I'm a simple girl with a li'l dream, of seeing her humble works in exquisite print, to share with all who feels for words, written with
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

bad tidings


I have been thinking about many things.

God. People. Love. Hate. Faith. Truth. Reality. Friendship. Work. Life.

I get overwhelmed sometimes by the many things I know, the stories I hear, the actions I see. Sometimes I wish I wasn't aware...it would make life much easier.
I guess there's a reason for everything - but I am not sure at this point what it is, or what it was.

It has been an emotionally charged period - not so much for me, but for many of my friends. People I like, people whom I am fond of, people who I truly care about. I see and hear so much pain over the last few months, it felt almost like my own.

They came to me - pouring their heart and soul out - seeking comfort, a listening ear or for some, maybe even a resolution. I don't have all the answers - and the burden of truth weighs so heavily on me some times, I am not sure what advice to give anymore so that I would not come across as merely paying lip service.

The stories unfolded with heartwrenching scripts. Depressing to say the least.

A woman who married her first boyfriend 20 years ago picked up her divorce papers today. A victim from years of child abuse, she is now undergoing treatment for manic depression. Her husband found love in the arms of a nightclub hostess recently and left her in shambles, in debt and in a big freaking mess. Of course, the plot goes much more complicated than that, but it takes a very cold, unfeeling heart to do what he has done to my friend.

Someone who I hold very dear lost her baby last week. I couldn't hug her cos she wouldn't allow me near her. I understand she needed time alone, but it kills me inside knowing that she is going through hell alone without me by her side.

My colleague had a nervous breakdown. I have always known him as a happy-go-lucky, optimistic and highly positive guy. I learnt once again not to judge a book by its cover when I saw the despair in his bloodshot eyes. No one knew but me. I wrote him a note to encourage him for I know not how else to help.

A casual chat with an ex-colleague last week led to yet another counselling session. This time, money was the key perpetrator. Her desperation to have a better life for her family streamed down her face, and scorched my heart like acid. I could only listen - helplessly.

There were more, and I try my best to take each one as they come. I listen. I speak with deliberation, tip-toeing over the raw sensitive areas. I offer my most sincere empathy, and whatever help within my means. But the obstacles surged like towering infernos, consuming and destroying everything within sight, and I felt nothing I do could put out the raging flames.


I keep wondering why people come to me, even strangers - unloading their baggage and sad tidings with ease and trust, even though they know they may walk away with nothing to gain from me. Most of the time I can offer nothing more than me - and my time.

I couldn't stop anything from happening.

And I'm sorry I couldn't help more than I wanted to. I have never felt more helpless than I am now.

12 comments:

Richard said...
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Richard said...

I used to wonder the same (although, in my case, it seemed even more odd because I have a cold and serious exterior demeanor).

I think it is probably because you listen. People will not talk to others if they think the other will not listen. Many people do not listen. They do not stop to listen. They do not consider listening.

As well, when strangers open up, I suspect it is because they are hoping you will be their instant friend.

Don't let it weigh you down. Believe it or not, this world is full of sorrow and pain. Anything you have heard is only scratching the surface. The dark ugliness of humanity is kept very well hidden.

Sometimes it leaks out like some toxic sludge, but it is quickly covered over. Smiles and pretty ribbons are its only reminder.

Don't let it get to you. The only way to fight it is to be the best person you can be. Be a just person. Be a person who promotes and sustains human excellence.

There are no quick solutions. Quick fix solutions are band-aids, distractions that offer a moment of solace, but no lasting peace.

absolutjoiz said...

Sometimes people just need a listening ear, not to expect you to do anything to help solve their problems.

Sometimes, some things might be hard to be told to people they know. And to them, you seem like a person who would listen and understand them. So there.

Iceman said...

Yo Elvina. Don't need to feel helpless. You are already helping by just being there.

We don't have always answers because, sometimes there aren't any. Other times, it's a patience game and we've got to live the questions until the answers reveal themselves. Like what Rilke says.

And most of the time, we've got to endure and live with the pain forever.

Jamie said...

The feeling of helplessness, only comes to those who are offering help in the first place.

If you haven't offered yourself to help, by hearing them out, you would'nt have felt helpless anyway.

So don't feel sorry as its the last thing they wanted you to feel.

Sherwin said...
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Sherwin said...

Dearest Elvina,

you somehow have forgotten what I have taught you.....

knowing you for so long, I believe u always want to be the ROCK of your peers and friends, the one whom they can count on in time of need. A superwoman.....

If you want to be really STRONG. You must never let their problems become YOUR problem, then get depressed cause you cannot do much about it. cause it wasn't yours to begin with.

you can however, Feel for them, Cry with them. but NEVER bring the thing home with you.

These problems you bring home will eventually become GHOSTS which will haunt you and make you take this huge roller-coaster ride of depression.

Choose your battles properly, Know which ones you can fight, and which ones you can only WATCH.

If you want, you can always call me.

Liveless Cheer said...

I guess the offering of a listening ear despite being unable to give an answer is what these people are looking for. Sometimes I feel people in trouble needs someone else to be there for them to talk to, be it between close friends or strangers, as long as the person is willing to hear, understand the problem and provide the comfort that these people are looking for. Despite not receiving any answers, these people at least know that they have spoken things that have been burdening them for ages, unloading part of the baggage that has long being in their heart and mind, and perhaps found that theres someone out there that cares.

goodshithappens said...

oh shit. and i thought my breakup was devastating enough.

Whiskoffee said...

u must have been a good fren for them to come to you.

Darkness Light said...

Thingz Happen For A Reason. The People Usually Juz Need A Listening Ear.

You Are Already Helping By Listening. Like Scars... These Problems Usually Sticks And Takes Time To Recover. Hang Strong...

Forced_Ambitions said...

Hey Elvina,

"Deja-vu" describes the experience of reading this post.
I've had similar experiences and precisely felt the same.
There was also a time when I thought that maybe the reason I am not seeing anyone is to help my friends and people how rely on me for emotional support.

I agree with richard & sherwin, that you should know where to draw the line and learn not to get effected.

At times I too wonder how strangers open up just like that with me, maybe we have an aura or something :)

ps: would love to know more about your similar experiences, I think I'll find more similarities