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Registered: 10-2008
Posts: 2215
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Betrayal & Self-Betrayal: The Frog Prince

This illustration came from: Craik, Dinah Maria Mulock. The Fairy Book. Warwick Goble, illustrator. London: Macmillan & Co., 1913.


The girl in The Frog Prince promised to marry a Frog if he would retrieve her Golden Ball from the bottom of a well. It was a self-serving agreement on the part of both the girl and the frog, an agreement made out of their individual desperation. The result of this encounter offers a lesson in betrayal and transformation.

The girl betrayed herself by making a promise she did not think she would have to keep. She also came very close to betraying her promise to the Frog after he fulfilled his end of the bargain. Had her father not insisted she keep her word, she very well may have done just that. However, her father did insist, and she felt further betrayed by him for sending her to live with such a fate. She hated what she had wrought, threw the frog against a wall, and the jolt magically turned him into a handsome and loving Prince. In the end, the characters worked through betrayal, rejection, selfishness, and immaturity to the ultimate benefit of everyone concerned. The girl became a woman, the frog became a man, and...they lived happily ever after.

In real life, the Frog doesn't usually turn into a Prince, of course, but frog-betrayals happen every day. Betrayal is a devastating experience to process. The betrayal wound may be exacerbated due to bonding that occurs within the context of a relationship with an abuser. Referred to as a Betrayal Bonding, Trauma Bonding, or Stockholm Syndrome, it prolongs recovery and leaves the target with a sense of doubt in his or her ability to ever trust again.

Understanding how it happened is important. The following links contain information on the formation of these bonds.

What Trauma Does To People
The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships
by Patrick J. Carnes

Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser by Joseph M. Carver, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Joe Carver's website can be found at

The road back from betrayal to trust is difficult. Part of the difficulty may be not only that you were betrayed but also that you are dealing with a sense of self-betrayal. A discussion about forgiveness as critical to recovery usually comes up in conjunction with betrayal. There are disparate views on forgiving a betrayer who, if he or she is a Narcissist, usually doesn't think he or she has done anything for which to be forgiven. Regardless of the importance you place on forgiving the other in the process of moving on, you probably struggle with the difficulties inherent to an inabiity to forgive self.
The transformative potential of a betrayal experience is discussed here:

Betrayal, Trust, and Forgiveness: by Beth Hedva, PhD


"Fairy tales are like dreams. They are filled with archetypal symbols. Every symbol reveals a key to some part of the psyche. The seemingly absurd and grotesque image of a frog being smashed against the wall represents the secret power of betrayal to transform consciousness, from frog consciousness to nobility."


From on Self-Forgiveness

In the absence of self forgiveness, you run the risk of:

-Unresolved hurt, pain, and suffering from self-destructive behaviors.
-Unresolved guilt and remorse for self-inflicted offenses.
-Chronically seeking revenge and paybacks toward yourself.
-Being caught up in unresolved self anger, self hatred and self blaming.
-Defensive and distant behavior with others.
-Pessimism, negativity, and non-growth oriented behavior.
-Having a festering wound that never allows the revitalization of self healing.
-Fear over making new mistakes or of having the old mistakes revealed.
-Being overwhelmed by fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of non approval, low self-esteem, and low self worth.

"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Oct/28/2008, 8:53 am Link to this post  

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