*LONG POST AHEAD* I just need to let this out of my system... deliberated on whether I should post this but hubby encouraged me to do so to close this chapter of my life.
I felt a tinge of disappointment and sadness when someone close to me attended and even got so actively involved in the wedding preparation of someone who is not flesh and blood to her while I, whom she claimed to be close to, had her absent during all my wedding receptions, graduation, and had to be content with empty and broken promises. She is my mother's flesh and blood, hence half my blood is her blood as well.
I saw her involvement through pix posted on facebook and as I browsed through the pix and saw that she attended each step of the wedding from the preparation and all, I could not help but feel like wanted to shout out, hey, that's not fair!
I know I'm past the 30 mark already, and I should act like an adult, but suddenly, it was as if all the growing up and the years never took place at all.
I was the little girl again, about 5 years old, trying to do all I could as the adults shouted and she was crying alone in her room, my mother asked me to pacify her, comfort her. All I could do was pat her arms while she buried her face in her pillow on her bed, and I remembered saying, "Please don't cry".
Then I remember growing up given empty promises like she'll give me the handdrawn painting on her bedroom wall of the ballerina if I can convince my parents to let me spend the night with her. I remembered the conversation as if it was yesterday:
Her: Spend the night with me and then you can have one of the paintings on my wall
Me: But I need to eat breakfast that I'm used to. Like Koko Krunch and milk.
Her: Then I'll buy for you lor.
Me: (thinking how to convince my parents)
As my parents already had other plans for the family, it didn't happen. But when it did happen after that, after I spent the night with her, she forgot about her promises, and I was too polite to ask. But I REMEMBER. She conveniently forgot. I also remembered what she told my mum after that (I spent the night more than a couple of times with her after that), she's a bad sleeper (meaning I toss and turn a lot). I remember vividly that I slept close to her like I always do with my mum, and I think my face touched her forearm. So maybe that's not proper even for a child in elementary school.
Because of her, I never became a bridesmaid as I was the eldest my generation. She had become a bridesmaid numerous times. Once, I was to be the bridesmaid as she had other engagement (work) so I was the replacement.. a week or two before that, my role was taken away from me and I had to join the other younger cousins as flower girls. They had their costumes all ready except for me. And they didn't even prepare my costume, my mother had to ransack the old clothes of her sisters and her and pull out one yellowed white dress.
I was 14 when I had some emotional problems. She was away. After it happened, the close-knit clan knew about it and she returned. We had a chat and I remembered her saying: "If I was here when that happen, I could help you" Then I realised it was to be like that in our relationship.. If ... which never happened.. so she never helped me.
Then when I was 15, it was her wedding. She had no bridesmaid cos she wanted everyone to be flower girls. Poof, no chance for me then.
I remembered it was in September and it was really close to my Form 3 public examination then. I woke up at 4.30am on her wedding day, which was a school day, went to 'accompany' her to leave my grandma's house and then 'accompany' her to her husband's house. Then after breakfast, just before 7am, my mother sent me to school. She forgot that. I remember.
I wanted to pursue my studies away from home.. it met with strong opposition from my clan, when I say my clan, it's my mother's side of the family, including my nuclear family. She was one huge voice. She told me the story of her life and how she was denied the opportunity to leave our hometown. I knew about it (fast forward to my first memory of her crying when I was five above) and just listened. She said if she left, she would not have known her husband, bla bla. She talked of missed opportunities and job offers that finally came too late for her to work in Singapore and elsewhere, cos she was already tied down with her then bf, now her husband. Anyway, as fate would have it, my application didn't see me being accepted by my first choice, my second choice, as promised to my dad, is in a varsity near home. Everyone was relieved.
Then my graduation party came and went WITHOUT her attending. She was busy with work. Till now, I think it's because my achievement reminds her of what she missed in her life. She couldn't continue her studies beyond Sixth Form (A-Levels equivalent).
I remembered from my graduation till my wedding, she told me of her trying to get into a local varsity for Performing Arts, related to her line of work, but found that due to differences of education system in Sarawak and Semenanjung (Peninsular) Malaysia in the 1980s, she didn't take Bahasa Malaysia (Malay Language) so she couldn't meet the basic requirement to enter the course, hence dashing all her hopes of entering a varsity to pursue tertiary education.
Looking back, I think that was why she started to grow so distant from me.
Tears are welling in my eyes as I come to this point of my blogpost. What did I do wrong? Am I so much hated by someone who is supposed to be close to me?
