It was CATASTROPHIC! I wanted to make a distinction… At age 3. I wanted to tell the world-MIS padres that UNLIKE THEM I WAS A USA CITIZEN. I wanted to distinct myself from them. Hijole! (Shit!). I was only a child, but I was already learning that in this country being immigrante is not easy and so I thought I had to put on a mask on to survive.
For me it was a debilitating mask that denied my existence. That denied my parents, my roots and diminished my ability to speak and to live. Words came out of my mouth… Real words, were rarely spoken. By real words I am referring to those words that express our freedom that accept our genuinely selves.
So words, were difficult to come by. Unable to find those real words I coped. I coped by staying silent. Silence, was my friend. And silence was my enemy. SILENCE is the enemy of THIRD WORLD INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, people of color, women, children, disabled people, trans, queer, poverty class folks and all brilliance from the margins.
I remember, my tummy would get all funky on me when I was called by the teacher on during school. Anxiety even kicked in at any point that the teacher would ask a question to the class. That went on for a long time. Still does. Not as often though.
So today, I'm dealing with it. Coming to the realization, that silence is truly my enemy. For me, a woman of color, an indigenous mujer (woman) from a poor immigrant background living in this country, silence me mata (kills me).
And so I made a commitment, to myself to speak and write from lo profundo, which is a deep place of pain and also a source of strength. Even if my voice is all shaky and stuff! Anger rightfully so is hard to hold back. By the same token, STANDING UP and SPEAKING UP sometimes means STANDING ALONE.