Monday, October 27, 2008

My Origins: Part 2

As promised, here is part two of the story of my mediocre life. lol
We'll pick up from where we left off, but here are some random childhood pics, of course I had a lot more childhood pics...cant seem to find them all.
Above is a picture of my mother and myself ...yea, she was a glam mom. Forever thinking she's hot type thing. Funny thing is my moms 40 now and still thinks shes hot. My mom goes shopping more than my gf...or almost any girl I know...combined. Sometimes I hate the fact that my mom's young because people think Im her bf...*will barfs*
But it works out too, so the fuckin pervs dont gawk at her...the lord knows Id deck any fool who was bothering my mother.
The great thing about my mom is, she doesnt look like she's aged a day. She's still the most beautiful woman I know...just thank god she doesnt have that hair
Below is a pic of me and my pops...(and my mom in the photo frame.) Umm...he still looks pretty much the same now, well not exactly the same cuz that would be embarrassing.

The picture below this is kinda humorous...yet not...
My mom didnt want a son at first, she thinks boys are a headache. She wished she had a daughter. I guess when you're really young, u just look like a kid, if you had short hair ud look like a boy, and if it was long u looked like a mom kept my hair long...tisk. And if you could also notice, she also painted my finger nails...(not cool mom)So the story starts off here.
My parents arrived in Canada in the middle of the winter. Imagine, Vietnam to
I was born on June 20th, 1985 on a hot summer afternoon at the Toronto General Hospital (College and University Ave) (thats right mother fuckers! Im a citizen, eat that! No more FOB jokes!) lol.
My parents had only been in the country for about 5 months. My dad started working several jobs at night while trying to learn English in school during the day. I remember my pops always telling about how hard it was to trek through snow when you're always underdressed and only have canvass shoes.

We lived in this spot right here, on top of a convenience store at Dufferin and Dundas. It was a tiny ass place. It was a bachelor that housed my pops, my ma and myself. Well come to think of it, it wasnt really a was one big room with a kitchen, and bedroom in it, with a random closet where you showered inside. We slept on mattresses on the floor and shared a washroom in the hallway with some random white people on the same floor.
I remember one time pooing...or I dont know what the fuck I was doing cuz I was less than 2, but I was in the washroom and the old lady from next door 'accidentally' opened the know how old women look like in flickering dim lighting and ghetto surroundings...scary as fuck. Thats my word.
I remember nights in the kitchen when my mom would rock me to bed, in a room probably no more than 8x8 ft. My dad would be trying to sleep to work the next day, but would be frustrated and aggravated by my constant crying, so my mom had to carry me out to the hallway or another room, i cant remember too clearly, but she would put me to sleep there. My mom spent sleepless nights in the kitchen just singing lullabies to me that I still have not forgotten the words to and falling asleep on a wooden chair in a room that was only lit by a candle. Who said being a mother was easy right? I love you mom.
My mom told me stories about how I was a very needy baby, how she was never allowed to be out of my sight. My mom said I was so clingy that even when she went to the washroom she had to bring me in too. She would sometimes face me the other way on the sink counter so I couldnt see her while she was using the washroom, but I would cry as soon as I couldnt see her no more. lol
Anyone who knows me, knows Im a mama's boy.
My parents had a really rough beginning in Canada. The new country really tested their strength and commitments, unfortunately my parents couldnt do it and they fell apart before I was 2.
I know what happened between the both of them, but its probably best that I dont expose that to the least not until my E True Hollywood story is released. lol
I just really wish I was able to grow up with both parents. I know there are a lot of people reading this right now who grew up with only one parent, usually your mother, but to everyone else who did grow up with both, consider yourselves very very fortunate. Do not take that for granted.
Lets say things went horribly wrong between my parents, like really wrong. I dont blame anyone more than the other, but I can imagine it must be hard, splitting in a new country when you have a child and no friends or family to support you. No one speaks you language or shares your culture. You have no where to go but home everyday after coming home from your miserable low paying job. Its a cold country which only intensifies the misery, and everyone goes about their business and doesnt really ever stop to say hi. I just know Id be pissed as hell to run away from a war torn country, to end up in a new one without the woman I married, loved, had a child and who I came with and having to start in a completely new surrounding all on my own. It doesnt get lonelier than that.
This is why I never make fun of immigrants. It must be so hard, the stress of getting settled and learning a new language, understanding a new culture, being isolated and excluded from the community, not being able to fully experience and enjoy what the new country has to offer you because of racism, discrimination and intimidation.
I cant even imagine where to thank my parents for having to deal with those first however many years in Canada in order for me to be born in a country with 'more' opportunities.
But like I said, Im not blaming any of my parents...its in the past now.
My dad took me away at first to try to raise me on his own and left my mother. He moved in with my grandmother where he was only able to keep me for a few weeks until my mom found him and took me back.
My mother left my dad and lost contact with her mother for sometime.
This was the entrance to the upstairs apartment above the store.

