Today I had the honor to be a guest speaker at a womens empowerment event on trauma hosted by &Rise. It was an incredible experience.
Today I took a big step towards my healing. I been working so hard to get to this moment. I share with you all that I finally had the conversation with my mom. Now, I’ll take a step back to share with you how I got to this very moment in my life. A few weeks ago I met with a friend of mine to discuss starting a women empowerment group. I talked about my vision and purpose of why I wanted to start one. I briefly brought up my podcast as well. I I told her that I really wanted to one day record my moms story. My friend stopped me right away and said “Amanda, your mom should be your first episode”. It really opened my eyes and I saw what she saw. My mom has a story but not just any story. My mom is a woman who has had quite a traumatic life. My mom is part of my healing, one of the missing pieces to my own story.
My heart feels so happy as my mother and I were able to share stories with each other that I felt ashamed or embarrassed to tell her. I remember noticing her pain but never understood what was going on with her. She was married 19 years to the person that hurt her children but I didn’t realize he was abusing her as well and for so long. She told me stories about my dad and the ongoing abuse she dealt with. I was the reason my parents got married. My mom was three months pregnant with me. She said it was the right thing to do. My mom said my dad was not physically abusive towards her until after they got married. I asked her was he a drunk? She said he wasn’t. He was disturbed, he carried “the evil” as she described it. He hit her for no reason, even when pregnant. I believe her when she told me she always got him back when she wasn’t pregnant anymore. My mom is warrior who holds her own. She lived in fear, she didn’t have as much support as she wish had. Her dad for one was ignorant and old school. My mom shared there was a night my parents and my grandfather and girlfriend at the time was having dinner. My grandfather had more than enough drinks to say how he really felt about woman. He told my father in front of my mom and girlfriend that “a man is in charge and to beat the woman who feels otherwise” My heart took a few extra beats in anger because my dear grandfather was an abusive man who had a fucked up mindset (His story is another post I’ll share in the future).
The conversation went on for hours with my mom as we talked, cried and laughed. It was so intimate and one of the most special moments in my life that I will forever treasure. We had a malfunction with my laptop that prevented me from recording. The first conversation was our moment together and it reassured me that I have strongest mother in the world who loves and supports me in my healing and I learn I was one of missing pieces to her healing.
The recording of the podcast will be posted. My mom will share her steps of her healing.
It’s been about a year since I last posted, one long year. I came across a draft that I never published. I didn’t make any changes and clicked post. I look back one whole year. Who was that girl? the sad, depressed one. What was going on through her head? Why did she not feel happy? I really felt in a dark place. I had thoughts about suicide. I was angry and hated life. I didn’t know how to be happy anymore. I couldn’t do it though, take my life. I knew I was meant for more but how do I get there? I spoke with one of my girlfriends about starting a podcast to share our traumatic stories. How do I start doing that? Share vocally to the world. Do I have the courage? Eh, maybe, this blog is a start. Than life got busy all over again. My husband and I did a whole lot of talking in late December of 2018. We cried, we yelled, but we agreed we needed counseling and that was the beginning of change. For the longest I was not giving myself any self care through the time of our marriage or any time before that and letting myself become someone who was not me. In January of 2019 we started therapy about once a month. It was going great. We talk about the good and bad and the terrible. Only after two to three sessions I had a major breakdown. We were doing an exercise on “How do you think your spouse will describe you to others?” I thought hard, real hard. I couldn’t even say anything nice about myself. Who am I? Not the person I was when we met. What happen to her? I was angry at this very moment. Disappointed in who I’ve become. I realized I needed to take a step back from marriage counseling and focus on individual sessions where I can privately discuss the pain I was dealing with. This struck a light within me. I continued these session once or twice a month depending on how I was feeling. It was hard but I pushed myself to continue to talk about everything. My husband gave me so much support in continuing therapy. I didn’t take shame in what I was doing for myself. I shared with my family and friends that I have begun therapy and after every session I felt one step closer to being myself again. Now, I may have made that sound easy to get better session after session but this was because I wanted to get better. I wanted to be happy again and have peace in my heart. Change is coming I feel it within me. My husband and I have grown closer, better than ever before.
