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Something or rather about my life, particularly the relationships in it
2 years ago · Explicit·
tl;dr: people are weird, life's weird, people come and go during your life just as you'll come and go during theirs (sometimes meeting again unexpectedly), some people have come and go with small influences on your life while others have huge influences on your life, you spend every moment of your life with yourself so I recommend being your best friend, be open minded about people, communicate as clearly and honestly as possible, learn a martial art/self-defence system and love without hope.
From my life experience I've found that people come and go for a variety of reasons.
Between birth and 17 years age I'm estimating to have interacted with a thousand+ people, interacted as in conversations IRL and Online, doing group orientated activities (sports (cricket, hockey, tennis, horse riding, water polo, swimming), clubs (chess, debating), school projects), I'd lived in 3 countries (Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Australia), 6 cities/towns, lived in 8 homes, been to 8 schools.
Growing up in Africa I remember that I'd meet my friends at school or if something was pre-arranged by our parents. I'm not sure how to describe what it was like and my understanding of it but I grew up understanding that outside the property wasn't safe and even going out with the appropriate adults required vigilance and caution as there was always a chance to be killed, kidnapped, raped, tortured, ect. Not to say that everyone is/was out to get you but you had to be careful, being white was enough of an excuse to be targeted. (And it urks me a bit now with the overwhelming 'political correctness' BS that's developed in Western countries, prime example in Auz is how 'respectful' whites need to be to non-whites (Aborigines) no matter how disrespectful non-whites (Aborigines) are to anyone else.)
My family moved when the Govt. started killing white farmers. (Common theme in Africa: Politics and violence go hand in hand.)
The transition from Africa to NZ was overwhelmingly huge for me. I had lost all my friends and didn't have a way to contact any of them; not that it really mattered as I was trying to deal with a very different way of life, different as in pretty much everything from how to interact with people to how the Govt. operates (I can't explain completely how different it is/was), without anyone really making things clear as to how and why things were different.
Any friends that I made were lost a year later when we moved again, any friends I made at this place were lost when I moved again and then again a year later when we moved to Australia.
At the second school I attended in NZ there was one kid who would alternate between interacting with myself and interacting with others, he was, I think, my only friend there. I have asked myself why I didn't go over and join them but all I can say is that I had a much different attitude and understood things a lot differently than I do now. I recall another kid who decided one day that he hated me (I'm assuming now that he had issues with his father) and took his rage out on me, this cracked something in me and my trust in others declined.
In hindsight I would also say that at this point in time many kids (in NZ around my age-group) were beginning to use phones to communicate with each other, something that for me was ... undiscovered. I hadn't yet grasped the rules on when you could visit friends, when, why, how long, ect,,, this was something that I didn't really come to understand better until my later years of highschool. I recall there being a surprisingly large amount of trends (marbles, cards, tazo's, beyblades, hand games, ect) that go through primary school in NZ and Auz, I have no recollection of similar trends in Zim just that I recall people playing sports or physical games, playing on playground equipment, talking,,, and silk worms.
In Australia I lived in 2 country towns and a city (before 17y/o) with the country towns being even harder to adapt to. In the first town, the distances between where I was living and the nearest neighbors was about a 10 minute walk and I think it was around a 30-40 minute drive to school. Again the people there had their own 'way' of interacting with each other and I don't recall any friendships that really stood out in my mind in this town though most of my friendships came from the swimming club and hockey club.
Even so, a year later I was living in town 50 minutes away. This time I managed to stay in contact and maintain friendships with some people from the swimming and hockey club, and for these friendships it wasn't just that I was reaching out to them but they were also reaching out to me, which is crucial (although I have since found that sometimes with certain relationships one person does most or all of the initiating on certain things in order for the relationship to work).
I find at this point I find that the other people I interact with start referring to the people that they have been closely interacting with for years as 'friends' whereas I barely have 'friends' for a year so a 'friendship' starts to become a bit blurry and the semantics of the word (and other words) become clearer (or vaguer) to me which starts leading me to disassociate words with things although I associate 'friendships' with having a consistent connection with someone or a group over time; on the other hand 'relationships' to me means an interaction with another/others over time.
