April 28, 2010

Troubling Trends ©

If in your old age you were able to clearly recall those events that stand out in your life; those defining moments; those incidences when time seemed to stand still while your mind screamed out "This can't be happening – it must be a dream!" – what would those moments be?

For most of us, those moments are usually filled with horror, or fear, humiliation, distress, grief and anger, and only occasionally – joy. Perhaps we remember less those joyous moments because they are pleasurable. Perhaps we remember more the uncomfortable experiences because they took us to a place we wouldn't like to revisit, and they remain more vivid in our memories.

In my adult life I have had quite a number of these dramatic experiences:
  • One of my earlier memories dates back to the time when I was eighteen years old and working as a Governess on a cattle property. One of my duties was to tie up the milking cow each afternoon in preparation for milking. After several months, I went to tie up the cow as usual, and I swear, if a cow could have PMS, this one had it. She dropped her head and charged me, determined to gore me because she was feeling mighty cheesed off the world. In case you wondered – I lived.
  • Not long after that I was threatened with being shot to death in my bed – and yes, I lived through that one too.
  • A few years later, after I left my ex-partner, he began to stalk me and made me so scared that I thought he might harm me. (Mmmm, there seems to be a theme developing here.)
  • Just for a change of pace, I graduated from Bible college after a very intense period of study and financial hardship. I think from this positive experience I can determine that I just needed to be more discerning about where I spent my time – I guess you don't find too many maniacs at a Bible college.
  • Twelve months later, I almost died in hospital after major surgery.
My life has been fairly uneventful and smooth for several years now – well at least in comparison to some of the earlier events.

I was reminded a some time ago just how easily and quickly we can come across unexpected bumps in life's road. One afternoon I came home to find a number of unknown people at my house. Thinking they were friends of my new flatmate, I walked in with a smile, completely unprepared for what was to come.

One gentleman came over and introduced himself, and for several minutes I had that experience of unreality, when my mind refused to understand what it had heard. My smile quickly faded when I realised the gentleman chatting to me was a member of the Fraud Squad, and had just been through my home because of my flatmate's stealing spree.

The Police were very polite and helpful, but it didn't undo that sense of personal invasion, shock and unease, especially when one considers that perfect strangers had been going through the contents of my own bedroom and cupboards.

If I had to find something positive to say about the incident, I could honestly say it's an experience that I'd never had before! I guess it could have been worse – my flatmate could have been an arms dealer, a terrorist, or a telephone salesperson! ©

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