I have wondered all my adult life what it is that I am so ashamed of, that I feel so guilty about.
Today it downed on me – I am ashamed of being a ‘Hungarian’ as if it meant being a leper.
I have always felt cursed in some way.
I have thought about it plenty considering if I had done something real bad.
So bad that I just can’t allow it to surface into my consciousness fearing that I won’t be able to live with it.
Nothing has come, no memory of horror surfaced.
I don’t remember who started this but somebody must have felt really bad about being a Hungarian in my family because it landed on me like a curse.
And the National Anthem only added a touch more shame and embarrasment to it.
The bizarre bit is that I also feel guilty about feeling ashamed of being a Hungarian.
The National Anthem declares us to be firmly rooted in our land, not being able to ever leave – we must live and die here, no matter what.
As long as I can remember I wanted to leave this place. The first time I visited another continent I wanted to stay there, but I returned because of my grandmother whom I loved so dearly, whom I thought I could not leave without. Later I moved to the States but eventually I found myself in Hungary again. Finally I managed to settle in the UK but only for a few years before I thought I must return to Hungary and do something good there, to give back in return for… what exactly?
Anyway, I figured that there must have been somebody in my family, I guess my grandma, who could not leave this place she always hated. In 1956, she planned her refuge with her best friend and her family. But she could not leave because she had a dying husband to take care of and two little children at that time when borders where open for a short while before closing for 3 decades. I think she has always blamed this place for her fate and a lifetime of misery and I can understand that. First she lost her mother who could not handle the growing fascism and doom then she lost her beloved husband who could not live with the socialist regime and finally she lost all she had ever owned to a totalitarian government.
She raised me.
She passed her hatred down to me.
All my life I wanted to leave here, but couldn’t.
All along the National Anthem has worked inside of me like an affirmation – ‘you must live and die here’. And so I became a wonderer who never settles, who is a homeless. I can’t live in Hungary but I can’t live anywhere else either because my conscience won’t allow me to do so.
However, what’s most disturbing is that hating a nation, I sort of belong to, means that there is a part of me I detest. There is a part of me I want to cut off like a dead limb though I can’t. So I am running in circles while hating myself, part of me anyway only because she is a Hungarian …
It is time to break the spell and find ‘home’, girl!