Stockholm Syndrome

I understand enough to get me into trouble, yet not quite enough to get me out of it.

I wish I understood more, but what stands for wisdom sometimes sounds like mere, empty platitudes—and it does me no good—in the face of death, and in the face of suffering.

I have seen friends die, and family, some confined to beds for years or decades, flesh wasting away from their bones, with few, if any, coming to visit them. Forgotten.

There is no escape from this place, this life, except through death, yet those who would help us are called murderers; and those who help themselves…are considered hopelessly lost. What and where is mercy?

Who, but God, can be responsible for allowing this misery? But I must love Him anyway, I see no other hope or choice. I must love my captor, and even apologize for Him, and take His side against all evidence. No other being has power to release me, but Him. Yet we are not released.

He tortures me, but I cannot resist Him. He tortures my loved ones, but I must find a way to smile and accept it.

I dream of another life, a next world where we will all live happily with our Captor; when we will be reconciled to Him, and our roles will change. All will be forgiven and forgotten: the agony, the misery, seeing children suffering with little hope, parents who have lost their children to death—this will all just be water under the bridge. Somehow.

Maybe I can forget and forgive here and now—paradise on earth.

I’m sorry. I don’t know anything. But I know what I see. I see into the eyes of the forgotten, the unloved, the desperate, those with chronic illnesses, those who have lost everything and everyone that they love, and this disturbs me, and it distresses me to my core.

The morning brings no relief; day after day my friends are still locked away in their beds unable to walk. Some even unable to think, as we watch helplessly, as their minds turn to jelly.

It makes me angry, and it makes me sad. And then it makes me weary, and I give up. I repent, and turn again to God.

Who else is there to help us, where else is there any shred of hope?

I take up my cross, try to bring a little joy and healing to the suffering souls that are all around me, and somehow this brings a little joy and healing to my own soul.

And then in time, perhaps a few days, weeks, or months, this cycle will repeat itself. I will once again be in a frenzy of sorrow for this world, and all the cruelty and indifference I experience here.

I will cry out yet again, against the omnipotent and omnipresent God, who loves us so much that he allows us to tear each other to shreds…and then I will find a way, somehow, to smile about this, and take His side once again, against all reason.

Yet, somehow, mysteriously, by doing so this aligns me with Love; and realigns me with what is good within me; and somehow this is the only way I can find, which brings any joy to my grieving heart.


2 thoughts on “Stockholm Syndrome”

  1. St. Seraphim of Sarov said, “Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives.” You are kindling joy in those you visit who are suffering because you love and you care and you give of your time.
    Never give up, brother.


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