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.