I have survived. That is possibly my greatest achievement. It may seem small, but by what yardstick are we to measure another? None of us really begin from the same starting point and we are each given our own bundle of gifts and hobbles. Our awareness of this comes gradually in small and sometimes painful increments. Should we be judged by a monetary measure, or should it be a measure of spirit?
I myself started off with very little faith and yet by some magic that faith has grown. But I do not count this as an achievement: I rather see it as an unexpected blessing. It came to me in the most unlikely of ways: due to my disabilities, I had struggled, and because of that I had lived in perpetual fear. But soon I will be fifty-eight and somehow I have made it to here! As that realization has settled in, I have gradually learned to release my grip on my apprehension and to continue my steps on what sometimes seems like the tension of water.
I survived a trauma, or perhaps it was an accumulation of traumas. And yet, to another individual, someone stronger than me, it might not have been any trauma at all. But it found me in my place of weakness and I as an ant might spend an hour to cross the same distance a springbok might cross with one effortless leap.
The world looks different today than it did in my youth when I traced a trail through a place where demons flourished. Each one of them had its name. One of them was called Shame. I wrestled another that announced itself loudly as it relentlessly pounced and that one was: Rage. I was swallowed up by another that kept itself hidden. I eventually learned that this one too had a term: it is commonly referred to by the word: Denial.
But these are remembrances: all of my demons have lost their power and I count myself as rescued now. I will always assert that my pain and my struggle were once very real. But along with deliverance humility has found me. And I am humbled that as I writhed in torment I had in turn, impacted others around me. As to those who had victimized me, I can only conclude that it must certainly have been their own demons that had driven them to that cruelty.
Photos © Robert Thomas Doran
Young forest with sunbeams Microsoft Office Clipart Collection
Guest Author Bio
Robert Thomas Doran
As this fiction is inspired by his own struggle with mental illness, Robert Thomas Doran is grateful to God for helping him recover from mental illness. Today he lives in Pennsylvania with his wife of fifteen years. A Prison of Lies was written as an act of faith and with the hope of helping others afflicted with mental illness.
Blog / Website: A Prison of Lies
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