Our Moving Stories: Episode 14 — PeterConversation with: Peter.
This podcast is hosted by Bruno Villegas and Ariadne Pacheco.
In this Moving Story conversation with Peter, we hear about how unsupported migration can lead to an experience of crippling social anxiety and a sense of being a “bundle of trauma and dysfunction.” Peter is left behind as a toddler in China with his grandparents as his parents peruse their immigrant dreams in Spain. When his grandmother dies in his early childhood, he is reunited with his parents, whom he barely knows in Spain. Plucked out of one environment and thrust into another, he finds himself navigating a new land and languages largely on his own. In Spain, his peers brutally tease and bully him and harass him constantly. He is made to feel like an alien in his new land and is told that he underwent a personality change. He used to be a prankster and an extrovert, but he has now become quiet and withdrawn. While he successfully navigates the transition, learning Spanish and English and receiving a bachelor’s at the London School of Economics before his master’s at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the psychological price of his voyage is steep. Peter’s narrative is a reminder of how children are caught in the net of familial migration decisions and journeys. Unsupported, the voyage can be a lonely and painful one.