Hugo Yovany Muniz Tellez
16 October 2019
Word Count: 1000
In “Never Marry a Mexican” a short story written by Sandra Cisneros, the main protagonist Clamencia is portrayed as a crazy women when in reality she shows multiple symptoms of mental health disorders. The main protagonist is not a mad woman but simply a young girl who suffered from childhood trauma and eventually developed multiple mental disorders which eventually progressed into something worse.
Clamencia had went through multiple tough moments growing up which eventually led to her downfall in her life. The first event that Clamenica went through was her mom cheating on her dad while her father was dying on a hospital bed, “That man she met at work, Owen Lambert, the foreman at the photo-finishing plant, who she was seeing even while my father was sick. Even then. That’s what I can’t forgive” (Cisneros 73). This event would have an unclassified and unspecified trauma disorder which eventually would progress into something worse (Children’s Hospital). Once her father had passed away, she started feeling an avoidant attachment style, “Once Daddy was gone, it was like my ma didn’t exist, like if she died, too… Ma always sick and too busy worrying about her own life, she would’ve sold us to the Devil if she could” (Cisneros 73). This quote represents how she started developing bad attachment styles which also fits into unclassified and unspecified trauma disorder (Evergreen). The last major occurrence that added on to her mental health was being taken advantage of by her teacher sexually while she was young, “This happened. A long time ago. Before you were born. When you were one month inside your mother’s heart, I was your father’s student, yes, just like you’re mine now… And he took me under his wing and in his bed, this man, this teacher, your father. I was honored that he’d done me a favor. I was that young” (Cisneros 76). This quotation shows that she was taken advantage of sexually as a young girl and made believed that it was a favor to her by her teacher who had a kid and was also married, this would fall under the subject of psychotic depression (NIMH).
As Clamencia grew up her symptoms got worse and worse, now we will dive into her multiple mental health disorders she expresses through her trauma. First, unclassified and unspecified trauma disorder. As her mom cheated on her father, she started showing symptoms which were: emotional abuse, physical and emotional neglectance, parental separation (by death). A study conducted by Kaiser Permanente with the center of Disease Control in the 1990’s showed that these symptoms would later become more intense and lead to different mental illnesses and alcohol or different types of substance abuse. The second disorder she was suffering from was avoidant attachment style. This type of disorder is shown in her childhood as she starts to grow up and eventually become a different type of attachment where she needs to have sexual intimacy to feel fulfilled. Being affiliated with avoidant attachment style becomes more complex and difficult to diagnose what a person could possibly have. Finally, she shows a symptom of psychotic depression which is having a disturbing false fixed belief or believes. This depression disorder makes the victim feel entitled to multiple feelings where they do not believe they are correct and even make them feel like they need sexual interactions to feel completed.
After dissecting Clamencia and seeing what mental illnesses she shows, a therapist at Crafton Hills, Araceli Olmos, believes Clamencia suffers from multiple illnesses and this would be an interesting case to truly see what Clamenica could possibly have. Ms. Olmos believes Clamecia developed all these symptoms and eventually went into a deeper hole as Clamencia starts doing certain actions within the short story. As Clamencia psychotic depression developed during the short story, Clamencia starts believing she has full control of Drew’s life and son, “Your son. Does he know how much I had to do with his birth? I was the one who convinced you to let him be born. Did you tell him, while his mother lay on her back laboring his birth, I lay in his mother’s bed making love to you” (Cisneros 75). Ms. Olmos stated that this would be the deepest stage of psychotic depression where Clamencia is starting to feel that her beliefs are correct and her doings are perfectly fine. This development of Clamencia’s depression came from multiple instances from her childhood. Meanwhile her unclassified and unspecified trauma disorder worsen tremendously. Due to Drew stopping her affair with Clamencia, Clamencia starts to have sexual relationships with Drew’s son, “I sleep with this boy, their son. To make the boy love me the way I love his father,” (Cisneros 82). Ms. Olmos believes her trauma and separation from Drew is where she takes it to the extreme since she needs that sexual relationship with someone as she feels useless. Ms. Olmos stated when someone is having sexual intercourse that is their most vulnerable state. Clamencia needs special care in a form of sexual relationships in order to feel fulfilled. The last state of her developing mental health is the avoidance attachment style where Clamencia eventually starts leaving gummy bears in order to try and keep her relationship with Drew, “And while he was banging pots, I went around the house and left a trail of them in places I knew she would find them” (Cisneros 81). Ms. Olmos stated that this level of avoidance attachment style became by the feeling Clamencia did not want to feel lonely and worthless.
In conclusion, in “Never Marry a Mexican” by Sandra Cisneros, Clamencia is looked as a crazy woman who is out to destroy everything she comes across, when truthfully she is just a regular person who suffers from multiple mental health disorders which eventually worsens and becomes more profound and deep. Clamencia is a prime example of mental health left untreated shows the impact of one self’s behavior, self destruction, and social intervenience.
Children’s Hospital. “Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders in Children.” Children’s
Hospital of Philadelphia, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 14 June 2017, www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/trauma-and-stressor-related-disorders-children.
“Depression.” National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human
Levy, Terry. “Four Styles of Adult Attachment.” Evergreen Psychotherapy Center, 26 May
Olmos, Araceli. M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling. 16 October 2019
“Top 10 VCs Investing in Mental/Behavioral Health.” VatorNews, 9 Apr. 2018,