Trump’s Backward View of Immigration

A rally for Dreamers, young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States when they were children, outside the Capitol.
Credit-Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press 

Congress now appears likely to reach a budget deal to keep the government functioning without treating as bargaining chips hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States when they were children. It also appears, though, that President Trump will consider undoing his threat of deportation for these young “Dreamers” only if Congress considers the first deep cuts to legal immigration since the 1920s.

The changes the president is demanding stem from a nativist, zero-sum view that what’s good for immigrants is bad for America. That view runs counter not just to the best of American tradition and principles, but to evidence of what’s best for the country.

The programs targeted by Mr. Trump are designed to make legal immigration more diverse and humane. One is the lottery system that offers the chance for visas to people from countries that are underrepresented as sources of American immigrants; the other is family-based immigration, which offers visas to close relatives of citizens and legal residents.

Mr. Trump, who has regularly smeared immigrants as terrorists and criminals, has lately been focusing his fear-mongering on the diversity visa program. Last month, his Department of Homeland Security released a report that dishonestly claimed that those who entered the country via the lottery were more likely to be tied to terrorist attacks. The Cato Institute found that lottery visa holders actually killed only eight of 3,037 Americans murdered by foreign-born terrorists since 1975. The immigrants chosen in the lottery, moreover, are not chosen “without any regard for skill, merit or the safety of our people,” as Mr. Trump said in his State of the Union address. They must have at least a high school education or two years of experience in skilled work, and they must also undergo criminal, national security and medical checks. The 50,000 recipients of the visas are not guaranteed permanent residence, only a chance at getting through the rest of the immigration process.

Mr. Trump has said that the family reunification program — which he and other immigration opponents prefer to call “chain migration” — opens the floodgates to “virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.” In fact, relatives other than spouses, parents and minor children are subject to annual caps and country quotas, so that, today, the backlog is almost four million applicants, most of them facing many years of waiting to get a visa. Mr. Trump would allow no new applicants other than immediate family members, and even these would no longer include parents. Imposing these restrictions and ending the diversity visa lottery would cut in half the number of legal immigrants.

It is hard to gauge how much of what Mr. Trump says is meant as a scare tactic and how much he really will demand. The one notion that runs through all he says or tweets about immigration is that it is a door for criminals and terrorists to enter the United States. Yet data studied by the Cato Institute indicates that diversity-visa holders and illegal immigrants, the groups most maligned by Mr. Trump, are far less prone to crime than native-born Americans.


Politicians have wrestled for decades with how to deal with immigrants who are in the United States illegally — now around 11 million people. But immigration in itself has been widely regarded as good for America and for the American dream. The preponderance of evidence shows that immigrants help the economy grow. They are more likely to own businesses or to start businesses than the native-born; of the 87 privately held companies currently valued at more than $1 billion, 51 percent had immigrant founders.

There are questions worth examining and debating about whether the United States ought to admit more skilled immigrants and what criteria it uses to screen applicants. But such a debate can’t unfold in the shadow of Mr. Trump’s threat to imminently expel the Dreamers. So what is Mr. Trump really after?

A Gallup poll last June found 62 percent of Americans support maintaining current levels of immigration or even increasing them. And since the country is at nearly full employment, the timing of these anti-immigrant demands might seem odd. Yet it’s no more odd than the president’s tough-on-crime talk at a time when crime is lower than it’s ever been, or his obsession with Islamist terrorists, even though the Government Accountability Office found that right-wing extremistshave committed far more domestic attacks against Americans since 2001. Mr. Trump’s approach seems intended less to rationalize the immigration system than to inflame his core supporters by demonizing nonwhite people, as he did when he disparaged immigrants from nations like Haiti and Mexico while praising Norwegians.

Members of Congress know better, and they are aware that there are sensible measures that would clear the immediate hurdle and produce a bipartisan deal. Senators John McCain, the Arizona Republican, and Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, have offered a stopgap bill that would end the threat to the Dreamers while strengthening border security. Nothing about diversity visas or family-based migration, nothing for the wasteful wall.

That makes sense. The way we deal with legal immigration should not be changed without a thorough, honest debate.

sourceThe Newyork Times


Thought you knew Nepal? Well, maybe it’s time to think again. This infographic contains 50 amazing facts about this astounding country that will surprise and intrigue you. Even the most jaded traveller’s feet will start to itch again, and there’s enough ammunition here to have you firing on all cylinders in any pub quiz.

Nepal lies sandwiched between the two domineering land masses and national powers that are India and China, yet it still manages to retain a culture that is distinctly its own.

We all know that the highs of visiting Nepal include the majestic towering peak of Mount Everest, which finally kisses the sky at 8,850 metres. But did you know that 8 out of 10 of the world’s highest mountains are found within the relatively small 143,000 km2 that Nepal occupies?

भुईँकाे सत्य भर्सेस भर्चुआलिटी

शिर्षक जस्तै सामान्य छैन याे कथा ! याे कथामा आधुनिक युवापुस्ताकाे एउटा असामान्य प्रवृत्ति र मनाेदशा देखिन्छ ! याे कथा अपुराे र अस्पष्ट छ ! अपुराे यसकारण कि याे कथामा लेखकले भन्न र लेख्न चाहे जस्ताे सकेकाे छैन ! अस्पष्ट यसकारण कि याे भम्र र सत्य माथिकाे प्रयास हाे, जहाँ भ्रमलाई चिर्न सजिलाे छैन !

प्रेम जिवनकाे महत्वयुक्त सत्य हाे, याे त सर्वविदितै छ ! र सत्य याे पनि हाे कि याे हरेक पात्र सगँ लुप्त या व्यक्त तरिकाले रहेकाे हुन्छ ! सामाजिक संजालमा युवापुस्ताकाे अनाैठाे लगाव र यस बाट वास्तविक जिवनमा हुने स्वभाविक या अस्वभाविक असर भित्रकाे एउटा कथा वा अध्याय हाे ‘भर्चुअल प्रेम’ !

‘भर्चुअल प्रेम’, ति पात्रहरु बिचकाे प्रेम हाे, जसले एक अर्कालाई शब्दकाे हिर्काईले मात्र छाेएका हुन्छन् ! शब्द व्यञ्जन भाव अभिव्यक्तिकाे माध्यम हाे ! याे भन्दै गर्दा शब्द मात्रैले पनि वास्तविक जिवन माथि एउटा खाली मैदानकाे सिर्जना गर्दछ ! जहाँ हामिले भर्चुअल संसारमा भेटिएका अनेक सगँ अनेक परिदृश्यमा भुमिका खेलिरहेका हुन्छाै ! जहाँ हामि हरेककाे मानसपटलमा स्वभाविक रुपमा यि बिषयहरु घुमिरहेका हुन्छन् ! काेहिकाेहिमा अस्वभाविक रुपमा पनि यसकाे ईन्फेक्सन रहेकाे हुन्छ !

जुन अर्थयुक्ति रुपमा साच्चैँ नै पागलपनकाे क्रिया हाे ! पागलपन यसकारण कि जुन मानिसलाई देखेकाे र भेटेकाे छैन वा जुन मानिस स्वार्थप्रयाेगका निम्ति मात्रै एकअर्काका परिपुरक बन्न तयार हुन्छन् ! वास्तविक जिवन र भर्चुअल रियालिटी फरक हुन्छ ! याे मेराे व्याख्याकाे तर्क हाे !