This next town I found the relationships to be a lot different from previous ones. I got along really well with a kid from Canada until he left (a friendship of sorts), I got along well with the swimming club members, decently with hockey and cricket club members, and ended up fitting in with the 'outcasts' of the High School while I was attending it. I had one friendship that suddenly ended where they, for no reason that I am aware of, completely disconnected from me one day and I'd say that this started to cause me to become despondent as for all my life I've had, outside my control, everyone (baring family) leave my life or decide to hate me or decide to break connections with me.
My mother, being the actress she is, would teach drama at a local school and one of biggest themes that got taught was that of Improvisation, something that, in hindsight, really helped me a lot to interact with people. One of the games we'd play was called "Yes, Lets!" and what would happen is that someone would be doing something or suggest to the others that they do something and everyone would say "Yes, Lets" and then do it, with suggestions to get more outrageous and funnier every time.
My family left this town after 2.5 years, a decision my father made as his work boss was unbearable.
We moved to the major city and I had lost a lot of interest in the world at this point. I did my homework well, I was good at the sports I participated in but for the most part I had lost a connection with everything, just going through the motions and feeling, so to quote Pink Floyd, "comfortably numb".
I finished my last 4.5 years of school here. To start with I was assigned a 'buddy', someone to show me around and this person hung around with another kid; we stuck together like the awkward misfits we were for the entire duration of that 4.5 years lol. In a way these two guys were what I consider my first 'real' friends because we stuck together most of the time, talking about a large range of topics openly and just generally sharing our concerns and opinions with each other.
I started having issues with my father at this point, how and why I don't know. So my home life sucked unbearably and would consist of me coming home from school, maybe watching some TV then doing homework, going swimming/cricket/hockey training for either the school or club, eating, finishing homework, reading and sleeping. I didn't spend any time with my father as it did not matter what I did as he would be disappointed in me, constantly finding something wrong with me. I remember they brought me a computer to do my homework on and this was something that lead me to escape from my life (in a way that was better than reading books) through music, video games and internet forums.
I made strong friendships with several groups of people and through these experiences I retain that while not face-to-face interaction the internet is a fantastic medium for meeting and interacting with a large variety of people. For me it was absolutely fantastic to feel welcomed and accepted by these people, some more than others and we didn't need to even be doing the same thing as each other for the company to be welcomed. I laughed a lot with these guys and in a way they really helped me through the years.
So I tend to see online relationships/friendships as valid, sub-par to face-to-face but valid.
At the school I remember slowly developing more friendships with different people and groups. I can't really explain these, how they got started, why they worked, ect, I don't recall having any focused thoughts or feelings, I was for the most part comfortably numb and didn't feel I had much control.
I think I was more accepting of the interactions and quite blasé about it all. So I don't really know how I ended up with the friendships that I had, I just remember having them, like "surprise, you've got friends".
The guy that I first met at the school started to spend more time with a group of people from outside the school while at school I would spend more time with another group of friends, not to mention we started changing interests and as people, so we slowly started to fall apart.
I remember my first girlfriend at this point. We broke up after a month as she found another guy she wanted to be with, I didn't hear positive things about the guy she went out with but nothing too negative either; this relationship ended earlier this year after being together about 6 years.
Round 2 - 17+ y/o
Things really changed again after HS, with HS no longer being the common denominator on why we meet, some relationships broke apart completely while some got stronger. My first year out of HS, I didn't do anything as I had nowhere I had to be and had nothing I wanted to do, my parents disagreed (I should have something to do and I should be out doing it) and things got very tense with my father. I got some work at a video production agency which was my first time in the adult workforce and was kinda fcked up. The structure of the company, and the two who ran it, was very informal. I never really knew what I was supposed to be doing (or why) but I was always put under the impression that I should be doing something 'productive', which wasn't helped by the fact that I didn't really know what the company was doing or supposed to be doing, let alone what the owners were doing. A great many things would change on whim, one of the owners was semi-cryptic most of the time and had his own eccentricities to boot, the other had a pretty strong up in the clouds vibe to him.
A guy, a couple years older than me, started working here not too long after me. We bonded over an interest in more abstract and metaphysical thoughts. This person also introduced me to cannabis. The relationship ended when we no longer worked together.
