Introducing myself

Tan Ching
Posted September 20, 2015 from Singapore

I am born in Singapore. My grandparents are from China. We are of Teochew descendants. When I was in primary school, my grandparents paased away due to old age. I have never seen my grandfathers before as they died only in their 50s, years before I was born. I knew from my parents that they fled China during chaotic times. Ony of my grandfathers was a soldier at that time. It was due to circumstances that forced them to leave their hometown, to migrate to Singapore, an island situated in Southeast Asia. It is a rather attractive destination for China-born migrants, even till current times. My grandparents had to disguise themselves as they sailed in the ship, to reach Singapore and Malaysia since my maternal side reside in Muar, Malaysia but the paternal side reside in Singapore. My parents are actually cousins who got married, rather acceptable in those days so my grandmothers are siblings.

When I was young, till my secondary school days, my family was poor as we lived in a one-room rental public housing flat. My elder brother was the good example, as he was the first among our Tan family ( including the cousins ) to enter into the university. I was rather determined to finish at least a polytechnic ( tertiary ) education during times of poverty that I experienced during my secondary school days. It might not be that common during the 1980s to hear of a family having financial diffculty to buy even just a sack of rice but that was how poor we were then. I was young but I could understand how lack of money could even threaten to tear a family apart, but divorce wasn't something acceptable then so my parents stay together. My father wasn't someone we could respect alot that time due to money problems faced as all of us were angry. This is my past but we came to terms with this and got over it once we are all grown up and independent. After my poly, I worked and studied part-time, completing up to postgraduate studies. Of course, in life, we always set goals and have our dreams. I once ever wanted to have a complete family with my own kid. However, this dream did not materialise with a harsh divorce that I had never imagine I would go through in my life. Now that I have already woken up that my marriage is one that has no fairy-tale ending but he is like a "demon" who once plotted to take my life, perhaps to achieve the aims that he wanted to meet. Times have changed as even Chinese like us are not conforming to traditional values and thoughts. casting away Confucius practises. For my life, sometimes, I ponder over and over again, my divorce is really the only one which moulded me to see myself differently eventually towards the end of this lifetime. Once, I thought having my own family is an achievement other than my education.....not so anymore. Marriage may not be the path everyone must take. There are also many others who decide to take the non-conventional path whether by choice or circumstances. I may not regret for other choices that I could make in my life but the choice to marry that man is definitely one choice that puts me to shame in my life. But nothing I could do to reverse that mistake................

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champagne
Sep 21, 2015
Sep 21, 2015

Dearest Pohching,

Thank you for sharing your story with us.I relate from your story.Having a one happy family is my greatest dream before since I was grew up with my adopted parents and later they separated.That time I promised to myself that, someday I won't let this things happen to my kids.Having a broken family.But we can't control what will happen. But the most important is, what happened from the past, it help us to become a more stronger, matured and better person that we couldn't think .You are a strong woman.Learn from it and enjoy our life to the fullest.God bless

Regards, champagne

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 21, 2015
Sep 21, 2015

Dear PohChing,

I have learned so much about you and about the history of what your family has gone through, reading your story. Such enormous difficulties arise through cultural expectations, relationships between people and the places we are born. Such injustices exist, that some have so much access to what we need in life (food, clothing, education, safety) and too many forced to find with such great difficulty the means to survive. You have come through so much, and your determination led you to continue studying no matter how difficult the road. You have also found your way out of a violent marriage. What a celebration of success. How wonderful now, that you have found WorldPulse and are surrounded by many who understand. I hope that you can let go of any shame. When we meet someone, we have no way of knowing that person as fully as what time will tell. It is he who hopefully one day will face the shame of his behaviour. Soar, dear sister with your freedom.

With love in sisterhood,

Tam

Tan Ching
Sep 23, 2015
Sep 23, 2015

Thanks for all the encouragments!!!

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Sep 22, 2015
Sep 22, 2015

My dear sister You have very inspirational story which many people can surely learn from. I don't think you should be ashamed of your past. Our past and our mistakes are what make us stronger people in life. We learn from our experiences and we are moulded to becoming better people. You have done well and you should be proud of yourself like we are of you. Stay strong and continue to post more of your stories in your journal. I would love to read more of your stories.

Maybe what I would like to know is if you were forced to marry a chimes as well and if he was related to you. Are your Chinese cultures still strong in Singapore even today.

Stay strong and blessed my dear. We are here for you.

Tan Ching
Sep 23, 2015
Sep 23, 2015

There are still Chinese cultures here of course but not as strong as before as most are now the third, fourth generation...etc.

