Stickman Readers' Submissions June 30th, 2011

Help For The Lost

I have been a regular visitor to Thailand for many years and a couple of years ago lived and worked there, with my own apartment for 12 months. I had separated from my wife in Australia and was determined to carve out a new life in Bangkok.

Alas this wasn’t to happen. With cash stocks starting to become depleted and some unfinished business back in Oz I had to go back.

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I had made a very big mistake or rather, several. When I decided to go to Thailand, I had left a solid but boring family life, resigned from a job at one of the world’s best companies, alienated some close friends and some family members, generously lent a large sum of money to one of them, on the assurance it would be paid back in 6 months, fallen in lust with a bar girl from Pattaya who was to provide the ‘girlfriend experience’ and did not make any plan for the following year or years after that.

On the plus side it was the best year of my life and I do not have any regrets, and I also got back with my company and still have a solid good income job. On the minus side, the worse year of my life followed once I came back to Oz.

I had run out of money and my debtor did not have the resources to repay me the loan. The bar girl lived me for 5 months but I had to finish it as she was too lazy and getting fat. (She now has a respectable job in Jomtien and married a Japanese guy.) She also caused a serious rift between me and my best mate who lived in the same building.

I met another girl, a freelancer and we fell in love, bought land and were warmly welcomed by her family and was my rock even after I got back. I went through a harrowing divorce procedure, got my just desserts for the property settlement out of it, went into debt so I could start all over again from buying stuff for an apartment, to a lemon of a car that was a bottomless money pit, so I could finance 2 fortnightly trips for the year thinking I would be back living in Thailand if only I saved my money.

My GF SMSd or called every other day; she kept my spirits up as I told her about all the shitty things going on. She got a visa, came out for 3 months and went back. By that time another year had passed and things were balanced finely financially. I holidayed in Thailand with my girl for 2 weeks, we organised another visa but decided it better for her not come as she didn’t want me to spend money on her and she felt guilty she said. She also pushed me to ensure my teenage daughter got her father’s love. She had two daughters to different fathers and had farmed them out with relatives with neither having the luxury of a father’s presence. She would see me when I came again in August.

One day, two months after I came back from that trip, the SMSs stopped. The last one I got reminded me she loved me too. I got no response for two days and then called her at all times of day but couldn’t connect. The phone number became disconnected and my mate who went to look for her said she had left her apartment and no one in our old social circle of friends (Thai and Farang) had seen her in 2 months. Gone to Dubai some said, dead mused others. Nothing. Just vanished off the face of the planet.

I spent the next two months trying to find out why she would do that and usually in the bottom of a bottle. A bottle a night for two weeks. I ate crap, got fat and unhealthy, spent most nights crying and wallowing in self pity about losing close to a million baht on her, another couple of million on myself, got battered by 3 intimate relationships in 18 months and trying to turn love into hatred. I eased up to two bottles a week for the next two months but went over things over and over again in my head. I had lost my rock, my girl who was my strength, a real and genuine love (or so I and a lot of other people who knew her thought), got no real sympathy from anyone here, nor my mate who had warned me about these things, not the family, not a stranger in a bar, ignored even the advice of Stick and generally went from being knocked to the floor, up on my knees then smashed right into the floor again.

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How many times has that happened? How many men must go through the same or similar emotional and financial situations like this? You couldn’t count them and you would certainly assume a fair number may have topped themselves over it.

What have I done since? I stood up, I started getting fit, I started forgetting and I used common sense and a resolve I found deep, deep down inside me to get over it. I have moved on. Life is too short for regrets, self pity and holding grudges.

But Stick, what about those of us who don’t find that resolve? What help is there for a clinical decapitation and depression? For the male ego, pride means they won’t seek medical help or talk to anyone. There’s also the difficulty of talking to someone who hasn’t experienced Thai culture and the everyday things about Thailand and its mostly warm and smiling people. How can you relate a good yarn from there to someone here, whether mate or sister, if they are only concerned about what’s on TV tonight?

I don’t know of any network that exists? Sure, you see and read the stories here or on Secrets but that’s not the same as talking and listening. Some are quick to judge and deride but I know from my experience I would be happy to lend a non judgmental ear to fellow wandering souls, if there was such a group of FRIARS (Farang returned infected & inhibited and ready to speak and see sense!) (but excluding the all too unbearable know-it-all plonkers). I don’t know if there is a place on the web or on your site for a link, or a forum to create a contact club in the capital city so that guys can come together and get stuff off their chests and turn loss and loathing into smiles and positive yarns.

If it saves just one person from doing something stupid, it would be worth a crack.

Stickman's thoughts:

Well done for getting through that dark period. As you say, not everyone is as lucky.

I guess this site has become a repository for such stories, and such people. Many in need have emailed submission writers or me for advice. But for sure, there is demand for regular get-togethers so people can get stuff off their chest and talk about the crazy world of relationships between Western guys and Thai women.

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