It really feels like no one understands me here. My mother-in-law and I are the closest. His brother seems to only see my skin color, and his sister seems to barley want to see me at all. She cried when we first broke the news. And not tears of joy. They were clearly tears of disappointment and fear for her brother’s future. She hugged me and said something to the affect of, “Well you’re a part of the family now so I have to accept you.” Those were not the exact words but it really did throw me off and ring to that affect. It’s true I’m beginning to stay up in my room more often. Of course, I’m never just sitting in silence or in darkness like a depressed vegetable. I mainly keep myself busy with my online courses, thought provoking podcasts, and documentaries, or just simply journaling like this. It’s not ideal; and I do feel a bit antisocial. But I didn’t start off like this. It was only as a result of how little English is spoken and how left out I feel from their conversations. Sitting in front of the TV all the time is a big “no no” in my life, period; And even worse when it’s always telemundo. I’ve tried to take interest in the soaps and news programs and use them as a way to pick up Spanish, but sometimes it back fires.
I made the mistake of asking what the name of the program we were watching was one day while my brother-in-law was in the room. “She’s retarded.” He said referring to one of the girls on the show. I sat there for at least five minutes watching what I believed to be a mother crying over her daughter’s disability. The girl did look a bit weird. She wasn’t speaking and her glance would dart towards the speaker then back down to her lap every 30 seconds or so. Eventually I had to comment, “She doesn’t even look retarded. She’s pretty! They should be grateful the girl isn’t cross-eyed or something instead of crying!” I blurted out. My mother in law didn’t understand. she was too busy crying. My sister in law didn’t pay me any attention. But my brother in law was like, “Who’s retarded? What are you talking about? Who’s cross-eyed? You’re so mean!!” Finally the television showed a picture of the late Jenni Rivera who had just passed recently. Taking another look at the people who were crying, they all looked like they could be related to her. The program was talking about her death. Not a mentally retarded person. Embarrassed, I just went back to my room. Being the butt of every joke just isn’t fun.