By: Anonymous

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My mom left us (myself, dad, & brother) when I was a sophomore in high school. This, for many reasons, was the most difficult thing I went through as a child/young adult. This major event obviously caused anger, confusion, depression, and much pain and sadness. On top of dealing with these emotions, my grades dropped, which was just about the worst thing that could happen for a teenager at a highly competitive school. Additionally, my family was pretty well known amongst the Koreans in our community. Though divorce is somewhat common in this day in age, divorce in the Asian community (or Korean, to be more specific) was still quite taboo. If it happened, it was not talked about because divorce essentially alluded to failure.

I grew up being a fairly quiet, follow-the-rules, obedient girl. This completely rocked my world. My dad basically isolated us from all of my mom’s side of the family, and we went from having a huge extended family (all of my maternal cousins, aunts, uncles) to just my dad, my brother, and me. After living the next couple years in shame and embarrassment, I decided on my own that it was time for me to step outside of what my dad thought was right and reach out to my cousins and family I left to the side for a couple years. I reached out to my mom during my first year of college and found reconciliation with her. Through the grace of God, I was able to find peace in forgiving her and all that had happened.

As difficult as all that was to go through, I believe it’s molded and shaped me into who I am today. As cliché as it may sound, I feel stronger and a bit wiser because of it. I was able to let go of the shame and other emotions I felt through my own healing process of lots of prayer and guidance of my close friends and church community. It’s odd because I know generationally there are still so many gaps and differences. I know that even though my mom and dad are both happily remarried, they still hold a lot of guilt and shame in their hearts. My brother and I, however, are in a better place through the rough patches; we haven’t forgotten the events, but we’ve been able to move forward and be open about our family with those we love and care about.

At The Laundromat is a supportive online community that exists to challenge the taboo of talking. We welcome you to air your dirty laundry – your past, your emotions, your fears, and your questions – in a safe space. ATL is also an online extension of Vanessa A. Yee’s documentary featuring young Asian Americans breaking the silence that takes hold of their lives and their families. So speak. Write. We’ll listen.

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