मुख्यत झुट र अपार्दशी स्वरुपमा अडिएकाे सम्बन्ध नै आजकाे समाजकाे तथ्य हाे !

तथ्य १.

उमेरले भर्खर चाैध बाट पन्ध्र टेकेकी एक युवतीले स्टाटस् मार्फत लेखिन्,

⁃ जिन्दगीमा यति सानैमा यति ठुलाे पिडा म कसरी भाेगुँ ! बेबी म तिमि बिना कसरी बाच्नेँ ! म कसरि भुलुँ तिमिलाई !

( स्पेलिङ बिग्रिएकाे राेमन नेपालीमा लेखिएकाे याे स्टाटस )

तथ्य २

⁃ बिहे गरेर अमेरिका आएकाे एक साथी, जाे आफ्नी श्रीमती हुदाँहुदैँ पनि फेसबुक बाट अर्की केटीलाई गर्लफ्रेन्ड बनाएकाे दावी गर्दै कुराकाे सुरुवात गर्छ ! र भन्छ, मलाई त त्यसले सार्है माया गर्छे ! तर दुर्भाग्य म पनि त्याे केटीकाे साथि हुन्छु ! र म याे तथ्य जान्दछु कि उसकाे प्रेमीकाले उता मैले चिनेकै अर्काे पात्र सगँ अहिले पनि सम्बन्ध बढाईराछे !

यि माथि दिईएका तथ्यहरु नितान्त मैले देखेका पात्रहरुकाे हाे ! जाे आज आफु र आफ्नाे कथाले मेराे याे शिर्षक माथि फिट भए !

एक्काईसौं शताब्दीकाे याे नविन सिर्जना र प्रयाेग बाट जुन रुपले समाज अगाडी बढिरहेकाे छ ! त्यसले सकारात्मक पक्षहरुका साथै नकारात्मक पक्षहरुलाई पनि सगैँ बाेकेर हिडेकाे छ ! सामान्य रुपमा छिटाेछरिताे रुपमा सुचना आदानप्रदानकाे लागि बनाईएका यस्ता साेसियल साईटहरु बाट आज दिनुहुँ जसाे कथाहरु निर्माण हुन्छन् त्याे पनि वास्तविक जिवनमा अप्राकृतिक तवरले ।

परिदृश्यकाे व्याख्या

क्षणिक मनाेउत्साह र साैन्दर्य देखाउनकाे लागी एक युवतीले एउटा तस्बिर वालमा राख्दै क्यापसन् लेखिन् ! ” म झरि जसरी नै झर्ने झरना हुन चाहान्छु ”

लगत्तै एकैछिनमा उन्माद पुर्वक कमेन्टबक्समा कमेन्टहरु झर्न थाले ! ति कमेन्टहरुले समाजले निर्माण गरेका संस्कार र नियमका रेखाहरु ताेडेका थिएँ ! भलै ति अक्षरहरु शब्दमा मात्र थिए ! तस्विरलाई याैनाकर्षणकाे ध्येय बमाेजिम केलाईएकाे थियाे ! मेराे मन नमिठाे सगँ कुँडियाे ! अवाक् भएँ ! हामि के हासिल गर्नका निम्ति याे हद सम्म गिर्दैछाै ! मैले बुझ्न सकिरहेकाे थिईन् ! म पनि यहि संजालकाे एक चालु सदस्यकाे हैसियतले आफैलाई नियाल्दै थिएँ !

पहिले र अहिले जिवनमा पक्कै पनि केहि नमिठाे राेषकाे अशं थियाे !

आफ्नाे प्रसंशा र व्यक्तित्वकाे व्याख्याकाे बारेमा हरकाेहि मानिस लाेभी हुन्छ, तर त्यसमा पनि एउटा निश्चित परिधि रहेकाे हुन्छ, के हद र कति हद भन्ने ! लाईक,कमेन्ट आदर्श नै हाम्राे ध्येय हाे त ! यदि हाे भने त्याे के काम र कति फाईदाकाे ! मनन् गर्नुस्त !

तर हामिलाई चुक्नु छ भने जस्ले जे भनाेस्, हामि चुकिरहन्छाै ! हामिमा खाेक्राे व्यक्तित्व देखाउने लालसा छ, हामि देखाईरहन्छाै ।

सामाजिक संजालमा देखिएका र देखाईएका पात्रहरु हुन्छन् ! जुन भिन्न भिन्न अस्तित्व काे कारण बाट जन्म लिन्छन् ! यसमा फेक नाम राखेर बनाईएका आईडीहरु, ह्याण्डलहरु पर्दछन ! जसकाे आफ्नाे छुट्टै पहिचान र दायित्वबाेध हुदैन ! पहिचान नहुनुकाे फाईदामा उसले आफ्नाे वास्तविक जिवन प्रतिकाे रुखाे भाव फेक मार्फत प्रकट गर्दछ ! अनि त्यसले एक हुल उपद्र्या सगँ मिलेर कसैलाई नंग्याईरहदाँ हामि बडा गर्व सहित तिनिहरु माथि तारिफ फ्याक्छाैँ ! के तिनिहरु माथि त्याे हक छ त ! जाे मुला आफ्नाे नाम भर्चुअल समाजमा लुकाएर शब्दहतियार चलाउछँ, त्याे कसरी जायज ! यदि सहि आशय हाे भने त्याे पनि जायज हुने बिषय रहला् तर गलत प्रयाेजनमा !

अहँ !

व्यक्तित्व निर्माण, सुचनाकाे सहि सम्प्रेषण, सहयाेग, बिचारवादका आदीका लागी यस्ता सामाजिक संजालहरु बन्नुकाे कारण हाे ! सकारात्मकता प्रति हाम्राे समाज अघि बढ्नुकाे साटाे झन् नकरात्मकताकाे दलदल तिर फस्दैछँ !

परिस्कृत या स्विकृत ! तर वास्बिकता नै यहिँ हाे ! जसले हामिले भाेली बनाउने भविष्य सम्म पनि हामिलाई पछ्याउछ ! आजकाे खाेक्राे आदर्श र मनाेगत कल्पना हाम्रा लागी भाेली अभिसापकाे विगत रहन सक्छ ! त्यसैले हाम्राे भाेली बनाउनका लागी हामिले आजकाे वर्तमानमा केही हद ननाघाैँ ।

अस्तु :

एकादेशको कथा

एकादेशमा एउटा देश थियो अरे । देश भएपछि त्यहाँ नागरिक हुने नै भए । नागरिक भए पछि कसै न कसैले त्यहाँ नेता भएर अवतार लिने नै भए । नेता जन्मेकैले गर्दा त्यहाँका नागरिकहरू जनतामा रुपान्तरित भए अरे । यदि त्यहाँ नेता नभएका भए ती नागरिकहरू नागरिक मात्रै हुन्थे वा मान्छे मात्रै हुन्थे अरे, तर तिनीहरूभन्दा धेरै माथि टाउकामा बसेर शासन गर्ने नेताहरूको प्रतिष्ठाका लागि तिनीहरू जनता भइदिए अरे ।

