Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The Best Of Times. The Worst Of Times.
27th January 2009. Three years ago, I had what I can only describe as a nervous breakdown. The moments, the hours when it happened, the exact minute, the sounds and the feelings remains seared into me : and though on the outside I look and act the same as I did, and nobody would I suspect know unless I discussed it with them, inside I know. We know. We rebuilt our lives after a horrific event, and we – us – are one. I look on us now, my partner and I, and my boys, and am astounded with where we are now and how far we have travelled from then.
In terms of spirit, I went through a hell and back. I walked away from things I should not have done, but could not remain within. I was holding onto injustices, trying to resolve them. I was holding onto things that were killing me.
But, when I think of how far we have come since then, it is a different world. At the time, I was uncertain if I would work again, and if so, how, and to what level. Would I step back from my ambitions, limited by my capacity? Or would I be limited only by my abilities, as such? And, until recently, I was doing some of my best ever work, at the top of my game. I've never worked harder, or better, than the past twelve months.
This traumatic event is, like the Kurt Cobain legendary divorce, such a bore. What matters is not what happened, but where I am now. At the time, I did not know my place in the world. One day I stayed watching films in the cinema all day because I did not want to come back home. Most days, the highlights of my day was getting up to see my partner off to work, before spending the rest of the day in the house. Convalesing. For the two years previous, I had lived in a steadily uglier world : a vile working environment, a forced 'voluntary' redundancy, which had been enacted by a unjustified procedure – one I was compensated for after union and legal involvement. A divorce. Fraud. Multiple assaults. The theft of my life savings of several thousand pounds by my ex-wife. The death of an unborn child. 14 hour working days. At some point, one must break.
To think where I am now from then, I am staggered by how far we have come. My life is not perfect, but this life has improved immeasurably since then. We have long and hard moments in our life :almost all are linked to the fog of exhaustion and constant demands of a two year old and the then-crushing demands of an employer. A lack of money and time. For me though, it was the realisation of everything I have been working for in my life so far.
And then it fell apart. A decision outside of my life, outside of my efforts, outside of everything I had done and beyond my control was made, and now everything I have worked for all of my life, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every year, for the past seventeen years, is at risk by a decision that is beyond my control.
I will be officially unemployed for the first time in fifteen years in less than a month.
My family is at risk. My home is at risk. If I lose my home now I will never be able to own another home unless I inherit one. I will be renting forever. My children may not have anywhere to live. The ambitions I have sought, and the prize I have wanted almost all of my professional life that I briefly achieved, have been discarded. But how I land, and what happens after that, to some extent is up to me.
It could be worse. And, unless I know what's happening in my future, it will be. Very quickly.
Everything I have worked for will have been destroyed. But I'm not giving up without a fight. My job is now to find another job. It is a battle to the death. I will not give up, I will not give in.
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