If you get the chance, listen to this 11 minute episode from NPR about the plight and story of Martin Pistorius »
I have so many emotions running through my head about this young man—an amazing story. He was trapped inside his body for years.. Could not move.. his parents taking care of him, in a monotonous way, for 12 years.. and yet he now is able to speak through technology and a computer, he wrote a book about his trapped soul inside this body and his encountering of those silent demons of the mind.
Of course some may say the scariest is having to listen to the BARNEY show for hours a day for years—that is horrific, don’t you think?
From NPR, a highlight worth reading:
He was trapped, with only his thoughts for company. And they weren’t particularly nice thoughts.
“No one will ever show me tenderness. No one will ever love me.”
And of course there was no way to escape. He thought, “You are doomed.”
So he figured his only option was to leave his thoughts behind.
That was his first strategy — disengaging his thoughts — and he says he got really good at it.
“You don’t really think about anything,” Martin says. “You simply exist. It’s a very dark place to find yourself because, in a sense, you are allowing yourself to vanish.”
But occasionally there were things that elicited thoughts he could not ignore.
“I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney,” Martin says.
Since all the world thought Martin was a vegetable, at the special care center where he spent his days he was often in front of the TV watching reruns of the children’s cartoon hour after hour, day after day.
Then one day, he decided he’d had enough. He wanted to gain some small measure of control over his day. So he figured out how to tell time by how the sun moved across a room. That was the start.
Eventually Martin found a way to reframe even the ugliest thoughts that haunted him. Like when his mother said, “I hope you die.”
I cannot even comprehend the magnitude of a child hearing his own mother tell him that she hopes he dies.. and yet she did because she felt he was living in an awful condition..
Yet he came out of it..
His parents are now emotional about the years they endured their trials and he is almost heroic in his description of outlasting his tribulation..
The story is inspiring, and it’s also seemingly one of luck.. not dumb luck, but perhaps a guided sense of purpose type of luck.
I would love to meet Martin and shake his hand and thank him for causing me to stop my own life for a while, slow down, and start re-thinking about a big picture I often forget.. the big picture of humanity.. and more than anything else, the big picture of respecting someone’s dignity and how, no matter what, we all deserve dignity..
This caused me to rethink some stuff and open some old wounds.. I am sure it will you, too, should you take the time to listen and contemplate..
Miracles do happen.
And why not to all?
Those are those unending questions that make me sleepless at night.
But for Martin, this amazing human, his words and inspiration may lead others to find a way out of their plight as well..