Sunday, March 20, 2011

Polish Mama on the Prairie: My Feet in Two Worlds

Poland. Photographer: Maciej Duczynski. Source

Polish Mama on the Prairie tells a story that doesn't fit. She's Polish, but she's not. She's American, but she's not. She grew up poor and facing discrimination and bigotry, but she's – white – one of those people who is supposed to enjoy "white privilege." She loves America, but everything isn't perfect. When she says that everything isn't perfect, people tell her to "Get the f--- out of this country."

Her life is pretty good, except for the persistence aches of displacement:

"And on Earth, I feel like I don't belong 100% in either culture. I don't speak perfect Polish, I don't have a Polish accent, I dress like an American, I get told that living in Poland would probably not work well for me, and why don't my children speak better Polish? I also get told that I have a funny name, I 'look Polish or foreign,' I don't dress like an American, I should accept the fact that I am not Polish anymore and that I am American and not speak Polish or about Poland ever, and if I mention anything I wrote about earlier in this article, I am unpatriotic and un-American.

Several years ago, I started to shake loose from a gradual depression that I couldn't talk to anyone about because nobody could relate to how I felt. I didn't want my parents blaming themselves like they caused this feeling in me of being a ship without a harbor."

She didn't even realize how hurt she was until she started writing.

"The funny thing is, until I started writing this, I didn't realize how hurt I was growing up. And when I started writing today, it all came back in a painful, drowning wave. I had a couple of moments when I had to walk away from this just to cry. But I'm glad I did. I feel stronger."

My story is somewhat similar to Polish Mama's story. You can read my story here.

Read Polish Mama's story here.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you... That meant so much. Just. Dzienkujem Pani bardzo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I saw this and thought it might interest you and your readers... http://myemail.constantcontact.com/NY-Times-Moves-Dachau-to-Poland-.html?soid=1102209353546&aid=3kqv5aS0zUE
    Mr. Storozynski has been fighting this issue (of the media calling Nazi atrocities such as concentration camps as being of Polish credit) for some time and I thought spreading the word would help.

    ReplyDelete

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