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Am I Nothing but a Weed? This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Ridgewood, NY
I come from one very big family. