No one ever bothered to ask what really happened. I’m referring to me becoming pregnant at the age of fourteen. Everyone automatically assumed that I wanted it, that I asked for it, or that I planned it. They called me a hoe, they spread many rumors, they said that I literally said that I didn’t know who the father was, they said I did it for child support, they said they felt bad for my daughter and that she would be “worse” than me. I automatically turned into the world’s biggest slut, I guess, since they all assumed I slept with a million guys by then.
They never cared to ask me what really happened. I guess it’s because to them, there was no excuse. Because they held me fully accountable, since I was fourteen, and apparently at that age I was supposed to know better, right ?
You know, to be honest, for many years I’ve felt ashamed to speak on this topic. I’ve been stigmatized all my life because of my teenage pregnancy, so I guess I figured–what’s the point ? I’ll always be less worthy to them anyway, and they’re going to think what they want. But now, thirteen years later, I’m brave enough, and without a damn shame, I got a lot to say.
I’m twenty seven years old today. And as a grown woman and as a mother, I just can’t fathom why they held it all against me ? I am not asking for pity, I am not asking for justification, I am not putting excuses, and I for sure do not and will not, ever, change the happening of my babygirl, but I’m saying, at fourteen years old, with no mother around, with no mentor or positive example to look up to , with no type of guidance, why did I deserve all the social punishment, the harassment, and the fingers pointed at me ? Why was I the horrible girl, and the liar ? Was it because I was fourteen years old and he was eighteen years old ? I should have known better compared to him? Why ? Because I was the female ? Like, really, how the fuck was I supposed to know any better ? I didn’t want to sleep with him, and I knew he knew I was uncomfortable, but I did let him. I let him because I felt like a somebody. I didn’t know who, but I felt like somebody important and special, like someone that was actually wanted. I wanted to give him what he wanted in order to please him. I wanted to please him to be accepted by him, because I wanted to be accepted by someone.
Before my pregnancy, the last time I felt truly loved and cherished was by my mother, and I lost her to a prison system at nine so after that, I just always felt so lonely. I became so lost without her. I lived day by day with confusion and lingering pain. At the time I was still building a bond with my father so besides my little brother, I had no one else.
You see, when I first moved from Houston to Rhode Island with my father, those first couple of years were a real struggle for me. I was in a new state, around a new crowd of people and family, around different cultures, new norms, etc. It took some time to fit in with the others. Although I’ve always been independent minded with my own personal views and opinions on things, I often did what everyone else did. Even if it made me feel uncomfortable, I’d still do it because I wanted to be “cool”. I wanted to be look up to. I wanted to fit in so bad because I was just so sick of always being picked on. I got picked on for everything. Even for the way I dressed. My father would always put big church dresses on me, and little tiny heels or sandals. They’d laugh at me and laugh at my shoes and at my toes. They’d make fun of me because I was half Guatemalan, too. They’d call me a bastard and throw my mother being in prison at me all the time. I fucking hated going to school. I’d eat my lunch in the bathroom or skip lunch in the bathroom because no one would want to sit with me, or because I was too anxious to even try to sit with others. I’d lie about my nationality and say that I was full Puerto Rican (I’m really half). I’d steal clothes and hide it in my backpack and sneak it to school and change in the bathroom so that I wouldn’t have to wear the dress. That’s how it was the first year or two living with my dad. All the kids wanted to play follow the fucking leader so all it took was one person to fuck with me, and then all the rest followed along. I was intimidated by everyone so I never said anything. I just dealt with it until one day some girl said something about my mom. I was in fifth grade at the time. She said something about my mom and it triggered the fuck out of me. I’ll never forget it because it was my first school fight. She said something like, “that’s why your moms in jail”. I dealt with my father and others talking shit about my mom already, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and especially by no stranger, so I punched her. I punched her in the face and boom, we fucking went at it ! I let out so much rage on her. The principle and one other teacher tired to break it up but I wouldn’t stop. I blacked out and I hit them too.
