Born to the first Korean interracial couple in an “oversized village” as a lovely Ukrainian woman so kindly described the growth stagnant area, it was the perfect setting for a very eventful life from which I have gleaned abundantly. Please don’t misunderstand and think it’s been easy from the start or until this day. It’s been a difficult journey, yet by the grace of Almighty God, He has taught me to rise above it all to gain understanding, thereby obtaining peace for which so many yearn.
My dad is a United States Air Force Veteran and my mom is from South Korea. My mother lived through two wars to seek her own freedom in her native country, to leave for the land of plenty to be free in the United States of America. My mother instilled my patriotism and love for America, as she is the embodiment of a naturalized American citizen.
South Korea was a Third World country and in World War II, the Russians removed the Japanese who controlled South Korea at the time. It caused a lot of chaos in my mother’s life with her education, being taught to speak Japanese, programmed to declare hatred by singing derogatory things to our American flag and about Americans in general.
When a child has to learn to ration a bowl of rice a day as my mother did, then at some point move to China to live with her older sisters away from her mother, learning to speak Chinese in order to seek a better life . . . . America must sound pretty darn good, right?
She was fortunate despite her turbulent life. Coming from a beautiful family, her beloved father died young as well as her family, yet one of her brothers got a job on an American Air Force Base as a translator, and got her one too as a switchboard operator. She gave every bit of her paycheck to support her mother until the day she died.
Fortunately, my dad met her brother and wanted to sponsor him to America, but when he went to his house, my dad saw my mother. Her brother tried to lie and say she was too young to date, but she caught my dad’s eye and he was smitten. Her mom met my dad, but she didn’t live to see my parents marry.
Sounds kind of romantic, right? No. It’s a cute story, because I love them dearly. She tried to back out, but my dad could only afford a boat ticket to come back to marry my mom. He must have sensed something serious with her, and took out a loan for a plane ticket. Money wasn’t the same back then, but then again neither was America.
She didn’t marry a wealthy man, and nobody wanted to hire an oriental female in a narrow-minded town. One look at her and they assumed she was Japanese, told her coldly to step aside as if she were black, because she wasn’t white.
Jumping ahead. My mom raised me and my dad was always present, but didn’t participate (e.g., he wouldn’t read to me as child when my mom asked him, stuff like that). Never did I mention him as I spoke either, because he wasn’t part of my life. She taught me how to speak as she was learning to speak English herself with broken English and wrong words; therefore I don’t beat around the bush and sometimes put words in the wrong order. If she needed something, she had to ask it straight up. Coming out of her mouth, given her appearance and accent makes it understandable. With me, the person on the receiving end either doesn’t understand mixed cultures, or has chosen not to learn about me, so my being forthright doesn’t have the same reception or perception.
I have to quantify this life long observation in terms of first impressions by sight or skin tone. White people look at me and assume I’m white. Black people look at me and can tell I’m mixed, strike up a conversation out of curiosity and we’re cool like growing up back in school. The Jewish people I’ve been deeply associated with can tell too. Of course the Koreans in America accepted me, but I was always told I’d never be accepted in South Korea, because I’m not pure.
Yet it was the white boys in grade school at an extremely young age, who told me to my face, in horrible words that I was different and they displayed my first public (yet personally private) encounter with relentless harassment and physical abuse.
(It’s December 14, 2017 and I told my mother a few days ago how I fought back against at least one white boy in silence. Let me just say – my mother “cringed“. He also stopped.
I had enough of vomiting on myself, skipping grade school, being sick – starting in the second grade from being called names relentlessly. The teachers understood NOTHING! Their words were backwards, twisted and very destructive for me. ONCE was all it took and I was on my own. Looking back, my older sibling had to stand up for me when I was physically attacked by a white boy in her grade school class walking home from school. I was a small girl bundled up in hand-me-downs. Exact details do not escape me.)
Sadly, harassment or abuse a learned behavior, so as an adult abuse is done deliberately.
There’s no easy way to express this life of mine other than my mom did the best she could. We ate a mixture of food crossed between American and Korean, using chopsticks or silverware. She never knew until recently how I never uttered a word at how I struggled through grade school for being “half Korean”, protecting her by my silence due to her own struggles for being Korean. All the while, she knew there would be problems, but didn’t realize it was me, her special child who would suffer.
I hold a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, with a minor in International Marketing, and a Master of Arts in Education, concentrated in Counseling with an emphasis on Chemical Dependency. Afforded an opportunity to tap into my creative side allows me to share with you that I am passionate about our nation, seek truth in politics as an American Patriot, make sense of the nonsensical; I am an untrained natural artistic photographer, fascinated by human behavior, have been called a “pathos empathic” writer, and gifted to write very raw poetry.
May this synopsis help you understand a bit more behind my ©Infusion Musings style of writing, and my novice approach at technology. The latter is kind of not new to me, but while doing this alone, I really could use some help. I’m no longer gainfully employed which is an issue in and of itself.
It takes countless hours of passion to research as much of my skill is an art form, and my curiosity is endless. As a starving artist, together we can travel this newly paved path together, learn something new, open hearts and/or minds, or see beauty to soften a difficult day.
My hope is to expand a bit more, but not get too complex,
Because one of my collective mottos is, “I am simply complex.”.
Before time runs out, forcing me to do likewise…
Would you please?
... or more, whatever you can afford.
Oh, a final note . . . .
©IM Infusion Musings now.
Update: My Korean mother’s English is very good, but her communication… well, have a taste of what I have lived with my entire life. Ready?
It’s now November 4, 2017. Right?
I did research on public records, and found out she is NOT the first “international interracial” couple. It appears she was the third, and the first Korean. That is her way of saying,
“I’m the first Korean to marry an American in this town.”
translation for -©My Korean mother
How was I supposed to know that?
I changed it today. My apologies for taking her “word” for it. She was pretty close, yet she thinks nothing of it. You know?
If she were anyone else, I’d feel pretty stupid after eight months. Instead, I really want you to know what it’s like living in a mixed culture when your dominant parent isn’t from America, or well-educated.
By the way, education doesn’t mean anything when it comes to parenting. TWO strikes against me right there.
We aren’t mind readers.