I was molested as a child and the emotional wounds have affected me into adulthood. I did not trust people and my surroundings. I also have issues with emotionally connecting at times. I’ve learned to shut down as a coping mechanism. I still struggle until this very day. The only difference is now I recognize some of the damage. For example, if I hear someone drop a fork (I know that sounds silly) in another room. I am instantly on high alert and asking “what is that noise?”. My tone can come across as aggressive and that’s due to being on high alert and/or scared. To some people it may come across as angry or annoyed. This is a PTSD trigger that I learned about myself.
I also get easily startled and it brought out this fire of anger inside me. Literally, I would get angry if someone came into the same room as me and I didn’t know they were entering. It’s like my mind was so concentrated on something else and just the surprise of anyone coming in made me very uneasy. Even if it was a person I knew. For those first two seconds I could feel my rage inside me manifesting. The rage was from the anxiety…
Now as an adult I sit here reflecting on my socialization growing up. My sisters and I very rarely went to school. In our household we were forced to work outside in the fields. I remember we would work outdoors in the hot sun for a minimum of 10 hours per day, up to 6 days per week. We would pick apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, asparagus, cucumbers, peaches, black and yellow cherries, tomatoes, corn, weeding the fields with long hoes.
I just wanted to be a kid. I didn’t want to work under the hot sun for hours on end. I just wanted to play like other kids. Why couldn’t my biological mom understand that and want that for us?
After countless years of working in the fields; when I should have been in school. The state finally caught up to us and my biological mom was forced to register us in school. I remember walking into school…
My name is Petra and I am on a mission to help other woman by sharing my story. I will not hide in shame. I am tearing off the band-aid and unlocking the pain that’s deep down inside. My childhood years were full of abuse; mental, emotional, verbal, physical and sexual. I have very rarely spoke in depth of this part of my life.
It was NOT my fault and I am NOT ashamed anymore!
Today, I free myself of all the pain I kept locked inside. This pain changed my personality for a long 36 years.
I was angry, took everything personally, I had no personality, didn’t’ know how to joke around and smiling or laughing felt “awkward” to me.
What makes me smile today? My two boys, my fiance, my friends, my family and YOU! Yes, you reading this right now. I smile because you’re here, you’re strong and you’re amazing.
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.