Illustration of my identity as a lost and pensive child in Bakersfield.

Memoir: Identity Gone Dark in Bakersfield and Celebrated in Spain

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with songs still inside them”- Henry David Thoreau. I never really did give much thought to my origins and identity as a young child in Bakersfield, California. I became more preoccupied with just trying to have a fun and memorable time, but that soon vanished. With a fact so outrageous that it dinged my entire conscious completely as a result. In this article, there will be a greater understanding of my origins and total backstory going between Bakersfield and Spain. Through a series of daunting instances, skeletons in the closet, and lastly, a great shocking factor that will stun to the core.

Rise of an inquisition

Early Childhood Home in Bakersfield, California. Where my journey began to the awakening of my identity
Early Childhood Home in Bakersfield, California. Where my journey began with the awakening of my identity and reconnecting with my heritage from Spain. Image Source: (

For as long as I can remember, my household consisted of my mother, her first husband, and me. I knew she had a rough past with her own family. Since she told me tales of how she lived in the streets and foster homes as a runaway. However, something never completely added up in terms of how I came into existence. All I knew of was that she was a teenager when she gave birth to me and later married her first husband and became pregnant with my sibling. Aside from those inquiries I had, my early phases of life in 1990’s Bakersfield was great.

A Simple Life in Bakersfield

Myself as a child in the 1990’s at a Halloween school party as a Pirate in Bakersfield. Overall connecting with my heritage from Spain as there are certain renowned figures that come from the country.
Myself as a child in the 1990’s at a Halloween school party as a Pirate in Bakersfield. Overall, it is connected with my heritage from Spain, as there are certain renowned figures that come from the country. Image Source: Liked videos – YouTube

I can still visualize that jubilant boy bouncing on giant balloons and causing mischief around the neighborhood. Followed to become notorious in my maternal family for rough playing with my aunt’s barbie dolls. By bouncing them off the wall and laughing at their messed-up hair.  Things seemed decent then, but there was still a lot to learn and live through for that innocent child. According to my mother, when I was two years old, my sibling had died because of a miscarriage. It never really phased me regarding the event until I reached my late twenties. Due to the significance of the total situation that it brought upon my life. In summary, there were plenty of events to play out.

Identity in the making

Illustration of my identity as a lost and pensive child in Bakersfield.
Illustration of my identity as a lost and pensive child in Bakersfield. Image Source: Albert Suárez (@albertsuarez89_) • Instagram photos and videos

With the coming of the new millennium, things took a different turn for my mother, my younger brother, and me. As a result of unforeseen circumstances, my mother’s first husband decides to leave us for a new family away from Bakersfield. Honestly, it was not as bad as it seemed, because I never really had any attachment to him. Within the next year, my mother had remarried my stepfather, who I grew under influence with for the next decade. During the years of 2001-2012, I phased through an abundance of changes that related to my development regarding my identity. With the coming of my youngest brother in 2005, there was an awakening for me.

As my stepfather was of mixed heritage, it became obvious to others in public that we were not related. Due to me being the complete opposite, which played another key role in my character buildup. In all, I fell into a deep haze.

Unknown Echo

I felt like my overall character was put to the test this time because, for once, I realized where I stood. I never reflected on my mother’s first husband, or new stepfather physically, since we were of different ethnic backgrounds. So that only added more confusion to my questioning of who I was. Since I could never fit into the literal picture of the family I grew up with. To add, I admit that I envied my youngest brother for that reason. Even though my middle brother and I were never treated any differently, it was a rude awakening for me. Due to the fact that I was reminded of family portraits. To be nothing more than a shameful fragment of a hidden past. I felt like this was a focused and contemplative time because I became ready to finally learn about my obscure origins.

Character Breakthrough in Bakersfield

FamilytreeDNA results to my origins and total Identity going back to Northern Spain. The numbers are Ninety eight percent Iberian and Two percent Brittonic celt which is ancient DNA going back fifteen hundred years.
FamilytreeDNA results to my origins and total Identity going back to Northern Spain. The numbers are ninety-eight percent Iberian and two percent Brittonic celt, which is ancient DNA going back fifteen hundred years. Image Souce:Media Tweets by Gabe Berreteaga (@herr_moi) / Twitter

After the blossom of adolescence took hold of me, my physical features became more apparent. Meaning that my mother’s first husband was not my biological father as proposed. Due to possessing fair features like emerald eyes, fair skin, strawberry blonde facial hair, and light brown hair. Where, in contrast, he was completely dark-featured being Cahita Native American. In truth, I was not shocked by the fact because I think I always knew deep down. Which showed in my first seven years spent with him. As I would call him by his first name rather than dad. Even though he is not part of my life for good reasons, I still appreciate the heart he showed. By adopting me and taking me in as his own. It was hard to digest it all at the tender age of seventeen, but it helped my evolving identity greatly. In essence, I received closure.

Moment of Truth

As a couple of years passed and DNA testing became popular, I decided to further my research into my daunting origins. Finally, as my results come in, it reveals that I am one hundred percent Spaniard. In addition, I also discovered through cousins the locations of my unknown father’s base in Spain, being Navarra and Vizcaya. It is situated north of the country bordering France, Gizpukoa, La Rioja and Aragon. Growing up, I knew from my mother’s side that they were from Galicia, Asturias, and Cantabria. But to finally realize this fact was like adding the cherry to the top of this situation. As excited I was to know more about my origins, I found myself sad. For the reason of still having to discover the identity of my father and the story of how my parents met. In sum, my character development was just beginning.

