I am Ukrainian. Russian was the first language I learned, English was the second. I grew up in a brutally cold and honest culture unlike the sugar coated one we have in America; the culture I was raised with was strict in regarding church and home life. But my mom and I do not have a church anymore, the church forced us out when they realized that my mother had a child out of wedlock, not caring that the man she was supposed to marry was a dangerous and brutally abusive man. The only thing the church saw was that she had a child out of wedlock and this was wrong. I believed that church was only supposed to be about God, love, and support, but I guess I was wrong as well.
My mom found an American man for me to call father. I am still not sure if she loved him or if she felt bad that I did not have a father. This man tried to wash me from my Ukrainian culture forcing us to only speak and act American because he believed that we would talk poorly about him in a language he did not understand. Not once did it cross his mind that if he treated us better than he did, we wouldn’t have spoken poorly about him. He punished us for this. He forced us to move from our home to a place across the country where he could be happy; ironically, he felt out of place with my family. We moved to the Midwest where he strongly suggested that we all go to an Americanized church, so we could learn about God the way he wanted us to.
My mom finally got the courage to stand up to that man and kick him out, supporting us with the only way she knew how to. She was doing all the work anyways, I aspire to be like her. My mother built us a life where we didn’t want to be in the first place. There are no Ukrainians where we live now. My mom wants me to marry a Ukrainian man, but I have been exiled from my own culture. I am not Ukrainian nor am I American.