जनता भए पछि निरीहता हुने नै भयो । जनताहरू निरीह थिए । उनीहरूलाई सधैं खान लाउनको दुःख थियो । यातायातको असुविधा थियो । खानेपानी थिएन । अस्पताल थिएन । स्कूल थिएन । विजुली थिएन । भए पनि कम्ति थियो, अपुग थियो । उनीहरूलाई आफ्ना भाग्य विधातासँग अनेक मागहरू राख्न सिकाइएको थियो । नेता नहुँदा देउतालाई उनीहरू भाग्य विधाता सम्झन्थे, नेता जन्मेपछि नेतालाई नै भाग्य विधाता सम्झन थाले । आफू समक्ष माग राखिएपछि नेताहरू साह्रै खुशी हुन्थे । आफूलाई देउता नै ठान्थे र जनताले जति माग गर्थे त्यसमा कैयौं गुना थपेर उनीहरू जनतालाई ‘तथास्तु’ भनिदिन्थे ।



शुरुशुरुमा त्यहाँका जनताले कसैसँग केही माग्न जानेका थिएनन् । आफ्नै मेलोमेसो गर्थे, हलो कोदालो गर्थे, खर्क र बेसी गर्थे । मिहिनेत गर्थे, खान्थे । नेताहरूले नै आफैंसँग उनीहरूलाई माग राख्न उक्साएका हुन् । जनताका मागहरू सारै सामान्य खालका साना साना हुन्थे । उनीहरू बिचार गर्थे पूरा हुनेसम्मका माग राख्नुपर्छ, पूरा नहुने सपना देख्नुहुन्न । तर नेताहरू एक पछि अर्को उनीहरूका घर आँगनमा आउँथे र जनताले देखेका सपनाभन्दा सय गुना ठूला सपना देख्न लगाउँथे ।

जनताहरू बिहान बेलुकाको छाक ढिँडो, गुन्द्रक, आँटो पिठो जेले भए पनि टार्ने सपना देख्थे र नेताहरू समक्ष त्यसका लागि भरथेगको माग राख्थे । नेताहरू दाल, तरकारी, अचार, गाईको दूधसँग मसिना चामलको भात खुवाउने कुरा गर्थे । हप्ताको एकदुई छाक माछामासु र फलफूल पनि खान पाउने व्यवस्था गरिदिने वचन दिन्थे । प्रत्येक जनतासँग एउटा घर, खेति, चरन र लैनो गाई हुनेछ भनेर घोषणा गरिदिन्थे ।

जनताहरूले गाउँमा एउटा प्राथमिक स्कूलको सपना देखे । नेताहरू आएर तिमीहरूलाई नाथे प्राइमरी स्कूलले कहाँ पुग्छ, विश्वविद्यालय नै चाहिन्छ भन्दै विश्वविद्यालय ल्याउने निर्णय गरेर सही गरिदिए । जनताहरू स्वास्थ कार्यकर्ता सम्म भएको एउटा स्वास्थ्य चौकी भए हुन्थ्यो भनेर कुरा उठाउँथे, नेताहरू डाक्टरहरूले भरिएको कुन्नि कति शैयाको ठूलै अस्पताल ल्याइदिन राजधानीतिर लाग्थे ।

जनताहरूको गाउँमा बाटोको साह्रै समस्या थियो । कति भरियाहरू, कति गोठालाहरू, कति घाँसीहरू, कति स्कूले केटाकटीहरू बाटो हिँड्दा कतिपटक भिरको ढुङ्गामा ठोक्किएर खोँचमा खसेका थिए । त्यो ढुङ्गो फुटाएर टाउको नठोक्किने बनाइमाग्न उनीहरूले नेतालाई गुहारे । नेताहरू आएर त्यो भिरमा ढुङ्गो फुटाउने होइन, सडक खन्ने र कालोपत्रे समेत गर्ने कटिवद्धता प्रकट गरेर गए । अरु धेरैजना भिरबाट लडेपछि अर्कोपल्ट कुरा उठाउँदा त्यो भिरमा सुरुङ मार्ग नै बनाउने टुङ्गो लगाएर नेताहरू शहर पसे र उतै बसे । जनताको गाउँमा केटाकेटीका लागि खेल्ने चौरको दर्कार थियो । गाउँलेले श्रम लगाएर चौर खन्ने निर्णय गरेको थाहा पाउनासाथ नेताहरूले त्यो ठाउँमा खेल्ने चौर होइन हावाइजहाज बस्ने एयरपोर्ट नै बनाउने घोषणा गरे ।

खानेपानीको झन् कुरै भएन, दुई घण्टा लगाएर कुवामा पुगिन्थ्यो । जनताले त्यो कुराको समाधानका लागि डाकेको वैठकमा एकाएक प्रवेश गरेर नेताहरूले गाउँमा खानेपानी मात्रै होइन, घरघरमा माछा पाल्न समेत पुग्ने गरी पानी ल्याउने कसम आए । डाँडापारीको खोलाबाट टनेल खनेर कुन्नि कति मेगावाटको विद्युत उत्पादन केन्द्र बनाउने र सिँचाइ समेतलाई पुग्ने पानी ल्याएर त्यो गाउँलाई नमूना गाउँको रुपमा विकास गर्ने गरी जनताले आशै नगरेका माग समेत पूरा गरिदिए नेताहरूले ।

जनताले देशमा विकास खोजे, नेताले हिंसात्मक क्रान्ति नै उपलव्ध गराए । जनताले क्रान्ति पुग्यो अब शान्ति र सुरक्षा भए पुग्छ, भने, नेताले कहाँ पुग्नु तिमीहरूलाई त सम्विधानसभा पो चाहिन्छ त भने । जनताले लौ ठिकै छ, तर सानो आकारको सम्विधानसभा भए हामीलाई पुग्छ भने, नेताले सानोले कहाँ पुग्छ, कम्तिमा छ सय एकजनाको सम्विधानसभा चाहिन्छ भन्दै जनताले मागेको भन्दा कैयौं गुना ठूलो आकारको सम्विधानसभा दिएर नेताहरूले चमत्कारै गरे । जनताले दुई वर्षमा बनाएको सम्विधान हामीलाई पर्याप्त हुन्छ भने । नेताहरूले भने, दुई वर्षमा बनाएको सम्विधानले तिमीहरूका अधिकार रक्षा गर्न सक्तैन, तीन चार वर्ष लगाएर बनाइदिन्छौँ । यसरी नेताहरूले जनताको मागभन्दा धेरै गुणा बढी पूर्ति गर्दै गए, गर्दै गए । जनताले सम्विधानसभा पुग्यो अब अरु नै कुनै उपाय गर्नुहोस् भनेर नेतालाई भने । नेताले भने, त्यसरी कहाँ हुन्छ, दोश्रो पटक निर्वाचन गरेर भए पनि हामी सम्विधानसभाबाटै सम्विधान बनाएर तिमीहरूलाई केही दशकमै संसारकै धनी जनता बनाउँछौं । उनीहरूले फेरि दोश्रो सम्धिानसभाको निर्वाचनमा जनतालाई हुले ।

त्यसैबेला फेरी त्यो देशमा ठुलो भुईचालो पनि गयो । जनताहरु बढो सकसमा आफ्ना लालाबालालाई कसरी यो बर्खा बाट जोगाउने भन्दै गुहार माग्न थाले । अब जनताहरुको उपकार गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने ध्येयले नेताहरुले सरकार र संसदमा

