The following is something written by one of my students in Escondido, “Mia.”
“When I found out I was pregnant I got scared. All I could think of was all those people I was going to disappoint. My soccer coach had big dreams for me. I knew people were going to talk about me. I always promised everyone I wasn’t going to get pregnant until I was old enough. I went from going to do community service to being too embarrassed to even show up there. I would go to the Boys & Girls Club and do community service. Right before I found out I was pregnant I got the “Youth of the Year” award from the Boys & Girls Club. It was such an honor; I had little kids looking up to me. I had middle schoolers telling me, “Mia”, how did you get to being such a good kid? I held a junior leading position at the Boys & Girls Club. Helping kids learn to be respectful, and help around the Boys & Girls Club. I stopped going; I never showed up there.
When I finally decided to tell my mom I was pregnant I was about 6 1/2 months pregnant. I was so scared that she was going to kick me out. When I told her she told me “get out of my room, I have to think about how I’m going to support you and your kid.” After that she didn’t speak to me for about 1 week. When we would talk she always tried rubbing things in my face. She would say “you can’t go because you got pregnant.” She would tell me I wasn’t going to graduate. That I was going to be like all the other stupid teen moms. When there were family parties she wouldn’t let me go because she didn’t want the family to know. If she saw a friend or anyone she knew at the store she would make me go into the bathroom till they left. When I had doctor appointments my mom would make me walk there. I would walk about 6 miles 2 times a week. When I would walk around on campus people would stare and say that I was s*** because I was pregnant. When my family found out I was pregnant they started calling me a low life. I was called a “loser, trash, a nobody, waste of skin.” My mom’s brothers and sisters would even look at me really bad. It got so bad that I got into a depression. My boyfriend’s mom would always say “oh, he needs to graduate, he needs his rest.” Not once she thought about what I needed. At this time my dad did not know because he wasn’t living with me. When I told him I was 8 months pregnant and he got mad, but not too mad.
When I was in labor every time I would get a pain my mom would sit there and laugh at me. After I had her my mom started acting like she was hers. She started telling me I wasn’t a good mom, that I would never be as good as her. Also, she would threaten me of taking my baby away from me. She always finds a chance to put me down. If I tell her one of my dreams she’ll say “no, you’ll never get that, you’re a low life, a loser, you’re not smart enough.” If my baby cries she says “What did you do to her, I hope they take her from you.” She also says you can leave my house, but the baby stays here. The other day I told her I was going to Valley to graduate and she said, “no, you’re going to stay at San Pasqual and be a super senior so you and everyone can see you’re a loser.” But my mom is smart when she talks to others, she likes to brag about me. But around me, I’m not good enough. I have an older sister and she’s constantly getting in trouble and my mom always says she’s the best. That I should be just like her, which gets me sad because I’ve tried my hardest, and it’s still not good enough. But every morning I don’t think about all the bad things people say about me because the 2 people I care about is my baby and my boyfriend. I just want to say lots of you take advantage of the mom you have; some people don’t have a mom like yours. Take care of her because she is the one who always going to be there. I would do anything to have a mom that tells me I’m awesome; the one who cares about me because right now all she cares about is her boyfriend.”
NOTE: Rachel Asman is the Cal-SAFE coordinator at San Pasqual High School in Escondido.