Sunday 3 May 2015

Finding Out Sofea: Part One.

I've left the blog for a long time since there was nothing real to write about. But for the last 3 days, my mind is full of past memories. Every one of them haunts me of all the signs that I chose to ignore, some of them are out of total ignorance but some others, although there was a bit of finding out, there was no definite conclusion.

However, on 30th April 2015, after taking a nearly-2-hour assessment at Persatuan Dyslexia Malaysia, it was confirmed that my daughter is dyslexic.

She is 9. 

When she was 7, every time she had homework to do, she would normally cry out of 2 reasons. First, she cried because she could not understand whatever she read because her letters and numbers were 'moving'. Oblivious that a dyslexic kid sees the way she described, I asked her to stop making up stories. She would become defensive of that very idea, and I would become very furious. That led to the second reason of her cry, the angry mom who constantly scolded her and her idea of moving graphics. In the end, after many months struggling with this 'moving' idea, she had finally stopped telling me that.

Nonetheless, her performance at school deteriorated slowly but surely.

Another haunting memory I have was when she came back from school. It was the same year. She came back crying and telling me that she could not tolerate the noise other students were making at school. She could not bear the loud ringing of the school bell too. She found it horrifying to listen to the constant yells of the teachers using microphone. She cried describing the noise. 

I hugged her tight. I remember telling her if she managed to turn off the switch in her ears, she would succeed in ignoring the noise. She cried even louder that night, not knowing how to follow my instructions. I kept telling her to try harder and I held her tight that night until I was sure she went asleep.

Later I found out, to adjust herself in the noisy surrounding, up to this day, she herself became extremely quiet at school. She locked herself in her invisible bubble so to avoid the noise. No matter how many times I asked her to mingle around or to talk to others, she would refuse so as not to make noise. 

And then, there were many times that she failed to copy work given by the teachers on the board. Her handwriting would go horribly ugly with all the words combined into one and went out of lines. There was once that she went so fidgety and scared for not completing her Malay Language task. She was so scared, she asked me to write a letter to her teacher asking for forgiveness. I did. 

Apart from the academic struggles, she struggles a lot in her speech. I saw her many times thinking hard, as if planning things first before she speaks about anything. Oh. She only started talking monosyllabic words when she was 4. So, to justify my ignorance and stupidity, I thought it was okay that she speaks slowly, considering how late it was for her to start talking. 

There were so many signs ignored actually.

There were left-right confusions (up to today, she still found it hard to tell which one is left and right shoes or hands), the name of the day (she could tell you the name of the days in a week but finds it hard to apply to real context) the time of the day and all related concepts. She moves non-stop and always needs to find things to do. Even the way she watches the television is different.

Nevertheless, if you talk to her in English, she could actually amaze you with her vocabulary. She excels in English and Arabic, by scoring these two subjects very highly and almost effortlessly. That actually brought me wonders. And her memory is superb. She remembers things that she loves, no matter how old the memory is. But try asking her to memorize the things she hates, even if the thing is only a simple times table, she would definitely fail to do so.

Three days after the discovery.

Although actually I always knew that she is somehow special, this is a new notion to live with. The whole concept to learn to adapt, however late this is, it is better late than never.

What the discovery has so far taught me?
Maybe, with God's will, I can be a better mother.
I don't know how just yet, exactly, but I think I am at peace knowing the real state of her problem.

I am at peace knowing where to send her for help.

For my darling daughter?
She will go for classes and therapies starting mid-May.
Whatever the outcome of the classes will have on her, I might want to come back writing about it again next time.

After that tiring assessment day, I told my daughter that she would go for special classes at the center. Only during weekends.

                    "Why do I have to come here?"
                    "Because they know that you are special. You have to go to special classes."
                    "Do they know I have special powers?"
                    "Yes... sort of."
                    "What special powers do I have?"
                    "Oh... That's why they want to find out. Do you want to find that out too?"
                    "Oh yesss... can I use the powers then?"
                    "Definitely! But first, you have to go to the classes, ok?"

Saturday 19 April 2014

Finding Bliss

My Supreme Source of Happiness

Last week's ordeal was nightmarish. I lost my cool towards the closest of friends I have. I scared many and let them gasped in unbelievable horror. Some saved themselves by not voicing out, others tried their best to calm me down but to no success. 

I just could not understand, and at this very point, still can't understand how an elderly woman of that age, waiting another year and half to her pension, can react so irrationally and emotionally towards my message sent to her. 

The message was about professional matter, asking the administration to pay attention to the school's dreadful truancy problem. I did highlight that no teacher nor subject should be held responsible for the youngsters' blame game. When they are lazy and very much distracted with the outside school's fancy activities, school is not just a place for them to drag their feet early in the morning nor the place they will stay up late until the afternoon.

So, why did she get so offended with such a message? 

We talked about this matter the next day when I saw her (I sent the message the previous day from home). We discussed. From A to Z, from the reason why I sent that message to her until what should WE do as a team to rectify the problem arose. We finally stopped the discussion. There was a great relief. She claimed everything was "settled" and there should be no problem anymore.

