My Real Name

My Real Name

MY REAL NAME . . . (Condensed version)

My name is American Dream.

My family and I immigrated from Korea to all places Oklahoma. I think we were the only Asian family for miles away. We came for the American dream, but instead I became the dream of many Americans. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan shook my hands as I became a U.S. Citizen. We struggled in the same way many immigrants did: working hard to outrun poverty while trying to be accepted as Americans. My father was a workaholic, while my mother worked to beat me. I wasnít born Here but my new country made sure I paid the price to be here. One of my favorite memories, the sound of a beautiful piano whose echo became harder and harder to hear.

My Name is Santa Clauseís Toy.

My parents worked a lot so they placed me at a neighborís house. The wife was Korean so they thought it was safe. Problem with the arrangement was the Santa Clause looking husband who was looking for a new toy. He would pretend we were playing and then take me into a room which would be the same type of room that I would see for many years to come. My first shudder from porn was clicked thru the camera he took pictures of me with. My boundaries were being ripped away. What time is it I thought, the clock blinked noon but when I looked again it blinked at 3:30 a.m. I was losing time even the boundaries that distinguished dream state from reality were slipping. My dreams would not let me rest from what happened. I would dream about my poor father naively waving goodbye as he left me in the arctic embrace of Santa Clause but have you ever heard a mute person scream? Have you ever been somewhere where nobody understands your language? You see I didnít speak English well at 3 years old. In fact, I barely spoke at all at three years old. I mean what 3 year old has the vocabulary that stops adults from sexing our little bodies? If adults canít make them stop, how can a child?

My Name is After-School Special.

I started acting out in elementary school. I become hard to control. You see those little children we rule with terror, grow up and become what we become terrified by. Molesters are like vultures that can smell you have been abused. Instead of reading my unruliness as a sign of distress, teachers actually passed me off to the head freak in charge, the principle. The head principle called me into his office and gave me a deal that suited his sick fantasy. He proved he was the head principle alright. Well, I closed my eyes tightly so I could force my tears BACK into my flooded heart instead of let tears be seen in front of my barren face.

My name is Girlfriend.

After having a childhood shaped with violence, I met this guy who said I was beautiful. He became my boyfriend. I had already been shuffled thru the system and was confused and lonely. Like most abusers he didnít come with a warning label. His charm was deadly. I moved with him to another state and when I tried to leave, he tied me down so I would not escape. To complete his control, he destroyed all of my identification and said without anything to say who I was they would treat me worse than an immigrant. I shook the Presidents hand but they didnít care. But that didnít keep me in his home. The first chance I got I ran. The first person who helped me turned out to be a worse omen than my ex-boyfriend. I met my trafficker and SHE was vicious as any of the men. She was more vicious because she manipulated her feminine nurturing act. She gave me food, shelter in exchange for selling me into human trafficking.

My Name is Next.

This ďwomanĒ dropped me off with some people who were of the same treacherous tribe. I became a missing persons. I ended up with hundreds of other kids and young adults cattled in some warehouse. They approached these men one by one. Every time they would access the flesh and scream NEXT!! A young blonde girl walks up who looks like some child from the back of those milk cartoons. He looks at her, pushes her toward the next level of Danteís Hell and screams NEXT! Another girl walks up, barely speaks English. Looks like one of those pretty Mexican girls from some small village. Like most of the other girls in the warehouse, she canít understand him. All I care is that you understand what you must do, he tells her. He pushes her off. NEXT, Another young girl. This time he doesnít say NEXT. He motions to 2 other men and says: ďTeach her a LessonĒ. For the next 5 hours all we heard were her screams. Oh God, I am NEXT! I stood in front of him not knowing what kind of plans were in store. We stayed in this warehouse for God know how long. They gave us little food and allowed little talk. I would hear torturous screams and sob. I was put in isolation. They were in the process of breaking us into their slaves. One day a truck came for a bunch of us. They took us to the place that represented death- the desert. We were told to wear the negligee provided so training could start. I found myself in a darker nightmare. This time I uttered NEXT and in the reflection in front of me, I saw a vaporous image that would not be clear again for some years to come.

My Name is SUKKI.

This is one of many Asian names I was given, Why go to Korea, when Korea can come to you. I became the Asian fantasy. Add an accent and my price went up. Ironic, after years of placing me learning disability classes because of my accent and now they wanted it back. The biggest way to double my price was to look even younger than I was. Being sold as a 13 year old gave them more to play with while my soul was slowly dying.

My Name is Jules.

