Sever the Bonds

Today bonds were severed again. It happened so abruptly, so unexpectedly but so familiarly to the last time it happened to me. Last time I was the severer; this time I was the severed. Be it karma or not, surely being at the receiving end hurt more than at the other. But in either position, the severing would still have to be. Emotions from pain and anguish do cloud the mind, and no matter how hard you try to consider the other person’s feelings, you can’t do anything but protect your own.


It distresses me to think just how weak we all are as humans; that we would be willing to trade away our friends, betray them, in order to protect our pitiful selves. But in fact we were the ones that were betrayed, and our hearts were the betrayer. If feelings did not cloud our judgement, did not twist the fact that we stand strong together with our comrades, then there would be no need for this severing of bonds. Sadly, we are weak. We, with our strong desires to protect and love those important to us, are weak; perhaps even too weak to carry out our desired duties. And the bottom line question becomes: “Why bother creating bonds with other people when our hearts betray us, when we can’t be sure of protecting them, and when the relationship probably won’t last?” It’s a question I fear asking, and yet the answer for which I earnestly seek.


Perhaps one things that redeems it all is that bonds are not severed to a point where they can never be made again. Bonds are broken in hope that a stronger bond can be re-forged at a later time. That is our hope when we discard a friend because of hurt. We hope to find them again but without that hurt so that a stronger bond can be formed. But we don’t know whether that can happen or not; we can never be certain that forging a better relationship will be successful or not. And in that, we play a hard risk: we risk our tainted relationships in order to forge better ones, or to lose them entirely and forever. I wonder why our hearts can cloud our love for our friends so much that we overlook the risk of losing them forever? Or is it that in the depths of the shadows of our hearts we find a glimpse of faith in the other person; something that tells us: “Surely the bond will be repaired and made stronger”?


As much as I didn’t want to face a severing, it wasn’t something I could run away from; the other person was feeling too much hurt. And again the same feelings went through my mind; that of betrayal, that of faithlessness, and that of sheer sorrow – more commonly associated with grief; asking the question: “Why?” even though we already know the answer. You shake your head again wondering why we humans are so weak, but even if you find your answer, there’s nothing you can do to change that weakness. It inevitably will happen again and again, and every time you’ll ask the same question, realise the same answer and come to expect it again like a routine.


The last person I severed bonds with was one which I felt great hatred and frustration towards by the time my heart had taken over my mind. And in the blink of an eye I did something I thought I regretted. But I knew the reason why I did it, I did hold that hope and faith in my mind when I did it but at the same time there was a sudden rush of hurt which made me feel regret. But before that regret could make me erase anything, things were already written in black and white, inerasable, unchangeable. The only thing left to do was to continue writing, continue trying to forge a stronger bond.


And perhaps one of the greatest tools that aids us in doing so is time. I will admit that after six months of having been out of complete contact with the other person, my hate, sorrow and regret have nearly faded away. And ironically what comes to light is in fact our strength: the ability to forgive and forget, to remember the warmth and desire to return to that warmth. As pitiful as we generally are, we still have our strengths; and I all the more eagerly thank God for granting us the ability, the heart, to forgive and forget.


I yearn to re-forge the bond with the friend that I lost; I yearn to apologise for the pain I caused in the severing, the gamble I took in trading away our friendship. And for once I feel a sincere hope that we can do it: that we can forge a stronger bond this time; I don’t whether it will come to pass, but if time can age us to be stronger today than six months ago, then surely we stand a better chance at it now than back then. I hope the opportunity comes around where I can see that person again; I fear slightly that time’s magic has not yet washed away her end of the sorrow. I wish I could take it away if it wasn’t but then again, I know I don’t have that ability to.


But this time round, perhaps I was shown the mercy that I did not deserve. And this time, there was not as much hate and soon enough the answer that I knew all along popped back into my mind; and I realize now why the severing took place, what purpose it was for. But this time I also know that the bond was not severed so that it can never be made whole again. This time there is hope, there is faith, more importantly there is time, and this time I can raise my head from sorrow and hate and say with complete confidence that in due time, the bond will be re-forged, stronger than it ever was, strong enough perhaps that it never needs to be severed again.


Till the Light Shines Through…

Mandy has been coming to my young adults group at church for the past three weeks. What the?! Yes, “what the?!” indeed. It was something I was partly nervous about when she asked me about it. Yet at the time, I was excited and technically I was the one who did invite her to come. I somehow had forgotten about the potential fears and mishaps that could happen; I was more happy over the fact that Mandy could finally return to church had start to have a church life again.