An Unfortunate Genesis to my origins

Visualization of my Spanish heritage through cathedral art found in Burgos, Spain overall highlighting my identity.
Visualization of my Spanish heritageCulture through cathedral art found in Burgos, Spain, overall highlighting my identity. Image Source: 5 senti 2 – cupido (letra) – YouTube

Moreover, I learned that my father was an exchange student that came to study in Bakersfield. Taking place in the spring of 1992, he had a temporary residence with a host family. As a result, they happened to be the same ones that fostered my mother. So, from that short time spent together, I came, consequently. He knew of my existence but chose not to embrace the role since he was only eighteen. Followed by not wanting to shame his family since they allowed him to further his technical skills abroad. Eventually, he returned to Spain, but my mother was left behind pregnant and alone. Luckily, she met her first husband a couple of months before I was born, and in return, he later proposed. Giving her a sense of hope after being in harrowing situations for too long. On balance, learning this story aided in building my identity.

Rain in Bakersfield

After discovering in better depth this sad story, I felt pity for my mother. I used to think she was just being bitter or overly negative when questioned on the matter. But I was entirely wrong. As I continued throughout my years in college, I started to become depressed yet motivated on my road to success. To illustrate, when I began working my first job, I found myself obtaining random comments relating to my age. I remember there was this former classmate of mine that I had not seen for years with her mother. Then as they left, I could hear the mother asking if I had flunked. Due to my face appearing a bit older than claimed, which I laughed off at first, but it gets better. With additional time passing, I find myself focused more on my studies. In all, my identity was seeing progress through new experiences.

Identity Crisis

Grandparent’s chair reimagined before revealing my identity in Bakersfield.
Grandparent’s chair is reimagined before revealing my identity in Bakersfield. An inside look through them perspective. Image Source:(

As time continued, I realized that I was ready to visit my cousins overseas in Spain. Followed by learning more about my total identity. So, I started the process of changing my legal surname to my rightful one. That takes almost six months to complete which lastly leaves the feat of achieving a passport. Before I go to sign up for my passport, I remember while leaving my grandparents’ home, I got interrupted. My grandmother told me to take a seat because she needed to talk to me. I am anxious and eager to leave, but she tells me to cancel my plans. Worried, I let myself become available to what she has to say. As a result, she confesses that I am two years older than my apparent birth records indicate! Due to covering up my mother’s scandal and shameful act she did to the family.

The Disclosure of My Status in Bakersfield

Since my mother was an unwedded sixteen-year-old with a “Misbegotten child”, my grandparents decided to cover up the fact of my early arrival to the family. As a result, the year they put on my birth record was the same year my deceased sibling should have been born on, adding to my outrage and sorrow. At first, I was in denial, but something inside me suddenly clicked. Going back to the comments I would receive throughout the years, from people at my work, school, and doctors regarding my age. It all started to align together. I know my mother was embarrassed about my situation, but what hurts most was the lies. I have always known that I was out of place throughout my life in terms of appearances and so forth. But to finally get that confirmation was the last tie to the loose end of the total mystery.

A New Hope and Redemption for my Character

Plane window view to Spain skyline, representing the identity to my heart.
Plane window view of Spain’s skyline, representing the identity of my heart. Image Source: (

As harsh as everything was, I found myself picking up the pieces for this ongoing issue. I was able to change my complete identity back to its original state legally. However, the damage was done. Even though I lost two years of my life by being kept in the dark. I also repaid the debt to my lost sibling by letting them rest in peace and no longer living their life. I had my identity at last. In due time, I was able to obtain my passport and return to my homeland by visiting my cousins. It was a real spiritual and emotional experience because, for the first time, I felt like I belonged. Plus, with others sharing so many things in common with me just left me touched overall. I had never felt so warm and welcome. In total, tying up loose ends to my painful past became rewarding.

I have retrieved some answers to my daunting origins, but maybe it is best for me to finally start living. In addition to further building my life away from all the negativity that I was enveloped in. For once, I can say that I love myself and the person I have become, because I can achieve whatever I wish. Meaning that my will finds itself endless as I always keep moving. Overall, it makes me a survivor in whatever endeavor I overcome. Closely, I am no longer a prisoner to that past that trapped me for so long. As I am now free from its major grasp.

Significance of my total Identity gone dark


The town of Pamplona, Navarra in Spain where my Fathers family resides along where my identity and total origins can be found.
The town of Pamplona, Navarra in Spain, where my father’s family resides. Where my identity and total origins can also be found. Image Source: (

In conclusion, I may have been abandoned, but I never abandoned myself. I will continue down my path. Followed by proceeding with the learning process of what else life must throw at me. Regardless, I have never been more at ease than at any other point in my life. As a result of now knowing the truth about where I stand. Then, I continued by having a clearer image of who I am as I was near close into my thirties. Moreover, I may never know my father’s identity or why he never looked back, but that will never stop me. From learning more about myself. Concerning my culture, heritage, and overall identity. Since there will always be a place for me in Spain.


Works Cited

Barker, Sophia (Zero 7) Spinning. 2001

Beam, Julia (Fantasia para un gentilhombre. III) Españoleta. 1988

Denécheau, Daniel Ces Heures La. 2007

Flaco, Pimp (Cupido) 5 Senti 2. 2019

Greene, Weatherly, Earnest (Washed Out) Time to Walk Away. 2020

Krull, Cecilia My Life is Going On. 2017

Rousseau, Pierre (Paradis) Recto Verso (Le Colisee Remix). 2016

Stefani, Gwen (No Doubt) Simple Kind of Life. 2000

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