THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Thursday, 28 February 2008

The problematic young woman - Part 5

As I was printing out some reports in preparation for the Buddies monthly board meeting last night, a text message came in from Zana. Yes, Zana, the problematic young woman whose story I've posted before - the latest update here. For parts 1 to 4 of her story, click here for the links. Zana, who is now working at a nursery, is planning to come back to Ipoh early next month to visit her 6 year old daughter (taken care by Zana’s parents) and after that she plans to take her toddler who is now left at the shelter home under the care of Kak Hawa. She said she had sent a text message to Kak Hawa about wanting to take back her child from the shelter home, but did not receive any replies from Kak Hawa. So she sought my help, asking me to speak to Kak Hawa regarding the matter.

I was thinking… why lah this woman just simply sent a text message for such an important issue. The least she could have done was to call Kak Hawa and talk to her about the matter. The best is of course to go and see Kak Hawa personally and prove to her that she is serious about the matter. I mean, if I was in Kak Hawa’s shoes, I wouldn’t want to simply give her the child just like that knowing fully aware how irresponsible Zana can be!

But before I call Zana to give her any advice, I needed to call Kak Hawa first. I needed to find out the other side of the story – which, frankly, I trust more.

I have been trying to call Kak Hawa earlier on but understandably she seemed to be very busy. This morning I tried again. First I called her hand phone, there was no answer. Then I called the shelter home’s direct line, and was told that Kak Hawa had gone out. After about half an hour or so, I tried calling her hand phone again, and thank goodness, this time she answered my call.

So finally I managed to get more information on what had actually been happening to Zana and her baby.

Zana had told me earlier that she was fired from her earlier job as a security guard. She didn’t say why. According to Kak Hawa, her employer then always caught her sleeping on the job (when she’s supposed to be the JAGA, she instead TIDUR…) and eventually got fed up and told her to leave. During that time, Zana was actually renting a room at a volunteer’s house. The particular volunteer too got fed up because Zana was using the house phone like her own and the bills shot up to over RM1,000 a month! Aiyo, this woman seems to get into trouble wherever she goes!

Zana herself didn’t want to go back to the shelter home because she couldn’t get enough freedom there but at the same time without a job, she couldn’t afford to take care of her child either. It was then that Kak Hawa went to take the child from Zana, with Zana’s consent. Zana told Kak Hawa that she’d take the child back from Kak Hawa once she gets married.

At that time, Kak Hawa and a few other occupants of the shelter home told Zana to come and visit the child from time to time. But as Zana herself admitted to me, she only visited once late last year and after that she didn’t visit anymore. According to Zana, she didn’t visit because she couldn’t stand the other occupants of the home. Frankly, to me that shouldn’t be an excuse. No matter what you think of the other occupants, if you really love your child, you’d still be visiting from time to time. But knowing Zana, I think it’s that ego of hers that's stopping her from visiting her own child. She simply didn’t want to meet the other occupants.

Kak Hawa told me sometimes the occupants of the shelter home saw Zana at the nearby bus-stop. Yet she didn’t visit her son. She was already in the neighborhood but yet she didn’t bother to drop by to see how her son was doing. And now she wants to take the child with her just like that? I know, I know, she’s the rightful mother but the least she could have done was to show some sense of responsibility as a mother.

Kak Hawa herself has no problem letting Zana take back her child. But of course, she expects Zana to prove that she is capable and responsible enough to take care of the child on her own. Simply sending a text message to Kak Hawa definitely doesn’t reflect her seriousness about the matter. Zana needs to ignore her own ego, go to the shelter home personally, and talk the matter over with Kak Hawa.

Yep, that’s what she needs to do. And that’s what I’m going to tell her to do. It’s about time she grows up and takes responsibility for her own actions. Giving her support doesn't mean I have to settle matters for her, does it?

Anyway, now that Zana is no longer staying at the shelter home, I wonder if she is even responsible to her own self. I mean, is she compliant in taking her HIV meds and is she going for her hospital appointments? Hard for me to check now that she's neither in Ipoh nor at the shelter home...


