Me as a child
I was the middle child of the family. My father was a gambler and an alcoholic. He would pawn stuff from home or steal money from my mother and sister to satisfy his addiction. At a very young age, I learned to stay out-of-the-way and tried to ignore the yelling and door slamming when my parents fight. My childhood was not a happy one. When I was in grade 6, my mother took the three of us and left my father. We stayed in a tiny bachelor apartment. The bunk bed was the biggest piece of furniture there. My memory of that apartment was very vague, but I remember I had a fear that my father would come and harm us after learning he had been stalking and threatening my mother. My brother and I ended up moving back to our father because that was the court’s decision. My sister, who was 16 years old then, chose to stay with mom. I cried myself to sleep the night before moving back to my father’s. I was upset, scared, feeling helpless and angry.
Me as a teenager
My life changed dramatically after going back to my father. I was an angry teenager who didn’t like rules and had a strong attitude. I hated my father. I hated my life. I dropped out of high school and had my first full-time job at the age of 15. I stayed out late and snuck home hoping my father would be asleep. Sometimes I stayed at friends, at a park, or just wandered on the street waiting for a new day to come just to avoid seeing my father. I met a guy who was 9 years older than me. We dated for 3 years but broke up twice. I was stubborn and so was he. He had a short temple and needed to know my whereabouts all the time. One day, he asked me to marry him and move to Canada. I hesitated first. Desperately wanted to leave everything behind, I married him and moved to Canada. I gave birth to a beautiful boy when I was 19. Four years later, I had my second child who was as beautiful as his brother.
Me – a wife, a mother, with a trapped soul
Trying to adopt to the culture and new environment, learning to be a wife and a mother, all of that was overwhelming to me. Before I could figure life out, his controlling and abusive behaviour worsen. It was his way or the highway. Due to language barrier, I felt disconnected from the world. I waited patiently, hoping he would change some day. I thought I was holding a family together for my children, but I was very wrong. On top of his usual verbal aggression, he became physical towards the boys. I then realized I was allowing all that to happen. Yet, I didn’t leave until after he threatened to kill me.
Me – bounced back
It was 2 weeks shy from our 18thanniversary when I left the house. I had no job skill nor education. My future was uncertain. I did not want the boys to suffer because of me so I decided to leave them with him. Six weeks after I moved out, I found a job working as a waitress and went back to school for my high school credits. I worked as much as I could and was able to maintain good grades. A year later, I had both of the boys living with me. I was 37 when I started college. I worked, volunteered, continued with my education. In my mind, I wanted to make up my lost time and be successful. I pushed myself to be the best and aggressively wanted to do more. I built my career and was climbing upward. Just when I started to feel a sense of accomplishment, life took another turn on me.
Me – reborn
I took 2 sick leaves within 3 years suffering from major depression and social anxiety disorder. My career was put on hold; so was my future. The feelings of angry and powerless crippled up on my spine and suck out all of my strengths. I was devastated and lost. From denial to acceptance, it was a slow but progressing journey to recovery. My anger slowly subsided and I began to see life differently. I attended support groups and followed the doctor’s advise. Today, I still experience ups and downs but I am coping fine. I am ready to tackle the world again.
Life has many turns; planned or unplanned. They might take you off the ground, but you are the one who choose to stand or fall. I appreciate the unexpected ones that took me off guard. Those are the life lessons that make me wiser. I also appreciate the potholes and roadblocks along the path. They have made me stronger and be proud of myself.
13 years ago, I found my life calling – to help others to overcome life hurdles. I started as a family and youth counsellor in 2005. Through the years, my experience deepens and my passion in helping people strive gets stronger everyday. Qualia Hub was officially launched in June, 2017 with the intent to give my readers skills and information to make their live more fulfilling and colourful.
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