It is actually a letter I wrote some time ago, but I did not send it… Even now I am not sure if I will ever send it, but… I have fun writing to you, so I will continue doing it and modify the letter a bit and see what will happen… Spontaneously, I decided to stay longer in the city – until Saturday. I think you know why… Though I never go to any Xmas parties or lunches, somehow this year I decided to go to the lunch at work and to the drinks after. It is a pity you are not coming… After, I will probably go somewhere for a walk – I just need some time for myself… It is the best that I can have in the current situation…
OK, here is the letter I wrote some time ago…
I was looking back on my life and thinking how my beliefs changed over the years. My values stayed the same but the restrictions which were put on me through the environment where I grew up, with my family and society changed.
I grew up in an environment which made me believe that the family and the family home are the most important and valuable things in life. I can travel and see the world but I can never leave the family home. It is where I belong. Here in this home I should get married in the way the tradition prescribes and here I should have children. We all should live like tradition and the ancestors tell us, following all the rules. I dreamed about living in a country with a lot of space and wilderness (as I already told you I wanted to be a vet and work in a National Park in Kenya with wild animals), but I believed that it would be a big crime to leave the family home. I was almost petrified that one day I could commit the huge crime and leave the home. It was so bad that I was scared of any “signs” indicating my leaving the family home. I remember two nights before I emigrated to Germany, I tried to catch my budgerigar and lock it in the cage. But somehow it got to the other room where a window was slightly open and it flew away. My first thought was “It is time for the bird to leave the family home. You will not come back”. I was terrified of this thought. “No, I am going only for one year to Germany to save some money and then I will come back and I will renovate my flat and I will be living here as I should” I was saying to myself in my thoughts. The next day I went to a pet-shop, bought another budgerigar, put it into the cage and left it to my parents to look after while I am away. They noticed that the bird looks and behaves somehow different, but they did not have much contact with it, so I found some excuses for this. It was many years later when I told them what had really happened. It is now over 17 years since I left the family home. Do I regret it? Not at all. Here I have a much better life – it was very difficult and a rocky way and sometimes I struggled extremely to come to where I am now, but the life here is thousands of times better than the life in the country of my origin, therefore better than in my family home. I respect and love my parents and I will always support them and help them. As I love my family home and I would never sell the family house. But I do not want to go back – for visits yes, but not to live there, at least not at this stage. And now I also understand that I am a free human being who has the right to choose the place where to live. Yes, the bird left the family home but it is free and happy.
Part of the tradition at our home was religion. With my parents we often went to the church and always for any church celebrations (Easter, Christmas and so on, even though it was dangerous – in communistic country you are not allowed to go to a church; and a prison is not the 5-start hotel like in the western countries... You are lucky when you come out of the prison alive). My mum is a very religious woman and for her, church and prayers are very important. My father is not religious but very conservative and for him tradition is extremely important. And religion is part of the tradition, therefore church is important. For my parents converting to another religion is like betrayal (actually it led to a big conflict between my parents and my cousin who is living in the same house and who changed her religion). Therefore, as a child, I always believed that I have to go to church (though I did not really like it) and I have to pray. If I do not do it something really bad will happen. Sometimes when I was really tired and forgot to do my prayers I could wake up in the middle of the night, get up and do my prayers. Time moved on and I started discovering other religions. I read quite a lot of books from different religions – Hindu, Buddhism, Muslim and others. I started visiting different churches and temples and participating in their celebrations. At the beginning it felt strange to go to the other churches as I strongly believed that I should not do it and that I am breaking a serious rule. But with time my eyes got opened and I realised that there is nothing wrong with what I am doing. For me it was not so much about religion as about the psychological aspect of it. I discovered how different people are, how they believe, how they think. And all these taught me not to judge people but to understand them. I respect any religion and any belief, however I do not let people push their beliefs on me and tell me how I should think or feel. From respect to my parents I will go with them to church when I am visiting them. But myself I am not religious person. Or if I have any religion it is very simple – treat others as you want them to treat you and good luck will always stay with you. And so another restriction from my life disappeared.
