Friday, 17 April 2009

Feeling lonely – Post 10


Hron – one of Kacper’s best friends from Iceland that he studied with in Denmark sent him a very nice email today. Similarly to Kacper, Hron is involved in international work. The difference is that Kacper’s career has evolved towards humanitarian projects, whereas Hron has been working on longer-term, development ones. Recently, she worked with the Icelandic Government in Mozambique, where on behalf of her country, she funded various projects of local organisations working there. Hron was especially interested in projects that had a strong component related to women’s empowerment in societies where they lived. Kacper has truly loved Hron nearly since the day; they first met 15 years ago in Denmark. He loved her and respected her enormously as a friend. Hron always understood Kacper, and whenever he was in trouble, in doubt, or unhappy, she always knew what to tell Kacper, so he feels better. They also shared lots of happy and crazy moments in many parts of the world. On his part, Kacper tried to do his best to be there for Hron, when she needed support. Throughout his life, Kacper has managed to make quite a few friends that he would always love, no matter what. He tends to refer to such friends as Angels, and he surely regarded Hron to be one of such ‘Angels’.

In her email to Kacper, she included her latest updates, news and gossips. She also asked a number of questions about Kacper’s recent deployment to Chad. ‘Kacper minn’ (my Kacper) she wrote, ‘I wonder how you manage to be able to work in all these difficult and dangerous countries all the time? I wouldn’t be able to handle it!’ Kacper thought about what Hron wrote for a while. ‘Was it really that difficult?’ he wondered and came to a conclusion that the answer was actually not that straightforward and easy.

First of all, there were many reasons that Kacper could think of that made him really, really happy of his work. Satisfaction, Kacper’s conviction that he participated in something really important, adventure, meeting fascinating people, unusual way of life, independence, creativity were just a few ones that his worked involved and Kacper loved. Then, there were things that Kacper would call ‘some nuisances’, which Kacper did not like, but either got used to them, or learnt how to handle them so that he would not become crazy or insane. Insecurity, sometimes tough living conditions, feeling of helplessness, wars and fighting were just a few things that he was scared of, unhappy or stressed about. Over years, he has learnt to develop his own ‘coping mechanisms’ that he employs for minimising their negative impact on his integrity.

However, there is one huge issue that Kacper’s work involves, and he has not yet learnt how to handle. In fact, Kacper does not believe that he will ever be able to handle it, no matter how much he tries… ‘Yes’ he thought, ‘I will never be able to get used to the feeling of loneliness’.

Kacper knew that his loneliness is not only caused by his work. Much of the problem lies in his own personality, and insecurities that he has not managed to control successfully, but the lifestyle that his work imposes on him does definitely complicate finding a possible way out from the problem.

As Kacper has already been mentioning before, he was aware that some people might find it strange to learn that Kacper feels lonely. After all, he has got countless amount of friends and acquaintances. Many of his friends were ready to sacrifice for Kacper, and proved to be able to get Kacper out of trouble, when he needed them. It is all true, so why lonely? Kacper’s work and lifestyle required that he kept on moving around the world every few months. Practically, Kacper needed to bid farewells to his just newly-met friends each time, he was requested to move. Although, Kacper has managed to keep in touch with most people he cared about, and he kept visiting many of them (and many visited him), at the end of the day, his friends were everywhere in the world, but rarely with Kacper.

When thinking of loneliness, Kacper is also thinking of his relationships… These for different reasons have been even more complicated…

Kacper only came out of the closet just 4 years ago (yes, it took him over 30 years of his life to do so), and the whole process was accompanied with ‘a suitable’ drama that after all, Kacper was a master of (including an attempt of committing a suicide). There were many reasons, why it took Kacper that many years to admit in front of himself, who he really was. Coming from a fairly traditional and religious society, which did not accept homosexuality, fear of being rejected by his friends and family, and putting himself in this horrible vicious circle of lies that Kacper had created over years, were the main factors.

Kacper also had another ‘great’ excuse – his DISABILITY. Since he was disabled, he did not need to be happy. Kacper knows that this sounds just stupid, but this is how he used to feel. ‘Disabled people do not need relationships, they just need to be grateful and feel lucky enough to have work, and be financially independent’ he tried convincing himself! As Kacper thought of it a bit longer, he started realising that living in the closet was just a defence mechanism, so he would not need to deal with problems of being rejected. ‘How would he – Kacper find a guy, who would fall for somebody like him – who has got a limp, is unattractive, and has got a medical condition that potentially, in time, will make him completely physically dependent?’ he wondered. ‘Mission Impossible!’ he used to think, and therefore tried his best to avoid thinking of his needs and his sexuality.

Kacper will one day in more details, describe some of the dramatic events that he went through in Kenya, when coming to terms with who he was. Today, perhaps it is unimportant. What is important really is that Kacper feels more relaxed about himself, and is willing to give it a try to live more happily in different levels. He wants to try living fulfilled not only professionally, but also on the personal level.

So far, he has not figured out, how to go about it. He does not know, but then again, Kacper has got many friends, who are ready to support him, give advice, and just be there for him – even if far away. Hron is just the best example of it! Perhaps then, after all, Kacper should revise his belief that he is ‘lonely’?

PS. Kacper is planning what to write in his ‘Family-Friendly Blog’.

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