One of the young “users” of this site keeps haunting others as outcastes and downtrodden migrants. He himself appears to have chosen a western name in real life (Mark) and a military title (Sargord) for his avatar. Perhaps those are his double escape-routes from alienation and helplessness. His resentment towards the migrant crowd is also very likely the outward projection of his raw anger towards his own parents and their choices in life. All of that shows how some of our kids will never be able to fully understand and forgive our situations and our struggles.
When the Iranian Mrs and I left Iran 21 years ago, we were both like two fugitive inmates fresh out of the asylum – shell shocked, hurt and confused. I had been out of US for 10 years, but at least had some educational and cultural footing to stand on. She became like a lone tree cut from the stem and shoved into an unfamiliar ground. Depression loves those rootless trees.
You hear about the D word, and you see the ads for it medication; but nothing prepares you for its full impact. It doesn’t hit you like a train, but rather in the fashion of a persistent and resilient darkness; it overtakes your world. An endless night which refuses any dawns and consumes all hope. The days upon days of silence, of uncontrolled tears, of never ending slumbers and shapeless misery.
The running inmate in me felt trapped and threatened again – out of the penitentiary, but still having the remainder of its ball and chain bearing on the neck. After the first months of trying, I refused to listen; after long observations, I declined to see; after the intimacy was lost, I sought alternatives. My survival instinct kicked in and told me to keep my distance, even better, to build a fence … no a wall – to be able to move forward and gain what I had lost – to build what I had ruined during 10 silly years spent on IRI.
She descended further and further into the abyss. Two years in the wilderness of consultations, therapies and voodoo doctors. Until finally, the pharmaceutical world blessed us with their brand new miracle: the Prozac. It was the difference between night and day! Those little pills broke her cycle of depression and inaction, and let her explore and study, play and enjoy – and yes, be ready to disperse the next wave of dark clouds, before they could gather enough vigor to conquer her spirit.
Over the following two years, we became stronger, wealthier and wiser, but a third entity too grew in our lives. You know, emotional walls are funny things; once you build them, they gain a life of their own. While the two of us were struggling, one in the outside world and the other in her inner cell, the wall was building layer upon layer onto itself. Subconsciously, we were both providing the brick and mortar, from both sides of the divide – me partitioning not to be weakened by her misery, and she plastering to block my judgmental gaze.
So our story ended: two “successful” adult migrants and one insurmountable wall.
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