As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Korea on February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d do a year, then leave. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, reality TV star, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company (Flipside Fitness), CEO of my own boxing club (Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing), and now I'm launching my 3rd business -- Empowered Clubhouse.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I then picked up one day and returned to Toronto, Canada. But then I left again. This time it was for the Philippines. That's where I am now, living in the land of the happy people. The struggles are real and the struggles are many but I'm living life on my terms, I'm calling the shots, and I'm doing what I love. Life is an amazing adventure and this is my story of yesterday.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Stuck on a Bump... Monday, July 24

Yesterday was Snickers' birthday so I wished him a happy birthday and reminded him of the divorce papers.

Ouch...?! No. It's not new news. He and I talked about this before. I dropped the "d" word way back but we had a real, let's-cut-to-the-chase serious conversation about it back in December. December 7th to be exact, the day I got my left forearm inked, over seven months ago now. 

This has dragged out for so long and I know it's because despite what he did to me and let me go through in Korea, he never really believed I'd ever leave him.  I went from being so in love with him to being scared of him but sticking around because I had made my dream come true -- I had created Hulk's Boxing.  I absolutely loved my club and my members so much so that I moved into my club so I could be there more often.  Hulk's was my life and I was the happiest when I was there.  Outside of Hulk's, slowly but surely I started to lose all that I had because I had started making a wall around myself.  I couldn't let anyone know what was really going down in my life.  I wasn't ashamed and it's not like I was embarrassed, I was confused.  I just didn't know how we could have gone from one extreme to the other.  Everyone was so oblivious and I kept it that way even more so after I reached out for help and those I reached out to saw nothing wrong with what was happening to me and gave me the most bizarre of advice.  Later I concluded that I had been searching for answers from them but the fact of the matter was they were a part of the problem.  

What happened to me in Korea has forever changed me, I know, but it often peaks it's ugly head out and affects me in the present day.

Tonight it peaked it's ugly head and I was totally called out on it. 

"I don't know what it's called but you have it", Skittles told me.  He was so upset with me.  He was referring to Stockholm Syndrome, that was the term he was looking for but couldn't remember.  I knew it.  I knew it because he wasn't the first person who has said this to me.  

What is Stockholm Syndrome, you ask.  Stockholm syndrome has been labelled as being a phenomenon in which victims of trauma or kidnapping sympathize with their captors.  I was never kidnapped but I was in an unhealthy relationship with Snickers and it involved more then just him, it also included his immediate family and some of his close friends.

I never knew what it meant to feel alone until I got married but sometimes I find myself defending Snickers in what happened.  If I was under so much pressure in Korea for being a Western woman than I knew he must be so stressed too for having married a Western woman.  We both were under a lot of pressure, it may have been coming from different angles but none the less it was stressful.  And we both dealt with it in different ways.  For me, I really limited how much time I'd spend with his family and some of his friends.  I even put time limits on my visits with them.  Often it was only 20 minutes every couple of weeks and I went so far as to use a stopwatch to enforce this.  Snickers went a totally different route with dealing with the stress.  He took it out on me, he stopped training, started drinking, and he started being rebellious and very careless.

It was me against Korea.  Everyone saw Snickers spiralling downward but instead of trying to help him, they simply wrote it off as "understandable" because he was married to me, a Western woman.  "If he had married a Korean woman he wouldn't be like this", I once overheard someone say.  It was my fault because I was white.  Those who tried to help me helped me more so to be more Korean, as if that was the answer to the problem.  

I spent 11.5 years in Korea, over half of which was with Snickers, his family and his friends, but in the two years I've been out of Korea no one in his family has reached out to me nor has his friends.  I've contacted them, his friends that is, to ask them about my dogs and the club but that's the extent of it.  Not once have any of them ever asked if I'm okay or if I miss Korea.

They know I'm better off.  They know I don't miss the rendition of Korea I was stuck in for so long.

Do I miss Korea?  Of course.  But will I ever go back to live there?  No.  It'd be the death of me.  It's nerve racking enough knowing I live but just a short plan ride away from Snickers and the dark side of Korea.


Anonymous said...

If you really want to get divorced, you don't need to wait for him to sign. You can turn the papers in and start the process without his consent. I know because that's how I did it (and we both lived in different countries as well).

권투선수 에이미 [Amy] said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks but it's not that easy... we have a business together. The complications of that alone make it very difficult. Plus it costs money to get a divorce, money I just don't have.

Mike said...

Divorces are illegal in the Philippines so how do you recommend her doing that?