“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]