Familia – What a lovely mess

Posted: July 23, 2012 in Uncategorized
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When I was a kid, I could run as if Satan was chasing me.  I had to. The bullies at school were Satan’s kids!

The idea was to run to a safe place. The teacher occupied classroom,  the church next to the school and home were safe, somewhat.  Remember,  I resided in trouble.

The first big word I learned was ‘provoked’.  I provoked, incited, prompted people into beating me. How did I do this?  I broke replaceable items,  mocked my abusers when they failed at anything, failed to clean the house properly and talked when silence was ordered.

Esteban use to beat, wrestle, mock and tease me.  And he got away with it.  He must have been 5 inches taller than my mother.  He was stronger, faster and far more obstinate than I could ever hope to be.  This, plus his good looks (so I heard) and latin charm, got him into the gringo club.  The girls loved him.  What an asshole!  Must everything go his way?

My issues with Esteban were minuscule compared to my wars with mama.  As I said before, beatings were normal occurrences in my house.  My mother’s worse crime against me was abandonment.

Many times I chased my mother’s VW Rabbit down the street as she ran away from me.  Hysterical sobbing, panicking and self-injury would follow these episodes.  After what seemed liked an eternity, she would come back,  still furious and completely opposed to giving or receiving any affection.  I wanted peace and she had the right not to be manipulated. This is what she called my attempts at reconciliation.  I was trying to manipulate her.  That assumption would cost me a lot.

Then there where days of laughs, hugs, kisses and day trips.  My needy soul needed and wanted love. More love. More love. More love.  Mama wasn’t inclined to indulge me.  I had a bottomless pit for love.  I was a pest.

The message I got from my Chicano world was clear.  Fathers leave their families.  Mothers beat and hate their kids.  There is no such thing as a protective big brother .  Clothes from K-Mart, Sears and some trashy boutique made you look ignorant.  Chicano life sucks.  I want to be a gringa!

  1. I’m sorry that’s the message you got. I too am a Mexican American and I grew up in a crazy but loving big family! Wasn’t always easy, but they give me plenty to write about. 😉


    • coconutspeak says:

      Please note that I was a child and this was my perception. The events occurred. I think it’s important to read my whole blog to get a true picture of where I’m coming from. Thanks for your comment.


  2. chicapoet says:

    I grew up in Los Angeles, and the schools that I went to didn’t have any gringas or gringos. We were mostly of Mexican descent, or African-American. The majority of course, was always made up of Mexican-Americans, so I never had a problem trying to blend in, I was surrounded by my peoples.

    My younger siblings though, attended schools in Las Vegas, NV, since we opted to leave Los Angeles when I was 20. They finished High school in Clarke county, and their school was mostly comprised of caucasians, some Mexicans, and a lot of African Americans.

    In a way, I am envious of their school upbringing. They got to collaborate with other cultures, whereas I only kicked back with the Mexican kids. I’m envious because by the time I got to go to the University, I went through what’s called “Culture Shock”. I couldn’t relate to my peers because we grew up in different neighbors and came from different ethnic backgrounds. The hardest was part was dealing with the fact that I was no longer the majority, rather the minority.

    It took me a while to adjust, but I must say that I made some excellent friends that year, and I met students from all walks of life. Diversity can be very educational.


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