Posted in Bad Mexican Daughter, blog, life

The Bad Mexican Daughter – Part 4

For this Bad Mexican Daughter post, I don’t have a specific topic to discuss but I just want to talk about my recent experience with my family when I flew down to Arizona at the end of June. So I went back to AZ for my mom’s 50th birthday, she is the member of my family that I am closest to so I felt like I could not miss her birthday this year for any reason. I was excited to spend time with her and celebrate her birthday even though being around my family for 4 days straight with no place to hide is really hard. 

To save money, I decided to stay at my parents’ house instead of booking a hotel room and honestly I think that was a mistake. Just like I always do, let me just say, I love my family but unfortunately, they agitate my anxiety so much. When I am hanging out with them, especially my sister and dad, I just feel completely judged and like an alien. 

Let me explain the alien part. I am VERY different from my family. I love to read, love fantasy/science fiction/superhero movies, rock/metal music and I just don’t always connect with them about their likes. So when I am there and I am just reading or watching a certain show on TV, there is always someone in my family who comments on how weird I am. They like saying how “white” I am and that if I didn’t look like them, they would think I wasn’t part of the family because I am so different. 

I have worked really hard over the years to like and love myself. I have worked hard to not be ashamed of my interests and just who I am in general. Which means that every time I spend a decent amount of time with my family, all of the work I have done on myself seems to go out the window. I find it so difficult to like myself and not be ashamed of myself when I have people constantly telling me how different and strange I am. I know they are not trying to be mean, they are just pointing out the obvious but when I have told them how those comments make me feel and they still continue, I don’t know what else I can do besides just stay away from them. 

My sister is probably the person that says these kinds of comments to me the most and somehow makes me feel the worst about myself. She and I have always been opposites and while growing up, I was the good daughter and she was the troublemaker. Now those roles have reversed in my parents’ eyes because I choose to take care of myself first instead of focusing on the family and moving away. 

Since we couldn’t have a party for our mom this year because of the pandemic, my sister came up with an idea to reach out to our friends and family to submit a happy birthday video message for our mom. I thought that was a brilliant idea and I helped as much as I could. She reached out to the majority of people though because she had access to our mom’s phone book since they live together and I don’t. She had to point out for the entire four days I was there that she did pretty much everything by herself. She also decorated the house for our mom’s birthday, did it while I was out, and then made comments like she did this all because she loves mom so much and that she didn’t get any help. 

I just wonder sometimes if other people feel like aliens in their own family or if it’s just me. Honestly it feels like I am constantly speaking a different language from the rest of my family and I have to try so hard not to let it completely trigger my depression and my anxiety.

Sorry for the long winded rant about this. Hopefully some of you will understand my feelings and thoughts about this. Maybe there are a few of you that even feel like this too. 

Alrighty, have a great day everyone!

Posted in Bad Mexican Daughter

The Bad Mexican Daughter – Part 3

Hey everyone! Bad Mexican Daughter is back again! Sorry for the long stretch between the Bad Mexican Daughter posts. Unfortunately because of the current state of the world, I have not been in too much of a writing mood. I have pretty much just been hiding away into book after book. You guys may have noticed all of my book related content lately. Anyways, let this new post begin. 

I have mentioned before how I didn’t grow up in the happiest of homes. There were many great memories and I love my family but I would be lying if I said that I had a happy childhood. It only got worse as I became a teenager because I could finally understand what my parents had been hiding from me and my sister the entire time; my dad’s alcoholism. Well actually, it was my mom keeping it a secret, my dad usually wasn’t there. He was too busy drinking at a bar or a casino to try and hide anything. 

By the time I was a teenager, my sister and I could not stand each other. When I tell people this, they assume it’s typical sibling bickering but no, it was much deeper than that. As I grew up and learned more about who my father was, I did not try and hide my disappointment and frustration with him. I would ignore him or if he forced me to talk to him, I would snap at him. My sister is younger than me and she still didn’t know everything about his problems so what she saw was just a bad daughter being a bitch to her beloved dad. My mom had made me promise not to tell my sister anything about my dad or the drinking problem so I could not explain to her why I was acting that way towards our dad. 

The reason I brought this all up is because this is the main reason I moved away to another state as soon as I was 18 years old. For a long time, I explained it to friends and family that I was moving away because of school but honestly, I just had to get away from my dad. It killed me to leave my mom but I knew that I could not stay near my dad because I could not deal with the lies and the fighting between my parents. Before I was 18, I would do anything I could to stay out of my house all day and sometimes all night. I couldn’t be there. What I know now is that I was doing all of this to protect myself because my anxiety and depression were getting worse the more time I spent near him. 

Moving away, no matter if it was for a reason like the one I had, was not okay in my family. I think my mom understood deep down why I was leaving but everyone else in my extended family saw this move as strange and wrong. Mexican daughters are not supposed to leave their parents’ house until they are married. I had aunts, uncles, and my grandmother telling me all the time how much my parents, especially my mom missed me, how I should come back home because it would be best for my parents, that it’s safer to be at home with them. My dad’s problems were a known secret to the extended family and yet, I was the bad one in the household. How dare I leave my parents before marriage. To this day, I have family members tell me that it is good I moved back to my home state (6 years later, mind you) because my family needed me. 

