I wrestled for a while with the decision of whether to post this here. I always intended this space to be more about my writing than about me personally, although I do realize that my life is not disconnected from my writing. In the end, I concluded that this might help explain why this space has been largely neglected for the last couple years as I sorted out some real-life stuff. It has been a transitional period, and not an entirely smooth one.
CW for graphic discussion of rape and suicidal ideation.
[Discussing the very real psychological and developmental benefits of parents making the choice to expose their children to fairy tales young and repeatedly:]
“We know that the more deeply unhappy and despairing we are, the more we need to be able to engage in optimistic fantasies. But these are not available to us at such periods. Then, more than at any other time, we need others to uplift us with their hope for us and our future. No fairy tale all by itself will do this for the child… first we need our parents to instill hope in us. On this firm and real basis – the positive ways in which our parents view us and our future – we can then build castles in the air, half aware that these are just that, but gaining deep reassurance from it nonetheless. While the fantasy is unreal, the good feelings it gives us about ourselves and our future are real, and these real good feelings are what we need to sustain us.”
– Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: the Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales