#leapfear Day 12 – Laura

I think Laura’s story touched me in a profound way.  I always have a soft spot for immigrants and children of immigrants.  Both my parents were immigrants so I feel an invisible connection.  I think it takes an extraordinary person to leave “home” and create a new home.  I think there is always a sense of being between two worlds.  Part of each world but never really in either.  A kind of limbo. Yet, there is always a fierce will to make it work.

Laura has a quiet grace mixed with a mischievous nature.  I’m glad that she hasn’t lost that. In fact, I think she is stronger and has a bit of grace in her every thought and act.  Once again, in spite of enduring things that would make many of us crumble, Laura has shown us that if we have a why, we can endure almost anything.  Laura’s why is so clearly her children.

I asked Laura to include a translation to her answers to the questions to reach even more people with her powerful story.

What changed that made you realize you were living a life of fear?

Just being an immigrant in Canada was hard, especially when you don’t have friends or relatives who can give you support in any way. Add to that, living with an abusive person, with whom you think you are in love, but that person just used you for his own interest making your and your children’s life a living hell.  And because you are afraid, you stayed in that horrendous relationship feeling trapped until finally, after years of abuse and going through so many terrible events my youngest child was born. Wendy looked healthy until her third month. She spent most of her two years of life going back and forward from the hospital. Final diagnosis; West Syndrome (Infantile spasms); Global developmental delay and Autism.

Nobody was there for me even though I was living with my children’s father he wasn’t of any help. On the contrary, believe it or not he got really upset, mad that I was not to be able to work and just taking care of my disabled daughter. So, I made a decision . To leave as soon as my daughter was getting better.

Siendo emigrante en Canada fue difícil, especialmente cuando no tienes amigos o familiares que puedan ayudarte de alguna manera y sobre todo viviendo con una persona abusiva con quien piensas estás enamorada pero esa persona te utiliza solo para sus intereses personales,  haciendo tu vida y la de tus hijos un infierno viviente y solo, por tus temores , permaneces en esa horrenda relación sintiéndote atrapada hasta que finalmente, después de muchos años de abuso y pasando muchos eventos terribles mi hija mas pequeña nació. Wendy se veía saludable hasta su tercer año de vida. Ella estuvo en el hospital los dos primeros años de su vida, yendo y viniendo. Diagnóstico final :  Sindrome de West ( espasmos Infantiles); Retraso en su desarrollo y Autismo. Nadie estuvo ahí para ayudarme aun cuando yo vivía con el padre de mis hijos el no era de ayuda, al contrario, creanlo o no. el se molestó mucho, estaba muy enojado porque yo no iba a poder  trabajar y estar solo cuidando a mi hija con discapacidades. Por lo tanto, hice una desición. Dejarlo en cuanto mi hija se recuperara. 

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Once you realized that you were living a life in fear, what stopped you from moving forward? What held you back for so long?

When I decided to leave the relationship and look for help I wasn’t lucky. Not having enough money because I was unemployed, I had to look for shelters but they turned me down because we were too many (my four children and I).
I had to plan my escape even though it wasn’t really a escape because since I was pregnant with Wendy he was kicking me out of the house.

Unfortunately Wendy got worse and was in the hospital for almost two months, being so sick, almost dying three times and when she finally came out of her coma and recover a little, we went back to our hell.

Cuando decidí dejar la relación no tuve suerte. No teniendo dinero porque no tenía trabajo, tuve que buscar albergues pero fui rechazada porque eramos muchos (mis cuatro hijos y yo). Tuve que planear mi escape aun cuando no era relamente un escape porque aun cuando yo estaba embarazada con Wendy el me corría de la casa.
Desafortunadamente Wendy empeoró y estuvo en el hospital casi dos meses, estando muy enferma casi mueriendo en tres ocasiones y cuando ella finalmente volvió del coma y e recuperó un poco,  regresamos a nuestro infierno.

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Once you did take the leap, what did you have to let go of?

When I took the leap I had to let go many things: my pride; shyness; social anxiety, so many fears.
I was unaware of services in Canada because I was isolated. My children’s father didn’t allowed me to listen to the radio or watch TV, talking to people other than his friends, was forbidden. Looking for help wasn’t easy; among all my fears, the language was the main barrier.

Cuando tomé el gran salto tuve que dejar muchas cosas; mi orgullo, timidez, ansiedad social, muchos temores.
Desconocía de servicios en Canadá porque estaba aislada, el padre de mis hijos no me permitía escuchar el radio o ver TV, hablar con la gente que no fuerna sus amigos o conocidos era prohibido. Buscar ayuda no fue fácil; de entre todos mis temoresel idioma era el obstáculo principal.

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Once you let go, what did you find on the other side that was worth taking the leap?

I thought I was a failure in all ways especially as a mother.
When I took the leap, I asked myself several times what I have to learn of all my tribulations until finally I could recognize the strong woman I am through my children. I am very proud of my children who, even through the bad experiences, they faced all of their demons to become great persons. I learned from them to be strong and because of them I found myself.

Pensé era un fracaso en todos sentidos, especialmente como madre.
Cuando tome la gran desición me pregunté a mi misma muchas veces que debía aprender de todas mis tribulaciones hasta que finalmente pude reconocer la mujer fuerte que soy por medio de mis hijos. estoy muy orgullosa de mis hijos que  confrontan todos sus miedos, temores y traumas para ser unas mejores personas. Aprendí de ellos a ser fuerte y por ellos me encontré a mi misma.

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What would you tell someone whose fears are still holding them back?

According to what I lived being an immigrant, I will tell them not to be afraid and look for help. Don’t give up easily. Don’t worry too much so, you can think clearly. There are good people in the world. You are not alone.

De acuerdo a lo que viví siendo emigrante, les diré no tener miedo y buscar ayuda. No se den por vencidas fácilmente. No se preocupen mucho para que puedan pensar claramente.

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Is there anything else you would like to share with people on the blog?

I am going to share what my older daughter told me once; “Mom, start giving to my little sisters good memories”.
Believe me, that statement coming from a child who lived the hell we were living is strong. My daughter is married and works with children with any kind of disabilities. I am trying my best to follow her advice. I feel happy and I am a good mother.
So, to you, I pass my daughter’s advice:

Give your children good memories.

Compartiré algo que mi hija mayor me dijo una vez. ” Mamá, comienza a darle a mis hermanitas buenos recuerdos”. Creánme, esa declaración, viniendo de una niña que vivió el infierno que estábamos viviendo es muy fuerte. Mi hija está casada y trabaja con niños y adultos con cualquier tipo de capacidad especial. Estoy haciendo lo mejor por seguir su consejo. Me siento feliz y buena madre.
Por lo tanto les paso el consejo de mi hija.

“Den a sus hijos buenos recuerdos”.
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