Let’s catch up from where we left off. Enjoy your tea as you ponder through this very important (in my opinion) topic.
So, when I was in Pakistan, I saw people suffering from generational trauma that began particularly after the partition in 1947. I know it is very much still there to this day.
My mom tells me that my grandmother used to talk about her home and the animals she used to look after. The chickens and the goats that she was attached to as a child and had to leave behind never left her mind. People who migrated and saw horrific things never got to process and release the pain. They got stuck in survival mode to look after their families. The fear, insecurities, and the pain got buried down. Surviving was so difficult for them that thriving could not be in the picture because they had to start from scratch.
The children of the generation that migrated went through a lot of emotional turmoil as well. The parents' trauma resulted in developmental (social and emotional) delays in their children. The insecurities and fears got passed down. The feeling of loss still runs deep within these children. If trauma is not recognized, pessimism and depression take over. This is why even after 70 years of partition, Pakistan and Pakistanis have not grown to their potential. People are still struggling to make the ends meet and not being able to thrive. I always think about why our people feel so numb and avoid truly connecting with their emotions. Sometimes I hear such sad news of injustice, abuse, poverty, the immorality of politicians and civilians that makes me think that instead of celebrating on the 14th of August, we need to acknowledge the pain and bring it to surface.
I feel sad.
We celebrate freedom on August 14th, but are we really free? We have not been able to set ourselves free of the emotional trauma of 1947. Our grandparents ran to save themselves from being robbed of their wealth and dignity and came to Pakistan, but unfortunately, then we started robbing each other.
For 70 years, this desperation has been real.
The trauma was REAL. It happened. We do not need to suppress it. It is time that we become brave enough to embrace it with kindness and compassion.
Our great-grandparents were severely affected. They could not be emotionally present. Our grandparents and parents struggled to come out of survival mode.
We are still enslaved by pessimism, fears, anxieties, loss, sadness, numbness, avoidance, and dissociation.
August 14th will truly be a day to celebrate when we have freed ourselves from these barriers.
When we, as a nation, have realized that we are not blessed with Pakistan just to survive, but to thrive.
When we, as a nation, reassure each other that Pakistan is REAL. This roof is not going anywhere. It is here to stay and nobody can ever strip us of it. We do not need to continue to live the horrors of the nights in 1947.
When we, as a nation, have learned that we do not need to desperately steal from each other, but be generous and give.
When we, as a nation, console each other for those fearful nights our families went through.
When we, as a nation, bring each other up instead of pushing each other down.
When we, as a nation, hold ourselves tightly and tell ourselves
"We are safe"
"We are loved"
"We are grounded".
Let's speak up about this generational trauma.