Silver Anniversary / Silbernes Jubiläum

Twenty-five years ago today, i entered the United States for the first time. So today is an anniversary of sorts, except that i don’t feel like celebrating. Maybe it’s partly because i didn’t intend to immigrate. It just sort of happened. And then there are all the painful experiences that i had – a rape, an abusive marriage, a divorce that lasted my son’s childhood, a career that was completely contrary to my values, and – maybe most painful of all – the loss of my German citizenship. Weird that such a formality is bringing tears to my eyes. It probably symbolizes the visceral sense of belonging that i haven’t felt quite as deeply here in the US. Or maybe it symbolizes the losses, all my losses of innocence. So, today i mourn all of that.

(And before you comment something to cheer me up, please note this from Marty Cooper: “Grief is the channel to acceptance! Grieving is the process of emotionally letting go of what is already gone. Grief is necessary for acceptance.” Grieving/mourning is nothing horrible or something to be avoided. It is a healthy part of living and frees me up for the next 25 years!)

Heute vor fünfundzwanzig Jahren bin ich das erste Mal in den USA angekommen. Also ist heute eine Art Jubiläum, allerdings habe ich keine Lust zum Feier. Vielleicht weil ich nicht beabsichtigt hatte, zu immigrieren. Es ist einfach so passiert, war nicht geplant. Oder vielleicht wegen der schmerzhaften Erfahrungen – Vergewaltigung, eine Ehe mit Missbrauch, eine Scheidung, die sich über die ganze Kindheit meines Sohns hinaus streckte, eine Karriere, die im vollen Gegensatz meiner Werte stand, und – vielleicht das schmerzhafteste – der Verlust meiner deutschen Staatsbürgerschaft. Merkwürdig, dass so eine Formalität Tränen in meine Augen bringt. Sie symbolisiert wahrscheinlich das tiefe Zusammengehörigkeitsgefühl, dass ich hier in den USA noch nie so empfunden habe. Oder vielleicht symbolisiert der Verlust alle Verluste, alle meine Verluste meiner Unschuld. Also, heute betrauere ich das alles.

(Und bevor ihr einen Kommentar schreibt, um mir Freude einzureden, bitte lest diese Beobachtung von Marty Cooper: “Trauer ist der Kanal zum Akzeptieren! Trauern ist der Vorgang mit dem wir emotional das loslassen, was in der Vergangenheit liegt. Trauer ist notwendig, um unsere Vergangenheit voll zu akzeptieren” (meine freie Übersetzung). Zu trauern ist also nichts fürchterliches, was unbedingt vermieden werden muss. Es ist ein gesunder Teil des Lebens und erlaubt mir, die nächsten 25 Jahre befreit anzufangen!)

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Silver Anniversary / Silbernes Jubiläum — 4 Comments

  1. see, it just happened again…..cut me off…..then i got a notice it was seen as a ‘duplicate comment’……, i hope this can be corrected, or explained.

    • Ough. Sorry to read you’re having trouble posting comments, Shira, especially since i enjoy reading them! I haven’t heard of this problem before nor have i encountered it when i leave comments. Very strange…

      There is no limit to the length of the comment and some people have left very long comments. So, i am not quite sure what the problem is about… Please let me know if it persists and i can try if i can trouble shoot it. And this comment that i am typing right now is longer than either of the first two that you left, so i don’t seem to be able to recreate the problem either unless it happens when you filled the box. Nope… I just filled the box and was just fine… So i don’t know… (I wrote a bit more than necessary to test this…)

  2. this is about a tech problem i’ve been encountering only here on this comment space….and it just happened again in the comment i just sent: typing the last sentence, i was continually forced to stop typing as the site kept jumping back to former lines and wouldn’t let me continue.

    it’s as if i was prevented from writing more, intentionally. is that what it is, to keep the length down? or is it a tech problem you didn’t request

  3. that is quite a list of challenges to have had to face alone and in a new country……..and, isn’t it amazing how deeply connected we feel toward our (formal, political?) country of origin?!
    i think it has something to do with our basic identity, biological, social, cultural……even though it’s really just symbol…….but symbols have so much power…..

    and to be actually (symbolically? technically?) rejected by ”them” does mean alot……it’s like being punished

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