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Growing up in poverty and being abandoned by my father at three, I had less than others due to only having a mother. Frustration and verbal abuse was normal in my dysfunctional household.

My mother only went to school until the 5th grade and only spoke Spanish, which meant I had no parents who could help me with academics. All the abuse my father instilled on my mother physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially caused a lot of damage to my mother.

I was the middle child and happened to look like my father. All of my mothers’ hurt, anger and resentment was projected on me, so growing up I found it difficult to learn, to pay attention in school and had bad behavior problems. My father leaving had a huge impact in my life because growing up I searched for a male role model who would lead me down a positive path.

All my behavior problems, suspensions and cussing out teachers and principals was my way of seeking attention and wanting to be connected in any way. I always thought other kids in  school were smarter and better than me, but it was all in my mind.

“I’m open minded, willing,

honest, committed,

and vulnerable today

and I like the genuine,

authentic version of my true self.”


Today I realize how I can go back to my inner child  and heal, forgive, and grow from my past traumas.  In the past I would go to the principal’s office for discipline reasons. Today I reach out to the principal for resources and opportunities for a better life upon release. Today I’m very appreciative of how connected I am to self-help groups, events, school, vocational careers, church, etc. I appreciate life for just the smallest things, even as simple as a conversation.

I challenge myself to strive and keep pursuing a higher education and to not get frustrated because it’s a familiar easy way out. Coming to realization and having self-worth and value myself has opened a new way of living and I’m striving for better. I’m open minded, willing, honest, committed, and vulnerable today and I like the genuine authentic version of my true self.

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