A previous reader commented:
Why do people feel trapped? What if their situation doesn’t allow them to escape? What are the consequences of having a mid-life crises and not resolving the problem? Take “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I think the main character can potentially go into a mid-life crises when one day he wakes up realizing that he didn’t go to college and explore the world like he always dream of. Now, he has family business, a wife, and kids. What then? He can’t leave everything to pursue his dream. Another example: A man married young, has 4 kids, and then his wife left him to pursue her career. He is taking care of the 4 kids; he can’t pursue his own life and do what he wants. At 50, he is bursting out of his mind, not wanting people telling him what to do, but he can’t run. He has his kids to care for. Every day, his own personal time is when he goes to the bathroom.
It’s about not looking at ones situation as black or white, success or failure. If one looks at oneself through the black or white lens then it is or it isn’t. This requires immediate change and life doesn’t take kindly to immediate change. It’s smarter instead to bank toward the future with a steady working plan that is driven by intent. It’s also empowering to raise up others as you go. Through teaching skills and role modeling, that man you mentioned with 4 kids is building a team that will help him in the long run towards achieving his goals. You are focusing on one point and ignoring the potential big picture. You are looking at this situation as having only two possible outcomes: either sacrifice to the kids or lose the kids. If one applies life skills to the situation, some very different outcomes are possible. Sure, it sucks that he has been left with the whole shebang but it isn’t the end of his or their story. If he learns to grow with them, over time he will be successful. If he pits them against him he will lose. Escape, as you put it, is a bad way of looking at it. There is no violation of safety, as with an abusive relationship, that would necessitate an escape. There’s just a single dad with four kids and a lot of problems to solve.
If we consider the scenario of a person who is “trapped” in a bad relationship, remember that most people don’t have the skills to actually have a healthy relationship from the get go, thus it wouldn’t really be any different if they managed to “escape” anyway. They’d probably go through endless SSDD (same shit different day), just with someone new.
If one wants to go to college or change ones station in life, it is never too late. Just remember that real change takes time; don’t expect instant gratification or immediate results. It might suck for a long time but what else are you doing?
Why do people feel trapped? Quite honestly, that’s because often they get what they wished for.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Granny Dr adds-
People will constantly trot out a list of excuses as to why they are “trapped” but they are always looking at their situation like spoiled Americans. Any Buddhist knows that the doors to escape are within.
When a bone is broken and it mends, it is stronger at the mended spot than ever before. Those experiences which seem like disasters to us at the time are also our greatest opportunities to learn and grow.
And we come out stronger in the end- if we can stop feeling sorry for ourselves and just get on with it. Life is what happens. If you can’t deal, and you can’t get out of the game, you’d better, as Dr. Brilliant often advises, learn some new skills.
I Agree and remember suicide is never a viable option.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché