Berrywinter’s Monday Meme “Hope”: Bending Over Backwards

1 Crystal Tears Merged S

It is a horrible feeling. When you have bent over backwards, cried until the tears seem to have forged a permanent track down your face and still you keep getting hit by heartache and disaster. When you dread getting up in the morning, filled with fear of what calamity you may face today. It is a point in your life when you wonder if there is ever going to be a ray of sunshine amidst the clouds that seem to perpetually hang over your head.

And yet, each day you do get up, you do face the challenge and you do go on. There is only one reason we find that strength, and that is through Hope.

I took this photograph yesterday, planning to use it in my blog, but not sure what I would write about. However, our dear friend Berry, who normally sets our Monday Meme has had a very painful experience. She didn’t feel up to posting a Meme topic herself this week, so her dear friend, Winter Jefferson, did it for her. The photo seemed to be fitting.

This challenge is, in his words:

Take a few moments on your blogs or chosen social media to tell us about a time you faced your own personal nadir. When were you at your lowest point? How did you pull through and triumph to become the dazzling specimen of humanity you are today? When you reached out… who was there to help you back up again?

What gave you hope?

Please, share your stories with Berry and the community – link them in the comments below (of this post) when you are done. Words, pictures, even interpretive dance. Let’s see what we’ve all gotten through, and maybe we can celebrate that the person on the feeds next to you is stronger than you ever imagined.

As Winter says, this is very personal. It is a meme that I could have easily skipped, if I had let my own fear stand in the way. You see, I have skipped a few memes when I found them “too hard.” They have usually involved interviewing someone, and that meant that I had to ask someone for help. I’m not good at that; and it is a trait that has nearly left me helpless – and hopeless – on more than one occasion. But this time, I am going to share – to try to give back a bit to Miss Berry, who has been such a positive influence on me, and so many others in Second Life. So she can see that there is hope, despite the feeling that it has somehow disappeared.

I am going to go back many years, to what was probably the darkest time in my life. I had moved to California from Michigan after ending a long-term relationship that had become septic. While I was mourning the loss of the relationship I thought would last forever, I had transferred with my job, so it seemed like I had a bright new beginning in the land of dreams and opportunity. But on my third day, someone broke into my car while it was parked at my new apartment. During the second week I fell down the stairs at work and injured my back. While trying to rehabilitate by soaking in the apartment complex hot tub, I inadvertently flashed the Orange County Police Department as their helicopter circled above, apparently on the hunt for a fugitive – something I can laugh about now, but at the time, I was horrified. In the fourth month, a woman was murdered in the building across from mine at the hands of her drunken husband. In the sixth month, I was accosted by a man while trying to do my laundry. In the eighth month, my car was stolen. In the ninth month I was laid off from the job that was the only security I had. I was devastated. I was literally a thousand miles from my family and support system. I felt like I had made a huge mistake in going to California. It wasn’t just one thing; it was the cumulative effect of one event after the other. I was terrified to walk out my front door and I was ready to give up…everything. I didn’t know which way to turn for fear that I would be faced with another blind tunnel and no way out.

But during the second month there, I met a man on the internet who was there for me through all of the nightmares that year entailed. With the loss of my job, he thought that was the perfect opportunity for me to come to Australia, where he lived, to recharge my batteries and get myself back on track. So, in the tenth month, I packed everything I owned, put it in storage and flew to Australia for three months to stay with him. He wasn’t perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but then, neither am I, and there were clues to our future together that I chose to ignore. Most of those three months, though, was time spent caring for him and him caring for me. On Christmas Eve I was sick, so he went out and rented movies and we cuddled together to watch them. On Christmas morning, while I stayed in bed with a fever and chills, despite the Australian heat, he cooked a traditional Christmas dinner for us and served it to me in bed. On his days off, I would make baby omelettes for him and we would go to the movies and spend time together. We rang in the New Year together and in late January on a trip to The Blue Mountains, just before I was due to return to the US, he asked me to marry him.

Four months later, I was back in Australia. Eight weeks after that, we were married. I found a job, where I made many friends and worked until last year. I went back to Uni. It was a new start for me, and it came through the support he initially gave me and developed into an inner strength and independence that I now treasure.

It didn’t last. We divorced after eight years, but remained as roommates for another four. Four years of communicating by notes and emails and talking around corners because he didn’t like to be looked at and if we spoke directly to one another, I would inevitably say something that would infuriate him. There were some terrible times during our relationship, and part of my strength came from enduring what became survival of living with an alcoholic. But I will never forget that he was the person who gave me back the one thing I nearly left in California: Hope. Hope that I had a brighter future ahead of me in Australia. Hope that I would have a year where I didn’t get slapped senseless by karma every time I opened my eyes. Hope that I could get back the laughter that I now refuse to live without.

I still get knocked down sometimes. I still have regrets. I still sometimes think there is someone – or something – that has it out for me. But through it all, I have Hope as my companion. And I’ll keep bending over backwards to keep it.