My mom and I later moved into the east side of town.
Some of you guys may know this, and some of you may not, but there's actually an east chinatown. Spadina and Dundas is west china town. Gerard and Broadview is east chinatown. Im sure there are a shit load of u guys reading this that are from Toronto that didnt even know that. Its not a side of town many people travel through if you're not from there. If you think Spadina is grimey, than you aint seen nothing yet til you hit Broadview. Word.

If I thought the beginning between my parents were rough, man, it only got worse from here. Due to the nature of blogs being so public (obviously), im obviously going to have to leave out a lot of key details.
Im not sure how long after, but my mom met my brother's father. He was a really nice guy, I never had any problems with him. He treated me as one of his own. My brother's dad was a bit different from mine in terms of lifestyle and personality (to say the least...but they both had their pros and cons). My mom and my brother's father enjoyed a lot of the beginning of the relationship. Kinda like the crazy rebel rockstar couple you know? Clubs and karaoke bars, gambling and nonstop shopping and whatever else is included in rebellious lifestyles.
My mom and my brother's dad were like gypsies, never really had a place to stay. Like I got worse from here. A lot of things that I do re-call, I will opt out of and choose not to share.
Eventually, they got a place on the northside of Regent Park, near Gerard and Parliament. To anyone who's not from Toronto, Regent Park is Canada's first and largest social housing 'project' located not even 5 minutes east from the downtown core.
This is it...407 Gerard...that balcony is actually split into apartment was on the right side, that window with the A/C sticking was my living room.
Ive seen some really crazy shit as a child living in this area. Im sure my experiences dont differ much from anyone living in the projects. Crackheads, druggies injecting themselves in the stairwell, domestic violence in the building hallways, dirty smelly alcoholics and pissed up staircases and whatever...
A couple of months later in December of 1987, we introduce my little brother Michael who ends up being my best friend and guinea pig for my experiments for most of my childhood and much of his own. lol.
Its lonely enough being an only child, but in a place where your parents dont have any friends with kids either...shit gets mad boring. lol

The introduction of my brother, started a very prosperous era in our lives. My brother and I were usually decked out in gold and jade, fine 'italian' clothing and brand name toys that werent just from Honest Eds (the biggest and oldest bargain shop in Canada...I think. lol). We even had a powerwheels. I love no dude more than I love my kid brother.
My brother's dad was doing well for the family even though we still lived in Regent Park. He bought himself a brand new Chevy Camaro (pictured below). Life was really good for us...for the time being anyhow.This is an image of Regent Park now. They demolishing the projects to redevelop the land and create new mixed income housing...basically, displacing the poor...whatever.

Lord Dufferin is where I used to take swimming lessons as a kid.

