Tonga – “The friendly Island”. A proud little Kingdom in the middle of the South Pacific. A home base on the other side of the world, with different culture, customs and beliefs. The other home country of my daughter.
Once again, we left everything behind to sail to new shores. What I refused for many years, suddenly seemed to be a great idea. Building a house and a home in Tonga. To critics I always replied, that our daughter comes from two different parts of this world and her Tongan grandparents also want to spent time with her. She wanted to meet all of her Tongan family…and I was willing to follow her and her dads wish…to come to Tonga – The Friendly Island!!!!
Little did I know, that this great adventure would turn into a total nightmare. I honestly can say, that the past 4 month have been challenging on all levels. Being pushed out of my comfort zone, so many times. Being confronted with situations, I can still not comprehend. Facing hostility on a level I have not known before. Being left puzzled and disturbed. What I have experienced here is so surreal, that it took me weeks, no month to start realising what is happening but still far away from understanding the full content. Not knowing if I will ever be able to fully understand, nor sure if that is even possible. I caught myself many times, thinking: “Na, that didn’t really happen. That’s impossible.” Until the next thing happened and I was like: “Woahhh.”
It is indeed a crazy rollercoaster ride, full of self awareness and questions and more awareness and more questions and more awareness…… I had many days, where I was not sure how to survive that unbelievable pain and craziness. I was numb, felt paralysed, couldn’t move, couldn’t think, couldn’t make a decision. Everything was just blurry. I wanted to run away but didn’t know where to. I knew there was no place to hide from that inner hurricane that was “twirling deep inside me”.
What I am very proud of is, that I kept always an open and authentic conversation with my daughter. I watched and observed how she felt, how she coped and what she desired. She wanted to stay and I agreed, as I didn’t had a better plan. Many days, I could hardly function. Gladly Malia was content and happy to watch lots of movies while mummy was putting everything she had ever learned and heard to the test to find a way to move on. Many days we had cheese quesadilla and cornflakes, that was all I could manage to prepare.
While I struggled on so many levels, I also struggled on how much of that experience I wanted to share with the outer world. How safe would it be to share and to open up? Noble silence was expected, to suffer in silence.
Slowly facts were turned around. Gaslighting took place- have you heard of that term?
Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. [Wikipedia]
And then suddenly, the story sounded completely different. This is when I realised, I have to open up, I have to share. Writing, that is my way to keep my sanity. Not for the outer world but for myself and my daughter. To write and value my own experience, feelings, perception and reality.