The Resilience Project - Finding Happiness Through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness


How much do I want to read more? 8/10

I'm fascinated how stories from our childhood can sit at the back of our mind silently affecting our present, without us even noticing it.
This book story might give insight about our true power. So I'd like to read on.
It's a bit long, could be shorter, like all novels, but it seems it has great lessons.
Imagine an intelligent child, who got abused, then everything was fine, a happy childhood, until a turning point. A mental illness, anorexy.
Then I want to know what happened next. It seems like going to the extremes show human's potential. When you touch the really bottom, you paradoxically can reach the very top, because it's just the opposite's extreme.
Unlike being normal and average, with small ups and downs.


CHAPTER 1 - THE MOMENT EVERYTHING CHANGED

I thought things couldn’t get any more distressing, but they did. Georgia’s efforts in the kitchen went from bizarre to near toxic. She would slather Brussels sprouts in balsamic vinegar and microwave them on high for three minutes. She’d read somewhere that if you nuke sprouts and balsamic vinegar for long enough there’ll be no calories left, rendering the meal acceptable for her consumption.

Sadly I continued to dismiss anorexia as something that Georgia, for whatever reason, had decided she wanted to inflict on herself and the rest of us. By the time I truly understood she was at the mercy of a mental illness and had no more control over her suffering than a cancer patient has over tumours, it was almost too late.

At primary school Georgia was better friends with many more people than I was. Then, seemingly overnight, she’d got sick and everything had changed.

‘My counsellors are always saying to me, “Has something happened to you in your past? Has something traumatic happened that has caused all this?” And I always tell them, “No. Nothing of the sort. I had a great childhood.”’
The counsellors were also curious about Georgia’s choice of men. There were the boys in the senior grades she’d dated while she was in Year 7, and in her mid-twenties she was with men in their fifties.
‘So the counsellors have asked, “Has your father done something to you?” And of course I say, “No, definitely not.”’
"I had a nightmare the other night and it was about what happened to me"
"I would have been about three years old, and we were in the front garden at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Mum and Dad had a rule that if we played in the front garden we had to play in front of the window where they could see us…"
My blood ran ice cold. As soon as she said those words I felt like I was suddenly a child again, and I had a strong idea of what might be coming.
While we were playing, a man who would have been in his fifties or sixties walked into the yard. I can’t remember his exact words but he spoke to me first and said something like, ‘I’m friends with your dad. Come over here, I want to show you something.’
I declined to go to him so he walked over to where Georgia was playing, picked her up in a very familiar way and said something like, ‘I’ve got something to show you. Do you want to see it?’
His manner was so relaxed and so familiar that I didn’t think anything of it. My six-year-old mind figured that he must have been one of Dad’s friends, just like he’d said he was.
‘A man came into the yard, picked me up and took me around the side of the house, where he sexually assaulted me,’ Georgia said.
This hurt had been buried so deep down in Georgia’s psyche that it only came to the surface in a nightmare half a lifetime later. ‘I woke up crying and I knew it wasn’t a dream,’ Georgia continued. ‘I knew straight away that it actually happened to me. All this time counsellors and psychologists have been trying to find out what happened to me, and that was it.’
Just as sinister and insidious were the words Georgia says her attacker spoke before he left: ‘If you tell anyone about this, your parents won’t love you or want you anymore.’
It’s depressing and heartbreaking to think a human being can wander into a sunny garden, defile a child and walk away, oblivious and unburdened by the human wreckage he has left behind.
I now understand why my sister had wished I had superpowers when we were kids.