Trauma and How it Affects the People Around You

Updated: Jan 25

My family immigrated to Canada after I finished grade 5. Me and my sister were so excited to come to Canada, until I found out that my dad cheated on my mom. The summer that we came to Canada, my dad kept ignoring us (just like he always does on family trips now that I think about it) and was constantly impatient. He always said he loves us but his actions say otherwise. My mom, who doesn't understand English, stayed in Canada to take care of my sister and I, while my dad stayed in Taiwan to look after his company and earn money. Everything seemed fine until November 2019 when I found out that my dad cheated on my mom and had a one-year-old son outside of the marriage. This explained why he was in such a hurry to send us to Canada (his affair was gonna give birth any second at that time). Surprisingly, I did not panic or even feel emotions. I was numbed. I told my mom and my sister about the incident, and both of them suffered through mental breakdowns and depression for a while after that. After that, my dad kept threatening us financially and took all of my mom’s fortune. My mom was drunk on a daily basis and did not know how to convey her emotions. It was not a surprise because my mom has always been emotionally unstable throughout my childhood. During 2019-2020 she would act insane while drunk, drunk drive, smash things around the house and cause me a lot of trouble. Being an overachiever, I always try my best at school and always keep my mark above 95%. I was extremely stressed as I needed to do my job while cleaning after my mom. I was forced to learn how to clean up throw-ups, cook, and fix different things around the house while keeping my grades consistent. It was tiring. My sister was also immature and was constantly affected by my mom’s emotional breakdowns. My mom also smashed my grandma (mom of my dad)’s glass window while being drunk, and crashed into another car while drunk driving. My aunt had to take care of us while being at work. My mom allowed her personal sorrow to affect others and cause destruction. Till this day, she would only talk about what my dad and his family did and how it affected her everyday. She lost hope of living and even tried to suicide. Her mindset became really negative until it started to affect my sister and I. I tried my best to perceive this as an opportunity for me to understand the importance of communication and become independent, but it is very hard to go through all of this and be forced to mature in such an extreme way as a 14-years-old. Going through so much at a relatively young age allowed me to touch on many aspects of mental health and raised my awareness on this topic. I hope that I can become an advocate for youth mental health and spread my beliefs that way.

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