Saturday, 31 May 2008

Going into transit

On divorce ...

I've moved the piano back to my parents' place - I'm sick and tired of being seized with fear and anxiety whenever the letters threatening to seize the property and goods arrive. At least the rest of the items are not that expensive compared to the piano.

It's such an irony that I know nuts about divorce although I was divorced once. I called up a hotline on divorce and I was advised that any marriage below 3 years has to seek permission from the court to divorce and compelling reasons why you can't wait till 3 years to divorce have to be stated.

The flat is purchased for less than 5 years so it's highly likely that HDB will take it back after the divorce.


Yesterday, we were taken to Terminal 3 for a workshop. My group leader was the man who lost his wife during delivery last year.

I managed to speak to him more and realised that things are far worse than I'd thought.

His wife had actually developed the fatal condition during a natural delivery. Previously, I'd always thought it occured during a Caesarean. But no. It happened after the waterbag was broken by the doc.

I was shocked to know that the doc would ignore the baby's state until they revive the mother, or prove that she's unreviveable. Apparently, the mother had lapsed into unconsciousness when the rare condition occured and the doc was trying to make the mother come to before he would proceed to deliver the baby.

All the while, the baby was left in the womb while the waterbag's water leaked. The doc couldn't perform a Caesarean on the mother while she was unconscious because it would endanger her life.

When the baby was finally out of the womb, he was seriously lacking in oxygen and it resulted in brain damage.

To date, the baby can't swallow food. He has to be fed using a tube going into his stomach.

The term 'brain damage' didn't sink into me at that moment when he talked to me. I thought he was exaggerating, given the optimistic and sunny person he is. He didn't even make it sound sombre or serious at all. It was more like a casual talk.

After the term sank in, I was horrified and inspired at the same time.

I'm inspired by his sheer strength to face all these on his own. It was a joy-turned-trauma episode which has repercussions that last.

For a moment, it makes me feel that what I'm going through is insignificant compared to what he has gone through. I'm just leaving a die-hard gambler who doesn't care two hoots about his 'family'. Although the baby will not have a father, like Coco, having a gambler father is worse than having no father at all.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Wake up time

I'm filled with fear.

The reno loan bank has sent us a lawyer's letter threatening to sue us for bankruptcy.

I'm really scared.

And I discover that his grandfather doesn't have the money to help him out. I'm scared stiff.

I don't know what to do.

Currently, my plan is this: I'll divorce him, sell off the flat so that we have less things to worry about ie. conservancy fees, electricity bills, internet bill.

If I keep the baby, she will take after my surname. There's no way I can let her take after his if we divorce.

Another alternative is to give the baby up for adoption.

I'll take over the reno loan to avoid being declared a bankrupt. Being a civil servant, I can't afford to be bankrupted. I need the job, especially after I've worked so hard for my degree. But I can't forgive him for what he's done to my life, so I have to divorce him.

I'm disappointed with him. I didn't think he's that bad, but looks like I've been too blinded.

It's time to wake up.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Let me out

He's asked me to loan him $500 to pay for his and his father's handphone bills. He said he'll pay me back next week.

We've been through this many times. I said no. And he threw his temper. And threatened to let the lawyers sue us for bankruptcy.

I called up the bank to ask if the payment could be separated if we're divorced. And the guy said no. I don't know where to find $28,000 for this.

The more adversities we face, the more I see his lack of integrity and honesty, the more I see our vast differences in values, the more I feel that divorce is the only way.

I go to work with a bulging tummy, always feeling ill and nauseous and tired and weak. Even the cleaner asked me what sickness I have because I look pale and lips purplish. My well-meaning colleague suggested that I take a few days' leave to rest. But can I do that?

And he's still asking me for money, when there isn't enough money for my hospitalisation bill and the baby's stuff. He's not saving any money. He says the money is all spent on interests. I asked him,"So you're saying the interests are more than $3000?" And he tried to argue, that he also needs to pay the penalties for late payments. I asked him where his money goes to - he doesn't pay the conservancy fees, the phone bills, his handphone bills. The only thing that he's paying is just about the electricity bills, which he often waits till the electricity is cut off then he go pays. So exactly where does the money goes? He kept quiet, threw his temper.