Arranged marriages are unheard of nowadays.

My mum's marriage isn't an arranged one, but one of free will. My aunt ( who is my mum's elder sister ) is in an arranged marriage. My family is closely related...as my aunt married my uncle ( my father's elder brother ). Cousins married cousins so my mum was then willing to travel from Muar, Malaysia over to Singapore and got to know my father before deciding to get married. They have known each other since 5 years old.

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Sep 24, 2015
Sep 24, 2015

That's interesting that cousins marry cousins. In Uganda it happens but only in the west and it's because they don't like inter marrying. But I am glad ur parents marriage wasnt an arranged marriage.

coolasas
Sep 24, 2015
Sep 24, 2015

Hi PoChing,

I am one of the many who didn't choose the married life, it maybe by circumstances or the will of God but it does not define who I am as a person. We all go through life and experience it's bitter-sweet rewards according to the path we carve for ourselves, we hold the key to our destiny and happiness anyway so learning from it and becoming a stronger, wiser person in the end is the greatest. You look back and remember where you come from, what you've gone through, how you affect others keeps you grounded and that makes you one beautiful person.

Continue to be honest and open to what life may continue to share with you and you will discover more of your hidden treasure. Your family story is one of them, thank you for sharing those to us.

Keep the faith!

Coolasas

Ukhengching Marma
Sep 25, 2015
Sep 25, 2015

Hello Ching,

I admire you, appreciate you family , you all are an example that if our family bond is strong we can rise against all hardships.Your life phases has gone through many turning points and you have kept yourslef still strong and encouraging to us. Keep going , we are all here virtually with you, with your hope and never stop dreaming,

Love 

Ukheng

AnesaK
Sep 27, 2015
Sep 27, 2015

Dear PohChing,

I am so proud of you- what story and how many obstacles you've undergone! Women's independence is a necessity in order to leave women self-sufficent in case of patriarchal suppresion. You realizing that your own empowerment comes before tradition and expectations is truly a self-actualizing expereince; so proud of your achievements! As for your statement "marriage may not be the path everyone must take," I completely agree; being single or married both have thier benefits and drawbacks, but singledom particularly gives you the time and freedom to make a mark on the world that you wouldn't be able to make otherwise. Marriage can prove to be a false sense of security that may prevent growth and our unique contribution to the world (especially in many tradition-based countries), and I feel you've given a unique opportunity to transcend those restrictions and make a changing contribution to your society...a true blessing! Wish you the best with everything! -A

nikhila.sl
Oct 01, 2015
Oct 01, 2015

Hi PohChing,

Thank you for your post!

You do what you think is good for you, as simple as that! You can only learn from your past - what you should do and what you should not do, is entirely up to you :-) You are in control!!

You probably have more power and control over your actions and thoughts now compared to earlier !!! I wish you the best for your future endeavors

-Nikhila

Kendra Mayer
Oct 01, 2015
Oct 01, 2015

Dear PohChing,

Thank you for sharing your story -- your inner strength shows in every part of your introduction. I am so glad you have joined the World Pulse community, where you can find women like yourself who are strong, resilient, and willing to share their experiences. 

Hearing your story, I am inspired because you are extremely truthful and open about all of your experiences. I also think that it was great to hear about your ancestors, to better understand the environment in which you grew up. In regards to your past marriage, I hope you find a way to release those feelings of shame because I believe you made an intelligent and rational decision under very tough circumstances.

I hope you read my comment and the others’ and feel more confident in all that you have overcome and accomplished. 

Best of wishes, 

Kendra

zizou
Oct 02, 2015
Oct 02, 2015

Dear PohChing

Thank you for sharing your story so many woman can learn from it,

We don't get always what we want in life , sometimes it gives you joy and sometimes it is difficult and ruthless but that is the way it is and we have to adapt learn and move on so you can't be ashamed of your past it is part of your life and it made you the stronger person you are today , and you are lucky that your marriage is over many women can't make that step ; they can't defend themselves and are very dependant to their husbands ..

So women should have more ambitions than getting married and having kids they should have a professional and a social lives so they can be independant and ready to stand up for their selves ..

You are on the right path and i wish you all the best in your journey keep it up :)

Tami ssa
Oct 09, 2015
Oct 09, 2015

Dear PoChing, thank you for sharing this with us. It must be difficult to follow a different path from what is obligated for the society. Is important that women lie you share their stories  to give strenght and courage to other women.  Your history brings a lot of resistence and power, i got inspired.  I hope that one day more women have the right to follow their own destiny. You are an amazing person, never give up of your dreams. Once again, thank you!