Be it by a lover, a friend, a colleague or even a family member?
Did it leave a scar in your psychic?
Did the fear of getting hurt stopped you from forming new relationships?
Ladies and Gentlemen one of the ways, how you can hurt anyone in relationship is to abandon them.
The impact on the abandoned can be tremendous because it might leave the following lingering thoughts:
Why did you abandon me? Am I not worthy?
Maybe I shouldn’t form any relationship anymore, because I might get hurt.
Since I am not worthy, whoever I be with, I am destined to get abandoned.
If I ever i get into a relationship, I will abandon the person before he/she gets a chance to do that to me!
Its likely that these thoughts will never get an vocal outlet unless we have gone through some form of coaching, it will lie in the subconscious, and like anything that lies in the subconscious it will find a way to creep up and influence our behaviors in disruptive ways.
How do I know all these? Simple, I was abandoned. I was abandoned by my primary school best friend.
Alvin, was that kind of kid. You know, the kind of kid that everyone wanted to be. Handsome, came from a well to do family, top student, and came in tops in sports. He was perfect.
He joined my primary 2 class in the middle of the semester, he easy going nature meant that he made friends easily. Soon he was Mr Popular. Me? I was Mr Quiet, the kid who is sitting in one corner of the class, never noticed, never recognized. For some reason, Mr Popular and Mr Quiet, clicked. We soon became the best of friends. Soon we (or rather he)formed a nucleus of a group of friends, which we call the “Group of Seven” or “GOS”. The time I spent with Alvin, and the GOS are the highlights of my childhood.
After 4 and a half glorious years, then came the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE), we graduated from primary school and each of us went our separate ways.
Alvin and I remained in contact through out the first year of high school, I looked forward to every term holiday, it meant that I could hang out with him. During the mid year break of my high school 2nd year, I was like :”WooHoo, time to hang out with my best friend!”. I called Alvin’s home number. I got the following reply:” The following number is no longer in use.”
I kept calling, but I always got the same response.
I started asking around members of the GOS, but all gave the same answer: “He changed his number after primary school, he didn’t even update us.”
A couple of days later, I went to his house, knocked on the door. As the door opened, I had a glimmer of hope.. “Alvin! You are a joker, you never gave me your new number! Did you forget!”
It was a stranger. “Yes?”, he asked.
I walked away.
That day I knew, I had been abandoned by my best friend. I cried silently that day, just as how I am crying as I am updating this blog. The joyful moments that we had, the happiest moments that I have ever had, surfaced in my mind. “Those are my treasures, my happiest moments. Don’t they mean a thing to you?” I kept questioning the image of Alvin that surfaced in my mind.
It took me the entire holiday to recover from this trauma. But the damage has been done.
Since the incident, at a subconscious level, I kept people at a certain distance. I still had best friends but those were my only friends. Even with them, I was still not as open as best friends should. (Coen, JunZhong, MingHui, thanks for sticking with me and being my best friends in high school, even though I held back.)
This past trauma lay hidden for a while until yesterday. You see what happened was that about 6 years ago, I reconnected with my high school best friend, Coen, and he introduced me to this fantastic organization known as Toastmasters, a non-profit organization which help people express themselves via public speaking. After only 2 visits, I joined this fantastic, and vibrant group of community in Tampines Changkat Toastmasters Club. That proved to be one of the best things that happened to me.
After a 4 years of progressing a step at a time, I was placed in both our club’s international speech and table topics contest. I was also given the honour to represent our club at the next level, the Area level.
On the 13 of April 2013, that was yesterday, I was the 2nd runner up in the international speech contest, and the Champion of Table Topics. As I down with flu, everything was a blur. The only thing I remembered was the well wishes I got prior to the contest:
“Shaun, I am here to root for you.” Shaun, you can do it”, “Shaun, all the best!”
For the first time in a very long time, I realized I was not alone. Using toastmasters as a platform, I was doing the one thing I haven’t been doing, which was to be open, and express myself. As I did that, I made lots of friends, and I didn’t even realize that! At that moment, I realized I am very fortunate.
I will like to take the opportunity to thank all my friends. Especially Coen Tan: “Bro, thank you for finding me again, for believing in me ,and sticking with me all these time.
My friends, in life we can get hurt by people, we try to close ourselves up out of fear that we might can get hurt. That may be true. However in doing so, we will only close off those that truly loves us or prevent ourselves from forming relationship that truly matters. Isn’t it much better to forgive the person who hurt us, releasing us from the fear that of getting hurt, and opening up the opportunities to form beautiful relationship?
Alvin, where ever you are, I forgive you. I believe that whatever you did, you had your reasons.
I open myself to the wonderful possibilities of forming great friendship.
I dedicate this post is to all my friends.Thank you my friends, for sticking with me. Especially you, Coen!
Cheers to fantastic relationships!
Your fellow human being:)
P.S These are the links of the following organizations that I have joined, as well as the link to my best friend Coen, a wonderful gift to the world:)