298 days to Antarctica..."Never Give Up" Sia
Approximately 8minutes reading time
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe
I was but a little girl when my mummy introduced me to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I read this important book soon after.
The other day I watched, Bajo La Piel De Lobo, The Skin Of The Wolf. Great Spanish film, loved the Cinematography. Watching this film was a really interesting experience. It made me sad overall. It left me feeling grateful that no matter how hard my life seems at any point, it’s not as hard as those of the people in this film. SPOILER ALERT... Many people around the world lead lives akin to the ones portrayed in this film. The scenery is different but I believe that their realities are similar. I am so very glad that my life is not like this hard and horrible life. This mountain animal trapper is completely on his own in the wilderness. He has no respite. To eat, to live, to do anything he must work so very hard. He catches, cleans, prepares and cooks whatever he needs as needed. He makes his clothes and everything else he needs. He catches and skins wolves, to sell the pelts for other supplies. He trudges through the mountains in the freezing cold. There is no love, no romance, no joy, no pleasure, just hard work and a basic existence. A man sold him his sick, pregnant daughter who he already rutted whenever he was in the town, to be his wife. They didn’t even talk, just rutting like animals. It was horrible. It was just satisfying a base, primal urge which is what sex is to so many people, apparently but it can be so much more. She died as did her son. He didn’t bury them but asked her father for his money back as he had been conned. The father had no means to pay, even with a much delayed repayment date. So, the father gave him his youngest, virgin, healthy daughter. Before agreeing, the trapper checked her over as he would a chair he was buying, or a goat. Her father gave her herbs, in case it got too much to bear. They were obviously poisonous. I thought she’d kill herself. I thought this sad. The trapper wasn’t a bad man but kind, caring and living the only life he knew. The trapper told his new wife that he wasn’t the Bad Man, it was her father who had sold her. He told her that it wasn’t a bad life but a hard life. Nonetheless, it wasn’t a bad life. After a very short time, she started to kill him, adding poison to his tea so that she could run away back to her father. This made me so sad that this was her choice, to kill this faultless man who offered her safety and a home. He worked out that she had poisoned him. Yet when he found her with her leg and foot stuck in his wolf trap, he took her home. He was dying and cared for her, nursed her back to health. She left him to die a slow and painful death, alone. This poor, innocent man. It was so wrong and made so deeply sad that this is the best that many people believe that they can do to escape their reality and their life. I understand. I do not agree. She could have run away somewhere else. Her father had told her that the trapper would find her and take her back. She could have tried to give him a chance. She could have acknowledged that he offered her all that he had, which was more than her father. She could have appreciated that he was a good man, kind to her. In that world, terrible as it is, sexual exploitation is a given but he didn’t beat her. What a horrible way to live.
I know that life is mostly hard and horrible for us all, at times and for many, always. This is not news to me. I am not naïve. I know how lucky I am but I made the hard choices and worked hard for a chance at a safe future. Even forced to start over in my compromised state, when I had set myself up to need nothing in the future, I know that ultimately I will be okay. I will make sure of this as there is no other acceptable option or choice for me.
This story highlights the need for education so that people understand that they always have choices, even when they’re horrible, one choice is always better than the others, even if you don’t like the choice you need to make. If I were the woman in that story, I would have run away to somewhere much further than where she came from, before the wedding. I would never hurt or kill him. I would have run away from my father, after knowing what he did to my sister, as soon as he sold her. I could understand her wanting to kill her father. Anyway, this is where I see the value that I can offer. This is too important to ignore. It’s not about being smart. Plenty of smart people take bad decisions and make bad choices that hurt them and make their life unnecessarily worse. The right skills are required. These can be learned. It’s not easy or simple but it is achievable. Every choice you make, no matter how small, will change your life. You need to be brave enough to acknowledge and accept this truth as a starting point. It’s the only reason I am still alive and okay. The choice is yours, always.
You can’t know or change what happens to you in life. You can prepare yourself to be in the best position possible to deal with whatever happens. You can’t make other people do things or control what they do. You can control what you let them do to you and how they treat you. The simplest way is to leave. Patterns cannot be overlooked in science or in life. People lie to themselves because it’s easier than dealing with the scary truth, the alternative. They run away, don’t stop them. If they return, choose if you want them back. Be honest with yourself about what you want, how you will achieve your goal. Learn what you need to do to create the reality you want. Commit to what you want and work as hard as you can to make your reality the one you want. In the words of Bon Jovi, “…nothing good comes easy…”.
