Saturday, 13 September 2008

A Modern Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a damsel, who lived in a large city. She eventually met her knight in shining armour and jumped onto his white charger and left the city behind, travelling miles away.
'Well that's what married folk do, isn't it?'

After a few years, the damsel gave birth to the fair haired boy, followed two years later by the brown haired boy.
Their happiness seemed complete.

After the fair haired boy was born, the knight noticed a mole on his shin, that was rough and bled a lot. The knight was told that it was a malignant melanoma, which was quickly removed. Yearly check ups reassured him that it was gone and the dangerous diagnosis was forgotten about in time.
After the brown haired boy was born, the knight became quite ill and had to take some drugs to control a medical condition that had nothing to do with the melanoma. The problem was that these drugs seemed to change the knight's personality for the worse and he grew very angry and critical. He started to control the damsel and did not like her seeing family or friends because he wanted her all to himself. After a while the damsel realized that she was in distress. 
She kept hoping her knight would change back into the man she fell in love with. She wished in vain, for he did not.

The years went by and the constant drip, drip, drip of criticism and the barrage of anger started to chip into her personality just like the rock in the photo has been worn down by the wind and sea constantly beating in to it. The damsel knew that the only way to save herself from being worn away was to leave, but she had nowhere to go. She made a secret plan to leave the knight when the boys were older and she could get outside work to support the three of them. This plan seemed to help her to survive the cruel way the knight was now regularly treating her.

Some time after, the knight developed agonizing headaches and was sick most of the time. It was not long before he was admitted to hospital with a brain tumour. The malignant melanoma had started to spread. An operation was quickly done to remove the tumour and it looked as though the knight would be saved for a while and be able to go back to work.
'This fairy tale is going seriously wrong!'

The problems after the operation started escalating. The anger worsened and the fair haired boy was heard to say, 'When my dad gets angry, my heart shakes so badly, I feel it will burst.' The brown haired boy also admitted that he was afraid of his father.
Now that people knew that, the damsel had no choice but to choose between her boys and the knight. She knew that she loved the boys more and chose them. The knight had to find somewhere else to live for a while, because he found it difficult to manage family life.

People were now divided into two opposing sides. The knight was obviously ill and looked vulnerable in his wheelchair, bald headed and scarred and unable to do much unaided. Some people were very sorry for him and said that the damsel was a disgrace, leaving her sick knight in his hour of need. The other side said that he had brought it all on by himself, with his uncontrolled anger and criticism. They felt sorry for the damsel and all she had to put up with.
Friends tried to help the knight, but he got too sick and had to go back into hospital.
The hospital does not seem to know what is wrong with him.
'Shouldn't people live happily ever after in a fairy tale?'

Neither the knight nor the damsel are happy, but the damsel is recovering from the constant verbal abuse.
But the fair haired boy and the brown haired boy laugh and sing and make a noise without fear and are growing  in confidence again. They seem to have gained the most in this not so lovely fairy tale.
At the moment there is no ending...............


Jeni said...

Oh Maggie May! Seeing, understanding both sides of this issue makes for one terrible dilemma, doesn't it?
As harsh as it may seem to the knight -and who knows, perhaps the early changes in his personality may have been caused by the beginnings of the brain tumors, but be that as it may, it isn't so much of a question of who or what is to blame as it is now of how well the children and the damsel will survive the outcome, over the long haul. I think, all things considered, she did only what she absolutely had to do. Not that one life is worth more than another exactly, but -well, I guess one has to think of self-preservation and preservation of the future generations first, don't we?
I'm so sorry that she, the children, the knight and you and your entire family have to deal with such a tragic thing.

Suburbia said...

For once I am unable to find words.
She did the right thing though didn't she, especially for the boys.
Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

Maggie -sadly fairy tales are just that Reality is hard and choices have to be made that we would so not wish to make
Your daughter is a mum and a wife and choosing between the two is bloody hard, but we have to defend our young.
I hope that for your son in law , if there is no coming that his going will be swift and painless
My heart is with you

CrazyCath said...

