I tell you a story..

Last weekend Sarah had been beating car mats at the front porch in front of the apartment block she stayed in. The dirt and dust particles were flying around everywhere like radiation.

Imagining what such conducts are like, it was very harried cleaning done in haste without an awareness of the surroundings and consequences.

What happened next was catastrophic.

Sarah’s mother was on her way out of their home to go downstairs to her daughter where Sarah was; Sarah had offered to drive her mother for her appointment.

Sarah’s mum (Mrs Cheong) suddenly heard angry shouting ~ loud thunderous voices that vibrated through their apartment block, its walls..

Not withstanding that it was the month of the Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore, the human voice that reprimanded and scolded and cursed sent shivers through souls that were listening in.

Perhaps they, like Sarah’s mother, had experienced hearing such thunderous tones, at one time or another, during growing up.

The angry voices had subsided when Mrs Cheong stepped out at the lift landing.

The angry voices had hit home nearer than Mrs Cheong realised.

As she strode towards the car and opened its front door, she settled herself comfortably in her seat before turning to her daughter.

“What happened?” she asked, feeling bewildered. Then a sharp pang of distress hit her when she saw tears trickling from her daughter’s eyes.

“Uncle scolded me,” she uttered.

In halting tones, Sarah narrated a story of a man and a woman shouting and scolding vulgarities at her; their take home message to her was she should not be flinging mats of dust at the front porch, dirtying the walls of homeowners’ property and surrounding cars.

A workman walking past their car who witnessed the ‘shouting’ and ‘cursing’ cast a look at Sarah’s facial expression too. His eyes registered a look of concern.

I tell this story to convey a message.

(let me pause for a bit to compose my breathing).

If younger adults like Sarah have said ‘sorry’ to an older adult for behaving in an ‘out-of-order’ way, accept it, and then explain the ‘whys’ in an even tone.

It is possible to ‘correct’ without ‘vulgar cursing’ and ‘shouting’ which send tremours through one’s bones.

This is (verbal) abuse.

Such a way of correcting for an ‘out-of order’ behaviour is not called for.

One can correct another without losing one’s mind.

#shame #verbalabuse #safecommunity #mentalhealth #stopabuse #report #record #seekhelp