“Where are you from?”
“No, I mean where are you from?”
Well I was born in India.
“Yeah I can tell.”
(…then why did you ask?)
“How long have you been in America?”
I grew up here.
“I can tell!”
“So you probably don’t like spicy food then.”
….Needless to say, I ended this conversation prematurely. I don’t have enough patience for this breed of idiot.
One thought on “Most ignorant conversation I’ve had this week…”
Had the word ‘Omaha’ not been in your post, I would have read it and gone to the next segment of your journal. But as I, and a younger sister, was abandoned in a Douglas County dog pound/spca by our parents in 1948, it makes us, in a way, kindred spirits-but not in the usual sense except for being adoptees. Unlike me who loathed her adopters and who sees Omaha and Nebraska as an eternal bête noir, you embrace the person or persons who now call you daughter as if your genome could be metamorphosed away from your DNA and form the mother who gave you life and to whom you compose letters.
At age 5 1/2 at my final adoption hearing in 1950 I screamed in fury at the Sarpy County Judge who dared to take my name from me. I screamed at my adopters’ natural child, the first one who arrived during their infertile narrative as reason they should take me a replacement for what they thought they would never have, that he was not my brother, and years later said the same to the natural daughter who arrived when I was 15. I screamed at everyone-especially the adopters who abused me in ways not child should have to be a part of -who ignored my pain and my loss and my resolve to find my brother and sister and family.
I had high anxiety long before the movie of the same name, and have lost count of the times a Douglas County juvenile court judge would call me incorrigible and an ingrate and use the word Adoptee! like a curse as I continuously vacated the adopters’ domiciles to escape the torture of them and of the traumas of being abandoned and separated ad refused my own identity until the court in exasperation consigned me to a place called Uta Halle … It no longer exists, but there is a home for vulnerable children on Calhoun Road today… Maintaining the original name was a mandatory condition for purchasing the property.
I fought the state for decades over their injustice regarding adoptees, determined to my identity, including the files which were legion about me. (I learned just recently that no files exist regarding me or my sister in the sate vaults or archives… 16 years of a tortured history MIA… ) Finally in 1982 when I finally realized the state did not have my OBC, I understood that I was not born in that state. I have it and my sister’s and brother’s and mother’s, three of us born in the same state (not Nebraska) and one born in a different state.
It was only a few years ago that I began to piece together my heritage, my multinational cultures and to discover some pretty amazing ancestors. My DNA had ruled my life like a gentle guardian angel, and al though I lost much, I have gained a lifetime of adventure and knowledge and people I would never have known had I never been parted from my origines- including four languages and three religions.
I have my moments of despair and ptsd and depression and all the rest a traumatized child received from societies who were supposed to protect me and others. I still long for my sister who was torn form my arms in 1948, and mourn the death of my brother, also separated from us the same year, but who died before I could find him. My sister was not yet a year old when we were separated, and has no memory of any of her DNA family. But I have survived and in process learned to reach out to others in similar situations. We each have our own stories born of our unique situations, but we suffer as all suffer for the same reasons, whether adoptee or not, whether from Mars or Venus. Genetically we are all 99.5% the same.
Do continue your blog, as catharsis for you and as support for others-if only to let them know that the fact that they are here is validation; that their feelings and longings, joys and sorrows are valid. I hope you find your roots and your family. We are all on this earth to help one another out.