I earn more than $500 less than he. I need to pay off my study loan, give my parents allowance and top up my father's travelling expenses, pay for Coco's ballet, piano lessons, schoolbus fees and possibly her English enrichment lessons. And he's expecting me to pay off his loans for him, when he's got the cashback from the bank already.

What kind of a husband is that?

What else can I do if I don't divorce him?

What future can the baby have with a father like him?

What kind of a father will he make?

I'm so tired I let Coco go for a church camp on her own with the church workers today so that I don't have to tend to her, do the housework, and do my schoolwork all at the same time. There isn't even a clean towel for bathing purpose. I don't even have clean clothes to wear.

When a husband doesn't even take care of the bare necessities and basics in the house, how can you call him a husband? This is the very reason I have not allowed Coco to call him 'Daddy' or myself to call him 'Hubby' for these more than two years. I can't bring myself to. He hasn't been able to assume the responsibilities a husband or a father should assume. He doesn't deserve to be addressed as such. I'd looked forward to have a husband I could call 'Hubby' ever since my first 'marriage', but he is not fit to be called as such. He's not. He has not provided us with the most basic items in life. We've not functioned as a family to date.

He actually said that I'm his wife and should help him out. I said,"If I'm your wife, then you should give me allowance instead of asking me for money all the time."

I would help him out if he'd been transparent in his expenses. But no. The moment I asked to see his payslip, he got agitated and quickly stopped me from changing his password that he didn't even know. I would help him out if he'd handed over his salary. I would chip in wherever I deem necessary. But no. He wants me to give him the money that he requests. That's all. What it's used for, I don't need to know. So my answer is no. This is my hard-earned money. I choose to stop being foolish. I've given you all that I could and all that I had. I've to start thinking and saving up for Coco.

Do you know why I married you?

I needed to give Coco a father. I needed a husband. I needed someone to help me take care of Coco's future. But no. You promised to do just that, but I now know it's an empty promise, just as all your promises are.

Now I know and can really appreciate what they meant when they said,'The greatest mistake a woman can make is to marry the wrong man."

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

My Mothers' Day

Coco had been asking for an extra dollar or two from William for the whole of last week every morning. She refused to divulge anything when William asked her why she needed the extra monies for.

Then on Sunday, she surprised me with a bunch of flowers, ribbon ones, styrofoam ones, and a bag of pearl necklaces that could be disjointed into a child's necklace and an adult's bracelet or joined together to become an adult's necklace!

I was surprised, and asked her where she got the money from. She said she used the extra money that she got to buy one present every day of the week.

When I heard that, I felt so guilty. I had been beating and scolding her to force her to study for her exams. And she still wanted to give me a surprise on Mothers' Day. The day before, she actually said,"You'd think I don't have any present for you right? Actually I have a surprise for you."

She's so ... incredibly sweet. That's just how girls are.

The other day, William threatened to beat her with a cane because she was crying very hard for me, who had gone out for dinner with my sisters. I got William to buy her dinner back as it was very late already and I wanted her to sleep right after her dinner. She kept crying and asked if I was far away already, and if I was in the car over the phone. She wanted to go with me. William hit the sofa very hard with the cane to scare her. When I reached home, she was still up. Her tears were just dried, her eyes still red from the incessant crying. She said,"Just now Uncle William beat the sofa with the cane. I was so scared my teeth were chattering so hard they could win a tap-dancing contest."

Scumbags of the earth

I took child's MC to stay home today.

Coco and I are tired out by the incessant waiting at the polyclinic over the many things: waiting for 45 mins to see the doc although we got an appointment, waiting for 15 mins to see a nurse to check and train Coco on the use of symbicort, and teaching me how to clean the space chamber, waiting for 45 mins to an hour for the medicines, and in the end, the pharmacist requested for a change of symbicort to another medicine, so that's another round of training on the use of the new medicines again. We went there at close to 3pm and only left the polyclinic at 6 plus. We were the last to leave. By then, Coco and I were so hungry and tired. We hadn't had our lunch even. And I was filled with anxiety because they skipped my number till the last few just to 'confirm with the doc on the dosage of the medicine'. I forgot to charge the medical bills to my CSC card.