What frustrates me the most about all of this is that no one in my family (except maybe a cousin or two) seemed to understand the pain I was in when I lived at home. To them, my dad’s problems were just that, his problems. I was labeled the bad mexican daughter by my extended family because moving away was selfish and irresponsible. There could be no possible good reason for a young woman to move away from home, worse to another state.

Now I am 26 years old. I still get comments when my grandmother comes to visit the family that it’s a blessing to have me back in the same state as my parents, although I should really consider moving back with my parents all together. She loves to make me feel guilty, saying things like, “I know how happy your mom is to have you near again, she was so unhappy when you were gone. Your dad too. Good thing you realized the mistakes you made and came back.” 

What only my mom and sister know now is that I plan on moving out of state again in May of this year. I have a great opportunity waiting for me in Washington so my boyfriend, my dog, and I are moving up there. I couldn’t be more excited, I have always wanted to live in Washington. My mom is actually happy for me. I don’t know if it is because she knows I am not running away this time or if it’s because I’m older but she is understanding and happy. My sister was a little passive aggressive when she found out but it was a better reaction than I was expecting honestly. I don’t really care what my extended family thinks about the move and that is why I haven’t told any of them. I still need to tell my dad but with everything going on in this world, I just haven’t had the chance. I know when I call and tell him, he will be upset at me but I’m unfortunately used to it. I will be the bad mexican daughter once again but at this point in my life, I am okay with that. Wish me luck everyone when I finally decide to call my dad with this news, later this week!

Posted in Bad Mexican Daughter, blog, emotions, family, fandom, Insecurities, life, lifestyle

The Bad Mexican Daughter, Part 2: “Family Don’t End With Blood”

Welcome back to The Bad Mexican Daughter. I hope those of you who read the first part of this series not only enjoyed it but also connected to it in someway. I know that for me, as I was writing part 1, I felt a major sense of relief. Those were thoughts I have had for years, thoughts that had haunted and taunted me. It felt good to be able to express myself freely for the first time. Not holding back at all. 

So I want to continue that feeling. Here is The Bad Mexican Daughter, Part 2: “Family Don’t End With Blood”

“Family Don’t End With Blood” has become a very important part of my life and how I see the world. For those of you who do not recognize that signing, don’t worry I will explain its origin and for those that do know this quote, let’s be friends! Anyways, this quote was said by a character in the TV show, Supernatural (one of my favorite shows of all time). He is yelling this quote to the two main characters, explaining that even though they are not blood related, they are family. 

This statement has always held a very special place in my heart. I have always been that individual that felt more comfortable, more understood with people outside of my family than with those that I share blood with. That is a very un-Mexican thing to think. My parents, especially my mom always argued with me because I didn’t like going to family parties. That feeling started at a young age, probably 8-9. I just knew that I didn’t fit in with my cousins, that I didn’t want to play or dance with my family. My mom would just say that I was misbehaving and she would force me to go to family events. 

Let me explain one thing very quickly. I came from a typical Mexican family, meaning LARGE family. Both of my parents had several siblings and cousins and those individual’s all had 2-6 kids so I have A LOT of cousins. And unfortunately for me, I have only ever truly connected with 3 of those cousins. My extended family loves parties, loud music, dancing, drinking, etc. That is not my scene at all so during these events I would find the farthest corner away from everyone with my close 2-3 cousins, if they were there, and just tried to ignore everything around me. Those events always made me anxious and uncomfortable, yet I still had to go. 

Lucky for me, once I got into high school, started honor classes and joining clubs, I had several excuses to miss those parties. Eventually the only time I would see my extended family was at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even then, I would leave early to spend time with friends or my boyfriend at the time. 

The older I got, the more certain I was that my “family” wasn’t only those related to me by blood. When I say this, I want to make sure that everyone understands that I am not saying that my blood family isn’t my family anymore. But those who I have chosen to be my new family are just as important and precious to me as the others. Family should be those who you want in your life, to share important moments with, the people who understand you. For me, the majority of those individuals are not blood relatives and that is okay. 

Sometimes, I feel bad feeling this way. Mexican culture is very strongly connected to family. Family is the most important thing in the world, next to God. I was told this my entire life. So when I say that the family I have chosen isn’t those blood related to me, its almost like a slap in the face to my blood-related family. But I believe we all have the right to feel comfortable and safe with those we call family and that is why I can’t call all of my blood relatives my true family. 

When I was younger, I figured these thoughts and feelings would go away but they only intensified. Now as a 26 year old woman, I can understand that these thoughts, these feelings are perfectly okay and this acceptance all started with that quote from Supernatural, “Family Don’t End With Blood.” If you feel closer and safer with people who are not blood relatives, that is okay. If you want to spend time with your new family more than your blood relatives, that is okay. Life is too short to continually put yourself in situations where we feel uncomfortable and strange.