her window. But then, one afternoon while looking for the knight, she spies familiar eyes peering out at her from beneath the flowers of the garden.

"Sweet princess!" a doe whispers, "Please come away with us! The owl told us how the knight treats you. We want you to return home."

What Do You Think The Princess Will Do?

The Princess Jumps Immediately Into the Tunnel and Lives Happily Ever After. If you choose this ending, then most likely:

  • You've been reading too many fairy-tales.

Our princess will likely rebuke her friends for quite some time. What will convince her to jump into the dark tunnel? She must come to believe that the knight abuses her and that the abuse is not her fault. This voice of rationality may come from her friends, a servant in the castle, her own spirit, or God whispering to her heart. No matter what the source, once our princess understands the truth, she will be more willing to risk leaving the knight.

The Princess Ignores Her Friends Forever. If you choose this ending, then most likely:

  • The woodland creatures will eventually give up putting their lives at risk for the princess.
  • The tunnel will grow over.
  • The abuse will worsen.
  • The princess will die by her own hand, by the hand of the knight, or as a sad, lonely, old woman who once knew joy in her youth.

The Princess Enters the Tunnel. If you choose this ending, then most likely:

  • The princess will do whatever necessary to enter the tunnel.
  • Her woodland friends will be surprised and delighted to see her return.
  • Her friends will help protect her from the knight when he seeks to reclaim her.
  • The princess diligently works to rid herself of the thoughts and feelings related to the knight's abuse.
  • The princess will create her own fairy-tale ending without that knight.

No matter what the ending, the only knight able to rescue the princess is the princess herself. If she is to escape, she has to make the first move; our princess must clear her own tunnel.

The funny thing about taking that first scary step is that it isn't as big a step as our princess thinks. She will be amazed at the help that becomes available to her just by calling this number: 800−799−SAFE(7233) or TTY 800−787−3224. Clear your tunnel - call now.

Part 1: The Abusive Relationship And Its Fairy-Tale Beginning
Part 2: The Hidden Tale of Domestic Abuse
Part 3: Choose Your Own Fairy-tale Ending to Abuse

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2013, January 13). Choose Your Own Fairy-Tale Ending to Abuse, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 21 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

September, 20 2014 at 4:45 pm

This story moves me to tears because I am living it. I am living out option 2. I have no clue where to go. My abuser is verbal and not physical. We have 3 children 5 and under. I hope one day that I can move to option 3.

May, 12 2013 at 6:25 am

You could have been describing my relationship of two years, which I recently blocked communication every way possible. Ours has gone so far as to have two DV charges going through the court system, which he owns no responsibility for his behavior. He "loves" me. What that really means he uses me, and many other women, i have recently found out. The other morning we were going to walk the dogs, he didn't like that I was walking about 5 feet in front of him. He yelled: if you don't stop while I am talking to you, I am going to start screaming. I stopped, but do you know what he started screaming anyway. I just moved into a new neighborhood it was 7am in the morning, and we were walking behind my neighbors homes. What struck me between the eyes, is he has control over his behavior. It was his choice to scream at me. I had nothing to do with it. I'm always the cause of his abuse. I think he was just trying to keep me in the loop because he wants to look like the loving boyfriend, in court. I refuse to be a partner in my abuse any longer.

barb hoff
April, 26 2013 at 11:12 am

The story is all to true. I have found out the hard way that the princess needs to figure out her knight is an abuser( manipultor, brainwasher).
For anyone who is on the other side now can you advise what to do as the friend( me , her mom) to support, enlighten, "help her see" before it gets worse and she goes mad. This is like watching a freightrain coming. I am the bird above who saw it all( except some of the secret middle). She has been in the relationship from age 15 til now -22. His skills at isolating and brainwashing are only getting better with his practice of course.
what would have enlightened you?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
April, 27 2013 at 6:18 am

Unfortunately, the more someone tried to "enlighten" me, the more hostile toward them I became. I was going to make that relationship work and anyone who told me otherwise ... well, I helped my abuser isolate me by cutting them out. However, I do believe there are things friends and family CAN do to be ready and interact with an abuse victim in a healthy way. I wrote about it here at "How To Help A Victim of Domestic Violence"

