Hello to all those readers interested in learning from my personal experience of surviving an economic collapse.
I decided to write this article, the first of a series of several similar that will be posted because I am experiencing these days a huge emotional mix. I am not embarrassed in any way for this, I am a normal person, I have feelings and emotions like everyone else, and until not long ago I had a home, a job, and a conventional, peaceful life like perhaps many of you are enjoying right now.
May God keep it that way!
As a former oil worker, one learns to control emotions, because being in this business, a bad decision in the field if there is danger present, could cost one's life. Or someone else's. This said, when we made the decision (as a family we discuss all this of course) and, once my salary stopped being useful for three weeks worth of food, we decided that was the inflection point. After 14 years in one of the most profitable industries in the world (except in Venezuela), I was left with nothing in my bank account. The hyperinflation ate away all the little money that was there. The next step, fleeing to a foreign country (yes, I had savings in hard currency) and trying to find some stability was relatively easy, as my sister-in-law and mother-in-law were already here, and they had some space. So I started a small business (mainly private lectures) just to meet the ends, and it became more or less profitable. A phone call every two days to home, to speak with my family, and long, newspaper-like emails, social networks sometimes. (We decided to not disclose my departure because of OPSEC).
Everything had been happening more or less in a kind of natural way. I did not realize how deeply all this has affected me on a subconscious level. After the daily struggle ended, I suddenly start to become more and more anxious and sad whenever I received photos from my friends and family. I had never been a very delicate person regarding emotions, and feelings. I had been able to have everything under relative control.
But the uncertainty and stress have started to take their toll. What motivated me to write this, was that I did not even realize it. A grown man, dressed in black leather, riding a big, loud motorcycle, and whose eyes suddenly broke in tears trying to buy some medicines for a little, sweet, granny who sells flowers in a hutch to the side of the road for a living…come on. Yes, that happened to me. Powerlessness, inability to help because I had the money, but could not find the medicines in any pharmacy I went to…it was the first episode, and I should have taken it as the first warning about something was going on back there, behind the curtains. That was a year ago. I never had a similar experience until recently. I have been exposed to a degree of anxiety, just like a normal student and worker could experience. Once one learns to deal with it, everything seems to improve.
But you know what? We have experienced a disaster like few other countries are experiencing. An earthquake is a terrible experience. But it is fast and sudden. The agony of a slow-motion collapse like the one we are having, I am deeply convinced, leaves permanent scars in the minds of everyone who is going throughout. Whenever a natural disaster is present, perhaps we took our time, but we accepted it. It was inevitable, in most instances.