This is my mother’s story….My mom was born and raised in Mexico, but she was not raised entirely by her parents since they left when she was just 13 years old. The ones in charge of raising her and her other brothers and sisters (they were 8 in total) was her older sister 17 at the time, and brother maybe 18 or 19 at that time. My mother was in charge of the baby whom was about 1 and half when my grandparents left them. Even though it was sad that they left my mother until a certain point was happy because my grandfather was a very abusive man, to everyone in the household. My grandmother left for this same reason and even though she tried taking her children with her my grandfather did not let her, but my grandfather left a short time afterwards so they were all left alone. My mother says they shut down the light and had hardly anything to eat but they survived.
Well, my mother was about 16 years old when she met my father, they were both born and raised in Mexico but my father by that time already lived in the U.S.A since my grandfather was born in the U.S. he gave my father his citizenship. My mother met him through a mutual friend, and she was actually a church going girl at the time, unbelievable but true since they had no parents to guide them, they decide to go to a local christian church around there. At first my father was dating this girl from my mother’s neighborhood, but they broke up and my father started talking to my mother. My mother with time decided to date him. My father to get my mother’s attention would go to church and pretend to be interested. Eventually they started dating, and within time my mother herself pregnant at the age of 17, and unmarried…My father decided to marry my mother and so they had their first-born when my mother was 18 and my father 22.
I’ve asked her why she decided to just get married and she says that she wanted to leave her life, that it was hard that they were barely making it, and she was in charge of the whole household. My mother had to cook, clean for all 7, and take care of her little brother and sisters since the age of 13. She said that she just would tell herself that it might be easier if just get married and took care of her husband and so she did. Unfortunately it was not the best decision she made.
So they had their firstborn, but unfortunately my oldest brother died when he was just 6 weeks old, doctors said he got a respiratory disease that killed him within hours of getting it. This devastated my mother, it actually almost killed her, then after a few months she found herself pregnant again with my oldest sister…I do not know when precisely my father’s abuse began but it was shortly after they got married. My father would abuse her emotionally, verbally, and physically. My father knowing her background and her lack of self-esteem would just repeatedly tell her how ugly she was and humiliate her. My mother was such a beautiful girl, and I constantly would ask her what did she see in my dad if he was ugly, but I guess growing up without parents makes you look for love in the wrong places.
She had my sister at the age of 19, and they were kind of struggling since both did not have an education. Both my mother and father just finished 6th grade in Mexico, so they did not really know the language either, so of course they had low paying jobs and most of the time my father was the only one working. Then 4 years later my brother was born, and about 19 months later she was pregnant again of me, my father was furious!! He would tell my mother and blamed her (as if she got herself pregnant) that how could she had gotten pregnant. During this time in the mid eighties there was a recession and my father was without a job, he would tell my mother how would they pay for everything. Even though my parents were of low-income and no education until this point, they had never asked for any help from the government. It was during this pregnancy that the abuse escalated, my father would abuse my mother during her pregnancy, he would kick her and punch her. She was offered an abortion but refused, and so I was born :). Then 7 months later my mother found she was pregnant again, with my sister. The birth control she was taking was not effective on her body so she got pregnant. And of course she decided to have my sister, too. My father at this point had already become an alcoholic and abusive. He would hit my mother and would drink so much all the time. My sister was born about 14 months after I was. So there she was my mother a 29-year-old women with no education with 4 alive children and abusive and alcoholic husband.
You might asked why didn’t my mother leave my father, well he would threaten my mother that if she would leave he would take her green card and throw her to Mexico since the U.S. had given her papers because of him. So she was afraid that she might never see us again so she endured his abuse. I know it might sound hard to believe, but when an uneducated woman with no support through out her life finds herself in this situation what would she be able to do. Then my father’s abuse went from my mother to my oldest sister and eventually to us. He would abuse us physically and verbally all the time. Then my two baby sisters were born, and so the abuse continued. I can not count with two hands how many times the police were at my house because of my father’s abuse. I remember being so happy because I was told I would not see my dad since he had a night shift and we went to school in the morning. We would only see him during the weekends, which so much better than seeing him every single day.
It was during the last time the police went that my mother decided to leave my father. By this time the state had already passed the law that if there was domestic violence then the state would automatically charge the person accused and the victim would have to go to legal assistance. It was then that my lawyer told my mother my father had no way of sending her to Mexico and that the state would actually protect her and not him. My sister at this time offered my mother that if she would leave him, she would help her support the family of 7 while she stayed with the baby at home. It had been 23 years of abuse from my father, and my oldest sister was 21 at this time. And so my mother finally left him.
My sister supported us for about 5 or 6 years when I finally graduated from high school. After I graduated and my sister graduated we left the city and my sister stayed behind. She married a year later and has been happily married for about 8 years.
My brother has an 11-year-old, and graduated with his Diesel Mechanic associate degree about 3 years ago.
I got married about 5 years ago to a wonderful and supporting man, and just graduated from the university with B.S. in Mathematics, and have a 19-month-old right now.
My sister, the one born 14 months after I did, has been married for more than 3 years, and is trying for their first baby. She is also a culinary chef.
One of my baby sisters just graduated from a community college, and is transferring to a University with a 3.5 gpa to graduate with her B.A. in Music with Voice concentration.
And my baby sister just graduated high school and is planning to pursue her career in entertainment.
I think God had wonderful and marvelous plans for us, and I thank God and my mother that she decided to have me. That in the middle of her problems with my father, and the pressure that she had from him, she decided to still have me, even though they did not have a job, or money, or anything to offer me. Now my mother is so happy and so proud of us, I can tell. She is always bragging about all her children and what they have accomplished. It seems to her, like if she is the one that has accomplished the things that her children accomplished. And she has, even in middle of the worst situation, she kept going. Gave us a good education, good morals, and supported us through everything we wanted.
She is the best mother I could have ever asked for and it is for her that we are still here!!!