My childhood in Singapore was a fairly average one until I turned 9 years old and my parents divorced. It was when I was placed into my mother’s custody that my life took a big turn for the worse.
My mom was a woman who loved bad company and was emotionally abusive by nature and made the next 7 years of my life a torment. She decided to live at her friend’s place and I was made to take refuge there with her. Due to the bad company my mom indulged in, I suffered other forms of abuse as well. Life was unbearable. Mom had me miss school for 2 whole years, and I was forced to work from the age of 11.
Being the quiet child that I was and coming from an unstable home I became a prime target for school yard bullies, and bully me they did. A group of boys who were 6 years older than me particularly enjoyed harassing me. I was victimized time and time again but, one day at the age of 11, something in me finally snapped. On my way to school I was attacked, the boy knocked me to the floor and began mocking me in front of his friends, calling me a bastard child and telling me I would amount to nothing.
An overwhelming surge of courage took hold of me and I bounced back up on my feet, stood up as tall as I could and pointed directly at him saying “you don’t scare me anymore. You can say whatever you want but I am none of those things. One day I will be a success and you will hear about it. You’ll see!” I turned around and walked away while the bully stood there, stunned. I was stunned too, but thrilled. For the first time in my life I had spoken words of confidence out aloud and they ignited a fire within me. These words became a promise to myself that I further clarified into three big dreams.
1 – Become a successful businessman
2 – Become big enough to help others in need to realise their dreams
3 – To fall madly in love with one good woman and marry her.
So with a new vision for my life, I threw myself into work and study. No matter how menial the job I put my best effort in and slowly but surely, even with major setbacks like losing my eyesight from a brain tumor and suffering subsequent epileptic attacks, I am now achieving all three of my big dreams.
1 – I run my own self-development business, Torchbearers LLP,
2 – I make a difference in peoples lives by igniting spirits, illuminating minds and seeding optimism to inspire people,
3 – And I’m doing it all with my amazing wife alongside me.
That day in the school grounds was a transformative experience because I spoke up for myself at a time when no one else would. Finding my own inner confidence and becoming a support for myself was the first step in a long journey, but the more I supported myself, the more I attracted love and support around me, making each next step stronger and more purposeful.
I love what I do. Making a difference in the lives of people keeps me going as a person. I’ve found that sometimes life pushes you to the edge for you to realise the power you possess.
Vignesh Vic, Singapore