Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Into the deep wells

We just had a 3-day Grief and Loss Workshop. I don't remember much of it; I found out I have a pretty bad case of ADD!

I missed out on one segment because I was outside with someone who needed someone to talk to. Later on, my classmate told me about it. There had been an empty chair demonstration. That, by the way, for all those who don't know, is one of the most painful exercises ever. But this lady, who had courageously demonstrated the exercise, said that she had never healed or talked to anyone about what she had gone through.

My classmate was very affected by it. She was afraid that someday she would be less than a good counsellor because of it. Her fear made me think. I didn't want to end up someday being a counsellor who skims the surface because I'm afraid of going deep. So I decided that I would need to start accessing the deep wells of emotions that I normally never dare to delve into.

It's funny, but the best way for me to explain that is that I started to feel as if I was coming alive again. I could even feel my fingertips, which I can't normally feel. I can breath deeply. More than any of that, I can feel again. It's a heaviness right now, but that is congruent with how I do feel these days, as I leave the comfortable womb of HELP Uni and head to Singapore. So I'm allowing myself to feel the heaviness, knowing that like all feelings, it is transient and it will go.

It feels good to feel again. Painful, but good.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sometimes it's so hard having a dream that others don't understand. People give me queer looks and so often the inevitable question comes, "Why is that your dream?" And it's okay if they accept my explanation, but often they don't. One of my classmates happily told me, "I'm curious! Don't you know I'm someone who is always curious?" as she probed and probed, asking me "Why".

I'm so inspired by Nicole Bromley... The first person I know of who's dream is to help survivors speak. I don't know why I'm so 'duh'... It took me awhile of reading the book 'Hush' before I realised that this was my dream on paper. And I felt so encouraged reading it, knowing that halfway across the world, God had given the same dream to someone else.

It is hard looking for books on this subject. It is hard asking my lecturers questions in class, especially if sometimes they don't know the answer and they step all over the topic with hard shoes of questions and statements without knowing it. It is really hard.

This, to me, the epitome of courage. I thought at first that it was easy for her to share. But then I watched this video and realised that no, it is not any easier for her than it would be for anyone else. Look at how she wraps her arms around herself, holding the pain in. But she dares to share so that others can be free.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

That's an amazing thought... Acknowledge the child who was the 'saviour child'. I never thought of that. I always thought that was something to be angry with. It's amazing to think it's something to be acknowledged.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


You're never going to be 'well' and 'normal', are you? It's always going to be like this, isn't it? One day up, and one day down. That's okay... I think I'm getting used to it. I think I'm ready to let go of childlike hope now.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Trust along the journey

Dee got back to me recently to confirm that there will be no difficulties with me volunteering full-time in Dayspring. We were both a bit concerned about the visa issue, but we'll figure it out as we go along. I really honour their trust in me to come in and learn from them. We've talked about setting up a Dayspring in Malaysia. We are both amazed that God has led us together. Dee shared that God had told them, "This is not your dream. It is Mine." when they set up Dayspring. That has always felt like what my dream is - not mine, but a much higher dream than me. I'm not much more than the carrier of the dream.

I've been going for Dramatherapy to get ready for the time when I will be in Dayspring and for the future as well. It's been a rough journey, and many old behaviors that I thought settled started coming back again. But most interestingly, I felt 'taller'. It's not that I grew at all (I would have loved that :)), but instead I realised that I had been this tall for quite a while. But until I reintegrated all the different parts of me that had been kept in boxes, both good and bad, I had always felt 'small'. I still remember my first year in Camp Vision when one of the youths said, "Gillian is TINY" and Thomas said, "What about S?" The youth replied, "S is small, but Gillian is tiny!" I think I know what she means.

We've finished our last academic class, and I'm rather sad about that - I could have listened for hours to our lecturers. But it's time to move on to the next step in the journey. I'm honoured to be on this journey, honestly, strange as that may sound. I've frequently thought, "Who am I to do this?" But knowing that this is a much bigger dream than myself, gives me courage for the journey. 'Lead me on, and I will go/ Lead me on and I will follow/ Lead me on to where so few have gone/ And I will go... I will go/ Lead me on'. I sang that as a youth of 15 years. I never imagined the journey would be this interesting.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sensitivity Camp

I received so much healing last week during sensitivity camp. It's crazy to think that it took less than 24 hours.

