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Friday January 25th 2019

Reader’s sad childhood story

Denial Tan
Submitted on 2010/06/22 at 5:50am (comment)


Sad to hear about your story and you are not alone in this kind of situation.

I was born in the 60’s and grew up in a dysfunctional family. I have 2 elder sisters and a younger brother. My father is a good for nothing drinker, gambler, womanizer who depends on his family to feed his vices.

My mother is a selfish, cruel and stupid women who borrowed from loan sharks to feed his vices. Since young, we were haunted regularly by loan sharks and looked down by relatives, friends and neighbors.

While my mum worked, we had to fend for ourselves at home most of the time in hunger. There was once when my father came home and saw that there was no food in the house and we the children were starving. He gave my eldest sister some money to buy a packet of chicken rice as his dinner only for himself. While he eats, we were watching in a corner with empty stomachs. I was about 4-5 yrs old that time. By the time I was 7 yrs old, I can cook, wash the clothes and do any house chores. This is not something that children nowadays would even imagine.

Very often, my father would come home late at night asking money from my mother and when money is very short she would vent her frustration on us and start to curse and beat us violently, I myself had been beaten till 14 yrs old until I fought back. To my mum, we are not her children but her slave for her to release her frustration at the slightest displeasure and to ‘repay’ her by working our guts out.

Worst of all is our callous neighbors or my mum’s psychopathic friends, who like to complain to my mum for no reason and my mum will pull us out to be severely ‘punished’ to show these psychopaths that she knows how to discipline her children. She cannot lose ‘face’ and so she will hit harder in front of them. She would try to cane us on the back of the thigh and calves so the canning marks which sometime bleed is highly visible in shorts or skirts. She want us to be embarrassed when we goes to school. This started as far as I can remember and maybe as young as 4-5 years old. One of my sister was even made to kneel on cockerel shells as punishment when she ‘defy’ my mum. She was only about 5-6 years old that time.

My eldest sister quitted school during secondary 3 and my 2nd elder sister after PSLE to work to make money for the family as my mother’s loan shark debts were getting heavier  by the years due to interest and my father never-ending gambling habits. Anyway, my parents had always considered education wasteful and useless.

My mum had even considered  forcing my sisters to work as dance hostess during their teens (which is as good as prostitutes) with the cruel suggestions from her shameless friends. Why she finally did not do so was maybe God’s pity on my sisters, but that was also the beginning of years of slave driving for unlimited supply of money to satisfy her spendthrift habits. She had keep mentioning about her ‘kindness’ for not pushing my sisters into prostitution and so my sisters are forever ‘indebted’ to repay her. My sisters had to hold 2 to 3 jobs to finance her and my father’s debts.

For me, slavery starts at about 16. I was fortunate to be able to continue school but had to work part-time to supplement the family. The worst was when I was about 17 years old. I had to wake up morning 6am to get ready to go to school. After school at about 3pm, I had to rush to Shangri-la hotel to work part-time till 11.30pm. After packing up I will take company transport and reaches home 2am. I would then continue my homework and wash my uniform. I still have to withstand vulgar verbal abuse from my mum during that time. I normally slept  at about 3 to 3.30am and start the next day cycle again. Weekends are working full day in the hotel and almost never had the chance to go anywhere. I had to pay for all my food and other expenses, school tuition fees and contribute all balance money(about $150-200/per month in the 80’s) to my mum.

My younger brother is the most fortunate who had almost zero  bad experiences of what we had gone through and he is the only child that my mum truly loves.

Throughout the years, my parents had squandered hundreds of thousands of our hard earned money. My father had his gambling habits while my mother had her ‘free loan giving’ habits to her unscrupulous, shameless, butt sucking friends. Easily 2 – 3 hundreds of thousand had been freely given to these scums.

My self esteem was low when young and due to the physical abuse (till 14 years old) and later more severe psychological and verbal abuse from my mum, I had a mental break down when I was 27 years old. I left home and stayed away for more than 10 years.

I had only started to recover when I was about late thirties and my confidence started to return about early forties. I even start to wonder now if I had any confidence in the early part of my life.

I had considered myself lucky that I did not become a delinquent and even had the chance to slowly recover from my mental illness.

Throughout my childhood and some part of my adulthood, I have live constantly in fear, shame and low esteem and everyday to me is like survival in the jungle all alone.

After all these years I have never understand what it feels like to be happy and in love. These are strange words to me and even now, I had never been sleeping soundly. During my national service days, when my C.O. said that it is our duty to fight for our country and family, I honestly felt I had nothing worth fighting for. There is no place or anybody for me to return to if I goes to war.

This is the first time I had written the account of my life and I must admit that I would not have done so if I am not behind a pseudo. I am even doubtful if anybody believe this story, but I am sure that such is a common story in many parts of Asia.

I must thank Hussein who had inspired me to finally mustered enough courage to write this.



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One Response to “Reader’s sad childhood story”

  1. manson says:

    It sad to hear your sad childhood story. Every family have some kind bad story to tell. Your maybe the real bad one.

    It best now to let bygone be bygone and more forward to live life the present and tomorrow. A better and a happy one. We live once only and why not a happy one.

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