Monday, September 16, 2013

forgiving helen & freeing myself (pt 1)


“Yeah, as long as we know we're trapped, we still have a chance to escape.”
― Sara Grant, Neva

It’s something that I have struggled with the past year. Not because I felt I had to, but because I wanted to. Her being my Mother played a small role compared to me wanting to set myself free from the shackles of the resentment I felt towards her.

I’m 28 years of age but I have known her 20 years and was raised by her for only seven of those twenty years. She didn’t abandon me per se, but left me in Korea to be raised by relatives while she tried to create a future here in America with her now ex-husband, my Dad. Story goes I wasn’t allowed to join my parents here in America because my paternal grandfather forbade it. He wanted his eldest son (my Dad) to stay in Korea and figured using me as bait would work. It didn’t. So for a little over 8 years I was constantly tossed back and forth between my maternal side of the family to my paternal side having switched schools a total of six times in the few years I was of primary school age. After my paternal grandfather passed away (I loved this man dearly and thought of him as my father then and is greatly missed), I was allowed to join my parents. I met my parents and three siblings for the first time in March 1993.

Helen and I was never close. There was once a time I thought that we were but it was because she confided everything to me. Everything. Some things should not have been said because I was quite young. Her words were poison and it turned me bitter towards everyone she told me had caused her harm. I was too young and I soaked it all in.

She was an incredibly abusive person mentally, physically, and emotionally. Her idea of discipline was to beat me raw with everything in reach while tearing me apart emotionally. I was a worthless bitch, an unwanted bastard, useless garbage, and so much more combinations of creative words. The one thing she has never said to me was regret my existence—at least never directly to me. So I guess she wasn’t completely inhumane.


She can’t abuse me anymore. I’m fairly tiny, but I grew up stronger and my skin thicker. My words are now more poisonous than hers and I could tear her apart if I wanted to. I could cause her the same torment that she has in my childhood in just one night. I know this because it has happened once when I came stumbling home drunk. She won’t dare raise her hand at me now. She has seen what my anger is capable of. I am capable of destroying everything and everyone that gets in my way. The outcome of a child raised in anger.

But I have never laid my hands on her, that I could never do.

“…fighting your inner demons”

That is how Ariel described it. I don’t know what caused it but I suddenly saw how terrible I was. I began to realize the terror I was causing around me. I hated the bitterness in me, the anger, the constant search to tear someone apart. I was destructive. Just the way Helen was to me.

In the summer of 2012 a family member so efficaciously informed me that Helen had disowned me and my daughter. She can hate me, fine. She can curse death upon me, fine. She can stab me if she wanted to and I’d deal with it but my daughter? The only purely beautiful thing in my life. Why her? I became angry but I tried to reach out to her. I tried to sort this out. She could hate me all she wanted but she wasn’t allowed to put that hate on my daughter. My child had nothing to do with whatever grudge she had against me.

The same oh-so-informative family member then informs me that a sister of mine was the cause of it all. I know this sister inside and out. She’s just like Helen and just like me. She can be destructive as well and her specialty? Lies. She can fabricate a lie so well you’d believe the tears she (forcefully) cries. I know better than to believe her little tears though because us Kim girls are too proud to cry unless we felt it would further benefit our malicious cause—Ariel is exempt from this though. I tried it on him once in the beginning before we got married and he saw right through it. He knows me too well and that folks, is what happens when you start dating a very close friend.


I had enough of it all. I surrendered and decided I wasn’t going to fight back. I wasn’t going to waste an ounce of energy to give them the satisfaction of seeing me desperate to protect my daughter. I torched the crap out of that bridge and allowed every anger and resentment I had towards Helen break free. It was my defense to stop myself from feeling abandoned, worthless, and unloved. Leaving her behind with the rest of my past though was the beginning of my whole healing process.

[to be continued]

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Two days ago was garbage pick-up day so there were garbage cans lined up on the sidewalk waiting to be emptied. As Nemo and I’m walking to her school, we pass by a really putrid garbage can.

Nemo: “Ew, that was a putrid stench.”

Me: “You couldn’t say ‘smelly’ or ‘stinky’ like normal kids? Maybe just put the two together and say ‘stinky smell’?”

Nemo: “That’s what little kids say Mommy.”

Putrid was the word of the day folks.

Nemo is what G-diddy (her Godfather) called Trina when she was an infant. She shall be known as Nemo from here on out on my blog.

Also keep in mind that I’m not really serious about her choice of words. I was just commenting to what I thought was cute. I’m proud that her vocabulary is above her grade level and wouldn’t want it any other way so you can lower that chin now.

