I wrote this in 2006 after I was reflecting my first years of being a mother to my eldest child who I had at 17. Becoming a mother at such a young age didn’t make me the best parent and at times I still tried to act my age and party a lot even though I was a parent. It used to eat me up inside but I’ve come to terms that I did the best I could under the circumstances.
It’s been 4 years since I took an oath to become an American citizen. I took an oath specifically to Trump which makes me nauseous typing BUT I also took an oath because of Trump. Before making the decision to become an American citizen, I had never really cared about politics but that was until Trump got elected. If you were a POC or immigrant or both, you felt the shift in the racial tension in the U.S right before the election but especially after the election. Racists overtly made their ignorant beliefs known that immigrants were not welcomed in this country. DACA was in the process of being repealed. DACAmented kids who should have been protected were being deported and there was a rise in deportation for undocumented immigrants as well or well the media made it seem like that. I felt that as an immigrant with LPR (legal permanent resident) status, I could possibly be next. In February of 2016, I sent my paperwork to USCIS to solidify my relationship with America. One could say that for better or worse, I finally decided to make a commitment to this country. Here is my blog post about the process:
What has changed in the past 4 years since becoming an American and what does being American mean to me now?
Well, I’ve voted in 2 elections since I’ve become an American including the national election in 2020 (yay, no more Trump). In October of this year, I applied for my passport and have received it. Now, I can take a trip out of the country without any worries or concerns. While it is an immense privilege to be an American citizen since I now have a whole new world of opportunities opened up and I can travel anywhere; I feel that I haven’t really changed on the inside. I still see myself and identify as an immigrant but now I also call myself an American. But to be honest, my idea of being an American has changed. I used to think I needed a piece of paper to say “Oh, I’m American” but for better or worse, America is and has been ingrained in me since that hot September day in 1986 when I set my foot on American soil at the age of 5.
I was an American when every morning at school I would say the Pledge of Allegiance in my broken and terrible English at the age of 6 and 7.
I was an American when I went back to Peru at age 9 to get my resident alien status solidified with my family.
I was an American when I met my childhood best friends in Hawaii at age 11.
I was an American when I had my babies at ages 17, 24, and 30.
I was American when I started working for the government at the age of 18.
I was an American when I got my college degree in 2009 from the University of Georgia .
I was an American in 2016 and early 2017 when I attended protests and marches for immigrant and women’s rights.
And I was an American when people told me, “my english is good for being a Mexican” or I’ve been discriminated against or oppressed in this country by the people that don’t want “my kind” here.
I used to believe that I didn’t belong here because of the racism, prejudice, and ignorance I’ve encountered but that’s no longer the case. This year, I finally let go of those beliefs because I’ve embraced that I am America and America is me. My life may have been harder in many aspects because I wasn’t the average “American born” citizen but I will tell you that I wouldn’t trade my experience as an American to be average. I I feel that working harder than the “average American” for my success has made me appreciate my success so much more and for that I am thankful. My parents had no idea of the many hardships they would endure making the decision to immigrate to this country but I am glad they made that journey. It’s taken me 35 years to get here but today I can honestly say that I’m proud to be an American.
From the ages of 18 to 23, I worked for a government agency as an interpreter. I was well-liked by many of my coworkers and my first supervisor was appreciative of me. I was very good at my job and even cross-trained in many other areas that didn’t “pertain to my job”. However, at that job, I was also bullied and discriminated against for being Latina. I was also slut-shamed by my second supervisor and coworkers the latter 2 years I was there. I don’t want to say I deserved being slut-shamed but I’ll just say that I trusted the wrong coworkers with my private life and they went on to gossip about me to everyone. It was also a very stressful environment because of the work I did and clients I had to interact with. My depression and anxiety went haywire. In 2003, I decided to enroll in my local community college and major in English. In 2004, I was trying to go to school full time, work full time, and deal with my child’s new autism diagnosis. I was breaking down mentally and something had to give so I quit this job. I was fucking done. And this poem was inspired by that moment. I thought I had processed this trauma until it came back up in therapy in the summer of 2021. I didn’t realize it at the time but I had suffered a deep racial trauma that impacted me and still triggered reactions in me. I was angry. There is actually way more to this story and one day I’ll share it when I’m ready.
