Growing Up In Violence Part Two: Fiona’s Story Continued

This is Fiona’s story continued. Her mom was arrested and Fiona and her brothers are now left to fend for themselves once again.

Read Part One of Fiona’s story here.

A few months later they had my mom’s first trial. She was losing her case. She called us and told us that everything was going to be okay. I got mad and told her everything is not going to be okay. How could she be so stupid?

It’s my 8th grade year. She wasn’t going to see me graduate. She got to see her other four kids graduate. She wasn’t going to see the one thing I was probably ever going to accomplish in my life.

She just stayed quiet and didn’t know what to say. But I knew she was crying inside. I felt bad at first, but then I just got angry.

This is the part that is most heartbreaking for me. Fiona knows exactly what she is up against. She knows that without parents and a place to live that her chances of finishing high school are slim to none. She’s such a smart girl, but the realities of her situation are not lost on her. She knows that just surviving is her main goal in life right now. At fourteen.


I include the next story to illustrate how practical Fiona is. She doesn’t have time for anyone’s nonsense. And this is the sort of thing that gives me so much hope for her and her future.

When I went back to school I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. I finally started talking to my friend Liam again. (Read Liam’s story here.)He asked me what happened because everyone at the school knew that my mom was arrested.

He told me everything is not going to be okay. I started crying. He told me to stop crying and he said that little by little we’ll get through this all. It took a weight load off me just telling him how I felt.

Later that week I saw Liam walk out of class and I saw him walking back and forth crying. Our friend Jack was with him. Jack was trying to figure out what was wrong with him and I asked Jack to leave us alone.

I asked him what was wrong. Turns out my buddy here was crying over a girl! So I smacked him. And I told him to just take a look at me.

Jack started to approach us and I said just take a look at me and Jack. His dad don’t care about him and my dad left me. His mom treats him like shit and my mom is not here with me. You have both of your parents. You have a guaranteed place to stay, a meal to eat when you get home. And me and Jack gotta be in the streets looking for a place to sleep each night.

Everything is relative.

This is Fiona’s reality. Her mom was sentenced to five years in prison for the crime she committed that day. When she is released from prison she will be deported to Mexico. Fiona’s future is up in the air. By the time her mom is released Fiona will be an adult. More so than she already is.

Fiona will graduate 8th grade this June. Without a mother. Without a father. By her own account she is worried this is the last thing she will accomplish in life. I really hope she’s wrong about that.

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