by Margarita Cuevas-Cruz
Born 1990 reborn in 1993.
Flashbacks of whoopings, turmoil, and defeat.
At the age of three, I was exposed to nothing but misery.
Like the first time the world trade center was attacked
I was terrorized and burglarized out of my childhood…
I’d been thrown again this time I felt my insides tear within.
Not to forget my torched skin. Scaly like a fish under water, this woman named Esperanza desired the death of her own daughter.
The very existence of her position was a contradiction of her name, which translated into hope.
She had no hope because of her consumption of toxic love.
SHE LET HIM TOUCH ME!
He smoked his cigarettes and tattooed the buds on my skin behind my ear branding me like a slave without a choice of being saved.
HE TOUCHED ME!
He took his clippers and took away the protection of my scalp he scraped the skin off and inflicted me with pain! I hate him.
HE TOUCHED ME!
Took away my innocence, touched me in places a little girl of three did not know the proper names of. I can’t forget the pain ‘cause
His touch haunts me.
I love sex but can’t deal with foreplay because fingers make me reminiscent of something I wish never happened to me.
HE TOUCHED ME
HE SCARRED ME
HE IMPRINTED SADNESS IN MY Life
And without hope I was alone.
Without Esperanza I was alone.
Without the protection of my mother I WAS alone.
Yes, she gave birth to me,
but that did not guarantee that as her daughter
I was to be respected and protected.
Not abused and neglected.
As her daughter, I should have been her reason to move on.
But I was the symbol of her pain.
Men using her for their own gain.
So my life was established on her shame.
How dare I give her all the blame?
If the sperm donor would have never been a deadbeat hustler,
He would have had the time to be a helping hand as my father.
Regulate what was done to me, and end this turmoil that seemed so discrete.
But my father made Esperanza lose her hope.
When he beat her with a steel rod while she was 8 months pregnant with me.
Because she stole a necklace, so she could eat.
That necklace belonged to the other he had coming at the same time as me.
He ran from the cops filled her arms with coke and the cops arrested her.
There august 15 1990 I was born.
In a moment of lies and deceit.
He did not love me; he did not believe I was his.
Yet I resemble him as much as I resemble her.
More than his golden children
See I am trapped in this circle of deceit.
This place of anger and pain.
And all my life I used to be ashamed
But I stand up here proudly
Realizing that without them
There would be no me
That without forgiveness
I would be haunted and tainted.
For a while that part of my life was fainted.
Trapped in a deep coma but as years passed the thoughts came back…
I speak, in order to release,
Release my pain
And be healed again.
Margarita Cuevas-Cruz is a survivor of child abuse. She shared her story publicly through the YWCA Mohawk Valley in April 2012. This poem is shared with permission.