This article features the reality of performance anxiety experienced by the eldest sibling of the three witch characters in the television series, Charmed.
performance anxiety, coping with stress
Being the eldest sibling certainly has its dues. This is especially true with Prudence ?Prue? Halliwell, the eldest of three sister-witches. Together with her sisters Phoebe and Piper, they constitute the strongest union of witches and, thus, have been called the Charmed Ones.
Since they were toddlers, the sisters had already used their powers while playing tag or whenever they played hide and seek. However, Penelope, their grandmother, chose to bind their powers to stop demons from going after them. As a result, the sisters grew as normal children without fully realizing the extent of their powers. The sisters grew up without their parents and were actually raised by their grandmother. When their grandmother died, Prue was confronted with the need to assume the role as father and mother to her siblings. Later on, by accident, Phoebe stumbled upon secret writings in their attic. Upon reciting a Wiccan verse, she began a rediscovery of their powers as witches.
As the eldest, Prue had to chase away demons that attempted to harm her and her sisters. The sheer weight of responsibility later caused performance anxiety. The legacy of the Halliwell family of witches was suddenly placed upon her shoulders. She knew that the rise and fall of the Charmed Ones greatly depended on her leadership and commitment to defeating the demons that threatened their family. Another reason for her performance anxiety is the fact that demons are always lurking closely at them. She understood that although these demons feared them, these enemies could also sense weakness in witches. When Prue gives in to fear, the more she puts her life and those of her sisters’ in great peril.
Prue’s heightened fear of performing also caused quarrels between the sisters. Prue became a control freak and tried to meddle with all aspects of her sisters’ lives. She imposed some ?un-sisterly? rules in order to lessen the effects of her performance anxiety. As result, her sisters became rebellious and disdained all her efforts to lead them.
However, their ?Charmed Life? has allowed them to regain a sense of balance in terms of handling their power and responsibilities as ?good witches.?
The Charmed Ones provide an excellent example of how power and responsibility can cause fear, anxiety, depression, and even inter-personal conflicts. As witches, the leading characters in the television series were shown to have extraordinary powers that could be applied to control the natural and the supernatural world. However, their inability to immediately harness and control their powers led them to experience self-doubt and other troubles that threatened not only their standing in the history of witches but their very lives.
The television series also attempted to show that those who have power are as much prone to depression and anxiety as normal people are. Like normal people, they also encountered problems with personal relationships, including those that involved romance. Even if they were witches with powers, they also had to grapple with fears that any regular girl or woman could relate to.
While the series was about fantasy and witchcraft, it was able to show that when it comes to human frailty — people with supernatural natural powers and those without the tricks of witchcraft can easily fall prey to the bumbles and bumps of everyday life.