Dear Botkin sisters,
I just turned 18 years old and I have a question for you. My name is Rapunzel and I’m in the middle of a very challenging situation. I’ll give you some backstory.
I’ve spent my whole life living at home in a tower with my mother, who told me that the tower is the only place that I could be safe from people who want to steal my hair. I’d always been happy at home, and felt like my mother and I had a fairly good relationship, until recently. A few days ago, I mentioned that I wanted to leave the tower for my birthday. You see, I really wanted to go see some mysterious lights that always appear in the sky on my birthday – ON MY BIRTHDAY – which of course has always made me think that they were somehow for me! Mother said it was a bad idea, that there were ruffians and thugs out there, that I couldn’t handle myself, etc. I tried to convince her otherwise, but then she exploded and said that I could never leave the tower.
Does that seem fair to you? It didn’t to me! I was still just as determined to see the lights! So I came up with an excuse to get her to go on a trip for a few days, and then I carried out a brilliant plan. Right before the fight with Mother, I had knocked out a thief who climbed in my window, and trapped him in my closet. (Can’t handle myself out there? Tell that to my frying pan!) After Mother left, I made a bargain with him: that he take me to see the floating lights and bring me back safely, and I would return to him a tiara that I had taken out of his satchel. He basically agreed. We’d be back before Mother returned and she would never even have to know.
I admit that I had a lot of conflicting emotions before jumping out the window. I just had to do it. I admitted that I shouldn’t. And then I did!
Being completely free for the first time was AMAZING!!! I consoled myself that what Mother didn’t know wouldn’t kill her. Then I realized this would kill her. I was having so much fun! And yet I felt like a horrible daughter. I decided I was going back. I decided I was NEVER going back! I felt like a despicable human being. I felt like it was the Best. Day. Ever! I was alternately laughing hysterically and sobbing uncontrollably. My guide, Flynn Rider, tried to play on my feelings of guilt, to get me to give up and go back, but that’s when I really strengthened my resolve to just put those feelings behind me and stick to my dream, and I didn’t have any qualms after that.
I got my first taste of what people in the world are really like when Flynn took me into a pub. The men there seemed worse than the kind of ruffians and thugs my mother had always warned me about! As they were in the middle of trying to kill Flynn, I begged them to FIND THEIR HUMANITY and asked if any of them had ever had a dream. Guess what? They all had! It turned out that beneath their scary exteriors, they were just people, with feelings and hobbies and dreams, like me! I guess they just needed a nice young girl to draw it out of them. That’s when I first started to wonder if my mom had always been wrong about the world.
After several more scrapes, I was starting to feel really bonded with Flynn. To be honest, I was starting to really like him, and he seemed to really like me. At that point, you’ll never guess who showed up to end my adventure but Mother! She tried to get me to come back home. She called Flynn a wanted thief. I told her that he liked me. She laughed at me. She said a man like that would just leave me as soon as he got what he wanted (the tiara). For the first time in my life, I openly defied her! I refused to listen, or to go back with her, and so she went off without me.
The next day was my Big Day! Flynn and I went into the kingdom together, we saw the townsfolk, we danced and drew, and at sunset… we got to see the floating lights! I found out they were lanterns sent out every year to commemorate the birth of the Lost Princess. It was magical, and extremely romantic, and I knew then that I had to be with Flynn.
But then my dream began to turn into a nightmare. Though I had felt it was wrong to run away, everything had seemed to be turning out so well as a result. Suddenly things started to become awful! Flynn seemed to have abandoned me, some truly bad thugs tried to kidnap me (well, maybe they have dreams on the inside too, I forgot to ask), and then Mother showed up just at the right moment. Now it seemed like Mother was right about Flynn, right about the world, right about everything! There was nothing left for me in the kingdom. So I went back to Mother. And I felt terrible about how everything had worked out.
So I sat on my bed back in my tower to think over everything that had happened. I was looking at a little flag Flynn gave me that had the kingdom’s ensign of the sun on it – and I suddenly realized that I’ve been drawing shapes like that my whole life without even knowing it. !!! Then I had a flashback to a mosaic I had seen in the kingdom, of the Lost Princess as a baby with green eyes and blonde hair, and I realized I have green eyes and blonde hair. !!! And then I had a flashback to when I had tried on the tiara that I found in Flynn’s satchel and it looked amazing on me. !!! What are the odds? Couldn’t this only mean one thing?! I’m starting to get a very strong feeling that I’ve always been more special than I thought. And I don’t actually remember being born to my mother. What if… she’s been lying to me my whole life? What if she’s not really my mom? What if she kidnapped me at birth? What if I’m actually the Lost Princess?
So, I was feeling very tempted to go tell Mother that I’m on to her, and then I stumbled across your website, Visionary Daughters.
Now I’m confused about what a girl in my situation should do. Should I trick my mom and run away secretly again? Or should I be more upfront in my defiance this time? Wouldn’t you agree that I was justified in running away the first time, since she wasn’t actually my mom, even though I thought she was at the time? Should I go try to find Flynn again? Should I present myself to the king and queen and say I’m pretty sure I’m their daughter?
On your website, you don’t appear to give any advice to anyone in my particular situation, which makes it seem like you don’t realize that there are people out there with different circumstances from yours. I like the principles that you lay out, but I don’t think it’s possible to obey any of them because I don’t think that God has given me the ideal situation. And I seriously doubt that God has given biblical guidelines for girls in situations like mine. What do you think?
What would you say to Rapunzel? Check back in a few days for our response.
It’s (Not That) Complicated: How to Relate to Guys in a Healthy, Sane, and Biblical Way
What Is Biblical Femininity?
Jane Austen and Vampires: Examining Girls’ Literary Appetites and Literary Eating Disorders