Second Lobe Syndrome
It was a gloomy mid-afternoon. The sun had fought a tiresome battle the whole morning trying to emerge out of the dark clouds that were trying to obliterate it. The branches of trees and leaves took an ‘attention’ position, as if the whole world had turned upside down!
Anastasia sat on a rock at the Mt. Lavinia beach, deep in thought, looking at the horizon. Giant waves from the ocean broke against the rocks with a whaling screech. If one could examine Anastasia’s mind, it would not have been that difficult to see the similarity of the gloom and doom that existed within her to that of her environment at that very moment. She kept on sighing and shedding silent tears thinking what was in store for her in the future.
Emotions had taken over her completely to the extent of benumbing her of any consequent action that she might take within minutes and jump into the sea from the top of that rock! As a huge teardrop started to roll down her peach blossom cheeks Anastasia tried to analyse what went wrong with her tender love life.
Back to the Past
It all started when Anastasia was a sixteen-year-old young girl at school. For some unknown reason she could never make friends with girls and most of her close friends were boys. Dimuthu was born to Sri Lankan parents in the UK and had just returned to Sri Lanka with his father who had completed a tour of duty abroad attached to Diplomatic Service. He was only a year older to her but looked a mature type guy due to his athletic constitution with a towering height of over six feet which fitted any girl’s imagination of ‘thetall light colour-skinned and handsome type’.
Dimuthu came from a wealthy but single parent family and brought up only by foreign child minders, devoid of a mother-child bond. His father could not devote much attention to him or show any affection, in between his busy life when Dimuthu was a young child. This created an emotional and a psychological vacuum within him from very young days in the absence of his mother despite living in palatial houses abroad or in possession of money with all the other material comforts.
Anastasia was brought up with love. Her parents had instilled basic human values of ‘loving and caring’ to her as a child. When she met Dimuthu she naturally treated him politely with kindness as a platonic friend and more or less like her brother. This caring attitude struck a code with Dimuthu and he saw something special about her behavior.
It is quite a natural phenomenon in life that no one takes any interest in anybody until a third party begins to interfere with. Only then friendships start to crack, jealousies begin to creep, bickering and envy start to emerge and all Hell will begin to break loose!
Seemingly Anastasia and Dimithu developed a natural attraction to each other where a seedling of love began to shoot up automatically! It was Anastasia’s first experience of falling in love, but what about all the other young girls who were ‘eyeing’ at this handsome guy’?
Seated still on the rock, Anastasia tried to analyse Dimuthu’s actions and reactions. From the beginning Anastasia did not believe in any competition with other girls, but naturally being young, Anastasia too had a fantasy like any other girl to show off Dimuthu as her boy friend, who was being adored, secretly by many other girls.
As days passed by and weeks turned into months, Anastasia and Dimuthu came closer and closer to each other and Dimuthu was accepted by her family as a genuine boy from a respectable family whom they could trust.
One day Dimuthu wrote a bizarre letter to Anastasia flattering her amorously and concluded uncharacteristically with a sentence full of sexual connotations. This made her uneasy and created the first hairline crack in the castle of love she built on a solid foundation of true love towards Dimuthu.
Following this incident Anastasia tried seriously to discuss ideas contained in his letter with Dimuthu but he always tried to evade the issue with lame excuses. This made the gulf between their friendship to deepen resulting Dimuthu’s attention being focused onto other directions. For him, it was easily done because of his ‘foreign upbringing’ and, furthermore, there were so many other beautiful girls fighting ‘to grab him’ with both arms!
The sudden news that Dimuthu had found a new girl friend shocked Anastasia never to be recovered. She became devastated and cried for weeks on end. She could not comprehend how Dimuthu could do such a thing when she had promised to be with him for the rest of her life surrendering to him completely at the ‘appropriate’ hour.
Seated still on the rock and looking at the rough ocean Anastasia’s memory went back like a motion picture. She was a talented dancer. When Dimuthu disapproved of her going on stage she quite willingly gave all those opportunities up for his sake. There were hundred and one other things that she had wanted to do which mattered to her dearly but she gave all those up just to satisfy him. Being in true love with him was the right and the only thing to do to make him happy, she thought.
Within a very short spell of such news Dimuthu had to face the same music and bitter medicine he offered to Anastasia from his new found girl friend. He was naturally heartbroken, yet there was no one else he could relate to in times of grief. He had no other shoulder to cry on except Anastasia’s. Desperately he telephoned her during unsocial hours to apologise to her and say he still loved her dearly. She, as usual, listened to him and gave profound advice like a sister, although inside her heart was like an inferno which Dimuthu had managed to embed.
He repeatedly telephoned her again and again , even at mid night at all odd hours, just because he was emotionally devastated. That became an overdose for her to cope with. Yet, Anastasia responded calmly and she was determined not to fall into the same trap ever again.
The breaking of the waves in the sea made her emotions churn within her. It reminded her once again of the smouldering sensation , agitation, anger, helplessness and not being able to collect herself to do anything – eat, drink or sleep! Simply, it had been a living hell for her.
She remembered the number of times Dimuthu phoned her seeking solace every time his series of girl friends dumped him. She was fully aware of how he had taken her for a ride, but she could not help it, for Anastasia had never seen any other LOVE in her life. She found it still very difficult to love another person - as simple as that!
It was a very strange feeling for Anastasia where one lobe of her heart completely rejected her and received warning messages from her brain not to be moronic while the other half tried to accommodate him – at least as a memorabilia of her first love.
This is what was driving Anastasia crazy ever since their break up, although she was determined not to have an affair with him again. But then, why is only one segment of her heart tormenting her to such lengths? Her schoolbooks were full of scratches of ‘D’ or Dimuthu all over. Her room was full of souvenirs still to remind her about their past and she did not want to dispose of them either! In one breadth she hated him to the core and on the other she surrendered as a defeatist with no purpose in life, just because she lost him.
She felt at times going out with a handsome boy just to antagonise Dimuthu. There were so many Anastasia’s friends, boys for sure, who meant to her more than her own brothers, who would only be too glad to accompany her. Yet when the second lobe syndrome affected her she simply became a jellyfish!
Anastasia took a firm decision to finish her degree and emigrate to the UK to wipe out everything in her mind’s ‘ hard-disc’ and concentrate on a professional career. This has been her latest plan for the last two years, ever since that lightning of love struck her heart and introduced the ‘second lobe syndrome’ syndrome into her system.
Sitting by herself on a lonely rock it was a moment where she was very close to death, a moment she went through ‘hell on earth’ just by contemplating over her past. Had she not been sensible it would have taken only a few seconds for her to jump into the sea from the stone where she was seated to end her life.
Yet, finally, with determination, she got up from the stone where she was seated on , wiped her tears and started to stroll back homewards. Anyone looking at Anastasia could never understand or fathom the frustration, disappointment and her purposeless attitude to life.
Overtly she smiled charmingly and wandered about singing to herself. She looked a typically happy-go-lucky young lass who was enjoying the comforts of a good life and working towards a lucrative professional career. Yet her wounds were still raw, the emotional bleeding was still heavy and the blood was raw and oozing out from a deeply cut gaping wound still.
Perhaps a different country and a different environment and a completely diversified culture may be the prescription for her ‘second lobe syndrome’.
And finally she made it.
Dr. Tilak S.Fernando