by Kate Korneeva 

This summer I learned he had married. And I have something to wish him. I wish him peace and serenity. But I know for sure, both come from inside, because I myself have experienced that changes are born inside and then transform events, relationships, life, and the world around. It happens by making different choices, by confronting fears and overcoming them, accepting the past. I wish for him to go down his path and find serenity – whatever that is for him. I thought I would envy his wife but I do not. I know what it’s like to be his woman. He is still the same as he was 11 years ago. I know the price she pays. For me the price was unbearable. The price of being laughed at, derided and sometimes ignored was too high for me. These are just some of his father’s patterns and the messages he got from his childhood and now reproduces in his life. Unless we become aware of what belongs to us and what belongs to our parents, unless we return to our parents what belongs to them, we copy them even if we don’t want to. That is what was imprinted in his mindset, that is his background. He has never experienced anything different, anything contrary to that. It is all he can contribute to relationships. And she agrees to accept it because she has her own background.

I have my background as well. We met by chance, yet I chose him deliberately, albeit unconsciously.

My parents divorced when I was also 14. At 12 I discovered a document and found out that my father was actually my step-father. So I’ve never seen my biological father. He had died about six months before I learned about him, when he was 36. And now I know what it’s like to be deprived of a right to be the daughter of my father, I know what it feels like to be deprived of a father’s love and embrace. I know what it means not to even have an idea of his voice, the way he spoke, the way he looked. I will never know how it would have felt if he had looked at me and talked to me. The time has gone for ever. Death made all this impossible. And I feel really sorry for that. I am really sorry that my mother and father were not wise and brave enough to stay parents for me when they separated as wife and husband. Now I know it’s not as easy as it may seem, because I was in their shoes, but it is worth it.

That’s why I indeed thank God and myself for letting me find enough courage to get my son acquainted with his father after almost 8 years of silence. I extended my hand, and he took it. And I indeed thank him for letting it happen. Because our son has the right to know his father, listen to his voice, talk to him and see him, even if he is not a perfect parent. Once, at the end of a phone call, my son said: “I love you, Dad.” I was almost crying at that moment and I felt proud of myself because I had done that very important and precious thing: I had returned a basic right to our son; the right to be the son of his father, the right to know his father and love him. This was my personal award. I put lots of effort, time and strength into it, and I did it, although I’m not an ideal parent either. Our son will make his own judgment about his father. He has that right as well.

The more I think about this story the more I agree that I could not predict we would break up and I would become a single mother. In those days I did not have the knowledge I have now, I was unable to think about and see what happened the way I learned to later. Then I was not what I am now.

The reason seems to be the environment we lived in as children. Neither he nor I had any idea of what it was like to live in a happy family, to overcome difficulties together by supporting each other and openly discussing what each partner felt and understood or did not feel and understand. We definitely did not know what it was like to be accepted, respected and truly supported by our parents. What it meant to feel safe and protected. My mother is a really strong woman, but she doesn’t and will never understand and learn how to be on my side whatever happens to me, whatever the circumstances and situations are, no matter what the truth is; to be on my side simply because I am her daughter, her child, although I may be almost 40 already. She will never realize that I may have needed her protection since I was born because she is the one to take care of and protect her child. Unfortunately, I cannot make my mother own up to her mistakes and thus to assume responsibility unless she takes the first step herself.

And probably his father will always treat him like a child, and my mom will always be on somebody else’s side – we cannot change them, but we can change ourselves and learn how to live with the things that will always remain the same. We can do a lot if we are ready and really want to. We can continue in many different ways. We just need to learn to make different choices, take responsibility and be more conscious. I still make mistakes, but I am learning to uncover the reasons, and finding answers, and I am learning to live a more solid life. And that’s cool and lets me look forward to all the new discoveries I will make in my life!

In the Middle – An International Transposition (Fiction)

Introduction to In the Middle – An International Transposition, edited by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey

January: Forgetting – Turkey, by Seyit Ali Dastan

February: The Unreal in Real – Armenia, by Armine Asryan

March: Catching Water – Argentina, by Javier Gómez

April: Unwanted – South Africa, by Toni Wallis

May: House with a Stucco Ship – Ukraine, by Gennady Bondarenko

June: A Girl Pedaling – Cuba, by Marilin Guerrero Casas

July: The Last Day – Poland, by Pawel Awdejuk

August: Through my Hands – Venezuela, by Veronica Cordido

September: Amelia’s Euphemism – Spain, by Jonay Quintero Hernández

October: Until Love Do Us Part – Uruguay, by Alejandra Baccino

November: A Journey to the Edge – Lebanon, by Rayan Harake

December: I Used to Smoke – Russia, by Kate Korneeva

Background – Context

Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)

The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)

L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)

From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)

More work by Kate Korneeva

One We – Kate Korneeva (transposing emblem)

Instability or Flexibility – Kate Korneeva (transposing emblem)

Emblems and stories on the international community

Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world


Cover photo: Chelyabinsk, Russia – The remains of Christmas in the snowy glade – Mikhail Galyshev (Shutterstock)

Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed

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