EVENT: Understanding Domestic Violence, Alcohol Abuse, and Parents’ Divorce: How the System Failed UsEarly Childhood (age 4-8)/ Micro-, Mezzo-, Exosystems
In 2000, my mother successfully divorced my biological father after a decade of physical, emotional, mental & financial abuse. He was a Mexican Immigrant who’s conduct & behavior influenced my resistance to my Mexican roots & language. Regardless of police involvement, I knew the system was unjust & failed our safety when he was not held accountable while we fled. I learned to validate the emotions & needs of children b/c of my experience.
EVENT: Overcoming Adversity as an Adolescent of Color Throughout Middle School and High SchoolAdolescent (Age 12-17)/Micro-, Mezzo-, Exo-, Macrosystem
Middle & high school was difficult due to cultural identity crisis, bullying & judgement from family. I experienced a lot of body-shaming&remarks about my academic success as a Native American/Mexican. To cope, I played the cello and sports. Through those outlets I acquired mentors & had the opportunity to travel out of state which influenced my spirit of adventure. I challenged myself to embrace my personal growth & personal value system.
EVENT: Uncle Passed from Colon Cancer & Complications of Alcohol AbuseYoung Adulthood (Age 24)/ Microsystem, Exosystem
Throughout my last semester of my BSW program, I was heavily involved in his care & interactions w/ medical professionals. His last days taught me the importance of health, well-being, transparency & vulnerability. My family learned to value familial relationships more after his passing. I embraced the need to advocate for medical and emotional transparency w/ clients. After graduation, I challenged my family to practice emotional vulnerability.
EVENT: Celebrating Life after an 8-Year Relationship & Focusing on Personal Growth, Success and Happiness.Young Adulthood (Age 24-27)/Micro-, Mezzo-, Macrosystem
Practicing independence without a partner helped me build on deficiencies in my life. I learned that my past traumas influenced me in my young adulthood in unhealthy ways. I implemented therapeutic coping skills & strategies learned from my work w/ clients which made be a better social worker. I spoke from personal experience to be a role model. I learned to overcome survival in order to thrive which is not common experience in my family.
EVENT: “Just Married!” Learning the Ups and Downs of Life as a Married CoupleYoung Adulthood (Age 27)/ Micro-, Mezzo-, Macrosystem
After 5 weeks of dating, we got married the day after my birthday. For the next 3 years, we worked towards a healthy life by confronted history of family dysfunctions through practice of assertive communication & emotion validation. We experienced a culture clash when our value systems did not align due to our multi-racial background. I also learned about my husband’s alcohol use. My experience helped me understand my work w/ adult clients.
EVENT: Two Days After His 31st Birthday, My Husband Passed from Complications of Alcohol AbuseYoung Adulthood (Age 30)/Micro-, Mezzo-, Exosystem
I learned about my husband’s suffering mental health related to childhood & adolescent trauma. After supporting my husband through three inpatient treatment programs & multiple ER visits, my husband lost his battle to addiction at home. Through first-hand experience, I learned what addiction can do which influenced my desire to make it a career focus. I am learning about grief&loss while supporting others w/ similar experiences as an advocate.