After wondering what had happened and how I ended in a 3×3 bedroom in a city 4000kms away from home and my parents, broken, sleeping over a mattress on the floor and jobless, the answer is, I (maybe) chose poorly a few times in my life.
I´m not blaming anyone else, to make things clear. It was I who made the choices, and the only responsible.
And I have paid enough for my mistakes.
Things don’t always go as planned.
The original plan was if someday we had to leave our house in the city, to evacuate and head for our cottage.
Pets, kids, everyone. But things were not so easy. First, there was a real danger of borders being closed, and we would be trapped in a like-jail country. That risk, according to what I have been analyzing is less nowadays. I was quite more paranoid those days, and reasonably. Our wages were reduced to oblivion with inflation so high that in less than 5 or 6 months we were not buying but a quarter of the supplies and the rest had to be covered with the product of my second job.
There were employees of the oil&gas and electric power industry imprisoned under false charges of “treason to homeland” because they just ran away of their jobs, unable to feed their families and themselves with those miserable, slavish wages. Nowadays, I doubt they pay attention someday to a low-level employee after the entire country is close to explode in a civil uprising as never seen in the last two centuries.
It´s almost like that, but imprisonment process has been by destroying the economy and with a corrupted gang making tons of money selling papers and passports to flee the country.
Fear can disrupt even the most well thought out plans.
That said, I must clarify there was an additional variable. The immediate family of my wife was already outside the country. Had I been with no family, I could have go to my cottage, and keep working online, and now my guerrilla garden would be world class. I can see now, my partner, no matter how much I wanted to believe she was on board, reality was different. We could have at least tried, but personal desires were in the middle of the family needs. Frustrated needs originated poor, emotion-driven choices that prevailed over the general welfare of the family. It´s painful to see that bugging out and speeding our retirement plan was never an option in her mind and that our family integrity was not a priority. I am sure that much of that has been decisive in my dark mood of these last months. But it is not the only hard-to-control, emotionally affecting event I have faced. There is another…component involved, so to speak. And it´s fear.
Fear was an important part of this, I have to acknowledge. It led in my case, to disregarding lines of thinking that would have allowed the most adequate finance-wise decision. Even if these decisions implied a setback in our careers. Mine is either way in a total halt now after I thought it was going to start again. It seems I´m qualified for a different industrial environment to the existent here and I’m starting to wonder if my experience time is not working against me. Fear is something to be afraid of. I remember the story (a recent one, indeed) where a family felt an explosion nearby and ran to the shelter…spent several weeks inside, living off the stockpiled food…until one of the children died by food poisoning. The explosion was a train with chemicals passing by. All of the farm animals were dead, because of the abandon. A real tragedy, if you ask me.
SEE ALSO: How to Convince Loved Ones to Prep (and When to Give Up)
I could have come back with some extra cash, cut expenses, repair our car and try to live a simpler life in our OWN place. No rent. No water bills but a high quality, underground river top quality supply. A small power bill, almost insignificant (grid power failures in town do affect us, but my plan was to have solar backup anyway and our needs are not that much, just a TV, lights, a small fridge and sound system at night. Albeit being tropic, it´s cool enough during the day to take a power nap after lunch without a fan. Fresh fruit, poultry, and eggs. Beans. Plantains. Tapioca Root. Corn. Tomatoes. Onions. Rabbits. Cucumbers, and whatnot. Our pets would have been much better. Without all the harm done to the (now extinct) integrity of the family. Allowing our elder members to enjoy quality time with their one grandson. All of these could have been achieved if our possibilities had included to stay put and bug in according to the original plan.
We had the means to do so, but on my side, fear of remaining trapped was the motivation to flee. I don´t think it was a good choice now. Financially speaking there were plenty of investment opportunities in projects that would have allowed to come through the first few months, and they would be submitting net profit by now. I did the math. Remember, I´m an engineer. Our living expenses would have been minimal and our life quality would have been great. My health would be optimal, and not affected, or maybe it would but with less strong effects. Just by having proved myself that it was doable, and taught our kid how to set up a productive entrepreneurship adventure even under a critical environment, and getting ahead…it was worth the effort.
Will you and your partner be willing to make sacrifices when the SHTF?
All of that was a certain possibility, but the stress of having to feed a family without any income and relying only on some meager savings and a patch of land…that was too much back then, after having decent means. We could have done it, but it would have required a degree of sacrifice that the other half of the family was not willing to do, as made that point very much clear. The now ex wanted to go with her mother and sister, in Ecuador. Back then, migration was starting to see massively and some problems were in the horizon already.
Once I asked for the possibility to live in the cottage, as the original plan was plotted, with just our kid (older kid would go with his biological father to another city, under his own request), she said no way. She wouldn´t live in a place far away from the city, much less without cable TV and internet. Go figure. Prepper girl? Yeah, right. Once things got hairy, all I saw was a run to mom´s lap instead of keeping with hubby, embracing with younger kiddo and start digging the trench to resist until the last cartridge. My mom and she were not exactly friends, and their relationship was already broken and had a lot to see in my (our, me and my son´s) situation.
But back then, fleeing away looked like a good idea. Reality was quite different: job opportunities were scarce in my area, although my skill array is not that bad. And even after some fix job…with the high level of competition (not exactly loyal) we foreigner don´t have any work assurance. One week you work, the other one you just don´t because they found another migrant to do the same job, for half the wage. Stressful, isn´t it?
I am a man used to a relatively Spartan life. My only few pleasures when I have money are quite simple: a good bottle of wine, some tasty cheese, olive oil, garlic and bread, and taking my kiddo so he can have some ice cream or chocolate donuts, and a movie or a park. That, and talking to my mom, and dad while practicing knife throwing, or doing some other stuff we enjoy.
This is a city with over 10 million of people. Crime rate is not that high but you still have to be careful. Polluted and merciless, as many other cities. Sure, it has good places to offer. Reserved for those with better luck or with a patrimony already large enough. This is not an easy place to live even for many nationals. I´ve met quite a few and they work very hard to make ends meet. Finding a place to distract and relax is not easy neither. There is no country nearby: you have to ride a few hours in a bus just to leave the city.
And, to top it off, I had this last few months the strong conviction than, in any minute, turmoil just like in Chile, Ecuador and now Bolivia would start to spread. That´s a good portion of South American countries. It´s quite different to face something like an armed robbery, being in your own place, in your terrain, with tools at your side, than being relatively unarmed in a place where you´re no more than just another foreigner.
Suddenly, the original idea starts to seem much more appealing than being here.
Thanks for reading.
Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151
I’m truely sorry for all his losses. Something of that magnitude can break up any family. But since we’re to learn from this, I have some thoughts. Husband’s, if you wish cooperation from your wife, you need to make it a practice of showing her that you care for her. Developing her trust in you, that you want what’s best for her and are willing to sacrifice for her. This creates the trust needed to follow you and what might seem “crazy” or difficult plans . It’s always hard to move out of your normal way of living. If stockpiling for future hard times, it’s important to not act out of panic. This just reinforces that you’re “crazy” or a bit unstable. Some people like to keep their heads in the sand because change is just too difficult. Then you might consider “stealth” preparing. The book “Lights Out” had some good ideas. As to women who’s husbands aren’t interested, we usually purchase the majority of items for our home. Just get extra. Start ” hobbies” , gardening, food preservation, backyard cooking , etc. You also might start watching some survival type movies. Most men like them. It plants an idea. We can’t force another adult to change without serious consequences, but we can be an example by our own actions. I’m really big on thinking ” what can I do ” instead of ” I can’t”. There are so many smaller disruptions that it pays to be prepared.
Thanks for your support!
Yes, I read that book too, and it was definitely an eye opener. Highly recommended, although the time frame it describes maybe a little too small. Things could hold up for a while while crumbling.
My father’s favorite saying was… “I CAN’T” never did a damned thing!
Words to live by.
Your last sentence brought that back to mind and a smile to my lips.
Interesting comment. Another solution is to start again without the baggage. I started again after going thru a very negative environment. Nothing I did was to her liking…he life was only good if she married Bill Gates! LOL. Decided this was not what I signed up for….Found an Asian women who was the best decision in my life. Turns out she is more of a prepper than me! Could not be happier. Funny, later she wanted me to take her back…found out guys like me are a treasure to keep…..she lost. No one wants her.
Dear CG Man,
What in the world poor Bill did to you?? LOL
When Your Partner is Not a Prepper you have a lead weight on your neck
…Tell me about it…
MY woman Left FOUR MONTHS AGO,she didn’t believe there was anything to worry about,I hope shes able to make it home without some one kidnapping her or worse, killing her,all the above will likely happen to the unprepeared,there won’t be that many surviviors because they were in denial,ITS not a river in egypt you know,most americans think it is…
3 per cent seriously prep continuously
7 per cent start and quit
90 per cent believe it will never happen
3 % here Karen- I am constantly going over in my mind possibilities and conditions. The world has become very fluid and unstable-just as Jose says. I am hoping that as we see civil unrest in all these other countries, our sheer numbers will mimic the French Revolution. I’m sorry Jose for your wife’s abandonment of the family model. But perhaps you can turn your many talents and abilities into a stronger, more determined prepper-one who will survive and thrive.
Dears Linda and Karen,
There is no other possible thing to do but get the dust off the clothes, stand up, and start walking again.
And maybe you have not seen news about South America, but I´m in the middle of this part of the continent and we are seeing first hand what is happening. The communists of the Caribbean are setting fire their neighbors house, so they don´t attack and extinct them. Chile, Ecuador, Colombia (strongest USA ally in the region) and now Bolivia, those countries are under attack of marxist guerrilla. We are talking about something serious. If they keep acting unpunished, their final target is very likely to be the USA. We can´t allow that to happen, seriously. It´s not going to happen suddenly, I think. But the odds of it happening are now much, much higher.
No matter if your partner is not on board. Just prep the best way you can, just in case.
2 Corinthians 6:
14:Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
I’m a firm believer that the lesson imparted here translates to every aspect of life.
17: But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
The time is soon coming when we’re all going to have to cut loose the dead weight if we want to live. I’ve already had this discussion in my family. If you haven’t done so already, you’d better be finding out what’s on everyone’s mind BEFORE the bus rolls up to take you all to one of Hillary Clinton’s “Fun Camps”! It could save your life.
After having experienced several crisis in my life, one thing is for sure. Our good Lord never leaves us stranded. He never throws in our way more than we can manage.
I´ve been desperate some times, for real, but he always find the way to make me remind he´s there watching my back.
and yes, divided houses are condemned to oblivion.
You dont need a end of the world scenario or ELE to show you the value of prepping in my state. All you need is a state government who decides not to maintain the power grid and invest in art instead. Part of the grid did go down and some people had to go without power for two weeks and rely on the generosity of friends. A technician later said that we came within an inch of the whole grid going down for a month
I don´t have any doubt you´re completely right. Much of the collapse is because of most of the designated (because they are designated, not elected) fake majors and governors are people without any knowledge of public finances administration.