We were so so so blessed to have Dr. Anasu to be our counsellor. If ever I learnt how important it is to speak up, having her be our counsellor was proof of it. It's a long, and anyway not-to-be-published story of how she became our counsellor, but I am so grateful, as are most of my classmates.

The exercises were simple. Ones that I would use myself with our kids. But her counselling of each person... Oh wow....

But I was stuck. I couldn't cry, couldn't feel, couldn't... Well, pretty much how I am a lot of the time...

She seemed to not press very far with me which puzzled some of my classmates with whom she took a long time.

And she shared about her personal story. At that point, relating to what she was sharing, I was close to tears, but still managed to hold on.

I chose to sleep downstairs on the wooden bench in a sleeping bag. My classmates were like, "WHY?" but I just needed that space. Was chatting with the guys who were sleeping downstairs till like 4:30a.m. I'm so grateful to Alvin who took the time to read scripture over me and pray with me. It meant so much.

When I woke up at about 6a.m. (barely had any sleep!), I woke up in tears. Finally the questions and statements that Dr. Anasu had made the night before struck home. I cried and cried as silently as I could.

Dr. Anasu emerged from her room at about 8:30a.m. and seeing me sitting in the living room, she came over. She asked a couple of questions about coffee and stuff and then she was like, "Are you ok?"

That was enough for me. In tears, I poured out how I felt... How tired and frustrated I was that the same issues had popped up again in her counselling last night after all the work I had done on myself... And right then and there she affirmed that I HAD done a lot of work on myself. Then I told her that her question of, "What if I took away your dream right now?" had struck me so hard. Because I have nothing left in the world that I want besides my dream.

She reminded me that I can always build a new dream.

I'm not going to put much down here as a lot of it is private but just what I want to remember...

"Even if you don't do anything else, right now, you would still help a lot of people. That's why you are amazing."
"There is NOTHING WRONG with you."
"Do nothing... relax and reconnect with yourself. You can connect with many people but there is a disconnect with yourself."
"Why is it so hard to love yourself? You love so many people, but why aren't you worthy of that same love that you give to others? Why do you need to earn the right to be here?"

Healing... just healing... to know that there is nothing wrong with me, and that I just need to relax and reconnect with me. I keep reminding myself of this and I feel so much peace and hope inside me.

I am just so amazingly overwhelmingly blessed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My full-time funny class :)

For one of our classes, we need to journal about our class and its progress as a group. So I thought I'd blog about my class and put in the stuff that I can't put in an official homework assignment!

First is Alvin, our class leader! He just naturally slipped into the role with his reassuring ways. You feel anything is left in good hands with Alvin. He was a former lecturer, so he'll ask questions that are really difficult!

Then there's Haslinah, our Mother Goddess. She's so much fun everyone forgets she's not our age... She sometimes seems younger than the more serious members of our class! Most of all, she's the person that it is so easy to share problems with, because she'll listen.

Fatimah is from Indonesia. Very strong, calm-looking lady, who has the most knowledge in our class. She's the person you can ask any question and she will have the answers, despite struggling with language. She's really interesting because she's travelled a lot and has a world of experience to share. And she's just plain nice!

E-Hua is the cutie in the class. If I had a doll, it would look just like her because of her beautiful eyes and curly hair. She's the one who will be perfectly honest and just say, "I am soooooo stressed!" if she is, rather than bottling it up inside. She's also, according to the feedback from others who have done roleplay with her, is a really good counsellor!

Lauren cuts through the nonsense when all of us are confused and waffling, and she will make the firm decisions that we need to make but somehow can't! She's very sensible, but also really funny!

Deepika is really quiet in class, but I think that's coz she has her own gang amongst the part-timers and she's really nice too! I enjoy talking to her! She's very loving and warm.

Shima is the light in our class! She's so giggly and funny and she always says things that are fun and tries to make sure YOU have fun too! Without her, the light would go out in our life!

Samuel's another quiet guy in our class... but he has a quiet strong faith of his own and he does lots of stuff to help the world that he doesn't talk about. If you really listen to him, he has interesting perspectives that are different from others because of all he has seen.

Lisa is unique! I wish I could be like Lisa because she'll say what she wants to say and do what she wants to do and who cares what anyone else thinks!

Sue Wei is the one who sees everyone's perspective, rather than just her own. She'll be the one when others are angry to say, "Yes, but think from her side..." She's just kind.

So that's my funny class :)