La Piñata and a Teaspoon of Sugar

December 6, 2019

If Mi Mama did not fry his eggs to his liking he would beat her up!She was disrespected, ignored, threatened, humiliated, beat, controlled, dragged, emotionally abused, had her hair pulled, her teeth knocked out and the list goes on and on while being cathartic for me it’s painful!What was he trying to do, kill her? You were suppose to love, cherish and protect her. It infuriates me that you hurt her! And, as an adult woman I confronted you about beating Mi Mama and you denied it! Why couldn’t you be a man, and man up to it! I would have had more respect for you. I saw you beat her! You said you didn’t remember, “no, Mija no me acuerdo.”I have worked hard to forgive you.

I once read that there is no life without suffering. Unfortunately, the path that takes us to the promise is always difficult. Nothing worth having ever comes without opposition. Storms will come, lions will roar, and our fears will be confronted. God allows the path to be difficult because He intends on refining us and preparing us for our place of promise. He is intent on extracting from us, that which our enemy would love to leverage against us.

As a woman who has lived this experience I have always felt compassion and fought for women who have suffered.

Tu eres la piñata de Mi Papá. 

He would just give her “the look” and she was terrified! She knew she had said or done something to upset him and she would be getting a beating!

While studying this topic I learned that the medical profession has not shown the same interest as in child abuse. Perhaps they have similar views as Mexicans!  In the Mexican culture ( I hate to generalize) but as a young girl,  it was a pervasive thought in my little backward town I was raised in and perhaps a sign of the times. “You’re married now, so you have to suck it up!” Or more crassly stated….. in Spanish “you made your bed so chingate!”I remember the look of terror on her face her body also showed defeat  but even more than defeat it was “non existing!”I can hear the little voices of children crying and screaming in terror, “Daddy don’t hurt my Mama!” “Daddy stop!”We were her main concern, I recall her running around at night after being beat to give us teaspoons of sugar  (it’s believed to be a Mexican remedio) for trauma or they would say in Spanish  “para no pasar susto!” 

I know she lost several babies and now, I can’t help but wonder if it was because he beat her.In retrospect, I see now my sperm donor ( Mi Papá) had an alcohol problem. But, as I have continuously stated even on the rare occasions he wasn’t drinking or drunk, he was still very angry! Like a walking time bomb!I know Mis Abuelitos did not like him and he didn’t like them. Everything upset him, I don’t care if it was the most minute thing. Mi Mamá was tender and  young at 15 years old, when they first met. Heck she was a baby.The sperm donor was considerably older than her, “ya estaba ruco!”He not only hurt her physically, he damaged her soul! It took her years to heal ( in retrospect I’m not sure she ever did).Mi Mama had a heart of gold! I know everyone says that about their Mamas,  but Mi Mama was wise and overflowed with compassion and kindness to all.I now understand it had nothing to do with Mi Mama, but with my sperm donor. He lacked social skills, coping skills, self-control, anger management, low self esteem and the list goes on and on. I know he felt emasculated in the United States; he did not speak English and a plethora of other issues that immigrants may suffer, but it was not Mi Mama’s problem!I was too young to be interested in demographics or statistics, but I’d venture to say 90% or more of the women in my little town known as Huron suffered domestic violence. Where there was a high concentration of uneducated people who worked in the fields, drank too much and had mental health issues that were never resolved!  Because mental illness is taboo in the Mexican culture! But, I also recognize that domestic violence happens in Silicon Valley just as easily as it does in Huron.