I got into an online relationship shortly after I started working here although this relationship deteriorated as friction developed between us, I think mostly due to a growth in my confidence + individuality and her condescension towards me and broke apart and changed into a friendship as she developed a peculiar romantic/sexual relationship with a guy who (supposedly) had a split male and female personality/ies. He traveled interstate to meet her and they married after a month or two, and not too long later I began to hear from her (communication between us never ended) that her husband was physically and emotionally abusive towards her; thankfully she got out of this and moved into another relationship with a different kind of guy, this guy being softer spoken, more emotional, musician, abusive background and this relationship lasted until the end of last year/beginning of this one. She has a new boyfriend now. In hindsight this girl was/is attracted guys with a developed feminine/yin sides and a difficult past; I don't know anything about her new boyfriend.
As this relationship died between us and while I was working at the video production company, a girl there took a huge interest in me while I just let things happen between us without a further thought. We ended up spending a lot of time together outside work although it wasn't until we'd slept together several times when I realised how strong her feelings were for me whilst I didn't have strong feelings for her. I felt really bad and disturbed by this, I think largely as I'd never had someone have feelings towards me in anywhere near that manner and to boot I couldn't reciprocate them, so I broke up with her. It took me a long time to understand and get over what had happened; it had changed how I viewed relationships and I became a lot more cautious when interacting with others to try prevent the same sort of grievances from occurring to either party again.
One of my close friends from High School asked me if I'd like to travel interstate to live with him and his uncle and I accepted.
His uncle ended up taking a sort of psuedo-mentor/friend role towards us and I found that his openness and acceptance of who I was and what I did to be hugely helpful for me. I ended up working at a nearby tavern which provided me with pretty much all the social interaction I needed. I found that it was so much easier to get along with people by first off being unassuming, open minded and accepting, yet also to be myself in that I say what's on my mind, what I'm feeling, I discuss idea's and plans, that I do things that I want to do and say. I worked hard and was respected for it. I can't say that everything was perfect. I got along with people who I didn't see a connection with, I didn't get along with people I wanted to get along with, some relationships just were smooth sailing and we're still friends now, with one girl I felt like a kangaroo caught in the headlights of a car, another we'd go to parties and get smashed, another we'd just talk about ourselves to each other, one guy was out of his mind and yet probably the safest person to be around, one guy was really responsible and hard working yet there was always a wall between us, one guy smoked a tonne of cannabis and had relations with the biker gangs.
I remember getting invited to parties and going to town occasionally with some of the people who worked at the Tavern. I noticed that it was common practice to drink from Friday night to Saturday night, sometimes Sunday.
I started having deeper interactions with some people and learning new things about how people interact, although I still retain that it's not possible to know for certain what goes on in someone's head except that it seems that you understand other people better depending on how similar you see yourself in them, such as having the same/similar attitudes to the same/similar things or same/similar life experiences or same/similar philosophies/beliefs/approaches to life or just that you've accepted that some people think like 'x' and you recognise 'x' as part of that person.
Also I noticed specific instances during this time that sometimes a person does something to another person that the other person does not want to happen to them, sometimes this gets done on purpose and sometimes by accident (perhaps due to an ignorance of the other person's desires or due to a will/intent that over-rides/ignores the other person). An example of this would be where my HS friend and I were at a party and as we were leaving, he was pretty drunk at this point in time, he pulls this particular girl to him despite her attempts to push him away and kisses her on the lips then walking away. I remember locking eyes with her and regretting not trying harder to stop his attempts, so I piled this away to remind myself to be more diligent in stopping things like this from happening.
My HS friend and I had slowly grown apart during the later stages of this 2.5 year stay, still close but we didn't spend as much time together. Our attitudes had been changing towards each other and I remember during this later stage there would be times where he'd seem to completely disregard or not consider the effects of his actions on others, for example the time we had a couple friends overnight, I had spoken to him prior telling him when I was working, and he took the only car available for an all night and day joyride leaving me unable to get to work. Other (often smaller) issues would be him leaving some of his clothes in washing machine, dryer and on the clothesline without touching them for days->weeks (he still had a lot of clothes to wear despite the washing machine, dryer and clothes line being full) or shaving his beard and leaving all his hair everywhere or leaving toe-nail clippings on the couch. Though I remember a couple time while he was driving where turned right at an intersection, barely checking to see if it was safe, and we almost get side-swiped by an oncoming car, I told him this and his response was "yea? so?". Another time while parking his car he drove his lowered car onto the footpath, damaging the front then reversed to pull the front off. Another time he snapped the passenger side mirror with his hands. And his car cost several thousand, really nice thing too. So I found these things really put me off him.
I think a lot of this was to do with his attitude to himself, something I have never quite understood
Despite this his confidence was growing, he became more assertive, funnier, more decisive than ever before and this was great to see.
