Come back home…

Dedication: I dedicate this story to all those lost angles, I hope you find your way back home.

Trigger warning: Before reading this post, please be aware that it contains descriptions of childhood rape and abuse.

Where can I start? At this very moment I am sitting in a classroom with about 65 students (different ages). I am attending school to become an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse). Every day since I recovered my life back I have thought about speaking my story and motivating others in the same situation I was in. You see, in our lives we have people we trust and love with all our heart, people you want to hold on to and never let go because you feel safe with them. It hurts when you realize you are wrong.
I was the age of 7 when my little perfect world, with a “perfect” family was torn apart. My parents had gotten a divorce and we (my three sisters and I) were moving from Florida to Pennsylvania with our mother. My mother (to make this story short), after the divorce, started to feel freedom in a certain way, where her pleasures and desires became a priority instead of her children. It was coming home to different faces and different personalities, different “father figures” so she thought. Constant exposures to pedophiles and abuses.

My mother was whom I trusted with my whole heart and soul, the person who ran to when i felt scared, the person who I admired. After my youngest sister’s death (I was 10 of age), my mother introduced us to the man who would make our lives more miserable than it was. Funny thing this guy was 17 years old and she was 27 or so (if i’m right). Lets give this guy a name, lets call him Bravo (which is his last name). Bravo was an abuser, he hit my mother and sent her to the hospital many times I would lose count, taken to jail several times for the same reasons, and who would go and take him out? You’re right if you thought of my mother. I became the age of 11 when the brother of Bravo came to the US, he was 16 years of age. He would wander around the house a lot, and yes he would come on to me insinuating his likes for me (so disturbing), I was only 11.

We were moving apartments one day and my mother sent me to the old apartment to get a few things she had left behind, she sent me with Bravo’s brother. Huge mistake mother! He raped me, and did it again, and again, and again, telling me “If you say a word about this, I will tell my brother to hurt your mother”. I hated him so much. A surprise was around the corner, when a few weeks after, in PE class at school, I began to feel lower abdominal pain and unusual bleeding. I was sent home, no one was there. I went to the bathroom and I felt the urge to push, so I did. I pushed until I felt something came out and heard a splash in the toilet. It was like a small piece of meat! I thought, “I am falling apart!” I cried and then heard the door open. It was my mother. She took me to the hospital and there they told us, that what I had pushed out was an 11 week fetus. I asked them “What’s a fetus? “. My mothers eyes turned huge, I knew that face was of anger! The doctor told me that I was pregnant. Me pregnant, at the age of 11? My mother was furious, and even when telling her what had happened, she did not believe me. She did not hear me at all.

The days went by and the same kept on happening for 2 years, abuse after abuse like a daily routine. My mother getting hit and me being raped, until one day on a Christmas night of 2004 everything became life or death. Bravo was drunk as usual and hitting my mother. He started recording her and pointing a rifle to her head. He stepped out to our room and yelled at us saying “You girls see who she chooses, she chooses me more than you three that are her own daughters. She loves me more”. That night ended with him leaving and my mother laying on the floor crying. When going back to school I couldn’t hold my tears and the counselor noticed me crying. He asked me what was happening. I couldn’t tell him right away, so he asked to see my drawings (i loved to draw by the way). He was petrified by what he saw. Naked men and women, Bravos grave, wrist cut drawings, broken hearts, girls crying and blood. He knew something was wrong, he called the police. The police made me talk and write the famous “anonymous letter”. When I went home that day, social services were there. We were taken away and sent to different homes. My mother would call me several times to let me know that it was my fault that we were taken away, so I guess she hated me.

