Photo: Amy Humphries on Unsplash
Cinderella and Her Stepfamily. (Familial Abuse)
Now we all know the story of Cinderella. She loses both of her parents and is left in the hands of her evil stepmother. Cinderella is then forced to do the most unnecessary of tasks. This is the relationship that some may have with their parents. Not saying that chores aren’t a part of responsibility and growing up, but there’s a certain line that should be drawn eventually, and asking your child to watch your other children is one of those lines.
Pocahontas and John Smith. (Romantic Abuse)
Everyone thinks that John and Pocahontas had a wonderful relationship that was only riddled with criticism because of race but I’m here to let you know, that’s not the case. John Smith was 28 when he met Pocahontas…she was 12. Any intercourse they engaged in, was nonconsensual and therefore illegal. John Smith was a predator and a rapist. This is a classic case of abuse. Pocahontas was unable to make any decisions and that made her dependent on John, which is what abusers live on. Abuse isn’t about abuse, it’s about power. Once you control someone’s mind, the rest of the body is sure to follow.
Belle and the Beast. (Romantic Abuse)
Another textbook case of abuse (and Stockholm Syndrome) is the relationship between Belle and the Beast. This man (animal??) literally held her and her father hostage and she fell for him. Another instance of control. Relationships are supposed to be partnerships not ownerships. You are not property of anyone, the only person you belong to, is yourself.
Flounder and Ariel. (Platonic Abuse)
Okay, I know everyone thinks that Ariel was a real pal, but she also was kind of a jerk. Ariel kind of bullied everyone into being her friend. She had what I like to call “residual popularity”. Her father was the king of the sea so everyone had to be her friend, or at least treat her nicely. This is perhaps one of the most dangerous types of abusive relationship because it too, focuses on power. Ariel drags Flounder along with her on her wild goose chases and doesn’t even stop for a second to think about his safety. She literally almost gets him killed. If your friends almost kill you, they’re not your friends.
So how do you get out of one of these relationships? The first step is acknowledging what it is. If you find yourself looking up “what is abuse?” or saying things like “at least they don’t beat me”, it’s abuse. And abuse isn’t just limited to romantic relationships. The next step is to seek professional help. Talk to a therapist, or reach out to a friend. Whatever it takes to get yourself out of that situation. Lastly, you need to be open, and willing to leave the abuse. That’s the hardest part because you’re afraid, but to ensure your safety and health, you have to take that step.
Dominique is currently studying Psychology at Bridgewater State University with a double minor in Middle East Studies and Music. In her spare time, she is a poet and artist. She hopes to use her voice as both a journalist and artist to empower the unheard.