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Growing Up In a Latino Family



Whenever I talk about family I always say, you know something to the extent you know, um, ‘I'm not trying to misrepresent my family. I care and I love my family. And like all American families we're just going through some problems.' I...I...I wanna get that out there. I want to put without doubt, hey I have problems with family and we're working at it because it's important. A lot of people go through it. But, no one really talks about it so I want to be that guy and talk about it.
Growing up in a Latino home has both its pros and its cons. Pros would be having a strong support from lots of family and a really strong sense of matriarchy. But a con, especially when I was trying to move up and just get out of a bad situation, ironically, it was the matriarchy. In my family there is a strong sense of family whether you're an aunt, an uncle or a cousin. A lot of people have equal say in what goes on. But, when I went into foster care and I didn't see eye to eye with what my aunt, my mom or even my grandmother was saying, about my situation at home I felt like abandoned, I felt confused, I felt hurt. That these people, who I always agreed with all my life, and to some extent agreed with me a lot, were shaking their heads no; that I was wrong. That I shouldn't go to foster care and I should stay with my mother. And as a young Latino male it is important that I take care of my mom, that I do everything in my power to make sure that she was safe. So when time came and I made my decision to go into foster care it was really difficult and even to this day it still kind of hurts. But I had to make a decision. If I'm ever going to get better and I'm going to succeed in life, I had to cut off the ties that weren't helping me get to where I needed to be.
So, I took a respite from my family. I decided that maybe if I'm not getting the encouragement or if this is too much stress because of one particular issue, it's better to choose my battles wisely and to just stay away from family. At least for the time being. At least until I graduate cause I was 15 at time. Graduate at 17. At least until I start to bring up my grades when I get to college so I can focus. So I decided I'm not going to call family as much as I used to. I'm not going to hang out with my aunts and uncles who just don't get that I don't really want to talk about what's happening right now. I decided to just move on and to accept that this wasn't going to stop overnight. But to believe and have hope and faith that one day we can all be reunited and I can feel accepted again into my family. Knowing that, although we may not agree on everything, we can at least come to some sort of common ground where we can try to see eye to eye.