A Latina's Journey to Self-Care

Latinas are unjustly taught to prioritize the needs of others over their own. Within the Latinx framework, loyalty is a cultural expectation. For instance, familism is imparted into our children along with superstitions and the ABCs. Niñosare taught to blindly respect elders and esteem the family unit over the individual. Latinas, however, are supplied a special strain of “loyalty.” One laced with codependency and side effects of dissatisfaction and neglect.

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My Pores

I look deep into my face in a circular mirror smudged with impressions. Some fingerprints and dental debris. Did I make this mess?  Maybe they are messages from the other side? I stop and wipe them away. I pause and consider my reflection which I barely have the effort or the energy to do most days. Tiny holes and small pinpricks. I see my eyes and catch my consciousness for a second only to dart them away. Hazel and unsure.  I don’t know that person. I see instead my pores.

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Nothing Serious Please: My Misadventures in Finding Muslim Love

n a childhood where my parents were always fighting, my escapes were the idealized versions of romance I saw in movies. The years leading up to their separation were filled with my frenzied consumption of the messages I received from Moulin Rouge (love is a many splendored thing!), Rodger & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (the far superior version with Whitney Houston and the most beautiful Prince Charming there ever was), and The Little Mermaid(who fell for a man she saw once).

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Going the Distance

I am getting ready to travel again because my husband is living in Copenhagen for work. People describe our situation as “so cool.” I wish they would stop. There is nothing cool about a long distance marriage. And I’m certain the “so cool” people have never donelong-distance with a spouse working twelve hour days in a time zone nine hours ahead. These are people who have never spent a significant amount of time on a plane going back and forth. Our family planning has been suspended. My life has become a waiting room in perpetuity. 

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Lighthouse Mentality

Most of us have scrolled past this quote on Facebook or Instagram. You may have liked it or re-posted it. If you are the strong one then you know how painstakingly true this is. Like, ugh. Why is there so much truth in this statement? Somehow the people around you have created the idea that you have traveled through a magical parallel universe that rendered you emotionally void. No feelings, no heart, just empty.  

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Mirrors

I met my boss downtown yesterday. She asks me to do that every once in a while. I like her. We’ve known each other for a long time. Shared the trenches on many occasions. She wanted an opinion on an expensive top. I was just getting out of yoga and wanted to go home. But hell, I met her. The top was pretty. “Get it, it’s beautiful,” I told her.

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Ringside at the Movies

A few months ago, I was given a seat from an old movie theatre. The theatre was called The Regent, and it was the one my parents bought in 1949 when I was five. When it closed six years later, I never gave a thought to what might happen to any part of it—the projectors, the screen, the seats—but then, over fifty years later, I happened to hear that a small local museum was mounting an exhibit about small-town theatres. I contacted the curator, and told her what I could about our theatre.

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How I Discovered I have Borderline Personality Disorder

“Actually that is part of a whole therapy method: dialectical behavior therapy. I want you to do DBT when you finish up the program here. I think it’s really going to be a good next step for you.”

Those words were from D, the lead therapist for my intensive outpatient program at my local psychiatric hospital. A single assignment, and that statement, started me down a rabbit hole of online reading and research that ultimately brought me to where I am today.

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