“In conjunction with International Women’s Day, here is her precious advice for all women out there especially in the pandemic: “An empowered woman is a woman who is not afraid to fail and commit mistakes – someone who bounces back stronger and better. The pandemic is just one of those many trials we are bound to face in our lifetime. With courage, determination, perseverance and tenacity, we will all get through this. Finally, understand who you are and live your purpose.”
Thank you to Tan Mei Kuan, for writing this beautiful feature story and to the Editorial staff of @ipohecho.my. Thank you too to the women of PWWS, this journey would have not been possible without them.
Marissa is your typical happy and successful middle-aged woman.
She was in a violent relationship for 10 years. Violence or abuse happened after the first year of their marriage. Initially, it was like, she would not be allowed to go out of the house except if she is accompanied by her husband or whenever she will do a family errand. On that case her husband would closely monitor her calling her all the time until she is home.
Control was the first sign of abuse.
When you are in an abusive relationship for so long, you lose your identity. You believe in the lies you were told. You don’t believe in your ability to live independently. You don’t get much sense of freedom, and on most occasions, you learn to live with it and deal with it quietly for there is nothing much you can do about the situation.
Such was the story of Marissa.
Until the inevitable happened. The emotional abuse gradually became more intense. Her husband found a way to isolate Marissa from her family and friends. And so seeking help was close to impossible. There was also the “shame factor” of abuse. Marissa is living a highly functional abusive life.
Abuse however has a way of manifesting physically, no matter how much you try to ignore it.
Marissa accumulated enough stress that it manifests itself in physical symptoms. Marissa suffered from excessive bleeding and chronic fatigue. She was eventually diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease an autoimmune disorder that can cause hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid. Rarely, the disease can cause hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid. Thyroid hormones control how your body uses energy, so they affect nearly every organ in your body—even the way your heartbeats.
That was her ticket to courage; the courage to finally leave her abusive husband and seek the help of her family.
Michelle says “As for me I’d rather wait for the perfect time for things to happen and unfold on their own. We can always achieve greater things if we work hard and if we never give up. So, there is nothing that I would give up to become a better writer because everything that I have and everybody around me is what makes me a better writer.”
“We have achieved so much for which we should be both grateful and proud, but there remains a lot to be achieved. I think the spirit of feminism as I understand is very simple,” she said as the conversation proceeded into the discussion of feminism. More than focusing on the term, Michelle stressed how every woman deserves a life of dignity and the ability to make her own choices. She stressed over and over again upon women’s education, their financial independence, the need to give them career-oriented training, and women coming forward to help other women grow. Michelle expressed her strong critic of women who feel threatened by other women’s courage to break out of their traditional roles.”
“and when this is all over, i hope to hold your hand, kiss you around and see you smile”
i long for the days when friends are source of love and inspiration and all sorts of measures those times when people are out of the street unmindful of what’s happening and what’s scares a bit
i long for the days when friends witness each other’s smiles the smiles and laughters we have forgotten for a while those moments when we truly see how delightful people can be is now sadly hidden behind a fashionable mask to see
i long for the days when hugs don’t freak anyone around when kisses are manifestation of undying love to hold those gestures that made us more human those love language we surely miss a lot this time