Ah Maggie you write so well.
You know it will come right eventually and already the happy ending is developing with the boys running, laughing, playing and free. The damsel knows she cannot risk her boys being imprisoned in that way again. The damsel will in time come to her own decisions and these will be the right ones, for she has always tried to do the right thing. Now though she does the right thing for herself and her boys, not for others and that will bring the happiest of endings. And in time, the pain dulls.

(((hugs ))) to you all.

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful piece of writing, Maggie. Your talent for writing is astounding!
Regarding the content, I don't believe I have enough experience to be able to comment on such a sensitive issue, but now I'm going to contradict myself and say - I think the damsel did the right thing.

And on that note, I shall disappear!

Take care,
Peter x

Working mum said...

Beautifully written.

I think the happiness of the boys rather than living in fear shows that the damsel made a brave AND CORRECT decision (capitals to emphasise the point) whatever the reason for the knight's behaviour.

I am certain that due to her courage there will be a happy ending for her and the boys.

Irene said...

I think it is wise and correct that the damsel chose for herself and the boys, but I have already said that before here. Three people should not suffer under the rage of one, no matter what the cause.

Lehners in France said...

Maggie a beautiful post and one which I am sure many people will relate to. Nobody knows what goes on within a relationship unless they are in it themselves. I too was in a relationship with the evil Gomez, who believe it or not put me down so much my Dad asked "were had his old Debs gone to?" No-one should live like that and the Damsel made the right decision for her and her boys. The knight may be ill, but it doesn't mean he has to be nasty too. Debs x

Daryl said...

You write so well; it is indeed a tough choice the damsel made .. but it was the right choice .. I was hoping not so much for a happy ending but for the poor knight to find a doctor who would help ... so that even if the knight and damsel dont live happily ever after together the knight can get the help he needs to become his former self ... and regain not only his personality but his health.

(((Maggie May)))

Thanks for stopping by and saying such nice things :-Daryl

Mignon said...

It's should always be about the kids. And your kid as well. And I am sure in his right mind he would feel the same way. Peace

Mae said...

Well written. Sometimes in life we got to lose something to be able to move on to another stage. The damsel maybe be without the knight, but the boys and her were able to move to a better stage in life. HOPEFULLY

Suburbia said...

I hope you don't mind but there's an award for you at mine :)

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Maggie - the damsel did exactly the right thing. Some fairy tales don't work out the way we expect. Your heroine will become stronger.

Thinking of you.

A x

david mcmahon said...

Dear Maggie,

You have given us so much to think about here. To ponder, but perhaps not empowered to suggest an ending.

Bless all the characters in the fairy tale.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Beautiful writing, Maggie. I will continue to pray for them all.

Anonymous said...

Children cannot thrive in an unhappy environment. Bless you.

CJ xx

Rose said...

Fairy tales are just that--pure fantasy. Yours is a reality tale where people don't always live happily ever and have to make difficult decisions where no one is completely satisfied.
Beautifully written, Maggie May; I think there is a happy ending, though, and you've found it in the smiles of your grandsons.

RiverPoet said...

I very much agree with what Crystal Jigsaw said. The kids really have to be put first.

Not to hijack your blog, but my parents faced a similar situation. With his advancing lung cancer, my father became addicted to morphine via injection. He began going to several different doctors to load up on the same Rx. Soon he grew even more violent than he had always been, and his verbal barrages were horrible. My sister and I were in danger - emotionally and physically. Mom took us away one night when Dad came after me, intent on killing me.

Your daughter is doing the right thing. The kids will always remember that she put them (and her own sanity) first.

Peace - D

San said...

Maggie May, my heart goes out to you and the damsel and the lovely-haired boys, and yes, the knight in his private anguish. And all the other hearts and lives that have been dampened by this sad fairy tale.

The damsel did the right thing in protecting the children's hearts I believe. Their lives are ahead of them and they will grow into strong men because of her protective move.

