Listen to Kendy's Story:
Bird flying towards a sunset and away from a broken link chain.
I am Kendy, a 31 year old Mexican woman, born in the city of Leon, Guanajuato, I am married and have four children. I immigrated to this country at the age of 11 and for 7 years now, I’ve lived in Trempealeau County, Wisconsin.
I am a dreamer, so expressive in my feelings, that when I was a little girl I dreamed of being the best mother in the world. I painted a world of colors in my mind and imagination, perfect, easy to live in and to build anything that I wanted or envisioned. I dreamed about a fine and beautiful castle, full of unicorns, horses, with a perfect family, children and a husband, that hero that would be with me the rest of my life. But as time passed, my life was very different from what that little girl had dreamed of.
I experienced for the first time what the majority of adolescents go through, my first heartbreak, which would turn me into the mother of a beautiful daughter for the first time at the age of 15. I felt at that moment that my castle was collapsing into a thousand little pieces as a result of that failed relationship and my decisions as a teenager in love. It was a consequence that forced me to mature, there was no other option for me, I had to do it. And it was a very painful and difficult process imagining that I would no longer accomplish that beautiful family I had dreamed of.
As time passed I was blessed with two more princesses and that prince I had dreamed of, and God gave me again the opportunity to fall in love and begin to dream about that family I longed for. Finally my world had been completed with that family I had dreamed of. It wasn’t easy, there were many years of pain and learning where many times I felt guilty because in the process I was failing as a mom. I was still very young, being a girl creating other girls, literally, girls that motivated me to leave to fight and face life, my reality, because they depended on me. I am responsible for who they will be in the future and they need a strong, brave mother, a shelter where they feel protected, emotionally at peace, and economically stable because it is very important to have this economic stability too.
Each one of them brought a great blessing to my life, lessons that I learned and that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It’s been fifteen years already in my role as a mother and they are the engine of my life who give me the strength to keep fighting, bringing out the best version of me. I strive to leave marks on their soul, to be that source of motivation or inspiration, hope, empowerment, to dream big, so they, themselves, can shine their own bright light, and never allow anyone to put it out. Those girls are my most marvelous story to tell in my life, they are that chapter that I never want to erase.
Professional photo of Kendy’s children.
Once God had given me the opportunity to have what I had so longed for, unfortunately, for many years I felt empty. My family was not filling in the gap I felt within me, because I had forgotten the most important thing: to love myself. This lack of self love gave way to physical and psychological abuse that was literally killing me alive. But how do you understand or how do you help such a confused mind? There were so many feelings present, so many questions without answers, there were terrible moments that hovered around in my mind, there were problems which seemed to have no solutions, and I never would have thought that I’d have the terrible idea of attempting to take my life. And it wasn’t that there weren’t people around me that loved me, because they were and they wanted the best for me, but I was so blind, so focused on making others happy, that I had forgotten the most important thing which was me; to love myself, accept myself, to want to protect myself, and this is what they call self love. I was so wrapped up in the vicious cycle of verbal and physical violence where I always found a justification for the abuse, and I wasn’t the only one suffering, if not what I loved the most in life, my daughters, were normalizing the mistreatment that horror, pain, injustice, helplessness, that a child has to go through this nobody deserves it. How unfair it is that sometimes we as parents allow our children to go through these unpleasant situations, normalizing so much horror, violence, and trauma. It is not right and no one deserves this type of life. But unfortunately all of this is real and continues to happen in our modern era, we have adapted our lives to many new things, but without the most important thing: advocating for our rights, to raise our voices when necessary and to understand that we have rights and we do not need to be lawyers, doctors, or professional social workers to advocate. We all have the same value as human beings. Our cultures and roots have so many wonderful qualities that are unique in their traditions and cuisine. Let’s not let all those wonderful things be overshadowed by a lack of education and macho minds.
Fortunately, in October of 2020, I had the great opportunity to hear about the program CCmáS through a follow up appointment at Planned Parenthood. A nurse would tell me about this program and she thought it would be an excellent idea for me to become a health promoter with CCmáS. And that is how I became a health promoter without even imagining what was to come, a new chapter in my life full of learning, of growing both personally and professionally, of education, adventures, and experiences I would have never imagined I’d have the opportunity to experience.
Kendy had come back to life, awakening that will to live, to dream big, those crazy unreachable dreams that to many are unreachable, but not to me anymore. CCmáS gave me the opportunity to discover that I had that great strength and capacity, that I am a woman full of virtues to be someone big in life, that I am worth a lot, and that I am not alone because the most wonderful thing about this program is that there is this great team of health promoters supporting
Four people on a rock linking hands reaching for an individual on another rock.
you. They are human like everyone else, and we all have a story, some sadder than others, but we all have a story, and a past to tell. The most important thing, in my opinion, is learning, because the most beautiful thing with this program is that we don’t only educate about health, we also learn from our lived experiences. These are not stories we invented, we have lived the reality of the community. We discuss everything and have the ability to create confianza, and the purpose of providing confianza to the community is that if there is something we do not know we research it and literally go hand-in-hand together searching for answers, helping out each other.
And so one day I realized that everything could start anew…my smile returned and I regained control of my life. I got up, smiled, sighed, and kept going. I live every moment, because today will never be repeated. I bring all the love that I am capable of giving, because maybe someday someone will need it. I never lose that hope, the storms have made me stronger and I know they never last forever. Hope lies in the dreams, imagination, and courage of those who dare to turn their dreams into reality. And to you who feel there is no hope, that there is no way out, I want to tell you not to give up and not to lose faith. There will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. Do not allow anything or anyone to steal your dreams. Free yourself from everything that hurts you, build yourself up with people who add to your life, those who motivate you to fly very high.
CCmáS has given me great learning for my life, and I know it will continue to impact many more lives because its priority is personal and communal safety. Protecting the continued access to reproductive care has its roots based in love. They condemn all forms of violence and hatred within our communities. We cannot force anyone to understand a message that they are not ready to receive but still, we should never underestimate the power of planting the seed. CCmáS is here to support you with education and resources.
A woman in a pier facing the sky with outstretched arms.
“Liberty without learning is always in peril, and learning without liberty is always in vain.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy