My uncle.

Just needed to sort out my thoughts and get this off my chest.

It was a plain old Monday morning and my parents have gone to work. Only my uncle and I were at home. He was cooking his instant noodles, and I’ve just woken up. We exchanged our greetings and out of the blue he popped me a question, “Do you think Spotify allows people to share accounts?” I was thinking about it, then after awhile it occurred to me that he wanted to share an account with me and hence that is why he is asking that question. Nope, I do not want to share an account. Because my music tastes and playlists are incredibly private and I’ll like it to remain individualised. “I don’t think so, right?” He asked nonchalantly. My gut was signalling red flags to me.

I said no anyway. “But I don’t really feel like sharing an account with anyone,” I replied somewhat tersely. His reply to this was kind of shocking.

“… I guess I’ll remember this… just you wait… hmm?” in a sort of mocking and joking tone. I was stunned. Seriously? It didn’t affect me so much at that point but the more I think about it, the more I feel like this reply is weird. Like what the fuck? I don’t care if you’re joking or not. I’m sorry, your psyche is leaking out and bursting dams.

I don’t agree with that sort of mentality at all and I don’t agree with the following conversation I’ve had with him.

I was deeply disturbed by that reply and hence decided to pluck up the courage to ask him, “Are you the type of person who holds grudges?” I tried to remain as neutral as possible knowing how he is. The reply that followed was one that leaked so many layers of his psyche that I think I could swim in it.

(Take note everything was in Chinese so the literal translation might sound awkward). It’s not exactly what he said but the main gist is there.

“No, you can’t say that about me either, that will mean that you’re looking down on me.”

Basically, after this line, the rest is jumbled up bullshit. It was so off the trajectory that it became a “once bitten twice shy” behaviour that he feels is alright. I just nodded my head and “agreed” with him because the things he is saying doesn’t make sense and reeks of unhealthy thoughts.

I do remember though, he told me something about being burnt and being scared of the person’s fire forever. He told me that once you’ve experienced the pain you wouldn’t want to feel it again so you’ll walk around the boundary of the fire. Which, obviously, deviated from my point of, “Are you someone who keeps grudges?” and “Wouldn’t you just forget about the incident if you’ve forgiven the person already?”

OK. My main point is that if someone has somehow hurt you, wouldn’t you just forgive the person, even if you can’t really forget the incident? That means that you don’t hold negative feelings towards the person anymore. Which is like, the basic rules of forgiveness, no? I’m talking about your own feelings, uncle, not what the other person has done to you. 

Oh, wait I just remembered something. He said that holding grudges means that he will take actions to hurt the person back. That is his definition of holding a grudge. Revenge.


A little background information on why I asked him that question…

My uncle’s past is very neurotic and unhealthy. Just one divorce almost 10 years ago sent him spiralling downwards into deep depression. He has attempted suicide a few times before and has broken down in front of the family a few times, constantly portraying himself as a victim. Apparently just because my dad didn’t show concern when he passed a light remark that his memory seems to be getting worse means that my dad doesn’t care about him. (He was taking antidepressants but we didn’t know anything then because he didn’t tell us.) Coupled with low-self esteem and an extreme, dogged devotion towards religion and life after death, I think you get a rough picture about what type of person he is. What he wants most, he told me once, is love.

I have to give it to him though, my parents are bad with showing affection and are really caught up in their own pain. If you need something you have to say it directly, if not no one will really get you. Even if they do it might be met with ‘backlash’. However, this is not a reason for blaming my parents. (My uncle is from my mom’s side).

“No one is responsible for making you feel loved inside, somewhere along life you have to fill up that hole inside you by yourself and stop pining for lost childhood parental love. This is life, uncle. Grieve if you have to, but do not expect others to love you for you to love yourself.” … Is what I’d like to say to him. Unfortunately things like that can set off mines and ego bombs.

Ever since he moved into my house I’ve been talking to him more and finding out about what type of person he is. Some things have bothered me quite a bit. He will speak with an air of superiority about how people have hurt him at his workplace previously and how they were all wrong about his abilities (he’s unemployed currently). There was this recent incident where a food stall aunty mistook him as a thief and this hurt him really badly. He was telling me all about how karma will do its deed and how he will never patronise the store again because of how the aunty has treated him. The impression I get from him is that he’ll bottle up all the hurt he has received and never ever let it go. He doesn’t seem to want to either? Or he tries but fails. And like he isn’t happy, because he feels like he’s a victim of many things in life.

Hence, I asked him that question, because it was a pattern I’ve observed. He was slightly defensive about the question though and tried to logically explain to me certain things but I wasn’t having it. So I decided to drop the topic and instead focussed on the curry instant noodles instead. It smelled amazing.

All I can say is that perhaps, he really hasn’t nursed his old wounds at all. He is trapped within the cycle of others ‘hurting’ him, victimising himself and then shutting his heart out of the world again and again.

Is this the epitome of self-hate? I pray that he will be able to find some love within soon.

(Just to make it clear, I love my uncle and I know he has his own struggles, but this is just something that has bothered me and I’m slowly starting to accept what’s going on in his mind)


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