Chapter 14

Two weeks before I gave birth , he was behaving very strangely, playing the same song " Missing you …….." all the time, and he wasn’t himself at all, I was sure his mind was occupied by another woman.

One night, our 3 year old son had fever (Mumps), I was very worried and anxious , I tried  looking for my husband everywhere, but I couldn’t find him , I didn’t know where he was?
He didn’t come home, and then at midnight he rang and said he’s not coming back that night, I told him that our son had a fever, but that didn’t concern him enough to change his mind , he only replied " I am not coming
home tonight " . He didn’t care for what I had just told him …..in the end I confronted him with very cold words " Are you sleeping with another woman?
He turned up the next day at noon time, no explanation or guilt he just walked into the bedroom and glanced around, I had already taken my son to another doctor and the fever was subsiding. But, then after a few hours my husband disappeared again!
I was heavily pregnant with my second child and my son was ill, I felt physically sick and mentally exhausted and my husbands treatment of us was leading me to feelings of extreme despair..
I went to my husbands consulting room and picked up a bottle of pills and I locked the door, I wanted to end this pain and torment. Within a few seconds, my 3 year old son began crying loudly and kept banging on the door and shouting “Mummy……mummy….open the door". I think he could sense that something serious was wrong!
His cries suddenly woke me up from my intentions, I could not leave my little boy. Maybe I could take my unborn baby with me but, I could not leave my son alone without a mother, who would look after him?
A few days later I woke up at midnight to find my husband sitting on the floor, he looked terribly miserable, I walked to him and asked again, " are you having an affair" there was no response then after a few minutes he nodded, yes.
In that second,all the anxiety, frustration and anger that I had been carrying for many months broke out, I lost control  and I slapped him as hard as I could. That was the first time I had ever touched him in anger and I had found the courage to vent my feelings on him for the first time. He did not fight back or respond, he just sat there, no reaction or emotion.

Chapter 14

Two weeks before I gave birth, he behaved very strange, playing the song called " Missing you…" all the time , and he wasn’t himself, his mind was full of another woman.

One late night , Our 3 years old son Chocolate had fever (Mumps), I was worried and very anxious , trying to look for my husband everywhere….But I could not find him , I didn’t know where he was?  He didn’t come home that night, and about midnight , he rang and said he’s not coming home.  I told him our son having fever but it didn’t concern him at all, he only said " I am not going home tonight " , showed no care about our son I was very angry and confronted him " Are you sleeping with another woman? " he just hung up the phone.
He turned up the next day about noon time , no explanation or guilty feeling just walked into our bed room having a glance, right before he came back I’ve took Chocolate to see a doctor and his fever was retired.  and only for few hours my husband disappeared again.
I was due to having second baby at the time, and our son was sick, I felt exhausted mentally and physically.  I can no longer loaded, I was disheartened …despair…
I walked into my husband’s consulting room where he sees his patients….I grab a handful of pills from his shelf …I locked the door ….I wanted to finish all my pain and torment.  In that second , my 3 years old little son was crying loudly and kept banging the door an d shouting " Mummy! Mummy!" , " open the door Mummy! open the door…." , maybe he can senses something wrong …..
Suddenly, I woke up and told myself " I can not leave my little boy behind " , I might can take my unborn baby with me but I can not leave my son alone , who is going to look after him?I  I was heart broken but my son woke up my soul and reminding me of my duty, no matter how hard , I need to live for him .
Few days later , I woke up in one midnight and saw my husband sitting on living room floor, he looked terrible and miserable, I walked to him and asked " Are you having affair? " , no response, after few minutes, he nodded his head…
All the anxiety and frustration that I have carrying for months was just out of control, it all pouring out in a second, without thinking I slapped him heavily.  And that was the first time and last time I ever touched him, I didn’t know where I got the courage to do that ? without any
consideration, he didn’t fight back just sitting there like a blockhead.

A " single" life

I often heard people saying their marriages are " Dull " ,  but for me that is a blessing and happiness.

