Typecasting the Black Sheep

I feel like I’ve written this blog post before.  If I have, I apologize… or perhaps it’s a recurring circumstance in which I cannot escape. 

I’ve lived in Orlando for 15 years, born and raised in Seattle.  A long way from home.  What brought me here?  Well, I usually give 1 of 2 answers: To most, I give the generic “we had an awesome Disney World vacation and decided to stay” and for the chosen few (and you, my dear readers) I explain how I was a young mom who married her drug-dealing, illegal-alien, teenage-crush and needed a fresh new start.  In a nutshell.

Both stories are versions of the truth. The fact that I’ve moved across the county, away from family, a full support system, and stable life has defined me in ways I’d never dreamed of as an antsy teenager.  Never mind the daddy issues.  I will never deny that I am ‘one of them’.  But, there’s something to be said of the 15 years I’ve worked, sweated, strained, cried, and fought to get to where I am – a normal suburban mom.

Still.

Whenever, I visit home – Every time I visit Seattle.  I can’t escape my typecast: The Black Sheep

I try to see my family once a year, at first, it was OK.  I gave into my label.  I knew I made mistakes and work had to be done.  Of course, I was in my early twenties, so I was also very naive and yielding.

As years passed, I made steps in my career, got married, bought and built a stable home.  And today, 15 years later, my visit is still plagued with comments such as “your sister tells her sons not to end up like you” and “you’ve made so many bad choices, it’s impressive your boys are so good.”  To all of these remarks, I smile and nod.  I politely agree, “yes I don’t want them to end up like me.” Because, of course, that is how a good Asian daughter responds, right?

But, I just want to be normal – like I feel when I’m home – in Orlando.  I want my parents to hug and smile at me the way they do my sisters.  I don’t want them to have to question my decisions.  I want so badly for them to trust that I’m normal.  Despite the hard work, I’m here… Now.  I’m a normal suburban chic.  Just like my sisters.  Just like they intended to raise me.

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7 Comments

  1. I’ve seen this happen to my cousins. And my mom doesn’t hold back when it comes to her comments. It doesn’t matter what they say, but just take a clear look at how you feel about yourself. If you believe in yourself, the rest will follow. Sending hugs. Take good care, Mama! Your boys (soon men) adore you.

    >

  2. I would use you as an example as how everyone makes mistakes, some big, some small, but any size of a mistake does not define who we are as a person. Mistakes are just something that happened to us that can be learned from and overcome!

    Does your family know their comments make you feel certain they view you as the black sheep?

    • Jackie I completely agree, I constantly use my experience as an example for my children to be better than me, it’s just a hard pill to swallow hearing that my family paints this same picture to my nephews. God knows how horrible they must think I am! They probably don’t know the impact their comments make on me.. but my parents are older (in their 70’s) so I don’t think it’d change anything if I told them! Plus, I’m super hormonal right now so it’d probably come out wrong LOL

  3. It is truly sad that people hold a rod to the feet of others and never look at their own reflection in the mirror. WHO has not made mistakes and bad choices? WHO HAS learned from them and grew? Who HAS changed for the better by learning from those things? If they examine their own lives, I am sure there are regrets. The problem is, some people do things publicly where all can see and there are those who do things that are not visible to the naked eye, so they can pass judgement on others and pretend to be so holy, when in fact, we are ALL saved by GRACE.

    You are NOT a black sheep. You have made mistakes that just happen to be ones other people witnessed and that is the enemy mocking what God has done in your life. He is just using those closest to you as a tool to attempt to derail you and your progress.

    Your children are a direct reflection of who you are and what you have done by example. They follow your lead and you are obviously an amazing mom. Screw what ANYONE else thinks of you and if you must, walk away. Cut them off and start fresh. You need to start checking people when they come for you with that foolishness and let he who is without sin cast the first stone (so to speak)… Stop letting the devil remind you of your past and praise and honor God for your present and your future. You deserve to be treated with respect and with love. If you must, turn your back from the ones who are hurting you and keep your distance. You deserve so much better and I applaud you for turning your life around and living it to the fullest !

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