This post may be too much information for some; I actually thought it would be a journal entry. But for reasons I can’t explain, I feel the need to share.
At 3:30 a.m., I woke up to the sound of rain. More rain, I thought. For a few moments, I stayed put and tried to sort out my emotions. It didn’t take long for me to identify the one whimpering for my undivided attention … emptiness …
It seems that my world has somehow escaped from my grasp and what has taken its place is scary. I did not want to get up. Better to stay in bed. But by 4 o’clock, I felt sure I’d not be able to sleep any more, so I moved over to the computer. I could see my fingers moving desultorily over the keys, so I knew I was physically present in the room. But my mind was not.
In fact, my mind had decided to go “on strike” and it summoned my stubbornness. That in turn summoned my pride. Then my pride summoned my sense of outrage, and I could feel my anger growing and growing. I feel so much anger towards the chain of events and circumstances … “the perfect storm” that has taken over my life.
The perfect storm is destroying the life I have known up until now. I can’t say what I had was perfect, but it was the life I built for myself. Each time I faced a challenge … each time I forced myself to do the “right thing”… each time I fuelled myself with patience, understanding or empathy … I strengthened my life and my world … I made “me” stronger.
But now, all that energy seems depleted and I feel like a deflated balloon.
I decided to make a coffee and it felt comforting as it slid down my throat, washing away my swampy morning mouth. The slightly metallic aftertaste is not offensive and it is familiar.
I can hear Jorge stirring. He always senses when I’ve given up the idea of sleeping any longer, and lunges out from under the covers to look for me. I bless him for this because I know his first thought every morning is of me. The familiar is my proverbial yardstick, and today it seems to be the glue that is keeping me from falling apart.
Depression. Is this the name of the dark fog that has settled into me? Freudian therapists believe that depression is anger turned inward. I think this is true. When I feel unable to cope, I tend to blame myself and then try to “whip myself into shape”. But there are times when the honest truth is quite different. There are situations that are more difficult than I can cope with. I did not create the instability we live with constantly in Mexico. I did not bring the Narcos, Corruption, nor the Coronavirus to this country. Nor is the looming financial disaster my doing. I have been avoiding newspapers lately so the torrential rain arrived without much warning at all. None the less, I have to find the resources to deal with the perfect storm …
The anger I try to stamp out cuts my feet like sharp barbs. None of this is my fault, I wail.
Most of the women I know who came to Mexico several decades ago will say they are glad they have lived here and that they had “different” experiences. I know that as sad as I am, I am still happy this is my home. Jorge and I raised two great kids, and we built a college that made a difference in many people’s lives. We have acted with responsibility and high standards. We made friends from all over the world. We invested and saved money, and we thought we were sitting pretty for retirement. Well, think again Bubba…
The perfect storm has turned everything upside down. Our two adult children will be living abroad, Like most businesses in Mexico, our college is in a precarious position. We can’t even see our friends, and it looks as though this will go on for a long time. And that money we saved? Well it won’t be providing the easy life style we thought we’d get pleasure from in our “golden years”, it will be used for damage control.
I think I am justified in feeling anger and frustration. BUT, BUT, BUT my negative feelings will not help me. Only my attitude can turn this around for me.
If I bang my head against the wall, it will shatter before the wall breaks.
An attitude of gratitude will make me realise what I do have
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
This mess is not fair. It is not right. And you know what; sometimes we don’t get either fair or right. We just don’t. But Jorge and I agree the time has come for us to accept the things we cannot change. We are facing a challenge that we feel unequipped to deal with. In fact, we are totally daunted by it. This will definitely NOT be… “Magic Made in Mexico”.
However, Jorge and I have no choice but pull together and make the best of this perfect storm. And if we manage to crawl up on the other side, THAT will be called… “A Bloody Battle, Fought As-Well-As Possible, by Joanna and Jorge”.