Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I struggle with claustrophobia. The thought of being in a small space or being restrained in any way from doing what I want to do makes me ill. I remember the days before my son was sentenced and still in the hospital. The thought of him losing all freedom and being confined in a space the size of a convenience store bathroom gave me nightmares. I imagined how I would feel. The dreams took on all sorts of Kafka-esque horrors, cold images of metal walls, endless staircases, no windows, clinical hallways and rooms, no sunlight. I worried that he truly would not survive with his sanity. He could never sit still. And at first, my fears seemed all too real.

But it's a strange thing about walls and restraint... surviving the loss of freedom may bring a greater freedom. The person who went into prison a year ago is not the person who walked into the visitation dayroom a month ago to visit with us. This person is calm, is not on any medication, thinks logically, doesn't rant and rave about his fate and accepts what he has done, but still has hope. If the physical bars are all too real, the mental ones seem to have melted away. In looking at and talking with our son, whom at first I did not recognize, I see that the true prison for him was unrestrained freedom. That kind of freedom can be merciless, leaving a soul to it's own devices without help.

I came away from our visit understanding that my son needed to have his "freedom" taken away. It helped me to understand what the scriptures say about gaining the whole world and losing one's soul. If our freedom is not under the control of something greater than ourselves, it is vanity and not freedom at all.


Blogger Dr. D's Diagnosis said...

Well said Q, well said.

4:25 AM  

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