"I have a heart, I have feelings, I am a person."
Updated: Nov 9
October 8, 2020
I hope this letter finds you well and happy with your beautiful family. I'm going to tell you a little about everything that is happening here.
Yesterday, I signed up to see the psychologist because I am not feeling well with all that is happening. I woke up a 3:25 a.m. with a terrible headache, very strong, pulsing in the front of my head. I drank a coffee, but I could only swallow three or four sips because I felt nauseous. For lunch, I did not eat, and then I threw up anyway. Isabela told me that I looked really bad. At 1 p.m., we went outside to walk around At 1:25, they told us we could go see the doctor, so we put on our uniforms When we were headed toward the hallway, so that we could enter the room where the official could check our bracelets and review his book to allow us to enter the other part, where they take our blood pressure and everything they need to do before you go to the doctor, I had to run to the bathroom and throw up again. After they took my blood pressure, Isabela told me, calm down. I said, I don't feel well, and she just repeated, try to calm down. I was breathing very quickly, very agitated. The nurse gave me a bag in case I needed to vomit, and I then went in to see the psychologist.
I told him a little of what the other women and the officials here to do me. I told him that I wrote a letter so that if something happens to me here, the letter will say who is responsible--the three women and the officials who are watching us, and the rest of ICE because they know very well all that can happen here. That officials let other women treat me like garbage. Doctor, I have a heart, feelings, I am a person. I am not an animal, not garbage. I cannot take any more, I am about to complete two years here. They have treated me like a person who has killed someone or a thief, and thanks to God, I am neither. The only thing I did is come to this country to ask for asylum and protection, but with everything that has happened to me here, they have already taken my life.
later that day, I was in my room with my friend Isabela, reading some papers, when an official came into the room, yelling very loudly and pointing at us, talking very quickly in English. Isabela said "No ingles" and she said "Yes, English." After that, she pointed at me again with her finger, which was only a centimeter away from my shoulder. And I thought, this official is going to hit me, and I said again, "No English." She repeated 'Yes, English," and started to yell for Jessica. She came running, The guard pulled out a chair, and Jessica sat down. Jessica translated that the official said "what game are you playing?" I said, I'm trying to spend as much time as possible outside, and no bother anyone, because some women here say that I am the problem, simply because I don't always do what they want me to do. I cannot take it any longer. This day, with the official yelling at me, I felt like I was worth nothing. I was also trying to keep Isabela from hurting herself because she told me that she wanted to die and she started to hurt her hand, but I was finally able to calm her down. I went to my room, but I became very sad, and I began to hit myself in t he face because I felt so powerless, because I cannot defend myself, and these officials don't listen to me, and they only listen to the women who can speak English.
On Tuesday, an official came to inspect my room, and I had two T-shirts under my pillow and two towels. These towels I have because if one towel gets dirty, and I ask the official to change it, he gets very angry and talks very nastily to me. So the official took my two extra shirts and my two extra towels, at around 10:30 a.m., when I was outside, listening to music and dancing. I came back to my room between 11:05 and 11:20, when they do the count, and began to get ready for my shower, laying out my clothes and my towels, and I said "wow, they have left me without a clean shirt to wear." At 12:15, I went to my friend's room and told her, the official left me without a short to wear, I have only the shirt I am wearing. I went back to my room to rest, but then I decided to tell the official that I needed a shirt because I was going to bathe, and I told her what size I needed, but she just started to talk to one of the other women. They talked for 25 minutes, with me waiting in my room. Finally, I went back to the official and said, "Officer," but she shooed me away with her hands, and then said something in English. The other women started to laugh at me. I just said, OK, thanks, and I went to put on my sweater because I did not have a clean shirt to wear after my shower. I went to take a shower, and when I came out, they were all there, laughing at me, and I wanted to just disappear. After that, my friend asked for an extra T shirt for herself, and the guard gave her one, and she gave it to me.
I told the psychologist, I cannot take this any longer, and he said, you are depressed, I am going to send you to a psychiatrist so that she can give you a prescription for tranquilizers. But I don't want to take any drugs because I am not crazy, and I think if I take these drugs, I might get sick.
But when I think I cannot take it anymore, I start to think about my mother, my nieces and nephews, my sisters, and I look at the photos of them, and the photo you sent me. I look at the photo of you and Ezra and Alex, and you all look so happy, and I tell myself, my family is a long ways away, but God has blessed me with another family so that I do not feel alone, and I have very happy to have you, Juanita. But in truth, I don't have the strength to spend another Christmas here, without seeing my family and helping my mother with so many things.
take care, Juanita. With love and hugs,