So I wrote this poem in January of 2004 when I was dating my husband and maybe I was foreshadowing my future with him (sort of-haha). I think that maybe I was paranoid he had someone else at the time because he was such a private person. Reflecting on this now is kind of strange because I was the one that ended up with the indiscretions. I was 22 when I wrote this and I have I think that this is a good example of “splitting” meaning that I went to black and white thinking about him.
I wrote this in 2003 about Lucas. I was again obsessing about him.
Everyday I think about you more and more My heart can’t help itself I close my eyes for a brief second and your wonderful and attached self is what my mind sees. I catch myself missing you and it doesn’t make sense to miss something I never really had. You did something to me without having to do anything. Maybe you accidentally put a spell on me . I still can’t figure out why you, Mr.Forbidden has become my new unrequited love obsession Maybe love really does come out of the least expected place Or maybe I will always Desire the one that I can’t have.
I wrote this in January of 2003. I’m honestly surprised that after so much disappointment in the dating world, I still had faith. I guess I was still a hopeless romantic at that point.
It’s so hard sometimes to be nice When you’ve cried so many times Over so many sorry ass guys When you are always done wrong You wonder what’s taking so long To find a warm hearted guy Who’ll give you the moon and the sky To find that special man that was written for you in the sand Sometimes you almost want to give up and just suck it up And say “I’m so through” With always being used But you have to have faith That one day you’ll find somebody great And all of these lonely nights Will finally have an end in sight
I wrote this in 2002 about my former friend Brad. He was the type of “friend” that kept trying to sleep with him and I tried to have boundaries with him. I guess I should have seen the red flags then.
My dear friend Why do you want to stay with me tonight? Is it because you’re lonely? Or is it because you’re sad? Or maybe you just crave the company of my warm body Sorry but I can’t allow it Because I’m selfish And want to keep memories of you pure and free of any sexual intimacy
I wrote this poem in December of 2002 cause well dating sucks and it’s still timely. Haha.
I hate playing this stupid game Called dating Trying to decide Which move to make So you can have him at checkmate It’s no longer about falling in love Or even real feelings But it’s about winning So if sit here wanting to hear hisvoice I don’t dare give in to this yearning To want to call him Because then they’ll almost be winning
I wrote this in April 2002 after sleeping with Lucas for the first time. This situation was fucked up and crazy for many reasons but that’s another story time blog post. Let’s just say that I’m not great at making the best life choices at times.
I finally fucked the forbidden married man It was good, it was great it was wonderful It was a heaven full of ecstasy It was dirty, it was shameful it was ugly It was a hell full of guilt
I wrote this in 2002 about Damon. When we first started dating, things were great and then they weren’t. Right off the bat, he took me to meet his parents and daughter and he even met my son and my parents. However, we both had our issues and were probably not at a place to be in a relationship. Honestly, I was with Damon to escape loneliness even though we were incompatible and I think he was using me for the same reason. The sex was good and I grew to care about him but I never loved him. We would sometimes have these fights and ghost each other and then come back to each other. Maybe I was just too tired at the time to find someone I was more compatible with.
I wish you were as simple as slow dance but you’re a fucking mess Like an upside down cup of coffee And I don’t want to be part of your insanity So I’ll tear myself apart from you And perhaps clean up some of your mess even if my heart will bleed ,even if the tears will fall
I wrote this in June of 2002 about Lucas after I had slept with him for the last time. I’m pretty sure that this was after I had started dating Damon. I guess I was looking for love wherever I could get it.
After making love to him I lie awake in his arms And the only thought that crosses thru my mind is that “I want to stay here With you my love”
But even wishing something like that Would be violated by our complicated lives And maybe even regretful sacrifices
So I lie in bed in a life that is anything but the truth and wonder to myself
If to you, I will ever be worth more Than just your special friend
After breaking up with Ron while dealing with the whole Lucas drama, I was very impulsive and emotional. I wanted to escape from what I was feeling so I thought it would be a great idea to meet a new dude at a bar and hook up with him. His name was Damon and it would end up being yet another unstable relationship. This poem was written in June of 2002 right after meeting Damon.
Got drunk last night and somehow ended up Naked and vulnerable in some guy’s bed We know what happened next I gave in to mine and his desires Not sure why I did But everything felt so damn good I just couldn’t stop Even though I knew that that it was so wrong