Monday, 21 April 2014


“What's in a name? that which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet;” (Romeo and Juliet)

Actually there’s quite a lot in my name. It means Princess. And my husband used to remind me of this, calling me his Princess

Sounds nice doesn’t it. Sometimes it was, at first I was a Princess and he was my Prince Charming, I believed the whole “love at first sight and happy ever after fairytale”  I felt special, he would write me love letters telling me how special I was to him, how he wanted to treat me like royalty, how I was his princess, given to him by God to cherish and protect.

And if he’d done that it would have been fab. But he didn’t. I felt more like Princess Barbie as he convinced me to keep my hair long, dye it blonde, as he bought me outfit after outfit and dressed me up exactly how he wanted HIS Princess to look. As I got older hints were dropped about having a boob job and keeping myself the right body shape in the gym- of course for my own happiness, a Princess deserves to be happy.  

Then when he got angry and beat me up he shouted that I was “a f-ing Princess who always has to have her own way” it really hurt to have his special name for me used to insult me as he punched me. After that everytime he affectionately called me his princess it served to remind me of what would happen if I stepped out of line. It reminded me that I was his possession and I was to behave as such. After he beat me up I always felt sick at being called Princess, he knew that but he still did it.

One of the things that any woman who has left an abusive relationship will tell you is that the worst thing about abuse isn’t the beatings or the living in fear; it’s the erosion of your identity. I have been protected somewhat from that because of my faith, when he insulted me I didn’t believe him because I knew I was God’s child, I knew God loves me so much he sacrificed his son for me. I figured if my husband thought these terrible things about me it must be him who had a problem. My identity was chipped away at and there has been work to be done to re build that, but it’s not been as bad as it would have been had I not already got my identity firmly rooted in Christ.

But by far the biggest chip to my identity has been my name. My name has always been the same, it was my name before I met him and it always will be. This is part of who I am. But he took my name and made it forever connected to my relationship with him, he used the meaning of my name to denote his ownership of me, and hearing it reminded me daily of the abuse. It’s something I have struggled with a lot recently.

God really knows what’s on our hearts because on the last night of my divorce care group I was handed a piece of paper which read: 
“[your name] Originates from the Hebrew name ‘Sarah’ which means ‘princess’. Daughter of the King.”
 In that instant I knew that God had removed my husbands ‘ownership’ of me and claimed it for himself. I do not belong to him, I belong to God. My name does not mean I am any man’s Princess, it means I am the daughter of the King. The daughter of the most high. The daughter of the creator of the universe, the daughter of the one and only everlasting God- yeah he’s my daddy, that’s where my identity always was, that’s why it couldn’t be eroded and that’s even what my name means. I am Sarah- Princess- God’s little girl!

And it reminds me of this amazing speech- this is Him, this is my Father: 

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