Robin said...

Maggie, sometime life just plain sucks. And people that judge you for making painful decisions are just mean.

Maggie May said...

Thank you for all your comments.It is good to know I have had such a lot of support and your friendship means so much to me.
LATEST BULLETIN ON SIL's HEALTH........ scans have now shown a tumour travelling up his spine, near the top, so it looks as though he is very gravely ill. I knew it was not normal and there must be something like this going on.
I don't suppose they can do anything except make him comfortable.

Stinking Billy said...

maggie, but the knight turned into the dragon long before his melanoma, didn't he? You were generous to put his personality changes entirely down to earlier medical drugs, and you didn't deserve what followed. If he does, by some miracle, survive his present sorry condition, be sure to look after the kids first and foremost, and yourself second.

kylie said...

just saying g'day, maggie.
i follow the fairy tale with interest

Bear Naked said...

I came over from David McMahon's site and have to say this is a powerful post and definitely deserves "The Post of the DAY."

Bear((( )))

Anonymous said...

I don't think there are any 'tie it up in a bow' answers to this, or advice, unlike a fairytale - although many of them were pretty grim. It sounds incredibly hard for all of you. At least the boys are able to have a bit more of a childhood now. The comment one of them made about his 'heart shaking'was incredibly poignant.
It's a wonderfully written post.

CrazyCath said...

Congratulations of POTD Maggie. Well deserved.

Deb said...

I wandered over here from authorblog - and will just sit and reflect and try to make my heart stop shaking after reading this post. My heart goes out to all involved. Excellent writing - writing from the heart. Take care.

Louise said...

What a well-told story. It is so sad. I was hoping for a happy ending. I hope it comes to the Damsel and the Fair-Haired and Brown-Haired boys. It might be nice for the Knight to have some happiness, I will admit, but not at the expense of others.

Came from Authorblog to read this touching story. Congratulations on Post of the Day. Well-deserved. And I wish a happier ending.

Anonymous said...

It has all been said...the Damsel did make the right choice to save her children, but I feel for the Knight too, as does the Damsel I many years of pain, and to lose his love and his children.

A brillinntly written post and deserving of POTD. Here through Author Blog...

D... said...

The damsel absolutely did the right thing. Absolutely!

I hope the knight finds a dr. that can figure out what is wrong so that the knight can get off the medicine. Maybe, just maybe, restore some of his lost personality.

It's a no win situation for all of them. But, the boys, oh the boys, so glad they are laughing and not afraid.

Jennifer H said...

As someone to whom this fairy tale sounds familiar, I can say that the damsel did exactly the right thing for her boys, and for herself. To know that your boys are happier is the thing that matters. It's sad for everyone, yes. But time has a way of healing a lot of things, and I hope that's true for the damsel and her boys. I wish all of them, including the knight, some kind of peace.

Congratulations on Post of the Day!

leslie said...

Profoundly written. I can empathise with the situation as I went through something similar. My husband ultimately chose death over life, thus giving me further feelings of guilt and grief. In the long run, though, maybe it was the right choice for him. I do pray for your SIL that his health would be restored along with a better outlook on life so that he will be able to be a postive role model for his sons, even if the damsel is lost to him forever.

Lehners in France said...

m so pleased you got POTD. Well done you! Hugs (((X))) Debs x

Expat mum said...

Oh my god, what a terrible position to be in. This is unbearably sad.

Nikki-ann said...

I too think the happiness of the boys is the most important thing. It is not good to be afraid of somebody they love.

You've put this awful situation into a story in which I think kids would understand. It may be a sad fairytail so far, but as it hasn't ended yet, who knows what's to come?

Here via Authorblog.

Sandi McBride said...

There is nothing in life sadder than Domestic Violence. Nothing. Everyone in the family is damaged and the scars go deep. It's especially hard to balance the right and wrong when the abuser is ill and it's the illness that is the problem. The Damsel is a strong know, Ethel Roosevelt once compared a woman to a tea bag...she said no one ever knew how strong a woman was till she got into hot water. You're a wonderful blend of tea, strong for the body, smooth for the soul.
Hugs to you

womaninawindow said...