This was the convenience store I used to go to everyday afterschool to buy candies and chocolate. If you've seen any pictures of me as a child, you'll notice I had no frickin teeth. lol. Thanks mom. lol
The 2 best memories I have of this convenience store is one day after school, the frito-lays truck is parked outside and unloading the chips in boxes into the store. Me and a couple friends came up to the man (I was in like grade 1), and asked if we could have some chips, and he really did give us some. I remember coming home and bringing home enough chips for months. When you're poor, coming home with chips with a brand name is some shit! lol Not like No Frill's and Knob Hill Farms (thats right I said Knob Hill Farms...who remembers that shit? lol)
The second favorite memory is my mom taking me there one time because she was going out and I was wining. So she bought me some candy and a My Pet Monster was ugly as fuck in retrospect, but somehow it kept me quiet. lol
This here is fuckin hilarious...the picture below is the house that my best friend in grade 1 lived in. His name was Leo. It was right beside the school. I had the biggest crush on his older sister Zoey. I used to come over to his house all the time afterschool cuz I just wanted to see her. lol

This was my elementary school. I was only here until mid year of grade 2. I remember a chinese girl named Bonnie always kissing me in class and me telling on her cuz I was getting annoyed. I remember a blonde kid named Matthew with crazy temper tantrums that refused to do any work and the only words he ever said was "I cant", I remember Miss Franklin because she would always make French Toast for me in class, I remember a girl in my class that was cute too named Kayla, but she had some crazy ass split ends, I remember writing a love note to her before I moved away in grade 2. I remember one time playing tag with this kid named Vu, and my brother seeing me running and not knowing what was going on. My brother got concerned and protective so he picked up a plastic sand shovel and wacked it across Vu's face, cutting his face and leaving blood all over the place. I remember Vu's parents coming in and cussing at me in Vietnamese. I remember crying then calling my mom. Then I remember my mom on the phone saying "Do you need me to send someone in to beat up this kid Vu? And what did that bitch say to you (referring to Vu's mother), do you want me to have her taken care of too?" lmao. I also remembered being tossed into ESL...thats some fuckin shit man. I spoke perfect fuckin english as a kid. What? Because my eyes werent round enough and my skin wasnt white I had to get dashed in ESL...No one in ESL spoke english...EXCEPT ME MOTHER FUCKERS!
They eventually let me go back to normal classes after a few weeks. Some fuckin bullshit...I should sue them now.
This is me and the white kid, Russell who lived in the apartment directly below mine. I remember that his dad's name was William too. lol Umm...monkey bars in the school gym. lol
This is the track where I tried out for track and field in grade 2 but was cut because I didnt know I was supposed to run in my own lane. lol. Who woulda fuckin known thats what the lines were for. lol
Anyhow, the story continues.
My dad was absent from my life until I was around 4 or 5. I didnt even know who my dad was. As far as I knew, my brother's dad was my dad and I refused to believe anything else.
I can just imagine how hard it was for my dad.
By this time my dad had already remarried.
I remember this day so clearly. I was sitting in the living room with my brother, and someone knocks. My mom opens the door and my dad is standing there, but this was the first time I had seen him since I was 1ish, when my parents split.
He said it was my birthday so he wanted to take me shopping. I just remember kicking and screaming as my mom told me to leave with him. I remember crying the whole car ride. I remember crying inside Honest Eds. I remember him letting me choose which fire truck I wanted...I remembered me not crying after that...I remember being very quiet on the ride back home...I remember also not remembering who I was in the car with and that he was my father.
It took another year or so until I finally accepted him as my father.
Sometimes when I think about it, I feel so bad for my dad. He left me when I was still an infant, I didnt even remember his face. For 3 or 4 years, he said he missed me and cried all the time that he couldnt be with his son. He said he never wanted to visit me because he didnt want to see my mother. And when he was finally able to locate my mother and found the nerves to face me again, I didnt even know who he was. I cried and kick and scream. Musta killed him inside. Musta killed him inside to see my mother again in a happy home with another child and another man. Musta killed him for those 3 years being alone with no friends and working in a factory all day and night.
But this is not to say my dad never wronged my mother either. I still refuse to share the details of what happened.
Ill get to how bad I feel about my mother raising me without my father in her life when I get to part 3. My mom's hardships havent kicked in at this point yet. Well not ones that I consider as bad as what I will eventually tell you about.
But anyways, my brother and I didnt see eachother too much as kids because he was raised by his grandmother, which was extremely unfortunate. Man...its so hard to write about this right now without having a breakdown as I remember everything...fuck...
I was occasionally babysitted by a friend of my mom's and occasionally by her son. Lets just say when I have kids, they're never going to a daycare or babysitted by strangers...EVER. These are some times I wish I could erase from my mind...I remember it every now and then and I get angry and upset about it...
Fastforward maybe a couple months or a few years, and a family member opens up a restaraunt/ karaoke bar on College and Bathurst. I used to go there everyday afterschool. I used to play in the arcade and then chill in the billiards room in the back where I seen people lose their shoes and necklaces in games of pool.
My mom worked there as the head chef and as an assistant manager. If you dont know by now, Vietnamese people are messed up. lol It wasnt long until illegal activities started running in the spot.
One night, the police raided the spot and arrested everyone inside. According to the story, my mom got her head bashed against the glass table, shattering it. Her and a few other were taken into custody and locked up for 2 nights.
I remember coming home one day afterschool and not seeing my mom. My brother's dad told me she was out. And he kept on having to leave to handle the situation. I was all alone because like I said my brother was being looked after by his grandmother. I remember just staying home and crying because I was all alone in the apartment, no one was there except me, I was hungry and scared. Being a momma's boy didnt help either. I remembered it being late at night. I couldnt sleep, so I called my aunt or everyone else on the speed dial asking where my mom and my brother's dad were. And no one would tell me where they were even though they knew. I remember sitting in the hallway curled up and all alone in a dark ass apartment with no lights on, sitting in front of the door waiting for it to open just to see my mom. I fell asleep by the phone waiting for calls. I remember finally waking up to a call, and it was my mom calling from jail, I remember her crying saying she was scared and she loved me and missed me. Saying she was sorry. Saying she'll sing me to bed when she gets home. But she didnt tell me where she was. She had to hang up shortly after, and I cried myself to sleep all alone in the apartment in the hallway on the floor.
My mom came home two days later. The relationship between my mom and my brother's dad went downhill not to long after she got home. Without putting a blame on anyone, they decided to end their relationship and go their separate ways. I remember how much it hurt the day that my brother's dad left holding bags of his belongings in his hand standing there at the door tearing as he left my brother and I.
This chapter ends off with me being 6 or 7 years old, still living in Regent Park with my mother and brother.