The term of domestic violence bothers me so much; it’s so sanitized and sterilized version of what it really is; it is beating the crap out of someone, it is black eyes, bloody nose, it is dehumanizing, it strips their dignity, it si broken bones, it is dragging someone from their hair like a rag doll throughout the house. It is injuries your body and bones feel  forever! It makes you angry and there is no way to vent! You have to pretend it’s ok or that you asked for it and deserve it, because he’ll only beat you more!I know once Mi Mama finally left this sperm donor; she continued to hurt herself in common ways most women do. She drank too much, ate too much, didn’t eat enough, didn’t sleep enough and suffered depression, these were some of the symptoms I saw and was aware of. Heaven knows what other ways she hurt herself because she viewed herself as “damaged!” 
Many years later after Mi Mama had finally severed relationships with our sperm donor.  I’m reminded of the song one less egg to fry, Manuela. No more beatings for Mi Mama.We could finally breathe. We were free! 
Mi Mama had to re-claim her being,  her Vida!Thank you, my Lord, Our Savior. Mi Mama started to gradually heal. 
We lived in the projects (a brand new apartment) across from Joseph Mouren Elementary School. The school playground and school were my refuge. I always felt safe there, it’s no wonder I became an educator. Our neighbors the Mendoza’s lived in the attached apartment, actually a cheap you can hear everything locked door separated the two families.I recall two very pretty sisters; Bertha and Lupe, a Mama and a Papá. Their father would also beat his wife especially at night and when he was drunk which also coincided with payday.The wife and daughters’s screams and crying terrified us and brought to light the memories we were trying to forget! I was grateful when they moved.
Many years later I wasattending esthetician school in Fresno, I became friends with a woman named, Lupe at the gym. One day she invited me to go to Clovis with her to visit her mother who was visiting from out of town. We drove to her brother’s home. En route she told that her brother was a quadriplegic. She  shared with me that he had had a diving accident. And his home was set-up to accommodate all his handicaps. She told me he had won a large lawsuit pertaining to his accident. We walked into this most beautiful home, it was a mansion, gorgeously decorated also, as he maneuvered himself in his wheelchair.I couldn’t help it I was impressed, but I didn’t care how beautiful this home was……. it was such a tragedy what had happened to him. We had a lovely visit with Lupe’s Mama. At times she seemed to “phase out.” Of course I just let it go and excused it to age or her being on medication. On the way home, Lupe told me that her Mama suffered from schizophrenia and wasin fact on medication. She proceeded to share her Mama’s story.As a young girl her Mama had been in love with a young man from a neighboring rancho in Mexico and the young man loved her. Another older man wanted her and her family bestowed her to him.They had a miserable marriage and he kept her pregnant. They had a large family. Lupe’s Father would become enraged and tie his wife to a tree and whip her with a whip, because he knew his wife did not love him and was in love with another man. As the sons grew the father forced the sons in beating their own Mama! I was in a state of shock, I actually felt physically sick  to learn of this story. It definitely left an impact on me and I began to think of her schizophrenia in relation to her beatings! I don’t think beatings cause it, but I’m sure there is a link. My heart cried for her…..and thought of my own beautiful Mama and her suffering.
My baby sister, Dudies, was very young and the  instrument that saved our family and I will forever be indebted to her. She became a Christian at a young age and she would gently share who our Lord was with us. Another special powerful milestone in my life was knowing Mi Mama had become a Christian also and changed her ways, she loved our Lord and was saved. 
About the sperm donor I really don’t know or care. I hope he was able to meet my Lord and ask for forgiveness for all the damage he had caused us.He returned to Guadalajara, I dug deep and visited him, he appeared to be a model husband and father. But, I don’t believe it for one minute, I think it was all a facade.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment (Mark 12:30). God must be your first love every morning, every day and night you have left.

I question why this happened? Why was the sperm donor so angry, what was going on inside of him, what caused you so much pain, what demons possessed you? Why did Mi Mama allow this? Why didn’t Mis Abuelitos ( her parents) protect her, I know she was Mi Abuelito, Higinio’s favorite. How dare you traumatize us the way you did and how did this trauma affect us? 

And, most painful to me is why does domestic violence still exist today,  sixty plus years later? Women are more educated, more empowered, more of everything. And now you hear of date abuse. Lord, please help us to teach our daughters (and sons) to have self-respect, to love themselves, to not accept or tolerate abuse from anyone.

What I write about is deep rooted in my heart. Perhaps some of you do not relate or identify, and that is fine. But, as someone I love very much recently shared with me. There are many people who have lived similar experiences of growing up a poor Mexican-American in the San Joaquin Valley working in the fields as a child. Of growing up with an alcoholic father from Mexico or any other dysfunction or country. If you have lived similar experiences. You can try to forget and numb those pains with alcohol, drugs, men/women etc. and nothing has worked.

As bad as things were at times, Mi Mama never lost hope and always instilled that hope in her chamacos. And it was by Grace that our Lord saved us.
If just one person identifies and I can sharethis hope you can find the same comfort and encouragement in God’s promises that I have found, I will be happy.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
Thank You, Father

Abrazos y Besos

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I am perpetually creative, and my eyes “feel” art everywhere. Who am I, I am an open book. I believe that sharing “from the heart” with one another is what connects us, heals us, and inspires us! My love for my Lord, family, friends, cooking, crafting, gardening/nature, vintage, sewing and different cultures; these passions and too many more to list, have moved my hand to paper, thus, Abrazos y Besos. In addition to a nudge by my baby sister, Dudies. My last name is Hug which means Abrazo in Spanish, hence the name of my blog: “Abrazos y Besos” translating to “Hugs & Kisses.” I will focus on our personal life journey with Mi Corazon (Augie Hug) sprinkled with love, spice and fun. Please tune in. Philippians 4:13 New King James Version (NKJV) 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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