I went out of her room happily that day.

But her next course of action left me in terrible disbelief.

She went bombarded my immediate team leader for what she called as the source of mistrust, for leaking information that should be concealed. I just could not believe when I found that out. She even called me rude for writing her a message with some words highlighted wrongly, out of context. She labelled me unnecessarily and went backstabbing to other people of higher rank at the administration. 

She waged a war.

I am younger than her by 22 years old. She is about to stop working in just less than a couple of years. What perplexed me is how can an old person like that fails to come to her senses in solving problems? Why going around bitching about a young gun whom she knows is very brave to fend for herself? Why didn't she call me up again in a meeting if there is something about me that frustrates her? Call the whole admin board. Call the whole school. Why not have a professional discussion in front of the staff? Let everyone hear my explanation and try putting the judgement in front of others.

I am not scared of her.
Definitely not.
Now that I know she is such a coward makes me even braver.

When I listened to Brother Nouman Ali Khan about the barakah of life, straightaway I remember this incident. There is no bless anymore when people work for the recognition of other people, not for the bless of Allah, the God Almighty. For these people, there is no joy in helping others seeing the true meaning of blissful life if there is no immediate material return. What they aim is pure personal satisfaction being named as a sole achiever in doing anything. They want people to be awed by their actions thus name-mentioned satisfies them.

I shall shut my mouth now. At the moment.
Not because I feel scared to go against her, but because I believe God will definitely grant me with other kindness and happiness in life. 

I am pleased that she contributes very much to her own downfall. She will be punished severely. Definitely. And definitely too, she has lost my support towards her. For me, as long as she does not clear the air, or makes no effort of admitting mistakes, she is as good as gone. I don't need her in order for me to work at my best.

My supreme source of happiness is always there for me. I shall be there for them too. Lingering too long on this matter shall prohibit me from doing so. 

Thus, I shall stop.

All I want to do now is to find bliss.

Saturday 12 October 2013

itsy bitsy

Thinking of coming back to this. Hope time will accompany my wish for the ideas have coagulated the thoughts in this brain of mine. Full stop. Or rather a half? Gonna get ready for some chores to complete. Ah...sighing has become the best familiar sound to my ears. Shall come back. And shall go now. Love everyone to bits.

Monday 31 December 2012

Shame On You

We had many hiccups this year.

All those little things happened surely brought big impact nonetheless. What haunted me most when the kids fell ill way too often. Even mentioning their state of health to some people was such a big predicament.

Some ridiculed me in saying that I used my kids as an escapism. Of tasks that awaited. Of responsibilities that shouldered, supposedly.

Some mentally ill folks even went to a distance calculating my mishaps, digging what were meant to be my nightmares and turned them to be theirs. They were not even related to me. Not by blood. Not even those whom you often talk to. They were not even close friends. Nevertheless, they were the ones who felt disturbed the most.

What did they do?

They blamed.

They thought they knew everything.

They acted as if they were the God and Goddess of all mothers.



One thing you need to remember that your blessings might end up as soon as I finished typing this. Your horrible laughters, cynical looks and rotten judgments would soon be replaced by the same amount of tears and long awaken nights that I faced all this while. You will soon feel your heavy body weighing you down, crumbling and falling apart, tasting the sweet smell of the fresh floor that you had just mopped. And only then would you realize, oh...all this while you have been a very very VERY bad human being.

Or you might not.

Maybe nothing would ever happen to you. Not today. Not after this. Not tomorrow. Not ever. 

Ever and forever God keeps blessing your lives.

But you owe me. And I shall bring that memory to the grave.

But again... 

You are such a bore. I will forget you and all your stupid remarks by the time the new calendar starts. Remembering you is such a waste of time, a drain of energy and a pain in my beautiful ass. You can go to hell whenever God calls you back to Him. 

I am happy with all these hiccups. I am thankful with what I had and whatever will be bestowed upon me. I do not hold grudge but I do pray God keeps you away from me.

God bless!

Monday 26 November 2012

Perfect Rendezvous

The moment we stepped in the Accident & Emergency Unit, my daughter started to whine. 

It was a fine Sunday. That Sunday was planned for a grocery shopping. A family of four, in a small car of ours, supposedly to be happy, changed our course from a shopping complex to a specialist hospital. What a turn!

My daughter knew it all too well: she was sick, she had high temperature and just vomitted her stomach out in the car. And now when I brought her to the hospital, she could imagine herself being constantly poked with the needles.

I shared her horrific detest towards the hospital too.

Apart from giving birth to Youssef nearly 2 years ago at this same hospital, and more than 6 years ago at Pusrawi Hospital for Sofea, all other experiences related to hospitals were just as gloomy as a morgue should be. Sofea and I were quite a regular at this Ampang Putri Specialist Hospital back in the years of 2006 until some time around 2008 to have Sofea's kidney problem sorted out. Then, in 2009, I spent my time as a dengue patient here.

Oh. I did not stop my fancy towards this rendezvous just at this particular hospital.