I wanted to stay home also because I don't feel like seeing those scumbags' faces. The moment I think of them, I just don't feel like going to work. They've stretched me - my energy, my patience, my strength - too thinly. I can no longer see them as mere children. How can these scumbags be 'children'? They commit crimes. They hurt others intentionally. They are destructive. How can these creatures be 'children'? Their ears are on their faces for decorative purposes only. They don't use them. Or maybe, they are incapable of using them. What have their parents done to them for the last 8 or 9 years? How can a 8-year-old not know what a 'leaf' is? How can 8-year-olds not know how to spell 'go' or 'fun'? What have the parents done for them? Just gave birth to them and give them food and clothes as and when they need them? What parents are these?!!! They should be jailed for not parenting their kids! Why should they be threatened to be jailed for not sending their kids to school and transfer their problems onto the teachers?

When I look at these kids, I'm reminded of those terminally ill students who refused to give up studying even when they were on their death bed, and being fully aware that Death was near. They were in untold physical pains and torments, yet they wanted to study. What kids are these that I have? They have healthy and strong body. They come to school every day. I'd wish they fall sick so that I'm relieved from their antics for a day or two but they never. And they make use of their strong body not to study, but to hurt others, to vandalise school properties. It's difficult to believe that they are not here to make teachers angry. Very difficult.

Parents take it personally when you inform them about what their children did. And they should. Because it's a direct reflection of their parenting and their own characters. The least that they should do though, is to scream back at teachers and accuse teachers of not doing their job or trying to get their children into trouble, which is really stupid. We have better things to do. If not for the fact that other parents complain, and want justice done for their children, we wouldn't want to trouble ourselves to call up the devils' parents and suddenly, have to assume a defensive position for nothing. We also need to put on record what the devils did, what happened after that and what the parents agreed on. All these are additional meaningless work. Only a moron would think that teachers want to find trouble for their children, like the mother I mentioned in my previous post.

For devilish kids like this, teachers just want to ignore them, and get on with the teaching, to benefit the non-devils, and leave the devils to die. They don't deserve to be saved anyway, with their parents behaving like big and tyrannical devils.

I used to tell others that kids are not the problem. Until this year. Until I meet this class. Unsalvageable. Irredeemable. Unrepentant. Unmouldable. For 19 weeks, they still don't understand that they need to go to the 'MIA' box to retreive their worksheets and books if they were absent the day before. For 19 weeks, they still can't understand what a 'blue' colour pencil is, or what 'Don't use pencil' means.

I give up.

I was doubting aloud to William if it really could be my language that they don't understand. He always blames my 'perfect' English (which I never claim is 'perfect', but maybe it's indeed more 'perfect' than his) if the instructions are not carried out properly, like the Mac Donald's instance when I failed to retrieve my keys after I asked,"Did you see a bunch of keys on that table over there?" William went in and came out with the keys instead. He said he asked,"Did you see a green keychain? With key?" He said the staff who attended to me probably thought that 'a bunch' was another item, and so in his fear, he quickly said,"No."

William said that he uses "Where got?" and always present tense with his kids eg. "You got see?" He asked me,"Do you think they will understand,'I saw you ...' 'He told you ...'?" When I did a mental comparison between the two languages, it does appear to me that perhaps the kids couldn't understand me. I always thought we should speak to the kids in proper English if we expect their English to become better. I always feel that languages are something that are caught rather than taught apart from the rules. But could it really be this reason that's obstructing me from communicating with the kids? Could this really be the reason that they don't understand me? Could this be the reason that they don't follow my instructions? Or maybe I should ask them to clarify with me every time they don't understand me.

Monday, 12 May 2008

What kind of a parent are you?

The bag-boy's father was reported to the police, on the account of child abuse.

The mother called up and lambasted me. She said it's all because I kept calling the father to complain about the child's antics.

She's a cunning one. Tried to trap me in several instances. Stupid bitch!

The irony is that, she questioned me: What kind of a teacher are you?

And I have yet to ask her the same question back: What kind of a parent are you?

