Early Trauma

Early Trauma

By John Ward

childhood trauma 3


At seven years of age I was still at the convent of St. Mary in Manzini, Swaziland. I was in the third grade having skipped ahead due to having erudite parents. My education at the Convent had been fun and fruitful. I loved my classes and was in love with Sister Pauline, a sweet gentle nun.

Then, one day, Eugenia asked me if I would like to be boyfriend and girlfriend. She was about one year older than I was and a rather big girl for her age. I said alright, what has to happen. She told me to lie on the ground and after I did, she stood above me and asked: “Can you see my panties?” I said I could and she said, “Now we are boyfriend and girlfriend.”  The romance of the situation evaded my comprehension, but I was satisfied with that. Unfortunately a nun witnessed the ceremony and my parents were advised, by mother superior, that my education at the convent had probably run its course and perhaps they should put me in another school.

At eight years old I was placed in a boarding school. In my country, there just weren’t that many schools, so I had to be sent away from home to St. Mark’s boarding school in the capital city of Mbabane. I had never been away from home or apart from my parents and I thought my life was over.

As my parents drove away I ran after the car, crying and screaming: “Please don’t leave me here!” I could see my father with hard resolve in his face and my mother crying softly in the car as it left the school grounds. I ran as fast as I could, but I couldn’t catch the car. In short order several adults from the school caught up to me and carried me, keening, back to the dormitories.

To this day I have nightmares about being abandoned in some strange place by my parents. The horror of being left with all these people I didn’t know was overwhelming. I was small and here were strangers all around me, from children to adults, all very scary. The feelings of vulnerability were life altering.

Once, my mother showed me the first letter I wrote home in pencil. It was heart breaking even to me as an adult. I was astounded that my poor parents were able to survive the pain of separation. The letter was just a repetition of “Please Mommy, come and get me, please mommy, take me home, please, please, PLEASE, don’t leave me here.” I got into trouble for writing it, because apparently all the prefects got to read the outgoing (and incoming) mail for their amusement.

The hideousness of “Initiation” or hazing as the Americans call it, waking at 4am to salute the Union Jack to a trumpet at 5am., the punishments for not sitting up straight at table, the canings, etc. were all awful, but the separation from my parents was by far the more horrifying, traumatic and indelible an experience.

I think more of this now when I read about children being torn from their parents at the border, for the heinous crime of wanting to enter the US, peacefully, for work, or to escape some brutal dictator in a southern third world nation. The trauma for both the parents and the children, being pulled away from their families by armed thugs and self-righteous paramilitary goons who haven’t the intelligence or imagination to see themselves in a similar situation with their children. The innocent children being locked in cages or old abandoned buildings, wondering where their parents are, or if they will ever see them again.

One of the great American fears, in the Home of the Brave, is gangs. Kids who join gangs and rob, kill, deal drugs, rape, etc., without giving one thought to why kids join these new, accepting and extended surrogate families. Psychological studies show that most gang members had little or no family and were traumatized by parents deserting the family, so they join the only family that accepts them, some lousy gang.

Just as the US creates more and more jihadists and terrorists with bombs and oil hungry wars, they are creating the fodder for more gangs with this national disgrace of incarcerating innocent people after separating the traumatized children from their primary protectors. Even the evangelists who supported Trump after his completely transparent attempt to appear pious, even they condemn this. When the evil Keebler Elf that has been made Attorney General tried to justify this wickedness with a bible quotation, members of his own church condemned him and biblical scholars pointed to where he has purposefully misinterpreted the writings.

This is a national and international disgrace, a black stain on a great country. It will not be forgotten and will be the legacy of Donald Trump. Despite the fact that he has signed a new Executive order to keep families together, still incarcerated, but at least together. Now Nikki Haley and Mike Pompeo have extricated the US from the United Nations Human Rights Council. They know that human rights have been eviscerated in the US and they don’t want any repercussions from the international community.

How would a country clamor against human rights violations in Syria, China, North Korea, Iran, India and Pakistan when their own record is so filled with depravity? How can a country push democracy on the rest of the world when their own is a shambles with “electoral colleges” special interest groups, lobbies, Super Delegates, PACs and super PACs?

The 2,500 plus children who have been traumatized by the US will never recover and will always hate their oppressors. And whereas it pays the Military Industrial Complex to continue manufacturing enemies, it is nothing but hell for the rest of the world. We don’t want enemies. We don’t want war. We get nothing from it but poverty sickness and death.

If you support these actions, as do many Fox News pundits and Kirstjen Nielsen, head of Homeland Security do, you are equally to blame. You too own this travesty. You are a part of making America look like a petty dictatorship the world over and you too are a part of the dismantling of democracy, because now, dictators, Communists, Feudal Monarchies can point to the US and say: “You see what democracy has wrought?”


For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

Ojo Del Lago
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