When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so
She ran away in her sleep
And dreamed of
Para-para-paradise, Para-para-paradise, Para-para-paradise
Every time she closed her eyes

These are the lyrics for Coldplay’s song “Paradise” (see here for the  Youtube video for the song) . I heard it this morning when randomly watching Youtube videos while working on a project, and the lyrics just touched my soul – I see so much of myself in them that I have to keep listening to the song over and over again.

I remember that when I was a very little girl – even before my parents divorced – I had an imaginary world where I’d escape. I used to close my eyes while lying in my bunk bed, and dream that there was a door on the wall, and a secret tunnel inside the structure that would take me all the way down to a secret hiding place where I was the Princess of all the people who lived there, and everyone in that underworld loved me and treated me really nicely.

I spent the moments before falling asleep fantasizing about what it was like to take the elevator down the tunnel in the wall and arrive to find smiling happy people who celebrated me and everything I did. I created complex stories of boys who all wanted to be with me  – sometimes the fantasies did turn very disgustingly sexual, and I cringe when I think about those sick images I used to conjure up – they were way inappropriate for my age.

But what else could I have known? This was my little heaven, a piece of paradise where I could escape to when the lights were off. I knew what love and approval was through sexual acts, so it makes perfect sense that even in my imaginary world this is how I gained popularity and admiration.

I used to stare at the wall wishing the magical door would appear. Even today I sometimes lie curled up, staring at a wall – no matter where I am sleeping – and just imagine that behind the wallpaper there might be a way out of all the bad things in this world.

To all the little and big girls who expected the world but who got mistreated, abused, beaten or put down, remember, that when you close your eyes, you too can feel that you are in paradise.

Much love,



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