Sometimes it is very hard to look in the mirror and see who we really are. Often our survival has depended on evolving into a person we are not. I could not help think of this when I saw the trailer for the movie Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts, based on the Brothers Grimm classic Snow White.
Even way back then, blended family issues existed. I remember a friend of mine who was getting remarried to a nice chap who had a teenage daughter. My friend had four children of her own. The couple was good together and their children were all over 18 so none of the more difficult parenting issues existed. After the engagement, there was an outburst from the future groom’s daughter. Her wailing statements were of the kind that she did not want another mother and her mother could not be replaced. She felt if she had a relationship with the new wife, she would be betraying the memory of her mother. A brown paper bag was found as a full-scale panic attack was in the making.
The soon-to-be-wife calmly said, “I don't want to be your mother. I have enough children of my own. I am happy to be your friend if you would like that.” This simply took the wind out of her sails, her mood calmed immediately, and no panic attack occurred. There was going to be no rivalry or jealousy.
This story had a happy ending, but many do not. Feelings of betrayal and jealousy can become so internalized that their incubation can lead to a thinking disorder or other mood irregularities. If you hold onto anguish, the anxiety will simply take over your life. Let the river of life just take it away.
I have learned that writing a quick note and sending it out to sea, as a “message in a bottle,” is a great way to relieve stress when it is not possible to speak to the person involved. I am mindful of the many very successful women writers we have these days: J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Jennifer Worth, and Kathryn Stockett to name a few.
Take the time to write a letter about how you feel to the person who may be part of a betrayal that has affected you. Place the note in a bottle. Then create a ritual where you send this out to the waters. Look into the mirror on your wall and don't pretend you can cope; use a tool that actually helps you cope.
You may be very surprised how empowering this is.