Monday 17 September 2007

Wet pillow

I went home after work yesterday feeling weak with a high fever. I crawled into bed at 6.30pm and tossed about, unable to sleep all night. As I stared at the ceiling, my mind wandered back to the year 2002 when I spent nights staring at the same ceiling. That was the year I walked out of my own house. To be precise, I was thrown out by my adulterous, abusive and overbearing ex-husband. Our domestic helper was locked out too, for ‘conspiring’ with me.

The sky was turning dark, we had nowhere to go. I didn’t want my parents to see my sorry plight. They were against the marriage from day 1 and the last thing I needed now was to hear “I told you so.” Finally, it was his sister who took us in. While I kept mum, my helper spilled the story of a tumultuous marriage and the constant abuse I had to put up with. His sister brought me to her lawyer and called my brother. The next thing I knew, mum was telling me “Come home. We’re here for you.”

I went home sheepishly, glad they didn’t start any lectures. The kids were still living with my ex-husband who threatened to throw them down the building or bring them to the furthest corner of the world so that I would never see them again if I still insisted on a divorce. That selfish man had wanted the best of both worlds - to keep his family intact without giving up his girlfriend.

It was painful to be apart from the kids who meant the world to me. I managed to convince him to allow me to coach them in their schoolwork everyday. Leaving them in the evening was heart wrenching for their little worlds revolved round me since they were born. I recall buying 10 pieces of YK’s favourite durian cupcakes and sticking a candle in each one to celebrate his 10th birthday in April that year. While cheerfully coaxing him to make a wish and blow out the candles, my heart was crying inside. It was clear to see what he wished for. At that age, he knew how to hide his feelings to avoid incurring the wrath of his father. Parting was sorrowful, he would wave goodbye sadly at the gate, trying to suppress the tears. SK, being younger, could not understand why I couldn’t stay.

Living apart from the kids gave me plenty of time to develop a new business. I didn’t want my kids to grow up deprived of love or anything in the world, so I holed myself up in the room day and night, working my ass off. When I received my first paycheck, I was inspired to work even harder. Naturally, I lost a lot of weight and started growing my hair long and wearing clothes that I fancied, instead of pantsuits that the controlling freak had always insisted.

I hatched a plan to bring the kids home. My first attempt to smuggle them out and make a quick getaway failed when he caught us leaving. He created such a scene, I aborted the plan to save the kids some trauma. For someone who never gave a damn about the kids before, he started watching them like a hawk. He knew his life was falling apart and was afraid of losing them. He turned into a psychotic madman who would interrogate me for hours like the CID until I would simply break down under pressure. It often escalated into huge fights, shouting matches and tears. It finally took a black-eye before I told the lawyer to proceed with the divorce.

I finally succeeded in bringing the kids back with me. When he discovered, he called my parents’ home, shouting threats into the phone. Dad gave him a stern warning and strangely, he stopped harassing us. He had always been afraid of my dad, a man who would not tolerate any nonsense.

It was only after I stayed apart that I realized I had completely lost myself since I met him at the age of 20. We were officially divorced in Jan 2003 on grounds of his adultery, after fighting bitterly over the custody of the kids. I was awarded the full custody, but by the time the court order was out, I was saddled with debts. Thankfully, my business picked up and I eventually became debt-free. Today I am living my life to the fullest. I am no longer merely existing, I have found myself again. He has also moved on and we have put the past behind us.

Looking back at the painful memories resulted in a wet pillow but I can only say “You go girl! You’ve come a long way!”

During one of those visits to coach them in their schoolwork.


mooiness said...

Amazing survival story. My heart boiled when I read about the ex. You have indeed come a long way, baby. :)

Blur Ting said...

Living with him was difficult. I don't feel bitter now cos I don't dwell in the past....partly because my memory sucks. YK still remembers some of the bad moments right down to the minute details like what I was wearing or cooking the day his parents had a big fight.

Anonymous said...

Gosh YOU are the determined and brave girl...not me....!!!! You totally rock Blur!!! Thanks for sharing and here's to living life to its fullest!!!

Nick Phillips (15/03/1967 - 04/11/2022) said...

Way to go, Blur Ting! It was strong of you to stand up for what you want! Thanx for sharing that with us.