Zawi said...

Zana isn't ready to take back her child yet. She is so irresponsibled. The child deserve better care than what the mother could give.

Akmal said...

Kak Pi,
RM1k on the phone bill??? Does this involving 'special someone'?
It is unacceptable not to visit her child just because because of other occupants. I mean, she is visitingh who? Her child or someone else? I am not in her shoe, so I don't know what she had in mind. But I can't help it but to think the way you did. She's just ego, and egoistic can be very painful especially to others.

kina said...

Kak Pi,

As a mother of 3, I simply do not understand how Zana can let her son stay with someone else and not bother on how things are going.

She may be eager to take the son back, but if I were Kak Hawa, I'll say: Talk to the hand, Missy!

She has difficulty in settling down herself whatmore in a kid in tow.

I personally think that her son is better off with Kak Hawa.

I cringed the thought that she might be leaving the son alone in the house while she goes out working/ socializing. Nauzubillah

I hope you can talk some sense into her.

Undilah Kak Pi utk selamat, aman, makmur!

Pi Bani said...

Yes, I too think she's not ready to take care of the child. But that doesn't mean we can just buat donno. We still have to encourage Zana to see the child. No matter how irresponsible the mother may be, the child has the right to know his own mother.

Pi Bani said...

Special someone? Well, maybe so. And maybe too she has been talking to too many boyfriends!

Anyway, she is egoistic alright. Apologising is not in her dictionary. Very very keras hati. Kena main reverse psychology. See lah how...

Pi Bani said...

I too feel the boy is better off with Kak Hawa. But at the same time I want the child to know his mother. As such I still need to encourage Zana to go visit the child as often as she can. I'm telling her that the only way for her to get back the child is to show that she really cares. No one is going to believe that if she doesn't even bother to visit the child.

One step at a time. And the first step is for her to go to the shelter home to see her child, and at the same time, meet Kak Hawa and talk things over.

Neny said...

Kak Pi,

After reading this post, and the previous posts of zana, I'm voting for the child to stay with Kak Hawa.

No doubt, the child needs the love from his mother but the mother has to be responsible enough. At the moment, zana only deserve the visit (if she wishes to visit, right?)

But can you or kak hawa stop her from taking the child? What if she's so stubborn in wanting the child? She could create a scene, couldnt' she if she is not allowed to take the child?

Pi Bani said...

I have no doubts whatsoever that Kak Hawa would take better care of the child. But I will still try to get Zana to visit the child as often as she can.

As for creating a scene at the shelter home, that might happen only if Kak Hawa is not around when she's there. She has some respect for Kak Hawa so I don't think she'd make a scene in Kak Hawa's presence. I do hope Zana would only visit when Kak Hawa is around.

Nightwing said...

Helo Kak,

1k bill sure is high.

Agree with Pak Zawi's statement.

Hope she will change her ways after ur talk with her.

Pi Bani said...

Changing her ways is not as easy as just talking to her. Both Kak Hawa and myself have been trying to do that since we knew her. If she ever does change her ways, it will take quite some time. We just have to keep on trying.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Yes, everybody has said it. She's not fit enough to take care of herself, let alone her kid. the phonebills, sleeping on the job,...that says alot already. And i thought kak hawa was evil all these while.

Pi Bani said...

Whoa... wait a minute! What in the world made you think Kak Hawa was evil? Not from my postings I hope? She's a very caring person - otherwise she wouldn't be taking care of so many HIV infected and affected children la brader...

winniethepooh said...

y did zana suddenly want to take care of her son now when she didnt even want to visit him? hmm, is she getting married again? as u mentioned Zana told Kak Hawa that she’d take the child back from Kak Hawa once she gets married? if not, she really dont seems to be ready for that child

Pi Bani said...

No, Zana is not getting married again (not yet anyway!). That's why she feels Kak Hawa won't let her take her child - because she told Kak Hawa earlier she'd take the child when she gets married. She probably thinks that now she has got herself a job she should be able to take care of the child. But frankly, I can't even be sure how long she can last with this job!