However my first marriage was like a yacht sailing across the ocean in the dark through unpredictable waters…….Can’t resist the threat of anger from the nature. When the wind is strong and the waves are mad , there is no escape.
After surviving raw fear ….you get a few moment of peace and tranquillity  to ready yourself for the next challenge.
Day after day, year after year,  my energy is not limitless, it will eventually run out.
Mother gave me the concept ‘ Be faithful to your husband unto death" , since I was young , everything in my life was credited to " Fate" , but fate became a curse following me all my life and can’t get rid off it.
I complained to mother  sometimes and the answer was always the same " It’s your fate, deal with it , it will get better when you are older “
There was no divorce in my Wu clan, if I became the instigator , I would bring shame on my parents, and my pride was also telling me that I cannot lose face. My husband knew that was my weak point. I allowed him
unbridled control and he  he kept challenging me. He also knew that for the kids sake and keeping the peace at home I have no choice other than to put up with it. That included his none stopped affairs and for me having to tidy up the mess in between him and all his discarded lovers.
When I was pregnant with my second baby, he applied for another job and the new job in the hospital  gave him more freedom, this allowed him even more of a " single" life.

EP : 11 Enlightening

My husband’s English was expellant, he told me he had memorised the whole English Dictionary whilst in High school and that he never bothered to listen to the English teacher because it wao toо easy and he spent the class time reading English novels undet the deck. I admired his ability to opeak fluent English and embarrassed for myself because beside him my English skills were so poor. In the early days of our marriage I could not bring myself to speak English in front of him. However in attending the Doctors Conferences as his wife I sometimes had to try and speak to the visiting Speakers in English. Many of the lecturers were from overseas, USA, England etc. and their first language was English, very daunting as the Doctors wife to have to utter sentences In my poor English.

One year, the famous American family therapist Virginia Satir came to Taiwan as our visiting speaker. She was a lovely and very charismatic and lady. She charmed everyone with her style and was very approachable and eager to engage in conversation.

After the conference some Doctors and their wives arranged a trip to Kenting Beach Resort and Miss Satir went with us. During this vacation we arranged to have ‘couple therapy’  with Miss Satir .For me it was a wonderful and enlightening experience, I felt I learned so much from those sessions. But, one thing that struck me when the Senior Doctor introduced Miss Satir, his English was stumbling and not fluent at all. I was so surprised,I always held these people in highesteem and assumed their English would be perfect and that my skills would always be inferior. From that moment my confidence was raised, I was not so dumb after all……I had the desire to speak English in public again.

I realised that sometimes the fears generated in our minds are not always born out in reality. Since then I’ve always told my children, do not be afraid to make mistakes because those can often be the best lessons in life, ones we should never forget!

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EP 10 : Self-esteem

            The Chief Doctor was from Taiwan Medical University, the best in Taiwan. He regularly invited Professors from Taiwan Medical to give talks and lectures and also arranged many Medical Conferences. After all the formalities of these events there was always a meal and the Doctors wives also attended, many of whom were also graduates from Taiwan Medical. In this august company my humble back ground made me feel a little uncomfortable. During the general conversations they often referred to themselves as graduates of Tai Dai (Taiwan Medical) we this and we that I was just a college graduate and I felt inferior and of low status.

            Their confidence was very obvious in the way they spoke with loud confidence and also even their dress would reflect their status and wealth, all this made me feel very inferior. I tried to keep in the shadows I was definitely no shining star.

            One of the Conferences was held in my home city of Kaohsiung and I was asked my husband to accompany him. As usual after the speeches there was a meal and I was grouped with all the Tai Dai wives. The Visiting Professor was Dr Miller from UCLA and during the informal introductions  I was introduced to Dr Miller, he said “Hello, how are you". I was so nervous, I was speechless and could only smile back at him, how could could dare to speak in my limited English in front of this Professor and the Tai Dai wives. I was English Speech Champion in my school, but in this elevated company I did not dare attempt to reply in English.

            That evening there was another informal meal and I decided that it would be better not to go and have to face this embarrassment twice in one day! So, my husband went alone.

            Fifteen minutes later, my husband returned home, “Get dressed Dr Miller has insisted you attend, he wants to see you again" I was flattered, he was kind enough to remember me, this little simple potato, my self-esteem was raised and I attended with a renewed confidence and from that time I attended all the Doctors lectures and conferences.

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EP 9 : Mother in Law

           When we first married he insisted he did not want any children, he was not interested in Kids. He said in the hospital he had walked past the baby room many times and not once had he ever even glanced in! In contrast I loved babies. I used to help in the church Sunday school and in my spare time I was a volunteer in the hospital pediatric department.

           I kept asking and pleading with him to have a baby. In the end he said yes, but only one. I was so thrilled and filled with excitement, the next year was pregnant. But, my joy was tempered with horrible morning sickness and it was 24/7 sickness. He was not a stay home person, he needed to be out and active all the time. Despite the problem with vomiting all the time followed him and even when he went to the pool swimming, I remember sitting by the pool feeling so sick and very uncomfortable.

