EVERY TIME ANYONE asks me how I came to Australia, I tell them I was adopted from China. It’s a story that doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable. It’s a story that doesn’t draw pitying looks. It’s a story that doesn’t make me look like a freak. Or a victim.
Three years after I came to Australia, my best friend and I were sitting in my room, drinking wine and talking through the night. Nearing dawn, she said: ‘One afternoon, when I was in middle school, I was walking home from soccer practice and passed an abandoned tunnel. Someone leaped out of it and dragged me inside…’
It took me several seconds to realise that she was telling me she had been raped. I hugged her, but couldn’t share my story in return. Not without admitting that the life story I’d told her, the person whom she thought she could trust, was a lie.