I am, it seems, a survivor.
I have always watched these action movies where, the main character is a very ordinary person goes to extraordinary lengths when put in a dangerous situation then comes out on top. I enjoy these movies but have always viewed them as a form of fiction, an impossibility.
Then in July last year(2014) I found myself in a place no one wants to be in. I find myself facing the gun barrel of a thief in my home, while I’m home alone just after 11 pm.
Not a fun position to be in. They leave the house to stash what they have taken in a bush, i am dry mouthed and shaking uncontrollably from the fear. I get up I get my motorbike key put my shoes on… that is the only shoes they haven’t taken yet…. I go to the back door just to realise they had taken my house keys so I go to the large pane windows they used to enter the house and I see them in the bushes…. A decision was made… I knew I couldn’t run fast enough to get away due to the shaking so I had only 1 shot to get to the back of the house and I had to do it as quickly and quietly as I could.
I climb out of the windows into the dark winter night. I sneak through the front gate to get to my bike in the back and when I reach my bike another decision has to be made…
Do I try to run to the the neighbours house (approx 800m from my house) or do I get on my bike and drive.
I choose to drive knowing full well I would have to drive past them … so I take the cover off my bike and I get on.
Another decision…. do I try to reach my wife who is house sitting about 8 km away or do I try to reach my neighbour… I weigh up the options… The road to my wife would mean I go downhill past the 3 thieves on a rather bad dirt road for 3 km in the dead of a moonless night…. that option was too daughnting so the choice became obvious, I go uphill on a equally as perilous dirt road past the armed theives to try reach my neighbour and hope they can help….
Decision made I get on my bike and reverse a bit, I try to start it…. It didn’t start…. I try again knowing that if it doesn’t start this time my options will diminish greatly to running for help…. It starts on the second try. I drive out the gate but as I get to the dirt road they jump put of their hiding spot in the bushes and try to grab me… I open up the throttle and gun it as hard as I can, my bike responds well but as I drive I flinch waiting for the shot to hit me, I’m ready to be shot , I’m expecting it…. It doesn’t happen.
I navigate the road by memory alone as the dim headlight is swallowed by the moonless night. I reach the neighbour’s gate. I call out but no one responds…. now what?…. I push out the kick stand and take my bikes key. I climb a rather tricky gate, thankful it’s not pallisading as I don’t know how to scale that.
I reach the front door and knock.
My neighbour is up as I thought she would be but husband is in a semi drugged sleep and can’t be roused….
She phones my wife and we get security and police out.
Well after all this I realise that those movies are kinda accurate and that if you are the right kind of person you will go to those extraordinary lengths to survive, you adapt and decisions take seconds to make.
Needless to say people who can do this also suffer greatly when it’s all over.
I am still fighting my ptsd and fear but I realised something in all of this, I am one of those people who is capable of extraordinary things when placed in a dangerous situation, I would go to any length to survive and I’m not like the other half who would have stayed in the house until they were sure the thieves were gone.
To my surprise I am a survivor and would go to any length to stay that way.
It doesn’t mean much when in October (just a few months later) my boss decides to fire me because I was trying to find comfort in knowledge during the quiet periods at work… she pushed me in a corner and I lied to her for the first time… I was under a lot of stress at work and my ptsd was taking its till so she gave me a choice be fired or resign. ..
Cold and heartless and she ensured I remain unemployed as she spread stories all over this small town.
Now I sit here, my wife’s salary isn’t enough to get us by, no one will hire me, and my cats and us are running out of food, the accounts departments of my accounts are harassing me and I believe I’m utterly useless.
Feeling helpless and alone, feeling like I’m a burden to my wife. I’m a survivor and it means nothing, I can’t feed my animals with it, I can’t pay my bills with it….
What can I say? I want to give up, but the survivor in me won’t let me.
Well anyway that is my story, make of it what you will.