Especially with the discussion in class today about the theme of parent/child relationships, I’ve been thinking about a lot of the lessons taught in trauma-informed therapy. I don’t know if any of you have heard of or follow Aparna Sagaram’s work, but she’s a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that is South Asian and she posts a lot/offers a lot of services related to immigration, trauma, and identity formation. On her instagram (@reflectionswithaparna) she does a few graphic mini series posts that express themes I thought might be worth considering with each of these books. I’ll list a few of them here:

  • Child immigrants/children of immigrants struggling to achieve individuation from the parents/family (e.g., identifying personal value systems, discerning individual experiences from collective experiences, setting boundaries), minimizing negative feelings out of a sense of guilt
  • Parent immigrants feeling isolated and heavily relying on children for socializing (and, by extension, viewing child assimilation as an act of creating distance), struggling to talk about the past with feeling rather than fact, shielding children (even adult children) from their/the family’s negative experiences
  • Bicultural immigrants/children of immigrants experiencing identity crisis (e.g., feeling seen as ‘too much’ of one culture to some and ‘too much’ of the other to others, feeling uncertainty around speaking up against xenophobia/racism)

(Lemme clarify here I’m not suggesting we just view these things solely as themes in literature – they’re way more than that, and I’m just plopping this on down here to say that a trauma-informed lens regardless of academic discipline does the world a lot of good in terms of empathy.)

sry to therapize

Leave a Reply