           Around that time, one of the large hospitals in Kaohsiung were setting up a new department and the Doctor that was arranging this was an acquaintance asked him to join the team. The new job required all his time day and night his day started at the 0700 meeting and every other day he was on 24hours and had to sleep at the hospital, in addition to this he was doing some teaching at the medical school. All this meant spent a lot of time alone.

           I was new to Kaohsiung and I did not know the area or have any friends, I remember feeling very lonely and insecure, especially when every other night | slept alone. When we had storms or typhoons I remember being terrified by the sound of the thunder the howl of the wind and the shadows of the trees flashing across the windows. When I got scared rushed to my bed and hid under the heavy quilt. Suffocation under the blankets or fear of the storm, not sure which was worse.

           But I was to experience other horrible days in my new life in my new city with my mother-in-law.

This was my daytime nightmare, because no matter how hard I tried nothing I did was satisfactory or good enough for her, she was impossible to please. She was a very traditional Taiwanese country woman, in her eyes all men came first, they were a superior being and woman were there to serve them.

           On the nights when my husband was staying at the hospital and not dining with us I would cook a nice meal for my mother-in-law and myself. But I received no thanks, only the question “why cook a lavish meal when the man is not at home". Occasionally I bought cloths, cheap casual wear from the local market, but she would nag, saying “No need to buy new cloths when you already have cloths to wear" | felt so frustrated and tired and I became more unhappy.

           In the early days of our relationship, it was his mother that encouraged him to marry me, her reason, because he wasn’t young anymore and should get married as soon as possible. However after we married, she then became very insecure and began to cause me lots of trouble, I think she resented her son now having another woman in his life. One day he and I were quarrelling and rather than trying to calm the situation she said “if this was your brother he would have slapped her already",I thought, my goodness what kind of mother is this?

| later found out his parents had never slept together since he was 5 years old and they had a very troubled marriage with continuous arguments. I thought this must be the behaviour he had learned especially as when we argued he often sleet in another room. My impression of marital behaviour

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EP 8 : Old cow ating young grass

EP 8 : Old cow ating young grass

            I told my Mom he had proposed to me and she asked “What is he like".

“You know that he’s a Doctor he is very tall and very handsome and if we marry we would produce beautiful babies, but my only concern is, he has a short temper". Mom said, that the bad temper would change after he married and especially with kids. I waited for 23 years and he didn’t change, he got worse,thanks mom!

          After one month of marriage, one day his temper rose again, he was furious and enraged by a tiny issue and he smashed up everything in the kitchen. I was shocked and scared and quivering with fear, I called my dad to ask for help. My father came as quickly as he could and took me home. I’m not sure but I think because he had “lost face” a few months later he said we were moving to Kaohsiung away from my parents. When my Dad took me home he was so worried for my security and safety, we had a family meeting and I decided I wanted a divorce, I could not five with this man and his temper. My parent’s priority was my safety and they agreed. Maybe that incident and my parent’s response caused him to lose face, but from that day on there was always a barrier between them.

          My Godmother Miss Roberts had played matchmaker at our wedding and she told him I wanted a divorce,his reply was “Too soon to get divorced, I don’t agree", he refused the divorce, Miss Roberts returned with the message and she tried to mediate saying as a Christian I should love him with Christian’s Love him and find it in my heart to forgive him, try harder to understand him. All her efforts were to try and convince me not to divorce, be tolerant and patient. My heart softened, I forgave him.

          After 3 months he got the new job in Kaohsiung, his home town. I quit my job and followed him, leaving my family in Chang-hua. I wanted to work again, but he asked me to stay as a house wife and telling me " It’s dangerous outside if you are not careful, someone might abduct you".

          Although he was handsome he had grey hair since his late twenties and that just emphasized an age gap between us. Others often thought he was an elderly relative and that made him feel insecure and in turn, that put pressure on me though his anxiety. Some of the Doctors and his medical colleagues used to tease him, an old cow eating young grass’. That definitely did not help me, I was the one that suffered the results of these jokes.

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EP 7 : Life was not all bad

My life was not all bad.

We have 3 wonderful kids, they all love singing, I remember the youngest Coco standing behind the floor fan singing in her imaginary microphone. We gave everyone the impression that we were a happy well balance family and my husband and I were a close and loving couple. What else would you think if you saw a couple singing love songs together?

A geisha hides all her feelings and expressions behind a layer of heavy face powder, but who can tell what’s in her mind, her thoughts are kept a secret. To reveal, the makeup has to be removed. In the passing seasons, the sadness was blown away on the wind, but the dried tears do not lie.