I got suspended of course but when I returned to school, man was I popular. Everyone began to approach me and tell me that they heard I “beat her ass”. Others said they head she beat mine. It didn’t even matter though. All I know is that after that, they all wanted to be my friend, they thought I was cool and tough…After that I literally stopped taking shit from people. That fight was like breaking the ice for me. I turned into a little savage after that. Anyone that spoke shit to me, I’d talk shit right back. Anyone that put a hand on me, I’d fight them. I ended up getting kicked out of the school I was in, and then I got kicked out of the next one, and then the next one after that. Academically, I would get the best grades always. But those grades meant shit when measured against my behavior. And I didn’t even care about them at the time, to be honest. I loved being bad. It was the only time I felt important and noticed.
Life was different at home, compared to how it was in school. It was just my dad, brother and I at first. Being the only girl in the house, I’d just always stay in my room. I’d stare out the window at my neighbors who I called my cousins, everyday as they hung out on their porch. I wanted to be just like them. I admired them for everything they had, including their freedom. They had their mom and dad, the flyest clothes, the newest sneakers, the dopest jewelry, the newest phones, and everyone wanted to hang out with them. They had cars, they went out to clubs and parties whenever they wanted. I wanted to hang out with them so bad but my father wouldn’t let me. Eventually he did but until then, I sneaked out the window and hung out with them on my own. They were so cool and so nice to me. They would always tell me how pretty I am, and how I had a nice body, and they’d dress me up and do my hair using their clothes and accessories. They’d take me out with them and show me off to their friends. They made me so happy. I bragged to everyone about them.
I met my first daughters father through them. He hung out with them all the time and was best friends with my male cousins. One day I went to an all age club with my cousins and that’s the night that my daughters father and I first spoke. He tried to dance with me but I couldn’t because my cousin liked him at the time. I almost did but she pulled me back by my hair and told me that I better not. I knew she liked him so I don’t know why I even listened to him but I honestly just liked the attention. I was fourteen at the time, but my hair and body made me look older, I guess. I had long black hair down to my ass. I had a little waist, bigger hips and ass, and my cousins dressed me up with some nice tight jeans and cute top. I felt sexy, I felt grown, I felt a lot of attention on me, everyone was telling me how pretty I was.. I was around a lot of older people and people that to me at the time, were just so cool. I felt like one of them and at the time it was all I wanted. After the club we met up with the guys and my daughters father continued to try to talk to me. God knows I told him my age, and my female cousin also told him my age. She told him to leave me alone because I was only fourteen. He responded, “age ain’t nothing but a number”. I’ll never forget it because it gave me butterflies. I felt like he really wanted me and it made me feel good.
To shorten all of that up, months after, he continued to pursue me. I eventually gave in and hung out with him. He told me many sweet things and told me that he would protect me. He told me that guys talk and that no one considered me a hoe for talking to him. He told me my cousin was just jealous of me because I was very pretty. I fell for him and I gave in. That’s the raw truth. I became so obsessed with him because he was older and had a car and took me around with him, and I loved it. I thought I loved him for whatever I knew love to be at the time. I easily gave in to having sex with him and became even more attached to him. No one knew about us until I became pregnant.
Believe it or not, I was so damn naive, that I wouldn’t even pay attention to my period. I didn’t even think of the fact that I could get pregnant, and I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was about four and half months. I found out because my daughter kicked and I felt it. That’s when it really kicked in. I had my doubts weeks before. But I was in complete denial. Everything started to fit me so tight, my dad would call me a “pansona”, and I was always so nauseous. I’d brush it all off though. I ignored it all until one day I put a sandal on my stomach and stared at it until it shaked. Each time my daughter kicked, the sandal shaked. I couldn’t deny it any longer. I had no choice but to accept it.
I remember not being able to sleep that night. I was so scared and nervous, that I even threw up a couple times throughout the night. I was in complete shock, I was so afraid for my father to find out, for my kids father to find out (because we stopped talking about a month or two before), and for the entire world to find out, really. I couldn’t even stay still. I cried all night. I didn’t know what to think.
