queue: argentina

anonymous asked:

Hi, I have a character who has been kidnapped at a young age and was raised by the kidnappers (they killed his family). They made him learn how to shoot a gun and commit crimes. My character is released into the real world when he is in his early twenties. May I know what effect will the kidnappings have on him?

 Well- it really depends on how young he was when he was snatched and how well he gets on with his adoptive family.

If he’s snatched when he’s too young to remember his birth parents then he could well have grown up not knowing about them and (if he’s well looked after) with no traumatising effects from the kidnap.

There have been several cases historically of very young children being taken from their parents for political reasons and raised by the birth parents enemies. There were a handful of cases in Nazi Germany and a lot of cases in Argentina.

In Argentina the way it usually happened is that the birth parents were arrested and ‘disappeared’, secretly killed by the government forces. Children, usually new-borns or up to the age of about 2, were then handed over to ‘respectable’ families. Most of these children were brought up believing their adoptive parents were there birth parents.

You can read a bit more about this here. And read an account from one of the children here.

Children who were raised believing their adoptive parents were their biological parents generally report feelings of betrayal on finding out the truth in adulthood. It often caused rifts in families and left the children feeling isolated and depressed.

Something similar, taking young children from political dissidents, happened in the Soviet Union for a while. These children were usually raised in orphanages and were aware of their parentage. They were essentially raised knowing who their parents were and taught that their parents were wrong, bad and dangerous.

In those cases children seem to have had an easier time adjusting. They didn’t feel isolated and formed strong bonds with each other. They absorbed the ideals of the state and the idea that they’d been rescued from ‘bad’ biological parents. They don’t tend to report the same feelings of betrayal.

All of this is assuming the adoptive parents don’t abuse this character.

You say they teach him to commit crimes, depending on his age when he’s kidnapped he could well grow up thinking this is normal and correct. What counts as moral behaviour changes between cultures and subcultures, children don’t come with an inbuilt sense that ‘crime’ is bad. My point is that raising a child to be an immoral adult doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is abusive.

If he’s taken young, given love and affection, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t love his adoptive parents and have a relative ‘normal’ relationship with them.

If he was told growing up that he was ‘adopted’ and his birth parents were terrible people then that relationship probably won’t change a great deal. It would take a concerted effort to make him question that relationship.

If he grew up thinking his adoptive parents were his birth parents then finding out otherwise would make him question his relationship with them even if it was a good relationship.

If the character was old enough to remember his birth parents then that changes things considerably. An older child is probably going to be traumatised by the kidnapping, especially if he’s old enough to realised that his ‘real’ parents were killed.

Beyond that we start getting outside my area of expertise. I know next to nothing about childhood development. I know very little about child abuse.

I hope I’ve talked about some cases that are helpful and relevant to your story but I think that you’re likely to find more information on child abuse specifically by consulting @scriptshrink and @scripttraumasurvivors’s blogs. I know they both have a lot of useful information on the subject.

Sorry I couldn’t provide a more definite answer, and good luck with your story. :)

Disclaimer

Anahí:
Anoche te pedía que no nos fallaras, que nos devolvieras la esperanza de saber que las historias pueden tener un final feliz, pero los que te fallamos fuimos nosotros.
Somos todos cómplices de que tu banco esté vacío. Te fallamos desde que María Soledad apareció asesinada en un descampado en Catamarca, desde que Marita Verón se convirtió en apenas un recuerdo para sus seres queridos, te fallamos al igual que lo hicimos con Micaela García en Entre Rios. Te fallamos como a tantas otras miles.
Te empezamos a fallar en el mismo momento en que toleramos que los medios pusieran el foco en el largo de la pollera y no en el sadismo de la hiena, en que la noticia fuera la hora en que andabas sola por la calle y no la hijaputez del violador.
Te fallamos cuando en lugar de preocuparnos porque el número de pibas desaparecidas aumentaba sin parar, nos preocupamos por los graffitis en las paredes. Cuando toleramos que los medios convirtieran cada feminicidio en un festival del horror, naturalizándolos. Cuando no nos importó que un lugar hermoso como Santa Catalina se convirtiera en un lugar de impunidad, en tierra de nadie.
Todos podemos encontrar atenuantes para nuestra participación en tu asesinato, pero no fuimos capaces de evitarlo.
Mañana saldremos a las calles, muchos con el cartelito de “yo soy Anahí”. Pero no, ninguno somos Anahí, nosotros seguimos teniendo chances de cumplir nuestros proyectos, vos no. Nosotros seguimos disfrutando de nuestros afectos, vos no. Seguiremos soñando con una sociedad mejor, vos no.
Algunos gritaremos por leyes que garanticen realmente la igualdad de género. Otros harán cadenas de oraciones por tu alma. Muchos clamarán por más muerte, como si la tuya no fuera suficiente. Vos ya no podés pedir nada, ni justicia siquiera.
Nosotros, a partir de mañana tenemos una nueva oportunidad, podemos pelear para que las ratas de siempre no conviertan la reserva de Santa Catalina en un emprendimiento inmobiliario con la excusa de que nunca más una chica aparezca asesinada allí. Tenemos la posibilidad de ir al Congreso a reclamar justicia por vos y por todas aquellas a las que les robamos el futuro. Vos no, ya no volverás a dibujar, Elías no te sacará una sonrisa con alguna monigotada, no podrás gozar del afecto de tus compañeros, tus amigos, no disfrutarás de tus hijos, de tus nietos.
Disculpanos Anahí, estamos muy enfermos como sociedad, los estamos sometiendo a vos y a millones de adolescentes más, a elegir entre caminar por las calles con el temor de saber que pueden ser la próxima Anahí, o a ver la vida a través de una pantalla. A perdurar en una vida virtual, porque la real es muy peligrosa.
Ayer te perdimos a vos. Hoy el reloj comenzó a correr de nuevo ¿cuántos días, tal vez horas, pasarán hasta que le fallemos a la próxima Anahí?

-Roberto Pazos