Thursday, April 07, 2005

This is me

Yes I got paid and as usual either I can't count or he can't, he makes out that 6 and 3/4 hours at 20 euros and hours is 129 and I make out it's 135. Fuck it I have it and that's the main thing. On the positive side I have managed to organise a further 3 hours before I leave in Monaco, and this guy tonight may have another student in a hotel and some technical writing for me to do as well. On the positive side I have an interview on Saturday. On the negative side going home when I am might screw that up but I will sort it out if I can. On the neither negative nor positive side but more on the frustration side, I didn't get time to either ring the social assistant today or get my test results.

I need to explain something that apparently people just don't get and I am stunned that no one gets it. Let me be the first to say that I am at fault. I made mistakes in life. However I am human too. I didn't plan to have my heart wrenched out and stood on, and no matter how difficult my marriage was I am not someone to give up and walk away from a difficult situation and I genuinely believed I could improve the situation and make things better. So there I am practically alone, with no one as a friend who can listen, or support or advise. Fuck it since Last July I had never been alone so much as I have this last 6 months. Yes I felt sorry for myself and for my son. I felt like a failure, like I had wasted 7 years of my life trying to make something work that couldn't. I was angry and still am at my ex and her family and like it or not I have to put up with her ignorance, coldness, carelessness and downright rudeness till my son is 18 and then and only then can I tell her what I feel. If I do it before hand I am afraid I will not get to see my son. I didn't know what divorce was; it only became legal in 1999 I think, in Ireland so I hadn't grown up with a culture that was familiar with it. I never imagined that someone who would ask for a church wedding would then 2 years later throw it in the dustbin. Yes I was naive.
So imagine it this way, here is a guy who was so emotionally fucked up he couldn't think straight and so he didn't bother to read the fine print in his contracts. All of which I got after his marriage broke up. I also spent 5 months running around like a complete idiot trying to find somewhere to live, refusing one place which was good and cheap but because his French wasn't great he misunderstood who was on the phone, and with his confidence bashed he didn't have the courage to ask the person to repeat themselves. Oh well I thought, it will happen. It did. I found a couple who offered to go guarantor and when push came to shove they backed out. I couldn't understand the details either of what I was being told when I went to places like the CAFF, Agent Immobilier, or anywhere else where people didn't speak English, I just got the general idea, as I was already stressed, nervous, and alone and I really needed a friend to help. There was no one. I asked my ex and she politely told me to get lost.
Okay, I took it on the chin, actually I didn't, I collapsed in disbelief. I had to continue teaching a lot every day when my heart was breaking, and I was terrified about what was going to happen to my son. My future outlook had been shattered. Well I had already ploughed all the money I had into a wreck of a house in Falicon. While my wife worked and I had to be home to put my son to school and meet him again and there being just 3 buses per day in that time, I couldn't get a job anywhere because I couldn't get anywhere so the savings went.
Moving on I realised late in January that For the months of February and March I would be screwed basically, and I managed to get work with two other schools, However due to classes being cancelled and people not showing up, and other people not able to pay what they say they can, I often miscalculated how much I was earning each month. (My fault I know).
For instance the 6 euros I was left short today would fill my bike for a week.
I am deeply ashamed (my fault) to work in McDonalds and while already struggling with self-confidence and esteem that would be the worse thing I could do. McDo represents everything I detest and I haven't set foot inside it in nigh on 20 years.
I sent CV's off every time I saw a job that I thought I could do, but hang on I can't write well in French so now I need to push and learn more French. Easy really, I have a broken heart, I am stressed, no one to help and I am supposed to go find a job and learn French like it is a spring day and all is good with the world. The only thing I ever wanted to do in life was make films and tell stories and I haven't done any of it since I left Ireland and I am getting left behind and so my final dream is going up in smoke. I find myself in a strange land, (my choice,) I find myself alone (not my choice) I find it intensely difficult to regulate the bad, negative side of things, and keep my head up because most days I just want to cry, and most days I just want to get on with and make money. I can't see how to balance anything and I don't know what I am doing. This is a very different guy from the one who left Ireland nearly two years ago. Creative, energetic, fit, dynamic, I am now a shadow of my former self. My strength and resolve are there but my energy and state of mind are not. I had to stop my pension; my savings account and I have run up debts in and around 5000 euros. I am not proud of myself, I am ashamed of my situation, so I refute that it is by choice that I am in the situation I am in. I don't refute that it is my fault. Of course it is. But I have never been the one to hide under a rock in case in rains and I often expect the worst thinking that if it happens, then at least I won't be disappointed. I cannot and could not foresee being abandoned and being abused by so many. If I could foresee that, I wouldn't get up in the morning, and I wouldn't be alive now either. This is my strength. My belief and trust in people as I find them and the basis that everyone is good and honest until proved other wise. Apparently not here, but that outlook hadn't really caused me a problem before in my life. I continue to help old ladies across the street, I continue to wave at cars with no lights, I continue to help mothers with babies, because I believe I should, it is an integral part of me. I am grateful to all who have helped me but there is no more help coming. I do need those around me to be supportive, not critical, any more criticism and I will take a shotgun and go shoot something. But then I think of my son and think, control it, deal with it, put up with it and get on with it. What else can I do?
I have no idea how many jobs and agencies I sent my CV to this week. I have acquaintances passing my CV onto people they know. I have friends asking me to fix computers and if I can I do it for nothing in that they are friends and I hope they will tell others.
I have an interview Saturday, it doesn't come from Bad planning or feeling sorry for myself. I have CV's to give to Agencies in Nice; it doesn't come from sitting on my ass doing nothing.
I am truly sorry that I am a proud intelligent, frightened and brokenhearted man. I am truly sorry that I am not yet my full great and bigger self. I am truly sorry I am so bad with cash and I am truly sorry to the world that I am at fault. I have no right to ask anything of anyone, but as people don't ask me and I always offer when I can, sometimes I do ask. So I am asking for faith and encouragement and a kick up the ass from time to time. I am asking for patience. I do not know the me who is forgetful and distracted and sits for a while absentmindedly reflecting on what has happened and then having no idea if it has been hours or minutes that have passed. I do not know the me who cannot sleep and then cannot get up and then can't arrive on time, as I was always punctual in my former life. Yes I am sure I have been an idiot and an asshole but not a bad hearted or bad minded one just an undisciplined guy looking for love and understanding. Now I am learning to stuff that away and to look for the things that are material. I don't honestly really know how to do that but I am learning. I am learning a new discipline, and a new faith. Because heck if no one else believes in me anymore I still do. I am not giving up this fight, not even over my dead body. I will make a life in this god damn place, I will pay off all my debts, I will repay all my friends, if I have any left when this is over, and if I don't I will repay them anyway and find new real friends who will let me support them. I am me, Colm Maguire 37 years old, living in the Cote d'Azur and not really having any clue what's going on but doing my damnednest to cope with it anyway. I am strong, I am beginning to think I am invincible but fuck it I am only human. Yes it's all my fault but anyone who might read this all I will ask you is what the hell would you do in my place?