It’s been months since I could take the time to write, not because I didn’t want to but life…it just gets busy and easily distracting. I’ve come to realize that I need to be consistent especially because this blog is my happy place and I tend to forget to take care of me first. I started a new jobs a months ago and I thought this is it, “I finally made it” I have a career, I can pay my bills in full, I have some money in the bank, I can have cake and ice cream whenever I want but I still felt miserable, unhappy with myself, empty and unhappy. I was stuck in this world I didn’t want anymore, still depressed from being laid off, but mostly my marriage. I had been married a year now and it has been by far a painful one, so much misunderstanding immature acts that has left me to fall out of love with my husband. It tears me up just to write that. I have loved this man for 7 long years. Where do I go from here? We recently separated and I’m sad because I feel lonely but than I feel a sense of relief, like I can breathe again. It just hurts because he has been there for me through my darkest moments, fighting breast cancer and my painful childhood demons. What else can any person what? I on one hand dealt with so much pain of why why why?????? Insecurities. After losing my breast at 25 years I lost a part of me, the beautiful happy me. My thoughts consist of, how gross do I look? How does he even find me attracting? There was hope for me. I was depressed.
Today on my way home from work, just like any other day, I’m rushing to make it to the train station to avoid waiting. I get on the cart and begin to read my book. This book is different from any ordinary type, it’s called Emotional Intelligence. I’ve recently taken interest in learning to control my emotions or to have the right emotion for the right situation. As I’m reading and trying my hardest to focus. My attention is slightly taken by a girl who is extremely hurt and upset at her boyfriend/lover. Now, in situations like this I usually zone out and continue what I’m doing. She was loud and vocal about the pain she was dealing with at the moment. I felt her pain, I could hear it in her voice. She was sad, she felt betrayed by someone she truly loved and cared about. I’m not going to go into detail what she was upset about because in all honesty, does it even matter? I was able to relate to her in so many ways because I sometime ago was in her shoes. I wanted to tell her so badly that it is not worth the internal pain. Would she listen? Would I have listened if someone told me that? I can guarantee you I would not. After a few stops, the couple left the cart to the platform. As we road off I heard yelling and spotted who it was, it was the guy, the one who hurt the girl. He was screaming because she did the unimaginable. She jumped onto the tracks, putting her life at risk. Some may see this as a joke or prank to get attention. This was a serious matter. I’ve been there, wanting to get rid of that pain, that internal pain. I’ve thought about hurting myself time and time again for years. Wanting life to go on without me. I’ve felt this from my childhood nightmare, to young love and adult problems. With the faith and the help from my mother, I’ve pushed myself to know I would be missing out. Reminded myself that this pain is temporary. I wish I could have told her that. That she is worth it and no one is more important than yourself. Love yourself.
When we came back we found out my mother got married. My stepfather knew what had happened to us. About 2 weeks passed by and he started to touch me and one day he took me into their bedroom once my mom left for work. He took off my clothes and then his. He said that he wanted me to play with him. He turned me over and said it will hurt but you will enjoy it. I tried to scream but he held my mouth shut. He whispered in my ear, “do you want to go back to Mexico.” I didn’t want to expose my sister’s to danger. This kept on for years. He at first sent us to Mexico to meet his family and we were amazed how wonderful they treated us. After that he use to send me to his family in Mexico every school vacation. My sister’s stood home and wondered why they didn’t get to go.
I found out that he did it so I wouldn’t meet a girl and leave. In the building I grew up in, we were 5 teenage boys. There was a girl that lived across the street and we made a bet to see who can get her. I know it was wrong to do it but I seen it as my way out.
