Disclaimer: This story contains mention of child loss and abuse that may be triggering to some.
“When asked to write about my story, at first I was completely on board, and now I’m hesitant to tell others about my life. This is the first time I’ll be speaking the whole truth.
I was raised in a typical Mexican household. By typical, I mean my mother was the warrior while my father criticized others based on his ‘macho’ views. Ever since I could remember, my father was an alcoholic who would beat my mother, was mentally abusive to all of us, and would act the victim in it all. Naturally, mom would be overworked and underpaid, sometimes working several jobs at a time. I never got to spend any time with her, which caused me to grow up quickly and get exposed to what children should not see. I began getting assaulted by the age of 6.
Since the beginning of life, I was always pushed to the side. I never felt loved, but I always knew God was there somehow. We moved from home to home, we had become experts at packing and unpacking and it became natural to me. I was in a family with three boys and two girls. I was the fourth child. My brothers started their families at a young age, except for one, who was in jail by 16 years old. Eventually the abuse stopped, but soon after we found out my mother was going to jail for a crime she committed many years ago. My mother, desperate to feed her children, had pawned her boss’ gold ring to buy us milk. She gave it back, of course, and owned up to her mistake, but was still forced to pay. My mother, being an immigrant, didn’t go to court. She was found when I was 14 years old, and given a three year jail sentence.
During this time it was just me and my baby sister, as my father was still an addict. After my mother’s conviction, we also discovered she had cervical cancer. My baby sister was taken by my grandmother. I stayed behind with my father, who eventually deserted me, too. I remember this day clearly. I came home from junior high. The door was open, the money jar was gone, and his stuff was scattered on the floor. I knew he had another relapse. Me being me, I didn’t tell a soul. I stayed in that house alone for two weeks. I would eat at school, come home, and just wait. First the lights were turned off, then the water. My mother somehow found out in jail, and wrote a letter to my big brother to go pick me up. I didn’t want to go with him either, but at this point I had no choice.
I lived with my brother for one year, I remember he only hugged me once. After a year, my dad looked for me. He said he had cleaned up and came to get my baby sister and I back. We took a trip to visit my mother once we moved into our new tiny apartment. We stopped at a Denny’s and had a large breakfast. We were all laughing and smiling. Once we made it to the state jail, we finally saw her. This image is forever burned in my memory. She was pale white, skinny, had long hair, and was not the mother I remember. It was very difficult to hold back tears but she knew my overwhelming fight – I could tell by the way she avoided looking at my eyes. When we got back home, I got on my knees and prayed like never before. I asked our holy father to have mercy on us. I cried that I desperately needed my mother with me, and my time being a daughter was not over. God answered. Six months later, she was released early, clear, and freed of cancer.
Eventually my parents bought a home, and life was normal. My sister and I had our own rooms. We had boyfriends, friends over for parties, and I even lost weight – I had been obese since kindergarten. My then boyfriend proposed. I said yes, even though my heart said no. My parents said it was the way to go since he was a hard working Mexican who understood responsibility and the importance of family. I was married by the age of 19, and that’s when tragedy really struck
He wasn’t the man I was dating. As soon as we were married, my husband did a complete 180 on me. He would come home late at night, sometimes the morning of next day. He did not show me love. He would ignore me and treat me as an option. He manipulated and controlled my actions. He dictated how I spoke, how I dressed, and didn’t let me spend money. I had my first miscarriage at the age of 20. It had a ripple effect that would continue for several years. For many years, I felt the need to be obedient so my husband could be happy. I had several miscarriages in the process of becoming ‘the perfect wife.’ On the third pregnancy, doctor said the baby’s heart beat was strong and they were growing well. I was pleading to the doctor, telling him the baby was not well, and to help my body keep him inside. Ignoring my cries, I was sent home. Later that night, I woke up in a pool of blood. Feeling soaking wet, I stood up next to the bed and felt it drop to my feet. My face, in shock, not believing what just happened. Desperate, I tried to pick up the blood. It was not real.