Several months passed and my mother got approved for visitations. The first visit, she came to tell me that Bravos brother had gotten killed by a trailer driver and that he was torn from the abdomen and down. The smile that drew across my face was just divine, but not what my mother thought. She thought I was going to be sad. I was crying of joy, I was free from my abuser. The visits after that one were just casual her going to visit two hours and leaving, like if she were forced to see me. The judge granted her home visits on weekends and where can I find this judge, because seriously why would he? My mother abducted us! Like why, why would you do such a thing? She took us to another country (Mexico). Now, if her intentions were truly good I would not have minded. After two months staying in a pueblo in the state of Hidalgo, she left me. She left me in a room we were staying at. The old lady that had given us refuge woke me up to tell me my mother and sisters were gone, and that she took a few things from her too. She was dead to me, she took my life away, she took my happiness, she took my sisters and left me! I survived because that old lady (Lets called her Mrs. Hope) gave me a place to stay. Her home was poor but of much love. Different cultures and ways of thinking, I had to adapt. 2 years had passed and the Mrs. Hopes son had arrived from the US, where he was for years. He tried to seduce me and I fell for it, by then I was 15 years of age. After 2 months, I started feeling ill, and was surprised the doctor told me I was pregnant. Victor was surprised as well, in fact he was so surprised that he ran away and left me all alone. So I kept my baby, I held on to the only thing in life that really made sense to me, the only thing that would take my mind off committing suicide. If you are asking why I didn’t come back to the US, it was fear. I was afraid that I had no one to go to, afraid that someone would do something to me, so I stayed. So time flew and yes I met someone else with whom I have 3 beautiful kids. We were together for 8 years until I got fed up of leaving in a room with my 4 kids and him being drunk most of the time and going out with friends. You see in Mexico, a lot of people there think women should stay behind doors and inside the kitchen and men are allowed to go out and get drunk. 8 years living with someone that was verbally aggressive and many times would drink the week’s earnings and leave us with beans to eat.

I got fed up, and left him. I started working and earning money to send to my kids who were staying with his mother. That was also a wrong thing to do, because when I finally was stable and ready to move away from that little town, they wouldn’t give me my kids. They said that I couldn’t do anything about it because I didn’t have documents to prove they were my kids and I didn’t have anyone to defend me. I had, once again fallen to the hands of men. For a year it was going back and forth, every month to go see my kids. It still hurts till today, even though I have my eldest with me now and I have great communication with the rest of my kids it hurts not being able to see them daily. On December 30th, of 2018 I decided to hop on a bus and come back home, not worried about not having documents, and not afraid of what would come. It took 4 days to get to the border, and there I had nothing to prove I was Stephanie Guerrero. I just had my story and names I could remember, and curiously I knew the last 4 digits of my social security number ****. When I spoke my truth to the border patrols, they started making calls, and within 20 minutes, they had results. I remember them standing and clapping, and saying “Welcome back”. I cried and they hugged me. I had to start from zero coming back home. They gave me a source to get help, and I was helped. I slept in a sofa for a few months and started working as a caregiver in an Assisted living facility in Fountain Valley California, which is a surprise I am now the Resident Care Coordinator of this place. Today, I am a nursing student at American Career College in Anaheim California, and helping others is a passion I have. Like I mentioned before my eldest son, who is now to turn 17 is with me and I am in the process of bringing the rest of my children to the US in a few months. I am currently married, with a wonderful man that took all my fears away and made me trust in God all mighty. We currently live in a small apartment in orange County. The best thing ever, is that i accepted Jesus Christ as my savior on September 19 2019, and got baptized on December 29th of that same year. I have to say the journey was hard, but anything else that comes to me today and I am sure that I can handle it. This is my story, or so a great part of it, many details were held just to keep it short. I hope this helps some one out there. Trust and have hope, and know you are not alone. May God give you the strength you need to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
Photo credit: Images courtesy of the storyteller.

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First of all, I apologize for the miss-spellings and the way I wrote my story. I am 32 years old, I have four wonderful and smart kids. I am married to an awesome human being , who showed me how to gain trust again and showed me the path of the Lord. I am currently in school as a nursing student, I have five more months to go. I am happy, and will be more when I have my kiddos back.