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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The most difficult place to live is in the middle.

The family I know, the people who raised me, the people who spent countless hours and dollars educating me, investing in the young girl that became me, this is the only family I know.  They do not want to hear about my feelings of being tormented.  This family gets angry at me at any mention of this torment.  No matter how small the mention is, it never goes unpunished.  Harsh words and the customary accusations of playing the victim, and a lifetime of shutting off this voice hardened me. 
There is more…
The family that I am related to by blood, the people who look like me, the people who threw me away in 1967 because I am female and half white, my tribe, they reject me with silence.  One half of me is Lake Cowichan First Nation, the other half is white.  So this post is about where I live inside.  The place I call the no so soft center.  The center I decided to expose a small piece at a time.  It hurts.  
I am older now and maturity has assisted me in many ways.  I am calmer.  I am quieter.  I am less aggressive.  I have stopped attempting to be Indian to my white family, and I have stopped trying to be Indian to my Native family.  So what am I?  Good question. 
I am the result of a government experiment conducted in 1967.  I am quite sure this program started long before and ended sometime after, however, I am unable to verify the actual dates/numbers.  Why?  Because no one has ever written about it.  Especially the survivors, people like me. 
At the risk of pissing off my adopted family, my white family, I am beginning to speak of this experience I have lived and am still living.  At the risk breaking some tradition or custom or embarrassing my tribe, I am speaking of this experience I have lived and am still living.  Not to purposely anger or offend anyone.  I speak of it only so it will not be lost in the silence of my pain and anger of powerful and intimate and unknown people.  It is time to introduce myself to me and to you.  I am…
½ White
½ Lake Cowichan First Nation
I am going to find my voice, and I will do it publicly.