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divorce - Singapore Mental Health Film Festival

You are worthy of love

I had a rocky childhood: My father was abusive and unfaithful, and my parents divorced when I was 9. My mother never fully recovered from that trauma. I grew up believing I was a burden to my mother, and had my first major depressive episode in my teens. 10 years and countless episodes of depression later, I finally ended up at IMH after coming close to completing suicide. Now, after over a year of therapy and trying three different antidepressants, I can finally say I’m stable. There are still awful days when I feel utterly hopeless and the suicidal thoughts return, but I am now better equipped to handle them. My only regret was not seeking help earlier because I was convinced that how I was feeling was my fault, not something to be remedied. To anyone else struggling as I did: you are worthy of help, you are worthy of love! Don’t hesitate to seek help!

You can regain your life

I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while I was undergoing divorce with my narcissistic, addicted husband, suffering from depression. 

 

We were married for 2 years, but it was the most hellish period of my life. He was the master of manipulation, knowing what buttons to press, making me seem like the crazy one. His addiction mattered more to him than his own wife. The constant lying, cheating, betrayal, gaslighting, projection took a toll on my mental health. I always felt inadequate as he often made me like it was my fault for everything. Despite that, I didn’t realise what I was doing to myself. I was compromising my sanity at the expense of this “love” with this abusive man. I was in a continual state of cognitive dissonance, with the sweet and mean treatments from him. Little did I know that I was all part of his sick, twisted, selfish game. Little did I know that the flip-flopping between sweet and mean treatments are actually the hallmark of abuse. 

 

I went through the whole abusive life cycle – from the love bombing (making me feel like the most loved woman in the world), to the devaluation, and the eventual discard. It was so so painful. So surreal that the man that I once called my husband is now this cold-hearted monster, treating me like I mean nothing to him.

 

He turned into this monster, one I could barely recognise anymore. What I’ve learnt is that even though he is going through a mental issue, everyone has a choice for change. No amount of my love could help him if he didn’t want the change to happen. 

 

That was when I realised I had to fight for myself, and take accountability for my well being. That was when I stopped making excuses for his bad behavior. 

 

The divorce is a painful but necessary path. Man’s rejection is God’s protection.

 

I am still dealing with this trauma bond, trying to break free from codependency issues, and manage my anxiety attacks. It is going to be a long process and a lot of hard work, but I am committed to loving and taking care of myself. 

 

PTSD is something not to be taken lightly. With proper education and professional guidance from therapists, you can regain your power and control back.

 

You can regain your life, and create that dream life of yours.

It’s an ongoing battle

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.