Nine months into this 2020, we have seen a global pandemic, government shutdowns, more black lives shot for no reason, riots, looting, and sexual trafficking rings being taken down. The world has turned upside down in a matter of 8 months, right before our eyes.
I really don’t know where to begin. I haven’t been able to write and get my head cleared enough to understand, but I’ve realized we’re not supposed to understand every single thing and some things are out of our control, that’s where life fucks me up. I’m sure I am not the only one who thinks like this. I like to go by Young. I’m 25 years old. I normally like to focus on my trauma and my life experiences and how they have impacted my life, with a goal to ensure those who come across this blog and anybody who gets to know me or of me, that life gets hard. Sometimes impossible to deal with but, I am certain that as long as we have breath, we have the opportunity to always be better people. I may seem all over the place, but that’s because my life is all over the place. I’m sure I’m not the only one but bare with me.
I was born in Honduras, to two Honduran native parents. I, 1999, I came to the US at 4 years old. As a child, I remember good times with my huge family. My mom has six kids including me
Christmas and Thanksgiving were always holidays to look forward to. Seeing all my cousins and my family together was always fun. My grandparents raised us all basically together, for the most part, so we’re family-oriented in our own way.
Growing up in church, my first love was God and then music. I learned to play drums and piano at the age of nine. I figured I had a gift or two at a very young age. Then you know one of those things I told you, we can’t seem to understand nor control, I started to have a bunch of those moments.
Around the age of 8, I was violated by a man who worked for the church. Being that I felt so protected in the church at the time, I could say I lost my trust not just in some people but also in God. Some days I felt disgusting. I questioned if it was my fault, I remember wanting to die some days. I figured if I’d just die, maybe the pain would just stop. It continued to happen. I never really spoke up, until I did.
I stopped going to church after being removed from my mom’s care. My dad then gained custody of me. My mom was more of a strict parent, even though my dad didn’t play, he was a little more understanding at the time. He made the mistake most parents make, he awarded the missing time with gifts and money. He was always at work or with some woman somewhere, so I took to the streets.
School seemed to be my only escape, until I also had to escape from school. Being Hispanic but dark skin was a battle, but that’s another story for another time. Anyways, I started to cut school all the time. I was always arrested for fights and mischief. I can’t count on my fingers how many times I was arrested as a juvenile. I was suspended from my final year of middle school and expelled in my sophomore year of high school. I wanted to always be in the streets with my friends, doing the unthinkable. Some of it now I’m ashamed & embarrassed of.
I was diagnosed with multiple things, treated with psychiatric medications which left me drowsy and sleepy most of the time. Escaping my reality, I began to drink and smoke weed and experience with drugs at the age of 14. By 15. I was a party animal, I drank almost every day, sold drugs, went to jail, and slept on the streets at times. I didn’t realize the hole I dug myself in.
My father then gave up on me too and gave up his rights to the government. I’m aware some things are not my fault. For a long time, I blamed and pointed fingers, and fought myself, fought people, got my face printed on the front page of every newspaper in this city. I was so far gone I didn’t care that I was facing serious time, had 2 or 3 other open cases, and was on 3 years
Probation. I just didn’t care about anything, if you ask anybody about me they’ll be sure to tell you.
I’m usually always laughing, I host the parties, I dance, I always have jokes. I consider myself a leader, but inside I was rotten and dark. I couldn’t tell you what was wrong with me. I could just tell you that for a long time. I couldn’t really feel. Life was passing me by. My life seemed to be worthless. In fact, after the juvenile judge had gotten tired of seeing my face, he sent me up to Hawthorne which was intended to be a recovery treatment center for troubled teens in foster care, far from my family, friends, and everything I know. To say the least, in the beginning, I went through it. I hated it. The policy’s, the food, the girls sometimes, but now I thank God he had his reasons to send me up there.
Another thing I couldn’t control, but I had to deal with it. Not realizing that the peace’s to this seemingly broken puzzle would one day come all together. I met a lot of friends that became family. Staff that became mother and father figures in my life. But I ended up back in jail, so no, it didn’t fix me, like the judge thought it would. In fact, for a few years, I dug myself in a deeper hole. There was no getting me out at 17. I remember an administration staff member told me in a meeting something that I’ll never forget, he went on to say: “you’re an animal, you belong in a cage”. This is in a “recovery treatment center for foster kids”. At the time, I tell you, I believed him. I went on to jail and came out.
At 18, Hawthorne was forced to take me back by the courts. I had made up my mind that I wanted to get my life together, that I would try harder for my own sake. I noticed people believed in me for some reason. The residents relied on me as a leader, at times for the negative but most importantly for the good. Sometimes these girls wouldn’t have anybody and with the experience and the knowledge that I gained through my experiences in life, I was able to walk hand in hand with some of these girls. I knew my life then was bigger than me. My purpose had to be something, I just couldn’t seem to figure it out. I knew that I had both a positive and negative impact on my peers. I figured I could start to do some good and push for some change.
I left Hawthorne with tears in my eyes. But I moved on to another lower level of foster care. I started to juggle life in a relationship, working, and as a student taking care of a household at the age of 21. My life seemed to be catching balance.
I found myself right back in that deep hole from when I was 14, not too long ago. I’m picking myself back up all over again, just like I did at eight years old, 14 and 18. Because failure isn’t an option for me. I believe that many trials and tribulations will rise before me, they have since I was 8 years old. Yet I’m still standing. I refuse to cave into the statistics society has paved out for me or to become victimized by the circumstances life has offered me.
I’m 24 credits short of finishing my associates in Human Services. A few years back, I was facing prison or death. Everything I have, I have to work hard for. When the year started I had other plans, but God had his own plans. The world went to shit, millions of people died, and the simple things weren’t available nor an option. Which gave me the perspective to enjoy life every day, live to the best of your ability, strive for more, love those who love you, be the change the world is waiting to see, get up and travel, go out to eat, find that house, leave that miserable job.
I don’t have much, I don’t pretend to be a saint, but the morals and values my parents instilled in me remained no matter where life put me. Even though at times they dropped the ball, they are human too.
Some days I still struggle with my mental health, and as a human I’m flawed. We all are but when I look at all that I’ve been through, all that I’ve had to carry, I haven’t folded yet. Believe me there have been times where I didn’t feel I was worth anything. I’ve been broken, violated, incarcerated, abandoned, and hurt. But I’ve also been a survivor, strong, a warrior, a leader. I’ve been resilient. I’ve overcome. I aspire to be bigger than my trauma, bigger than the system that failed me. This steep hill of life I’ve walked has been a journey. I could never regret, & yes even the things I couldn’t control, they have built me to be the woman I’m becoming.
In this cold world we are living in, we all need just a little hope. My story is still being written, i’m still broken.. .but they say “broken crayons still color”.
My name is Young, I’m 25 years old. I’m a student. My passion is to help others. I’m a passionate cook and writer. One day, I hope to be a published writer & a chef with my own restaurant.