If you have not been affected by the children imprisoned and abused at the various border detention facilities than you may need to have your heart checked to ensure it’s still beating. I think as mental health professionals this strikes at the very core of why we do the work we do. We usually hear stories of trauma and abuse after the fact and it’s natural for us to bring out our therapeutic tools and get to work. I find it cripplingly painful to watch the abuse as it’s happening and not be able to help.
Articles spring up daily with stuff we already know, How children are affected by trauma.
We know how to help them and we know that each day they remain imprisoned the trauma deepens and the recovery process becomes more complex. We ARE the “helping profession” and yet I feel so helpless. I know I’m not alone as many of us collectively watch in horror not only by what we see and hear but that we can’t get these children to safety. How is it possible that we can watch this live and no one is able to get them out. If a building is on fire the fire fighters come immediately and put out the fire. It’s not about politics– if someone is in danger they are rescued. This building is on fire and this is unconscionable.
In the meantime, I haven’t lost hope. I trust in humanity even when it’s hidden behind dark clouds. I know that I have to put my energy and focus to those in my reach that need my help. I will explain to my own children when asked that no one will take them away and put them in cages. I will support my colleagues as they process their grief and horror. And, like all of you, if asked I will be there to help.