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When I was 11, my parents started to quarrel a lot, they were heading towards a divorce. My father blamed the church for taking my mum away from the family. He accused her of seeing someone in the church, justifying her time away.

My mum ended up having depression because of the divorce and got admitted into the hospital. I was 12 and I had to choose who to follow, which also determined who my younger sister followed. I chose my mum. My father hated me for my decision and never spoke to me again after that.

Shortly after, my mum started having a relationship which was forbidden under the eyes of our religion. It was always so secretive that we had to lie for her too. My mum and her partner have been together for 18 years now and she cannot live without him, literally.

All her lies and mind games have impacted my life so much but she refuses to see it. We are not allowed to be in the house when he comes around, even as teenagers. We have to call him dad and show him affection.

She’s once told me she’d rather disown me than to lose him. I go through anxiety attacks regularly and am bordering on depression.

I find strength from my 2 daughters and my husband. I chose to leave Singapore years ago because I couldn’t live my life with her lies in it. I knew that if I didn’t leave, my condition would get worse.

Now I struggle to truly believe I am loved, even by my husband. It’s an ongoing battle for me.

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