By: Rocío Mosquera (Translated by Taisa Strouse)
I was only 6 years old when I remember hearing those words only from my father, not from any one else around me, not at school, not on the street, not even on television. I was just a 6-year-old girl and in my mind there were already screams that felt like lightning, burning my neurons from so much thinking: what does that mean? why does this hurt so badly?
Perhaps, my nights were not like those of many neighborhood friends who, through stories and smiles, sheltered their dreams in order to wake up with the sunlight warming their hopes. In my window there were no stars, the moon barely shone, there was no music, there were no lyrics – just moans, tears, sadness.
From the door of my house I saw dolls, balls, ropes, games. Between the cracks I heard whispers of ridicule, of overwhelming concerns that pushed my strength into a dark and delusional abyss. My desperation to leave and explore was more than the desire for ice cream that drove the little ones crazy in those years. There was an invisible rope that tied together my desire to learn, live, play, scream and love.
I grew up among bottles of alcohol, among my mother’s desperate cries. I played among bloody handkerchiefs, dirty and smelly clothes. My study notebooks were filled with lines desperate for a simple stroke to enliven my hopes and dreams. My classmates, the stuffed animals thrown in the street, became mute accomplices of whipping, blows, bruises and those words that echoed in my mind, those words that came together in a warlike tone to remind me, every time I opened my eyes, that I was worth nothing.
MY SILENCED VOICE
How many times have I screamed in silence? I’ve already lost count… thousands, millions and more. Nobody heard my voice; everything was normal in those days. A father is a father and if he had to correct me, it was because I deserved it even if I hadn’t done anything wrong. I must confess that sometimes I preferred to see him reeling from so much drinking and pronouncing words that I didn’t understand because he would barely touch his bed and be exhausted until the next day. Perhaps those were my happiest moments, because he was there… lying down, not moving, not making much noise.
Did I learn to defend myself? No! I didn’t because the being of father became the blueprint of the men who passed through my life. In many, I saw his hard hands hitting my face, my body. From their mouths, I heard his dark words full of hate, sarcasm, evil. I always believed that this was normal, that it was the treatment every woman received and, what is worse, that I deserved it.
SILENCE TURNED INTO LIGHT
I kept silent, suffered so much, and cried bitterly for long nights. Until one day, in my arms I held my soul, a tiny soul with a heart that beat a thousand miles an hour every time I spoke to it… yes! It was there that I met my true love. No matter the circumstances under which she came, she arrived like a sunflower to light up my days and tell me for the first time in my life that I was bright and she was a part of me, that is, a small light with a spectacular shine.
Do I want to defender her? Always! Because her days will not be like mine. Because her ears will grow with words of love. Because she will have dolls, stuffed animals, toys, sweets, friends. Because she will have everything I couldn’t have when I was only 6 years old and didn’t understand why so many things happened to me, taking away my courage and denying me life.
WE ARE TWO NOW
Now she is here and I am with her; now we are two and the world awaits us with joy. Now, we are Rosa and Marisol. In the face of so much pain I found life in her breath… my daughter, my light, my redemption. We are a candle lit with love. We walk together knitting stories where happiness is our meeting point. Each step she takes leaves footprints in my soul that burst my harmonious heart because I learned it is possible to be better. What I went through in those empty years is not important, as long as I wake up with her every morning with the desire to give her a better world.
That world that we all deserve, a world full of affection, care, respect and love, fundamental elements to grow in harmony, tranquility and hope, grow with clear goals and happy days, always aspiring that each sunrise is the best of life.
“Pearls of Inspiration” are insights and topics that arise from our Ecuadorian neighborhood dialogue circles that are taking place, virtually through
Zoom. ID 278 275 0942
If you speak Spanish, we hope you will join us! All are welcome.
In the future, we hope to offer dialog circles in English. Follow this space.