लामो बहस गरेर एउटा पुनर्निमाण आयोग गठन गरे । जनताहरु पनि आफ्नो भत्किएको ढुंगाको घर महल हुने आशमा रहन थाले ।

दिन बित्दै जाँदा नेताहरु र त्यो देशका सक्षम कर्मचारीहरुको ठुलो कसरत पश्चात त्यहाँका जनताले अलिकति पैसा पाएँ। र फेरी अर्को आशामा रहन थाले। त्यति बितिरहदा त्यहाँका नेताहरुले स्थानिय चुनाव गरेर राजधानी नै गाँउ गाँउमा पुर्याए। जनताले कुनै राज्यकर्मको लागी आफ्नो गाँउको सिमा ननाघग्नु पर्ने भयो ।

त्यतिले मात्र जनताको अधिकार प्रत्त्याभुत हुन नसक्ला भनेर त्यो देशका नेताहरुले प्रदेश बनाएर देशलाई सघिंय ढाँचामा लग्ने भनेर चुनाव गरे । त्यो बेला नेताहरुले सार्है कष्ट ब्यहोरे ।

लामो अनुसन्धान पछि पत्ता लाग्यो कि त्यो देशमा विकास नहुनु र जनताले झन् झन् दुःख पाइरहनुको खास कारण नेताको मन साह्रै ठूलो र जनताको मन साह्रै सानो भएर रहेछ । जनताको बुद्धि नपुगेर तिनीहरूले दुःख पाएका रहेछन् । जनता थोरै थोरै माग्ने, नेता घ्याप्घ्यापी दिने । यो माग र आपूर्तिको असन्तुलनले गर्दा देश अगाडि नबढेको रहेछ ।

ती महान् र दयालु नेताहरू र साह्रै छोटो मन भएका मूर्ख जनताहरू भएको देश अरु कुन हुन्थ्यो ! हाम्रै देश नेपाल थियो अरे ।

फाँसीमा लड्किनुअघि इरानी युवतीको चिठी

बलात्कार गर्न खोज्ने एक इरानी गुप्तचर अधिकारीलाई सन् २००९ मा छुरी प्रहार गरी हत्या गरेको अभियोगमा अदालतले इरानी  इन्टरियर डिजाइनर २६ वर्षीया रेहाने जब्बारीलाई फाँसीको सजाँय सुनायो । उनलार्इ शनिबार मृत्युदण्ड दिइएको छ. फाँसीको तख्तामा जानुअघि रेहानेले आमा सोलेह पक्राभनलाई लेखेको यो चिठी अहिले विश्वमा चर्चित बनेको छ:


प्यारी ममतामयी आमा,
मैले कठोर दण्ड पाउने कुरा मैले आजै थाहा पाएँ । म आफ्नो जीवनरूपी किताबको अन्तिम पानामा आइपुगेकी छु भन्ने कुरा तपार्इं स्वयंले मलाई नबताउँदा मेरो मन किञ्चित कुँडिएको छ । यो कुरा मैले थाहा पाउनुपर्छ भन्ने तपाईंले किन सोच्नुभएन ? यो सब कुराले तपाईंलाई भित्रैदेखि मर्माहत बनाएको छ भन्ने मलाई थाहा छ र यसले मलाई लज्जित तुल्याएको छ । तपाईंको र बुबाको हात एकपटक चुम्ने मौकाबाट मलाई किन वञ्चित राख्नुभयो आमा ?

यो संसारले मलाई १९ वर्षसम्म बाँच्ने मौका दियो । त्यो अपशकुन रातमै मेरो हत्या भएको भए कति वेश हुने थियो होला ? यदि मैले चिताएजस्तै भएको भए सहरको एउटा गल्लीमा मेरो लास फालिएको हुने थियो । मेरो लास पहिचान गराउन प्रहरीले तपाईंलाई त्यही गल्लीमा लिएर जान्थ्यो । त्यहाँ पुगेपछि तपाईंले थाहा पाउनुहुने थियो कि, तपाईंकी प्यारी छोरीको हत्या मात्र होइन, बलात्कार पनि भएको रहेछ ।

मेरो हत्या गर्नेहरूसँग जस्तै हामीसँग सम्पत्ति र सामथ्र्य दुवै छैन । त्यसैले मेरा हत्याराहरू कहिल्यै पक्राउ पर्ने थिएनन् । त्यसपछिका तपाईंका दिनहरू असिम पीडा र लज्जामा बित्ने थिए । यही पीडाले केही वर्षपछि तपाईंको प्राणपखेरु पनि उडाउने थियो ।

तर खै, कस्तो श्रापले गर्दा हो कुन्नि, कथा अप्रिय ढंगले पूरै बदलियो । मेरो शरीर कुनै गल्लीमा मिल्किएन । सहरको कुनै गल्लीमा मिल्काइनुको सट्टा मेरो शरीर इभिन जेलरूपी यो चिहानको सुनसान कालकोठरीमा मिल्काइएको छ । र, अहिले चिहानजस्तै साहर–ए–रे जेलमा मेरो शरीरलाई राखिएको छ । आमा, यो सबै नियतिको खेल हो भन्ने सम्झिएर चित्त बुझाउनुहोला, र कुनै प्रकारको दु:ख–मनाउ नगर्नुहोला । मृत्यु जीवनको अन्त्य होइन भन्ने कुरा तपाईंलाई राम्रोसँग थाहा छँदै छ नि, हैन र ?

तपाईंले मलाई भन्नुभएको थियो, मानिस यो संसारमा अनुभव बटुल्न र शिक्षा हासिल गर्न आउँछ । हरेक जन्ममा मानिसको काँधमा केही न केही जिम्मेवारी भिराइएको हुन्छ । यो जन्ममा मैले एउटा कुरा सिकें कुनै न कुनै वेला मानिसले पौँठेजोरी खेल्नुपर्दो रहेछ । मलाई मारपिट गर्ने व्यक्तिको विरोध गर्दा एक मानिसले ती व्यक्तिबाट मुखै–मुखमा, टाउकै–टाउकोमा चाबुक खानुपर्‍यो । उनीमाथि चाबुकको वर्षा भयो र यसैले गर्दा उनको प्राणपखेरु उड्यो । त्यसबखत तपाईंले मलाई भन्नुभएको थियो, छोरी, मर्नुपरे पनि मानिसले आफ्नो मूल्यको रक्षा गर्नुपर्छ ।

तर, तपाईंले हासिल गर्नुभएको अनुभवसिद्ध ज्ञान सत्य रहेनछ । जब ममाथि यो घटना घट्यो, तपाईंले मलाई दिनुभएको जीवनका मूल्यसम्बन्धी ज्ञान सबै बेकार साबित भए । तपाईंले भनेबमोजिम गर्दा मलाई नृशंस हत्यारा र निर्मम अपराधीका रूपमा अदालतमा उपस्थित गराइयो । त्यतिवेला मेरो आँसु खसेन । मैले कसैसँग जीवनरक्षाका निम्ति हात फिजाइनँ । मलाई कानुनप्रति विश्वास थियो । त्यसैले विरोधमा म केही बोलिनँ ।

