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Finding Me

Under a Bowser

By Karen Eastland **I'm back and the next episode of M & S will be out soon**Published 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read

I begin this story with one of the darkest times in my life. It was an incident that made me alter the entirety of myself. Life hadn’t been great, I had an abusive mother (Bio-ma), an abusive husband, but when I was not around either person, I knew who I was. I was a happy person who loved life. I escaped the mother by running into the arms of the husband, and I escaped the husband by accepting he might kill me, and I was all right with that, but I got out alive, and the person I was when I was no-where near the orbit of those people, came to the fore and I lived, loved, life.

I was thirty-four and for the first time in my life, I was completely free from anyone’s influence. I became the living embodiment of the person I hid from all who once thought they knew me. I made friends, true friends without the fear of being accused and abused because, ‘What the f##k did you tell ‘em ‘bout me? (Husband)’ Or, ‘Where the hell have you been, slut! (Bio-ma)’

For two years I lived in a flat down near the beach, my natural habitat. I only wore makeup when I went clubbing, to which I started doing a lot, but for most of the time, I was carefree and so happy in myself, I think it shone through my skin and makeup was not required. I picked up a part-time job not long after I moved to the beach, then got a full-time job towards the end of my first year at the beach, working at a bus depot.

I loved my job. I loved the people I worked with, and it was a night job where I finished around one-thirty-am. As I’ve said once before, I picked up a stalker there, received compliments from higher management about my infectious happiness, and I eventually met my current partner on the job. Life was great. I had distinct plans about what I was doing, where I was going. My partner worked, I worked, and we shared a house we were buying with another person who also worked. My husband worked for probably four years of our seventeen-year marriage, I worked the other thirteen.

My partners goals in life meshed with my own and it wasn’t long before we moved in together. I went through moments in the first year, thinking about whether I had rushed into moving in with some, but we got through my reservations. Almost a year after we met, on my partners birthday, he was driving the night shift and I was had just been promoted to fueler. We had plans to celebrate his birthday when we finished work but that never happened. I got hit by a flying fuel bowser connected to a moving bus.

From that point on, and I can only say how blessed I was that my partner of a year stuck with me because I was a mess. He could have left me, and I wouldn’t have blamed him. I was at a loss. I was an extremely sporty person. I would walk to work, over five kilometers most evenings along the beach. I’d walk twice that distance every morning. We were an active, happy couple. Then suddenly, I was gone.

I didn’t know who I was anymore. I couldn’t do the things I could do just the week before, and I cried a lot. I fell into depression. It felt safe and warm there, and easy to give it control of the life I didn’t know what to do with anymore.

I wasn’t happy and only my depression was infectious.

It took me around five years to gain some semblance of the person I once was before I could accept the new, psychological and physical, limitations I had to learn to live with. My partner, master of patience and love, gently directed me into the field of academia. When gentle prodding failed, he dropped all subtleties, because they flew straight over my head, and said outright, ‘Why don’t you get a university degree?’

I grumbled for a few months, but once I got into it that energy of fun and love of life began to return. I could live a full and happy life without being physically active. I found something I never would have looked for if not for that fuel bowser and bus. I can face the world again with a smile and a newfound lease on life. I love to study. I love to achieve and receive awards for those achievements. When I finished my masters with distinction in 2019, I couldn’t have been prouder of myself, then in 2020, I receive an invitation to become a member of the Golden Key Honour Society. It’s 2021, and I am about to complete my first year of a Ph. D. and I feel great.

I feel that inner shine once more. I can run marathons, just not with my feet, and still, feel fulfilled. I have great friends through CQUniversity and the university itself has made me feel as if I am just like every able-bodied person within the world of research, and they will be friends for life. I’ve never had that before. Now I can smile again. Face the world again with my head held high, and have embraced who I have become since that fateful day in March 2001.


About the Creator

Karen Eastland **I'm back and the next episode of M & S will be out soon**

In addition to my creative pursuits, I'm also a dedicated advocate for education and literacy. Through my writing, I seek to inspire others to follow their passions, to make a positive impact on their world.

The #AdventuresofMillieandSandra

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