Another belief that I had was that I am allowed to be with only one man and no sex before marriage. I started to live with my first boyfriend without marriage (it was in Germany). My mum was unbelievably upset (and to make it worse for her – my boyfriend was dark skinned; at that time my home country was quite “behind the world”; you have to remember that for over 40 years that country was completely isolated from the world; people did not know different cultures and different races. They “guessed” that they exist but it was not visible on the streets). For a woman living with a man without marriage was absolutely beyond imagination (different culture and different times; now of course this changed in country of my origin as well). The only right thing I could do was to get married to this guy. Some members of the family were already planning my marriage and how our children would look. The only little problem I had was that I… not only did not love the man, but I was actually scared of him. Maybe I mentioned it before that one time he took me and through me across the room so that I fell over a table with pots with plants and ended up on a wall (luckily I did not break anything). And all because… I spoke to another man… It’s funny, I still remember how sure he was that I will never leave him and telling me that he would be happier without me and he was staying with me only to do me a favour (he knew that I was very scared of breaking the rule…). And at some point I thought – one day you will regret it… As I always had the “feeling” that I will break another rule… Again I was petrified of any “signs” which could indicate that I will be with somebody else. These “signs” were making me angry and I was easily irritable. Until a couple of years later when… Adam came along and the love won. And again I broke a rule, nevertheless again I was happy. And I also remember how my ex-boyfriend begged me to come back to him, but … when I make a decision it is done. I might be patient and tolerate a lot and it takes me a while to make a decision, but once I make it, it is done and I will not change it. Anyway I think it was a good lesson for him as well – from what I know he became more respectful towards women.
A few years later Adam disappeared and I was devastated. I could not imagine life without him. My entire world was build around him and he was not there any more. I did
not want to live any more. A couple of months later I bought a motorbike and I… started what we call to play “Russian Roulette”. I could not care less if I survived or not,
I had nothing to lose except my life, which was without meaning anyway. The only thing which could be worse was to be deported back to EU. I was working ridiculously long
hours to make sure that I keep my visa and stay here. And when I was not working I was riding my motorbike – during the day or overnight, in the rain or in the burning sun,
through the outback or through the bush. I remember a few times when I rode overnight and the rain was very heavy, I hardly could see anything only the blending lights of
oncoming trucks or trucks behind me being so close that their lights were mirroring in my mirrors into my eyes. And they were beeping horns on me and I thought “Do you want
to kill me? Then do it I do not care…”. Another time when I went through a national park I slipped of the road and went straight into the bush and thought “The game is
over now” (I call life a “game of poker”). Until now I am amazed how I managed to ride the bike in between the trees to get back on the road. I have never ever concentrated
so strong as at that time – just to see the way in between the trees and not see the trees (on the motorbike you ride where you look – so if you look at a tree you will
ride into the tree).
One time my bike broke down in the middle of the night somewhere between Quilpie and Charleville and I ended up with two guys in a ute with my broken bike at the back of their car. It was a scary experience but luckily nothing happened.
Over night I was usually staying at some camping grounds, but sometimes when I got too tired to ride I slept on the ground next to my motorbike – if it was dark I stayed somewhere at a petrol station, and if it was during the day simply in some park or rest area (I told you I am just a silly gypsy ;). It went like this for one year. Often I wonder myself how I survived all this, it almost seems impossible that nothing went wrong. I was very lucky…
And then I met George… He was also riding a motorbike and I believed he enjoys travelling. I was wrong. He was doing it just for me… Anyway, I learned to control all my emotions and feelings and accepted life without the special kind of love. I was sure that I will never love again in the way I loved before and I accepted it and I tried to make the best of what I had and of my life. I built a perfect thick and strong shell and put all the feelings and emotions there and they were buried deep inside me. At some point I was sure that all the feelings are dead. And I was kind of happy with it. I created my perfect world – I love the farm and I also had my imaginary world where I could escape when it got too hard. All my emotions were perfectly under control and I always could keep perfect composure. Nobody was able to get me out of my composure or get me by surprise – I was always a step ahead. I was happy and I did not really miss anything (if you do not know the taste of chocolate you will not miss it). Until that day when the impossible happened and somebody managed to get me by surprise and out of my composure and then just one touch shattered my perfect shell into a thousand little pieces and all the feelings bubbled to the surface… And now… I am confused… I know that my emotions I still have perfectly under control but all the feelings are up floating on the surface. On one hand I like the feelings and I want to have them and keep them, but on the other hand… the feelings make me vulnerable (we all know that the only humans who can hurt us are these whom we love) and therefore sometimes I am getting a bit scared… However, there is also my intuition, which until now was always right and the intuition is telling me that everything will be all right. There is some sadness amongst all this that will happen but at the end I will be happy having and keeping all the feelings… So I am going to try to keep my feelings and not oppress them any more and not to try to kill them…