From that day on I swear, everything just got crazier. The next day I went to school and some girl approached me at my locker and asked me if I was pregnant. I told her no and she told me that everyone thinks I am because of “the way I walk”. I was in ninth grade at the time. I remember feeling so embarrassed–I said fuck this. I walked out of the back door and I never went back. I didn’t belong there. I wasn’t like them. I was nothing but a bad example.
Time went by and I ended up dropping out of school. I gave birth to my daughter and that little girl made me the happiest girl in the world. She was all the reason I needed. People would still talk shit about me, call me a bum, say that my life was over, my daughters father told everyone I lied about my age and they believed him. He was the second man I ever slept with but according to others, “if I let him easily hit, of course I let many others hit as well”. That wasn’t true but fuck them. After so much of it, I just didn’t give a fuck what any one else said anymore. I expected everyone to talk shit about me. I mean, it was rare as fuck for someone as young as me to have a child. I get it. I just didn’t expect the ones I thought cared about my daughter and I to turn on me and degrade me as well. It’s cool though. Like I said, I was just focused on my daughter. She motivated me so much. I knew she counted on me for a better life and I was determined to provide it for her. I didn’t know how, but I made moves in efforts to find my way through it all. Whatever I felt benefited me, I did. That’s how I ended up selling drugs. I wanted to make money and move away with my daughter. That was the fastest way so I did it. I hated doing it and they spoke even more shit, but I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t just sit back and expect shit to come to me. I couldn’t sit back and settle for less or depend on someone to come save me. I wanted my own shit, I had my own plans, my own goals and dreams, and I believed in myself. The more they said no, the more I wanted to prove them wrong. My dad would say shit like, “I hope you don’t think I’m babysitting because I am not”, and, “I hope you don’t think I’m going to take care of her because I didn’t sign up for this, you did. So figure it out.” Others would say, “You wanted this so you now you deal with it”. My dad said those things before my daughter was born but then fell in total love with her the moment she was born. It was hard for him, I get it. But his love for us conquered all the rage and pain he had. Still, those type of comments motivated me. The more they said they wouldn’t help, the more I’d repeat that I didn’t need them. My daughter was born and I learned how to care for her all on my own. I was so obsessed and in love with her, I didn’t want anyone to get near her anyway.
I wasn’t like the rest, obviously. I was the only one I knew in my shoes. There was no one for me to relate to or to ask guidance to. But I didn’t seek for help anyway. Being let down by so many, being bullied and harassed and witnessing inhumanity at first hand, from even my own family members, realizing that I’m all on my own and that it’s up to me to do something about it–I simply gave up on everyone. I started believing in myself over them. I didn’t want to be like them. I wanted to be better. I wanted to be kinder. I wanted to be big. I knew I was destined for more because I swear I could always feel it. I felt loved and cherished by God and out of every mistake, I gained so much wisdom and little by little, I trusted in myself and in life, more and more. After every down fall came a blessing and I never once looked past them. I realized and appreciated each and every one of my blessings. So much, that I eventually felt invincible and developed such a self-esteem and train of thought in which I began to believe in the impossible. I stopped believing in people so their words and opinions stopped affecting me. I stopped being controlled by them because I took control of my own life. I remember writing a letter to my mom, telling her that I’m sorry for hurting her, that I’m pregnant, but that I promise to become the best mother and I promised her I’d go to college and become somebody. She responded, “I never doubted you”, and man what that did to me! A lot. Her, God, my daughter, my father, my siblings and myself, was all I needed.
I dream the kind of dreams that others say would never come true, still today, because I did before, and they came true.
