I believe each of us has asked ‘Why Me?’ at some point in our lives, be it in response to an event, experience or situation. The Why question that pops up sometimes get a bad rap, and I am here to talk about the reasons why asking this question can be a good thing.
I know I’ve asked this question on repeat over and over and over in my own life in different contexts. Having been born with physical disabilities, I learned from an early age I was different from the other kids. I also never quite fit in to the ‘socially accepted’ groups. I used to ask my parents why my sister seemed to have so many friends and yet I only had a handful of mates who had my back – the rest of the kids I was around through my sports, through my schooling and through my creative arts all seemed to be thinking on a whole different wavelength to me or were more interested in bullying or ostracizing me than trying to see my value. Even the type of music I enjoyed was typically for an older crowd with my eclectic mix of 1970’s music through to heavy alternative and metal of the 90’s helping me to synchronize with my internal creative emotions for every type of mood I immersed into.
Despite feeling less at ease than others appeared, I was a happy child and adolescent. I achieved diverse experiences in my upbringing, learning how to be creative through my artworks and how to work in retail, always catering to the needs of the customer and learning how to develop the specific knowledge for the niche our family business was renowned for. Before I had started my college degree, I had become a high-level performer in my chosen sport with a national ranking, I had become a professional restringer and an expert in fitting customers with the tennis equipment to help them achieve their best level of performance and I was a respected coach.
I felt I had learned the art of helping others and caring about their progress in life and in the process, I developed my passion for helping others learn the skills to become self-sufficient. I focused on everyone else so much that I forgot to look after myself. By the time I met my husband, I was in a clinically depressed and overwhelmed state, wondering how I got there and why I could no longer feel happy or fulfilled with my life. The fault lied with my own romantic view of the world and when adversity came punching into my world, I never even saw it coming. In my suddenly vulnerable and emotionally compromised state, I was a perfect target for the manipulative predator. I was in desperate need for a break and so I moved as far away from everyone and everything I knew and took up life on the Whitsunday Islands. For a time it was great, as I could focus on surrounding myself with happy guests as I strolled through the lush island forests, embracing the beauty of the plant and wildlife on display and learning all about the islands so I could best entertain the guests. And yet, the isolation of being on an island and away from my family proved very difficult, and slowly the depression returned. This was when my first love affair began and I felt like I had finally found someone who understood me, who loved me for who I was and who listened to my voice with admiration and respect at a time when I felt I needed connection the most.
“Voices against violence that’s what it was called, only 20 minutes in and already I had balled. Cried my little eyes out while watching that damn play, it triggered something deep inside that would not go away. Watching the portrayal of violence really hit a nerve, but it was the forced hand job from the girl to that perve. Which really got me going into an emotional spin, all I could see was him and his menacing grin”
Excerpt from Voices against Violence by Vera-Lee 2004.