म कस्तो कमलो मन भएकी छोरी हुँ भन्ने तपाईंलाई राम्रोसँग थाहा छ । मैले कहिल्यै एउटा लामखुट्टे पनि मारिनँ । घरमा कुनै साङ्लो फेला पर्‍यो भने त्यसको जुँगामा समातेर म बाहिरतिर मिल्काइदिने गर्थेँ, मार्दिनथेँ । तर, आज मलाई नियोजित हत्यारा बनाइयो । जनावरप्रतिको मेरो व्यवहारलाई छोरोमान्छे जस्तो बन्न खोज्ने मेरो अभिलाषाका रूपमा अथ्र्याइयो । तर, यो घटना घट्दाखेरि मेरो हातका लामा, पालिस लगाएर चिटिक्क पारेका नङप्रति न्यायाधीश महोदयको ध्यानै गएन ।

न्यायाधीश महोदयबाट न्यायको अपेक्षा गर्नेहरू कति आशावादी हुँदा हुन् कठै ? मेरो हात खेलाडीको जस्तो, अझ भन्नुपर्दा बक्सरको जस्तो जब्बर र खस्रो खालको छैन भन्ने तथ्यबारे न्यायाधीश महोदयबाट कुनै प्रश्न भएन । र, यो राष्ट्र, जसप्रति माया गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने भाव तपाईंले ममा जगाइदिनुभयो, यसले पनि मलाई कहिल्यै चाहेन । सोधपुछकर्ताको एकपछि अर्को प्रश्नको प्रहार सहन नसकेर मैले आँसु झारिरहँदा कोही पनि मेरो समर्थनमा आएनन् । मेरो सौन्दर्यको अन्तिम निशानीका रूपमा रहेको कपाल खौरिएपछि मेरो हातमा ११ दिन लामो कालकोठरीवासको उपहार थमाइयो ।

यो सबै सुनेर नरुनुहोला आमा । प्रहरी कार्यालयमा पुगेको पहिलो दिन नै एकजना अविवाहित प्रहरीले मैले पालेका लामा नङका निम्ति मलाई दिनु दु:ख दिएका थिए । त्यसपछि मैले बुझेँ, यो युगमा सौन्दर्यताको पारख गरिँदैन रहेछ । सुन्दर हेराइ, सुन्दर विचार, सुन्दर कामना, सुन्दर हस्तलिखित अक्षर, सुन्दर आँखा, सुन्दर दृष्टिकोण र सुन्दर आवाजको यो युगमा कुनै कदर हुँदैन रहेछ ।

अहिले मेरो जीवनदर्शन बदलिएको छ । तर, यसका लागि तपाईं जिम्मेवार हुनुहुन्न । मेरा शब्दहरूको कुनै अन्त्य छैन । यी शब्दहरू मैले कसैलाई लेखेर दिएकी छु । जब तपाईंलाई उपस्थित नगराईकन र जानकारी नदिईकन मलाई फाँसी दिइन्छ, त्यतिवेला तपाईंले यो पत्र पाउनुहुनेछ । आफ्नो नासोका रूपमा मैले तपाईंका निम्ति हातले लेखेका यी अक्षरहरू छोडेर गएकी छु ।

मर्नुभन्दा अघि म तपाईंबाट केही चाहन्छु । मैले इच्छाएको कुरा पूरा गर्न तपाईंले दिलोज्यान लगाउनुहोस् भन्ने मेरो चाहना छ । वास्तवमा भन्ने हो भने यो संसार, यो देशबाट र तपाईंबाट मैले चाहेको यो नै एक मात्र कुरा हो ।

बिन्ती, नरोईकन मैले भनेको सुन्नुहोस् । अदालत पुगेर मेरो तर्फबाट एउटा आग्रह गरिदिनुहोस् । किनकि, म जेलका यी चार पर्खालभित्रबाट त्यस्तो आग्रह गरिएको चिठी पठाउन सक्दिनँ । किनकि, हरेक चिठी जेलप्रमुखबाट अनुमोदन गराउनुपर्ने हुन्छ । जेलको यस्तो नियमले गर्दा तपाईंले मेरो कारण पुन: एकपटक असिम मर्मान्तकारी क्षण बेहोर्नुपर्ने भएको छ । मैले खोजेको कुरा मेरा निम्ति मागिदिनुभयो भने म किञ्चित दु:खी हुनेछैन । मलाई फाँसीबाट जोगाउने याचनाचाहिँ कहिल्यै नगर्नुहोस् भनेर मैले यसअघि नै तपाईंलाई पटक–पटक भनिसकेकी छु ।

मैले आफ्नै जीवनभन्दा पनि बढी माया गरेकी मेरी प्यारी आमा,
म माटोमुनि पुरिएर कुहिन चाहन्नँ । म मेरा आँखा र मेरो स्वस्थ जवान मुटु माटोमा बिलीन होस् भन्ने चाहन्नँ । त्यसैले मेरा लागि एउटा भिख मागिदिनुहोस् । मलाई फाँसीको तख्तामा झुन्ड्याउनासाथ मेरो मुटु, मेरा मृगैला, मेरा आँखा, हड्डी र प्रत्यारोपण गर्न मिल्नेजति सबै अंगहरू मेरो शरीरबाट निकालियोस् र आवश्यक भएका व्यक्तिलाई ती अंग मेरो अन्तिम उपहारका रूपमा दिइयोस् । अंग पाउने व्यक्तिले मेरो नाम थाहा भने नपाओस् । उसले मेरा लागि पुष्पगुच्छा अर्पण गरोस् अथवा मेरा लागि खुदासँग प्रार्थना गरोस् भन्ने म चाहन्नँ ।

यो कुरा म अन्तरहृदयदेखि भनिरहेकी छु । मेरो कुनै चिहान बनोस् भन्ने चाहना पनि म राख्दिनँ, किनकि मेरो चिहानमा पुगेर निरन्तर शोक गर्ने र पीडा प्राप्त गर्ने अवसर तपाईंलाई प्राप्त भएको अवस्था म निम्त्याउन चाहन्नँ । मेरा लागि तपाईंले शोक जनाउने खालको कालो लुगा लगाउनुहोस् भन्ने पनि म चाहन्नँ । मेरा दु:खका दिन बिर्सिने हरसम्भव चेष्टा गर्नुहोस् । मलाई यो पवनको जिम्मामा छोडिदिनुहोस्, ताकि यसले मलाई निर्वाध रूपमा उडाएर पर–पर अनन्तमा पुर्‍याउन सकोस् ।

यो संसारले हामीलाई माया गरेन । मेरो भाग्यको मूल्यप्रति यो संसारले कुनै इच्छा देखाएन । अब म यी सबैबाट मुक्त भएर मृत्युलाई अँगाल्दै छु ।

तर, खुदाको अदालतमा फेरि मुद्दा चल्नेछ आमा । त्यहाँ म निरीक्षकविरुद्ध मुद्दा हाल्नेछु, न्यायाधीश महोदयविरुद्ध मुद्दा हाल्नेछु, यो देशका सर्वोच्च अदालतका न्यायाधीशहरू सबैविरुद्ध मुद्दा हाल्नेछु ।

