Don’t tell me: I don’t want to know. Because odds are, some taxi driver or other stranger has told me that, and it’s bad enough I have to feel their negative emotions, much less know what they are saying to me.
After reading my fellow KAD’s recent post about being “…fucking angry at Korea,” I have to say that I don’t need to be reunited with my family or hear another KAD botch a suicide attempt to know all about Korea wanting us to be grateful for…FOR WHAT? And yeah, it makes me angry. And solemn.
This is probably one of the biggest reasons I’m wary of finding my family, and kind of glad I haven’t. I have zero aspersions as to what a pandora’s box of unpredictable and complicated new and horrible pain it could bring up. I have zero interest in adding new obligations of strangers to my life after having been forced as an adoptee to be dependent on strangers in a strange land. I don’t know what is worse: to be trapped and be too young to process and express your experience, or to be a free adult and too cognizant of every thing horribly not right. It definitely sounds like assimilation failure hell. And abandonment in your face hell. And decades of living the wrong life and a future of living yet another wrong life hell. And then to have both and have not one but two continents telling me I should be grateful…
And yet I press on, casting my net. I recently paid someone to translate a letter to Korean American t.v. and radio stations, and have begun looking for my family back in America, on the slim chance they might have emigrated. When I can remember to get to it, as I have to many projects going, I am going to start contacting all the Korean communities in North America and Australia. That was last week. Not a word back in response. So much work ahead of me.
Why? Why do I do this when I am so atypically NOT excited to search for more family?
Because I guess I have narcissist envy.
I want to see a god-damned reflection of myself. Just once.
I missed Gayageum class today. I had been up to the wee hours of the morning yet again, chasing my tail on the internet on some unresolved thing I wanted to write about and slept in too late, but was actually happy to not make the commute. The previous week I had been so happy for an excuse to leave my sleeping guests, and when they expressed that it was too bad I couldn’t have stayed and slept in I told them that I hate being around sleeping people. Because my sleep is never restful and I always wake up early and it’s hell being awake while others are blissfully dreaming. It’s frustrating tip-toeing around them and lonelier than if it was just the empty space of four walls. To be immobilized and gagged is the worst.
People think adoptees who are activists or writers or repatriating, etc. are defective. They label us as angry, because they want to discount any criticisms we have. I’m not fighting the angry label anymore: God damn right I’m angry.
But I’m not defective. I’m awake.
I’m awake among sleeping people.
Worse yet, I’m awake among people playing possom. In America. In Korea. Only here, I am like a zombie, unable to speak, unable to express myself, unable to do as I please. The adoption solution was supposed to be final. We weren’t supposed to return from the dead. We weren’t supposed to disturb the empty tomb. We weren’t supposed to question our deaths.
My adoptee friends often say they wish they were still in the fog; that they wish they weren’t aware of these issues, that life was easier before knowledge. But if you can’t name your pain, then there’s no way to cope with it and you end up doing anything ANYTHING to stop it. And you add to the statistics that KADs kill themselves at a rate 5 times higher than the non-adoptee population.
It’s a fucked up position to be in. A real dilemma. With no known solution. Because we are the first to have to sort this shit out.
I just wish the whole world would realize that adoption is existential. It fucks with everything important. It annihilates identity that is essential to live. Just ask all our dead KAD brothers and sisters. Just ask all the KADs on meds or labeled with one wrong disorder or another. You know there’s nothing wrong with any of us. The only thing wrong with us is our basic human rights were denied and then suppressed.
And it just. never. ends.