Do you know Buddy, what was the best about Adam throwing me out of the house? That now after all these years I became really free. I am not afraid or scared of anything. I know that whatever will come I will survive (unless somebody literary kills me). I am not scared of being without work, I am not scared of losing my home (it would be very sad to lose the farm, but I am not scared of it), I am not afraid of being on my own. I know that whatever will happen, will happen for a reason and it will be good for me. When I look back now at the time with Adam, of course there are the nice memories from the first few years, but towards the end it changed and it became like a cancer, an ulcer. I did not have the courage to cut the ulcer myself and I was petrified that somebody could cut it for me. I did not even see it as a cancer. It was very painful when the ulcer was cut, but now I am happy that it was done. And now I can say that though the break up was the most painful thing which happened to me and I do not wish anybody to go through what I was going through, but at the same time I have to say that actually this was the best thing which happened to me as this gave me… real freedom. I am having control over my life, nobody else. Yes, not everything is perfect at the moment, but… there is time and reason for everything. I keep to the rules I set for myself as they define me and who I am. I do what I think is right at this time. But at the same time I am going in the direction I want to go, where I want to be in the future. And the weird “signs” about the future are there again, some sadness and pain but also... a lot of happiness. Nevertheless now, I am not afraid of the signs any more, I just accept them and see what the future will bring.
I broke all the rules society and family put on me – I do not live in the family home and I am not going to a church or praying, I am living with the third man in my life
and I also know that I can be perfectly happy without a man on my own. I broke all the rules, however, at the same time I build and strengthen my own rules based on morals
and ethics. I respect my parents and their religion as I respect all people and other religions. I respect them but I do not let them to tell me how to live my life. I would
never try to use anybody or trick them to do something for me they do not want to do. I will help people as much as I can, but I do not let them to use me. I respect George
and I will never use him or cheat on him, but I do not let him take my freedom away from me.
And now I also know that life is definitely worth living :)
Sometimes I feel like an eagle whose wings were tied with strong ropes for many years. But then the ropes were cut, one after another and the eagle got hurt and carried many wounds. Nevertheless after years the wounds healed, first leaving deep scars. Recently, however, even the scars disappeared. And now the eagle is free and can stretch and move its big wings, and fly high in the sky and let the wind carry it.
I came back from the drinks – it was nice, but I did not stay long… It was too hot in the pub – here, in the office is much better with the air-con (of course I am not working). And anyway somehow all the socialising and pubs is simply not my cup of tea. Probably one of my problems is that I do not drink – I am not some fanatic, I just do not like beer, wine whatsoever – I prefer a fresh juice ;). And I like to be always aware of what I am doing and of my environment. When people get drunk and I am not drunk, then the conversations are not very interesting for me. Additionally here in AU I still have a problem with the language and when it gets very loud I have difficulties to understand what people say. And at the end all the experience is simply very tiring for me.
I just remembered a kind of a funny situation, which I had once with drunk people. I should add that I do not like being approached by drunk men – somehow this really makes me aggressive. One time as teenager, with my sister, we were on a train and passed a group of drunk people. One of the men hit me on my bottom. I turned around and smacked him in the face (quite strong, as I was really angry because of his behaviour). All people there laughed at him. And what my sister did? She said: “Lucky! What are you doing? Behave!” “What am I doing? He smacked me, I did not start it.” I replied. And my sister “It is not how a lady behaves!”. I still have to laugh about this. How does a lady behave? Let the guy touch her? Then I prefer to be not a lady and not be touched by others. I am sure if somebody now behaved like the guy did, I would react exactly as I reacted that time.
So I am sitting now in the office and I write and wait until it gets cooler outside. Maybe later I will be able to go for a walk along the river – here where we went that time and then catch the boat and go for a ride. I will see. I have some time off and I have to use it to have fun – even if just by myself. I am somehow used to it, and I have a very good imagination so actually I can be with… yes, you know Buddy with whom…