Today I want to tell you about my life growing up with a Filipino mother and an English father. I read an article earlier this afternoon about biracial parents and what the children could experience growing up. It brought back a lot of memories as I was able to relate to many of the issues listed.
My mother is very beautiful. She’s one of the most warmest and genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. It hurts me to see her greet strangers when walking down the street to see them give her a blank stare yet she doesn’t care. She doesn’t greet people for gratitude or validation, she’s a good person, and does so with genuine intention of warm greetings.
My father was an attractive man before he was run down with depression and became sleep deprived. When my mother married him (26 years ago) they were an attractive couple together, although he’s covered in tattoos and in the Filipino culture a man with tattoos has likely served a prison sentence. My mother saw through that and fell in love with my father and they’re still happily married to this very day.
My mother started working in the U.K as soon as she moved here. She has never once claimed any benefits even though she could qualify for them as she worked less than 16 hours. My father has worked all of his life too until recently. He had a stroke in 2008 which affected his work ability a few years ago resulting in early retirement.
From what I remember I had a comfortable life when I was young. We were far from rich but my father was self employed and doing well at the time. He used to spoil me when I was younger. He’d surprise me with a puppy or a new bike and made sure I was the happiest girl on Christmas Day. My mother was also a generous person surprising me little sentimental gifts and always put me first.
My mother is the greatest mother of all time. She has been my biggest support network through my depression and Asperger’s Syndrome. She attended all my appointments and helped in any way she could to make my life easier. I remember only ever being babysat twice in my life, she never left my side and took me everywhere if needed. She always made sure I was fed, clothed and happy, and that I was.
My father and I have a different bond. We used to be very close when I was young and less hormonal. When I hit adolescence and had to face secondary school I completely changed from the quiet shy girl to the loud, aggressive opinionated teenager. He didn’t seem to handle my sudden bursts of anger and irritation at the slightest thing. I wasn’t diagnosed with autism until the age of 22 so now I understand why he struggled with me without knowing the hell I was going through.
So there’s a little history for you, now I’ll talk about other people’s opinions on my parents’ marriage.
In all honestly I didn’t even realise the difference in race. Mum was mum and dad was dad. It was that simple. Yet other people would stare and have their own ideas about my parents’ relationship. I remember a friend of mine once spoke about my parents (not to my face obviously) discussing my innocent mother. She seemed to believe my mother was a prostitute (purely based on the fact she’s Asian). I can’t even comment on that because I’ve never heard anything so absurd. Considering mother’s a catholic I found it very disrespectful and coming from the person herself, found it quite ironic.
My own friends would discuss my race. They believed I should of ‘acted’ more ‘English’ and pay more attention to my father’s side of the family. I found it hilarious that a human could actually sit there and discuss my ethnic origin and care that much about my personal life. I on the other hand lived a life never giving a thought to the fact I was mixed race, I was just being myself and that caused my friends to feel angry. I had my own issues that I never once discussed with my friends so I found the whole conversation (that was also said behind my back) amusing.
I personally was targeted racially from a young age. I had one young boy comment on my mother’s mole and the colour of her skin. I vividly remember several people taunting me with racist words. It disgusts me that children were even aware of such horrific words. Luckily my father taught me self defense from a young age as he practiced jiu jitsu. I now know that he was protecting me from the expected racial abuse.
Within the last 4 years I’ve discovered racism really does exist (yes, I was oblivious of my light brown skin for many years as colour doesn’t define anyone). I have had men tut at me when I hold hands with my partner (because he’s Caucasian). I’ve been on the receiving end of dirty looks and have even been lucky enough to receive racist verbal diarrhoea from a ‘friend’ of mine but what hurts the most is coming to the realisation that racism seems to apply almost everywhere. Now I say that lightly, not to be taken too seriously but yes, I hear it in the disgusting derogatory words to describe someone of race and the nasty looks from those less educated.
It’s a shame. I remember living a peaceful life along with a stressful one. I wasn’t bothered by people and if anything didn’t pay a thought to those around me. I was happy in my little bubble unaware of the darkness that was awaiting me in time to come. I used to feel anger and resentment towards racists but now I try to understand that it’s due to being uneducated and the way people can be brought up.
I am very proud of my parents for standing by each other and teaching me to understand the value of money, life and love. They’re like any normal couple and shouldn’t be judged because they fell in love no matter where they come from. We live in an accepting modern age where people should embrace life and not stress or worry over a biracial couple.
I’m happy to be taught valuable life lessons from different cultures and be able to see life with an open mind. My parents never smothered me and never once tried to fix potential mistakes. They spoke openly about every topic under the sun which has now given me a broad mind full of imagination and a tough exterior that can handle any abuse aimed at me. I’m so proud of them and they should be proud of themselves. So it’s silly to judge anyone on their differences. There’s so much more to life than the colour of someone’s skin or their gender or sexuality. Life can be simple if you let it be. Learn to accept with kindness and free your body of hate, it can kill you 🙂
Love conquers all…