Trauma is a dirty word for a horrible condition. Childhood trauma is even worse. It’s been shown to deeply damage children, changing the very architecture of their brains and causing depression, PTSD, dissociation and a myriad of other psychological disorders all down the years.
That’s why the news of separation of children from their families at the border is giving me a gut-wrenching reaction of anxiety and fear. I am a child of abandonment, one of the worst traumas that can befall a child. It’s taken me my whole adult life, five decades, to begin to salvage a whole and robust adult personality from the aftereffects of abandonment. And now our government is inflicting this ghastly form of trauma on children at the border, taking them from their parents and warehousing them 20 to a cage with a concrete floor, a foil blanket, and a thin sleeping mat their only comfort. They’ve been torn away from their family and cast into a harsh unknown world, into an existential crisis for which they are utterly unprepared. They live with the fear of death. There is no doubt in my mind that they are all suffering trauma that may blight their lives forever.
This ongoing atrocity is a political ploy of the president’s. He’s openly using the children as hostages to advance his political agenda. His order began the separation of families. He could reverse the policy at any time. He’s perpetrating a crime against humanity. He is a beast, without compassion.
It’s time to say no to this inhuman policy. Let’s say with one voice that children are to be cherished and protected, not used as pawns in a game, and that the damage being done to them is both a crime and a sin.