Tomorrow, June 30, will be a day of nationwide protest. Marches are planned in all 50 states against the cruel and heartless “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump administration – a policy that has seen thousands of children ripped from their families and housed in what can only be described cages.
There’s a march here in my town. Probably yours as well. (Find out here.)
But, as much as I support the cause, I won’t be there. I want to be. But I just can’t.
I Know What These Children Feel
At first I couldn’t understand why I was unable to read the news stories. I’m usually very vocal on my personal Facebook page, but I haven’t said a word about this issue.
Something about it affected me so deeply I couldn’t stand to look. And I’ve finally figured out what it was.
I, too, was taken from my mother. While she willingly gave me away within an hour of my birth, there’s no doubt she was pressured in part by her family.
I’ve spoken to her 3 times. We had 2 conversations when I first tracked her down about 20 years ago, and one more recently. She still lives with the stigma, and in terror that people will find out about me.
I’ve also been open about ending my relationship with my adoptive parents,but this isn’t about that.
Separation Causes Trauma That Doesn’t Just Go Away
An infant or child separated from their birth mother will almost certainly experience some level of trauma, as they will perceive this event to be a dangerous situation. The sensations, sights, and sounds with which they were familiar are gone, and the mother is no longer available to soothe the child or help the child self-regulate. Because the only part of the brain fully developed at birth is the brain stem—this controls the sympathetic nervous system, which generates the “fight, flight, or freeze” response—babies are unable to use parasympatheticabilities, such as self-soothing. When this happens before the age of 3, it is encoded as implicit memory—like any event that takes place before the development of language. As noted trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk explains in his book The Body Keeps the Score, “We have learned that trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on the mind, brain, and body.”
(Side note: I’m currently reading The Body Keeps The Score. Will write a review when done, but HIGHLY recommend it.)
This is why reports of the caged children have said that most are just laying around with their little mylar blankets. Their brains cannot process what has happened, no one is allowed to sooth them, and they dont yet know how to sooth themselves.
If they are reunited with their parents TODAY, this event will damage them FOR LIFE. It is altering the growth of their brains AS WE SPEAK.
I Really Hate Sitting This One Out
As much as I’ve instinctively tried to avoid it, every picture of a crying child at the border has ripped open my wounds. I feel like I’ve been that child. I feel like I am that child.
I have prayed to my Gods for the children. I have prayed that The Morrigan Herself rain blood and fire on all responsible, just as She did from atop the Mound of Hostages at Tara in the Battle of Moytura.
I am praying for the strength to March tomorrow. If I find it, I will let you know. But in case I can’t, please please please… find a March in your area. Go. If you have the opportunity and the mental health to do so, PLEASE do what I can’t.
Please be a voice for these children.