“All the world’s a stage,” is the opening line from a funny As You Like It monologue on the several roles a man typically plays throughout his life. As he goes from one role to another, little seems to depend on his own thoughts; he slips into each role because of his age and what’s expected of him at any given point in life.
What roles are we playing, and have we accepted them without question?
Let’s take this theatrical metaphor of life and use it for relationships that have an abusive dynamic. Whose stage are we on, what role are we playing, and is it hazardous to our sanity and health? Although they’re painful and degrading, we can slip into these roles relatively easily, and stay in them for years – maybe most of our lives.