सृष्टिकर्ताको अदालतमा म ती सबैविरुद्ध मुद्दा हाल्नेछु, जसले अज्ञानता अथवा झुटको वशमा परेर देखिएको सत्य कहिलेकाहीँ वास्तविक सत्यभन्दा भिन्न पनि हुन सक्छ भन्ने तथ्यतर्फ निर्ममतापूर्वक आफ्ना आँखा चिम्लिए ।

कोमल हृदय भएकी प्यारी आमा,
परलोकमा आरोप लगाउनेहरूको आसनमा हामी हुनेछौँ र आरोपित व्यक्ति उभिने कठघरामा अरूहरू हुनेछन् । हेरौँ, भगवान् के चाहँदा रहेछन् । म तपाईंलाई नमरुञ्जेलसम्म अँगालोमा कसिरहन चाहन्छु ।

तपाईंलाई माया गर्ने रेहाने
१ अप्रिल २०१४

Teen Depression and Anxiety: Why the Kids Are Not Alright –

The first time Faith-Ann Bishop cut herself, she was in eighth grade. It was 2 in the morning, and as her parents slept, she sat on the edge of the tub at her home outside Bangor, Maine, with a metal clip from a pen in her hand. Then she sliced into the soft skin near her ribs. There was blood–and a sense of deep relief. “It makes the world very quiet for a few seconds,” says Faith-Ann. “For a while I didn’t want to stop, because it was my only coping mechanism. I hadn’t learned any other way.”

The pain of the superficial wound was a momentary escape from the anxiety she was fighting constantly, about grades, about her future, about relationships, about everything. Many days she felt ill before school. Sometimes she’d throw up, other times she’d stay home. “It was like asking me to climb Mount Everest in high heels,” she says.

 Blonde woman laying on bed TIME health stock

It would be three years before Faith-Ann, now 20 and a film student in Los Angeles, told her parents about the depth of her distress. She hid the marks on her torso and arms, and hid the sadness she couldn’t explain and didn’t feel was justified. On paper, she had a good life. She loved her parents and knew they’d be supportive if she asked for help. She just couldn’t bear seeing the worry on their faces.

For Faith-Ann, cutting was a secret, compulsive manifestation of the depression and anxiety that she and millions of teenagers in the U.S. are struggling with. Self-harm, which some experts say is on the rise, is perhaps the most disturbing symptom of a broader psychological problem: a spectrum of angst that plagues 21st century teens.

Adolescents today have a reputation for being more fragile, less resilient and more overwhelmed than their parents were when they were growing up. Sometimes they’re called spoiled or coddled or helicoptered. But a closer look paints a far more heartbreaking portrait of why young people are suffering. Anxiety and depression in high school kids have been on the rise since 2012 after several years of stability. It’s a phenomenon that cuts across all demographics–suburban, urban and rural; those who are college bound and those who aren’t. Family financial stress can exacerbate these issues, and studies show that girls are more at risk than boys.

In 2015, about 3 million teens ages 12 to 17 had had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. More than 2 million report experiencing depression that impairs their daily function. About 30% of girls and 20% of boys–totaling 6.3 million teens–have had an anxiety disorder, according to data from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Experts suspect that these statistics are on the low end of what’s really happening, since many people do not seek help for anxiety and depression. A 2015 report from the Child Mind Institute found that only about 20% of young people with a diagnosable anxiety disorder get treatment. It’s also hard to quantify behaviors related to depression and anxiety, like nonsuicidal self-harm, because they are deliberately secretive.

Still, the number of distressed young people is on the rise, experts say, and they are trying to figure out how best to help. Teen minds have always craved stimulation, and their emotional reactions are by nature urgent and sometimes debilitating. The biggest variable, then, is the climate in which teens navigate this stage of development.

They are the post-9/11 generation, raised in an era of economic and national insecurity. They’ve never known a time when terrorism and school shootings weren’t the norm. They grew up watching their parents weather a severe recession, and, perhaps most important, they hit puberty at a time when technology and social media were transforming society.

“If you wanted to create an environment to churn out really angsty people, we’ve done it,” says Janis Whitlock, director of the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery. Sure, parental micromanaging can be a factor, as can school stress, but Whitlock doesn’t think those things are the main drivers of this epidemic. “It’s that they’re in a cauldron of stimulus they can’t get away from, or don’t want to get away from, or don’t know how to get away from,” she says.

In my dozens of conversations with teens, parents, clinicians and school counselors across the country, there was a pervasive sense that being a teenager today is a draining full-time job that includes doing schoolwork, managing a social-media identity and fretting about career, climate change, sexism, racism–you name it. Every fight or slight is documented online for hours or days after the incident. It’s exhausting.

“We’re the first generation that cannot escape our problems at all,” says Faith-Ann. “We’re all like little volcanoes. We’re getting this constant pressure, from our phones, from our relationships, from the way things are today.”

It’s hard for many adults to understand how much of teenagers’ emotional life is lived within the small screens on their phones, but a CNN special report in 2015 conducted with researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Texas at Dallas examined the social-media use of more than 200 13-year-olds. Their analysis found that “there is no firm line between their real and online worlds,” according to the researchers.

Phoebe Gariepy, a 17-year-old in Arundel, Maine, describes following on Instagram a girl in Los Angeles whom she’d never met because she liked the photos she posted. Then the girl stopped posting. Phoebe later heard she’d been kidnapped and was found on the side of a road, dead. “I started bawling, and I didn’t even know this girl,” says Phoebe. “I felt really extremely connected to that situation even though it was in L.A.”

That hyperconnectedness now extends everywhere, engulfing even rural teens in a national thicket of Internet drama. Daniel Champer, the director of school-based services for Intermountain in Helena, Mont., says the one word he’d use to describe the kids in his state is overexposed. Montana’s kids may be in a big, sparsely populated state, but they are not isolated anymore. A suicide might happen on the other side of the state and the kids often know before the adults, says Champer. This makes it hard for counselors to help. And nearly 30% of the state’s teens said they felt sad and hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks in a row, according to the 2015 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey. To address what they consider a cry for help from the state’s teens, officials in Montana are working on expanding access to school-based and tele-based counseling.

Megan Moreno, head of social media and adolescent health research at Seattle Children’s Hospital, notes a big difference between the mobile-social-tech revolution of the past 15 years and things like the introduction of the telephone or TV. In the olden days, your mom told you to get off the family phone or turn off the TV, and you did it. This time, kids are in the driver’s seat.

Parents are also mimicking teen behavior. “Not in all cases, obviously, but in many cases the adults are learning to use their phones in the way that the teens do,” says Moreno. “They’re zoning out. They’re ignoring people. They’re answering calls during dinner rather than saying, ‘O.K., we have this technology. Here are the rules about when we use it.'”

She cautions against demonizing technology entirely. “I often tell parents my simplest analogy is it’s like a hammer. You know, you can build a house that’s never existed before and you can smash someone’s head in, and it’s the same tool.” Sometimes phones rob teens’ developing brains of essential downtime. But other times they’re a way to maintain healthy social connections and get support.

Nora Carden, 17, of Brooklyn, who started college in upstate New York this fall, says she’s relieved when she goes on a trip that requires her to leave her phone for a while. “It’s like the whole school is in your bag, waiting for an answer,” she says.