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EP6 : Propose

He was 8 years older than me, he had two brothers more than 10 years older than him and he mentioned many times that he would love to have a younger sister. I think in his eyes I fulfilled the roll of younger sister.

 

On the Sunday as usual I went to Church and I felt compelled to confess my sins (My Kiss), I was afraid God might punish me! After the service I returned home and my Mom told me a Dr Chen had called me and asked that I ring him back. I phoned him and he asked “was I OK?" and he invited me out again that night. We went to Taichung for a movie and for a walk around the second market looking for food. Again I was shocked this time in the cinema, when we sat down he immediately put his feet up on the back of the seat in front, goodness I thought what bad manners from a Doctor !

 

Over the following dates we spent most of this time playing guitar and singing and then one night he said

“I’ll become a senior Doctor next month and its Doctors Day’, I’d like to buy you a ring". I was so naive, “Why do you want to buy me a ring"? And on Doctors Day! He replied, “Because I was thinking you are so good at looking after others I wondered how it would be if we were married" I was lost for words, I was shocked and confused, I was 23 years of marriageable age, but I knew nothing of “LOVE, I was speechless. I gasped and blurted out “But…..my family is not rich, I can’t cook….I am wearing contact lenses……I scrabbled to find excuses, Doctors only marry into rich familes. He replied sternly, “Do you think I would marry for the love of money, who you think I am?"

 

I was 23 and knew nothing about sex……I had absolutely no idea all that had passed me by, it was never part of my education. One of my nurse friends, Lin worked in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and she was married, so she must know about these things and maybe she can teach me. I was reluctant to ask, but I did, however the answer was terrifying, she said “when you have sex it’s like someone slowly, slowly,cutting you with a knife!!!! My God,…………. I was really scared now.

 

I shared my anxiety with my married best friend May, she told me."have plenty of tissues ready" oh dear, that was no reassurance, it just confirmed my fears.

The start of our relationship was all about music and singing, and my impression of what was to come was

based on that experience alone.

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EP5 : FATE

            The easy excuse is to blame everything that happens on FATE and what we did in a previous life we have to pay for in this one! Giving in and accepting our fate and that there is no escape…We deserve this life……

That year, he left the hospital and never contacted me, it felt like God had played a trick on me. A year later was diagnosed with Colerectal Polyps and to avoid having invasive surgery by opening my stomach, I decided to go to Taipei for the latest laser treatment

The night before my operation I was at the hospital and by chance I bumped into him in the canteen, He was shocked and so happy to see me, he said, “When I think of Changhua Hospital, I always think of you". He explained he was doing some special training, one year at Tai Da Hospital and that’s the only reason he left Changhua.

His pleasure to see me and his tender words put me under his spell, he genuinely cared and had never forgotten me. He added that there was a Hospital Christian party and music concert the next day, he was going to play and would I like to go? I was so flattered and it was music bringing us together again, I said of course I’d love to go". During the previous year I had missed out playing and singing. The next night at the party when he was on stage, one song stirred my sole and softened my heart,a love song……’Unchained Melody’, with this song he stirred the hearts of the listeners and he was irrestible……what I saw and heard was spell binding….I was hooked again.

           After my treatment in Taipei,I went back to Changhua and one week later I received a letter from him. He said he had reapplied for a post at Changhua and would I help him to find a house. My friendship with him had led to many rumours that we were dating, but that’s not how I saw it, we were just two friends that had a joint love of listening and playing music, nothing more.

           Music and singing was the only thing we had in common. We competed in a singing concert together and I set up a classical guitar association at the hospital.I invited an accomplished Guitar Teacher, Mr Hong to teach in the hospital and I also started a Folk Music Group for him (my future husband) to teach others. I arranged many concerts and became an important part of the social scene in the hospital, arranging these events increased my popularity, because of the joy I brought through my concerts. When he sang with Dr Yang this was the highlight of the concert and it was impossible not

to feel good.

           After he moved back to Changhua we spent more time together, singing and playing, sometimes | went to his rented Japanese style house. Then one night he suddenly…..held me and kissed me……I was shocked and terrified. I felt like a little terrified bird and that I had committed a heinous crime…..but, he picked up his guitar and sang……… This girl is turning into a woman……I was deeply embarrassed and flustered, On the way home I felt shaken and choked and kept swallowing I was afraid to look at others in case they could tell…….. I had just been kissed!

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