This is not a call for pity rather a reflection of my life experiences

I was born in a small town in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. My parents, like so many others, embarked on a journey to the United States, seeking a brighter future for themselves and their offspring. At the young age of three, I was blissfully unaware of the complexities and challenges that came with moving to a foreign land. It wasn’t until I entered Kindergarten that I began to grasp the intricacies of this new world. My young mind acted as a sponge, quickly absorbing the nuances of a different language.

My father struggled to adapt to life in the USA. It was my mother who had the strong desire to move here, wishing to be closer to her father and brothers. The responsibility of providing for five children in a foreign land weighed heavily on him, and the demands of work and family eventually took a toll. He coped by seeking solace in carefree pursuits, often spending his leisure time drinking with friends and making trips to Santa Ana to place bets on horse races. This was his way of escaping the stresses of parenthood and served as his outlet.

By the time I reached five, I found myself wise beyond my years, a consequence of having been a witness to some of the darkest aspects of human behavior. My father, uneducated and a product of his upbringing, fell victim to the cycle of abuse he had experienced. Despite his background, he lacked the understanding or the capacity to alter his actions. The pattern of verbal and physical violence persisted, and he transformed into a manifestation of his worst self. In this environment, I recognized my role: to shield my mother from my father’s wrath.

Predictably, every weekend followed the same pattern. After work , my father would disappear, consumed by his addictions to alcohol and gambling on horse races. His responsibilities as a husband and father took a backseat to his indulgences. As the weekend drew to a close, he would return, usually under the influence and late at night. While most children my age were sound asleep, preparing for school, I lay awake, dreading the imminent turmoil. It wasn’t long before the fighting, yelling tears and violence commenced.

The first time I experienced this chaos, I cried myself to sleep, feeling utterly helpless. I was 5 years old, but I had to get creative and made it my mission to protect my mother from the storm that my father’s return often brought. I devised a plan: when he arrived home inebriated and filled with anger and resentment, I would fake stomach pain, crying and complaining. This usually managed to divert his attention away from my mother. It led to multiple trips to the emergency room during my early years, more than most experience in a lifetime.

As the cycle continued, my childhood was marked by fear and trauma. The constant worry that my father might escalate and kill my mother consumed me. I became the guardian of her safety, willing to endure sleepless nights and trips to the hospital if it meant sparing her from his violence.

This early chapter of my life left a profound impact, one that I couldn’t fully comprehend until adulthood. I found myself in perpetual search of the love and care I never received from my father. In my formative years, affection and words of affirmation were absent, replaced by fear and hostility. To this day, I grapple with “daddy issues,” yearning for the security and affection that I never experienced during my upbringing.

In the midst of these tumultuous circumstances, I consider myself fortunate for possessing the mental fortitude to seize control of my life. While the quest to love and be loved continues, I recognize my own power to alter the patterns of the past. I consciously choose to lead a life brimming with positivity, a life that radiates love and affection to those who enter my orbit.

The scars of my childhood have not diminished my capacity to love; rather, they have amplified it. My heart has transformed into an expansive nucleus of emotions, embracing the boundless capacity to care for others. It’s a sentiment that resides deep within, nurtured by the experiences that have shaped my journey.

And as fate would have it, If you find yourself in my orbit. Know that this love, once ignited, will burn eternally. The value I place on friendship, love, and affection for people transcends mere words; it’s an intrinsic part of my being. With you by my side, I’m reminded of the profound impact these emotions can have, both in healing the wounds of the past and in shaping the future I envision.