Introducing myself ( part 2 )

Tan Ching
Posted September 23, 2015 from Singapore

I have introduced myself ( Please refer to paragraph 2 onwards )....Based on my one terrible decision that I made, to marry a scambag ...a very short marriage. Seriously, dating is nothing like marriage..you really see someone's real side as living together daily, needs compromising and accomodating to each other's fault but tolerating him of having women outside...NO.......... not that I can do it. Becoming so concerned about women issues is therefore what my own experiences have pushed me into as I was forced into a corner during a harsh divorce which was heatedly contested in the family court. Monetary losses, emotional turmoil and having to balance my life in the midst of it those few years are so unforgettable. Advocating for women empowerment online seemed to be the most convenient tool for me then and remains so till now. I needed to tell my story. Writing on forums as I joined women groups online also became a "place" for me to vent my frustrations, not to get my feelings be bottled up...In my life here, I went to sessions conducted by AWARE and knew more about what women groups are doing. Based on my own free will, I signed up as a member in the ruling party here, PAP's women wing since I also had to appeal for my case with a matrimonial flat on the verge of being surrendered to the authority. My appeal wasn't successful ( not to elaborate in this journal as I have written details of how the court case unfolded before in ony of my journals ). One development worldwide that is worth celebrating is that women empowerment seems to be getting more attention these few years. I will continue to tweet and write in other social media, connecting online with women groups and to champion for women's rights. Women have to volunteer for ourselves. Please continue to read on my family background in the following paragraphs ( also available in another journal of mine ).

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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PilarAlbisu
Sep 29, 2015
Sep 29, 2015

Dear Poching,

First of all, I want to thank you for such an honest journal. You have chosen to share a lot with us and I'm sure that must not have been easy. I must say, you have had an interesting life, despite the rough times that you mentioned. I, for one, enjoyed getting to know you a little better.

After reading this, I really take away a sense of acceptance. I can tell by your writing that you have chosen to see only the good in what have been some difficult times. How nice it is to hear that you have found education to be a true highlight and milestone in your life. I agree with you wholly that not everyone will take the conventional road of marriage and children. In fact, I think more and more people, all over the world, are starting to realize that they can choose to follow other dreams that will leave them equally happy and fulfilled. Personally, I know I will never be rtruly happy until I've reached a professional place in my life where I feel I am making a difference in the world.

On a final note, and you are free to agree with me or not, though you say your marriage and subsequent divorce is the one choice that puts your life to shame, I would try to see it differenty. Obviously, I will never truly know how you feel and, it's always easier said than done, but think of it this way: if it hadn't been for that experience, albeit terrible, you wouldnt have the positive and life-affirming outlook that you now have and choose to share with your online sisters. And we truly appreciate it! Just a thought!

Wishing you all the best,

Pilar 

Lisa Alfano
Sep 29, 2015
Sep 29, 2015

Dear Poching,

Thank you for sharing your story with this community. I sense vulnerability,  strength and a strong sense of acceptance of self and of the heartache you previously experienced. The actions you took, and continue to take, reaching out to other women and be a 'champion of women's rights' is bold and courageous. I believe you have the desire to make a difference! Joining online women's group, signing up with the ruling party and gaining a scholastic education speaks of a strong woman, and one who I sense is open to receiving support from others.

What has your experience been with being a member of the ruling party? By being a member, are you given the opportunity,  or taken it upon yourself, to speak with others about women's rights? Have you found women who are having similar experiences with marriage, divorce and finding their voice as you had experienced? 

I am now 54 years old and single with no children. Our society can be cruel to those of us who do not fit in with the model woman society places upon us. I do have a sense of what you experienced and am so happy to read that you are your own person and are doing amazing things for self-care and for reaching out to others. I look forward to learning more about you and your journey and am proud to be a part of your community.