jkdasfjad said...

Perhaps it's not your fault, but your responsibility.

Steve said...

I wonder if you were thinking of me when you said some people "just don't get it". I hope my previous comment didn't come across as insensitive. True, it was blunt, but that was intentional. It seems you are at a crossroads. You've got to make a major change. I don't know what it is, but when you're at a crossroads there's always another road you can take. You'll probably need to let go of something that you're holding onto very dearly right now, at least temporarily.
People say life is short, but it's long, too. It won't always be like this. There'll be time for other things to happen, including good things. It seems to me right now you've got to take a step back and provoke the changes that will make that possible.
I've understood what you're going through since I started reading your blog, but only now am I starting to feel it. There's a huge difference. Very few people will ever really feel it. It's your unique experience. That's why you're writing a blog about it and why we're here reading it.
Don't give up, just change course.

Warrior said...

Hey Steve, how you doing, no I wasn't actually thinking of you at all. You have given good sensible and strong advice and yet again here too. I am grateful for the readers, the support and all the advice. But I am using you people to find the kick up the backside and the new path. It is coming, I know it will pass, but to those of you who come and read and get a bit pissed off at my moaning, well okay, why wouldn't you. I won't always complain on this blog, I would prefer to be giving you real information but sometimes I just throw it all off my chest and feel the better for it. By the way Steve I would love to have some info about your translating work, maybe better if I send you an email to explain.

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