The Hostage. Just how did they survive?

A hostage counsellor was speaking recently, after a victim had been released.

The hostage had endured a great deal in captivity, including several mock executions; yet he seemed relatively strong as he reflected on his experiences.

The counsellor listened to the interview with the hostage, and was asked what he made of the hostage’s emotional state.

‘How people leave the hostage experience is how they went into it,’ he replied.

His meaning was clear. If they took strong inner resources with them into the nightmare, they would leave with those resources strengthened.

If they took few resources with them, they may leave with even what they had shattered.

Strength is an exchange. If we offer strength to a situation, it is offered back.

Sometimes I stand by an old tree in the winter wind.

The tree is me and I am the tree…we offer each other strength.