Feeling Trapped is Doom


Freedom (Photo credit: Intrepidteacher)

Did someone put a knife in my neck?

Goodbye sex.  Goodbye flirting.  Goodbye self-esteem.  It was a down-right turnoff for life, let alone sex.  He could not think of one thing worth living for, but killing yourself turned out to be a lot harder than self-loathing.

Sheez, pain was distracting.  Unable to work out in his club with anything that jiggled him waste-line and up, Monty knew he should look for a pool but he could not focus on even that long enough to Google it.  He felt guilty and then angry that he felt guilty about something he was trapped by.

Monty told me about how his life was now closed off from everything he found pleasure in.  He described his circumstance like a walled in monk with a small envelope-sized window through which he received water and bread.  The difference between him and the monk was that he did not choose to be cloistered.  He was a victim of his injury and nothing could help.

Feeling trapped is doom.  I listened to Monty describe his life without freedom to choose. His life was not there for him to participate in.  He was excluded.  Monty was doomed, per Monty.  So what was the point, indeed?  What was the doom-script doing for him?  Was he getting anything besides yuck from it?

Monty, the way you describe yourself does not have any place for you.  Either you really are trapped, or there is a door, or a false wall, or a sun-roof that you do not know about.  Or maybe you have a brick-braking tool available?

People from every point on the spectrum of brain illnesses defend their position of entrapment with more volition than a the red-tailed hawks flying above the groves around my house.  Even family members of persons with brain illnesses have defended the perception that their loved one does not have freedom to choose, as if suggestions of freedoms were the essence of social injustice, ignorance and stigma.

But it is not the pursuit of freedom that traps us. It is our fear.

Feeling trapped serves a purpose however.  It protects us from something that feels shameful.  It protects us from that which invokes fear.  Wanting not to feel shame or fear is not so wrong though, is it?  Wanting not to go toward what might be unbearable seems reasonable to me.  If it were truly unbearable.  If it were friendly to Me.  If it was not the road out of that hell-existence, out of that bricked in crypt, toward a place of greater safety.  If then, it would not be so bad.

Self-care tip:  When feeling trapped, do what does not feel safe and go toward your shame and fear.

Question:  How have you been able to find freedom in places where you feel trapped?  How do you manage to go toward shame when you feel so much fear?  Please tell us your story.

6 thoughts on “Feeling Trapped is Doom

  1. I have been so low that I didn’t THINK I had a choice when suffering from brain illness. However, I have come to believe that we have choices, no matter how low we are. Doing nothing is a choice. Doing something is a better choice. Curling up in a ball in a dark room is a choice. Going to someone for help is a better choice. And, you’re right, feeling trapped IS doom, but chosing to stay trapped is exactly that – chosing. I almost chose, at one time in the darkness of my disease, to stop living because it seemed to be the best way out of the trap that my mind was in. Were it not for the loving patience of my husband, I might have made that choice. My husband is the blessing that kept me alive and I have no question that God gave me the gift of my husband. For me, I’m convinced, God intervened in many other ways, too, guiding me toward choices I’m not sure I even realized I was taking. God also intervened in putting me in the right place at the right time making my choices easier, maybe. Who knew a zoo would end up being the source of one of the best choices I made in becoming healed?!? Learning to become a friend to myself has been the greatest choice I could have made because it made me know that there is nothing better than chosing life and chosing to do something to make that choice a reality.


  2. Grandma has told a great part of my story. One day I realized that … everything in life comes down to how bad one wants it. If I stayed on the same path I would soon die. Was I willing to do the work to climb out of the abyss into the light?

    Many years ago I said: “some people are not meant to happy and I am one.” Not true. I am here and I am happy. God is good.
    blessings ~ maxi


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