Category Archives: Daily life

Something bad, something good

Posted by: María

Here is a reflection on every day life and struggles by a teenage girl that has been in detention since September. I asked her to reflect on the last year, and she said, ‘this year? But only bad things have happened!’ She began to talk about struggling in school and the disappointment of not being allowed to go on a special excursion to a tourist center and pool that the majority of the girls went on. Her struggles, disappointments and anxieties are not so different from any other teenage girl living a different situation; the ups and downs, the need to distract herself from sadness, the tendency to pretend that everything is fine.

This is a great moment to reflect on survival mechanisms, on how we survive the day-to-day when the world seems to be collapsing on top of us. It is interesting to notice that the first thing she talked about was math! It is too exhausting to constantly think about the bigger picture, for example, to think about the amount of time she will be incarcerated. She focuses on the present, and her present struggle is not failing one of her classes. We can all relate to the feeling of desperation, frustration and distraction that she shares in the following poem. How do we cope when we are living a difficult moment in our lives? How do we distract ourselves? Where do we find strength?

Something bad, something good

Something bad that has happened
are tests!
I’m doing bad in math.
I have a zero
because I don’t understand.
It makes me so angry,
because I couldn’t do it.
So I just gave the test back to the teacher
and told him that I couldn’t do it.

Something bad that has happened
is that I didn’t go on the trip to the pool.
I felt like crying.
I knew that there had to be a reason,
God knows,
maybe something bad was going to happen.
I had been so excited about the trip,
but the judge didn’t give me permission,
I don’t know why.
I just saw when they were leaving.
We went up to the room,
listened to music
and started to dance.
I didn’t want to be with this other girl
who was going to cry,
because I would have cried too.

Something good that has happened
is that my family comes to see me,
to be with me.
I’m not doing that bad here
But sometimes
Damn!
I want to get out of here!
I feel so desperate to get out.
So I just sit and think and
ask God for patience.
I run around
so that the desperation passes.

Something good that has happened
is that I’m alive,
that I’ve behaved well.
I did well in the first revision with the judge.
hopefully the second one goes well too.