Seeing my parents together as a child painted a picture of what I didn't want to have, what i didn't want to become. My mother came to the US when she was an adolescent and has been traveling back and forth from Dominican Republic and is ten years my fathers senior. My parents met in DR and migrated to NY to start a new life together. My mother found a decent job in the garment district but my father on the other had had a very hard time with this new world, the new language, the American culture. Since he didn't know the language or any trade or education he had to settle working at a sugar factory making close to nothing. For as long as I can remember my mother was the bread winner in our home but she never made no mention of it. I didn't know until I was older.
When I was a teenager he got a job as a superintendent and a few weeks later my mother was laid off and the tables turned. With that came all kinds of changes, change I will never forget. He was now the breadwinner, he paid the bills, and then I guess he felt power, the MAN. This is when it got bad, when they would have arguments he would shoot back well this is my house and you can leave. Everything he did, every penny he paid he made sure we knew, and we felt it. This was when the verbal abuse got real bad the worst. He would tear my mother apart with his words and made us feel worthless. I would beg my mother to leave him but her answer was always, "where are we going to go?". My mother was trying to find another job but her work was being shipped over seas for cheap labor and the jobs that remained would only be enough for the rent. She felt stuck and like she had to suck it up and be strong in order for me to have a roof over my head.
While this was going on my sister started having some of the same issues with her spouse. He also became a superintendent, was verbally abusive and my sister was stuck but she refused. She worked hard and held on tight for a few months, packed up her and her 3 children and bought her home. She refused to be in a unhealthy situation that didn't meet her needs. She went through a lot but she was focused and determined on making her life work and moving on to have a peaceful mind and environment for her children. I was and still am proud of her beyond words, I look up to her and because of her I know I can do it.
During my situation, I hated the way I felt and as a confused adolescent, my attitude was like eff the world but then as a I got older and saw my sister going through it and survive alone, the question of "what I am going to do so I can get out of this situation?" I never want to feel like I have to rely or depend on anyone again. I won't let a man define me, I rather be by myself and adopt children than be with someone who mistreats me. I will never go through it, I've made it clear to all my relationships and to my friends and family. If they see me tell me so I can be aware and snap out of it. That was my motivation for turning my life around and started working towards finishing my high school diploma, going to college, getting a job, everything! Everything I do is for me, my future, and my future children. I don't want to owe anyone anything, I don't want to be taken care of so that when they feel they can belittle me. I rather live under a cardboard box and call it my own than be with someone because I need them to survive, to pay my bills, to take care of me and be unhappy. We don't need anyone to survive but ourselves, our motivation is what helps us make it and if you work and believe towards where you want to be, you will get there. There may be bumps on the way teaching you lessons but keep on going, never stop, everything happens for a reason and you will get where you want to be and destined to be.
In my household sometimes I struggle with the issues of my past because sometimes I get scared and I'm very quick to want to bail because I can. Relationships take work and nothing is never perfect but I always make sure I'm comfortable, that I'm happy and that I'm willing to put of and work through some issues because I want to not because I have to. I make sure there is a balance, I don't let others get in the way of me as an individual, of what I want my family to be and what I want to do and get out of life. I always keep in the back of my head that there is a chance I can end up alone with my children and I'm okay with that. Sometimes it feels like I'm in a lonely place but if there is no one in this earth that can be equal with me, do something for me or our family without throwing it back in my face or hold it as ammunition to make a point, then it's meant to be and I shall be alone. The only person I trust 100%, I'm not afraid to ask for help, trust with my life, I know always has me at number one and has always ALWAYS been there for me eventhough we go through our issues and she has her own, is my mother. I try to figure out what am I going to do when she leaves me. The thought scares me, I hope to have children by then so I can cope better.
Many great powerful, strong women are not married or with anyone and I understand why.
My story continues, let's see what happens...
I will always be okay, I'm a survivor.