The start of the journey

My name is Yvonne, I am from the Southwest. I was born in the US, but was raised between here and Northern Mexico. My mother was 18 at the time of my birth. At four or five years of age, my life drastically changed when the adults in my family decided to shift my tutelage to my great aunt. From that moment on I was shuffled back and forth between the two locations during school breaks and summers.

My initial memory of all this, was me crying asking for my Mom. At such a young age, I was unaware of the situation and did not understand what was happening and how my life would unfold. As I think back and try to understand this period, to begin, can one really understand what is happening at such a young age? Most likely not, but those are the moments that begin to define our adult life. These are the traumas that evolve and mark your adult life forever or until you seek help. The people I was given my tutelage to were older, their kids were older, and their experience with a child was not current. For me this is what made the experience harder, having adult children and adapting to a five year old rambunctious child was not something they were ready for.

There was a stark difference when it came to my life in Mexico and my life in the US. In Mexico I had a big family, my aunt and uncle were around my same age and they were my playmates. On Sundays all my aunts and cousins came over and it was a loud family experience. My life in the US was so far from that. My aunt and uncle’s house was surrounded by farm land, no neighbors in sight. The town was about quarter mile away. There was no children to play with, no neighbors, it was just us three and their youngest son; a senior in high school. This made my childhood a sad, lonely one.

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