Well I started trying to prove I was ruthless as those who raped me. My Trafficker decided he wanted me as his personal concubine. When I was holed up in the warehouse, I remembered one of the Russian girls saying the best way out was to get one of these guys to want you for themselves. Then you could get their trust and buy some girls and let them go free. I made my Master ( aka Trafficker) love me enough to make me into the Madam. It had a price though. One day I caught a very deadly disease: Stockholm Syndrome, the one when you start loving your captor. I had buried my captivity in the fine garments embroidered with denial and pain. My garments were kept intact with threaded veins of my existence; finding myself getting comfortable with my diamond linked chains. I had witnessed so much. These werenít local dope boys on the corner who answered to G-Love. No, these were powerful men buying, selling, killing and raping innocence. I remember the movie Devilís Advocate. Al Pacinoís character said something like when you dance with the Devil, the devil doesnít change. Instead he changes you. One day I looked UP into the sky and saw a bird flying. Instead of peace, I felt envy that it possesses something that was clipped and hidden from my soulís shoulder blade: My Wings. That bird could soar to the heavens while my body was just plain soar from the weight of hell. I wanted to kill that bird. When I start envying an animal, I started to figure out that something is not quite right with me anymore.

My Name is Abolitionist.

You never know how much you have sold yourself for on that auction block until one day you wake up from that little death called sleep and see you are missing some very important body parts:
I had lost body parts all over the country. I had to run away, so I could grow better parts that would never be severed. On my out of town, I saw my owner in a store. I prayed for invisibility. He walked right by me! 2 things happened on 2 very different levels #1. The traffickerís blindness didnít see anything outside the black hole of his existence. #2. My Angelís light was so bright upon me that looking at me would be trying to look at the sun. I was in the center of a dance between light and dark. I left and never turned back. I was homeless for awhile. Moved to a few states. After being shuffled through the system, I realized I was truly a survivor when I lived through the callousness of the helping institution. I went through a period of mourning: I mourned the 3 year old whose innocence was taken; I mourned the 8 year old who found she had innocence worth taken; I mourned the 19 year old who forgot she ever had innocence at all. I lastly mourned society who devalues innocence all together. I rose out of that and became an abolitionist. I have helped many people escape their exploitation. My accomplishments by far trump my past oppression. I am a freedom fighter who will live out my days helping those who so much as give me a glance of their desire to break free.

My Name Is Ultimate Sacrifice.

I remember reading stories of when they would bring slaves across the oceans. Many mothers would throw their babies overboard. I used to think that was cruel, but I know why they did it. They could not risk exposing sacrificing their children to the beasts, even if it meant making a deal with death that would deliver the child to God while sacrificing the mother to the beast. If on Judgment Day I am banished from the Kingdom of Heaven, I will at least know that my children are behind those gates loved and protected from the Hell on Earth. Now, I didnít kill my children, but I damn dear killed myself having to give them up so they are not hunted. Traffickers LOVED when their property became pregnant. Like the plantation, it was more money for their market. They werenít going to blackmail me with my babies. They are safe. But do not think for one moment that the sacrifice has not taken a toll on me. Revenge? When you are treacherous you carry a parasite that eats your light. Ironic how traffickers directing people to different places, yet they cannot even direct them out of hell. When you walk around wearing amulets of broken and dead souls around your neck, you become a walking burial ground. That is the meaning of a demonic possession. I canít take out more revenge than that.

My Name is Artist.

My story is too big to tell all. Things I havenít mentioned up here because you have to read it to believe it. I wrote a book, Broken Silence. I wrote so you can help me carry some of that weight. I wrote it for myself so I can get rid of some of that weight. Mostly though I wrote it so it can help others who should know it is not up them to hold the weight of anybody on top of them. I am a dancer who moves to the choreography of her spirit; I am painter that brushes the canvass of humanity with the strokes of a bristling rainbow; I am a writer who fills the fountain of her pen with the blood sacrifice of our redemption; I am a musician who conducts the symphony of sounds toward the opus of our path. My God, I hear the sound of a piano . . . I am an artist who sees humanity on plane of existence. They say the greatest works of art come from pain and love. I am the highest of all creators-I created 2 beautiful children who I had to give up so they would be safe.

My Real Name is Chong Kim.

Some of you out there hear this story and think this problem is too big to solve. Let you in on something. When I started climbing out of the abyss, the hands that reached out to me werenít these big names, with big institutions and organizations behind them. No, the hands that reached out were students, teachers, mothers, artists. Some were thieves, prostitutes, and thugs. They were people who saw that I was connected to them and my reach for something better also made their world better by association. A few weeks ago, I saw that bird I once envied. This time when I affixed my gaze on its magnificent wings, I was not looking UP to do it. Instead, I was looking right into the eyes of my winged comrade as we flew together toward the horizon of freedom. I found that my wings were never cut off. They were always there. It was me that was cut off from the essence of who I really am. Survivors like me have something very special to teach humanity. We remind you of how fare you have yet to go in your evolution. Who am I? I answer to the name of Chong Kim. But my real name is written right across the wing span of my spirit for those who want to really see.


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