The speech

I spent today at a marae. I think I’m supposed to wax lyrical on the profound spiritual effect it had on me, mention the wisdom of the iwi, talk about my own insignificance in the face of strong whakapapa and a struggle to regain acceptance in society.  Probably I did feel those things at some point. But mostly I was just bored. I’m usually so open to new cultures, but I think that’s because it’s a choice. Today was thrust upon me as part of my course. In fact, it was expected we’d sleep in the marae, which gives you some sort ‘expert insight’ into the Maori culture. I don’t agree with that at all, sleeping in a stable doesn’t make you a horse. I’ve read about the Treaty of Waitangi and been to many cultural events. One night does not an expert make.

We did have to do presentations, named Who Am I. Basically a summary of life experiences, influences and belief systems.

If I had any doubt at all about my decision to quit counselling, then they were surely stamped out today. The people that spoke were long and boring. I know, who am I to judge? Blah blah. But someone’s most profound example of a life changing moment was camping for three days. And not Bear Gryllis style either on Everest. Just down at a local camp ground with food and drink provided. Hardly epic survival stuff that would make one face their own mortality or experience survival from eating bugs. People are so precious on this course. Their stories reflect a small, insular world. No one really inspired me, not just because no one ate bugs, but there was no passion. No spontaneity or lust for life. Frankly it was all a bit drab, made even more frustrating by the little clicky cheers and encouragement. I thought some might break into a cheerleading frenzy.

I put no planning into my speech, I just stood up and decided to wing it. I talked about my upbringing, how everything changed after the rape, the relationship that I was in that was violent, tumultuous at best. How my world view changed when I started to travel. How I met S, my kids, my beautiful boy that I attributed my current strength to and desperation to make him proud and not let him down.

It was a burst of unexpected raw honesty. Most people were shocked, they know me, but they had no idea. I didn’t feel anything when I spoke, or immediately after. I felt I’d done my contribution and that was it.

Later I saw S because I’d dropped my car at the auto electricians and he was taking me there. I guess the repressed hurt found its way to the surface and we argued about money. Another mud slinging, anger fueled argument. I left in tears.

I later text to apologise and explain my misdirected anger. I felt his response trivialised it and so the miscommunication via text continued.

I intended to get drunk tonight. Obliterate my feelings about S. The potential ramifications of sharing my story, the emotional fall out. But decided that drinking in this state would undoubtedly end badly.

Frankly I’m feeling overwhelmed by the whole thing. Telling my story like that to a bunch of strangers is unheard of. I felt a bit, dare I say, frustrated with some of the hypocrisy with the clash of cultures, basically, you don’t do this, but we can. And of course, the Maori people in the class were well respected by our hosts. But then, maybe it serves as a conscience reminder of how Maori have been historically treated by the Pakeha.

I’m at a loss with my relationship with S. If there can be a friendship. How he seems to care so little. How distant we are. He’d been so amazing after my nightmare. And maybe that’s the problem, I still rely on him to a large extent. And when I perceive him letting me down I get angry. When really he’s not doing anything differently. I’m the one that seeks him out. I’m the one that blames him and causes arguments.

I’ll be glad to get this bed situation sorted out. I’m desperate for my kids to stay here. I miss them terribly. I think it will help with the transition.

I’m on my own in this journey. And as my speech ended today,

My life has taken another direction. I never anticipated losing S. I’m hurting very deeply, but I’ve embarked on a new journey that I need to learn on. As I’m no longer confident in who I am. The one thing I know for sure is that I love my son more than anything. He’s my strength and I will continue to be the best mother I can be and provide a good example to him


One thought on “The speech

  1. Hello friend
    You’ve made several huge jumps in very little time. Try to look ing big picture, you deserve a pat on back. I’m disappointed to hear your marriage didn’t stay together.
    I don’t know the laws, read up on custodial issues. The longger he has 100% of kids time, will not help you get 50%. I would not let him know you are drinking even one drink. Relationship commitments regarding kids can turn fast. I know it’s hard but you need preparation.
    Take care.


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