Emotional Abuse – The ‘Cinderella’ Story
The fairy tale of “Cinderella” is well known among all of us. Apart from the protagonist, the one character that leaves a haunting mark in our minds is her step mother. As the arch-enemy of Cinderella, Lady Tremaine doesn't harm her stepdaughter physically. Rather, she seeks to punish and abuse her psychologically, motivated by her jealousy of Cinderella being far more beautiful and graceful than her own awkward daughters.
Last day, a caller (a girl) from Trivandrum had a strikingly similar story to tell us. The girl pleaded that she and her sister be rescued from their house. The reason: Emotional harassment from their step mother.
When their mother eloped with another man, their father remarried and she from the first day of marriage, hated her stepchildren and did not waste any opportunity to inflict emotional stress. And after a few years her mother too ganged up with the daughter to scar the children beyond repair. The elder sister was even diagnosed for paranoia due to the effects of her stepmom’s devious actions. For the past six years, the children Megha (17), Sulekha (12) are regularly subjected to such cruelty. Though they took the matter to the father their father had absolutely no voice in the household matters and they had many filed many cases against him.
Two Detrimental effects of Second marriage
The first one has been depicted in the above case. Physical and emotional abuse form step parents. But the second one is vital and need to be considered by every parent before he/she opts for a second marriage: “adjustment issues of children”
Age of the child is an important factor affecting children's adjustment. Adolescents have a more difficult time than the younger children, in part because adolescence is a time of developmental changes. The formation of a stepfamily also produces change and may generate added stress. Adolescents may show a reluctance to establish ties as they strive for autonomy and turn toward peers for support. Especially for girls, it may be a difficult time for parental remarriage. Whereas younger children may show some reaction and behavioral changes with a remarriage, once a consistent routine is established adjustment problems typically disappear.
It would be absurd to suggest that no differences exist between these children and children living in first-marriage families. On the other hand, we cannot assume that all children in stepfamilies will have problems. It is safe to say that children may encounter temporary difficulties in making the shift from one family to another; ultimately, most children seem to function and develop normally. Moreover, family relations in any family form are complex with numerous factors affecting a child's well-being. Anyway it is important to rmember than if you are looking for a second marriage with children also to be taken care make sure to do it when the children are younger and if they are older have consensus with the kids and even then it can be a nightmare.
As soon as we received the call, CHILDLINE team investigated the case and necessary action was taken to restore the children back to their homes. It was a clear case of acquiring wealth and property. The land and the house they live in are on the names of the children. The step mom and her family needed to throw them out, to get the riches in their hands.
Home is not always where the heart is — a 17-year-old girl and her 12-year-old sister learnt this heartbreaking lesson after their stepmother came into their lives and showed them the door. With a new chapter about to begin, the children are still terrified by the prospect of returning home. With tears dripping from their cheeks, they could only say, “We don’t want to go back. We hate that place”