P.S. I was without Internet service the entire past week so I haven’t been posting lately! I MISSED YOU DEAR BLOG! I promise I won’t leave you again.

Monday, September 9, 2013

31 weeks


Hey, Fetus in the womb.

You’re not getting any more space than what you already have. It doesn’t help to shove your limbs in organs I sorta need to sorta function.

Please be a little more gentle.


Your Loving Host aka Your Mom.

It used to be such a joy to feel his little kicks. It used to be so freaking cool seeing my stomach twitch from his movements.

But I’m a little scared now.

I still have 9 more weeks to go and his kicks HURT. They hurt so much that I’m actually jabbing back to keep him from putting his limbs where they shouldn’t be. Like up my ribs. I’m pretty sure I’m bruised from the inside.

It’s become a ritual to empty my bladder before leaving the house but in less than half-an-hour time I’ll feel him repositioning himself and whaddayaknow, I have to pee.

I also can’t pick anything up from the floor without grunting like an old woman with a terrible backache.

I’m also finding it difficult to squeeze by. Mostly because there’s no sucking this baby in.

He also likes to do in-place somersaults, frog kicks, and doggy paddles. That’s what they feel like at least…

I can only sleep on my sides because I can hardly breathe when I try to sleep on my back. My shoulders are starting to feel cramped up now.

I don’t necessarily hate being pregnant, but I’m not enjoying it wholeheartedly either. This trimester is taking its toll on me!

Friday, September 6, 2013

it’s my therapy


I love to write. I love expressing myself. I’m not the type to openly share my feelings with others (friends included) and feel like I’m being bothersome to the poor man that just came home from a 13-hour shift (Ariel) so I blog. It’s the only way I can release the numerous things I want to blabber on about. Why? Because I’m a woman and I have to blabber dammit, that’s why.

I’ve always kept a little journal around for as long as I can remember. Mostly it was because I was taught that keeping a journal was important but it was partly due to me wanting to keep a record of my life. It wasn’t filled with the most interesting things but I felt they were pretty important at the time.

They’re all gone though. I don’t know where the really old ones went but it’s okay. Ariel can’t get to them and I don’t have to shudder at being reminded by how immature I was.

Like most people, I can type so much faster than I can write (probably x7 faster and much more legible) so I always kept a file on my computer/laptop just for my thoughts. That was until I dated a paranoid freak who snooped into everything and completely destroyed the joy of writing. I ripped apart and recycled the journals I kept because he got to those too. I even murdered my laptop that same night because I was furious and felt betrayed. But it wasn’t just because he dug through my thoughts that made me angry. He was translating everything that I wrote wrong and started to accuse me of things that my words were far from illustrating. Read back a few sentences when I called him a paranoid freak. Paranoid was an understatement.

Anyways, I stopped writing and just kept all my thoughts to myself for as long as I could. I confided what I could to a few close friends but that was pretty much it. I stopped writing during the duration of the few years I stayed in that miserable relationship with the guy.

When I packed my bags and left that terrible SOB, I came back to my home state an angry mess (not because I couldn’t write but because the few years of my life with that guy was really terrible). Ariel, my Husband, had to spend the first few years of our relationship putting back the pieces of me back together. But during that time, I had also begun to start writing again and it was actually Ariel who inspired me to write once more. By that time I was so used to keeping every little thought locked away in my head somewhere but you know how when you’re so full of awe by everything? That’s how Ariel made me feel. Although it was difficult, it was easier to contain the negative thoughts I had then it was trying to contain the beautiful joy Ariel made me feel. So, I wrote. I wrote and wrote and wrote about the good, the ugly, and everything in between.

I keep this pink journal around that I call my “A-ha!” book. It’s where I jot down my inspirations and thoughts. It has my prayer requests written in it and lists of topics from pet peeves to favorite people/places/things. There are some things that I wouldn’t blog about but most of my blog entries were inspired by the things I wrote in my A-ha! book. I also carry around a much smaller (and lighter) notebook around to quickly jot down things I want to write more in-depth about in the pink book.

In all, I blog (& write) because it’s my therapy. It’s the only place I can really express who I am without feeling like a burden on others. It’s the one place you can really get to know me as I am instead of meeting me as a person who only shows what I want you to know.

Blogging and keeping a journal has also helped me express myself better. Having been raised by an angry woman, I became programmed to filter just the right things to say to keep her from blowing up. It was really difficult for a long period of my young adult life to be honest with others and how I felt in certain situations but blogging and keeping a journal has helped me break free of that. It was another healing tool that’s helped me the past few years. :)

P.S. Ariel reads my blog and I don’t mind that at all. I leave my A-ha! book out anywhere I want and can trust that he won’t dig through it although I wouldn’t mind that as well. We have a healthy way of communicating (something that we both had to learn along the way of course) so we have nothing to hide from each other. I have nothing to hide from him.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

hey, Trina.


