The Cinderella Syndrome

ImageImagine this: A poor lonely girl sitting alone by herself on a starlit night full of sorrow and suffering. She is quietly weeping for herself and her pitiable condition. She has nobody to talk to and everybody around her is treating her badly including her family. She hopes somebody would come to her aid. She is yearning for her prince and savior to come along and save her from her plight. Someone who would love her with all his heart and make her worthy of her life. This is the Cinderella Syndrome.

We all know the Cinderella story. The poor fatherless girl mistreated by her step-mother and made to scrub the floor all day. She yearns for a better life and weeps all night long. One day her step-sisters go to the ball at the palace. Cinderella wishes she could go to the ball too. And lo, a fairy godmother appears and turns Cinderella’s rags into a lovely dress, and rats and pumpkin into horses and a chariot. Cinderella dances with the prince at the ball who is taken by her beauty. By the hour of midnight, heeding the warning of the Fairy godmother, Cinderella rushes out of the ball leaving behind her glass slipper. The prince has his staff search for the girl whose foot would fit the glass slipper. Cinderella’s foot fits and she is married to the prince, and she lives ever after.

ImageThe Cinderella Syndrome is a real life situation of a fatherless girl who was unconsciously playing the Cinderella for real. Unfortunately, Cinderella stories don’t end well in reality. This girl had prince after prince coming to her rescue but they would then eventually desert her and go.

This happens because her mind had to survive her identity which she formed of herself from early childhood. And that identity was that of a lonely, suffering girl who is hurt by near and dear again and again. Once the mind forms an identity for the person, its goal is to keep it alive – to keep both the body and the identity alive. So for this girl, in spite of yearning and manifesting princes into her life, her mind has to still keep her lonely and suffering, hurt by near and dear. Now the near and dear also include her romantic relationships. Yet her desperation to get out of the situation is also real.

So she battles with herself endlessly. She manages to attract guys who would take advantage of her desperation and then dump her. She would be left once more the poor Cinderella. After a few repeated such incidents she has a fear of relationships which all the more helps her to remain the suffering Cinderella.

Real life Cinderella is helpless by choice, derives melancholic enjoyment of her loneliness, noble in her own view due to her uncomplaining (not entirely) suffering. Her self-pity, self-hatred, and her pride keep her remaining that way.

There is only one way for real life Cinderellas to get out of this miserable loop – to decide not to be a Cinderella in the first place. They need to give up their life story. They need to look beneath the voids they carry within to find out their true self. The Cinderella Syndrome is an addiction to pain.

Most real life Cinderellas carry a deep void within. They wait for an outside hero to come and fill that void. This is their second mistake. The first and their biggest mistake is in assuming they are the void within. Instead of trying to fill the void, they need to question the reality of the void they carry within. Is she the identity she formed in her childhood? Or is she somebody else? Can she, as a life, survive if that identity is snatched away from her? The day real life Cinderellas can give a yes to the last question, they can effectively come out of their troubles and heal their lives.

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Case Study #1: Karmic Debt of a Housewife

I had a client, a housewife, who came to me to be treated for an unusual emotional issue. She said her problem was that she had become extremely jealous of her husband’s friend and she carried vitriolic hatred against that person. The friend was a male. He and my client’s husband were friends since their school days. My client simply hated this person to come into their house, talk to her husband or even call him on the phone. Her aversion was so strong that she had many arguments and serious fights with her husband over that friend. Her husband refused to let go of his friendship because he felt his wife was unnecessarily making a fuss about nothing. The friend, by the time my client first came to me, was the coming to their house almost three times a week and would spend evenings with my client’s husband.

My first doubt was that my client was very possessive about her husband. So in my pre-interview I tried to gather more details about her family. The interview proved possessiveness was not a factor. My client’s husband also had three or four of old school friends visiting him regularly. A couple of them were also involved in his business and were closer to him than the friend my client was jealous of.

I did a couple of regression sessions for her to find the root cause of the issue in this current lifetime but I was not going anywhere. I found that she was jealous of him from the moment her husband first introduced him before their marriage, which was about 6 years ago. My client also firmly believed that the friend was also feeling the same jealousy and hatred for her; and was deliberately manipulating her husband to make my client even jealous and miserable. Though that seemed more like imagination on the part of my client, as a therapist I could not disregard that possibility. It is of paramount importance that the therapist always remains non-judgmental and open minded at all times.

On the third session we had a surprising turn of events. I varied my induction method and used EET instead of classic hypnosis. EET is a wonderful technique and works very well with clients who do not respond so well to classic hypnosis inductions. After a few rounds of EET I knew my client was in deep hypnosis and I regressed my client. I asked her to go back to the first time she felt jealousy and hatred for this person. My client began to narrate an event that was certainly not from her current lifetime. She saw herself as an obese, dark skinned, middle aged woman of a lower income group. Her husband in her current lifetime was also her husband in that lifetime. She was a meat vendor and her husband did some menial job. One day her husband took in a second wife who was slimmer and prettier. My client recognized this woman as her husband’s friend in her current lifetime. The meat vendor wife became angry with her husband and also felt jealousy for the new prettier wife. She began to take out her anger on this pretty second wife. She ill-treated the younger woman and made use of every opportunity to incite a quarrel between her husband and his second wife.

I guided my client through the entire lifetime and to her death in that lifetime. While she was reviewing her death, she had this feeling that her suffering in this current lifetime would be complete once she knew about the cause.

After the session her life took a surprising turn. Her husband began to avoid his friend. He also began to notice that the friend was deliberately manipulating him to provoke arguments with his wife. My client was right when she said her husband’s friend was manipulative and jealous of her relationship with her husband.

I met my client quite recently, about three months after her therapy sessions with me. She informs it has been more than 40 days since her husband’s friend came to their house. This was a miracle considering the person previously used to visit their house every alternate day. My client also tells me that even when the friend comes she is hardly bothered about him and she treats him politely like she would treat any guest in the house.