What Identity Crisis

I borrowed a Korean name and password from the G.O.A.L. office so I could see the episode of “I miss that person,” (available on-line but only to those with Korean ID numbers) but I really didn’t care about how I looked or sounded anymore.  (I spoke too slowly for the translator’s benefit and sound near dead!  As I suspected, I was too focused on trying to stick to the outline questions, instead of just answering naturally. Oh well)  I just wanted to get to the portion where the phone-in neighbor tells us my father’s name.  I just wanted to hear what my family name was.  My borrowed internet connection crapped out on me.  Will have to try again.

And then today I hear they have spoken to a woman who says she is my Aunt.  Strange to me is my own reaction to finding out there may have been contact with blood relatives.  Was I excited about the possible eventuality of meeting them?  No.  Well, maybe.  Apprehensive more like.  All I could think was – What’s my name?

The real name thing is really interesting to me.  I can’t wait to find out what that is/was.  I wonder if I still exist on some Hojuk somewhere.  Maybe I will change my name back to it when I find out what it is.  I was ACTUALLY going to name myself unknown out of protest regarding having ones identity stripped from them, but then I decided to come move here and search for my history instead.  I have had so many names over the years and none of them felt like me.  This identity thing is so huge a person has to live in denial just to get through the day to day reminders of “this does not compute.”  Yet still I balk.  Crisis are things that happen to other people, not to me…This kind of self talk is how we survive, I am sure, but the cold truth is also there at every turn.

The other thing is, I have just lately – in this past three weeks here in Korea – managed to get a sense in my own head of what I look like.  I know that sounds totally strange and ridiculous, but before when I thought of myself, I could not picture what I looked like.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’m putting on some makeup every morning and forced to look in a mirror, (had to do that when I was at beauty school and this didn’t happen) or because I am seeing so many other Asian faces.

I am glad I came here if only for the above.  I alternate from total culture shock and horror to this feeling of calm.  But this feeling of calm is new, so I think it outshadows the cultural discomfort, and hopefully that will diminish over time.

3 thoughts on “What Identity Crisis

  1. I am anxious to know the end of this story.
    When I learned someone is saying she is your aunt, I had the same reaction than I received calls from my sister at the television studio.
    I had a skeptical moment thinking this woman is an imposture with the first caller, saying too fast to be true, a moment like you are having, wanting to know what’s her real name, a moment of saying it’s a miracle.
    I wasn’t excited either when my sisters called me. Maybe it’s a normal reaction to prevent us from being disappointed?

  2. Yes – we adoptees are an emotionally cautious bunch.

    Turns out our skepticism seems grounded in good sense and the woman isn’t really my aunt. I’m sad I won’t know my name. I’m relieved I don’t have to meet anyone. I don’t know if this is the end of it or not. Maybe I WAS born at 2.8 years of age. Maybe the plane is my mom.

  3. It’s the end of the story with the lady who thought to be your aunt. But it’s not the end of the story, your story. It will likely take time but the truth will come out.

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