Is God Cruel? (Part One)


“I am so tired; I am even tired of my future.” I read those lines in a book, but they hold true for me and I suspect many others. The thought of continuing on in my current state of depression is overwhelming. My problem is the same; it’s been the same for almost twenty years: how to deal with a situation I find impossible. On Sunday, I called my son to see how he was doing. He mentioned his back hurt which reminded me of something I heard at a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) meeting. A member told the group how her son, and seven others, tested positive for Lyme disease. Lyme can cause pain and in rare cases affect the brain, resulting in symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I asked my son if he would consent to being tested. He said he doubted if he had Lyme because his schizophrenia is “cured.” Then holding the mouthpiece away (I could still hear him), he said, “Jesus, do I have Lyme?” “No,” answered Jesus. When he resumed talking to me, I mentioned I overheard his conversation and that if his criteria for being cured of a MI and not having Lyme is asking Jesus and getting an immediate answer, than he is getting worse, not better.

I admit my choice of words was poor; I realized it before I even spoke. But my excuse is that I am still looking for that miracle which I know in my heart will never come. At that point he said, “Fuck you, atheist” and hung up the phone. I should mention that I am not even an atheist, although my religious beliefs differ tremendously from his. He did call me later and apologized for his words and asked me if I had called the police to have him sent to the hospital. I assured him that I didn’t since it would take a lot more than a fuck you for me to do that.

So what am I left with? One more layer of pain and disappointment to add to the many others, and the realization that my son is “dead” in the same way my mother was dead in her last years of “living” with Alzheimer’s. I will always love him, but the person I knew, the one who was rational, bright, and witty is gone. I think the loss is actually greater for me than for him.

So to answer my question, is God cruel, I’d have to say cruel at worst, indifferent at best, but since our time here is so limited, does it matter at all?


About waywardweed

I am a consumer and parent of two sons, one with a mental illness and the other a third-year law student.
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