Writing and storytelling has become an empathy device – to imagine myself in the shoes and body of someone else. Perhaps it is the old school virtual reality lens. It has been helpful for me to role play artist to artist, instead of mother to daughter.

What I have experienced is that empathy takes time and creativity, patience, especially as someone with a migration background and if intergeneration trauma is involved (where there are ruptures in language, world views, physical distance), empathy is hard work!

I feel like empathy in my family is one thread that has is heavily ruptured. Sometimes I feel like my mother doesn't understand my position. Sometimes when I tell her about a painful memory of the past and she makes it about her. I understand that she is still in pain and has experienced more loss, and needs more comfort and reassurance maybe, but the constant denial and downplaying hurts nonetheless.