‘Life Overtakes Me’ is a documentary that reveals a shocking challenge faced by many of the children of asylum seekers in Sweden. It records health care issues of those children, who suffered the state of a comatose known as ‘Resignation Syndrome’, whilst their families charted their way through unfamiliar and quite often unwanted paths for permanent residency in their country of refuge.
Why in children? As explained in the BBC article …. The children who are most vulnerable are those who have witnessed extreme violence – often against their parents – or whose families have fled a deeply insecure environment. (Source: BBC) It was observed that a long period of uncertainty after a trauma was very harmful.
Watching that documentary, I realised that whilst ’resignation’ is an emotion we can all identify with, a syndrome is a deeper crisis of the mind, in which the person shuts down from all aspects of the normal physical as well as mental functions of life.
As far as emotions go we are prone to a myriad of them, especially in the present global pandemic, as we adjust to the new normal, lockdowns and unprecedented separations from loved ones. ‘Resignation’ could well be one of those emotions felt but it denotes a negative, a helpless giving up in contrast to a strength of choice needed in ‘accepting’ one thing with the hope of another.
The documentary revealed the full extent of this deep, negative crisis as well as brought another emotion into focus around the ‘Resignation Syndrome’.
After many months, sometimes over a year, of being in a coma, the assurance of love and care or feeling the atmosphere of hope from their parents slowly brought the children out of the comatose of a very debilitating and negative syndrome, to a gradual entry back into normal life. It would seem that recovery depends on them feeling secure and that it is a permanent residence permit that kick-starts that process (Source: BBC).
Yes, when ‘life overtakes me‘ in my little world as a citizen in this pandemic era, I will remember and learn from those children for whom, as asylum seekers, resignation seemed to be the only way out of their helplessness, but for whom, with the persistent love and care of parents and the assurance of hope, normal life was reborn.
What about you? What emotions overtake you during this time? Can you name the grey clouds that oppress and threaten to debilitate you? And what or who can fill you with the rays of hope that can shine through those clouds?
May the God of all Hope fill every growing child (and adult), of citizen and asylum seeker alike, with assurance, peace and joy as we ‘climb up and reach for the stars’ especially through this global pandemic.