I understand my childhood wasnt as hard as some others, but it wasnt exactly the happiest either. Im 23 now and Im quite used to people coming and going, in and out of my life. Its hard. Ive moved several times too, which you will find out in the later posts. I make friends and lose them. I become comfortable in certain homes and then move away. I live with siblings and leave them. Im with my mom or with my dad. The one thing Ive always lacked in my life was stability.
Im sometimes shocked that Im not a different person. If I really got into details about my childhood, im talking about SPECIFICS, you'd think Id grow up to be a fuct up kid...but somehow Ive managed to stay sane and somewhat rational.
Anyone who knows me, knows I take nothing for granted. I need friendships that I can depend on, people I can trust and believe in. People who I believe wont wrong me or misunderstand after a small mistake.
This is why I prefer serious relationships over flings and one night stands, why I prefer a few close friends over being in gangs or large groups. Why I try to stay focused in school and try to make legit money. I need stability. I need to know these things will be there tomorrow. Because everything else in my life is a toss up.
I can only take every negative action in my life and learn from it and try to become a better person. I dare not repeat the negative actions in my life that were acted upon myself or my family, because it would be as if I agreed and I condone it.

Sorry if this post is all over the place...I tried to keep it as organized as I could, but I broke down several times during this post as I remembered everything I wrote and everything else I didnt. Understand my childhood is a very sensitve topic for me, and is probably my least favorite time of my life...Its one thing for you guys to read this right now, but a whole different scenario for me to have flashbacks and generate these images and memories in my mind all over again. Im not even sure why I even felt the need to tell the story...

