This is a monthly column on life journeys, matters of the heart and healthy emotional living by Peggy.
My darling Wen
It has been almost a year since you died. I miss you my darling, I miss holding your hand in mine, those long conversations as we walked along the beach, your strong comforting presence next to mine.
I remember how we first got to know each other in the drama & debating team. We became fast friends due to our similar interests – films, books and music. We mugged together for our first year exams; stayed up late cramming formulas and facts into our heads.
I never knew, never in my wildest dreams did I guess that I could be in love with a woman. It was the same for you too. But yet, the moment when we realized that our feelings for each other were more than best friends – it just felt so right; both of us agreed.
We were no different from other couples in school. We were happy and contented, and like other couples, made plans to study in the same university when we have completed our A levels.
Until that fateful day, a week after our prelims, when this group of people came to our school to give a talk about sexual health.
How I wished that group of people never came and never said those things! Ever since then, it was never the same again; we were never the same again.
They told us that our relationship was wrong, they said that it was not natural and the reason why we fell in love with each other was because we were either from broken families or we have had some childhood psychological trauma resulting in an unnatural romantic attraction towards the same gender.
They presented us with testimonials and statistics which showed that our kind of relationship is short-term & promiscuous in nature. They showed us more figures which proved that we will have a higher tendency to be emotionally disturbed, suffering from depression and even substance abuse.
At that point in time, with the intensity of the whole situation, it didn't occur to us that you were from a loving complete family and that for me, even though my parents had divorced when I was still a toddler, my eldest sister was happily married to a man.
We were bullied and cowed into submission, we were made to feel guilty for being together, for being the way we were; we started doubting ourselves, doubting each other, doubting us.
Together, we signed up for their support group. The onslaught of all these troubling emotions and thoughts confused us and burdened us, we wanted the hurt and the guilt to stop, we wanted to be happy again.
But my darling, it became worse didn't it? The support group was a gathering of people who were similarly broken in spirit, who wanted answers, who wanted the hurt to end. We desperately renounced our former lives; we clasped frantically to information which were supposed to help us live out our new ones – our proper lives.
It was a downward spiral that never seemed to end.
Even as we struggled to live out our proper lives, there were nights where we could only find the peace we looked for in each other's arms. Yet, the next morning we would be burdened ten times over by what we did the night before. How can something that feels so right be so wrong?
A few months went by and you did not want to wait for the hurting to stop anymore. You decided to take matters into your own hands.
They killed you my darling, they killed your spirit.
By the time I discovered that you had jumped from a block of flats, they had already picked up your broken, limp body and had sent you to the morgue. I was too late; too late to stop you, too late to make a difference.
So you finally got your peace darling, the peace you wanted so badly. The sequence of events was just too much for me to bear. I had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for a month.
The hospital stay was the turning point in my life. I was sent to see a therapist, someone who affirmed me just the way I am, who provided a nurturing and conducive space for me to mend my broken spirit, to build up my damaged psyche.
I know now that I should love myself the way I am, that I am not any lesser than the other human being on the street just because I am different.
It has been a torturous yet enlightening journey for me my darling. How I wish you were here to walk through this journey with me, to also be able to put a stop to the downward spiral and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I miss you my darling, but I will bravely continue on this life journey and accept the challenges that life throws at me. This is my promise to myself.