I remembered her ridiculing me when I was 13 at a party where we are supposed to bring presents to exchange with each other. I bugged my parents to give me money to buy a present worth at least RM5 because I did not have any pocket money back then. My parents only started giving me pocket money when I was 15 because we had no need to buy food during recess time at school as my mother prepared all our meals and we packed everything from home. My parents refused to give me the money and found something from home that could pass as a gift. So I went to this party with an old decor item from home. It was a cylindrical coinbox with bamboo shoot painting on it. As fate would have it, she got my gift. Immediately she announced loudly to everyone present (there were about 50 over people present) and asked who brought the gift. I raised my hand and meekly said "Me". She then ridiculed me for bringing something that she knew belong to my home, as I said, she's my flesh and blood. I remembered that humiliation till today. It was more than 17 years ago.. and I think I will never forget it. Then to add salt to open wound, or the proverbial to add salt to injury, her elder sister saw what I got for my gift exchange and it was a pack of two shapeless T-shirts blue and green in colour and immediately, her elder sister helped her 'took revenge' on their own flesh and blood and said: "Hahaha.. it's karma (bao ying), who asked you to bring such a present".
I remember it all just like it was yesterday. It was not my fault. My parents asked me to bring that present and I was in no financial position as a 13-year-old with no pocket money to purchase a new gift. That was such a psychological trauma for me as a tween.
Then I went back and told my mother about it. I forgot if I cried in front of her or not. But I remembered the feeling, because as I type this, I feel that all over again everytime I relive the memory in my mind. My heart is aching so bad, and I feel I'm crying inside again. My mother did not want a confrontation but felt I should express my feelings because it wasn't exactly my fault. Hence she asked me to write a letter. My mother passed the letter to her and then she told my mother she never thought I'd feel that way. NO SORRY, no nothing. What I got was a message from my mother that "she never thought she will feel that way". I was not satisfied but just kept quiet, because who am I? I am a child that is supposed to respect the elder generation, and despite the close age gap, she is of the elder generation, so I knew what to do to stay in rank.
Fast forward to 2006. She missed my engagement party. Everyone else turned up for support and congratulated me. I kinda expected that of her.
Fast forward to 2007. She missed my pre-wedding party. Everyone else was present. She even missed my bride's side wedding dinner reception when everyone else turned up. Her daughter gave me a gift from her with a note: "Please sms me your email address because I want to email you"
I texted her not once but twice with my email address but she never replied to any of my sms, and no email from her. I AM STILL WAITING FOR THE EMAIL.
Then she missed my actual wedding day, she never met my husband. Before that, she even had the cheek to tell me with a grin that she won't have to give me the tea ceremony red packet (hongbao) because she won't be there while the rest of my elders will be there. It was like a blade piercing and turning left and right in my heart.
My first wedding anniversary came and went, no emails from her, it was as if I was never promised an email. Then I returned home for my first Chinese New Year as a married daughter for the clan -- I visited her house and she didn't know how to address my husband, she didn't bother to find out his name before this. "A... ha mang (who).. What's his name?" I doubt even after we told her his name, she'd not remember now if we are to ask her who I married, her very own flesh and blood.
On my third wedding anniversary, I felt like wanting to call her or even text her to tell her of how I feel, but held back. I even told a cousin about it but my cousin put it as her being busy with her career.
The 5-year-old is still waiting.
The 8-year-old is still waiting.
The 13-year-old is still hurting with humiliation.
The 15-year-old is still hoping she'll help and at least remember the 'sacrifice' she made just before her exam to attend her wedding.. the many hours she put in to help with wrapping up the tokens for the wedding at home instead of revising for her exam. Of course she forgot.
The graduate who's still waiting for her presence.
The engaged girl who is waiting for her attendance at her engagement.
The betrothed girl who is waiting she would at least turn up at the many receptions of her wedding.
The married woman who is now past 30 and bearing the disappointment that half her life has gone by and she's not there.
I need you to know how much I am hurting just knowing you do not care.
If you care, you would talk to me like an adult and not expect my mother to do all the message passing.
This is my blog and this is my diary. And this is open. I am not naming any names, and you cannot sue me for libel or slander as there isn't any connotation or identification of your identity anywhere. I just need to get this off my chest or else I will go crazy just thinking of where did I go wrong in this relationship. I am deeply saddened. It felt like my heart is crushed again and again while trying to maintain some hope you would somehow be close to me.
This will be the only blog post on you. I decide to let you go and forgive you (not completely as the hurt is too deep) to allow myself to give myself a break. I've lived with this 'burden' for as long as I could remember.
But you have a right to know. Hence I'm posting this. Thank you for reading this.
xoxo Su Yii (you always spell my name without the 'e' in your gifts and cards to me when I was small).