I lived in this town for 2.5 years before traveling back to where my parents lived. Up till recently I had been struggling with my existence and was finding no point to it, till I made a goal for myself in which I, essentially, become very good at a video game as this was somewhat of a measurable goal in that there was a very specific criteria on success.
My parents were not fond of this idea at all. Eventually after about 6-7 months (during which time I also did a TAFE course and did work as a door-to-door salesman), my father decided to completely disconnect me from the internet right at a point where I was making the most progress after a long period of struggle (I made it to be placed in the top 16% of players in the region) and I found this to be one of the most painful things he has done to me, to which I'm aware that there are a lot worse things to have happened to me, but this broke a large portion of my trust in him to the point where I'm very skeptical in anything other than money as I know he won't screw anyone around when it comes to money but anything other than money I do not trust him to not do something that will have a negative impact on my life.
I broke down at this point and stopped doing anything. I'd lie on something and cease to exist.
My father just says that this response is typical of addicts. I have disagreed with him on this saying that I was not playing for the sake of playing but for the sake of a goal. Not that this changed his opinion and the incident has become something I resent him for.
It was suggested to me to try a university and I found a course, Bachelor of Health Science, that I was interested in. It was something that introduced me to a variety of clever thinkers and ended up leading me to care less about the opinions of others about me. Unfortunately for me I never found any good relationships during my time here although it did bring about a close friendship with several other High School blokes and re-introduced me to new people. These people are the type of people I enjoy hanging out with as they were diverse, smart, open minded, friendly and funny.
However as the year progressed, I was more and more coming to the conclusion that not only was my degree going to be worthless but also what it taught I found to be providing very little that I could use practically in day to day life; it didn't help that my degree was so varied and my interests were also varied. I did come away with a lot though. As the year started to finish I became more and more depressed about life, concluding that my life was going to amount to nothing, that I'd end up in a standard 9-5 job and essentially doing exactly what I've seen my father and many 9-5'ers doing for years and years on end. My primary goal and driving force was unreachable. I was beginning to have difficulties with my father again. I started thinking about suicide, began thinking of ways to do it. I began to lie on surfaces and cease to exist, again.
My parents decided to take front seat of my life and I decided to leave.
I managed to arrange to stay with my HS friend, with his mother, brother and girlfriend,, courtesy of his mother, bless her heart.
Things were a little awkward between myself and my friend, he'd been struggling with the death of his father, the confidence and assertiveness that he developed interstate was gone and he had a very meek/passive approach to everything. His girlfriend wasn't much of a help, IMO, as she would make up his mind for him and had no problems with getting him to do anything she wanted. What he lacked in confidence and assertiveness, she made up for with pride and arrogance. I found interacting with them to be rather unappealing.
His uncle suggested that I go out and live with him in the countryside so I then went out there to stay with him and his new girlfriend, someone who I felt got along with really well, despite her distrust in people, as we both connected on a deep level and had no issues discussing deeper parts of life. It was her who suggested to me to speak to a neighbor about some fruit picking that they were doing, we organised time and pay and I would go out every afternoon to pick muntries. It was here where I finally felt like I was doing something worthwhile as I found it to be very grounding (down to earth) and freeing, whilst doing something that contributed to others in a meaningful way. I'm aware that there are other ways that are meaningful/beneficial to others but this was what worked for me. This neighbor got me in contact with a someone who made wine as a hobby and needed grape-pickers, this again was something I enjoyed as not only was I doing something to benefit others but also the physical activity felt good, being outside felt good and the people were good,,, met some very intelligent people there.
Not long after this job I was asked to house sit for some family friends. After I met the residents, they just so happened to be selling one of their cars really cheap, so I brought it with the money I got from picking muntries and grapes, and ended up being a really good buy for me. Ford Festiva. Loved the car to death.
The main reason for asking me to house sit was that they had two cats to look after, one stayed at home inside most of the time and the other was a 3 legged semi-stray.
House sitting was exceptionally good for me as I didn't have any commitments, had a house to myself all the time and money from the Govt. for studying (despite not studying at this point and something that catches up to me later on in the year). It was an important opportunity for me to get experience living in 'my own home' and learning how to take care of it, and allowed me to introspect heavily pretty much all the time without having to change due to the pressures and expectations of my parents. The car gave me a tremendous amount of freedom as well.
I was literally doing things as I pleased, experimenting with diet, sleep, cannabis, ect. I got a lot of time to try focus on the video game again and whilst I had success I was still broken from when my father disconnected me from the internet; I reached about the top 21-22% mark this time.
I ended up inviting a guy over, someone who I'd been playing this game with during the previous year, and we'd mostly play the game, take a break to smoke some cannabis, watching tv shows and discussing aspects of life. Whilst I appreciated his company I often felt a lot of sexual overtones and would constantly be downplay it; this would be the biggest negative in our relationship and something that prevents me from spending more time with him.
The stray cat would come along and wait outside the front door around twilight, I'd let her in and feed her. She was pleasant as she'd come in and often meow in appreciation (or at least I assume it was) while rubbing alongside my leg then going to cupboard for food. Sometimes when I was in the lounge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer she'd come and rolling front of me and I'd massage her back and neck. Occasionally I'd stroke her front but had to be careful as sometimes she didn't like it or thought it went on for too long. She'd often then go outside, sometimes not coming back till the next day and sometimes coming in and out frequently.
The white cat and I had a bit of a rocky relationship to start with, I remember that it felt a bit out of sync. I had resolved to essentially allow him free reign to do as he pleased as I had closed pretty much every door in the house barring my room and toilet and there was no furniture to scratch anywhere else.
He had a constantly running nose, often a really dark brown with thick texture, and I was told to wipe it off by the owners. He hated this so very much and I did feel bad for forcing it so I gave it some thought and decided to leave him alone but also to leave the sliding door open to let fresh air in (and allow him to enter/exit as he wished).
I remember, within the first week I was there, he took to clawing then biting my hand and I responded a bit aggressively to this with a harsh ruffly on his head, he did this a second time and something clicked in me and I came to understand him and how to respond better to him. I didn't respond aggressively to him any more. At night he'd try scratching my eyes while I was trying to sleep and being that I slept in a soldier position I'd move my arm to make it difficult to reach my eyes. He stopped doing this after a couple nights.
I remember he'd tap the water bowl and I could never figure out why, I asked one of the owners why and was told that he liked the water to be filled to the top. I ended up finding this amusing and would take every opportunity to fill the bowl up as full as possible (literally to the point where the water was higher than the bowl) and it became one of the most satisfying things to do as it satisfied him so much.
Often I'd sit down on the floor beside him, sometimes stoned and sometimes not, and just be there with him. As we became more comfortable with each other I'd run my hand down his neck and back giving him a massage while he almost strutted around.
He became more confident and happy as time went on.
Several days before I had to leave I realised that I was no longer going to be with him anymore and I cried really hard. I remember him being concerned about my sadness.
The owners were really shocked when they got back as he was a lot happier and confident, and his nose wasn't producing as much music (I didn't notice, I think because it had become very lightly colored and thinned out a lot, oh and he didn't sniffle much anymore).
I found out earlier this year that he died from a brain tumor late last year. I was told that he'd into a 'bit of a showpony' and that the time he spent with me was probably the best part of his life. If so then I'm glad to have done something so positive in someone elses life, though still saddened by his death.
I went back to stay with my friends uncle and his girlfriend for about a month, afterwards I traveled back to the second country town I lived in. I stayed at a working hostel which was also an old paddle steamer. At first I just kept to myself, relishing my freedom and surroundings, while working hard picking oranges.
I ended up having far too many relations with people there and was exceptionally eyeopening for me.
The most important to me was the relationship with a Norwegian girl. I saw her on my first day working, she was sitting very quietly and small next to another girl who was much louder and abrassive and I was like 'oh yea, i know what type of person you are' (I ended up being mistaken, the louder girl was best friends with a quiet and small girl but not this Norwegian girl; also by 'small' I mean they make themselves smaller as an attitude) and I was partially in and out of the conversation while we worked. A day or two later, I recall getting off the bus from work and as I was walking towards the ramp on the boat I saw her sitting down beside the boat just doing her thing and nobody was paying her any attention, and it was beyond me, she seemed really nice so why was nobody interested in her. I was curious about her and walked over to her, and I swear as soon as our eyes made contact the world around us melted away softly and it was just me and her. I don't know how long we sat there talking, I do remember that I felt very nervous and she was so relaxed that I couldn't help but utterly relax. Our interactions over the next week were easily the best I've had in my life even though we just hung out together, whether we were talking, walking, sitting, eating, thinking, looking at the view,,, it didn't matter what it was, just being with her was/is beyond priceless.
