My mother, sister, and I moved here from California when I was eight years old. When she left my father she was forced to raise two children her own. When we first moved to Detroit we lived with several different family members until my mother was finally able to get on her feet. During this time seeing my mother struggle to support us it was slowly conditioning how I viewed society without my knowledge.
Growing up female by a single parent mom I saw how often times women take on the roles of men. By my father not being in my life I had to rely on my mother or other women in my family to take place in his absence. I have always had strong women in my life that have raised me. Not having a father or any male role model in my life for that matter impacted me negatively and positively as a young girl. Often times it was hard for me to build relationships with men. Even though there was a not huge presence of males in my life there were women who taught me things I needed to know, and to be a strong woman.
Seeing a single mother work to raise us without a father it began to shape my idea of males as a whole. Whenever I would see a family on television it was always the father, mother, and children. As a young girl this would make me feel sad. I felt that I was missing out on valuable moments with my father. Knowing that my family was not what society would consider the norm made me feel different. By my father not being in my life it manifested in my life in more ways than one.
I was always a quiet child. I didn't make many friends and I often stayed to myself. By my father choosing not to be a part of my life for whatever personal reason he had made it hard for me to feel whole. As a young girl I did not know many men that were positive. This shaped my thinking as a got older. Until this day I still find it hard to let a man to do things for me because my mother always showed me that I could do them on my own.
Even though I was only eight year’s old I remember the day I moved to Detroit vividly. I remember that morning waking up and heading to the airport in my father’s van. At first I thought that we were all going to take a family vacation like we did many times before. I thought in a week or so I would be right back to my normal life. I remember going to the gate to get on the plane. The plan ride seemed short because I slept the whole time. When we got off the plane I my mother, sister, and I were greeted by my aunt that had come to pick us up.
I remember after we arrived we lived with my aunt for a while, it hard at first going from having my own room to sharing with my mom and sister. For a while we lived with different relatives until my mom was able to get her own house. I remember the day we moved I was so excited because I was going to get my own room. I recall we painted the room pink because that was my favorite color. I was able to decorated the room anyway I wanted to because it was all mine.
Even though I had to move and uproot my life at only 8 years old I was still able to adjust. While I've had some rough patches, having to readjust from moving from Los Angles to Detroit my experiences have made me who I am today. I understand that it’s not the things that don’t happen for us that define us, yet the things that we go through that make us stronger.