“Stay away from her Trina. She’s bad influence.” I said.

“But she’s new and has no friends Mommy, I have to be nice.” You replied.

You’re only 9yo and it’s times like those I find myself humbled. Or when you beg for me to let the annoying bug live instead of flushing it down the toilet. I can’t bear to see you feeling guilty for being scared so I let it go. I have never let so many bugs free in my life until you.

I’m grateful for the tears you cry when you get lectured by your Dad and/or me. Not because I’m some sick person, but because you cry for thinking you broke our hearts and not because you’re scared or feel mistreated. Thank you for thinking of us at times like that when you as a child should naturally think of us as some evil dictators.

You know how you carefully study my face to see if I’m upset even though all you did was forget to put your coat away? I hope you’ll stop doing that. I hope you’ll learn soon that you’ll never, ever break our hearts especially over small things like those. I have told you this many times but I’ll say it again. You can’t do anything to make us love you any less.

When I squirm because baby kicked a little too hard, I appreciate you pointing at my belly and saying firmly, “Hey, stop kicking Mommy.” I think it’s really cute how you’ve already begun to interact with your brother even though you can’t see him.

Remember last year when I was really sick all the time? Remember when I walked to your school to pick you up anyways? You got so worried that I was out of bed and told me that I shouldn’t have come. You held the umbrella back home because you said I shouldn’t be carrying anything heavy. Thank you for that too.

Thank you for carrying all the heavy stuff up and down the stairs. I know you think of me as some superhero but you’ve been saving my days lately. I don’t think I could have survived even half the summer without your help. Thanks for freaking out earlier today because I tried to carry your heavy school supplies to the car. Things like that really shows how much you care.

And hey, Trina. Thanks for never denying a single request I make. Whether it be from getting me a cup of water to scrubbing the crap out of the bathroom, you have never, ever said “no” to me. Thank you so much for that.

I told you once that when you were growing in my belly I prayed and prayed for a little girl like you. You came out exactly like the person I’ve hoped for and so much better. Your heart and soul is so beautiful that I know you are meant to be someone great. God couldn’t have allowed such a Wonder slip through His fingers without a special purpose in mind.

Anyways, here’s to another school year and what heck of a school year it’s going to be! Not only are you the “big fish” at school, but you’ll soon be an older sister too! I can’t wait to watch you lead your little brother with the wisdom you’ve already gained so early in age. What a lucky little boy he is to have a sister that every little kid loves to be around. :)

P.S. thanks for teaching me to show mercy to bugs Trina. I’ve grown so brave and immune to their grossness.

P.P.S. Your Dad appreciates you not having a boyfriend yet because “He said so.”


I love you, ya lil’ booga. Happy first day of school, yesterday.

The words I live by


“You don’t have to like everyone but you can be civil” –Fe Young (my sister-in-law). Before I was able to heal and find peace in my life, I was a complete b*tch. I think I was actually purposely looking for a fight at every chance because looking back now, I was incredibly rude, proud, and self-centered. I think my sister-in-law saw this in me and in her patient, older-sister way, she said these words that I still live by today. Whenever I find myself annoyed or angry at someone, I repeat this to myself! It has sort of become a daily mantra.

“Your family will see her value through you.” –my Step-Mother to Ariel. When Ariel and I first started dating, it wasn’t difficult to see that his parents would have a hard time accepting me. I was after all, a single mother. Not that they ever disliked me or anything but they love me now. I’m sure they also enjoyed watching their once wild son become more “domestic” (his mother’s word, not mine). :)

“The real winner isn’t the one crossing the finish line. The real winner is the one that kept going even after he crossed it.” –my Dad. Now don’t take this literally because he doesn’t mean for the runner to keep running after crossing that line.

“The five people you keep close will define how far you go in life.” –Will Smith. I read this from Tyrese’s book How to Get Out of Your Own Way. When I read that quote, I looked at the many people I kept close and realized I didn’t have a lot of positive influences around me. So slowly but surely, I began to distance myself from anyone who I felt I was better without and trust me, it’s a world of a difference. I also feel like the people you keep close defines who you are and these people I can count without using all five of my fingers on just one hand.

“It’s better to be the last one to laugh than to not have laughed at all.” –from me to my daughter. Kind of speaks for itself, no?

and last, but not least!


