First time I feel so bad that I can’t stop crying after finishing a 2 hour interpretation call. I am blessed to have so many experiences and so many friends that I know are only one call away plus a lot of them are psychologists.
After today I have understood the importance of what I do, it is not easy to interpret in first person, There are all kinds of stories from someone calling about their banking accounts, insurance claims, 911 calls to stories that are related to my own story (those are the once that hit me). I also realized that just because I am interpreting in 1st person and it is so related to my own, the fact is that it is NOT my story. I can use my experiences, my knowledge and empathy to do the best I can, I really like what a friend said “You give a voice to these people” and it is true I do my best to give this voice along with emotions so that the receptor can best understand.
Besides all the traumas that this person shares during the session, and the suicidal attempt from yesterday and beyond the fact that it is related to my story in the sense of migration, the fact that he had to ran away from El Salvador to save his life. The thing that hit me the most is hearing all his tears and knowing these tears are because of INJUSTICE, HYPOCRISY and a CORRUPT SYSTEM.
It really got into me the fact that prisons are filled of innocent people, the fact that the world is filled of bad and hypocrite people. The fact that after ending his 6 month sentence he is out and goes ask for help at a church but he never asked for money all he wanted was support, a hug, someone to give him that moral support that we really needed and what happened? Everybody shut the doors on him and he realized that what they did to him will follow him all his life because to the eyes of others he is a criminal and a monster. He will always be judged for something he did not do.
Now, after he was telling how he attempted suicide and the fact it is not easy to go thru this, it is not that he wants to do it, it is a voice inside that push them to commit this act, he doesn’t want to do it, all he wants is to be with his children and wife.
After being in jail for 6 months he is released and a few days later immigration arrests him. Now, he awaits deportation, to a country that he knows he will not survive. He will have to cross again, risking his life but he prefers to talk on the phone with his daughters from a prison then to never be able to listen to them.
Being an interpreter is the exact same thing as being a machine, I can be the best machine I can be by interpreting feelings and emotions but I cannot tell him a word or a phrase that comes from my heart all I can do is hope that the other person will be nice enough to help him as much as possible.
After crying, talking with friends, I can only breathe and grab this experience so it can keep motivating me to do what I do, despite what others say and think. I have constantly said I would like to go live in an island with my camera and wine, but the truth is that I can’t I am one of those many that can’t be indifferent to the suffer of others. I may never be like my family or a lot of my friends that have the ability to only care about themselves, their family and being financial good. I can’t I am one of those people that as much as I would like to be happy and only focus on me, I can’t I have to make other stories mine.
I will learn to change roles, my headset is the interpreter but without it I am just Maggie, a migrant, photographer passionate, activist, sea lover, moon lover, dog lover, wine lover, a person that uses her story and experience to try to do a difference in a life.
Thank you to those awesome friends that are always there for me and that remind me that it is OK to be the way I am and that it is ok to ask for help too. Abrazos