May 25, 2010
The Princess and the Snake
I wrote this about four years ago for my little sister, then eight years old, during a time where BPD had a very strong grip on my life. I had been away at school, so she did not see much of what went on, but when my parents decided to bring me home in an effort to help me get my life back together, the sometimes harsh reality of what it meant to be my sister started to take its toll on her impressionable mind. For this I felt guilty… And still do. She has seen so much more than a little girl should…been faced with much more worry and stress than she deserves. All because of me… Or maybe I should say… BPD. I still feel badly about it. I still wonder if there is ever anything I can do to make amends. I wonder if I have scarred her for life. Anyways, back in 2006 I had hopes that this mysterious force that led me towards something resembling insanity would somehow disappear. That I would be made free. That I would wake up one day and all of this confusion and misery would be gone. That I could just say to it “Go away!” and magically it would vanish. I suppose this story reflects the hope I still clung too as well a hearty dose of naivety. Little did I know that it would be years before I would even identify, let alone begin to heal from, this monster that terrorized my life and the lives of those around me.
This story is called “The Princess and the Snake”…
Once upon a time there were two beautiful princesses. One was almost grown-up and the other still quite a little princess but very grown-up in her ways. They lived in a beautiful castle with their loving parents, the King and Queen, and their two silly prince brothers. They were all happy and had lots of adventures together, and the two princess sisters were the best of friends.
One day the oldest princess, whose name was Princess Edde, told her younger sister, the Princess Emily, that she was going far, far away to the land of Provo and would stay there for a long, long time. Princess Emily was sad. “Why do you have to go far away?” she asked. “So I can go to school and learn about how to be a Queen someday,” said Princess Edde. “But I will be back in the summer.” She hugged and kissed the little princess and rode off in her carriage to the faraway land.
Princess Emily missed her big sister and best friend. She thought about her all the time. She thought about her when she put her dolls to sleep. She thought about her when she watched her favorite movie, The Little Princess, and when the Queen made snickerdoodle cookies, which were Princess Edde’s favorite.
Princess Edde missed Princess Emily too. Even though her school in the faraway land kept her very busy, she thought about Princess Emily all the time. She thought about her when she walked through the children’s section in the library. She thought about her when she ate lunch at the cafeteria. She thought about her when she dressed up for a dance, and when she saw pretty girls with blond hair that looked just like Princess Emily.
Finally, summer came, and Princess Edde returned. Everyone in the palace was so happy! “She’s more grown-up and busy a lot,” thought Princess Emily, “But she’s still fun to play with!”
Summer ended, and it was time for Princess Edde to return to the land of Provo. “I’ll be back in summer again! Be good Princess Emily!”
So another year passed, and the whole time the two princess sisters thought about each other. Princess Edde came home again the next summer, and it was a lot like the summer before. Everyone was happy, and they had many adventures.
But the next time Princess Edde came home was very different. As she stepped out of the carriage to greet the King, Queen, prince brothers, and prince sister, everybody gasped. Around Princess Edde’s neck was a humongous snake. Its green scales glittered in the sunlight, and its eyes were like two big red rubies. It looked at everyone, one at a time, and hissed a loud “HSSSSSS,” its long slimy tongue going in and out. Princess Emily screamed, “Get it off! Get it off!” But Princess Edde sighed and said, “Oh don’t be such a scaredy-cat. It’s a nice snake. It won’t hurt you. Some people I met in the land of Provo gave it to me, and I like it. I feed it and take care of it, so its getting even bigger and stronger—soon I won’t be able to carry it anymore! Then I’ll be sad, because my snake and I are the best of friends.”
As Princess Emily listened to her sister, her face got sad. She had a feeling Princess Edde wasn’t going to be much fun anymore. But, she would try to be happy anyways and have fun with her sister… but, she didn’t want to go anywhere near that ugly snake. She wanted to scream really loud and scare it away, but she kept her mouth shut. Princess Edde liked it, and Princess Emily knew that nothing she could do would make her give up the snake.
But she sure wished her sister would. The snake was nothing but trouble, and Princess Emily couldn’t understand why her sister wanted it. It would slide all around her and whisper things in her ear that made her sad and angry. Sometimes the snake told her to do things that the old Princess Edde never would have done—like getting frustrated at everybody and even yelling at Princess Emily sometimes. It made Princess Edde sad and very upset at herself, but still she wouldn’t get rid of the snake. She did everything it said and believed everything it told her. Her eyes became sad, and she walked slowly because the snake was so heavy on her shoulders.
The Queen worked especially hard to convince Princess Edde to kill the snake. Sometimes, Princess Edde would listen to her and understand that she needed to get rid of the snake once and for all. So she would throw it on the ground in front of the Queen and kick it. But, when the Queen left, Princess Edde would feel bad for the snake, and pick it up again.
One day, the snake was tired and wasn’t whispering very much in the Princess Edde’s ear, so Princess Edde wasn’t feeling too sad. Not having to worry as much about the snake, she walked around the palace looking for the Princess Emily. Hearing her voice in the royal kitchen, she poked her head in the door. Standing with their backs to the door were Princess Emily and the Queen. “Mommy Queen,” said Princess Emily, with tears in her eyes. “I miss Princess Edde. I wish she were happy.” “Me too,” said the Queen, “But she won’t be happy and fun anymore until she kills that evil snake.” “I wish she would,” Princess Emily replied, “Then we could have fun again and the palace would be a much happier place for everybody.”
Princess Edde, after hearing this, walked to her tower in the castle and looked out over the land. She looked and she thought for a long, long time. As she stood there, the snake started to whisper again. The whispering got louder, and the snake became heavier. Princess Edde thought of Princess Emily. She thought of the Queen. She thought of the King. She thought of her prince brothers. She thought of her friends, the ones in the kingdom and the ones in distant lands. She thought about books, and music, and dancing. She thought about everything really hard. Suddenly, with a tremendous shrug, she threw the snake onto the floor.
“What are you doing to me?” the snake hissed. “I am your friend. I tell you the truth about yourself.” “You are a liar,” said Princess Edde, “And everything you tell me are lies. They make me sad. I want to be happy. I want to play with Princess Emily again. And you are not going to stop me.” The snake’s eyes burned bright, and it coiled as if ready to strike. But before it could, Princess Edde grabbed it by the tail and threw it as hard as she could out of the window—the snake fell, down, down, down and hit the ground. It was dead.
Princess Edde had never felt so free! The heavy, horrible snake was no longer on her neck. She could run and play again! Quickly she ran around the palace calling “Princess Emily! Princess Emily!” Finally she found her putting her dolls to bed. “Princess Emily!” she exclaimed, “The snake is gone! I killed it!” Princess Emily jumped up and down for joy, and both princesses danced around the room and sang. “Does this mean we can play again? Does this mean you’ll be happy again?” asked Princess Emily. “Yes!” said Princess Edde, “What will our next adventure be?”
So peace and happiness returned to the castle. And the two princesses were once again, the best of friends.
Me and Emily… 2004