Dr. Seuss is one of the wisest man I know.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Heart & The Engine


One of the many things I’m grateful for in this marriage is that Ariel and I always have time for a heart-to-heart conversation. Well, it’s not always heart-to-heart since we have our moments of not-so-serious quacks but I enjoy those just the same.

Anyways, I forget what we were talking about but he said something a few weeks ago that really stuck to me.

“You’re like a hippy mom. You’re a free spirit that brings joy and fun into the family; the Heart of our family, if you will. Me? I’m the engine that keeps everything running.”

So there you have it folks. I’m the pretty shaped heart and Ariel is the greasy engine. :) 

P.S. I immediately packed that top away as soon as I saw the photo. I look like a funky whale.

P.P.S. I officially hate polka-dots now.

three months off for the missus mom; for three months of me


I have become a little more grounded lately with structures, disciplines, schedules, and just general things I go by daily. I’ve been interpreting it as my nesting phase in pregnancy but I’m beginning to suspect that it’s becoming more than that. This is becoming who I am.

But I wasn’t always like this and in a way, I’m still not. I’m a free spirit that can’t be confined under anyone’s control.

“You’re a wind. You come and go as you please. There is no use trying to hold you down because you can’t shackle a wind.”

That is what Helen said once long ago. She said that there’s an endless thirst for adventure in me that without my freedom to do as I please, I turn into an angry storm.

Having said that, if I had three months to do what I wanted to do, I’d pack a backpack with an extra pair of clothes, my camera, sunscreen with a ticket to Europe. I’d rent a temporary/short-term apartment with a leaky faucet and windows so dirty you couldn’t really call it a window. The walls would be made of brick and the bed layered with many mismatching blankets that you’d sink in it. This small apartment’s characteristics would tell a story all its own. Then I’d buy a bicycle just good enough to take me from point A to point B and I’ll eat at a different place every day. I’d work at a local diner or maybe even a little rundown bookshop to help me get by. But I wouldn’t need much because I wouldn’t require any luxury. It’d be just me, my camera, my bike, the plushy bed, and locals who would tell me their stories in a language I couldn’t understand. Then when my adventure there is done, I’d just follow the wind to the next. Probably Thailand.

What a wishful thinking, eh?

Bike in Pujols by aaross on Flickr. | a beautiful world | via Tumblr

Helen was wrong though. If she saw me now she’d take back her “angry storm” comment and say that I’ve become like a warm, summer wind swirling around my family. Maybe a little too much though because I can’t seem to stop hovering over them to pick up after this… and that…

[photo sources: 1. 2.]

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

cloth diapering


Aside from freaking out like a new mom hoping to be the perfect mother of a lifetime, I’ve decided to add cloth diapering to things to freak out about. My first set of cloth diapering system arrived and Trina and I’ve been practicing over and over again on her stuffed animals.

After months of strenuous research, I decided to go with OsoCozy’s Unbleached prefolds with Thirsties Diaper Covers. I am also going to add in some BumGenius’s AIO for Ariel and family members to use since they are much easier to use with the inserts being sewn in but my main stash will be prefolds. I didn’t realize there would be more than one ways to fold prefolds so it was fun to try all of them out. For now I think I’m comfortable with the newspaper and the jelly fold. I am however concerned about how his little bum would feel with uneven folds of it all so I’m thinking about adding microfiber inserts as well. He’s going to have a bulky little diaper bottom, oh yes he will.

As instructed I’ve washed the pre-folds about half a dozen times (along with things that needed to be washed so don’t worry go-greeners, I wasn’t wasting any precious resource) and now they’re packed away ready to catch some pee&poo in two months!

I will be blogging about the tears and joys of cloth diapering so stay tuned!

Monday, September 2, 2013

where do I come from?

I come from a home where laughter is important. It is important to be able to laugh at yourself and to see the brighter things in life. We are a happy home.

I come from a family expecting a little boy in November. Until then it’s just three bodies that make up this family.

I come from a marriage with a Husband who loves everything that I am and sees the beauty I never knew existed. He is the strength to where I am weak.

I come from being a mother to a golden hearted 9yo daughter. She has taught me to show even the tiniest of critters mercy and love.

I come from a Father who values hard work and dedication and a Step-Mother who values honesty and respect. Their home is warm and peaceful. I strive to make my home the same.

I come from a sisterhood of four. We rarely get along and I think it’s safe to say we hate each other right now.

I come from a small circle of friends. Not everyone knows one another and every one of these people come from all walks of life.

I come from being raised in a broken home. I grew up really broken and clueless to how the real world worked, but I survived. I am living now though. No surviving needed here.

