When I was two years old, my parents left me in India with my aunt and uncle to come to America. They wanted to build a better life, education, job stability and like a lot of immigrants during that time, enticed by the ‘American Dream.’
I would like to believe it was probably the hardest decision my parents had to make. Leaving me behind to go to a country, oceans away. I didn’t know at the time what impact it would have on my parents. I only knew what that separation would do to me.
I can still see that day in my mind like picture burned into my memory. I was wearing a cream colored sweater over a dress and my mom had her long hair in a single braid. She is wearing a sari with a sweater and a beautiful round bindi in the center of her forehead.
She’s holding a handkerchief in her hand to wipe away the never ending tears. My aunt is carrying me and telling my mom to stop crying, that if I see her crying it will upset me. Truth is I was already upset. I wanted my mom to carry me, hold me, even if for what would be one last time. Its time for her to go and as we stand on the train platform, my adult self is saying, please take me with you. Don’t leave me. I promise I’ll be good. I’m sure the baby in me has no idea what is about to happen.
It will be 30 years before I realize the impact of that separation on my spirit. An impact that will for sure title me a girl with abandonment issues. I will either push someone away thinking they will leave eventually anyways. Or fear connection in the first place with any other human.
I was very much the little girl who told herself, I wasn’t lovable. I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t worthy. Otherwise, my parents would’ve taken me with them. I will spend years sabotaging my life to prove myself right.
The scary part is that I know my parents did this for ME! I know they came to America and wanted a better life for ME! They were going early to set a solid foundation for me! My own mother would cry in bathrooms of friends homes, who had children for me!
They made a choice. Imagine if they didn’t have a choice or a plan. Imagine if they lived in a country that invoked so much fear that if they didn’t leave death would be their fate or worse a life without freedom.
Imagine setting foot onto new soil, soil of a country you come to for solace, for its values on freedom and justice and compassion and your child is ripped out of your hands. Put behind bars, thrown into a system as an unwanted child.
In this country we have a system that is flooded with children praying for a family, praying to be loved, cared for, thought about because their own didn’t or couldn’t. Instead of helping the situation, the Trump administration wants mothers separated from their babies just to put more children in the system!
What century are we living in? Yes of course I’m angry. If you’re not, I have to question your humanity?
I can definitely say now after all these years the trauma of being separated from my parents made me strong, independent, very very self-reliant. Yet I would NEVER wish this on anyone. NO ONE!
The years of emotional numbness. The years spent unable to connect intimately with another human. An entire adolescence spent in gut wrenching anxiety and pain. Not to mention the reality of resentment and lies, I told myself. Oh and the collateral damage to my own children who get the wrath of overprotectiveness.
It breaks my heart to the deepest layer thinking about another generation built of fear, trauma, victimization. Have we not seen this before America!?
How is this any better than the radical terrorism occurring all around the world? These families are being terrorized. This is inhumane and definitely not for the protection of this country, but to progress your own racist agenda.
This does not feel like America, land of the free, and the brave. It feels a lot like being trapped in someone else’s delusion. Its time to take action!
“We have to do more than say, ‘this isn’t who we are’ we have to prove it, through our policies, our laws, our actions, and our votes.” ~Barack Obama
Call your representatives: 202-224-3121 and tell them you are in support of Families Staying Together Act.
Not only to stop this separation but to return those children already separated to their parents.
June 21st, 2018 Uncategorized