I'm glad she chose the boys. Knights are totally overrated.

Over from David's.

Omykiss said...

What a difficult situation ... some fairy tales should never have been written.

softinthehead said...

A sad tale Maggie but beautifully written - the damsel chose well and the children will have a happy ending. :)

Grit said...

a sad post, and one where i wish all fairy tales could have happy endings.

Mima said...

How awful, so sorry that you have had to go through something so dreadful, and well done for holding it all together through so much. It is dreadful that it happened in the first place - that is the tragedy - after that you do what you have to in order to cope, and making sure that the children are ok is the most important part, and I'm really glad that you have done that. Other people can be very cruel - why not suggest that they take him in, they would soon learn the error of their comments. Maybe after treatment you will get your shining knight back again, that would be the fairy tale ending that you need!

More than anything else well done for sharing your story, that is really hard to do, and very scary, it takes great courage to open up like that.

(Very) Lost in France said...

The damsel is truly a brave damsel who made a difficult choice and though she may not see it at the moment, she will surely find her happy ending. Good luck. VLiF

Bear Naked said...

Sending a prayer out today for "the knight."

Bear((( )))

Wendy said...

Hi Maggie May, Beautifully written tale. I found you on Bear Naked's blog.
I was also going to write about my story (and may still do so later), starting with my knight in shining armour.
My husband is at the end stages of COPD. Although, his personality has not changed (he is still a kind and gentle man) it's tough finding onself in an unhappy tale.
What happened? We were so happy before this illness struck.

I wish with all my heart that your sick knight would find a cure for his brain tumour. His personality change is a direct result of the cancer.
And your damsel was right to remove herself and the children.
Bless you for sharing this story. I hope it does have a happy ending.

Bina said...

Wow! This made me cry. You wrote this so well, and with so much feeling.

I'm actually sorry for ALL those involved. The boys, the Knight, the Princess the other family members. It's a sad situation no matter how you look at it. But I am glad she found the strength and courage to do the right thing and protect her boys.

aims said...

Oh Sweetie.

Just saw your comment over on mine about Cid's funeral.

I know it's a horrible thing to say (I'm sorry) - but the SIL's passing might be the best thing for him and for her and the little ones. Yes - it will always hurt - and yes - the damsel will always feel guilt at her choices - but quality of life is what matters. Hers and the boys.

I'm terribly sorry for the SIL. This is not something he brought on himself. None of it is. But the young lives he has affected have a lot of living to do yet - and they should.

I hope it resolves itself peacefully. Nobody wants to go screaming into the night.

Thinking of you Maggie. I hope my words haven't offended you. They weren't meant to you know.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Oh dear Maggie, so sorry to have missed this earlier. It's a powerful and heartshaking piece of writing, and so very moving. I'm still catching up. Love, M xx

spacedlaw said...

You'd have to feel sorry for the knight because he has been possessed by a demon and is not himself - probably has also forgotten what he was like before too. However, the damsel did well to save herself and the children for unless she had secret weapons against the demon (and smothering the knight under a pillow while he sleeps does not count), she would not have escaped the evil curse.

I wanted to say hi and that I like your pictures. Dropped by via authorblog (at the end of a little blog hopping).
Greetings from Italy.

Retiredandcrazy said...

They are so lucky to have you at this tragic time Maggie. In these circumstances critisism can only be caused by ignorance. I know that you will forgive them. Our prayers are with you and the family.

Eddie Bluelights said...

Maggie, I have not read this before and it moved me greatly, having experienced this as a family member with all the tragic circumstances of this story. I am commenting 15 months later when the outcome is long known and long gone. Beautifully written, Maggie ~ Love your little brother, Eddie x

Bernie said...

Wonderful writing Maggie, such a sad Fairy Tale though.....I do think this had to be told and who better than you to tell it....Hugs