Hi Quirkywords, & all,
We had people similarly trying to cheer us up when we
lost everything, house, my father's business, & one of our cats, just four
years after arriving in Australia, in 1974 flood. Everyone was supposed to be
bright & cheery, get back to 'normal', beginning again from scratch, &
how fortunate it was that we had each other. I know most people didn't know how
dysfunctional our family was, but that seems beside the point, which was, that the
flood was to be treated as a minor inconvenience.
When getting into the car, to evacuate, I was told to
hold onto our 2 cats, & one wriggled out from my arms & ran away. I can
only recall accusations & blame for her getting away & being lost. No
one tried to console or give me any reassurance. She was gone & it was my
fault, because I didn’t hold on tight enough, couldn’t manage both struggling cats.
The next day, my (ex)step-mother clinging to me saying,
"it'll be alright," in a most unconvincing way, & I felt she
wasn't even trying to convince me; she was trying to convince herself & somehow
derive comfort or consolation from me, who she really didn’t give a crap about.
I didn't know what to do.
I wasn't much aware of everything that happened. I do
recall how practical help arrived - clothing, foo, & isn't it great, for a
few weeks. Then everyone seemed to move on, leaving those people still trying
to deal with their losses, many on our street alone. No one even thought of
counselling for families, then. I'm not even sure my father had any, &
(with hindsight), I think he went into depression for some months, at least. If
it went on longer, he hid it.
It seemed ‘they’ couldn’t wait for school to begin, for
people to decide whether to stay & rebuild or to leave, to get back to
work, everything. If we, kids especially, had problems stemming from the flood
& everything that was lost to it, no one seemed to be looking out for
anything like that.
But yes, it could have been worse; I can imagine many
ways. If I smile when I say “it could have been worse”, it’s not with a happy
smile, I can guarantee that. If anything, it is a slight consolation to keep me
going, especially when I feel I’m getting down too low. I might sound as if I
am minimising what happened, or feelings, okay. In my mind, I am having a dig
at myself. As I said, I don’t do positive very well, so I have to come at
things from a different angle.