When Fear Rules !

Why Do Fairy Tales Always Have Bad Guys?

by on Sep.03, 2011, under STOPPING ABUSE

Why Do Fairy Tales Usually have Bad Guys ?

I was talking to my very special young friend about doing some writing and using her imagination more. She has a wonderful imagination, but lately, she has let it sit on the shelf while dealing with many changes she has been going through.

If you have followed past newsletters and my blog at www.RuledByFear.com , then you are probably aware that this young lady is my adopted and very very special grandchild who found me when she was a homeless child surviving on the streets by herself.

Besides surviving the challenges and abuse of the streets, she has had to face more changes and significant emotional challenges, as well as physical health issues as she adjusted to life with a wonderful family who took her in.

It sounds like a fairy tale when you think of a child, abandoned and on her own, who struggled, survived, and found her way to me and then ultimately to this great family who offered her love and a home. But that fairy tale was full of bad guys. people who used and abused her.

So when I was talking to her recently about some sleep problems she was having as she was learning to adjust to wearing a C-pap {oxygen emitting tubes in her nose at night},I mentioned that she should again be thinking of writing and using her imagination as she had done before, as a way to get her mind off her health issues and the tubes in her nostrils. We started talking about the fairy tales we liked and I mentioned that I had just watched “Tangled” for the second time. She asked me, “ Why do all fairy tales seem to have bad guys in them, where the good guys have to fight and struggle? “

Well, bad guys are real. They do exist in most of our lives. So even most movies show the struggle between good and evil, don’t they ?

Fairy tales often make the bad guys look pretty gruesome, just like with the old cowboy shows I watched as a kid where the bad guys wore black hats and looked like they never had seen a razor or a bathtub.

The reality is, bad guys often are not so obvious. They come in all shapes and sizes, and can be clean-cut and be dressed in all-white. They can be male or female, they can even be young and appear innocent. There are all degrees of bad guys too. There are people who are just greedy, selfish and don’t fully realize how they hurt other people, while others are deeply focused on controlling and manipulating other people to get what they want. They can be pretty smart, although they are usually very insecure people down deep in their souls. Yes, they have souls, but their spirits have often been infected by their own traumas and pains.

So, fairy tales have bad guys because we want very much to see good triumph over evil. We want to have hope that if we persevere, we can win over the evil witch, or the Dark Side. When the dark Side does win in a Star Wars, you know there will be a sequel. It is almost demanded by society that we have the Jedi Nights triumph in the end.

In real life, it is often that we avoid challenging the dark side. This has a powerful effect on our self-esteem, as we find ourselves being angry with ourselves for allowing people to use and abuse us.

Just recently I was talking to a really great young teenager who was referred to me because of panic attacks and outbursts of anger. What he has discovered is that he is a truly nice guy, and feels great inner conflict when he allows his need for approval to, in turn, allow people to use him. He is realizing that his anger is with them, but mostly with himself for letting it happen. After a while, he came to believe there was something wrong with him, that maybe God was upset with him or that he was being punished. It is his anger with himself that was causing the inner conflict that was causing his panic attacks and intrusive thoughts, and then led to him punching holes into walls.

He is now learning to no longer let bad people in his life. He is focusing on all the good in him, an finding people who are more like him.

So, my dear grand-daughter, there are bad guys, but we can learn to see them for whom they are and protect ourselves from them. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to grow smarter every day while learning to do very great things with your life. Then, your self- esteem, the way you look at yourself will grow stronger and more positive, and will cause you to NOT need people who are not good guys.


Aka, Grandpa

Gene Benedetto , Psychologist

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