Daisy LopezWho Am I & Where Do I Stand?

I enter the world not knowing who I am and where I am.
My mom holding me tight, feeling the love of a mother.
Opening my eyes, not knowing what I’m looking at.
First words, Mama, Papa. Not even able to understand what they mean.
Taking my first step, feeling strong.
Family members holding me, telling me I’m cute and adorable but not able to know how to take a compliment.
Very stubborn.
At home lying down and hearing people argue. In my head: What is going on? Too little even to understand.
Step by step, years pass by, and I continue to grow and am finally able to understand more.

Waking up one morning to a loud banging, late night, my parents run downstairs, cops outside, looking up to my sister Bianca whose tears are dropping to her gown.
In my head: What’s going on?
My brother, Jordan, sleeping in his room.
Cops run upstairs straight to my brother’s room. Take my brother. Crying, wondering what is going on, why are they taking him?
Too young even to understand.
Living my life wondering: Where’s my brother?
Going to school, being a troublemaker, always trying to figure out: Why am I being so bad? Is it from the anger of not having my brother around? Is it from the lies they keep telling me?
A couple of months pass by, and my brother finally comes home.
Never home, always out. Looking at my mom tearing up. Not knowing what’s going on. My brother is never around. Why? I ask my mom. No answer. I ask my dad, again no answer. I ask my sister Cindy, again no answer. I ask Bianca, and again no answer.

Years pass by. Bianca and I go to first communion every Tuesday after school. Mom isn’t able to pick us up so she asks my brother to pick us up. Stay after school waiting on my brother who doesn’t show up.
The day I see my godmother and she says, “Let’s go.” I look at her and say, “No, Jordan is picking me up.” She says, “I know, but something happened.”
We go straight to her house. Sitting there, lost, not knowing what’s going on. My parents show up hours later. Bianca shows up.
Asking “What’s going on?” No response.
Confused, heart beating really fast. In the background all I hear is the sounds of cops everywhere, from Cattaraugus to National. Blocked the whole street. Helicopters roaming everywhere.
Hours pass. We go home and the house looks a mess. And my brother, Jordan, is gone.
I ask, “Why is it so messy?”
All they say is “The cops were searching for something. And they took your brother.”
My entire life I wonder where my brother is. I wonder why is my life so confusing.
Years later, I am able to ask my mom why my brother isn’t around.
She finally told me. He was a witness to an attempted murder. I still didn’t understand what that meant, but my sister was able to explain it to me. At times I think: Who’s my brother? Why is he in jail? Why don’t I have a single memory with him?
I question myself all the time. I was just too little to understand anything. Never had a brother and sister bond with him.
To this day I don’t know what is going on. I cry myself to sleep. My anger is so strong that I do things I don’t want to do. I don’t blame my brother for my anger, I just blame him for not being a brother. There might times when I take the exact steps that my brother took just so I can feel a lot closer to him.
My life has been rough. I live in a house with both parents and all my siblings.
My mom always gets me in trouble, always yelling at me, always trying to argue. My dad always hitting me for no reason. If Bianca does something bad I get in trouble for it and he hits me. I’m always arguing with Bianca, always fighting. And Cindy? If it ain’t about her daughter, it’s about food, always fighting and arguing. I might sometime cause these messes, but I don’t mean to. I love my family just as much as I love food.
It’s just with the family that I have I feel left out of the picture.
I always wear a smile. I’m always hyper happy and turning up (as they say nowadays). Everyone always thinks I’m just one happy person, but in reality, behind this happy smiling face, I’m dealing with a lot of stuff. I’ve been through a lot, and no one understands, not even my family. I act the way I act for many reasons.
My entire life, since I was little, I heard that I was adopted or found behind a dumpster. Yeah, I mean I know sometimes we joke around and say things like that, but constantly saying it messed with my head, and my mom went along with it.
So it’s more about not feeling loved and not having a family who was there or talked to me, asking “What’s wrong?”
I love my family very much, and they think I don’t, but that’s fine.
They just don’t understand: I’m just a teenager in a world full of people, looking for myself and finding out where I stand.

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