Besides the comment above, which was written on Vox Popoli (the post being a topic-related jump off from Jerry Pournelle’s) the other reason why I bought the book was because, as I leafed through it, this passage caught my eye:
The other big disadvantage involved public perception. No matter what you did as a Kennedy or a Shriver, no one gave you credit for your accomplishment. Instead, people would say, “Well if I were a Kennedy, I could do that too.” For all these reasons, Maria had to fight harder than most people to carve out her own identity.
While nowhere near the level of Maria Shriver, I can relate to that. People frankly expected grand things from me, upon finding out I was Antonio Modena’s daughter. “Oh, so are you going into journalism, like your father in his youth, or going straight for the DFA?” (The Department of Foreign Affairs.) To this day I still feel a little twinge of guilt that I didn’t do any of that, even if my father never urged me toward those careers and was keen to have me forge my own path through the jungle of life. Arnold’s straightforward, little paragraph brought that back for me.
I was also keen to read what he had to tell about what life was like for him, being born on the heels of World War II. I don’t think I’m going to be in the least bit disappointed with this, or bored.
I’ll admit that I find biographies a bit hard to read. I’m not sure why, since I enjoy hearing what my family calls people stories, but biographies tend to feel rather flat to me, when read. But Arnold’s autobiography, when I leafed through it, is thoroughly readable, and I can even hear it in his voice. The narration even sounds like how he talks, and it’s …relate-able, as if you’re listening to the man himself talk.
If Keanu Reeves came out with an autobiography, I’d actually like to read that too. That man has had a completely relate-able experience of loss and tragedy, and he seems to come out of it scarred but intact. I’d like to know what he did, to hang on to his sanity, how he was able to make it through each day.
Life’s recent rather severe stresses seems to have taken a very huge chunk of my own ability to deal with the setbacks in day to day experiences. I don’t like this, because of how it cripples my ability to think. Rhys, because he’s been deployed, got the ‘things you watch out for’ and reckons I’m suffering from PTSD. It’s pretty severe, since a lot of the time I have nightmares and flashbacks to the horrible day that I woke up to discover Brandon had died in his crib while we both napped, or the day that we lost Damien to stillbirth.
I’m sure some fool with a brain riddled with more maggot than brain matter out there will read the above and translate it as ‘she’s saying she’s just like Keanu Reeves, because Keanu Reeves lost a baby to stillbirth’ or ‘she’s saying she’s had it worse than Keanu Reeves because she lost a baby to stillbirth AND SIDS.’ Fuck you. Losing children isn’t ‘fun,’ and it’s not what any real parent would want to have as a Victim Olympics competition. (Unless, obviously, the ‘parent’ in question is a self-centered, self absorbed virtue-signaling SJW. Those idiots seem to WANT tragedy, so they can milk it for attention and victimbux. Healthy human beings would not trade a the life of a child for attention and pity money.)
But I am not a leftist social justice wanker. I’m not a CHORF.
It’s a normal human reaction to want to know how someone else who has survived a similar experience did to survive. It’s normal to think “This person made it through, so I have a chance of making it through this.”
Well, normal, that is, for those who want to live, want to survive, to grab on and climb out of the pit of despair that circumstance has thrown them into, to refuse to be identified solely by the tragedies of their life. While losing my children has deeply scarred me in ways I have no words to express, and that pain on some days is all I can feel, I am not defined by that loss. It is the awareness of being wounded, and that I can choose to want to heal by doing what will bring that healing in time, or cripple myself, in body, mind and soul.
That choice makes the difference between someone like Stephen Hawking, or the invalid.
Jerry Pournelle’s post also included talking about backing up one’s data, and improved ransomware. I am very grateful, once again, to have made such a wonderful friend like Aff. Thanks to him, our network is safe and continues to remain so. I asked him about the improved ransomware and he said that our network is not vulnerable to such.
I sometimes get asked how I manage to ‘still have faith’, when really, the fact is, as hard as my life has been, I still have many, many blessings. I met Rhys, without whom I would have far less reasons to live. He and I have wonderful, caring children, who are surviving the hardships of the past few years with better I met Aff, who has become an important part of Rhys’ and my family, and cares for our children like they were his nephews and niece, and makes sure they’re safe online. I was blessed with friends who encourage me to write, to continue my art, learn things with and share joy with.
There are things to smile about, despite all the sad things that have happened to us, somehow.
Rhys brought me back a magazine from the grocery; and just leafing through it makes me kinda hungry. I think I’ll make sweet and sour fish tonight, because of it.
Aff says that his mother rung up because she was told that he had passed away. There are, apparently, more than two or three people with his name in Australia. We joked a bit about that, that he is now a ghost in the machine, a zombie admin, and so on.