Mental Health and recovery from Abuse by Teresa Joyce

By Teresa Joyce

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Example text

As the day came to an end, Amá saw the men, women, and children lying mixed together in a disorderly mass. Strangers were breathing on each other’s faces, rubbing body-to-body, infants and adults. This was repulsive to her, reminding her of pigs wallowing together in the mud back home. This situation she would not accept, so she took Joe and her one blanket and unrolled it outside. She hadn’t lived in such a filthy pigsty in her own country, and she would not here, either. She fell ~ 20 ~ asleep and woke to the freshness of the morning with Apá by her side.

They were viewed in the towns as tramps, subjected to catcalls and hurled obscenities everywhere they went. Amá said that it didn’t hurt much, that they were just gente sin corazón (“people with no heart”). What did scar her heart was what she put Joe through during the months of migration with his uncles. Nightly gatherings began with a feeling of relief that the working day was over, but that soon was followed by the drinking of a great deal of mezcal. Recalling the grudges of bygone years, the men proceeded to fight, to show each other what a real hombre was.

Gone were the Mexican wool blankets that had marked each family’s territory. The fear of those taken hung in the air, along with their cries. Apá just stood there, anger rising as he viewed the devastation. The pulse throbbed in his temples. Joe frantically stormed around calling, “Amá! Amá! ” hoping the air would carry his voice to her. He ran in search of Amá, with Apá following. He looked for her in all of the places he and Amá spent time together. Apá spotted a box in the shade of a tree. The box was moving.

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