The fears of whatever bad could happen really did slip my mind. The last time I met her in Hyde Park, nothing was wrong; it was as if there was no concern about any troubles. And I did think, even if unrealistically for a moment, that things would be okay for her from that point on. But intuitively somehow I knew there was more to come.


On the first night she came (two weeks ago), it was a nice social, nice light environment, we had a lo of laughs and a few games. This was exactly the perfect start she needed right? Considerably I thought what happened that night was reasonable as well; her arm shook a few times throughout the night. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it so I was a bit taken aback by the sight of it over and over again. And now standing at where I am two weeks after, I see I was a fool to have been worried over something as small as that.


The week after things started to get worse but still within expectable standards. It was my first time seeing someone have a seizure; and when it’s someone close to you there wriggling on the floor, it really cuts deep into your heart. Luckily Mandy did tell me what to do the other day, and it really was worse case scenario for me; I walked Mandy out of the room and then she had the second seizure for the night. I was a bit shocked when I saw it; I almost hesitated in fear, nearly not knowing what to do, she had to prompt me to cushion her head before I actually snapped back from being stunned.


Things subsided and standing here again I realised it was nothing to be shocked over; it was as she had described it to me; it just seemed different when I actually saw it. Luckily I had already gone through the explanations with everyone during the first week; I do wonder if they were freaked out like me? I’m glad Yvonne was there, I’m not able to constantly watch over her the entire night so it was good to have someone play the guardian for a while.


And tonight, well, you tell me what you think happened? Yes, unfortunately things did get slightly worse, again. She had several more seizures, and that freaked me out a bit more. Frankly, i was more concerned with how everyone else would see her; would they view her as a freak? Would they see this as a barrier to accepting her? My most inherent fear was that she’d find it hard to fit in with everyone because there was something weighing her down. And I really don’t know how everyone sees her from their perspective. I found it hard to fit in with these people like a few years back. I don’t know what held me back but I really felt isolated from them; it felt bad, that was the fear I had for Mandy too.


Her dad had to come in because she was still shaking for a long while after she had called her dad. He came in and she collapsed into another one. I know that she didn’t want her dad to see her like that. I know she wants her parents to believe that she is okay. I know that she thinks her parents will stop her from coming to church and other public places if there’s a chance that she’ll fall into another seizure. I know she didn’t want any  of that, to take what she already has so little of.


And I wonder as things became worse over the course of three weeks, whether or not Mandy should still be coming back to our young adults group. I wonder if it would be better to tell her to give up trying to have a normal life, in fear that things may get exponentially worse next week. Personally I believe things will get worse next week when she comes and the logical and rational thought is that she shouldn’t come back anymore. But such a thought is made out of human reason, not out of faith.


I believe it foolish to think that we would give up on Mandy after a mere 3 weeks. We would not be acting out of faith if we gave up after this level of “oppression”. I do believe things will get worse in the weeks to come; she might even have a really bad case of it and impale herself on something or rather; it can become that bad. And as much as I care for her safety and wellbeing, she knows it better than me that the right thing to do is to act out of faith and have her keep coming, praying to God that He will see her through it all. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll be fine at the end of it all. But we won’t know until we try yeah?


And for once I almost began to think like a parent; it does make rational sense to tell Mandy not to come anymore, I understand now the “rationality” in my parents’ decisions. And yet I’ve ma de a deep oath to never become as faithless as they have, and I had to find deep conviction tonight that I should be acting out of faith too, to support Mandy as she goes through week after week at our YA group.


I also wonder if I could show to everyone else at my church what “pain” is like. For surely, the words “sympathy” and “empathy” are meaningless. Showing sympathy and empathy is nothing at all really. Everyone is affected by pain differently, even the same pain may affect different people in different ways; there is no way to be able to comprehend what someone’s pain feels like. I hope people at my church can come to learn this fact; that they can be more understanding of the suffering people around us endure, and how fortunate we are that God has kept us from the suffering that is everywhere else in the world.


Even for me I’m starting to take a brighter approach to life; being more thankful for what I have and knowing that through faith all the things I thought were huge bur dens to me, can be made to seem like nothing in God’s eyes. That is why Mandy is important to me because she is able to help me realize this fact.


That is why I am determined to stick by her side; and whatever pain may come in the weeks ahead, I am compelled to ache myself over and over to see her through it all. I expect things to be worse next week; and maybe the week to follow as well. And even then I won’t let my heart shudder away in fear at the sight of her. I am determined to see her to the end of everything that has been hindering her life. And I hope everyone can understand that we can have a strong emotion to do what we can for our friends. Then let it be from today onwards, that I make a pact to see her to the end of it all, till the light shines through…