Elián Nation

Is Little Elián González Scarred for Life? Are You?

Robert Schwartzman
Age 37
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Toy inventor

Can Elián recover from recent events? It's really what happens from here on that will determine everything. It's going to be very hard for Juan Miguel González to resist the attention Castro will show him when he returns to Cuba. I walk both sides of this issue because my mother was thrown out of Cuba and feels passionately that Elián should stay.

What's the most horrible thing that ever happened to you as a kid? I had a great childhood, but maybe I'm repressing things. So many of my friends are angry at their parents that I wonder if I'll wake up one morning when I'm 60, turn to my family, and say, "I hate you!"

Did you get over it? For me, there was nothing to get over.


John Yoo
Age 29
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Self-employed

Can Elián recover from recent events? I think he's more confused than scarred. The issue of permanent damage is silly because he's been pampered here and will be pampered when and if he returns to Cuba.

What's the most horrible thing that ever happened to you as a kid? My parents emigrated from Korea and left me with my grandparents for two years. If I ever killed someone, they'd say I suffered from a feeling of childhood abandonment. On the other hand, if I become hugely successful, they'll say it was because being separated from my parents made me independent.

Did you get over it? I had nothing to get over because my grandparents were good to me.


Allister Smith
Age 24
Resides Queens
Occupation Cosmetics company employee

Can Elián recover from recent events? This is all bullshit. He's young, he's come from a bad place to a good place. I can't predict what will happen when he goes back to Cuba.

What's the most horrible thing that ever happened to you as a kid? I had a hard time growing up in the West Indies, but it was rough, not horrible.

Did you get over it? I wish I'd been in the spotlight like that when I was a little boy.


Carrina Cheung
Age 38
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Marketer

Can Elián recover from recent events? Yes, Jesus can heal him. I've seen children who've been through worse things than Elián González has. They survived because God reserves a special place for children.

What's the most horrible thing that ever happened to you as a kid? No childhood is perfect, few parents are perfect. My parents were not a happy couple, and I felt the effects of that until I got saved.

Did you get over it? Yes, that's why it's called being born again. It's a gift from God.


Christopher Hill
Age 27
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Computer Consultant

Can Elián recover from recent events? Kids are resilient, but every time they say he's damaged, they're further damaging him. They claim that sending him back to Cuba will ruin his life, but conditions are bad there in part because of the sanctions we've imposed on the country.

What's the most horrible thing that ever happened to you as a kid? I can't remember anything horrible, but my mother said I was put in the corner a lot for excessive energy and for disrupting class.

Did you get over it? To me, it's only a story I heard from my mother.


Courtney Doggart
Age 20
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Student

Can Elián recover from recent events? Yes, but it will take a lot of time and counseling wherever he ends up. They should end it all right now and stop doing things like enshrining his desk at school. I'm waiting for the TV series where Marisa Tomei plays Marisleysis González.

What's the most horrible thing that ever happened to you as a kid? I had a normal childhood.

Did you get over it? Even as an adult, I'm having an altogether normal life.


Renée Brown
Age 21
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Student

Can Elián recover from recent events? Yes, he may have some issues, but when he's older he'll be able to articulate what happened to him. I'm an artist and so I think about working through this kind of thing creatively.

What's the most horrible thing that ever happened to you as a kid? I had a lot of medical problems as a child. I wore a patch because of an eye condition and one of my legs was longer than the other. I was constantly going to the doctor.

Did you get over it? Yes. I think it helped me develop a sense of humor.

 
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