I moved to Prague when I was six years old. I was born in Kazakhstan in 1986, but my nationality and origin are Tatar. There are more than 130 nationalities in Kazakhstan, so it is quite common to see people from China, Korea, Ukraine, Russia, and other neighboring countries to be in the same class. During that period, my country was part of the Soviet Union, and speaking the Russian language was mandatory. My father only talked to me in Russian. Therefore it became my first language. When you picture me, you can imagine an Asian, looking Korean girl with an almond shape light blue eyes, pale skin, long brown wavy hair, thin nose, and look with a cunning sight.
In July 2019, my father was 74 years old, and he had a stroke. For the first two days or so he couldn't remember the names of his kids, couldn't identify a cell phone, a clipboard, which was something he'd used six days a week for decades, or a number of other simple things. Personally, I couldn't bring myself to go see him while he was like that. When I initially found out he had even had the stroke, my wife was at work, so I was on my own since I don't talk about things like that with her parents. By the time she got home, I had stopped talking, wouldn't eat, and didn't sleep. I was scared. My father had been showing signs of dementia for years, whether my family wanted to admit it or not, and even my neurologist confirmed it. A stroke could do a lot of damage to his already deteriorating mind.
Thank you and welcome to my first story.
Mom, wife, maid, chef, nurse, counselor.... You name it, we are it. But what about ME? When do I get to be me? When do any of us get to be just us? Whether we are chasing after little ones, putting load of laundry in the wash and cooking dinner, or we are at work during the day to then come home and chase after kids, pick up their toys and still cook dinner. We are consumed with all of these other titles. When do we get to just be us?
"My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."
-Clarence Budington Kelland
I remember in third grade I felt the magic of being a grown up. I was on a bathroom break with a friend of mine and we were talking about something that transpired in class. As he was talking I felt the urge to say the word shit after his comment. Then he looked at me as if I gave him a commendation and he kept talking. However, for me, it was like an “a-ha” moment. I was like, “Did I just say a bad word?” Then like a reflex, it came out of me again right on time after my friend finished his next statement. This time I said it with less meekness. He looked at me smiling as I was confirming what he was talking about. Truthfully, until this day, I have no clue about what he was saying. All I know was that I was tapping into an unknown power that made me feel strong, independent and grown. My friend’s tale became sheer background noise. I was wrapped up in the new ability I discovered. I started repeating my new “vocabulary word of the day” as if a magical lightning bolt was going to come from the heavens, striking me and turn me into Captain Cuss-a-Motherfucker-Out. There was no lightning bolt but I did belt my fifth and final cuss word with as much bass in my voice as a 10 year old can muster. I stood tall and affirming with my chest poked out, a broad smile in my superhero pose. My buddy thought my expletive riddled responses was my way of agreeing with everything that he had just told me, but in my head I was fascinated with the idea that I was now like my parents and understood the freedom of expression and sheer joy of cussing.
I became a mother twenty days after my twenty first birthday. In a calm, warm room in Huntingdon, England I labored for seven hours before bringing my sweet little girl into the world. She went straight to my chest, close to my heart where I would keep her forever. In the hours that followed, I sat holding her, both of us wrapped in soft blankets. I looked into her eye and thought of all the things she would need me to provide or teach her for the rest of her life.
I'm not sure where exactly to begin or actually how to begin my story I am 36 years old with 3 boys and 1 beautiful lil girl. I was raised in a small town in Texas, everyone knew everyone's business. It wasn't the greatest or the worst place to grow up. My mother was in nursing school most of my teenage years, after she graduated she was always at work like seriously always. My grandparents lived next door and they watched over me as best they could. My sister was in college about 2 hours away and my father did construction work, He built my child hood home next to my grandparents when I was in second grade when we moved to the small town. He also was an alcoholic but nothing less to me always a good dad. Addiction is a disease and I stand firm on that and sadly his took his life in 1999. That's when my life turned upside down, I started acting like a complete Ass not only to my friends but my family as well and still at 36 years old I still haven't gotten it right but I can honestly say I'm learning day by day I'm learning. I have lost all contacts with all my family none of them speak to me and I have literally no friends my only motivation is the thought that one day when life decides I have had enough of the "You Get What You Give In Life" I'll finally be able to jump out of this cycle and learn to live again. I am stuck though you see in a sea of bad choices made by me. I can point fingers and blame others or people but ultimately I made my choices and that's why I am here stuck in the bermuda triangle of my life. I know it sounds crazy but it's like people I won't name any names are literally after my sanity. Making me relive my choices over and over needless to say. I have switched up and started to make new choices better ones but I assume still not the best ones being I'm back at damn near square one with an abusive boyfriend whom takes all I have and acts like I'm worthless to him. I can honestly say though that my mind set is by far better now. I refuse to let the man control my mindset although I know he isn't the greatest I wish he would go back to the fun loving man I met and not this idiot he has taken on to be it's like he has studied my past my relationships and has picked up bad habits of all of them. I know I know you get what you give in life. but I don't care who you are noone should be knocked down every time they get a shot to make it and left in the cold. And that's just the start of it, but what I'm learning is a little faith and the hope of something more in this world than and ugly black crow squaking at my head. I hold on to the belief of my guardian angels and the lord himself watching over me. That there's a purpose for all of this and if I couldn't handle it I wouldn't be given this life. I may have lost myself along the way along with everything I own and everyone I've loved but I have hit the bottom and gotten back up more times than most and my heart is stronger than ever and I can honestly say I love me I've made mistakes and I'll probably make more but I refuse to let the false gods as I call them steal my soul my beliefs and my heart it makes me who I am and I know I come from some pretty strong ladies and gentlemen and I believe in myself more than most.
Sometimes, actually most the time, I feel lost. I have felt like this for as long as I can remember and its never gone away. I’m living a completely different life from those around me, my classmates, my friends, and its hard to explain why life is that way. It’s hard being around people that don’t understand your situation at all, but nobody can ever know someone else’s situation.
I embraced my youth I enjoyed my twenties to the maximum capacity as one should when you are young wild and free. When Joe and I had decided to settle down I knew my life would change. It would change forever and in all the best ways! But with becoming a parent comes it challenges.
We waited. We had always wanted to be together and start a family even in early the years of our relationship. But, we knew the we wanted to make sure we were ready for emotional and financial responsibility of what it truly entails in becoming a parent.