The art of listening is an intricate one. Does one listen to the constant nagging of a spouse? Recorded at 33rpm but played a 100 times over and over again? If you are married and live under the same roof you have to.
My primary school teacher used to teach us students in class by saying that we listen but do not hear! She is correct as one can drone on and drone assuming the other party is listening and hearing. Sadly, the latter is never true.
Amongst parents with children too – parents do not listen nor hear. They claim they do. They seems to know what is “best” for a child, but do they? Not all parents are savvy investors. Yet, they pretend they are and most times fail miserably. Failure is fine if invested amount is chop change but not when it has six zeros in the amount 😦
I have given up listening and hearing. I refuse to listen and hear given the same is not reciprocated. Further, it is tiring to pretend to listen and so I literally tell parties to shut up and walk away. Rude? Probably – but I needed to protect my own sanity.
Sanity is fragile at this stage of my life. I have too many balls juggled into the air that I must make a conscientious decision to shut out and stop taking more balls as there is just so much that my two tiny hands can juggle at any one time.
I wish I could practise obvious disregard. I have been unable to do just this, unlike my siblings who excel in it. I wish I had their nonchalance and disregard for the rest of the world that does not encroach onto their precious lives.
My siblings are able to switch off to things they choose to ignore. Cold and callous but I envy them, as with it, they have decided what fits into their life and what does not. Selfish but smart.
I am in a quandary – call it mid life crisis for the 10th time. Each time I have overcome. Each time I have made huge sacrifices. Perhaps it is time for me to stop making sacrifices for others and think of myself just once. I am tired of being the strong one. I am even more fed up as being branded and stereo typed as “oh she is strong, she will overcome” – it seems no one cares other than to let me sort out the problems others bring to me.
I had spent the last week taking stock of my achievements in life. Not a whole lot. A lot more is felt in the pain and suffering I went through. Literally, physical pain and suffering besides psychological pain and trauma.
I marvelled at how I could pick self off the ground to start living after being ejected from a house I thought was home. It is hard to be the black sheep of the family – not because I was a tyrant but I was politically ousted.
I struggled in those days, keeping two jobs before heading home to a simple meal and to start the next day again. I guess my body is protesting now as the hardship I went through is finally taking its toll on my body.
I remember working 2 full shifts at work before ending the weekend with assignment jobs. It was tough and I successfully managed to put a roof over my head and food on the table.
During this while, my one parent and 2 siblings forgot my existence. No one offered me a helping hand other than my mother whom I was told had to put up with the political fights at home as she sneaked out to visit me.
How do I begin to forgive this parent and siblings? I continued on to be a sibling on call if needed. Perhaps to these selfish beings, I am their “person” to sought out if they need help.
I continue to pay the bills of these two siblings – will generosity and kindness overcome their hearts to be a sibling to me? I do not know and will not want to go down that path. I do not remember a thank you for paying their bills or an inkling to say “hey I will pay your back”- it silently became my portfolio of cost.
Being giving, makes me a fool I think. Like Beng, he too is the one who gives to his siblings. In a way, I am akin to him. But sometimes giving takes its toll.
I have hardened against my views on life. I will still continue to give my best but this time, I know that whatever I give, falls into an abyss.
My siblings are not an impoverished lot. It is about choices and how they choose to spend. One can always moan there are insufficient funds. But if they choose to allot their funds for their own use and not considering the needs of others, then are they poor or selfish?
Does poverty make them more discerning in their expenses? Or lifestyle changes? I do not see this.
Yet, they laugh at me for when I eat humbly and stingily – petty pennies a might ocean make! I have done this and have kept doing this. Yet, I do not bat an eyelid when I have to delve deep into my pockets to pay for nice meals, a vacation or a good time – all in the name of a “family”
I find it hard to feel that I have a family. Perhaps in name or as in a label. I suppose my youngest sibling would be trying as I was grateful for his help when I was ill. My intent was not for him to care for me but more so to ensure my parents were not inconvenienced. Fact is, once I was discharged, he left. I felt that I would need help most after discharge but sadly that is the time he chose to leave.
Thankfully I had the support of strangers who took me for my follow up doctors’ appointments. Did he listen? Did he hear? He listened but did not hear.
I suppose it can be said that who asked me to be ill? It is not in their schedule to fit into my illness. Yes, I am to blame and not they.
Strangers seem better than family – I seem to feel that. Strangers offer care and assistance when in need. Not my family.
So what is a family? Not a whole lot. Is this the failure of my parents to create a nurturing and caring environment? I believe it is the failure of my father. He chose to be politically motivated by the other two children and chose to make my life difficult. Well, he has succeeded but I am around for concluding my role as a child.
Such is the dichotomy of life. I will never be a parent much less a spouse. I doubt I can ever be a good spouse as spouse like qualities I see in my parents are not something I wish to emulate. As for children, they are a bane to earth. If I ever bring forth selfish children or children who create a living hell for their siblings, would that be a fair choice?
I am cynical. I am despondent. I am truly fed up. I have so much anger and animosity for the people who drive me to this state of mind. I do not believe in friendships or family. Still I will do the needful to fulfil my role and move on.
My biggest enemies are the people whom I cared for the most. Only my enemies whom I cared for the most will kill me in one fell swoop!