So far, I have achieved every single goal I have set for myself. On my own. I have struggled and suffered more than anyone deserves. I worked up to four jobs at a time. I have been homeless thrice but not for long, I made sure that it was fleeting. I didn’t want to end up living in a cardboard box. I have lost everything, including my health and well-being. I have been completely disabled and fought harder than I believed I could to regain my independence, against all the odds. I have survived the most harrowing hell, more than once. I have been abandoned and alone but not for long. Carefully choosing the right people to let into your life is one of the most important skills you can learn.
You need good, trustworthy, reliable, decent, supportive, caring people who will even offer the hard truths to help you see what you sometimes can’t, because they love you. These people are rare but they do exist in the world. They are different for everyone but they need to be right for you. The world is filled with good people but they aren’t always good for you. Even when they are, sometimes they aren’t ready. Life is hard and can be so very horrible but you have the power to make it better for yourself. Don’t believe anyone that tells you that this is not true. People hold themselves back because they are afraid. Afraid to try. Afraid to fail. Afraid to live.
Perhaps because I am a Scientist, I do not fear failure. Most experiments lead to failure but like Thomas Edison I believe that every failure is one step closer to success. I take rejection the same way. For me not living a full, rich life is much worse than any failure. I am methodical, again perhaps because I am a scientist. Now whilst my memory is compromised, I believe this to be a coping mechanism as well as PTSD, being methodical helps me accomplish, more successfully, what I need.
As I take one baby step at a time, I know that I am always one step closer to achieving my goals both short and long term, of which there are many. I haven’t suffered so much and fought so hard to survive to lead a pathetic, mediocre or partial life.
Getting through the process of building my home or even starting it is a hellish nightmare. Doing it on my own is overwhelmingly terrible and difficult. At times I feel like giving up but I won’t. I don’t think I’m capable of giving up but I do feel like I am being crushed by the tsunami of emotions that don’t seem to end or improve too much at the moment. I am very much in the present but it is often not a good or happy place. I know it will improve, eventually. I cannot wait.
Schrodie and I are still exercising, dancing, playing, having adventures and having fun. I am still managing to complete my course work but it is not easy.
Every day I manage to do everything I need to and at least one big task, at the moment these are related to my home rebuild.
The hardest things are checking that everything for my house is correct in the documentation. Mostly, it is not. The errors are shocking as they are about important things like water catchment from the roof into my rainwater tanks. They diverted most of it to storm water and I almost missed the small dotted lines, on the plans that indicated this error. The one rainwater tank for the Rural Fire Service was documented as five tanks with no tanks connected to the house. There were more errors.
The pressure of not missing any errors in the documents is onerous and taking a toll on my health. It must be done. Going home will come with its own challenges. Breathing is so hard. Remembering to breathe at times is even harder. Covid-19 is rearing its ugly head once more. I am so grateful for Schrodie, my family and my friends.
My auntie died and I am sad about her loss but grateful that she is no longer suffering.
Kris Kristofferson’s songs are still on a loop in my mind. This is bitter-sweet. My memory is haunted by things past, both wonderful and heartbreaking. My memory playlist is expanding. Night time is especially difficult and has been since last January. Sleep does not come easy. Only one man has ever been able to really comfort me and allow me to feel safe. He too haunts my memory. The weeks are rolling by so quickly. I am torn about getting involved in a relationship. It is not what I want but it might be good for me. I will not hurt or use anyone to make myself feel better. I’ll trust the universe. I have surrendered, everything, after all. I believe that this is why I manage. I still have the power of choice. I can make new and better choices constantly. I am never stuck or trapped, even when I feel like I am. When I forget this truth, I remind myself.
Anyway I am getting stronger even though I struggle. My memory is also improving. I am still managing to laugh and to have fun. For this I am so grateful. I have so much to do and so much to achieve.
Hope you have a great week. Have fun. Take care, stay safe.
Watch this space...