The Suffering Of Change
It’s really shocking when you are young having to watch your parents fight. Even worse is when your parents lie to you about the nature of reality. If there is one thing I learnt from attending one of Melbourne’s most prestigious private schools is that suffering exists. My parents however, appeared to be more concerned with pulling the wool over my eyes, and admonished me by making me feel guilty or ashamed for any efforts I made to understand and figure out how to escape the cycle of suffering we were all trapped in.
When the Buddha turned the First Wheel of the Dharma, he taught the Four Noble Truths.
On a warm day, late in Spring, I arrived home from school. I used to enter the house by first walking in through Dad’s practice rooms, which were at the front part of the building, so I could say hello to him on the way through. On this day, Dad wasn’t in his rooms, so I walked through to the house, dumping my navy school bag in my bedroom on the way. As I headed towards the living room, I passed by my parent’s bedroom, but paused as I realized the curtains were drawn and the room itself was very dark. I walked in, staring at the bed. Mother lay motionless with a mask over her eyes.
“Mum,” I said quietly, “are you awake?”
Mother didn’t reply. I picked up her hand and held it in mine. Her hand was cold, and felt almost lifeless, but when I touched her forehead, it was very hot and clammy. She moaned.
“Mum,” I whispered, “do you need anything, some medicine, some water?”
She moaned again, and then said, “Go away Oceané. I need to rest.” I paused as I considered what to do. After a time, Mother spoke. “Shut the door behind you, Oceané. I need peace and quiet”
My heart sank. I felt so sorry for her, but there seemed little I could do. As I turned to leave the room, I realized Father was standing in the doorway, looking as though he was about to blow his top. He had some documents in his hand and a pen. He marched forward towards the bed. Dad was really a fearsome creature when in a rage, and I quickly and fearfully moved out of the way. He stood over Mum, shoving the papers in her face and bellowing, “Grace, I need your signature on these documents.”
Mother lay motionless, without saying a word. Father ripped off the eye mask Mother was wearing, before she yelped like a helpless dog in fright.
“What Edward, what?” she whimpered. “Can’t you see I’m suffering from a terrible migraine?”
She struggled to sit up, and half-opened her eyes. “What are they,” she said looking at the thick document of papers he was holding in front of her. The room was still dark, so she had no way of knowing what it was he was asking her to sign.
“Just sign them, you stupid bitch,” he shouted.
“Sign what?” whimpered Mother. “What is it that you want from me?” Turning towards me, Father bellowed, “Leave us alone, Oceané. This has nothing to do with you.”
“But Dad, Mum is sick. You can’t treat her like this, especially when she is so ill. Where is your compassion? Can’t you see you are causing her so much more pain?”
Mother was battling even to hold her head in an upright position, her pain and discomfort blatantly obvious. Reluctantly, I left the room. Returning to my bedroom, I sat at my desk, however I felt so distraught by what had just happened that I found it impossible to focus upon my own work. A few minutes passed before the house became silent.
After some time sitting and churning over the latest events, I picked up enough energy to unenthusiastically unpack my bag. Staring blankly at the books piled up on the desk in front of me, I felt my anguish increase. I had lost all motivation. Despite the fact I always looked forward to seeing Mum when I got home from school, all I could think about now was the feeling of loss overwhelming me, as though I was losing the one ray of light that brought happiness into our lives at home. Seeing Mother so unhappy, frail and sick on the bed reinforced my own feelings of despair, unhappiness, separation and loss. Feeling so mentally fragmented, it seemed that all my efforts to comfort and support Mother came to nothing. Watching on helplessly as our family disintegrated before my eyes was heartbreaking. I knew my exams were only a couple of weeks away, however I was facing my own battle trying to maintain a focus on the studies that I was expected to excel in.
Copyright © Vanessa Anne Walsh 2019
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What Happened in 1985 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture
What happened in 1985 Major News Stories include Coca-Cola Company introduces New Coke, Heysel Stadium Disaster, Unabomber kills his first victim, CD’s Introduced, Wreck of the RMS Titanic Located, Mexico City Earthquake kills 9,000, Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is sunk by French Agents, As the spread of aids increases Governments round the world start screening Blood donations for AIDS. On the technology front the first .com is registered and the first version of Windows is released Ver 1.0 . Terrorists continue to perform acts of terrorism including the hijack of TWA Flight 847 and the Italian Cruise Liner “Achille Lauro “. Famine in Ethiopia is shown more on TV News in July and Live Aid concerts around the world raise many millions to help the starving in Africa and the pop industry in US joins together to sing “We Are The World”.
