Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Goodbye, mother

I was always someone that craved love and attention. This means, I used to accept love from anyone quite easily and willingly. If I met someone and that someone showed even the slightest of care, I'd grow attachment for him/her. And I'd give my all to him/her.

The root of this 'weakness' to fall for every Tom, Dick and Harry stems back to my childhood.

My mother was and still is unable to connect with me. I do not know what happened. All I know is she had us when she was quite young. And the fact that she was married to my late father who was addicted to narcotics was just an added bonus. The irony here is, my late father was actually in the force. He was a very handsome man with quite high rank in the force and I figured that was why she fell in love with him. After she gave birth to us, their marriage started to fall apart. What I heard from my late grandmother was, she had to fight real hard to get a divorce from my late father because the Syariah law in Malaysia did not grant divorce to the wife easily unless the word divorce came from the husband. During her battle, she sent my siblings and I back to hometown for my late grandmother to raise us. 

During these years being raised by my late grandmother, we hardly saw her. At least, as far as my memories serves me. She was working in KL and we were in Terengganu under the care of our beloved late grandmother (I love her with every fiber and cell in my body. May her soul rest in peace, O' Allah). She would come back once in every few months to visit us. She'd stay for, I don't know, probably 2 or 3 days. Even that, I didn't have any great memory with her. I do remember her coming back once in a blue moon. But, I seriously do not remember doing anything memorable with her.

Let's see, I am going to take a moment and try remembering the times I spent with her during my childhood.

I was 7 year old. I was awaken by grandma one night, telling me that my mum had just arrived from KL. I woke up excitedly rushing to her. I saw her with a lot of new bajus and snacks for us. But I don't remember hugging her or being hugged by her. No. I do remember a strange feeling though. I don't know what that is. 

And then, there was this time when she took us to KL during school holiday. She took us to Zoo Negara. She dressed my sister and I in matching yellow kurungs and my brother in red tee. My brother was really the cutest. I was cute too. My sister, not so much hehe. She bought us cute animal softtoy-caps. Mine was of course, in pink. My sister's was in green. We took pictures with the animals (I think she has that picture of 3 of us in her wallet until today). Then back at her rented house, we watched Disney movies. We read books and we spent the days chasing each other. That was probably the one and only moment that is so strongly embedded into my memory. 

She didn't always come back to spend raya with us. We were asked by neighbours and relatives during Eid "Where's your mum?" She didn't come back for raya with you guys?". Or "Eww, your baju raya has the weirdest color. It looks faded. I think your mum bought a second hand baju. She doesn't love you". Those words use to hurt. Those words were not supposed to be uttered by adults at all. Those people should be burnt in hell.

Sorry, walking down the memory lane hurts.

And then I grew up. Being a teenager just made things worst. I craved for my mother's love even more. By then, I was already in boarding school and was able to travel on my own so I would take bus to KL whenever she was in Malaysia (she was traveling the whole world with my stepfather and my baby brother). But all I remember was heartaches after heartaches. Being screamed at, being scolded at, being shushed at, being locked outside the house for coming home late, being thrown plates and pots at. I felt as if my mother was telling me that she felt no love and was ashamed of me. And that made me desperate to be the perfect daughter. I would go to any length to prove myself worthy, even do things I hated doing with her as a way of connecting.

I was however a very smart girl in school. I got pretty good grades in SPM. But, I didn't get the course I wanted. I wanted to do law because my mum once told me that I should become a lawyer. So I had to appeal. I took buses to Putrajaya to appeal at the Kementerian Pendidikan, I filled in all the forms on my own. And when I was accepted to one of the good universities to study law, all on my own efforts, I had to register on my own. I had to buy all the things I needed on my own. My stepfather was there, giving me some money and he visited me twice at the campus. My mother, never.

When I was 18 years old, out of desperation for love, I did something that caused her to disown me. I was upped and forced to leave the family home for good.

After I left home, I disguised my pain through unhealthy activities that I was not proud of. That time, I was in a situation where I needed a mother very badly. I felt alone, I was always hungry (not much money, just enough for one meal a day) and I was suicidal at times. I lived my life with an overwhelming sense of failure. I hated myself, and I was terrified all the time.

Throughout this phase, I met some amazing individuals that helped me to help myself. One of them is my husband. I found hope in life. I managed to build a beautiful home and family. Amazing husband, two beautiful children, good career. It seems perfect and enough.

But I am still a child. I still do crave for my mother's love. I have put efforts, mama. I am definitely not the best daughter. I make mistakes. I hurt your feeling. I chose wrong paths. But isn't it supposed to be your job to be there and pick me up? You were never there. When I am down, you pushed me even deeper down. And this time, on the eve of Mother's Day, you decided that I have done something terribly wrong (yet again) by just trying to be there for my own brother. You disowned me again. You said horrible words to me. You wished me a horrible death.

You hurt me really bad this time, ma. It is really not easy to be a good daughter to you. But I always try, ma. I tried. But enough is enough.

I was heart broken and I shared this with one of my Senior Consultants the other day. Then she said to me “You are such a wonderful girl. I can see from all your posts and your stories about your family. Your mother should be very proud of you.”

It was such a flippant statement, but for some reason it struck a chord. After all my years of ups and downs, these words from a stranger hit home. I can’t really explain it, but I felt a whole hoard of emotions: anger, regret, understanding, and, finally, relief.

I felt that, yes, my mother should be proud of me—and I felt sorry for her that she was unable to feel that way.

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