Who was I?
I was a little girl who went to mass every Sunday and sang “Santo Santo Santo” to the heavens as the salseros played sprightly music in the balcony of the church.
I was a girl raised by my grandparents.
I knew my grandfather was Santos Vargas Sr. but I had no clue who Santos Jr. was.
I was a girl who had 3 older siblings that would build forts with me every day even if they were tired of my games and my… interesting imagination.
I was a girl who didn’t have many friends but had all the family I needed.
I am Britney with one “T” because my grandparents forgot how to spell my name when they attempted to teach me how to spell it.
I am the girl who failed spelling tests because I’d ask my Spanish-speaking grandparents to help me study… but I loved every second of it.
Who was I?
I was a girl who was stripped of the family I knew.
I was a girl who went to live with her biological parents that seemed more like strangers than family.
I was a girl who was told that she had one sister and my alleged “brothers” who live with my grandparents and me were given up by the ones who created them just like I was.
I was a girl who was suddenly confined into a strange, unfamiliar room with a drunken man and an ignorant woman.
They were my parents though… so I had to respect them.
Suddenly, I was a girl with only one sister and I felt so alone.
My sister started dating and she left me behind… cold… in a dark room… crying.
I was the girl forced to love and honor two grown people who never loved or honored me
I was beat.
I was tossed.
I was cut.
I was abandoned for the second time even though I had no clue I was abandoned in the first place, for my grandparents had been the parents I had known.
For I hadn’t met my parents until they showed up at the door and said “hey... We left you when you were a baby but we’re back to claim what’s ours.”
But what makes me yours? The fact that I was born of your flesh? NO
I am my grandparents’ because they cared for me when I was under stress!
Who was I?
I was a girl who was stolen from life and had to grasp whatever happy memories I possessed so I wouldn’t allow those cuts on my legs to go so deep that I would bleed out.
I was a girl who was taken from my school and shoved into another one where no one cared to ask for my name.
I was a girl who worked hard for my parents instead of myself.
I was a girl who wished my life would end and I was the girl who tried to end it.
I was the girl who cried and had sleepless nights while tracing the patterns of the scars on my legs, the scars I gave myself, and looking at the bright blue bruises my parents gave me.
It almost looked like artwork.
BUT WHO WAS I?
I was the girl who was confused and alone, the girl whose parents wished I were dead.
I was the girl my dad never wanted and the girl who made unfaithful to mother… Then he left.
I was the girl who everyone hated, both at school and at home.
I was the girl who everyone called four eyes, twig, and loser.
I was the girl who hated how skinny I was because I believed no man would ever love me.
I was the girl who was called flat and ugly and I was the girl who believed it.
I’m still that girl.
I’m still the girl who despite living in this home for seven years feels foreign.
I am the girl whose sister, her only happiness, left when she was ready to abandon the family she once had and create a new one.
I’m still the girl whose innocence was robbed and learned to trust no man at a very young age… even if he was in eighth grade and was the Daddy Warbucks to your Annie.
Even if you had to sing “I don’t need anything but you” with him in harmony when the only thing you wanted to sing was “I don’t need you… I don’t need anything!”
Even if you had to dance with him… and don’t believe him when he says he wants to go backstage and practice… because what he wants to practice is not a song or a dance; he wants to practice an act that should be saved for marriage with a child who is unwilling to preform this act…
I’m still the girl who pleads for the love that I never had.
I’m still the girl who misses her grandparents and brothers every single minute of every single day.
I’m the girl who when I cry for my mommy I’m not crying for the one who gave birth to me, I’m crying for the one who gave birth to my father.
I’m still the girl whose father drinks away all the money so she has no food to eat.
I’m still the girl who is afraid of getting evicted from my building because I have no clue how many bills we haven’t payed.
BUT I am the girl who is working hard at school to get out of this black hole that I am trying to disguise as a home.
I am the girl whose passions are music, theatre, and art.
I am the girl who found my voice in that fifth grade choir room and I have continued to sing out my praises and my discontents to the world ever since.
I am the girl who wont take no for an answer.
I am the girl who will argue with you until my demand is met.
I am the girl who will stress you out to the point where you will break down and want to break me.
Why is it that I am greedy with my food?
Because I don’t know when’s the next time I’m going to eat.
Why is it that I can read people so easily?
Because I’ve been hurt enough to tell what type of people will be the ones to hurt me again.
And why am I proud?
I am smart, kind, and loving.
I came out of this situation with a good head on my shoulders, a strong personality, with stubborn mannerisms, and exceptional ideals.
I have learned to stand my ground.
I have become independent.
I have learned how to cry rivers and scream sirens while fighting for my life on this damned earth and I AM proud.
I HAVE SURVIVED HELL… And from now on, life will be a piece of cake.
BUT GOD DAMN IT! WHO AM I?
I am a beautiful, skinny, flat young woman.
I have overcome obstacles that no one wants to overcome.
I have learned to smile and I have made friends that I am confident will stand by me until the end.
And if they don’t… they’re expendable!
Because I have learned that the only person a woman needs is herself to get her through a life of success and happiness.
I have worked hard.
I have hated God and I have forgiven Him.
I have separated myself from the corruption in my beliefs and I have found true peace.
I have learned to love and I have learned to let go.
And I am me.