One day I never saw or heard from her and during the night I became concerned. I knew that she had to be up for work at 4am so I got up at that time to see if she was there/ok, and she was so I asked her if she'd like to go for a drive in my car after work and hopefully see some animals.
She didn't trust me after this. Wouldn't spend any time with me or talk with me, she'd just glare at me.
When we did speak, she told me she had a boyfriend. A part of me did and still does think she was not telling the truth, why travel for 6+ months without your partner?
She disappeared and I didn't see her again.
I decided to become a vegetarian as I was/am opposed to how most animals get treated and killed.
I got along with other people on the boat. Got a job cleaning the kitchen to save money. I met people from America, Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, and I'm sure people from other places too.
There was a core group that I got along well that consisted of 2 Estonian girls, an English girl and 3 English boys. I got along really well with them and we had lots of deep and/or interesting conversations, were very accepting of me, funny, interesting, open minded, smart people.
One day I was going to take one my friends to the local shops when he went off to speak to some people, I went to see what was happening and the Norwegian girl was there. I was beyond shocked. I never expected to see her again. The shock carried over to the next day where I cried and I continued to cry wherever I was in private for the following week. Not that I saw her for a while longer. I tried to get over my feelings for her but this is something that even now her absence causes me pain enough to begin whiting out.
During the following month I'd been trying to form a relationship with some girls on the boat, just a relationship and companionship, intimacy and depth. I don't know how or why but it was just that all these attempts were all irrefutably shut down that night and I descended into a drunken hopelessness, acting and speaking on my purest thoughts as they came to mind. I remember walking into the main cabin/lounge and Norway girl is there, I'm like "fuck this, I don't want a confrontation" and walked out. I don't specifically remember but I think she followed me out so I told her how I felt and thought of her, I remember telling her I really liked her and would never harm her, I remember seeing both fear and peace, I told her that I was just going to go to bed.
I saw her again weeks to months later. An old friend in the town had killed himself and I was meeting up with his siblings and cousin. As I was walking back to the boat she walked past with two others, she drunkenly cried "You! You're a man!" in a tone that sounded condescending and upset. I was amused by the comment and just before we walked past I smiled and cheerfully agreed in a sad acceptance "Yea, I'm a man".
I began to worry from that point, I had a feeling that she would be in town that night but I wasn't certain. I made a decision to go to town and do my thing and If she was there then I'd deal. I was out for hours and was somewhere on my 4-6th rum and coke when I made the decision to go to bed without distraction. The very last person I walked past I am certain it was her, dressed up. I sort of didn't comprehend and stayed committed to my decision to go to bed at all cost so I continued walking, she didn't say anything.
I last saw her at the local library. I was at the computer and leaning on my head completely lost in the thought that I'd never see her again, feeling horribly empty and confused as to how this had all turned out with her. Suddenly she was there standing opposite me and she said "hey". I was so deep inwards that I couldn't respond before the moment passed and she walked to sit at the computer next to me, I remember her putting her headphones in. I was ecstatic, my heart pounding me to death, I didn't know what to say, I was just so unbearably happy that she didn't hate me. I tried to convey my happiness by bouncing on the seat and swiveling. She took her headphones out and walked out the room, I assumed she was leaving so I decided to turn off my computer to go speak with her. I didn't find her inside the building, I went outside and didn't see her so I thought maybe she had gone back to her accommodation, I drove my car around to her accommodation but didn't see her. Despondent, I went back to the hostel.
I am still deeply upset by how this turned out and I wish I knew better then but simultaneously I'd never had such strong feeling for someone and didn't know how to deal with it or her especially when she stopped trusting me and started avoiding me again and again.
I had been working at a vineyard for several weeks now and slowly would begin talking to a guy who introduced himself as South African. At first we would talk about simpler things, food, girls, work, clothes. I began to trust him more as he seemed happy to help me with things. In hindsight he was also trying to get me separate myself from the other backpackers and also created the impression in me that the locals had violent gangs if you got on the wrong side of them (it did seem plausable and even one night one of the local boys got headbutted by a guy from a nearby city so they caught him and beat him up and this was something I heard from the boys and not this Dude).
He later suggested we move in together to a nearby caravan park to save money.
