Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Trust, a many splendored thing

When people talk about trust, it's usually to do with relationships that they are in or with people that they are close to. I've never really had a problem with trust though at heart, I'm a pretty insecure person especially when it comes to people that mean something to me. I've always been afraid of losing those who are close to me and there have been times when it's happened through some sort of betrayal. That's when my heart breaks and I've been fucked with. And even though at that point in time, it feels like a big deal, things have always gotten better from that point and in all the cases, a silver lining always materialised.

What I've been through the last few days has however, caused all these previous experiences to feel like child's play. All my previous experiences had to do with my feelings being screwed around with, and the fall out I had to deal with was up to me to temper. But this time, the fall out affects those who are dear to me and this makes it an even more intense betrayal. And it's difficult to be rational.

It sounds overly dramatic but it really feels like it's along the lines of having lost faith in humanity. Up till this point, I had never understood why some people who employed house help were paranoid about them. When I needed to hire help, I followed my mother's example. Treat them well, treat them as equals. Provide for them and always be reasonable. In fact, be kind to them. So, I was. It wasn't so much the case of giving her more autonomy than she deserved, but according her respect and trusting her because she was after all, a matured, grown person with kids of her own.

Who knew that maturity was such a relative concept? (Please don't be snarky here) Who knew that according basic respect and trust could lead to so much betrayal and problems? Who knew that those we thought were cruel were actually the ones who might have gotten it right? Who knew that trying to be as close to not violating human rights as possible was going to be our downfall?

So, because we tried to be good people, we allowed for a feud to brew in our backyard, literally, to epic proportions with tinges of Fatal Attraction meets Godfather in it and the scariest part was to have my pre-verbal twins caught in the middle of it all. Even in our response, we were punished.

An employer has every right to buy a plane ticket to repatriate the help and only inform her hours before. The rationale behind it, inform the help any earlier and it gives her the opportunity to escape or retaliate. Any decent human being would feel wracked with guilt for giving such short notice. In fact, such treatment seems unfair and harsh. But it was the way we were instructed to do it.

Much of this guilt came from the fact that repatriation was involuntary and these girls were out here to etch out a living for themselves and their families. And for us to think that we might be depriving people of enough currency to pay for electricity and water just did not sit well for us. In fact it caused us to lose quite a bit of sleep and for me, some weight as well.

But the problem was that our frames of references were different as night and day. Where we felt guilt, nonchalance was dujour. Where we felt that we were at wits end and this was the only way we could end the hissing and call off the attack dogs, they just saw it as a minor hiccup they would overcome. Where we thought we were condemning them by cancelling their work passes, they saw it as an opportunity to go to places more exotic. And where we thought we were being merciful by giving them a second chance, there was no remorse and there was no sense of being contrite.

At the end of the day, the worst has blown over but there's a terrible after taste in my mouth that I don't really know how to get rid off. It's made worse by the realisation that it really is not much of a point being a bleeding heart No doubt we've promised a clean slate and a second chance, but there's something painfully missing from the entire equation on my part. Trust. The thing lost that is never to be found.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:55

2 thoughts...

2 thoughts...

At 9:48 am Blogger Miss Ong said...

oh dear. I hope everything's better now. :/

At 11:02 pm Blogger Threez said...

There there... it's okay. Part of growing up as a Singaporean Working Mom, I'm afraid. The next ones will be much better and will toe the line or lose their toes.

Okay, back to F1... *hug*


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