I have purchased 2 copies of "The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse". One for myself, a few years ago, which I've read cover to cover and refer to from time to time, and recently, one for my uncle, who has purchased rural property with the intention of moving there for reasons of both personal preference and feeling he will be "safer" there when SHTF. He has those EXACT fantasies that you describe of a 24/7 "patrol" with his buddies....
I understand his preference for rural locations, as I love the countryside as well. I just wanted to present him with your viewpoint/experience re: rural locations---not to dissuade him from moving, but to help him prepare for the challenges he can more realistically expect to face out there should "SHTF" in the US. He "mostly agrees" with the tips and observations in "Surviving the Economic Collpase" and sees the tactical and practical sense in most of your book, but still is clinging to his Walking Dead rural fantasy.
I said to him, "There's nothing to 'agree' with in Ferfal's book. This is what happened. This is what he saw and experienced. I'm not asking you to agree with him---only to be aware of what has actually happened to others so that, in choosing a rural location, you can prepare yourself for THAT."
Anyway. The reason I am writing to you now is because I was very excited to learn that you have a new book out. I read the dedication on Amazon preview, and felt compelled to reach out.
I have not had the experience of leaving family members behind in a country. But I have had the experience of leaving family members behind in order to create a better life for myself and transcend an abusive, toxic, deeply dysfunctional system. A system that was a daily threat to their physical, emotional, and spiritual survival.
Thankfully, while trying to navigate and extricate myself from the most difficult part of it, I was not alone. I had the help of a couple of truly gifted counselors.
I felt such extreme guilt at leaving behind my brother and sister. Just to think of the feeling today---it still crushes me. That sense of guilt and duty and love and desire to protect them almost prevented me from leaving.
However, both of my counselors told me over and over and over again that the best thing I could do to help my brother and sister would be to leave, and make myself whole and healthy.
They said that in doing so, I would provide them a roadmap and permission to do the same for themselves. They said the ONLY thing I could do to truly help them escape, was to escape myself.
I didn't believe them.
But I did it anyway, hoping that there might be some small possibility that they were right.
A decade later, I can say: They were right.
I can't believe it----
They were right !!
But if I hadn't gone first----if I hadn't been willing to have the vision and do the work and pay the price of the fear and guilt of leaving them behind (and not being there to protect them) for the chance of something better for them and myself---then today we'd all still be stuck in the shit. I don't think my sister would even be alive today. It wasn't easy for her. But if I hadn't gone first---she wouldn't have had a reason or the RESOURCES to fight her way through and join me on the other side.
Sometimes I weep tears of gratitude because I never even could have dared to hope that it could turn out as well as it has.
There was no guarantee. Things could have turned out differently. Tragically. How could someone who came from where I did be living the life I am living today? Sometimes it feels like my life is a fairy tale come true.
I am not a 'religious' person per se, but I am sending a heartfelt prayer for you and your family, and I hope that this note can provide some spark of hope in your heart that by getting out, you've provided your family back home with the best chance they've got to reach higher ground.
Much love to you and your family. Thank you for the work that you do.
Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed my first book and I hope you like my second one, “Bugging Out & Relocating” as well. Emails like yours just make my day. Whenever I learn that I’ve helped a reader in some way, it gives me more energy and motivation to continue working.
Leaving behind my nephews and grandmother sure was difficult. It was without a doubt the hardest part. Everything else was easy in comparison and it still hurts today, that feeling of having abandoned your loved ones. Sometimes you reach a point in life where you have to carry on and people that are close to you have to go their separate ways, at least for the time being. We stay in touch and who knows? Maybe one day we’ll be living close to one another again. Fingers crossed!
What you say is also true. You have to help yourself first before you can help others. If you’re part of the problem or if you are overwhelmed by them, then you can’t help much at all. Only after you pulled yourself together and can stand on your own can you be the support others need. In my case, being out of Argentina means that whenever my nephews want they have a place out of the country to stay while looking for work abroad or studying. I wish I had family that could have helped me I such a way when I was their age.
Again, thank you so much for your kind words,
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.