Inspiration for the interpretation of the card „Power / Desire”
From suicide to graduation
I am going to be 60. My mother (she died when she was 64 in great pain caused by liver cancer) had me when she was seventeen. All her next life until her death, even though she was married twice, I was the wise and responsible man in the household. I am a Scorpio with big ambitions. I finished secondary school with honours, but to feed me and my sister (she comes from the first marriage, which ended after a few years because of my stepfather's pathological jealousy which led to him brutally assaulting my mother) in 1968 my mother transcribed some book banned by the government. That was a problem for my studies. The only place where they accepted me was a newly opened specialization in continuation school where I could graduate and get a leaving certificate – it was school for smart kids of parents with a record. I was sixteen, I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, I wanted to be a painter, I was an athlete and I wanted to be the “master of the universe”, in short, a kid full of ideals.
In continuation school I wasn't even allowed to graduate. I'll explain. I was in the third year and in colleges students tore the fifteenth and twenty-fifth page in their IDs as a protest against the party conventions of KSČ and KSSS (communist parties in Czechoslovakia). Us, students in the continuation school, unknowingly tore the eighteenth page which, for whatever reason, meant the person was gay. The headmaster of our school reported us to the state police out of fear and during the interrogations they were trying to figure out what was the anti-state activity we were supposedly pursuing.
Before the police were able to find out that we didn't do anything wrong, the headmaster stopped me from graduating and I could only receive a vocational certificate. While I did get it, my whole dream was smashed to pieces. And because I am a Scorpio, who is either very low or very high (I think zodiac signs are important in life), I couldn't deal with it when I was nineteen. One year was enough to see me enter a psychiatric ward as an alcoholic and suicide. I was drinking twenty beers a day and I slit my wrists.
Three months later they let me out, I changed my job and I had to still visit the ward as an out-patient to take a pill which stops you from drinking alcohol. I moved in with my mother and her second husband, but once again I couldn't cope and I tried to kill myself one more time (my stepfather wasn't violent, but he was an egotist who abused my mother). You know how it goes, when we don't make it work with one partner, we try to find a new and better one, but we don't understand that we will probably find someone similar as before, and the fault is usually ours. I will just say that when her first husband beat her, she went to see her mother-in-law, who just said: “Take a rolling pin and hit him over the sick nob of his (by which she meant the head).” And then the first husband got married again and I know that until his death, he obeyed his second wife. And what happened next?
I was twenty years old and I had a choice. Either I will give up my life, or I will find the strength to continue. And I did find it. I found an interesting job and a bunch of people helped me – friends, who respected me and I respected them, because they understood my natural talent for painting. I was making invitations and posters and I helped organize cultural events. I graduated from an evening school of applied arts and later sociology at the Faculty of Arts (which made my mother incredibly happy, I will never forget the happiness in her face during graduation ceremony. I was 32.) At that time, I was working as an illustrator and later as an editor of a magazine, and then as a deputy headmaster at a vocational school. In the meantime, I got married for the second time, I have one child from each marriage, a son and then a daughter. You can never have everything in life and that's beautiful (unsuccessful marriages, but great children) – if we accept it.
The big force, which helped me fulfil my dreams also had also some negative accompanying effects. The joy of my triumph gradually changed into conceit and I enjoyed it, I succumbed to desire to the point where I didn't know any limits. I started drinking more and I also started to cheat on my wife. They were only one-night stands, experienced in a state of euphoria, but it was unfortunate.
Naturally, even today I have many rises and falls. But I never cross the line. I am able to have my demons under control and to use the power in me in a positive manner.
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