How Much things cost in 1985
Yearly Inflation Rate USA 3.55%
Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 1546
Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve 10.75%
Average Cost of new house $89,330
Median Price Of and Existing Home $75,500
Average Income per year $22,100.00
Average Monthly Rent $375.00
Average Price for new car$9,005.00
Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling
Average House Price 40,169
Gallon of Petrol 1.88
Yearly Inflation Rate UK 9.50%
Interest Rates Year End Bank of England 11.38%
More Example Prices
gallon of gas $1.09
Movie Ticket $2.75
US Postage Stamp 22 cents
Bacon per pound $1.65
Bean Bag Lounger $39.99
Rainbow Brite Color Kids $9.99 Each
Rib Eye Steak Lb $3.89
2 bedroom condo overlooking lake $59,900
World — Live Aid concerts
- Live Aid pop concerts in Philadelphia and London raise over 50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.
More Information for the Live Aid Concerts
1. The Live Aid Concerts were held during July of 1985.
2. They were a series of rock concerts held to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia around the world.
3. They took place in cities including London, Philadelphia, Sydney and Moscow.
4. The concerts attracted close to 200,000 people and by using satellite link-ups and TV broadcasts around the world, they attracted an estimated one billion viewers in 110 countries who watched the concerts performed live.
5. The concerts were organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure and they raised over $125 million in relief money for Africa.
6. Notable acts included B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Cher, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Elton John, Hall & Oates, Lionel Richie, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Queen, Run-DMC, and U2.
- Coca-Cola Company introduces New Coke.
More Information for New Coke.
In April of 1985, Coca-Cola introduced “New Coke” in what many observers declared to be the worst marketing blunder in history. At the time, Coca-Cola was a 99 year old company looking for a way to update itself and they chose to do so by changing the original formula of their iconic soft drink. They created a sweeter version that had been preferred in taste tests, but fans of the brand protested the decision in an overwhelmingly negative response. Within three months Coca-Cola announced it would return to the old formula and tried to re-brand the drink as Coca-Cola “Classic” and New Coke quickly disappeared.
United States — Coldest Winter in Eastern U.S.
- The Eastern half of North America is hit with an exceptionally cold winter, one of the worst in recorded history.
More Information and Timeline for Eastern U.S. Coldest Winter
The Eastern halves of the United States and Canada face some of the coldest temperatures ever recorded in the 20th century as an arctic air mass moves through the country. According to meteorologists the cold wave occurred as a result of a polar vortex moving further south than what was usually observed and being coupled with a high pressure system. The cold snap lasted from January 20th to the 22nd and resulted in record-breaking cold temperatures as far south as Florida.
Spain — Gibraltar / Spain Border
- The United Kingdom and Spain agree to reopen the border between Gibraltar and Spain.
More Information for Gibraltar and Spain Border
After sixteen years of being closed under the rule of Francisco Franco in 1969, the border between Gibraltar and Spain was officially reopened during February of 1985. The border had been closed by Franco after tensions heightened between Spain and Britain over the status of Gibraltar. Spain had previously eased restrictions in 1982, allowing pedestrians to cross over the border but it was still tightly controlled as only Spanish citizens and residents of Gibraltar were allowed to cross. Opening the gates to all travelers in 1985 was a decision made by Spain to garner support for joining the European Community.
United States — Calvin and Hobbes comic strip
- The popular comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” debuts in newspapers.
More Information for Calvin and Hobbes.
The popular comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” makes its debut during November of 1985. Created by Bill Watterson, “Calvin and Hobbes” followed the adventures of a young boy, Calvin, and his stuffed animal tiger, Hobbes, while also exploring social, scientific, and philosophical ideas and issues. The comic was originally shown in 250 newspapers but expanded to over 2,000 newspapers at its most popular point. The strip ended in December of 1995 but is still used in papers throughout the world.
New Zealand — Rainbow Warrior
- The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is sunk when French agents plant a bomb on the hull killing Photographer Fernando Pereira
More Information and Timeline For Rainbow Warrior Sinking in Auckland, New Zealand
1. French Agents From the French foreign intelligence services arrive in New Zealand
2. French DGSE agent Christine Cabon, posing as environmentalist Frederique Bonlieu, volunteered for the Greenpeace office in Auckland.
3. Cabon gathers intelligence information crucial to the sinking.
4. July 10th DGSE divers beneath the Rainbow Warrior attached two limpet mines and detonated them 10 minutes apart
5. Following the capture and trial French foreign intelligence services (DGSE) agents Captain Dominique Prieur and Commander Alain Mafart – posing as married couple ‘Sophie and Alain Turenge’ and having Swiss passports pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on November 22, 1985.
The sinking was designed to sink the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet, the Rainbow Warrior in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, to prevent her from interfering in a nuclear test in Moruroa authorized by top French Officicials.