Princess Lost

 She’s preteen, approaching Puberty and running scared

Recent behaviour has shocked her parents

Teachers are concerned

There is talk of sexual abuse

As she walks into the room her sadness is clear

Uncaring of herself, hair lank & greasy, skin pale, almost waxy

Her general air is stale, lifeless and unkempt

There is no glow about her,

She is slumped and dark shadows age her

Her genogram (Family Map) reveals she was an only child for much of her childhood

 Suddenly it seems her childhood is over

Her parents separated

In parting her daddy vowed

Always my Princess

Always my Special Girl

Always you, no one but you

And so it remained for sometime,

She ever-hoping they would get back together

Neither said anything of other loves

And suddenly they divorce

Her mother, once her ‘best friend’, remarried

 New Baby came soon, another followed

Now this a household of babies and toddlers,

Sleepless nights and tantrums

Suddenly there is no time no money no space for a preteen lifestyle 

In 3 short years she has become unqualified nanny and childminder

Not only to her mother’s new family but also cousins and friends  

There was little opportunity for family bonding

No time to develop a meaningful relationship with her new step father


Her own father who had vowed so deeply

Promised so diligently

Found a new younger wife

She was now the love of his life

He became the father of brand new baby girl,

She was his Princess

Dethroned and detached from both parents

Dislocated from home and family

Disenchanted by lost loyalties, lost childhood

Duties and expectations beyond her years

Dismayed at her swift slide into womanhood

She was not ready


Now a fly in the ointment

She did not share the new glow her parents had found in others

She was angry and ‘acting up’

Her parent’s alliance was over

New alliances made

Their coalition with her, lost along the way

Her needs over-shadowed by their own

Once established, her point of view was presented to her parents.

She began with ‘I don’t want you to argue over this’

They realised pursuing their own interests had left her behind

Each believed the other parent, more important to the child

Mother-daughter days were established, and enjoyed

Father-daughter days re established

Whilst she was expected to help in everyday ways, in each household

She was no longer substitute nanny

She could choose to play with the children

As equal

As big sister

An allowance was made for teen trinkets, her private space redecorated

Bonding with the ‘step-parents’ was important too.

Step mum introduced her to dressmaking enabling her to expand her wardrobe and establish her personal taste

In time she acknowledged the changes that must inevitably happen, we also worked through the truth that whilst her body was changing, becoming ‘woman’ was a long way off and that was okay too


Rally woman-kind, support this maid

Redeem her childhood

Restore her value as unique

Reignite the light within that speaks true beauty

Allow her to be sister, daughter, not friend nor nanny

Do not rush, in her time

Celebrate her transition to womanhood


Return the joy lost 

See her

Hear her

Find her amidst the torrid turmoil of burdened days

Rescue her and

In finding her

Each woman finds her own Princess Lost


Case details have been altered &/or combined to respect confidentiality 

 Words and Pictures © Denise Stanford 2010


~ by Denise Within the Vine on 13/04/2010.

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