Past. Depressed. Future. Anxious.

I once heard that those who live in the past are depressed,
and those who live in the future, anxious.
Past. Depressed
Future. Anxious.

If immigrant parents live in the future,
what kind of future will it be?
A future they never had?
A future where there will be no hardship,
no poverty, no scarcity,
no one who tells them their accent is too strong,
their clothes, too old,
their food, too smelly?
A future where they can simply live?
A future that only their children can give?

If children of immigrant parents live in the past,
what kind of past was it?
A past they never had?
A past where there was no worry,
no pressure to succeed, no family obligation,
no one who tells them their ambitions aren’t strong enough,
their achievement, not high enough,
their taste, not authentic enough?
A past where they can simply live?
A past that their parents have stolen from them?

I once heard that those who live in the past are depressed;
those who live in the future anxious.
Past. Depressed
Future. Anxious.

One day, the parents give approval for the children
to no longer have to strive for the future,
so they can let go of the past.
And the children give forgiveness to the parents
to accept the past,
so they no longer have to cling to the future.

That day, they both live in the present,
and they are both at peace.

#poem #immigrant #depression #anxiety #parents #past #childrenofimmigrants

Published by pandamotherly

I am Dr. Esther HioTong Castillo. I am Panda Mom. I'm a biracial sociologist mama with a 3 year-old daughter. Three years ago, my complicated birth and the sea-change in my career and family had thrown me into the downward spiral of depression and anxiety. Now, I'm sharing my story and writing my way to health and wellness at the intersection of trauma, intergenerational trauma, family, and parenting.

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