Part A Self-Reflection
This essay provides details on three main events that have shaped my life. They are my second marriage to Monique in 2004, mothers’ passing from cancer 2009 and suicide attempts of my daughter Chloe in 2013. The analysis shows how these events have impacted areas of my development, worldview, choices and life patterns. In order to understand why these life events have shaped my life, key findings from research supporting my reflection of the event will be used.
It is necessary to describe by behavior in the first marriage to understand the importance of further changes. Throughout eight years of my first marriage we had many arguments and went out to parties every second week, where social drinking was apparent at most events. We both worked long hours, my wife worked about 10 hours a day and I worked 12 to 16 hours. We believed that it was necessary for a happy married life. I wanted to break our relations and she was happy to start a new life without me too. This is where I met Monique.
After marrying Monique, I learned that I had much to comprehend about myself and work involved in a successful relationship. It started off a bit rocky, because I still behaved the same, but this time it was different. I married a mature lady that does not put up with maladaptive behaviours and is very supportive of my goals in life. I learned that happiness does not come from drinking or working long hours and that happiness in a relationship is finding out about each other’s physical and emotional needs and how to satisfy them. If we cannot satisfy those needs or wants to 100% then we need to resolve the matter by understanding each other’s beliefs and supporting each other with a happy medium. With understanding my partner, life became much easier.
I viewed the world as a peaceful place, where constant disagreements are not normal. I wanted this marriage become better and started working with my behavior. We started to interchange our duties and this way I began to appreciate the work Monique does. I read a lot about feminism and became an active member to the feminist movement. I viewed the world in a different light, the more I followed and read about female rights, the closer our relationship became. I would not say I intentionally disrespected ladies before, yet this new insight provided me with a higher value belief. Wage imbalance between males and females and the way females are treated because of physically inferiority to men impressed me.
My self-development continues and it also influences my life choices. Now I drink about half a glass of wine in a fortnight instead of drinking at everyday parties until not being able to drive back home. I now work comfortable hours and spend more time with my family. I think things through now instead of reacting and overcome challengers without anxiety. I have to thank my wife for the changes, as they happened due to her guidance.
Marrying Monique also had a positive impact on my life patterns. I got a life changing opportunity. I had been working in supermarkets for ten years and thought I will never be able to get out, until Monique offered me support to look for another job where I could work eight hours a day and not twelve to sixteen. It was very challenging for me due to my beliefs that a person should work many hours to support his family. I now work less and earn more, and also have time to take the family out.
The second significant event is passing of my mother in 2009. My mother had a month left to live and I told her that I decided to change in my life and become a Counselor. I knew I had learn much for a Diploma in Counseling, yet I knew I was ready. Caring of my mother when she was ill for a year made me more mature. I have two siblings, both of them relied on my opinion in many events and therefore they could not support mum through this difficult period. After her death I had to arrange her funeral, from comparing prices to writing the speech.
All this influenced my self-development positively. I completed the two year course of Counseling in eleven months. Then I commenced working and being supervised as a Counselor while registered with AIPC. It influenced my life patterns, and I continuing studying health, completing Advanced Certificates, a Science Degree in Psychology and of recent, commencing the Masters in Counseling & Psychotherapy. I am aware the studying may be an attempt to fill the void of missing my mother, yet this profession interests me more than my previous work in the bank.
This event changed my worldview, creating a further understanding of death; that it is real, and can happen at any time to anyone. I now feel deeper appreciation towards other countries with a shorter life span and a greater comprehension of effects it has on family. This influence also has impacted in my choices in life. I am now deeply involved in my community, I am the President of the Beveridge Primary School and the President of the Beveridge Recreation Centre. Voluntary work helps with my self-awareness, as well as creating a feeling of belonging and satisfaction with my surrounding community.
The desire to fit into community appeared after my mother’s death. I bought a house in Beveridge and made acquaintance with many people. The relationship with family also changed. My brother and sister are not as close yet as they used to, but we are becoming closer again. We all differ in grieving for mother, and it takes time to comprehend what has happened. Relationships are secondary in this case, and it is more important to find ourselves again and look at new opportunities.
It is hard to get along with some family members and we are trapped by our feelings. My daughter Chloe had written a detailed suicide note in diary left in the lounge room. I found the diary a few hours prior to the time stated in the book, and called my counseling supervisor as well as CAMS. I immediately picked her up and took her there. Chloe had about 60 cuts on both legs and her left arm, and a few months later Chloe’ survived a drug overdose on her mother’s birthday in 2013, after which she went into coma. Chloe would not leave her mother’s house for the need to protect her younger sibling Ellie from aggression in the household.
Chloe’s suffering influenced my personal development greatly. I completed further studies on depression, and my studies became more serious. I wanted to learn everything about ‘depression’. After completing my Science Degree in Psychology, I will submit qualitative reports to find how individual teenagers cope with depression.
I view the world differently than I used to due to anyone can be suffering depression and you may not even notice. I found through my studies, that 50% of the world’s population has suffered from depression. Chloe’s suffering opened up a new understanding of the issue. I understood that anyone can suffer, yet not have positive outcome. For this reason I completed an app on android and iPhone called Depression Management. I have also been on the local radio station and held seminars in Mitchell Shire Council office about depression, in hope that I am heard and people are assisted.
After Chloe’s suffering I have not only been attempting to assist people with Depression, my choices have also changed. I was interested in Psychology, and now I am more interested to become a Clinical Counselor to research Depression in practical sense. The way I communicate with my ex-wife has now changed to enhance support for Chloe.
Due to the constant support for Chloe’ my life patterns have changed. I now teach my children how to be resilient and showing ways to overcome disappointment. Chloe is now living with me and requires constant monitoring and support. Pending on how Chloe feels or looks I may not go out of the house that day to support her. There is also no public transport near our house which makes Chloe’ going to school challenging. My other children live with me and they are happy that their elder sister is at home, and Chloe sometimes babysits for us when we are out for an hour or two. With another family member life patterns of the entire family change greatly.
I feel I have adapted well to the three life changing events. Self-actualizing of impacts and thoughts from every event changed my direction in live and values. Our worldviews are unique, and personal experience can change it. Our choices depend upon circumstances and can change with our lives. New choices create new life patterns and a new route to take. We formulate these new directions to suite relevant needs of our life.