The happiest and only good memory was when I was about 4 years old. I remember living in Texas and being at my grandmothers house. She bought me this beautiful dress that every little Mexican girl wanted. I ran around in it, showing it off to everyone, skipping and dancing around in circles.
(This is the only picture I have of me as a child)
After that it seems like the world changed. I remember going to the park to play. Shortly after that we took my sister to her grandmother’s house; on her father’s side. We dropped her off but I didn’t understand why we couldn’t stay too. My sister’s grandmother seemed like a very sweet lady and inviting. Our biological mother had a way of making us feel like we didn’t “belong”. Nothing was ever explained.
Days later we were packing and the endless days of moving around began. At first it’s fun driving from state to state. Waking up at night and seeing the bright lights of every city we passed through. What we believe is a family trip ends up with countless nights of strangers being smuggled into the U.S. I remember riding around in a van that had two long benches in the back and an eating table. These benches would open up for storage purposes. The “storage” was used to hide immigrants as we crossed the U.S borders. At times we were forced to lay down on some blankets and more immigrants would hide under our bodies. We were forced to sit on them as a distraction. This was the start of countless questions. The fast life of smuggling immigrants had an innocent little girl curious. My biological mom hated all the questions. I remember her favorite word was “cállate” which translates to “shut up”.
Next, I remember moving into a tiny 1 bedroom apartment on the top floor. In this 1 bedroom; lived my biological mom, her boyfriend, her boyfriends brother, myself and my two sisters. However, that was rare because we always had more men and/or strangers living with us. My biological mom would pretty much do anything for an extra dollar. She could care less about exposing us to the dangers that lurked. These homeless men would give her money for shelter. Despite not having the room she would consistently allow strangers around us. Realistically there would be up to as many as 8 + people living with us in a small 1 bedroom apartment.
I don’t remember having toys or anything to play with to pass the time. Thankfully I had my two sisters to play with and annoy. I remember trying to play in this tiny apartment. There was an electric skillet on the floor and I ran toward it and jumped into it. The scream instantly scared my sisters. The skillet was still plugged in and in the “on” position. The bottom of my feet had a constant burning, stinging sensation that would not go away. I remember one of my sisters grabbed a bucket of water and I stood in it. Trying to ease the pain. I screamed in agony from the pain. My biological mom walked in and she had no care in the world and yelled at us for playing around. I got no medical attention. Not even a hug!