Personal story and the everyday challenges that I face
This is more of a personal story that needed to put out there as I started to feel much better when I started this blog and share my thoughts mainly with myself, I am not looking for fame and fortune from this blogging activity but mainly using it as an expression of personal feelings…
I have been born not only in the Soviet Union but by today’s definition in a privileged family, my grandparents were mainly professors in various industries with one of them leading the Academic society with many achievements that till today his published work is used as the basis for other theories.
My parents were also in a very high up positions so as their siblings, in my own way, I call the family as Al-Capone of the past, they have not done anything illegal or criminal but the association is mainly based on the length of their connections throughout the city, the region, the country and beyond.
Whatever we wanted it, it was always provided to us, whether it was fancy new clothes, fancy food or whatever the desires. Our house hosted 100s of people per week for various occasions from the big national/traditional events through to the random gatherings. Our backyard had literally a space to place enough chairs and host 150-300 people which was the usual gatherings of my childhood.
Starting with the family roots our great-great-grand-father had a few wives, which have produced a few dozen of kids and today there are 1000s of cousins that are my age and spread around the world.
Imagine growing up in a castle with 100s of people surrounding your family like a celebrity and everybody is a celebrity in their own right, but this dream world has ended quite abruptly when the USSR has collapsed.
The country immediately ended up in a civil war with the jackals tearing the pieces of the past, everyone trying to claim their own territory, and potential new and easy access to wealth.
Giving the size and breadth of our family we have gone from being the party place to being the target place, I still remember till today, we’ve had 1000s of cocktail Molotov’s around our place and we were taught how to use the weapons and protect our castle if someone was going to come to get us.
We’ve had a few barrels of oil ready in case needed to make 1000s of more Molotov’s if needed it, our stock pile of food consisted of 1 ton of onions, potatoes in case we needed to stay put at home and not move anywhere, ofcourse about the amount of food and cocktails a bit of exaggeration of a little kids memories but the fact that we had those kind of preparations states the worst was yet to come and never fortunately came.
I remember those days where it did not matter the social structure of the family that we were from and we had to stand in the line in front of the bread making factory, waiting to get our quota of 4 loafs of bread. On average it would take about 5.5 hours to be in the queue to get it.
During my teenage years it was a Wild Wild West, where various bandits have roamed the city and the glorious past was disappearing from the memory with only thought in mind not to get in trouble, get shot or any other type of traps that were along the way from home to school and back.
One of the entertaining memory of that past was when on one sunny day when I was returning home from school, saw a massive amount of people (100s of them) running in an unknown direction so by the inertia I have joined the run, and asked them, what were they running from, one of the guys have replied that the bandits turned up at the local market (Bazaar) and started shooting random people, hence the crowd just took giving those bandits full access to the loot.
This was the usual day in the city where bandits would randomly loot a place because they have guns and they are hungry!!! We’ve had girls from 7th form that were taken away and they brought back the next day (obviously raped and tortured). Police did not have neither the guns nor the power to stopping any of these shenanigan’s that were done mainly by those that all of a sudden felt that they owned the city.
Growing as part of one of the largest families in the country, the memory is also stuck of having a relatives funeral almost on a daily basis, I remember all those days that we did not wear anything else besides the black clothes, it has become such a habit that even till today my choices of color still stuck at black.
Those professors that have been the brain power of the country were shot dead after the other and it came to the turn of my father, although he was not shot, but he passed away in his mid 40s leaving his young wife (our mother) with 3 little whizzlers.
With the death of the father so was the end of the era and connections of us to the family, interestingly enough that his relatives has ripped all of his well doings apart, they took everything that he had from us the rightful heirs and left us to the life to take care of us.
Luckily that our Mother was strong enough to get up and go back to her work without having enough time to really grief her loss, in her mind was only one mission, to make sure that her offsprings wont die from hunger.
In our culture and tradition the friends and relatives of the family bring the help in terms of money, food and other necessities needed for the family to survive, but none of them have trickled down to us as a family, although we lived in the same property as our “granma/father’s mother” all of the food and help went to her and she has never had a feeling of sharing anything but the left overs.
Mother did not allow us to have any left overs and to keep our heads high up and keep on moving forward, this situation did not really last longer as the granma realised she cannot stay ignoring us on a daily basis and have moved away to stay with her younger daughter and she stayed with them until her horrible death.
Through her international contacts Mother had an opportunity of providing us an international education, by then my elder brother had just started a new job in the country and did not want to leave but build his career while I was just finishing my high school.
A lot of fights and arguments it took to “kick” me out of the country and send to the weird country called, New Zealand (my kids often ask me what happened to Old Zealand”).
When I left the country just months later the uncle, fathers brother, turned up with the claim on the property and since everyone was busy with their lives he went all in and sold the house, yet again, taking all of the money and leaving us now homeless.
When I was in my last years of the high school I do remember him turning up with random people asking how much is the property etc and I was always pushing them or putting them off if lets say the negotiable pricing was sitting at $1000 (this is just an example of ridiculousness of my answers) I would quote them $20000. 20 to 50 times higher than what uncle would have quoted those that turned up, putting them off away.
The house was built by the granpa (father’s father) in early 1900s, so asking prices that I was, definitely annoyed potential buyers, but this was the end of the story when I left the country, they have sold the house, split the profits amongst themselves and cut off the last strings of hope to have any future relationships with us, the kids of the person that have passed away too early.
When people met me in New Zealand they usually tried to stay away, typical angry teenager, hating the world especially the new place, not knowing the language, not having, friends ,relatives, money, have nothing at all … what to be happy for?
What was not clear and understandable to me up until recently is the constant wants and needs of drinking the alcohol, I found the happiness and answers to my own ghosts of the pasts via drinking sorrow.
The more I drank though the more I started to become violent and this violence started to drip through to our personal relationship with the wife and kids. It finally broke the camels back and the wifey were quite clear, stop drinking or Im out of here.
Ofcourse as part of sobering the blame was on her for not understanding me, for not feeling the sympathy for what I have gone through etc etc, writing this up today actually makes me laugh…
The haunted past just aggravated by the excessive use of alcohol and feeling sorry for its own self rather than being productive and building something positive of what the ancestors have done in their own right we the offsprings were put into the situation of rather whining and crying during another session of alcoholic consumption …
The point of the story here, it does not matter what your past may have been, what your actions today is matter the most, if we want to upheld our past, need to stop living with the ghosts and build our future in the positive way so the past becomes the new future and we can go back to laughter, happiness and parties with the new family and friends and be surrounded by those that love us rather than those that are here to steal from us at the moment of our vulnerability.
To finish the haunted past, all of the kids from my family have actually got this PTSD and do go through the alcoholic session and I wish them all to get over themselves and think it that way: “The past is in the past and should stay there as a great nostalgic memory as past, the future is in in the future based on our actions today, so we should embrace today as it is called present for a purpose, that today is a gift for us to bring happiness to others rather than disappointments”