March, 9 2013 at 8:11 am

I too, thought I had the fairytale story, two days after returning from our honeymoon. He started, I was shocked his verbal abuse lasted the whole weekend (of course, I did not know that is what it was). He said that I need to communicate in his style. That what I said set him off. He did this in front of his 12 year old daughter. I would try and leave the room and he would follow me. I did not understand. I said what is going on? You, he said. I basically, wrote it off to a bad day. Everything was fine for 2 weeks. Then another blow up, this time involving my 32 year old son. Whom he ended up calling and yelling at and cursing calling him names and so on. Calmness again...2 weeks, it is my Birthday we go to see my 22 year old that is in college in SoCal. A outburst blow up at the restaurant with my 32 year old son. We both end up in tears and totally embarrassed. On the flight home, I said we need help. He agreed to go to counseling. WRONG answer. The counselor was an EBT (emotion based therapy). I went first by myself and explained what was going on she seemed to get it and saw my husband next. Then together. While waiting in the reception area, he begins to have a meltdown. He says of course I said one word that triggered him. We get in the room with the counselor - he begins crying and shaking and saying he has done everything for me. That I am making his heart feel unsafe. After this session - I basically felt like I had been through under the bus by both of them. But, I agreed to another appointment - big mistake - and another. By the 3rd session he was throwing books around the reception area and in the therapy room. When I walked out this time, it was for the last time. I told him I was never going back there. Then the verbal abuse got worse. New Years Eve was the worst. I left on new years day and never went back! He agreed to see a MD because, I did not know what this was until I found the right kind of counselor for myself. We went to the doctor's appt. on the way in he said he was not going to discuss the problem - that he decided it is all my fault and I need help. So I walked out! Any discussion since that day has been exactly that script. He continues to be friends with my brother and tells him lies about me. He calls my best friend and tries to convince her that they need to do intervention on me because I am crazy. He finally showed up at my office and tried to convince one of my coworkers of this. He is a master manipulator. Today, my brother agreed to meet with me, but I do not know how this is going to go. Everyone else thinks he is a wonderful guy, so easy going, soft spoken. How do I get through to my brother without making this a he said she said situation? I have not called or spoken to my husband in three weeks now. It feels so much better to know what I was dealing with. Thanks to places like this. I have hope.

Just me..
February, 25 2013 at 7:29 pm

This broke my heart.. I'm 19 and I've been in an abusive relationship since I was 16 years old. I live with him, we have 3 cats that are like my babies (I'm 19, give me a break) and I can't let go. I want too, I want to be free so bad but I can't move out and he won't. Everytime it really comes down too it we both stay, I want my own fairytale ending.. I've already ruined my chance at giving up when I should have.. I've already lost my friends. I sent one of the friends I lost this story, hoping she will understand...but I'm lost.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
February, 26 2013 at 3:34 am

It is never too late to leave or to get your friends back. You made a good decision in contacting one old friend. Why not try reconnecting with the others? Keep in mind that when your abuser finds out that you are reconnecting, s/he could become very angry. Fill out a safety plan (here's one: ) and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-7233 for other ideas about how to leave.
I know your kitties are important to you. Perhaps, after reconnecting with your friends, you could place the cats in safe homes until you have a place where you can all be together again.

Torri Thompson
February, 24 2013 at 9:14 am

I started crying by reading this fairytale story, and i have my own i thought i was by myself. Right now i don't know what to do or where to turn i ask myself why do i still love this man that verbally and physically abuse me? In the beginning he was my knight and shining armor that loved me for me and believed in me I felt there was no one else for me I'm confused (my fault) embarrassed, ashamed, angry, hurt, mad, bitter, have no trust for no one, depressed.Guilty because it happen where do i go what do i do?????????

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
February, 25 2013 at 8:42 am

You love him because he set you up to believe he was someone he is not. You didn't know you fell in love with a fraud, but you did. All of us survivors did. 75% of women experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes, so all of them fell in love with a fraud too. It is not your fault that you fell in love with him; he couldn't have trapped you in his web if you hadn't. It was part of the ploy - his trick.
As he changed back into who he is at heart, an abuser, he told you that you were to blame for how he treated you. You believed him on some level and soaked in that misinformation like a loving sponge. It is no wonder that you feel this is your fault. He set you up to feel this way.
I am here to tell you that NONE OF THAT MESS is your fault. You didn't cause it, you couldn't have seen it coming. You can't make him hit you anymore than you can make him kiss you. Think about it...if you could "make" him do anything, what would it be? I would bet my life that you wouldn't make him hurt you. Torri, we're just not THAT powerful.
Visit and call the number you see there. The National Domestic Violence Hotline volunteers will help you work through this. If possible, find a therapist, too. You need someone to validate your experience and help you learn how to avoid it in the future.

January, 29 2013 at 9:24 am

THANK you for posting this. I also chose choice 3. I ignored ALL warnings and defended him to the end, but chose freedom. I have been "free" for almost a year and I am so thankful. I am glad I came across your post.

January, 24 2013 at 3:03 pm

Amazingly accurate depiction. It's eerie that my mother/grandmother always called me "princess" and this is exactly what happened. I chose choice 3, ignoring all warnings for years...but then RALLYING and becoming free!! I've been out a year and a half and am returning to my normal princess self!

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