We were on the way to the hospital for my brother’s surgery when my cousin told me that. He wasn’t the only one facing emergency issues, another cousin of mine got his shoulder dislocated (twice in 2 weeks) and required a reconstruction surgery.
At the time of my brother’s emergency of anal bleeding, my parents were away on a trip to Istanbul. For the first time in my life I had to handle such things on my own, Thank God for my cousins and thank god for the car and license. I didn’t know how I managed to pull through that whole week without breaking down, I was fantastic at putting a front for everyone, I had to keep it together. Despite some small rants to my cousins and friends and pulling myself together telling them “I’m fine”. Deep down, I was crying… I was yelling… but I couldn’t physically do it, I was probably too exhausted to even do so.
Everything happened in the wake of my mid-sems (tests), I was never strong academically and all the efforts I had to put into them has to be doubled, meanwhile I wasn’t even putting the original 100% I needed to… how was I going to pull through the 2nd 100%?? I was desperate and crazy that I had my emotional breakdown in front of my parents after they came back, on the day my dad was to leave back to Kuala Lumpur (where he works). I was so emotionally overwhelmed but I insisted I was okay, despite all the yelling and screaming.
“For someone who isn’t diagnosed with any problems, you’re acting like you have one”, said my mother. I cried back saying that I am still normal and that crying was a normal processes of a human being and these are just “one of my moments”. Yes, my parents want me to be normal and I want to be as well, despite all the crazy events that had happened to me along the way. I have my reasons.
After all the hospital hiatus, my brother was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. He was apparently under too much stress that his immune system went weak. The school recommended him to complete Year 12 over 2 years instead, he won’t be graduating with his friends and it was a hard pill to swallow. This wasn’t his only problem. He has ADHD, he recently stopped taking his pills as they mess with his diet and health which eventually affects him mentally (ironically it’s suppose to help him mentally). He never once tells anyone else beyond our family home about his problems, he rarely even mentions it to us. He gets annoyed if we mention he has a problem to other people, he wanted to have the normal life and be treated like everyone else. So far he has been doing fine, his social life is amazing I must say but academically, not very well. As much as he tries to hide it from people, it still shows up. But it is the best way to maintain the normal treatment and get as much of it as he can. I understand his perspective. My brother hates it when people has to pity him. He sees himself as equal like anyone else.
He is a strong boy but he has his frustrations, just like me. It was through his frustrations, he fell away from God. He was angered at the fact that if God really existed, why did He give him all these issues. It was hard for me to explain to him why and how God has a plan to him when he was emotionally harden. I had gone through a dark time myself and I remembered I was equally as hard.
It takes bravery to soften the heart. Not weakness. It took me so long and so much effort when I realised I had to turn to God for help. It made my journey easier. My brother is the cross for my parents to carry, I have my own and I shouldn’t be another burden to my parents. Sometimes I feel the neglect as they put their effort more on him, “he needs it” they say, and I understand it too. My brother needs my parents more, despite the attention I wish they had on me. I have to learn to cope as much as I can on my own, but I know it would break me as well. It is this time when God comes in the picture, He lifts that from me.
Times like these, only God can understand my burden. It is a silent understanding and a mutual one. It is a journey between God and I, we are a team and we always will be. What better team-mate can I get in this race of life than the creator Himself.
I pray that my brother will eventually accept God back on his team, imagine the number of goals he’d start scoring with God as his team-mate.