School pressures also play a role, particularly with stress. Nora got counseling for her anxiety, which became crushing as the college-application process ramped up. She’d fear getting an answer wrong when a teacher called on her, and often felt she was not qualified to be in a particular class. “I don’t have pressure from my parents. I’m the one putting pressure on myself,” she says.

“The competitiveness, the lack of clarity about where things are going [economically] have all created a sense of real stress,” says Victor Schwartz of the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that works with colleges and universities on mental-health programs and services. “Ten years ago, the most prominent thing kids talked about was feeling depressed. And now anxiety has overtaken that in the last couple of years.”

Tommy La Guardia, a high-achieving 18-year-old senior in Kent, Wash., is the first college-bound kid in his family. He recently became a finalist for prestigious scholarships, all while working 10 to 15 hours a week at a Microsoft internship and helping to care for his younger brothers.

His mom, Catherine Moimoi, says he doesn’t talk about the pressure he’s under. They don’t have a lot of resources, yet he manages everything himself, including college tours and applications. “He’s a good kid. He never complains,” she says. “But there are many nights I go to sleep wondering how he does it.”

Tommy admits that the past year was tough. “It’s hard to describe the stress,” he says. “I’m calm on the outside, but inside it’s like a demon in your stomach trying to consume you.” He deals with those emotions on his own. “I don’t want to make it someone else’s problem.”

Alison Heyland, 18, a recent high school graduate, was part of a group in Maine called Project Aware, whose members seek to help their peers manage anxiety and depression by making films. “We’re such a fragile and emotional generation,” she says. “It’s tempting for parents to tell kids, ‘Just suck it up.'” But, says Alison, “I feel like it really is less realistic for you to go after your dream job today. You’re more apt to go do a job that you don’t really like because it pays better and you’ll be in less debt.”

Meanwhile, evidence suggests the anxiety wrought by school pressures and technology is affecting younger and younger kids. Ellen Chance, co-president of the Palm Beach School Counselor Association, says technology and online bullying are affecting kids as early as fifth grade.

The strain on school counselors has increased since No Child Left Behind standardized testing protocols were implemented in the past decade. Tests can run from January through May, and since counselors in Chance’s county are often the ones who administer the exams, they have less time to deal with students’ mental-health issues.

“I couldn’t tell you how many students are being malicious to each other over Instagram or Snapchat,” she says of the elementary school where she’s the sole counselor for more than 500 kids. “I’ve had cases where girls don’t want to come to school because they feel outcasted and targeted. I deal with it on a weekly basis.”

Conventional wisdom says kids today are oversupervised, prompting some parenting critics to look back fondly to the days of latchkey kids. But now, even though teens may be in the same room with their parents, they might also, thanks to their phones, be immersed in a painful emotional tangle with dozens of their classmates. Or they’re looking at other people’s lives on Instagram and feeling self-loathing (or worse). Or they’re caught up in a discussion about suicide with a bunch of people on the other side of the country they’ve never even met via an app that most adults have never heard of.

Phoebe Gariepy says she remembers being in the backseat of a car with her headphones on, sitting next to her mom while looking at disturbing photos on her phone on social-media feeds about cutting. “I was so distant, I was so separated,” she says. She says it was hard to get out of that online community, as gory as it was, because her online life felt like her real life. “It’s almost like a reality-TV show. That’s the most triggering part of it, knowing that those real people were out there.” It would be hard for most people to know that the girl sitting there scrolling through her phone was engaged in much more than superficial selfies.

Josh, who did not want his real name published, is a high school sophomore in Maine who says he remembers how his parents began checking on him after the Sandy Hook shooting that killed 20 children and six adults. Despite their vigilance, he says, they’re largely unaware of the pain he’s been in. “They’re both heterosexual cis people, so they wouldn’t know that I’m bisexual. They wouldn’t know that I cut, that I use red wine, that I’ve attempted suicide,” he says. “They think I’m a normal kid, but I’m not.”

In the CNN study, researchers found that even when parents try their best to monitor their children’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds, they are likely unable to recognize the subtle slights and social exclusions that cause kids pain.

Finding disturbing things in a child’s digital identity, or that they’re self-harming, can stun some parents. “Every single week we have a girl who comes to the ER after some social-media rumor or incident has upset her [and then she cut herself],” says Fadi Haddad, a psychiatrist who helped start the child and adolescent psychiatric emergency department at Bellevue hospital in New York City, the first of its kind at a public hospital. Teens who end up there are often sent by administrators at their school. When Haddad calls the parents, they can be unaware of just how distressed their child is. According to Haddad, this includes parents who feel they’re very involved in their children’s lives: they’re at every sports game, they supervise the homework, they’re part of the school community.

Sometimes when he calls, they’re angry. One mother whose child Haddad treated told him that she found out her daughter had 17 Facebook accounts, which the mother shut down. “But what good does that do?” says Haddad. “There will be an 18th.”

For some parents who discover, as Faith-Ann’s parents Bret and Tammy Bishop did a few years ago, that their child has been severely depressed, anxiety-ridden or self-harming for years, it’s a shock laden with guilt.

Bret says Faith-Ann had been making cuts on her legs and ribs for three years before she got the courage to tell her parents. “You wonder, What could I have done better?” he says. Looking back, he realizes that he was distracted too much of the time.

“Even for us as adults, you’re never away from work now. Before, there wasn’t anything to worry about till I got back on Monday. But now it’s always on your phone. Sometimes when you’re home, you’re not home,” Bret says.

When Bret and Tammy joined a group for parents of kids with depression, he discovered that there were many girls and some boys who were also depressed and hurting themselves, and that few parents had any idea of what was going on.

Tammy said she wishes she’d followed her gut and taken Faith-Ann for counseling earlier. “I knew something was wrong, and I couldn’t figure it out,” she says.

Self-harm is certainly not universal among kids with depression and anxiety, but it does appear to be the signature symptom of this generation’s mental-health difficulties. All of the nearly two dozen teens I spoke with for this story knew someone who had engaged in self-harm or had done it themselves. It’s hard to quantify the behavior, but its impact is easier to monitor: a Seattle Children’s Hospital study that tracked hashtags people use on Instagram to talk about self-harm found a dramatic increase in their use in the past two years. Researchers got 1.7 million search results for “#selfharmmm” in 2014; by 2015 the number was more than 2.4 million.

While girls appear more likely to engage in this behavior, boys are not immune: as many as 30% to 40% of those who’ve ever self-injured are male.

The academic study of this behavior is nascent, but researchers are developing a deeper understanding of how physical pain may relieve the psychological pain of some people who practice it. That knowledge may help experts better understand why it can be hard for some people to stop self-harming once they start. Whitlock, the director of the self-injury research program at Cornell, explains that studies are pretty consistent in showing that people who injure themselves do it to cope with anxiety or depression.

It’s hard to know why self-harm has surfaced at this time, and it’s possible we’re just more aware of it now because we live in a world where we’re more aware of everything. Whitlock thinks there’s a cultural element to it. Starting in the late 1990s, the body became a kind of billboard for self-expression–that’s when tattoos and piercings went mainstream. “As that was starting to happen, the idea of etching your emotional pain into your body was not a big step from the body as a canvas as an idea,” she says.