Excluding reality, brokenhearted and not accepting my losses, we continues to get pregnant. Again, and again. Six, six heartbeats that God did not allow me to birth and keep. The one job a women was created for, and I failed to do. On the sixth loss, my parents drove me to the ER in hopes of saving the fetus. The doctor came into the room with no emotion to blandly tell us it didn’t make it and I would be discharged. With a swollen face, knots in my throat, and no energy, I turned to my mother and asked her ‘Why did God not want me to be a mother?’ Broken and defeated, I said ‘I can’t do it anymore mommy, I can’t let go of my babies. I want to hold them, but I can’t, he took them, all of them.’
During the 2009 recession, I lost my job. My husband also injured his back. With him not being able to work, we lost everything. We moved into my brother’s home. I worked any type of job, waitress, secretary, anything to help us get by. My husband made a decision to leave. He left me to go back to Mexico where his parents would take care of him while he healed. Again, alone. This time at the age of 25. This time with debt, motherless, and a broken marriage. After three months, I found more stable work and got an apartment in the city, as a single lady. I lost loads of weight, and wore makeup for the first time in many years. I wore skirts, dresses, perfume, nails, heels, and felt beautiful. I started night school, worked out, finally had a day job and money. But I did not feel complete.
Never recognizing my childhood drama, I turned to the party life. I would go out on every opportunity presented. I developed the need to be with men. After all, it was my first time really living life, so needless to say I had several one night stands. Of course, the lifestyle got old and reality struck that it wasn’t a happy ‘me,’ just the cover it up ‘me.’ One night, I just broke down. I told my heavenly father to forgive me and that I was ready to try again. I didn’t want to be alone anymore. A couple of months later, I was with child. Five years after last loss. All those old fears came in again. My sister in law happen to work for a specialist who was successful in helping women through the first trimester. He immediately took me on and I began treatment. Me and my sister in law heard the heartbeat together. It was then I understood how desperately I needed to be a mother in this lifetime.
Once the first trimester was completed, my case was referred to a specialist here in Houston TX who had a three year waiting list. Dr. Karolina Adam, the best of the best. She immediately took me under her wing. I was placed on bed rest, and only allowed to go the restroom, shower, and back to bed. Walls were up, I didn’t want to get attached to the child and loose it again. So I just did as instructed and paid no mind to the fact that there was a living being in my tummy. Week 14-15 we find out it’s a girl, and she’s tiny but strong. Daddy and Mom were overpowered with joy and emotion. My soon to be husband ended up being worse than my first. I now understand I allowed this to keep happening, but at that moment in time, I just wanted to keep the baby alive so I ignored all the red flags. Week 19, I felt her move for the first time. I wept for hours from joy, accepting this child would make it all the way. I went back and forth to the hospital because she kept wanting to come early, but she made it until week 36.
Catalina Ymelda was born October 21st 2015. For the first time in my life, I finally held a living child that God allowed me to have. On November 22nd 2016, her baby brother was born. They were both born one month prior to delivery date, on bed rest, and were extreme and painful pregnancies, but healthy, whole, alive. Me, I was finally, a mother.
My husband was more focused on how he should feel though. He never understood how much grief I held for the six children I had lost because his jealousy would take over since they were fathered by another man. My second marriage really made me wake up to reality. His narcissistic ways molded the strong women you see today. During the pregnancies, my pelvis area was agonizing almost daily. Still, I was forced to have relations with him or he would find someone else to please him. Knowing he cheated on me throughout the relationship, I needed a higher power to help me get away. One time he caught me crying over the losses, his exact words were ‘wh*res are not meant to be mothers, that’s why they all died.’ He also told me I was r*ped as a child because prostitutes have a job to do, insinuating that I was a prostitute.
After everything, at the age of 34 I gave my life to God. It was through God that I found the strength to leave. It hasn’t been the same. Their father has had two more children since we separated. It doesn’t help me one bit as he refuses to see the children. Financially I struggle, and I understand my mother now, and why she made the choice to steal that ring to feed us as children. But I’ve never been as complete as I am today. I’m whole. I have my two living souls with me and our Holy Father taking care of us. One day, I’ll be called home after I pass, and I’ll meet those six little ones. Until than, life is too precious and pure, despite the bad, and despite my past, I feel honored to be here today as a mother. I take pride in calling myself an independent single mother of two.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Elizabeth Aguirre. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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