Recently, the media brought to our attention a young girl whose father, an undocumented Hispanic worker, had been taken by ICE from a chicken processing operation in Morton, Mississippi. We saw images of her crying and heard her plead for her father and beg for him to be returned to her. Although this and other families were ostensibly reunited several days later – the child (and father) were traumatized. Trauma is an unexpected, unwanted and psychically painful experience. The reunion does not necessarily mean a resolution of the psychic pain.
To me, the chief characteristic of trauma is the psychic and spiritual isolation that occurs at the moment of the trauma. This pain and the memory of it, being unbearable, dissociate and remain internalized, as a psychic wounding. Until the wound is healed – it remains as pain. Children are most vulnerable since they are unable to understand and express themselves. This event was child abuse perpetrated by the system.
May this child find healing and peace through the outpouring of love that emanated from the global community at the time that this abuse occurred. And may the abuse cease.