I was also a regular patient at Gleneagles Hospital for a few years started from 2007 when I first met Dato' Dr Mohd Husni Ahmad up until 2011 when he referred my case to University Malaya Medical Center under the care of Dr Siti Mazlipah Ismail. Along that period, I had another check up with one of the foremost Malaysian breast surgeons at the Gleneagles, Dato' Dr Suseela Nair.

Ahhh! If only I could use this information in my CV!

Tears were always my closest friends everytime I had to recover from sicknesses or from surgeries I had undergone.  Frankly, I could not see the floor clearly though I knew it was always too ready to accept my fall. Thus, I just did not fall down. Falling down was just not an option. Upon seeing this, other people saw me as a strong person.

Truly, I was not. Still, I am not strong up until today. It was just a matter of daily survival.

"I will hold a special prayer and Quran recitation for the princess to get well quick."
Came a message from my bff into my smartphone's messaging system.

Tears welled up in my eyes again. If only she could see my appreciation towards her actions. Gratitude is just not the correct word to portray how lucky I was to have her in my big circle of friends. Despite my ignorance and hard-headedness, she was always there with a smile so sweet and words so kind to soften my heart.

"My family will hold a special prayer for Sofea's well-being tonight..."
Came in another message from my sweet sister, Zaiton. I was already speechless towards this kindness around me. I did not reply her message immediately. Overwhelmed with her kindliness, thoughtfulness and sweetness. I thanked her with my utmost gratitude but I know my words were just extremely simplistic and monotonous.

Thank you.

Thank you for all prayers and good wishes from all well-wishers. From all friends. From all bini-bini perkasa. From family members too. Only God is ever able to return your kindness. Heaven awaits for people like you.

And I love you all.

"Mummy, why am I in the office?"
 Sofea asked me some time around 2am today, in her sleep. 
"Darling, we are not in the office. We are in the hospital," 
I chuckled in my reply.
She nodded and went back to her sleep... 


Monday 22 October 2012

And so please help me God!

I am sitting right in front of her now.

She insisted me updating my blog. Day in and day out. I left this blog neglected. Unkempt. I felt that I lost my sense of connection long time ago. The time... that very moment when my extra time was robbed away from me. And after 6 long months... I am still struggling to have everything around me runs smoothly. Not according to anyone's expectation though. Just mine.

"You can easily be a good writer cause you can tell know how," she smiled.

"You are the only one who thinks so," defensive as always. Me.

"You don't have the DESIRE to write, you just don't want to," her eyes sparked a glittering sense of victory for being able to read my thought, to successfully guess my state of mind. And for that, I couldn't agree more.

But to tell you the truth, I disagree. Oh. What's new about me? I always have to disagree.

I want to write. Yes, I do.

If the world can be paused for awhile, and everything in it can take a leisure break from its madness, all I want to do is to write stories. And to read them too. Believe me. No shopping nor watching movies can overtake the desire for me to write or read.

I just don't have the time. And energy.

And so please help me God!

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Come As You Are

She came and hugged me when I was sitting at my table.

"Teacher, Happy Teacher's Day!"

The hug was long and tight. I giggled.

"Ok, ok Aca...thank you very much!" Still, she hugged me tightly and didn't let go.

"Come on girl...thank you very much. Read your book, revise," I continued giggling. It was already awkward. She was still hugging me. Her head was at my shoulder. She then looked at me.

"Ok teacher, I wanna kiss you." She kissed me on both cheeks. I was stunned.

"Kiss me back, teacher" She smiled. I did kiss her back, on her cheeks. Still giggling, I said thank you, half-stunned but feeling fully happy. She went back to her seat.

She was the brave one.

When everyone was answering the Add Maths paper this morning, the class went deadly silent. All eyes were focusing on the questions. The struggle was obvious. And it was the perfect timing to replay the memories from the back of my head. 

This was the song that brought me into this world. It was Nirvana "Come As You Are" that helped me to gain a place in the course. It was an interview for a twinning programme for TESL. 

I was asked the reason why I wanted to be an English teacher. After all, I was a Science student. I told the interviewer that I love English songs. So they asked me to sing a song.  

I sang half of the song. With my ugly voice. The pitching was everywhere. But I sang.

As simple as that. 

I didn't go impressing them by saying teaching could change anyone's life. I didn't bluff them saying that teaching is a noble profession. I didn't know at that time that teaching could inspire anyone.

I wasn't even prepared for the interview in the first place. All I knew that day, my parents were waiting outside of the room, waiting for us to hit the road back to our hometown. And in front of me, four 'big' people, talking in English, asking questions related to my life.

All I did was answering them from the bottom of my heart.

"What if your students asked you about difficult words that they cannot understand? What should you do?"

"I will ask them to check from Mr Dict," they burst out laughing at my answer. 

Seriously at that time, I didn't realize that Dict sounded really like Dick. But, that was exactly what my form 5 English teacher said to refer to our dictionary. Mr Dict.

While some of them were still laughing, I remember one of them, Puan Rozana (God bless you always) said:

"Come as you are, Noorul. Come as you are into this world of teaching"

And I definitely did it!