I posted this on flickr with the explanation that it was inspired by No Face in Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. In part that’s true. Of all the characters, I associate with that one the most. My version is a bit more specific to myself and the meaning would be obvious to anyone who really knows me. Another version of the same thing can be seen in “Find”. My obsession with faces or lack of them is consistent in my photoshop work and it’s not just because of religion or anonymity. I still bury my feelings, but instead bury them between lines of poetry and the images that I manipulate. Confronting them face to face has been so disorienting and I still rely on different means of expression to help sort them out.
I’ve been reading some adoption forums and blogs to try to get my bearings straight. What is balance but the middle of two sides? The more I read the more upset I seem to get and it’s not like I went looking for something to criticize. I could get that from a lot of adoptee blogs, websites and from my own experiences. On many of adoption forums they talk about love as if it will act as some shield protecting everyone from pain and suffering of all kinds. I want to scream at them.
I was showered with love and affection, with support and more love but it did little to protect me from the teasing, the isolation and identity issues. Love provides little balm from the hurt and anger. I guess my fear is that adoptive parents of TRA’s will blind themselves with their own love and denial. Thinking that love is all that’s needed is as realistic as thinking racism doesn’t exist in America. It takes a lot more than love. Love is just a foundation to be built upon. Many parents who think that all you need is love may be in for a huge shock later on or maybe not. There are aparents who pat themselves on the back and point out how happy and well adjusted their little darlings are. It doesn’t matter that they’re only four years old. Alot of times, this comes after some mention of “those Korean adoptee blogs”. *ehem
Children don’t always tell you everything. My parents still don’t know and I’m 36 years old with four kids of my own. My parents love me and I love them right back and for them to know would hurt them. Who wants to hurt those they love? I waffle on whether to let them know and despite all I say, I probably will never tell them. I didn’t tell them when the white kids chased me down the road with rocks in their hand. I never uttered a word about the lunch room lady’s son who screamed, “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these” at me every day on the bus. They were clueless as to the real reasons I suddenly started dumping lemon juice on my hair and baking it in the sun. To this day, they don’t know about my best friend’s father who called me “rice patty” and thought it was funny.
Love may be the tie that binds, but it can also be a leash, a noose, a blindfold and a gag all at once.