Friday, June 23, 2017

Feeling Trapped

If you're reading this, then most likely you feel the same way I feel. Or have felt this way at some point. Being stuck in a situation where you have very little to no control over. For me, it was being sheltered by my overprotective parents, namely my mom. I couldn't hang out with my friends outside of school, even on weekends. Whether it was going to the movies with them, the mall, sleepovers, pretty much anywhere. I'm not trying to say it's wrong of them to want to keep me safe. I understood they had good intentions, even if they did appear to go overboard. They just didn't want me to fall under any sort of bad influence. But when it came to my feelings, especially as a teenager, I viewed it as torture. I wasn't rebellious to them, but I didn't handle the situation very wisely either. Instead I kept it all in, despite my friends teasing me about my sheltered life in school, looks of curiosity like I was a strange animal, secret laughters and conversations behind my back, maybe you can't relate or understand, but it wasn't pleasant.

I felt like it didn't matter what I tried or could try, because it wasn't going to change my parents mind regardless. I gave up and threw pity parties. It was the easiest way I knew how to handle the situation. Whine, cry, and complain passively. And in ways I still do that. When I was in college, I actually thought I'd have more freedom to hang out with whomever, but it wasn't the case at all. I still wasn't allowed to drive even though I have a license, I couldn't move out and get a job while attending school because of my limitations and failings. My parents know me well enough to realize there's a lot I can't do on my own, so I'm still depending on them.

It's still difficult at times as I look around me and see people having the freedom to hang out with friends, travel, and do other things I'm unable to do. Or overhear a conversation between friends chattering about what they did over the weekend, etc. Questions such as "Why couldn't I be wired differently?" "Why can't I have more freedom to do what I want?"  "Why am I placed here, trapped by circumstances that I can't maneuver?" Appear in my mind. It gets worse when I'm scrolling through social media. Seeing pictures and updates of people having a great time outdoors or with a circle of friends, produces envy, jealousy, and bitterness. It's not as bad as it used to be, but they'll show up time and again.

If you're feeling really trapped beneath obstacles, whatever they are, the only encouragement I can give you is that you're not alone. It doesn't seem that way at times, but you're really not. Perhaps you've heard that so often, you've grown numb to it. When the feelings of "missing out" grabs hold of us, it's almost effortless to feel sorry for ourselves. Self-pity comes naturally to all of us. It takes more effort to look on the bright side of things no matter how dismal life can be. Of course, I'd be dead wrong for saying that my example is the worst kind of suffering on the planet. My petty problems don't even compare to the suffering of others. Yet I won't discount that life isn't fair. Since we live in a sinful world (thanks to Adam and Eve) things are pretty messed up. Though we may not be able to remove our circumstances, we can however choose to overcome the feelings of self-pity and sadness through {counting our blessings} and remembering that our problems are just temporary.

Find a way to keep yourself busy to distract you from the problem. You could take a break from social media and curl up with a good book to read. Or turn on some classical or jazz music and close your eyes as you listen. Serving people through volunteering at church, a food bank, or local hospital is great way to minimize the focus off of your problems. If you don't have reliable transportation or your parents won't let you, consider ways to serve people via internet. Find some Christian forums on the web or start a blog to post Scriptures, devotional readings, sermons, or encouragement.

I consider it a privilege to have the luxury of writing blog posts to share with others for the time being. Despite being stuck at home a lot aside from attending school or working someplace. Just having a positive mindset can make a difference in your attitude. It's something you have to be willing to work on. Otherwise you'll just weep in the corner.

Don't give up and lose hope. Someday as you look back on this, you'll either realize that it wasn't so bad after all, or you'll regret on not making the most of your situations. Hopefully it'll be the former. :)

1 comment:

  1. We all go through times of feeling trapped. I experienced this as a child in an abusive home and again as an adult in a toxic marriage... Music and reading/writing are amazing ways to release stress and allow your mind to escape. Thank you for writing this and being so transparent!