Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Very Definition Of A Victim Soul

Linda Santo, Audrey Santo's mother, the girl who is arguably the most famous victim soul of our time, prayed that her child would be a saint before she was born. When Audrey was three, she lapsed into a coma-like state known as akinetic mutism after a swimming accident. On August 9, 1987, Audrey fell backyard into a swimming pool. She suffered massive hypoxia: the oxygen supply to her brain was cut off for several minutes, killing numerous brain cells. According to the thousands of pilgrims that come to see her in her home in Massachusetts, Audrey has the power to take their pain and illness, the very definition of a victim soul. Linda Santos' prayer, as it was, had been answered, albeit in a very different way than perhaps she'd imagined. That's hardcore -- most parents I know pray that their children will act saintly from time to time -- not kill each other or paint the walls with magic markers.

The concept of the victim soul is a relatively obscure concept in which a person takes on someone else's distress. On a mystical plane, this appears to work even though one can debate the morality and ethics of such a situation. But more interesting to me is how often we desire to perform this act or have it performed for us. I'd do anything to take your pain or Help me not feel this way. We offer our stories, we offer sex, pills, food; we offer love. We say I'd do anything to change this for you. But would we? Some things last far longer than they really do, some suffering is forever and a day. The immediate pain is one thing, but what about the long, tedious backlash that accompanies it? It's one thing to nail yourself to a cross, another to cry tears of blood while waiting for that which is to come or lamenting about that which has already past.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Answered prayers cause more tears than unanswered ones." Saint Theresa

Cocktail Hour

Drinking novella collection suggestion: The Woman Lit By Fireflies Jim Harrison

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Thursday, everyone! The last Sopranos episode is almost here!


paul said...


JR's Thumbprints said...

Hi Michelle,
Interesting topic and definitely a role I'd never want. I can feel my own distress fine enough, thank-you very much. On a different note, I'm off to win a catfish tournament, and I promise to stay away from the squirrel piss.

the walking man said...

It would be easier to do this if one were comatose, much more difficult when one walks with the pain of others; but I assume them that ask for this ability know that it is a life long pact with them who give their pain to another.
either way the pain still exists,just a matter of tolerance for it.



Good fishing jr.

eric313 said...

nice. This is certainly an obscure idea, and how Christian in it own mystical fashion. As always, it your closing lines that are the most telling and wonderfully constructed. I'll have to remember not to cry tears of blood over the spilled milk of...

wait--what the hell will we write about then? If not tears, we spill the stuff of angst over the page, rearange it change the names or find better little fictions and details to hone it with.
Aren't the very best writers victims souls by deffinition, if not by the bloody tearstained shoulders and pillows?

off to work in hell
see you later

Susan Miller said...

I had never heard of the victim soul concept or the story that you mentioned. It's quite chilling.

Where I came from it was always called a salvation complex and referred to those people that were always trying to save others...taking the pain away as if by doing so they were bandaging their own wounds.

Good post, Michelle, but then they always are.