If you're really a parent, you'd have taken the child into your hand and not let him go around causing destructions wherever he goes. If you're really a parent, you'd have taught him the right from the wrong, and not let him think that violence is the way to resolve all problems. If you're really a parent, you'd not have called me up to lambast me on what your son has done and claimed that he's a stupid victim when he is clearly the culprit, perpetrator, vandal and destroyer - all the time! If you're really a parent, you wouldn't have allowed him to be out of hand from kindergarten till P3. Every year, he gets into trouble with different teachers, and different teachers have to hear your meaningless roar every year. If you're really a parent, you'd have used your pea brain to think, and perhaps reflect if it's capable of, over why the whole world has a conspiracy theory against your precious angelic son, and why he's forever the victim when others' sons and daughters are the ones who are maliciously hurt.

She said that I made him a victim because I refuse to listen to him. Oh wow! Why don't you go find out for yourself, if you really, genuinely, never have, from the rest of the teachers why they too wouldn't believe his story? He's a perpetual liar, like you, the mother. Cunning and sly. Turning the black into white and changing versions of stories faster than a roti prata maker flips his dough.

What kind of a parent are you?

'You're simply unfit to be a parent.' Yet I can't tell her that when it's clearly the truth.

The bag boy was sent to the hospital this morning when the mother tongue teacher noticed that he was covered with bruises. He was brought to the counsellor, who in turn brought him to the principal. The principal insisted that the counsellor took him to the hospital for a checkup before calling the parent. There at the hospital, the doctor called the police and the mother.

Oh how the mother could act! The counsellor said that she was 'sooo good' when she talked to the doctor. She was shocked to know that the mother took up that hostile tone with me ('What did you do to him?!!' 'What have you done to him?!!!' ' What kind of a teacher are you?' ' Are you happy now? Are you satisfied now?'). William said he would have said,"Yes I am." But as teachers, could we have said that?

The couple themselves had a big fight last night over the beating up. It's the mother's second marriage and she threatened to divorce the husband if he should touch the boy again. I can only say that he would be better off without such a wife.

Lousy mother. I take comfort in knowing that I'm far far superior than many mothers, especially when I know there's such a mother around.

Saturday, 10 May 2008


I was just reading on a thread on mothers who are studying at the same time.

One of them is a teenage mother who's looking for some diploma courses to attend while working full-time. She was asking how it can be done since she needs to support her baby and herself simultaneously. And if she works part-time to study full-time, she'll generate less income, which would translate into a challenging financial situation for her and the baby.

I just can't help but feel thankful that I was paid while studying full-time back then in 2001 to 2003. It's true. It would not have been possible to study full-time and hold a part-time job to support a baby and yourself.

I wanted to suggest doing full-time studies at NIE but it occurred to me that she's only a teenager and probably only had 'O' levels, since she's looking for diploma courses.

Motherhood is not easy. Whatmore a teenage mother. I don't admire her so-called courage in facing an essentially conservative, quientessentially an asian society, with an 'unwed mother' identity. I really don't. In fact, having gone through the single motherhood phase before, I believe that these girls would even feel a tinge of pride that they were 'brave enough to face how the society would look at them' and that they've braved all odds to give birth to a baby who they could have otherwise aborted.

I'm skeptical. Because I had been there. The truth was, I didn't have the courage to abort the baby. I know that ultimately, the one facing the guilt of aborting the baby would be me, not the society, nor my parents, or anybody else for that matter. I was even more fearful to lie on that operating table to get that little life killed. I was afraid that for the rest of my life, I won't be able to face myself whenever I walk past a little baby.

See how I sidetrack. I was just talking about the challenges of teenage motherhood. Single motherhood itself is a huge challenge, especially financially. I really don't know how this girl is going to manage if she doesn't have any help from her parents. I needed a lot of help from my parents to look after Coco. I didn't know how to look after a baby. I didn't have enough money to spare to support the baby and myself. Without them, I couldn't have gone to work to earn that money, and get that qualification.

Baby at 15th week

The baby is 130 g and measures at 8.5 cm as of last night.

The gynae has sort of confirmed that it's a girl - as what I've expected. He said it's 'empty' between the legs. I'm glad that it's a girl. I want Coco to have company and support when I grow old. A friend who's an only child told me that being an only child leaves her feeling quite alone, especially emotionally and financially, when her parents are old and quite sickly.

