When I was 8 years old my grandfather sexually assaulted me. I have never shared it with anyone. I developed many insecurities and as I grew my body developed. I wanted to be invisible because to my dismay I grew breasts and hips and a butt. My body was betraying me. My father and mother had very many issues. My father was verbally and physically abusive to my mother and in her lack of control she became physically abusive with me. I coped with lack of control by being very angry. This anger ironically drove me to develop a sense of power. Although it started in a very unhealthy manner, this anger and rebellion allowed me to be me—a multifaceted driven individual. The first to go to college and graduate—initially to get away from my family but then to make them proud. My need to prove to them that I had power, but my loyalty to my family, culture and identity made me feel split.
I graduated and began working in social justice. Years later I married a wonderful man who is my partner in every aspect of my life. He truly is a reflection of me In Lak Ech. In 2007 I was pregnant for the first time. I loved that baby since I peed on that pregnancy test, but I miscarried and lost it. All that power and strength felt gone in a flash.
“My life felt pointless. I grieved the loss but most of all I questioned my womanhood. I couldn’t do the most natural thing in the world and carry a child till birth.”
All my insecurities came back all at once.
On the verge of what felt like the abyss-considering not living anymore I once again became pregnant by “accident”. My first daughter Tonantzin was born. The first three months were blissful but as I had to go back to work, all my fears, insecurities and anxieties of my sexual assault came back to me.
“How do I protect my daughter?”
My partner and I decided that we would have split shifts so our daughter would be with me or him at all times. I tested my husband. I walked in at random times because I feared for my daughter’s safety. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust him, but I had also trusted my grandfather and he hurt me. My partner understood. I don’t know how and why but he was okay with me testing him. In his place I would have been hurt, but he understood.
Two years later I had my second daughter, Xitlali, dealt with it a little better. Still split shifts and anxious about anyone else caring for them, and last year I became pregnant for the fourth time. I found out I was pregnant with twins, both girls. They are about to be one year old. I have four daughters. My fears now are based on national statistics; one in four women will be assaulted. This is very scary to me. I have four daughters; Tonantzin, Xitlalli, Metzli and Yoltzin and they are my reason to continue healing.
Storyteller Martha A. Noyola shares: I am a strong Xicana Activist. I am a mother of four little Xicanas that are a blessing and my strength.