A well planned recovery path includes risk management, but includes it in a fashion that ends in the completion of your goal. If you start with risk management, you will not have a goal you are trying to achieve. Thus all decisions should be made with the successful outcome in mind, rather than avoiding anything that may be risky.
If you don’t know what to do, or your are barred from doing, you feel powerless.
This is part of our human nature. We wish to control our environment to increase our safety and maximise our comfort. When we can’t do this, we feel incapable, question our ability and have issues with our identity and ego.
Remember that we are Human Beings. We don’t have to do. Just be.
Our being is not defined by what we do, but rather by why we do. This “why”, this being, does not require us to do, it is just frustrating when we can’t do.
My maternal grandfather was an Austrian born man who studied engineering. He worked around the world, learning new languages in each port. He described his method of learning a new language as this: Move to the country, find a girl, move in with her and learn her language. He was fluent in 8 different languages.
My understanding of language acquisition is that it is actually quite hard to do. To pick up additional languages, beyond a basic child level, one must make huge changes to the brain. Falling in love releases a huge number of chemicals into the body, which includes the brain, and prompts the brain to be quite plastic. Another plasticity trick is to travel a long way and walking a lot. In both travel and falling in love, the brain is primed to learn new things, to adapt to new situations and to change quite radically.
When my maternal father went to Russia to fill the latest engineering position, he was no doubt looking for a girl to learn the language from. He found this sophisticated, incredibly beautiful Russian minor noble at a party, whom he fell madly in love with and married. Kudos to my grandmother for taming him.
They moved from Russia to France where he scored a new contract. World War Two broke out and France was invaded. This is somewhat awkward for those who have noticeably Jewish heritage.
Why is it that this war was defined as a world war? Why are so many other wars not defined as a world war? The most prolific modern history writers in our culture are from Europe, so European wars must be worse than other wars. Consider some of the wars around the Conga area in Africa – how many countries were involved with them? Or the Board War, which proceeded the first so called world war. Even Australia shipped troupes out to that war. Ah well.
So, my maternal grandfather was put into a concentration camp so that he could work on his crime of having Jewish ancestry. It was somewhat of a shock to my grandmother to discover that he had Jewish heritage and not a matter she tended to discuss with us. My understanding is that Jewish people in Russia tended to inhabit villages and not mix much with other peoples. My grandmother was quite prejudiced against them. In fact, my grandmother was quite racist.
My grandmother wanted to save her husband and so every day she would go to the camp and beg the guards to let her husband go. I don’t know how long that went on for, but eventually one of the guards relented and said that he would have to leave Europe if he were let go. My grandmother went to many charity organisations looking for ways to pay for a ticket out of Europe. They all turned her away. She finally went to a Quaker family and told them of her plight. They gave her the money, she bought a ticket and my grandfather was released. They all left Europe.
My grandfather never talked about his time in the camp. He was also unable, according to my mother, to emotionally connect with people. To him, life was logic and sense.
They landed in Australia and next went to Papua New Guinea. My mother, the oldest of two, was conceived in Papua New Guinea and her parents made a decision that they wanted her born in Australia and thus they would settle down in Australia. My grandfather spoke excellent English, so this was easy for him. My grandmother spoke only Russian with a bit of French, so this was hard. She refused to learn English, as it was too difficult, and only mixed with Russian peoples. My grandfather band her from seeing them until she learned English and as I understand it, she never mixed with them again.
She learned English, slowly. This was facilitated by her getting a job. She got the job because at the time Russia was seen as a great ally, and she was very picturesque lady.
Where to begin. At some point I was born. That didn’t lead to the life I was quite expecting so I did it again. Sort of. Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself.
It’s a strange phrase, getting ahead of myself. Can you get behind yourself? What does it look like to be ahead or behind yourself? But I digress. That’ll happen a bit.
Do I begin with my mother, my father or my grandparents? Perhaps this is a good place to start.
Like most people, I have four grandparents. Their origins vary quite widely, but invariably can be pinned down to being “European”. Try not to blame them for it, they didn’t really have much of a say.
My maternal grandmother was born in Russia in 1912. She was born of noble stock and recalls the mild spot of bother that Russia got herself into in 1917, twice, as mostly people coming into the house to re-distribute the wealth. This way everyone would be equal. But they aren’t. For starters, her father was quite bright. So bright he spent a lot of time in Siberia making up for it. In this instance, in the dark, the family sewed bits of gold between two leaves on the tree in the back yard. Small bits of gold, mind you, but carefully sewn together such that they looked natural.
So people came in and looked through the house looking for the wealth. They took the silver candle sticks, the copper fittings, dug up the larder, and the back yard, but never looked at the money tree.
So folks, money really does grow on trees. Well, perhaps it doesn’t grow, as such, but it did in her garden.
Eventually, all people need to grow up, and so she did. It was arranged for her to marry an old gentleman, to increase the family fortune. Every couple of generations her family would arrange for a prosperous merchant to marry into the family. They got noble connections and the family got someone who was smart with money. A good deal, really.
She wasn’t a big fan of this deal. To sweeten the deal, for her that is, not him, she was given a last trip to Moscow. Here she met a man, who was exotic and foreign. He seemed slightly older than her, spoke rotten Russian, but was quick witted and very charming. Within two weeks they were married (and he was actually the same age as her, but had silver hair) and she brought him home to meet the parents.
Parents thought it was a joke and went along with it. Slowly, they realised and Father and new gentleman had a “talk”. Here Father spoke to new Son about how his daughter was “special” and would need “special treatment and attention”. New Son said he was aware of this and would take the necessary steps and do the necessary things to ensure she was taken care of.
This was the first indication I knew of insanity in my family. My grandmother was special. She had incredible survival ability, but very little intelligence and some very strange and bizare notions about how the world worked. She was able to sniff out a dangerous plot with incredible accuracy. She could manipulate people to do what she wanted and needed.