The moment I have dreaded since I started writing here occurred last night at a family event: my mum finally came to know about this blog through one of my relatives.
Oh snap. When she came by my side of the table to ask (confront) me about it… my heart was racing mad. My fiancé, Victor, was beside me and I kept tugging on him for support. I knew this moment would come, but I was hoping that it would come later rather than this soon.
She told me that my aunty (dad’s sister), whom she was seated with, informed her about how I’ve been writing about my dad’s bad doings on the blog and how it’s quite disrespectful to do so.
“How is it disrespectful? I was merely telling the truth about what happened, and I did write a post about how I am not mad at my dad and that I’ve forgiven him. I also wrote about how I do not hate him!” I retaliated. I can be rather stubborn at times.
Poor Victor was standing in between us and he was just awkwardly silent. As we were in a public environment, my mum and I were conscious not to cause a scene. To be honest, I was hoping that my fiancé could have at least stood up for me with a few words of assurance to my mum. He has always been so supportive towards the idea and purpose of this blog, so I could have used some back up.
“We will talk about this later tonight!” She told me sternly.
Needless to say, I couldn’t really enjoy the rest of the dinner (it was a grand birthday celebration for my cousin – paternal side). My dad was not at the dinner, in case you might be wondering. Otherwise that will cause another set of drama…
Fast forward the night, when we were on the way home, she told me to send the blog link to her so that she could read the posts. I was dying inside.
When I got home, I was hashing it out to Victor, of course.
“Why did I start the blog, darling? Oh man, I can’t deal with this. She’ll ask me to stop writing and terminate it. Maybe I should have just been anonymous. Or maybe, better yet, I should have just remained silent about all of this. Just live life with the baggage. Why share it with people. Why do I do this to myself…”
“Darling,” He started. “Just thrust your worries to God okay? You started this not for yourself – you had a vision and it’s for a great cause! If God intended you to do this, let Him deal with your mum and the rest who are negative towards this.”
He made sense, as always. That’s why I am marrying this man 😁 Also because he’s a great man of faith to remind me about God’s faithfulness in times like this.
So we prayed and I went to bed. This morning, I woke up to find that my mum had read all the posts before I was up, and so we had a talk. I sensed that she was not as aggressive towards the topic as she was the night before. I had a ray of hope. Maybe my posts touched her?
“Can you post that you will be deleting the other posts you’ve written?”
Heh. My hope was dashed.
So I started slowly, but with sure determination: “No, Mi, I will not delete the blog.”
She sighed, but did not oppose.
“It’s not something to be ashamed of, Mi. We should be proud of how what happened to us has made us stronger. I strongly believe this is my ministry – to be the light in a world of darkness. To be hope to those from a broken family and those with dad issues. YOU can be a role model for wives out there who may be under domestic abuse too! We can be a source of encouragement, Mi.”
“It’s also a journey of healing for me. It’s a channel for me to talk about my past and present happenings, but not in a finger pointing manner but in a way that will enable me to learn and grow from it – and to also help others. I’ve received many encouraging messages from people who’ve read the blog so far.” I continued.
Then my mother rebutted with, “But your aunty and everyone else were saying that it’s disrespectful to your father’s late-mother, cause she gave birth to him and how exposing his bad actions will negatively impact her reputation too. They were saying how your posts implied that you hated your dad.”
“Okay, first, I didn’t write that I hate papa. You read my post about him right, the one titled ‘Daddy’s little girl’? I said what I truly feel about him! How he has done bad things before but that he has always tried to be a good father to me! I even wrote that I’ve forgiven him and still respect him as my dad otherwise I wouldn’t be seeing him for dinner every week.”
My mum was quiet, and then she relented a little. “Yes, but they don’t know or didn’t read that right. Maybe you can post them anonymously? Why do you have to sign off as yourself?”
“I have to do that so that I can be credible. It won’t be as authentic if I posted them anonymously. There will come a day that we may get invited to speak about our experiences and learnings at public events; you can’t be anonymous then right. And I am mindful that I don’t write your names within.”
Finally, I could see that she was coming round to the same understanding. “Okay, then post one next and write about how you are not mad at your dad and that you don’t hate or aim to defame him. Explain your purpose again.”
Yes. That I can do. Hence, this post!
Thank you, Lord! You continue to amaze me.
The journey ahead won’t be easy, but I am hereby declaring that I will not be shaken and that I will pursue on towards the greater goal. I don’t need to impact the world – if my blog could encourage just 1 person, that would be good enough for me.
It really is an Asian stigma that one has to remain quiet about a domestic abuse as it will be seen as disrespectful to the family. It’s not nice to “air your dirty laundry”, so to put. But I am making a stand here and now to say that it’s not shameful and it’s not disrespectful if done right. As long as you’re not exaggerating the facts to your own benefit and you’re not doing it for people to pity you – basically, as long as the intentions behind are pure and if by doing so helps you recover, then by all means, please do it. Because you never know, by coming out from the dark with your own testimony, you could be a source of encouragement to someone else. The only way to break a chain of violence is to bring awareness to the issue. Awareness breeds knowledge. Knowledge results in action. And timely action (for example, running away or opening up to seek help) could perhaps save someone.
So to my extended family – I’m sorry if I’ve offended you by doing this, but I hope that you’ll one day come to comprehend how writing out my past is helping me heal. And you did not experience what I did… so with all due respect, I think you would have done the same if it happened to you. My intentions are not to disrespect or shame the family, please understand that. I hope that one day you’ll be able to see how writing down my experiences in a public blog is helping me to become a better person, emotionally and mentally. The process is exhaustive, but it also greatly enables me to evaluate what the right (Godly) responses should be, therefore making me more gracious as a person. (You don’t want to see the first version of every post 😂).
Okay! That’s it, folks. Thanks for reading, as always. I welcome your comments below on whether you agree that what I’m doing is disrespectful or not, etc. Remember, we are always learning. Nobody’s perfect after all, but I know God loves us the same despite our imperfections. And in that assurance, I can rest my soul.
“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” – Psalms 16:8