I am angry. I realise this is not a good start to a post, but there it is. I am angry, and frustrated, hurt, disappointed, scared and just a little bit demotivated. Negative!! It is not my usual style to be so negative, and I am sure in a few days (or weeks :( ) this will change. But right now, this is me.
In a nutshell, last weekend, my husband, a very good friend out visiting from London, and myself, were attacked and mugged at gunpoint. We had just left the rugby stadium after a fantastic day at Kings Park Stadium patriotically watching the Sharks do us proud. We were laughing, and jabbering on the way back to the car - completely oblivious to what fate had in store for us. Out of nowhere (as cliched as that sounds, it is true), two black males wearing hoods and carrying 9mm guns jumped us. The one worked my husband over, and the other, Bron and myself. They took what they wanted, did what they wanted, and left. Stunned, hurt, feeling like we what we had just experienced was surreal - we made our way back to the stadium and proceeded on the long path to dealing with the aftermath.
The frustration! The inconvenience!!! No cell phones - three days to get back into communications, insurance claims, injuries requiring x rays and medical attention, nightmares, so far a whole week of work lost, to say the very least. The utter feeling of hopelessness, of vulnerability. The anger and bitterness. I have never been one to live in fear. South Africa is MY home. MY country. And I have always spoken proudly of it. South Africa is an amazingly culturally, ethnically, and mentally diverse country. We are spoilt rotten by our breathtaking surroundings, our abundant animals and vegetation, by our rich history of creativity and expressionism, and by our people. However, Yin and Yang exists in its truest form in SA - we are also constantly fighting one battle or another. Crime, politics, education, poverty. Yet despite this, despite the angst, the fear, the anger, the frustration we sometimes experience, we are, and always will be, Proudly South African. Herein lies my dilemma. I now have an element of fear that wasn't there before. I have had my rose colored spectacles not only removed, but crushed. I now have to look behind me at every step. I have to question where I go, where I park, where I drive. MY world, my psyche, my state of mind, my normally instinctively trusting nature, have been violated. And this makes me bitter and angry.
We walked away. Many, many others have experienced far worse. We were not shot, or raped. We are lucky. LUCKY! My bubble has been popped. And while I will never turn my back on my country, I am deeply disappointed, and disillusioned. What happened to us is trivial in comparison to what has happened to so many others. A mere blip, in comparison to what happened in Kenya the same weekend. A drop in the proverbial ocean of crime statistics in South Africa. But is is MY blip, MY drop, and it is something I have to come to terms with. Academically I know I shouldn't allow this to change who I am and what I innately feel. Realistically, however, - my head and heart are not speaking the same language at the moment. An internal battle only I can deal with. It must run its course. And I have to believe deep down, that in time, how I feel will shift, and I can take some positive out of the event. In time.
Everyday someone, in some form or another, is confronted with adversity. Personal, emotional, physical. In South Africa we are built tough. We understand that in order to live in a country as breathtakingly beautiful, as culturally rich and poignantly diverse as we do, we have to be tough. We have to take the good with the bad. So when we are faced with adversity, we get back up, brush off the dust, lick our wounds, and live another day to tell the tale. And hopefully, we grow. And hopefully this growth is positive, and leads to positive repercussions. We become part of making a change. This is my personal mantra at the moment. To take a deep, steady breath, to square my shoulders, to deal with and then banish the negative emotions, and to stand taller, ready to face another challenge. To do my bit to effect change, in as positive a way as I am able to. My negativity will dissipate. Life is for living. And life is good. I'm Just Saying...