How Do I Translate Our Pain?
How do I translate our pain for the world to stop punching us?
Pain caused by crossing borders, overstaying and being displaced.
My pain is constant - like the air I breathe in and out, like my eyes blink and heart beats.
I don’t always acknowledge the presence of pain. To acknowledge my pain is to recognize my vulnerability. My own defenseless body.
Pain blames me for the side effects. Headaches caused by own exhaustion. Teeth grinding for overthinking. Eye twitches for not sleeping.
But how can I sleep in a comfortable bed when my siblings sleep in crowded cement floors?
Countless of hours full of “what if’s.” Chest pains get heavier until they break into a soft cry at night. Worrying about what the next ICE storm could bring:
Hugs never felt again.
Text messages undelivered.
“See you laters” unfulfilled.
Stuck in between wanting to talk about it and ignoring its presence. Maybe, just maybe, my vocabulary doesn’t have the words to describe this type of pain.
How do I translate the anxiety when they haven’t texted me that they made it home safe?
How do I translate the fear that can only be understood in the language I speak with my mother? Sometimes out loud, drawing stares. Sometimes in a whisper to avoid issues.
Whether we came as children or elders, the agony can be felt at any age.
Heartfelt tweets and lengthy Facebook posts never feel like enough.
Enough to go back in time when complicity was invited to dinner. When many looked the other way when Central America was tossed around, drugged and beaten.
Today, I scroll past the pictures of my lifeless siblings laying where I walked a crossed, where I hid and rested. One day my pain is shared across the masses, the other day, it’s forgotten. Triggering pictures go viral and their desensitization comes after.
Another day, another swing, another painful punch.
This blog piece was written before the devastating and violent raids in Mississippi. To help our affected immigrant families, click here.