Flashbacks

Chinese New Year Resolutions.

Just in case they’re wondering
They’ve got us pinned terribly
They don’t believe our love is real
‘Cause they don’t know how real love feels

You should know, it’s true, just now the part about my
Love for you and how my heart’s about to
Burst into a thousand pieces so it must be true
And they’ll believe us too soon

Baby, it’s a fact our love is true
The way black is black and blue is just blue
My love is true, it’s a matter of fact
Oh, and you love me too, it’s as simple as that
Baby, our love is true

They may say some awful things
But there’s no point in listening
Your words are the only words
That I believe in afterwards

You should know, it’s true, just now the part about my
Love for you and how my heart’s about to
Burst into a thousand pieces so it must be true
And they’ll believe us too soon

Baby, it’s a fact our love is true
The way black is black and blue is just blue
My love is true, it’s a matter of fact
Oh, and you love me too, it’s as simple as that
Baby, our love is true, it’s true, it’s true, it’s true

Baby, it’s a fact our love is true
The way black is black and blue is just blue
My love is true, it’s a matter of fact
Oh, and you love me too, it’s as simple as that

Baby, it’s a fact our love is true
The way black is black and blue is just blue
My love is true, it’s a matter of fact
Oh, and you love me too, it’s as simple as that

Baby, it’s a fact our love is true
Baby, it’s a fact our love is true

Baby, it’s a fact our love is true
Baby, it’s a fact
Baby, it’s a fact our love
Our love is true

Baby, It’s Fact – Hellogoodbye


“Today is 24 January 2017,” Dr Tan said as she illustrated on a piece of paper. 28 January 2017, she continued drawing.

“Chinese New Year lah, huh? That gives you four days to really dig out whatever you’ve been burying. And on 28 January, you’ll start fresh. 2017. Do spring cleaning.”

I was laughing as tears coursed down my cheeks and sprung afresh from my eyes. Fear, she wrote and circled. 7 years.

7 years. It really has been a long time, hasn’t it?

When I asked her about the possibility of my having multiple personality disorder, Dr Tan said she was none the wiser. “Logically, do you think it’s possible? You’re 23 – you, Shermin -”

“Sometimes I feel stuck at 16.”

“Hmm.”

“And…  I don’t know how to say this. It used to only happen when there’s a traumatic event, but now I feel it almost everyday: I look in the mirror and I don’t feel like the person staring back is me.”

I told her about Matyn and his supposed diagnosis. She… simply remarked that there was so much of him that I’ve taken to become a part of me.

“But you are not him. He may have his own personalities or characteristics, but that’s him. You’re not him.”

Cue tears. I think it’s so different to have someone tell me that, instead of having my inner voice – probably the same one that tells me I’m disgusting, on an off day – trying to convince me that I haven’t become enslaved to him.

That’s the word she used too, you know? I feel like I’ve finally found someone in the field of psychiatry that reacts first with kindness and empathy instead of being overly eager to shove drugs into my mouth. Which reminds me: when I told her I stopped taking medication of my own accord, she eventually gave me a thumbs-up because she was proud that I was 1) able to function without it (for now); and 2) no longer had that persistent reminder of the past that got me into this situation in the first place. She said my mental conditions weren’t spontaneous, as is the case with some other people. She said that I could enjoy my life if I just dealt with the cause.

These are just her interpretations, of course. And at the end of the session she didn’t give me any diagnosis either.

When I told her that Matyn had been texting me every day on my birthday for the past 7 years, she was the first person I’d known to suggest that I texted him, on Chinese New Year. Just to break the routine, and to show that I wasn’t under his thumb. “Happy New Year; I wish you all the best,” she suggested.

“… Do you think it’s a good idea that I… talk to him more though?”

“Well, what do you want to say?”

“I… I just want him to know how much he has hurt me. And I’ll tell him never to contact me again, before I change my number.”

“Yes. Tell him, I’ve been broken for many years. And it wasn’t easy, but I’m moving on. Tell him that you’ve forgiven him – that’s important, you know? Otherwise it’ll continue eating at you. And then, just wish him well.”

I think this is a good idea.

I don’t know why but I feel like I am finally progressing from the person I was, 7 years ago. Like a bird that’s trying to fly away, I’m held back only by a single thread at my feet.

This will be such a long ride. But I’m determined to befriend myself, to get along with myself and to support myself. Heh. I was thinking about how I used to bemoan that I, at the end of the day, I needed to get through everything alone; people could be there with me, but I was the one that needed to open and/or close doors. In a way, I didn’t want to take responsibility for the things that happened in my life because … I hated thinking that my actions were somehow entangled with the outcome, as if I was asking for it. But I realise this is an unfair conclusion, because I really couldn’t have foreseen the future. And despite what everyone else warned, his “words are the only words / that I believed in afterwards.”

Call it naivety.

Call it blind faith.

Everything I did – as I’m sure everyone does – I did to the best of my knowledge.

And for that reason, I’m starting to forgive myself.

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