Stickman Readers' Submissions August 27th, 2013

Is She Genuine Part II

Has this place changed me? Yes without a doubt. I hope for the better.

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Although in a strange way it’s difficult to do, I re-read the first submission I sent to Stick in 2007, “Is she Genuine”. I
penned this submission a few months after my first trip to Thailand and even almost 6 years later it still draws from me a wide range of emotions. It brings me back to a time and a place that seems like yesterday but in other ways seems like so
long ago. I really seemed so naïve. Like many before me, I fell for a girl after a short holiday. I was in love. I was really in love – the type of love that is not real love but the type of love that makes you crave someone. But I
had concerns. I still remember the huge response I got from the Stickman faithful after writing that article. I was advised to run. All the flags were there. Nothing good could come from it. Do you think I listened to Stick? Do you think I listened
to all the readers with their vast amounts of experience? If you've stuck with me this far I think you already know the answer.

Despite the warnings, I still thought she was different. Different to all the other girls. I was young, I had a relatively decent job and I was different to the average tourist (so I thought) so I felt I presented something different to her. Something different that made me worth hanging on to. Why did I need to listen to other people when I knew in my heart she was the one for me? But she wasn’t different. I wasn’t that different. That holiday to Thailand in late 2006 was the beginning of a two and a half year train crash.

I look back at that person now and I know I’m not that person anymore and haven’t been for a long time. It seems so melodramatic to say it now but I was in such a dark place at that point. When you’re in the eye of a storm it’s hard to see what’s happening around you. Sometimes people don’t get out of the storm. They get sucked into the whirling rage and never recover… These people can often see the red flags or experience that deep down gut feeling that something is wrong but they don’t heed the warning signs. I do believe that we have to take personal responsibility for our actions and it is often our own bad judgement and bad decisions that get us into the most difficult situations – but we all at times can make bad calls. I see Thailand as a prescription medicine. Use it right and it can do wonders for you but abuse it or not be aware of its dangers and it can destroy you. This place does that to so many people – well not Thailand, but the experiences you have there. I made so many crazy decisions at that time. I spent over two and a half years of my life on a roller-coaster. Actually a train crash is the only appropriate word as there is only one place that this was ever going. But I survived.

Was I selfish? Was I ever really entitled to feel like this girl should have waited for me? Or did I even have the right to question whether she was “genuine”? I had met her on a holiday and I expected her to wait but how many farangs pass through these islands every day, every week, every day making false promises? Sometimes we can all forgot how different our lives and circumstances are versus these girls. We fall in love and we want to get that love in return. But most of us in the West already have our other basic needs met. We are the lucky ones. We seem shocked when we find out that the priority of these women is not love. Their time at the top is limited and the sensible ones will make the most of it. This girl had to do what she had to do and looking back I think I was the selfish one.

Almost 6 years have passed and as I now look back the storm has long since lifted. I can still remember how difficult that experience was but I still feel it was a good thing that I had to go through it. It’s made me a much stronger person and much more self aware of who I am and what I want. I escaped but some people never do. I've enjoyed good holidays in Thailand since but I’m no longer bitten by the bug. I enjoy it for what it is but I also really enjoy my life in my homeland. I’m single by choice and enjoy the freedom that gives me. I think that these types of “bad” experiences do help make us stronger and more self aware if we allow them to. To all the guys out there in a similar situation who are feeling depressed, who see the red flags and wake up with that horrible feeling in the pit of their stomachs – my advice is to walk away before too much harm is done. Things can and do get better. Time heals everything. If it hasn’t healed, you just haven’t given it enough time. Someone once told me that if it doesn’t feel right, then it definitely isn't. But if it feels right – there’s only a small chance that it is.

The story of my train crash might then be the subject of another submission but what I can say now (thankfully with a smile on my face) is that Stick's parting comment on my initial submission was oh so true …”Never sacrifice for a woman. Compromise, yes. Sacrifice, no!

I look in the mirror and try and see the boy from 6 years ago. He’s there somewhere. Hopefully a bit more grown up.


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