A. The name Paola is an Italian name that means small. My last name, Acuna, is one of the oldest Spanish last names in Mexico that arrived after Spain colonized it. It is connected to the Latin word ‘vicuna’ that describes a type of wool. It describes a person that worked with wool or was a shepherd by trade. I was not named after anyone in my family. My name was given to me by my paternal uncle who heard it from a friend and thought it was a lovely name for his first niece. As I was handed over to my mother in front of everyone in her hospital room my uncle casually mentioned the name ‘Paola’ and it stuck.
My mother was born in Salamanca, Guanajuato and was raised there until my grandmother immigrated to the United States when my mother was thirteen years old. My maternal grandfather worked in the United States and my grandmother wanted to joined him. My mother did not become a United States citizen until her eighteenth birthday. My father was born in El Paso, Texas in a small clinic next to the border. He is the third child out of eight children and a first generation American. His family comes from a small ranch in Jerez, Zacatecas and is scattered throughout Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.
My parents met at El Paso High School in 1994, where my mother was a sophomore and my father was a senior. They fell in love and stayed together even when my mother moved to Las Cruces, NM and started attending Mayfield High School. Shortly after, my father dropped out of high school to work at the El Paso Times. He would visit my mother in Las Cruces every weekend and they were stronger than ever. Then in one day in late April during my mother’s senior year in high school, my mother began exhibiting signs of pregnancy that caught my grandmoth...
... middle of paper ...
...nditional love throughout this ordeal. My significant others are my boyfriend, Noe, and my cat, Juan Carlos. While it may seem cliche, Noe is my safe place outside of my house. He keeps me grounded during my anxiety attacks and he cares deeply for my well being. He has shown this time and time again throughout my hospitalizations and my breakdowns. He has never judged me or made me fell uncomfortable. My cat, Juan Carlos, is the one who knows how to comfort me when no one else can. He senses when I am feeling hopeless or anxious and comes to effectively comfort me through his purring. My father is my closest confidant and my mentor. He gives me advice on my day to day activities and how to handle responsibilities. I feel that I represent my 15 year old self and what she could have accomplished had she not been assaulted. I want her and my dreams to come to fruition.
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