I Am Okay

As part of a collaboration with our longtime partner organization Christie's Place, The Well Project will be sharing stories from their book "Healing Hope: A woven tapestry of strength and solace" as blog entries on our A Girl Like Me platform. The views and opinions expressed in this project are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of The Well Project.


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Para leer en español, haga clic aquí.

When I first saw the light, I quickly learned that parents are not given a manual on "parenting skills", but were walking around with their own past generation's values and behaviors. As a child being born and raised in San Diego, I learned the hard and confused way that I was not given the right to live without pre-judgment because of my race and skin color. As an American citizen, born in the 60's, I endured a lot of racial injustice. I never understood why I was always referred to as a "wet back, beaner" and told to "go back to Mexico".

Also and during my childhood and teenage years, I endured a lot of physical and emotional abuse from my mother and older brother, unfortunately. Venturing out into the world with all the scars and pain I was carrying, and not given the tools I needed to make wise choices, I ended up marrying a very abusive man, both physically and emotionally.

After 6 years of so much pain and abuse, I decided to leave him. I vividly recall the night and one of the many times of abuse. At 2 am, I found my 5-year-old daughter out in the middle of the street, screaming for someone for help. It was at that moment that I had had enough and finally decided to get into my car and, along with my children, drive off, promising myself to never look back. I am by no means expecting sympathy from anyone, but letting you know, and without walking the same path together, you and I have a lot in common.

Illustration of two women, one with a fist in the air, the other with her hand on the first woman's shoulder.With the father of my children refusing to give me child support, I was always worried how I was going to pay my bills and place food on my table. It was then that I decided to study cosmetology, I was able to graduate as a certified Cosmetologist. I was not happy with this schooling that I chose to go to college and had the honor of graduating with an Associates in "Administration of Justice". Even after graduating I felt that this was not enough to live a financially stable future, that I decided to continue with my studies. I started my schooling at San Diego State University, and after 4 years, I had the honor once again, graduating with a Bachelor's degree as a major in "Criminal Justice" and a minor in "Sociology". I worked in the field of Corrections and the Court system.

I am presently celebrating 30 years with HIV. It was through the help of Christie's Place that I received the counseling, therapy and support system that has allowed me to become the woman that I was deserving to be. There are and will still be challenges that I have to work on, and on a daily basis. I have come to the conclusion that we are all warriors and survivors, and it is through the mutual support we can give each other and one day at a time, that I am learning to love myself. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

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WOW ! I loved this! First of

Marig2016's picture

WOW ! I loved this! First of all the courage and strength to leave and not look back *HAND CLAP EMOJIS* but to want better and strive for that greatness no matter what. A true story of overcoming and thriving! Thank you for sharing. <3

 

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Courage

Red40something's picture

It takes courage to step out and move for change and you have done it several times. I don't know you, but I feel proud for you and encouraged by your story!  Blessings and light. 

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