I come from the belief that everyone deserves equal rights.

These are just a few things of where I come from and what makes me, me. I am an imperfect human being still trying to grasp the meaning of life but most importantly, who I am.


boys, boys.


Our family friend’s son little J is turning 5 soon. I don’t remember when his exact birthday is but we had a birthday BBQ for him the past weekend. There were a lot of little kids running around and had I known there would be that many kids (I mean come on, it’s a freaking park and I really couldn’t plan that part in. /facepalm) I would have left Rosie at home but I paid the price.

Anyways. Kids. There were so many of them. Especially boys.

When I discovered that I’m having a little dude, I was ecstatic. There is this silly little thing that my sisters and I call “The Kim’s Curse” because there hasn’t been a boy in my family for two generations. My parents tried four times only to be blessed with four amazing girls—yes, we’re pretty amazing. It’s silly, I know. But Helen was pretty obsessed about wanting a boy and in turn we became a little obsessed with it.

So yes, a little dude.

Family and friends with little boys of their own have been telling me (horror) stories of raising one. They’re supposedly the polar opposite of sweet little girls with no fear of dirt, bugs, and not at all bothered to miss the toilet at times. Oh and the volume that comes out of their little bodies would probably put a lion to shame as well.

I don’t mind dirt or bugs. I don’t mind wiping up urine (as long as it be my children’s) but the noise? I can’t stand noise… Now don’t get this confused with the cry of a baby. I love the sound of a baby’s cry because it brings out the maternal side to me and I get all googly eyed ready to coax said infant to joy (this happens with strangers’ babies too.. I won’t steal your child though I swear). But the war cry as a little boy march stomps down the hallway with a foam sword ready in hand to conquer the couch-land is too much for my ears to handle.

Who knows? I might grow accustomed to raising a little boy. Urine and roars and all.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

it really took this long.

♡ | via Tumblr

When I was a little girl I lived in a small town where everyone knew each other. Having said that, I used to walk to church by myself as a wee little girl probably aged 6-8. It was a small Christian church with a tiny out-of-tune piano. I loved it there.

When I immigrated here to America, Helen switched my religion over to Catholicism. I didn’t mind this at all because I thought, “God is God.” It was different, but everything about the Catholic faith was so beautiful. I loved it here too.

Then there was a battle between Religions. Well, it was actually Christians trying to “win my soul” or “be the fisherman” of my soul. I don’t know what the heck the term is but it was bad. These people tried to teach me that there was a fine line between Catholicism and Christianity. They told me that I was doomed for hell if I kept with my faith in my Catholic community. Being at the age where I was still trying to discover my identity, I was easily influenced. I even cut up the colorful I made and wore with them as my witness because they told me it was sinful (this was when Rave/PLUR was huge but mind you, I’ve never been to a Rave. I just thought the bracelets were a colorful touch to my wardrobe).

Then after being mistreated and constantly criticized-judged-condemned for everything that I was, I left the church altogether. I just packed up the broken heart they stomped all over on and just left. No goodbyes.

I guess it was a good thing I never said goodbye because I’m back again and surprisingly, to a Christian church. Having experienced worshipping in both Catholic and Christian churches, I felt that a Christian church would fit me best. Why? I liked the relationship I grew with God through reaching out to Him with my hands while singing songs I could clap to. The quiet and peacefulness of Catholicism, the personal relationship they provide during mass was all too formal for me. I needed the noise, I needed to jump around. I still do and will attend mass since Ariel and my in-laws are Catholic. I just prefer to attend my Christian church when no one else in the house plans on attending service.

But I like my church a lot. No, I love it. I want to grow in the community of my church and let my identity to root from my church. I have never felt so “at-home” in a place of religion but this place, this church… it’s amazing. When I decided to go back to church I was a little scared. I guess you can say I was scarred and didn’t want to face the same ordeal of being told I wasn’t good enough. But this church is just three blocks from my home and I figured, “why not? Just once.” I checked out their website and even read the reviews on yelp (oh yes, I really yelped a church). So, I went. Plus, their motto is “relationship with Jesus, not religion.” I was kind of sold on that alone.

Now I’m stuck. It all started from day one of my attendance. All of my prayers, questions, and worries have all been answered through this church. I asked and prayed for answers regarding the troubles of my thoughts, heart, and soul and the answers to every single thing has been provided to me by this church one way or another. At first I thought that maybe it was just some weird coincidence but seriously… EVERY time?

I told Ariel about this and he replied something along the line of “maybe God felt you were finally paying attention.”

I agree.

I don’t know where I was going with this entry but ta da~