The Trauma of Dhaqan Celis

One day, I’ma tell y’all my dhaqan celis (direct translation: return to culture .A situation where children, born and or bred in Americas or European countries, are sent to their parents native land, or a close country if the native land is not a functioning state due to civil war, etc) story. ( Obviously, it didn’t work…hehehehe)
But on the real, though, it really wasn’t a joke. It was one of the most traumatic and defining experiences of my life.
Recovering from that has been a battle, and a half and I’m still not there.
Most Somali parents punish their kids with,”dhaqan celis.” Most of us haven’t lived in Somalia, or Kenya, ever or for a long time. So imagine being dumped in China or somewhere you don’t know the language, culture, or anything during adolescence, an already turbulent time?
The decent ones, usually mothers, go with their kids.
Some of us who have no mothers, or mothers who care, are dumped in a foreign country by ourselves and left to our own devices of how to deal with it, and numb the pain. Somehow.
Every day, I wonder, how I’m still alive. How I’m still fighting. How I’m still here.
Then I remember, I have a child to live for. He is my saving grace.
Damn. This is sending me back memory lane. I’m already experiencing second-hand PTSD from last night’s documentary about the horror “rehab center” in Eastleigh.
Anyways, I’ll tell y’all when I get my thoughts in order, and after speaking to a therapist. Whenever I go to dark places, the depression hits me tenfold, and I’m not able to function at all.
I just have too much on my plate right now to be incapacitated. Is there ever a time you’re ready to be incapacitated,tho? Not really. 
I’ve realized with our suffocating ceeb/xishood (shame) culture, there must be so many of us walking around as shells not ever able to process the trauma.
I can’t count the number of times, I’ve been told,”caadi iska dhig. Waxaas mar hore ayay dhacday. Iska iloow.” ( Act normal. That happened a long time ago. Forget about it). 
What part of,”one of the most traumatic and defining experiences,” do people not understand? You can’t fucking forget it. It’s always there. The pain is always there, and it never leaves you. You learn to live with it and somehow function as a “normal” human being that fulfills their responsibilities.
But some days, it just creeps up on you, and just destroys you for a few days/ maybe weeks, until you’re able to crawl, and then walk again.
I think I’m really tired of the silence surrounding so many social ills. I’m tired of it, and I don’t want to participate in the silence. Some days, I tell myself,” what good is it for you to talk about this? It messes you up, and you’re kaput for a few weeks. ” But I tell myself,” there must be someone also struggling with this. Someone, like me, who doesn’t have a mother or any family members who care about their pain. ” I want to reach that person to let them know,”I care. I’ve been there. I know how it feels.”
Someday, I’m going to have to dissect what is to be the only child of a woman who’s missing and no one knows wherever she is; whether she is dead or alive. Someday, I’ll have to confront how that part of my identity really shaped my life and the things that have happened to me.
Right now, I’m going to admit that that was one of the key reasons why I was sacrificed and dumped in a foreign land alone.

3 thoughts on “The Trauma of Dhaqan Celis

  1. It breaks my heart to read about your dhaqan celis story. Abaayo it takes a brave person to talk about this kind of experience. Thanks for sharing. Sending you lots of hugs.


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