[11 January, 2012]

on being an immigrant 4

My therapist told me that I have to forgive myself for leaving my home country.

I've been thinking about this phrase for a few hours now, letting it sink in. I, forgive myself.

Am I angry at myself? Am I sad, deeply, with myself? I didn't think so; I wasn't the one who decided to immigrate. Yet this phase made so much sense. What chord was it striking?

It's easy for me to be angry and sad about my childhood circumstances. It's easy to blame the people who plucked me away from an environment where I was comfortable, where I felt supported, where I knew a sense of connection and belonging to those around me. Yet, in some twisted way, I'm punishing myself for being here, and for not being there. This punishment is covert and subtle. It exists mostly in the fundamental grief I feel about being whoever I am now.

Forgiveness is part of the grieving process, and the grieving process is part of healing. So here I am, hopefully on the road to becoming less sad about my autobiography and to feeling OK about my self. 

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