Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Emotional Prisons

When the people I care about go through difficult times, such as dealing with those who want their emotional destruction, I want to help save the day. In other words, I want to inspire them to stand up to their villains and take them down, once and for all. Call it a hero complex without the glory, because I don’t want to be thanked at all; I just want to give strength to those who don’t have it. What I have realized is that my efforts are usually fruitless. True victory for those plagued by others has to come from the ones who are oppressed. It is the only way they can truly be free, once and for all.

There are all kinds of prisons; I know about the ones that cannot be seen. People I know in these situations describe their feelings of fear and isolation so profoundly that it evokes feelings of confinement. I have even visited people in their homes and felt the walls closing in on me; it is like visiting someone in a cell. There are no bars and barbed wire, and they can get out once in a while, but they always go back, because they are not ready and/or don’t have the strength to revolt and break free. The people I know undergoing this plight are those in bad marriages, relationships, and in highly dysfunctional families. A family member of mine is friends with a man who was emotionally terrorized and manipulated by his mother for years: he had a strictly enforced curfew, had his mail opened without his consent, and was told he could never leave home, even though he had thousands of dollars saved in the bank. It took getting married to make him break out of that prison; he was in his early thirties.

I feel for those who are emotionally imprisoned, especially if they desperately want to be free. All I can do is pray and hope they find the courage to stage their own “prison breaks.”

Have you experienced emotional imprisonment in your own lives?

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