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StoryCorps in Oklahoma: Abuse, Triumph, and Above All, Love (Oct 07, 2011)

Mary Sosa reveals for the first time to her daughter Stephanie… a story of personal struggle, eventual triumph… and above all, love.

“I left Lubbock when I was sixteen years old to go to the Job Corps in Guthrie. I thought I was grown. On weekends, they let people in to visit the girls at the Jobs Corps. It was an all female school and I met your dad there.

He was a charmer. He was a handsome man. He was much older than I was about fifteen years older than I was. And one thing led to another and I got pregnant with Elvira. And because he was a black man and I was a Mexican, there was no turning back.

During that time, it was very much frowned upon, especially within the Hispanic community. It was just not very acceptable. So I thought that the only thing I could do was go ahead and marry him. I don’t think I really was in love with him, but there was no other choice. So we got married when I turned 18.

He was abusive. But I stayed. He imposed himself on me many times. And in one of those times when he imposed himself, I conceived you. And I never told you. And I thought I couldn’t love you. But I did… and I do.

And then, one day I just decided no more. And that’s when I left and I took my two little girls and… we made it. We achieved what he said we couldn’t achieve. We were able to live the kind of life that is comfortable and even though we have our ups and downs, we’re a family."

Produced for KGOU by Jim Johnson, with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording and collecting stories of everyday people. The Senior Producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

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