Everyone has a family, but not everyone has the same family dynamic. I recently thought of why I would be scared of commitments to people. I overheard my brother and mom talking about a traumatizing experience that happened when I was in a kid, around Gr. 5. My aunt, who I’ve never seen before, came from Hong Kong for the summer and one day, she just starts yelling at my dad, insisting that my mom was mental and needed to go see a doctor, saying he’s a failure, that he should get a divorce, etc all for no reason at all. Of course my mom wasn’t mental! Hey, she’s the one with a university degree. I wasn’t old enough to understand much but I just remember her yelling, pushing him into a corner, and seeing my dad cry. Her daughter, my cousin, then yelled at my dad for making her mom cry and slapped him. My grandma and my other aunts there didn’t say or do anything. Me and my brother were pushed into the washroom, restrained by my other aunt, because I tried going over to my dad. They were my family. That is not family. Family is supposed to be there for one another, to love them unconditionally, or at least stand up for each other, for what’s right. You might not be friends with someone anymore, but you’re related to your family forever whether you like it or not. How could I trust people when the relationship I viewed as the safest, loving relationship was seen to be full of bullying, tension, and hate?? I didn’t understand why it would be like that. I remember having big family dinners when we were younger. Those stopped. I didn’t get to experience what it was like to talk and hang out with cousins. It was like we never existed. Family? What is family? Awkward weddings and judgmental questions galore. My mom says my dad spoils us. I don’t blame him. He really showed me what love is. What family is. He taught me that family is not just the people who are blood related to you. You can care for others and treat them like family with the same fervor and compassion. He’s always visiting people who are sick or who are in need of a friend. He’d rush home from work to eat a quick dinner then rush to buy flowers and go for a visit before it was too late in the night. I wish I could be like him. I don’t know how he got up after what his family had done to him. But what I do know is that he did it and was able to be a stronger, better version of himself. This is probably another reason why I do so many things for my brother. There’s just something in me that wants to protect him, to be the sister that my aunts were not. To let him know that I’m a big sister who loves him and is always there for him. Because that’s what family is for. When friends ditch you, when the outside world judges you, family is the open arms waiting for you at home. “I’m gonna fight for what we got, cause I believe in family”¬†


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