But I did...

Thanks for reading...hope I didnt bore you guys or wear you guys out with my uber dramatic-emo story.

ps. i dont proofread my stuff so forgive me.


Kizzy said...

I should be asleep, but whatever I don't have class tomorrow. I liked capitulo dos (chapter 2 en espanol). June babies unite! lol June 25, 1986 in McKenzie Hospital Guyana, South America. I feel you on some things; commonalities yanno? Some of the things you wrote about and the way you wrote them made me feel like I was in that moment too. I'll jsut say that it's fucked up the shit some kids go through and consider yourself lucky if you bypassed it. Anyway, you're so adorable in your pictures. You and your little brother looking like baby pimps lol. I smiled when I saw that you lived over a corner store; I lived over one when I was little too, in New Jerz. Of course we were put out of ours when the store caught on fire in the middle of winter; but thats the breaks. I moved around a lot as well, I think I've lived just about everywhere up and down the east coast of the states, but I've been in Atlanta for 13 years now so thats good. I guess I feel you on the stability thing. I still kind of have issues with that too, it makes me very hesitant to personal changes. The silver lining with that is, you're always ready for whatever because its how you've lived your whole life. Can't wait for the next chapter.............oNe

Ashley said...

That’s a ruff child hood. It’s so hard to see children going through adult situations.

I enjoyed your post and as you mentioned it was extremely hard for you to relive those events. But I also hope it was therapeutic as well. To learn and understand from the obstacles in your past can only make your future a lot brighter.

Can't wait for the next chapter....


Janine said...

It's amazing how you can read someone else's life story and it puts some of the things you've experienced in your own life into a different kind of perspective. I spent a lot of years angry at my dad for being absent, angry at my mom for moving us every year, for me never having friends for very long, for her shipping me off to live with my grandma. And it was all wasted energy. That's not the new revelation...the new revelation is that I never stopped to think that maybe it was really hard for them. Maybe they chose the lesser of the two evils presented to them at the time. I don't know...I'm a parent now so you'd think this would have clicked for me a little sooner. Anyway...what else...oh yes...your birthday is the day after mine, You and your brother were absolutely adorable, and this was an engrossing read. Don't stop writing. Thank you for sharing.



BNyce said...

Like seriously.. I normally dont sit and read long entries like that.. But I LOVED Reading this!!!

your life might of been ruff on the edges and a little bit in the center... But I loved the fact that you would even openly share it with everyone!

You seem like you turned out alright Chump!! lol Keep it up hun.

BNyce said...


One more thing...

ESL classes though?? lmaoooo That shit had me laffn SOO hard!!!!
Thats a shame they put a ENGLISH speaking child in a class where EVERY other kid didnt speak english.. OmG.

Sorry, I just had forgot about that part and it made me laugh.

Tuotierugif >^..^<© said...

hey, I found your blog a few weeks ago (from octobersveryown). I must say you have an interesting life and I really look up to the fact that you can write about your past and how you overcame all your triumphs.


Jenn said...

I have so much respect for you to be where you are and knowing the kinds of things you need to have that stability. I sat and read this whole post, picturing how it could be for you and trying to place myself at every picture. I pass by Regent and East Chinatown at least once a week and I could only imagine what it's like to live there, especially back then when you lived there.
The one thing that got me the most was that you no longer blamed any of your parents for not being together anymore 'cause I've passed that point to in my life. It sucks when one of the main things you remember about your childhood are the problems that your parents have, especially since your childhood is supposed to be such a "happy" time of your life.
I'll be waiting for your Etrue Hollywood story... 'cause then I can yell out at the T.V. that "I already knew that!" and act like I'm all bad (LOL!).
Seriously, respects to you for not letting all the negative affect all the positive that has surfaced and will continue to surface from your strengths.

Sally said...

Thank you for having the courage-for being vulnerable, sincere, genuine and your brutal honesty in sharing your true story with us all.
You're a great writer.
Keep your head-up kid. We're lucky to have YOU in our presence! Truth.