Pretty stuff I’m wearing:

Lingerie: Lingerie Boutique LB Anastasia in Pink Topaz by Leanne Bebb (unable to get SLurl )
Earrings: EarthStones The Diamond Studs – Oval/Platinum by Abraxxa Anatine
Necklace: Maxi Gossamer MG – Necklace – Isis Solar Magic – Choker – SILVER by Maxi Gossamer
Tears: LaGyo_Matilda crystal tears by Gyorgyna Larnia
Shoes: [Gos] Eva Slingback V2 – Baby Pink by Gospel Voom
Hair: *ARGRACE* Akane – Red by rika Oyen
Nails: .::Vivid::. Polish Pack 3 by Honey Bernandes
Skin: [PXL] Creations – [PXL] JADE NAT “Love Edition” MEB C2 by Hart Larsson (February Group Gift)
Hands: Slink Mesh Hands (av) Casual by Siddean Munro
Hand appliers:[PXL] Creations – [ PXL ] Slink Hand Appliers NAT by Hart Larsson
Eyes: Amacci Gaze Eyes – Ocean Blue by Carina Larsen
Lashes: Mon Cheri *MC* “Falsies” Eyelash by Freya Oliveri

Pose/prop: Kuro in Motion – Can you keep a secret (pole) by Luana Dawg

Shot using the LumiPro HUD

11 thoughts on “Berrywinter’s Monday Meme “Hope”: Bending Over Backwards

  1. Bumblebee February 18, 2014 / 5:01 pm

    ❤ you're a fighter, Peep. This moved me beyond words. Xoxo

  2. Becky February 18, 2014 / 8:19 pm

    Inspiringly honest and raw. Thank you for sharing what must have been a challenge to start writing. It seems though, while reading it, that the words flowed through you like they were dying to get out.

    • PeepSideshow Darkward February 18, 2014 / 8:25 pm

      I believe you’re right. I did polish, but the main body of the post was written in one straight flow. And then I sat back with a sigh, feeling lighter.

  3. Rwah February 19, 2014 / 4:28 am

    You are a champion at this game we all play. You play for keeps. You play it for real. The game is called life and you are a champion. ❤

  4. caoimhelionheart February 19, 2014 / 7:38 am

    I read this this morning but couldn’t respond, you know your lil moo, she has to ruminate and when something comes, then she will return and face the world. The trip to California, if viewed from a different movie camera is actually quite funny, a sort of Peeps version of Lost in Translation and worth an equal Oscar award as an American traveling to, well America. But we seldom use that rosy sort of camera, do we? Life is more gritty and painful than that. I can’t help but wonder though, perhaps California was a rite of passage of sorts, that enabled you, strengthened and determined you, so that eventually you could make the daunting passage to Australia? (how brave you are!) If you weren’t feeling lost and degraded would you have made this fortuitous trip to Oz? And yes, being the child of an alcoholic, I know in Oz you were degraded further, at times probably more than you thought you could stand, and probably more than in Cali because of the personal nature of the relationship. But that’s okay, it taught you resolve. It gave you the resolve to not be this victim anymore, the seed of the belief, Peep is kind, is smart, and by golly, Peep is important and you don’t have to take this crap anymore. That though no one was saying it, you knew, if you could just stand on your own, get your education so you no longer had to depend on others to define you, you would be OK. Life isn’t about what life gives us, it’s about what we make out of what is given. And you, my Peep, my dear sweetest of Peeps, you ARE. I can think of no word “good enough” to describe what you are, but you are the most excellent example, the definitive ideal of all that is good, and right in this world. You are, and I thank the Gods for you. ❤ xo

    • PeepSideshow Darkward February 19, 2014 / 7:56 am

      Thank you, Cao ❤ It was a rite of passage, indeed. It helped me prepare myself for what I went through during my marriage and again a year ago when in the space of 10 month, I moved out on my own, suffered an injury at work that still plagues me from time to time, lost my mother, my sister, an aunt in a house fire, further alienation from my remaining family and the only job I ever held in Australia. That should probably have been the worst year of my life, but I drew on the strength I had gained. I am still coming to terms with these changes and losses, but I CAN now face them.

      Hugs, my heart friend ♥

      • caoimhelionheart February 19, 2014 / 7:58 am

        My Peep is all grown up and wears her big girl knickers ❤

  5. Strawberry Singh February 20, 2014 / 12:51 am

    Thank you, I really needed to read about your strength and how you got through it all. You’re a strong woman, I could always sense but this just proves it. ❤

    • PeepSideshow Darkward February 20, 2014 / 7:46 am

      You know, my ex is a jerk, but even a jerk has his good points. I hope that you can remember the good times in the past year and hold on to those. Strangely enough, my ex and I have lived apart for two years now but I know if I needed anything from him, he would be there. The distance seems to have given us the ability to be friends.

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