While there he wanted to teach me Krav Maga so I could defend myself, he'd say things like 'if I put my arm in front of you and step in front then I don't want you to fight, let me handle it'. He also tried to address my confidence as he said that he'd figured out my issue in that I was afraid of myself (which was true in that I'd had a dream years prior of me fighting someone and enjoying it thoroughly right up to the point I killed that someone) and this was done by a breathing ritual and offering the protection of some of his spirits, to which I apparently failed both, he was telling me that I needed to let of my demon protector and let myself out (I never completely let go at this point, close but not quite and I think this saved me later on) and he got me to put on a Jaco shirt and shorts which sort of made me realise that I have a fighter in me, I am a fighter, a warrior. I'm still a humanitarian or someone who values life dearly but still a part of me would relish the fight.
I was still very trusting of this person and through his stories of himself I understood him to have had a very hard life and that he was in his own way a broken person just trying to make it through life, and I felt a compulsion to help.
I would get very into the physical training, pushing myself harder than I'd ever pushed myself, feeling fantastic for doing so as well.
He tried getting me to get together with an indonesian girl who was close friends with his young indonesian wife.
I developed an interest in joining the Australian Defence Force.
I stopped being a vegetarian.
He brought a custom ute that was supposed to be essentially a stage 3 racing car.
He wanted to go to another state for better work and was offering me a chance to continue learning Krav Maga while earning good money. I agreed.
It wasn't until maybe the end of the first day travelling where it started becoming more and more obvious to me that he was an asshole. His attitudes about everything shifted, the things we used to talk about didn't interest him and his attitude to me showed someone who was only concerned about himself.
Though I disregarded these things and tried to make things work.
He'd take pictures of us as we were traveling, making a big deal of it.
We were constantly travelling with little breaks, which was fine as I wanted to start working and doing more Krav Maga. During the next 20 days I trained with him no more than 4 times.
Things became really sour when we crossed the border and we were stopped by the police. They put a defect sticker on the ute for having blue headlights and the Dude was found to be driving without a license. I remember him telling them that it was an international license.
It was night when we reached a very long expanse of untouched countryside and there was a huge amount of kangaroo's and emu's near the road so I drove as I felt comfortable but this irritated Dude who wanted to drive instead. It was that night that I first started to be uncomfortable around this Dude.
I remember driving the ute when we got near towns. At this point the ute's engine started overheating. Dude told me that it was my fault the engine was overheating as I was driving it wrong.
On the other hand it may just have been the fact that the car had done ~2,000km in about 2-3 days. Though at the time I just assumed that it was overheating because I was driving it poorly.
Every now and then Dude would threaten to punch me for not driving it well.
As we approached the big city, we came across a series of hills and valleys, Dude started talking about how he had a car accident in a valley and they made him really anxious and this one time he stabbed his ?brother with a fork/pen while travelling through valleys and hills like these. He made such a fuss about it that I got out and told him to drive.
On the outskirts of the big city we get pulled over by the cops and he gets into more trouble for driving without a license. So I have to drive through the city.
Up till this point the ute had been fine, albeit we were travelling a lot faster for longer, and the constant idling at lights, low traffic speeds and frequent slowing for traffic caused the car to overheat and coolant to overflow.
At this point I found out that I was out of money, I'd essentially put all my money to get us this far.
We later got out of the city and continued travelling. Dude still never tried to help me drive the ute better and opted for the "I'll punch you in the face if you don't drive better" approach.
I remember that around this point the urgency to cross large distances quickly was gone and we were going to take our time traveling so Dude could show me the sights. We ended up spending a lot of time camping near the beach.
It would be a good time to mention that my phone was essentially non-functioning at this point, I've always assumed that this was due to the age of the phone which was around 4-6 years old.
Dude's attitude became even more aggressive and hostile to me at this time but at the same time it wasn't at a point where I couldn't say that it was due to frustration of having so many things go wrong for him, no license, defect sticker, very little money, overheating car, ect. It was more that while he'd try to interact with me peacefully and impart wisdom but later on he'd start blaming me for little things.
Things remained uncomfortably steady till we reached our destination, which I think was a weekend.
We didn't have enough money to stay somewhere and his work contacts couldn't start him till the middle of the week so we ended up camping alongside the beach. At first we'd just drive or walk around town. Dude had contacts at a local volunteer marine rescue club who would be able to get us work and we'd have something to do in the meantime.
