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Before and After the Good Times: An Interview

This interview was conducted with Jerry (not his real name).
The interview is about transformational challenges and changes.
JERRY It was when I was nine years old and there was a major downturn in the economy and my father who was working on airplanes all of a sudden found himself a victim of downsizing, the government no longer needing his services.
He was laid off and it caused an economic spiral that created a lot of hardship, a lot of displacement, and it was very traumatic as a child and it was something that I vowed would never happen to me or mine.
So, yeah, that was a life altering moment.
INTERVIEWER Before this life-altering moment can you tell me about your life, what was it like? JERRY Well I was child and I was playing a lot of ball and just basically jumping up and down, running around, and oblivious to the realities of life.
And just having a good time.
INTERVIEWER Okay, so then the change happened.
What was your life like afterwards? JERRY My life has been a very hard, complex, exciting series of events to me.
I've had a full rich and rewarding life, my children are grown, my spouse is beautiful, my pets are healthy and I live in a nice home.
INTERVIEWER Getting back to the moment when your father lost his job and there was downsizing -- what was your life like after that particular moment? JERRY Well, as a result of that, my father basically began a self-imposed transition of his work skills and I remember moving every year, year and a half, I was in a in a different community, different school, I had to make new friends, and it probably took him maybe a good ten years to re-establish himself and by that time I basically was at the point where I was emancipating myself, so then my experiences were not family-related but my own.
INTERVIEWER So after the change you moved around a lot.
Would you say that you were uprooted and how did that feel? JERRY It was not a comfortable situation.
You never feel like you belong to any neighborhood or school or group or anything like that, you're always re-establishing yourself, proving yourself to other people.
It was disconcerting to say the least.
INTERVIEWER What do you mean by disconcerting? JERRY Cause you're not comfortable.
You're always having to prove your worth, your value, your strength, you abilities, whatever was required.
INTERVIEWER Okay, so I hear your saying that you always had to prove yourself and you put a lot of energy into that? JERRY You put as much energy as was required.
INTERVIEWER Okay let's go back to one more question.
What was your life like before all this? JERRY I was a young child and life was good.
INTERVIEWER So could you sum up? What do you think the transformation was for you? How did it affect you? What did you take from it? How did it change you, or what was the change? JERRY The change is obvious.
Prior to this occurrence and the financial downturn in the U.
economy, I had everything I wanted.
There was plenty of food, there were plenty of toys, new clothes, anything I guess I wanted to do was somehow obtainable.
After this, it wasn't the same thing.
The housing conditions were different, the things that one could purchase or expect from his parents was limited, it was a major change, it was an upheaval, it was like day and night and that's why I remember it so vividly in my mind, Christmases were basically without presents, birthdays were without presents or cake, money became a factor or an issue where it never was before, stability was depending upon wherever employment was and wherever your father could find it, it was f*cked up.
Don't you get it? Don't ever ask me a question like that again!

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