It seems as if la mujer was created to suffer
She is born from blood, ripped out from the womb
Mothers cut open to bare their souls on cold steel tables
Sacrifices of the mothers before her linger in the blood and placenta which nurtured her baby when it was still enclosed in the safety of her being
All past pain and hardships subtly projected onto this new born since the moment of conception.
The mother is left empty inside, stitched up, and thrown back into the world where she must continue to survive.
She must teach her child to thrive in a body that is met with violence and exploitation.  
La mujer who deals in sangre, sudor, y sacrificio
has known suffering to the be the foundation of her existence since the departure from el vientre sagrado.
Mi abuela who was stolen from her home in Silao, Guanajuato moved to Mexico City where she would raise five children and endure beatings from my abuelo who was un borracho mujeriego.
She never divorced him.
Divorce was out of the question.
El que diran weighed heavily on her, as well as the financial struggle she would be met with.
So she stayed and he eventually found God and sobriety after 20 some years.
Mi mama was the oldest of the five. Born in Leon, Guanajuato.
At 20 she had already become familiar with the suffering.
She saw it every night my grandpa came home drunk.
She saw it in mi abuela who cried as if her tears would save her.
She saw it in the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse she and her siblings experienced.
Unable to put up with more she left home the only way she could: casada.
Se enamoro de un Norteno en Acapulco
A broken man who had just been left at the altar.
At 21 she had my sister, shortly after she would separate from my dad.
She lived as a single mom in Irapuato in a single bedroom apartment selling tamales to get by.
Ten years later her path would cross with my dad’s again.
Y para el norte se fueron.
Matamoros, Tamaulipas. ,
Home of Rigo Tovar.
Birthplace of the chingona who stands here today.
Like my hometown which has endured multiple wars:
The Mexican War of Independence,the Mexican Revolution,the Texas Revolution,the Mexican–American War,the American Civil War, and the French Intervention
I too have had to fight my own wars.
Yo, first generation immigrant carrying on my back the generational sacrifices y sufrimiento that granted me citizenship
Yo, pinche pocha, gringa, y traidora en Mexico.
Yo, pinche beaner en EU.
At 5  I learned the difference between here and there.
At 12 I learned what an affair was and how to keep secrets. The art of emotional manipulation.
At 17 I learned what sex was; el poder de usar sexo para mi placer. How my family saw me as a sucia.
At 20 I ended a relationship that was toxic, that was hindering me from growth and a sense of self. A relationship that would have placed me in the same cycle women before me fell victims to.
At 21, the same age my mom was already married and had my sister, I moved out of the house.
Soltera. Independiente.
Each war I’ve gone through has equipped me with the strength to continue the fight in dismantling a path and image that was chosen for me. One that does not and will not represent me accurately.
Matamoros, my borderlands,  has been demonized and associated with as a place too dangerous to appreciate. Its rich history and potential for a prosperous community shot down by stereotypes. Abused and exploited by a dogmatic agenda enforced by wealthy men. Outsiders.
My family has simarlily demonized me, labeled me, shamed me. They’ve tried to project their visions of me onto me. Dictating to me what to do with my body, how I must prepare to be a wife that caters to her man and later to her children, how to behave and tame my nature.
But I am the sole gatekeeper of my image, my body, my beliefs. Unlike my homeland, I refuse to be colonized mind, body, or soul.
Karla Camila Gutierrez was born in Matamoros, Tamaulipas and was raised both here in the valley and Mexico. As a first generation immigrant, life in the borderlands is a concept that has motivated her to pursue a degree in English and Cultural Studies. As a member of WAKE-UP topics she writes about are LGBTQ, reproductive rights, the marginalization of POC, sexual liberation, machismo, mental illness, among other things. When she’s not hustling at work or school, she loves to take naps, read, indulge in delicious food of all kinds, and binge watch films and series. Camila hopes to get into a job that allows her to write such as a job in the journalism field and she’s also would like to work as a union organizer. She hopes that the growing awareness of social issues will have a positive impact in the valley and that she will be able to give back to the community.

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