William received a letter from one of the banks suing him for bankruptcy. He's still hoping that I would 'help' him.

The only way I can help him is to give away the baby, actually. I'm definitely not going to give him any more money. If marrying a man means to deplete yourself of financial resources, then I'd rather be by myself. I think any woman would agree with me on that.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Changing tactics on Coco

Yesterday, I was very harsh on Coco. I screamed and shouted at her continuously, using words like 'you're just like those idiots I have in school'. It's very harsh, but they managed to get her to do work. She didn't dare to slack at all and for once, she got everything correct for her spelling exam.

I also bought a cane, ready to use it on her anytime she's disobedient.

It's for her own good. I can't let her go on rotting away. To hell with all the crap about girls shouldn't be caned, must be lovingly soothed. To hell with all the crap about if you're too strict with a girl, she'll grow up to be withdrawn from you and rebellious. I'm more concerned about how she's doing now. If she doesn't even do well in her studies now, what're the chances that she can do well at the higher level? If she doesn't learn the ways to study now, what're the chances that she'll pick them up when she's older? By then it'll be too late. She'll be like me. Low self-esteem, leading to a lot of problems in life, earning a comparatively low wage in her thirties, and marrying a husband beridden with alot of debts waiting for her to clear, and slogging away at home with a big tummy. Doesn't that make up a sad picture? I never want her to follow in my footsteps. She must lead a different life. She must be successful and marry a responsible and capable man who truly loves and takes care of her.

Hope for the baby

Last night, I got this earache which woke me up from my sleep. Sometimes I do get earache, but usually it doesn't last for so long and it gets better after I adjust my sleeping position.

It scares me. I'm afraid that I might become deaf in time to come. I even imagined the doctor asking me to make a choice between having the baby or saving my ear.

But as usual, William says 'it's nothing'. You'd think I must have been crazy to marry this man, but he was totally the opposite before we were married. He would get uptight over every little thing that happened to me and Coco. He would source for all possible help to relieve us of any inconvenience, not to mention pain. But now, he just can't be bothered. Like the time when I had something hidden in my sole, and he insisted there was nothing too.

I just couldn't bring myself to talk to him after he insisted that there's nothing wrong with my ear because 'it happens to him too'.

It's one thing to be a big-picture person, like what they always say men are, and another to be uncaring about your wife.

I don't know how I can spend the rest of my life with him.

My tummy has become visibly smaller by the day. I'm not sure what to make of this. Up till now, I haven't talked to the baby yet. I don't know what to tell the baby. There's nothing good about the father that I can talk to her about. There's no good life that she can look forward to when she's born. And she will not have her parents around for her as a baby because they need to slog for a living. Or maybe she knows that she needs to remain small so that her mother can continue to work hard at home and in school.

William has been telling me that his grandfather will loan him $50k to clear all his debts. But I find it unbelievable that he has not gone to get the cheque from the grandfather yet, if it is true. Which man in his right mind would continue to sit on his debts with a 24% interest per annum if there's help? He has grossly underestimated my intelligence.

With a husband who cannot manage finances, and cannot be trusted with money, what hope is there for a marriage?

I hope to look for a good home for the baby.

Friday, 2 May 2008

My cravings, leading to pondering about my life

Recently, I've started to crave for thick soup, like the seafood soup with dried scallops as its base near my mother's place, the chicken soup William's mother cooks, the fish soup my father brews. I find myself leaning towards salty tastebud.

This morning, I called my mother to ask her to cook chicken curry for me. I adore her chicken curry, with thick coconut milk, and not too spicy. She obliged immediately and went out to get some chicken wings, because I specifically asked for chicken wings.

Sometimes I wonder how I can survive if my parents are gone.

They are not even saved yet. I don't know how I'm going to get them saved, with the kind of testimony I bear. It's an embarrassment to Christ.

The other day, I saw my mother from afar, with Baby Eden. My elder sister said,'There she is!' I had my doubts: Can that be Mother? This woman is full of grey and white hair. My mother has black hair. Upon walking closer, I realised it was indeed her. How long ago was it that I last took a good look at her? She has aged.