I think the first night we travel out of the town and stay at a camping ground. He get really drunk and starts shit-talking me in Lebanese. Dude lost his long distance glasses that night.
The next few nights we are camping on the beachside in the town. I remember he decided to cook and part of the meal included sausages. As I'm eating he pulls out his phone and shows me a video of pigs being electrocuted to death. I remember looking him in the eye and seeing this delight in that this may cause me discomfort or pain. Fucking bastard.
The next night there was an issue with a stolen car that was driven around the beachside and this lead the police to find us. The police came back later that night to issue a court warrant to Dude for lying to them several weeks back at the border.
We started staying out of town from then on. I had to drive Dude to start work at 4am. I would would along the beach and watch the sun rise. I'd do pushups and dips along the way. Later in the day I would explore the town, walking everywhere, and one of the days I'd gone to emergency services in order to get food for us to eat.
To everyone has or does donate food to emergency services, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!
This is something I want to do when I've got money to spare.
I remember one day Dude wanted to eat at Hungry Jacks so I'm driving there and I see a massive lineup in the drive-through so I say to Dude "Why don't we park the car and go inside to eat?", at that moment the cars move and Dude replies "No just go through the drive-through". It was a bad decision. The ute was about to overheat and idling didn't help at all. I'd turn the engine off till we needed to move. We were told to park around the side so the order could be brought to us. As I'm coming around the corner I look to see if they have any waiting bay, which they don't, and then I pull into the nearest park. Dude looks at me and says "why'd you do that?"
"Why'd you park here?"
I'm not sure how to respond to this question "Because I did"
He punches me in the face.
He says stuff but I don't listen, I get out the car and walk off.
I think about what I can do and what I should do. I have no money, my phone doesn't work and all my stuff is in the ute.
I eventually walk into Dude again and I tell him to never hit me again and I pay great attention to his response ... which was to move the conversation on to something else such as how while he was off eating he was thinking about how stupid I am. Fucking bastard.
I think it was the next day where I get in the ute to pick him up, perhaps I pressed the pedal a little too hard (not that I was pressing hard because it was soft ground) or perhaps exactly where the ute was parked the ground was extra soft but the wheels don't get traction and create a small hole. I pull down the tent and go ask a local for help, lucky for me the first person I ask can help me out and we pull the car out. Thank you Sir!
I put the tent back up and go pick up Dude.
Well when Dude finds said hole he considers it a deliberate attempt to destroy his ute.
I'd say that it was that night where, after eating, I decide to go for a walk and it dawns on me that Dude's attitude towards me was currently so dark, and based on his previous actions, that he might try seriously harm me.
I followed every breath, every tension of muscle, every movement of Dude, with the intent that should he move to harm me I will fight to survive.
The intensity lessened over the next couple nights and eventually he said "When I get paid, I'm going to give you $400 and you are to go away".
I went to the local library the next day to look at flight and contact my parents requesting help to fly back.
The night prior to leaving, while Dude went off to bullshit and scumbag his work buddies, I went to a local restaurant and ordered a rum and coke; and I just sat there drinking it with everything just going through my mind.
There was a young lady sitting on the table over, short-ish hairstyle (with, I think, one side cut very short) and several massive books. She started talking to me, I remember coming to the conclusion that she was either a psych student or a sociology student and asked her if she was a sociology student based on her open attitude. I was correct. We ended up having a long deep conversation about multiple life related topics and I recall her saying that it sounded to her like Dude was just manipulating and using me. I guess at that point it was brutally obvious at how obvious he was. As she left she put $10 on the table and said "Buy yourself a drink". She never told me her name.
While I was with my parents it became more obvious that I'd changed markedly. My mother has since told me that while I was a lot more confident in myself I was also a lot more 'agro'.
I had made a decision at this point to join the ADF and started working on my physical fitness.
I started swimming, running, pushups, situps, squats and dips. I joined a Krav Maga self-defence course where it has become obvious to me that Dude was teaching me shit.
During this time, things have been in limbo for me. I can't even get a conversation out of my HS buddies, I feel awkward as fuck talking to the HS friend with the girlfriend. I occasionally talk to the cannabis guy who's sexually attracted to me.
I did volunteer conservation work for a while.
Most of my social interaction comes from the self-defence course.
I've been accepted into the ADF and got my enlistment day. Am ready for the next stage in my life, gonna make this a good one.