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EUNWHA

EX-KOREAN CULT MEMBER

 
 

This is Eunwha.

Part 1: Life in the Moonies Cult and Interracial Marriage.

Part 2: How It Feels to Not Speak Your Kid’s Language - Motherhood After the Moonies.

Eunhwa (or her english name, Sahra) was born and raised in the Unification church and married to another member at the age of 17. She had met her husband-to-be just a few days prior before getting married in a mass wedding conducted under Reverend Moon. She left the church a few years later and now lives in Korea to be as close to her daughter as much as possible.

“It’s very tough. Especially since she doesn’t live with me. Her dad has custody. So I get to see her every other weekend but it’s been about a year now since she started living w her dad and grandparents together. Her English ability is starting to decline. She has a very strong connection with her dad, even from birth, so she’s always wanting to be with her Appa (dad). So whenever I go to visit, I stay in their house and sleep with Yoora but she always wants to sleep with her dad. I’m sleeping on the couch but Yoora and her dad are sleeping in the bedroom. I want to establish a relationship with her, but… it’s always hard for me to admit, but we do have a language barrier. She’s proud that she has an American mom but it’s very hard for her to kind of connect with me. She knows that I love her 100%. We call each other a lot but there’s only so much I can do from a distance, which really frustrates me. I work a lot to financially support her as well. It’s really not easy. Especially because I used to live with her everyday. I used to take care of her everyday. Now living in Seoul and she’s living in Changwon… It’s not easy. The first year was very hard trying to find my place. At first it was like, I lost my identity with the church and now I lost my identity as a mom. I really had no idea who I was after I moved here. It’s very tough. It was a very tough time. And I’m still adjusting.

When you ask, ‘what kind of a future do I want for her’…. I really would love to have a close mother-daughter relationship with her. That’s what I really want for her. It’s just a matter of having hope and not giving up."

너무 힘들죠. 특히 나랑 살지않아서요. 그녀의 아빠는 우리 딸을 갖게 되어서 저는 격주로 우리 딸을 볼수있지만 아빠와 조부모랑 살게 된지 1년 되었어요. 그녀의 영어 능력이 떨어지고 있고요. 유라는 아빠와의 관계는 아주 강해요. 태어나서부터 그랬어요. 그래서 항상 아빠와 같이 있고싶어해요. 내가 유라 보러 갈때 그들의 집에서 자고 유라랑 같이 있지만 유라는 항상 아빠랑 같이 있고싶어해요. 내가 소파에서 자는데 유라는 아빠랑 침실에서 자요. 유라와 좋은 관계가 있었으면 좋겠는데... 이거 인정하기 힘들지만... 언어 장벽이 있어요. 그녀는 미국인 엄마가 있다는 것에 자랑스러워하지만 친해지기 어려워하더라고요. 유라는 내가 우리 딸을 사랑한다는거 알고있어요. 서로 전화를 많이 하지만 이렇게 멀리서 내가 할 수 있는 것들에는 한계가 있어요. 재정적으로 후원하려고 일을 많이 하죠. 쉽지않아요. 매일 같이 살았었는데, 매일 우리 딸을 돌봐줬는데 이제 나는 서울에 있고 우리 딸은 창원에 있어요.... 쉽지않아요. 서울 생활의 첫해는 정말 힘들었어요. 처음에는... (통일)교회에서 나왔을때 정체성을 잃었는데 이제 엄마의 정체성도 잃었어요. 여기로 이사왔을때 내가 누구인지 몰랐어요. 정말 힘들어요. 많이 힘들었어요. 아직도 적응하고있어요. 우리 딸의 미래는 어떤 것을 원하냐고 물어보면... 정말로 가까운 모녀 사이가 있었으면 좋겠어요. 그거 진짜 원해요. 내가 그냥 희망 갖고 포기하지말아야 하는것이에요.”