I was so lost and through every mistake and bad choice I made, through every betrayal, abuse, and painful encounter, I found my way. The foundation of it all was the belief and confidence I had in myself, and the love I have for my daughter. I took many risks and many leaps of faith, and everything, ultimately, led me to where I am today. I created a bond with God and ever since then, I’ve literally felt guided and protected. Today I feel untouchable because like I said before, I wished and prayed for moments like today, and they all said it was over, but I proved them all wrong. I proved myself wrong because I, to a certain degree, doubted myself as well. I was always in denial of my mental gifts and capabilities, but the more and more I elevate, the more and more my self-esteem rises. The more I accomplish, the more I reach for the stars.
I literally went from being pregnant at fourteen years old, broke, on welfare, harassed, bullied, laughed at, abandoned, abused, degraded, devalued, spit on , going to jail, losing my daughter to a foster system, dropping out of high school, and more.
A proud mother of two beautiful smart and sweet girls. They are twelve and eight years old and they have never hit each other. They can’t even talk back to me without feeling bad because I’m literally their soft spot. They look up to me. I’ve had them in private school for the past four years, I am entering my senior year of nursing school, on my way of obtaining my bachelors in science degree in nursing, to become one of the best registered nurses in history, I have a cum laude gpa of 3.35, I am minoring in behavioral neuroscience, I have been a valued employee at a level one trauma hospital as a certified nursing assistant for a little over seven years, around the most amazing men and women professionals that inspire me everyday, I’ve always had my own car, I’ve been living on my own with my children so I’m the sole bread winner of the house, I live in a nice quiet beautiful apartment and area, and I am respected and loved by so many. I hear congratulations and that I’m an inspiration instead of “your life is over and “you’re a loser”. Every year things get better and better for me. I of course still struggle, I have my moments of doubts, I break down kind of often, I continue to make mistakes, etc., but I have now learned that life is about living it, and living it to me, is taking advantage of every opportunity it offers. Even when times get difficult, I learned to find opportunity through them. Even if it’s enhancing my strength–that does a lot for me. Anytime I’m hurting and feel like I’m falling apart, I think back at where I used to be and it makes me even stronger. I fall but then I get back up with a bang. I’m still trying to figure myself out, but I think I’m heading in the right direction. My father is already so proud of me, my children look up to me, my mother shows me off to everyone, others look up to me , and honestly–I’m just so humbled. Although I recognize my blessings and will never take them or my life for granted, I struggle loving myself and with remaining composed, but through you all, through love of humanity, I rise and remember that I too, matter. I surround myself around admirable, beautiful hearted, good souled , people and professionals, and there is just no better medicine. I stopped believing in people, but not in the world. I believe that the more people like me share their story, and the more we spread love instead of animosity, and the more we accept instead of deny–the more uplifted we’ll all be, the more life we’ll all live, and the more dreams we’ll all dream.
I’m not perfect, and I’m humble enough to know that I am not better than anyone, but I am wise enough to know that I am different from the rest.
If I could have things my way, I’d make us stop beating each other down, I’d eliminate the unkind judgements we make upon each other, the dominating assumptions, the limited beliefs and low self-confidence that too many of us have, and I’d eliminate the social pressure that controls us. It took so many years to find the strength and bravery to even speak on this subject, as I always felt ashamed of myself for the way my life played out. I am grateful to have made it this far, especially considering the fact that many commit suicide in the face of bullying, inequality, injustices, abuse, trauma, hardships, loneliness, depression, hopelessness, inhumanities and more.. I could have gave up and ended my own life years ago. God knows I thought about it. But I persevered instead.
I don’t know how the rest of my life will turn out, but incase God decides to take me before I’m able to accomplish the rest of my goals and dreams, I want my daughters to know that my biggest and most beautiful dream come true and blessing, was being able to love and be loved in return by them. Everything else is just a part of living my life, but my very best and most defining moments, where the ones that included them. I want my daughters and the rest of the girls and boys out in the world to know that I believe in them, because I am proof that believing in yourself is enough to conquer the world. Never stop fighting and believing in yourselves, and believe and fight for who and what you love.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this part of my story. I appreciate it more than ya’ll can ever imagine and because of you all, I am so proud to also be a writer.