I met her and won her over. She was my way out of the living hell I was in. Long story short, I ended up getting married to her at 16 while my stepfather went to Mexico. It was the beginning of the confusing life I began.
I was a senior in high school when it all happened. She was pregnant and I got kicked out of the house. I had to work 1 full time job and 2 part time jobs to pay my bills. Rent, food, furniture, medical and school. She didn’t work and I was the only provider.
I couldn’t run to someone for help because my stepfather stopped my mother from helping me. Her family was messed up also. Her mother was dating her ex-brother-in-law. So her brothers and sisters were being neglected because she was never there.
I couldn’t let them suffer like that. We asked her to move in to her house and take care of them. So I’m now a 16yr old guy taking care of 6 other kids. My 1st son was born. He was a blessing from God. He was always sleeping and didn’t cry when he was hungry or had a dirty diaper. I had to put and alarm to feed him because I was running around cooking, cleaning, reviewing homework and doing my own homework at the same time. All she did was sit in front of the TV and do nothing. Even though it was her brothers and sisters.
One day I get home from my fulltime job and she tells me, she wants to go on vacation because our child was driving her crazy and she didn’t want him. Mind you, he was always sleeping and we needed an alarm to feed him. I was tired of working seven days a week and coming home to do more work. I was heated and instead of arguing and letting things get out of control. I decided to go to bed and calm down.
That night I ended up falling asleep and didn’t put the alarm to feed my son. I woke up the next day and realized I didn’t get up to feed him. I asked her if she did and she replied no. I went to check on him in his crib. I seen the worst thing a parent can see. My son was purple and didn’t move. I started to scream and she got out of bed and started screaming that her baby had died. I was so angry at her because she had said the night before that she didn’t want him. I yelled at her and said, “now he’s your baby when you didn’t want him yesterday. You selfish and manipulative person (not the word I used.)”
My fear was real, my baby boy had gone to heaven and I only enjoyed his presence for 2 months. I lived with anger and hate towards her for 2 years. I felt guilty if I left because her siblings had done nothing wrong and I didn’t want to leave them alone.
After my mom left my dad, she had a hard time paying for daycare. 3 kids in daycare is very pricey. She sent the 3 of us to Mexico to stay with her family. This is when the fear continues in my life. Her family treated us like shit. We were their slaves. They said we had to be grateful to them because my mother forgot about us and wasn’t sending any for us.
We had to get up and feed the animals, then cook breakfast for the family (we were 7,5,3). Once they ate, we ate whatever was leftover. Before we went to school we had to clean the house. We couldn’t walk in with our shoes and if they dirtied the floor, we had to walk behind them and clean it up. This was a year of hell. One night my uncle came home drunk. Everyone was sleeping but I woke up cause I heard my sister trying to scream. I woke up and seen he was on top of her and holding her mouth shut with his hands. I ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife, I stabbed him and he screamed which woke everyone else. He said I wanted to kill him but didn’t mention why. I got dragged to the kitchen and had my hands burned. All I wanted to do was save my sister from getting hurt.
At the end this was how we leave the whole year there. We met our neighbor who tried to help us with food and clean clothes every day on our way to school. On our last day of school we got home and when we got home our routine changed. They were sitting by the door and said, “why are you taking off your shoes, don’t be silly come right in.” As we walk in, my mother sits in a chair waiting for us. Instead of being excited I felt hate because of everything we went through and yelled at her, how could you do this to us. She had proof of the money she sent every 2 weeks. That went we told her everything and she was furious with her family.
She was there to pick us up and bring us back home. This is the when my life got worst.
The story continues, sorry it’s long and in short pieces. Don’t want to make it long and get you bored. It’s just the steps that let to my fear coming true.
I had the privaIige of meeting this brave woman and feel that she is strong and selfless for making this group. I’m a 36yr old guy. I have been afraid to let other people in my life. I fear that my family (boys) can get hurt.
