by Ingrid Prohaska
Once upon a time there lived a little princess in a little castle. She was a unique girl and her family loved her very much.
Time went by and the little princess was old enough to meet people outside the castle.
“What a lovely girl,” they said, “she’ll get a good marriage one day.”
But behind her back she heard them whisper, “She can’t be smart, she is too beautiful.”
The little princess was worried and she felt hurt.
Back at home she thought, “Why don’t they see me as I am? I am smart, too. I’ll show them how smart I can be.”
And she decided to protect herself so that she wouldn’t get hurt anymore.
She created a double, looking exactly like herself, but strong enough not to get hurt. The next day the doubled princess left home to meet people outside. When she arrived home again, she told the princess that nobody had noticed the difference and that she hadn’t got any hurt.
In time the princess created a lot of doubles. And she sent out that double who she thought would fit best to the people she was going to meet. The princess herself didn’t leave the castle anymore. When the doubles came home, they told the princess about the life outside and about the experiences they had made. The princess smiled satisfied, she had found a way to protect
herself. But the plan backfired. The princess hadn’t thought about that the doubles could develop themselves in a way she couldn’t control; and that they became stronger and stronger, perhaps stronger than she was.
Nobody noticed what was going on. Only her mother felt that something was wrong and she often asked herself sadly, “Where is my lovely daughter? She is not herself anymore.”
Time went by and the doubles became stronger more and more. And the princess herself thought more and more that she couldn’t exist outside and that it would be the best to keep hidden. But somehow the situation seemed to get out of control. Fear about the world, the life outside and the people there grew up. She felt isolated and somehow locked in. She missed life. And a main question came more and more into her mind, “Who am I?”.
In one of her desperate moments she told her mother the whole story about her doubles and the reason why she had created them and asked her for an advice. Her mother sighed relieved, because now she knew that her child wasn’t lost.
“You needn’t be afraid. You are a healthy strong girl. Believe me you really don’t need your doubles. Send them away and make your own experiences. The world is also full of good things and good people. Believe in yourself and live your life.”
A bit of her self-confidence back she started to send some of her doubles away. First the one who brought home all the fear; then the one who brought home the sorrows; then the one who fed the doubts; the one who tried so hard to be a perfect being; the dream-killer; the one who always said “no way out”; the one who thought that feelings were not trustworthy; and so on. They all left
the princess one after another.
The princess felt better more and more. Only one double was left; the one who took care about the princess, the one who consoled the princess when she was sad. The princess liked that double very much. But after a while living together the caring-double said, “Hey princess. You know I like you very much, but I see you don’t need me anymore. You are strong enough; I see you take care of yourself; I see you love yourself. I’ll leave you now but I’ll be reachable. Just call me if you want me to come back.” And so the last double disappeared.
When you meet the princess on the street today you can be sure that you meet the original. She isn’t hiding herself anymore. Sometimes she is laughing and sometimes she is crying because – she is getting hurt sometimes. But she is living her feelings again and so - she is living her life again.
Copyright © Ingrid Prohaska