The idea that self-harm is tied to how we see the human body tracks with what many teens told me when I interviewed them. As Faith-Ann describes it, “A lot of value is put on our physical beauty now. All of our friends are Photoshopping their own photos–it’s hard to escape that need to be perfect.” Before the dawn of social media, the disorders that seemed to be the quintessential reflection of those same societal pressures were anorexia or bulimia–which are still serious concerns.

Whitlock says there are two common experiences that people have with self-harm. There are those who feel disconnected or numb. “They don’t feel real, and there’s something about pain and blood that brings them into their body,” she says.

On the other end of the spectrum are people who feel an overwhelming amount of emotion, says Whitlock. “If you asked them to describe those emotions on a scale of 1 to 10, they would say 10, while you or I might rate the same experience as a 6 or 7. They need to discharge those feelings somehow, and injury becomes their way,” she explains.

The research on what happens in the brain and body when someone cuts is still emerging. Scientists want to better understand how self-harm engages the endogenous opioid system–which is involved in the pain response in the brain–and what happens if and when it does.

Some of the treatments for self-harm are similar to those for addiction, particularly in the focus on identifying underlying psychological issues–what’s causing the anxiety and depression in the first place–and then teaching healthy ways to cope. Similarly, those who want to stop need a strong level of internal motivation.

“You’re not going to stop for somebody else,” explains Phoebe, the teenager from Maine. Even thinking about how upset her mother was about the self-harm wasn’t enough. “I tried making pacts with friends. But it doesn’t work. You have to figure it out for yourself. You have to make the choice.”

Eventually, Phoebe steered herself out of the dark, destructive corners of the Internet that reinforced her habit by romanticizing and validating her pain. She’s now into holistic healing and looks at positive sites populated by people she calls “happy hippies.”

Faith-Ann remembers the day her mother Tammy noticed the scars on her arms and realized what they were. By then she was a junior in high school. “I normally cut in places you couldn’t see, but I had messed up and I had a cut on my wrists. I lifted my arm to move my hair, and she saw it. It was scary because the cuts were in a place that people associate with suicide.” That was not what she was attempting, however.

“If she’d asked me before that if I was cutting, I would have said no. I wouldn’t have wanted to put that pain on her,” says Faith-Ann. But that night she said, “Yes, I am cutting, and I want to stop.” Tammy cried for a bit, but they moved on. She didn’t ask why, she didn’t freak out, she just asked what she could do to help. “That was the exact right thing to do,” says Faith-Ann.

The family got counseling after that. Her parents learned that they weren’t alone. And Faith-Ann learned breathing techniques to calm herself physically and how to talk to herself positively. Recovery didn’t happen all at once. There were relapses, sometimes over tiny things. But the Bishops were on the right road.

One of the most powerful things Faith-Ann did to escape the cycle of anxiety, depression and self-harm was to channel her feelings into something creative. As part of the Project Aware teen program in Maine, she wrote and directed a short film about anxiety and depression in teens called The Road Back. More than 30 kids worked on the project, and they became a support system for one another as she continued to heal.

“I had a place where I could be open and talk about my life and the issues I was having, and then I could project them in an artistic way,” she says.

Bellevue’s Fadi Haddad says that for parents who find out their children are depressed or hurting themselves, the best response is first to validate their feelings. Don’t get angry or talk about taking away their computers. “Say, ‘I’m sorry you’re in pain. I’m here for you,'” he says.

This straightforward acknowledgment of their struggles takes away any judgment, which is critical since mental-health issues are still heavily stigmatized. No adolescent wants to be seen as flawed or vulnerable, and for parents, the idea that their child has debilitating depression or anxiety or is self-harming can feel like a failure on their part.

Alison Heyland’s dad Neil says that initially, it was hard to find people to confide in about his daughter’s depression. “I see everyone putting up posts about their family, they look so happy and everyone’s smiling, everything is so perfect and rosy. I kind of feel less than,” he says.

For both generations, admitting that they need help can be daunting. Even once they get past that barrier, the cost and logistics of therapy can be overwhelming.

Faith-Ann still struggles at times with depression and anxiety. “It’s a condition that’s not going to totally disappear from my life,” she says over the phone from Los Angeles, where she’s thriving at film school. “It’s just learning how to deal in a healthy way–not self-harming, not lashing out at people.”

Of course Bret and Tammy Bishop still worry about her. They now live in Hampstead, N.C., and at first Bret didn’t like the idea of Faith-Ann’s going to school in California. If she was having trouble coping, he and Tammy were a long plane ride away. How can you forget that your child, someone you’ve dedicated years to keeping safe from the perils of the world, has deliberately hurt herself? “It’s with you forever,” says Tammy.

These days, she and Bret are proud of their daughter’s independence and the new life she’s created. But like a lot of parents who’ve feared for their child’s health, they don’t take the ordinary for granted anymore.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Preamble

United Nation

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,


Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, therefore,
The General Assembly,
Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by

teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article I

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. Article 7

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Article 10

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11

  1. Everyonechargedwithapenaloffencehastherighttobepresumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  2. Nooneshallbeheldguiltyofanypenaloffenceonaccountofanyactor omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier

penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13

  1. Everyonehastherighttofreedomofmovementandresidencewithinthe borders of each State.
  2. Everyonehastherighttoleaveanycountry,includinghisown,andto return to his country.

Article 14

  1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  2. Thisrightmaynotbeinvokedinthecaseofprosecutionsgenuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15

  1. Everyonehastherighttoanationality.
  2. Nooneshallbearbitrarilydeprivedofhisnationalitynordeniedtherighttochange his nationality.

Article 16

  1. Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  2. Marriageshallbeenteredintoonlywiththefreeandfullconsentofthe intending spouses.
  3. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17

  1. Everyonehastherighttoownpropertyaloneaswellasinassociationwith others.
  2. Nooneshallbearbitrarilydeprivedofhisproperty.

Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20

1. Everyonehastherighttofreedomofpeacefulassemblyandassociation. 2. Noonemaybecompelledtobelongtoanassociation.

Article 21

  1. Everyonehastherighttotakepartinthegovernmentofhiscountry, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  2. Everyonehastherighttoequalaccesstopublicserviceinhiscountry.
  3. Thewillofthepeopleshallbethebasisoftheauthorityofgovernment;this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23

  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  2. Everyone,withoutanydiscrimination,hastherighttoequalpayforequal work.
  3. Everyonewhoworkshastherighttojustandfavourableremuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  4. Everyonehastherighttoformandtojointradeunionsfortheprotectionof his interests.

Article 24

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25

  1. Everyonehastherighttoastandardoflivingadequateforthehealthand well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  2. Motherhoodandchildhoodareentitledtospecialcareandassistance.All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26

  1. Everyonehastherighttoeducation.Educationshallbefree,atleastinthe elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  2. Educationshallbedirectedtothefulldevelopmentofthehuman personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  3. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27

1. Everyonehastherightfreelytoparticipateintheculturallifeofthe community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

2. Everyonehastherighttotheprotectionofthemoralandmaterialinterests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29

  1. Everyonehasdutiestothecommunityinwhichalonethefreeandfull development of his personality is possible.
  2. Intheexerciseofhisrightsandfreedoms,everyoneshallbesubjectonly to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  3. Theserightsandfreedomsmayinnocasebeexercisedcontrarytothe purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.