My story begins with a rough childhood. I grew up in a family that was bad, traumatizing and full of lies and fear. I have 2 sister’s, i’m the only boy and middle child. I grew up seeing my mother get hit, make excuses for my father. He was an alcoholic and woman abuser. One day my mother finally had enough and when he wanted to fly to Mexico to see his mother, she bought him a 1way ticket. He didn’t have papers, so he never came back.
I’ll take it from here on my next post.
Julianna Leah Garcia, was born 11/17/15 , 9lbs 2 ounce at 1:25am…This little girl come at her own time under her own conditions. The labor was excruciating. By far the worst out my 3 pregnancies . Overall she’s here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
After labor , I thought the excruciating part was over. Boy was I mistaken , Julianna, was a handle full since day one. Forget about the sleepless nights. I’m talking about almost 2 yrs of barely no sleep! Just roughly 3-4 hrs at most. She will cry non stop all night. Nothing will calm her . Oh, and sleeping during day wasn’t a option either. She would rarely nap . You would think a baby needs to sleep. Julianna was something else full of energy. I asked her pediatrician for help, they just gave that look like ” babies cry , get over it” or they would say it’s colic . They didn’t understand that her constantly crying was taking a toll on me. I was sleep deprived , angry, and emotional. I will literally cry with her, because I didn’t know what to do anymore. Her father was as much at his end of the rope as I was. It was affecting our relationship as well. We barely could stand one another at this point.
Our last resource was to have her baptized . Coming from a somewhat a catholic family, they have certain believes. They believe that some children need the blessing of god right away.
So we went ahead and baptized Julianna. I want say, I think it work. Within the next couple of months after her baptism, she started sleeping better . I even got a job!
Julianna it’s only two now. In her short two years she has showed me so much. She’s such a doll, she’s all I want to be in life. She’s a free spirit. She’s in love with herself ( yes! She’s very fond of herself) she’s full of energy ,she still doesn’t nap. She’s so obsessed with me and I love it. I’ve been in search of love or something to feel this emptiness inside. Julianna has filled that. Yes, I had two children prior to her. They where not so affectionate as her. Or maybe I didn’t let them get to close to Me. Julianna doesn’t take no for a answer, she will kiss me until I kiss her back. She constantly tells me she loves until I teller I love her back. She literally wakes up in the middle of the night and shouts out “mom , I love you” and goes back to sleep. She’s my self motivator, she tells me I’m pretty when I wear something new. She tells me big girls don’t cry when she sees tears in my eyes. Overall, she gives hope , that I could change and not push my kids away. That I could let them love me , without feeling dirty. That one day we could be truly a happy family
I started feeling alone at a very young age. Like I mention before , I got pregnant at 17. Being pregnant at 17, was the begin of me pushing away people. I couldn’t take the questions “why” ” didn’t they teach you about protection ” . Or the judgement of the family, because you have let them down and have become a stereotype. So it was easier for me to just stay home by myself and drown in my sorrows.
My boyfriend / husband at the time wasn’t very helpful. He constantly “worked ” as he called it. So he wasn’t around, so I could let him know about what was being bottled inside me.
Yes , I had family but again , it was hard to see my family living a happy life . While I was confused , scared and lonely. At times I wanted to let out what I was feeling, but I held back. I didn’t want them to feel sorry for me. Or tell me ” well that’s what you get for getting pregnant ” . So I suppressed my feelings and slowly stayed away from friends and family. It was my way to cope. Pushing people away, was my way to justify that I was right! People just tolerate me , because they feel sorry for me.
As time when on , not only did I push away friend and family, but now I’m pushing away my kids. I thought, my kids where going to fill the void I had inside. I love my children deeply, I just can’t show them the way I wish I could .
As they get older the fear of them leaving the nest with out knowing how much I love them , that everything thing I’ve done is for them. That I’m Sorry, if I miss treated them or made them feel they were not loved. Sinks me into this depression I can’t lift myself out off.