Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Sunrise - Post 15


It was in August 2006, when Kacper switched jobs, and joined his present employer. Although he had enjoyed working for his previous organisation very much, he looked forward to his new experience. Kacper needed to draw a line on his past, and pull together the pieces of his life that he himself had tried to shatter just a few months earlier.

It still pained Kacper so much, when he thought of that night in Nairobi, when things became so difficult and seemingly hopeless that the only solution of getting out of the vicious circle, he found himself in was ending his own existence. It was painful, but Kacper knew that his recovery and well being depended on him understanding why things went wrong so badly. ‘Kacper, you need to make sure that you will never allow yourself reaching the dead-end again, NEVER!’ – Jeff, his therapist kept on repeating a few months later.

It was his trip to Rio de Janeiro, and his friend Anna (Post 12), who challenged Kacper’s life order. The order that he believed would make him immune from ever needing to find answers to some basic questions. The questions that each human being needed to look for. The question of what HAPPINESS meant for them.

Kacper knows now that the search for these answers is a never ending task. ‘We grow old, we get new experiences, and our needs change’ he contemplated.

Trouble with Kacper was that a few years prior to that memorable night in Nairobi of 2005, he had stopped looking for his happiness. Kacper simply used the definition of being happy, from the time, when he was still an idealistic teenager, in 1980’ies. However, he did not take into consideration that he kept on learning and experiencing, and that the lessons, his learning brought, changed his needs. He refused to admit, he actually wasn’t a ‘super-human’, but a person who often is egoistic, and someone whose body has desires. ‘Yes, it was this denial that I allowed to take place that nearly destroyed me’ he analysed later, during his therapy sessions.

For a long time, until he met Anna, Kacper had seemingly functioned well. He was professionally successful, and genuinely enjoyed his work. He felt privileged to be able to make small contributions, to what he believed was a better world. Kacper felt grateful that despite his disability, people would entrust him with responsibilities that ‘healthy’ people often were unable to clear. He felt proud and happy that he could financially support his parents, something that he always wanted more than anything else.

‘I have got everything, I need’ kept on thinking Kacper, and did not realise that perhaps although it might have been true for years, would not last forever.

Deep in his mind, Kacper knew that he wanted a relationship. Yes, he really wanted to find his other half that he could care for, and that could care for him. Yet, in the same time, his Catholic upbringing would not even allow his mind come anywhere close to the idea that he was attracted to men. The idea was so absurd that it wasn’t worth even the slightest consideration. In the same time, Kacper was descent, or rather reasonable enough, to know that any relationship with women just would not work, and would cause lots of unhappiness for him and his potential partner.

He did not want to make a big problem out of his thoughts that bothered him. Kacper after all, was disabled, and suffered from the disease that was incurable and had prospects of making his life considerably shorter anyway. ‘Why bother looking for a relationship that are unworkable… knowing that no one will ever want to get involved with a cripple in a first place?’ was Kacper’s mantra for years. ‘It was just much more efficient to be productive, and concentrate on things that I was good at’ he always reached same conclusions.

So Kacper studied, worked, gained experience and worked again, actually worked very hard. He also travelled, explored, or was getting to know lots of people. All was happening very intensely, so that there was no time left for thinking… No, allowing free time for reflections was dangerous and destructive, and Kacper did not need it!

Anna’s declaration of love to Kacper was something totally unexpected, and something that shattered Kacper’s whole life philosophy. ‘Hang on a second’ he would think… someone was able to fall in love in that cripple that he considered himself to be. ‘If there was Anna, was there any chance that another person, …another person that Kacper was able to love too, will ever do the same?’ he asked himself rhetorically. Just this theoretical possibility opened the doors to more questions, questions that he – Kacper did not know the answers to, and worse so, wasn’t ready to look for.

The ball that Anna set rolling, fairly quickly brought Kacper to the edge of his disaster. The more he kept thinking, the clearer it became that he did not want to live the live he had had. He did not want to oppress his feelings and desires anymore, and he wanted to try to be happy – AT LEAST TRY! But, Kacper did not know, how to change things. How would he all of the sudden, tell his friends, tell his family, colleagues, or tell Anna, who he really was. IMPOSSIBLE… this would destroy everything that he had worked so hard to build. It would disappoint people that already loved him – his parents, his friends, his... ‘No, I wouldn’t do that, I would shame them – and this would kill them!’ a dramatic thought drilled his mind.

What seemed like a tragedy to Kacper was actually lack of alternatives. ‘Okey, I am not going to change anything in my life, and I will carry on the way I have been doing so far’ he considered often… He would then quickly admit that this meant loneliness, living in some kind of state institution for the disabled that cannot care for themselves… ‘My parents will not live forever… who will be looking after me, when they are gone?’ he wondered dramatically. ‘I will have no one, absolutely no one to love me, to care for me, no one that I can care for!’ he would panic.

It was raining in Nairobi the night when Kacper looked at the bottle of Smirnoff, which he planned to finish off after swallowing the tablets that he had bought earlier… The nature blesses us with sun after rain. Thank to many people, like his American friend – Rebecca, his HR director – Franck, thank to his therapist in Scotland – Jeff, wonderful people like his Hungarian carer – Nona, and many, many others, the sun has arrived to Kacper’s life as well. How it happened, is however a whole new story that Kacper might describe one day.

Kacper paused for a second thinking. He realised that he had just made his very personal story public. ‘Was it appropriate?’ he wondered. ‘Perhaps no’ he hesitated, but then again, if his story was going to inspire someone to pull his, or her life back on track, if his story could bring at least a ray of hope for those who struggle the extreme depression, he used to suffer from; then he was ready to tell the world that he – Kacper had reached the bottom but got out of it! He also knows that if he managed, then anyone else can!


PS. Kacper has learnt of the rebel attack that took place near Abeche a day before.

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