And my father. His lines have deepened and multiplied. And his hair too. More and more white strands have sprung up. He's an old man now.

And I haven't let them enjoy their golden years.

I've wasted so much of my life not knowing what to do, what I can do, and who to love and marry. For 6 years of my life, I didn't get a proper job. I often wonder how different things would be if I were recruited into NIE right after my A levels. It was because I couldn't pass the proficiency test which required you to speak into the radio that I couldn't get in. For 6 years of my life, I drifted in and out of jobs: clinic assistant, receptionist, secretary, admin assistant, tuition teacher ... without knowing where I can go. I wasn't interested in anything. Didn't know where else I can go. I went to do a degree in Banking and Finance at SIM after a few years, only to realise I'm indeed a flop at Maths, and quitted after one year. I went to do a secretary diploma, just to realise I was pregnant. While resting at home during the pregnancy, my mother was sweeping the floor and saw a teaching brochure dropped out and asked if it was mine. I said no because it's been years since I last applied for teaching and the brochure looked different from the ones I used to receive. I looked at it anyway and realised that the criteria for teaching has changed. It was bad news for O level English - it got upgraded from a B4 to B3, but good news for A level GP - it got downgraded from A2 to B3.

Subsequently, I applied for teaching again after Coco's birth. And got in effortlessly because of my GP. I didn't have to endure yet another painful experience of speaking into a radio. Since then, it's a turning point of my life.

William was surprised to know that GP was once prized at A2 for the entrance criteria. He would have to go for the proficiency test too if he had applied for teaching earlier.

You just can't help but wonder,"If only the entrance criteria wasn't that strict ..." I would have had an additional 6 years of teaching experience. Those years of working experiences 'outside' were not exactly pleasant or memorable. And the salaries were very meagre. My 'fate' would have been extremely different. I would be richer, had my degree earlier, although I can't say for sure if I would still get such a good degree.

I really appreciate those interviewers who accepted me, even though I'd daringly rejected the teaching contracts offered thrice - I didn't want to teach for one full year untrained, and not knowing for sure if I would be accepted into NIE after that. I didn't have the confidence of passing the proficiency test and you need to pass the proficiency test before you can be accepted into NIE even when you've done a year of contract teaching. On hindsight, I had even 'boldly' requested for half a year of contract teaching instead of the one year offered, which they obliged! I didn't know that it's a privilege that I could request for it and get it granted until an ex-colleague was sharing how difficult it was to get in then.

Coco's changed

I'm on MC today. Got a cold and didn't manage to wake up in time for school.

I realise Coco always has very powerful cold virus. I get it from her whenever she has it, and most of the time, she's not really affected by it while I feel like I'm dying.

I was forumming on how I feel so disappointed with Coco.

She had not submitted her completed worksheets to her respective teachers, for reasons I know not.
She had not done her Chinese and Maths worksheets and she had asked one of her busmates to complete them for her and tried to pass them off as her work. I could tell it straight away because her friends' handwriting was so much better than hers. But she still tried to lie to me, saying that she gave her friend the answers while her friend filled them in for her!
She had her English SA1 practice papers returned and she actually left two full pages of the paper not done! I was upset with her because this shows that she didn't bother to check her work.
And even if she did, she would still be 10.5 marks away from the full marks even if she got everything correct, which is not quite possible.

I feel that she's got everything too smooth for her. Too granted. That she feels that she doesn't need to put in any effort to get anything. She loathes industrious stuff. Anything that requires abit of industry, like writing '1, 2, 3'.

I've decided to pull her out of ballet. I feel that she's not benefitting from the class and she's not learning - anything.

Her character is changing. Rapidly. From the bad, to the worse. I fear the worst, that it may be irreversible.

I told her I'll place her at my parents' place after the June holidays. I'd told her she'd have to go to my parents' place if she lies again. She looked sad, but I'm very tired. I don't have the time or energy to keep an eye on her for anything - her studies, her diet, her habits, her character formation.

I can only blame myself for marrying the wrong man. I'd thought that by marrying, I would have some form of support so that Coco would be looked after by one more person. How wrong can I get! She's turned wayward because I'm kept busy by things all over.