What is the line between trauma and culture?

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I went to chinese school for a lot of my life

I think I went for nine years

Maybe this is with all schooling, but its hard to recount what was material was taught to me

what I remember was being taught what being Chinese could look like

To be a Chinese teacher is to not give much mind to your students, unless it is your own child

To learn Chinese is a competitiion of who can win the biggest trophy at the end of the year so your parents will drive you home happy

To succeed in Chinese school means being able to memorize a set of words one week, and forget them for the rest of your life

to be a Chinese child is to hear your peers make racist, homophobic, and sinophobic comments and jokes

and to partake in that.

My family is from China

but moved to Vietnam seeking refuge

They were sponsored to Canada before I was born

from China

to Cambodia, on my dads side only,

to Vietnam

to Canada

I remember growing up, my mom expressed her bitterness towards Japan--for their efforts that displaced her

I also remember thinking my mom was stupid

She spoke English worse than me

I remember learning hatred and fear through my family and extended family. Disconnection and isolation

I don't think it does me much favour to dwell on any of this

Instead, let me leave you this space of silence... To reflect and nurture the parts of us still healing from childhood

Public school was where I learned to regulate my feelings

it was also where I rarely spoke a lick of chinese. Of any of the three dialects I know

School taught me that to be civil, mature with my feelings, and compassionate was also to speak English

Last summer, I went on a trip with my parents to visit our extented family and friends in the states

I spoke my broken Teo Chew. And thus, I was a child again

in the arms of my parents throwing tantrums and mistakingly giving silent treatments

to be a chinese relative of mine to see witness me in this state and only know me as that

When I think of myself, I think I have a very good self esteem

I am compassionate, careful, loving, and approachable

but when i am that person, I am speaking english

What does it mean to heal childhood wounds if that child lives besides you in your Chineseness?

How can I love in Chinese?