Blur Ting said...

Thanks pals. I almost gave up many times. It took alot of courage and support from family and friends. When I finally stood up and fought for my rights, he crumbled and backed off. I realised that I should have defended myself right from the start instead of being victimised all along. Well, we all learn but life's good now :-)

At least I gained 2 sons :-)

The World According To Me said...

You have come a long way Blurting, and you should feel proud of yourself and what you have achieved.
I'm sorry to hear what you went through, but you have come out the other side a stronger and wiser person.

I know all situations are different, and I haven't been through what you went through, but I did leave my marriage behind two years ago and I know how hard it can be to walk away sometimes. Even when you know it's the right thing to do.

Here's to a better life!

Mike Minzes said...

You are a success story Ting!

I am so happy things worked out for you. You deserved to win and you did!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ting,
The times i go into your blog, i am always in awe & inspired after I catch-up with all the wonderful events that surrounds you. U exude life, alot of sunshine, zeolousness, fun and most of all happiness. You are truly one brave & tough 'cookie'.. In Korean, the expression is 'AZA' (means 'Fighting' ). Very proud to have you as a friend.
Joining you in your 'granny' globe-throtting', may I ? :)

Unknown said...

You have come a long way! And your boys are troopers!
I remember seeing this photo from a previous post, it's one of those images that just got stuck in my head. Maybe because you have mentioned how you were going through a difficult time in your life when it was taken, and I tried to put myself in one of those children's happy faces and it took me back where I feel the safest, in my mommy's embrace.

Amel said...

Blur Ting, WHAT A STORY!!!!

First of all, hope you're feeling better today.

And you're ONE TOUGH LADY! WOW!!! I admire you, Girl!

HURRAY to living life to the fullest!!! ;-D

Anonymous said...

Damn! People can be so cruel. You faced a madman and came out victorious. What an awesome story! You rock baby! :)

J@n!ce said...

Blur Ting, you are a brave woman. I am moved by your past. I felt relieved that the boys are in safe hands of yours now. The picture & the words just brings me to tears too. I'm glad that things are alright now. I've got a lot of qns in my mind now. How old are your boys? You are staying oversea with the boys now? I have an impression that you are a Singaporean :)

Hugs to you my strong friend :)

Janice Ng

SOUL said...

beautiful smiles, beautiful kids, beautiful story of healing and strength, and family.
have a good day..umm night?

Anonymous said...

Oh, Blur, it is heartwrenching to hear about that time in your life. You are truly an inspiration. Not only did you survive hell, but you have achieved more than many who are blessed with all of the advantages. I am in absolute awe!!

Blur Ting said...

Thanks everyone. I was hesitant about posting this at first. It wasn't always so bad throughout the marriage though he always had a girlfriend by his side and had a terrible temper and was controlling. When his internet business failed, he stopped working altogether for 2 years, relying on me to bring in the doe.

Meanwhile he was living it up, driving a Beemer and having a blast with his girlfriend. When I decided enough is enough, he turned into a monster and showed his worse side.

I'm glad it ended. People feel sorry for divorcees but in my case, it's all for the better. I've never been so happy and free to do whatever I want in my life whereas before that I couldn't go anywhere (even visit my parents) or invite friends home without his approval.

Janice, I live in Singapore. The kids are 15 and 13 now. In the beginning, I had thought of moving overseas to get away from it all but that's probably escaping. I'm glad I stayed behind cos I have my family and CH by my side.

It's all good :-)

Thanks again everyone.

Blur Ting said...

I must correct the wrong use of word in my comment.

I was bringing the 'dough' not doe cos I didn't go out hunting and bring back a female deer each day.

I brought in the 'bucks' though.

J@n!ce said...

Ting, wowow... your kiddo so big already. Awww... hor miah loh !!
You are a young mummy :)

Janice Ng

Amel said...

I agree with Janice. I can't believe you have two kids aged 15 and 13. You look SO SO young!!!! ;-D

Your story reminded me of my aunt's story. Her husband didn't allow her to visit her own mother and other people, either. A control freak!!!

SOUL said...

blur.. bucks...doe...dough...made me laugh... good stuff
hope you had a good day... or are having. i think our days and nights are flipped...right?

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