identity

“Migration across borders can cause mental illness: the ways the space you have penetrated can penetrate you so deeply as to splinter your mind”

You feel nostalgic for home, like never before. Longing for a place you have been to twice; yet lately in your mind you visit it everyday and in your heart you know (or at least you hope) that’s where you will return. The situation is bad right now, but has it ever been good to begin with? Corruption, like a cancerous tumor has plagued your mother for years but she is resilient. To this day she continues to fight, for a mother will never abandon her children, not until she is beaten, forced to drop dead. I see the worry on your face as you spiral downward into a pit of despair. I understand, its tough feeling helpless. You don’t write, and you don’t call, in attempts to forget her I suppose. Like a song you used to love, now tainted with memories, making it nearly impossible to revisit. You keep it in your collection but never dare listen again. But this is your mother, she is your home, her blood runs through your veins, how can you be so idle?

Canada: commonly referred to as a cultural mosaic, less popularly referred to as a country whose government systemically neglects and oppresses its indigenous population. The landscape is a palimpsest of the identities of its past and present inhabitants, where one must exhume the superimposed layers to reveal a truth so inconvenient, it was omitted from textbooks. This is the space you inhabit, but it is not the place you call home. However, at times you feel like you truly belong, unable to imagine being anywhere else, you have become attached, not solely out of love but more so out of comfort. She is your stepmother, she has helped raise you but she is not the one who gave birth to you and her blood does not run through your veins.

For 19 years you have been part of a masquerade. Sometimes you take off the mask and sometimes you don’t. You are both: oblivious to assimilation, but actively resist it. You are Ukrainian but then you’re Canadian (whatever that means).

A cultural schizophrenic.

 

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