The trauma of immigration

I used to pray as a little girl. I used to ask him that all I ever wanted was for my family to be together, for us to be with Daddy. I used to make wishes. I used to cry myself to sleep thinking this, praying hard, begging some kind of God. I used to pray, when I was a kid.
And there was an answer, I got part of what I asked for. I got to be with Daddy. Me and Mom. But the rest of the family was still broken and I never got it fixed so I grew up and gave up praying. I don’t make wishes. I don’t rely on false hopes. I just move forward and daydream about the things I used to want and how I no longer want them.
As an immigrant, no matter how much you adapt to the new home, you never forget the pain you suffered. You never quite know who you are and what defines you. You try so hard to keep your past in the present and the present in itself but the two get mixed in and you get lost and you become powerless. It isn’t until you accept this blend of emotions and suffering that you get your power back. It isn’t until you go through a lot of hell before you love who you are. I don’t like talking about my past and how I used to feel like nothing. When you meet me, you have no idea how painful it was to be what I am before you. I talk like anybody else, walk like anybody else, and feign confidence and power so well I may come off intimidating. But I am so insecure, so powerless because I can’t forget what happened to me when I was 11 years old and my world changed without me knowing. It’s like I stepped into a fairy tale that for the longest time was a nightmare. I hurt so badly for my inabilities to understand the American Dream. I hurt so much for not knowing what it was that captivated Daddy so much, made him hate his past, made him fall in love with America. I didn’t deal with my pain. I just hoped it would go away. It did. After I learned to adapt and make a new present, I just forgot how I felt.
And today, I am still hurting. This is the pain of being an immigrant. This is the pain of being lucky to have the freedom that my own people die for, protest for, the same freedom that they fight as they get shot. This freedom hurts because I have it and I am burdened with luck and blessings. I am guilty for having this freedom that I didn’t fight for. This is the pain of immigration, the trauma of being given all the things you could ever want.
Even after 10 years, the pains of leaving and adjusting and moving all over don’t go away. And as you age, you look behind and every time you look back you can’t separate what was and what is. The little girl by the Caspian Sea is no longer me. I don’t pray. I don’t know how I do it anymore. I am not one, but two, three, four, five different parts. I don’t know how many exactly, but each time I am someone else, as each year passes, I am always remembering and it still hurts.
This is the pain and solitude of an immigrant.

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