Mi gente — my beloved Latinx people who have courageously decided to make the trek north — your stories matter. Please know I admire you and I respect your decision to take action in your own self-care and that of your families. Your decision demonstrates profound acts of self-love and self-preservation. May you travel safe and light, keeping your heads to the sky, for you belong to this land.
Anyone who knows me or who knows anything about me usually knows that my pre-teen and teen years were incredibly difficult. I dealt with neglect and abuse in my family, starting from about the time I was 10. I was sexually assaulted twice before I even became a teenager. I was queer. I was suicidal and was a self-injurer. I struggled to find safe shelter sometimes. Few people seemed to notice, even though after I gave up trying to use my words, I still used my eyes to try and tell them constantly.
I'm 40 now, and in a whole lot of ways, I felt older at 16 than I feel now. Some days, I am truly gobsmacked that I survived at all, let alone with my heart and mind intact and rich.
A lot of why I survived is about having gotten support.
While out of town this weekend, between two plane trips and a couple late evenings up reading, I started and polished off Elliott Currie's The Road to Whatever: Middle-Class Culture and the Crisis of Adolescence in very short order.
Not only do we all usher in a new year today, but 2008 marks the start of our 10th year at Scarleteen. Holy moley! I've got some plans a'brewing for some anniversary festivities throughout '08, but I'd like to usher in the year with you with a few ideas for some great resolutions to consider adding to your own lists.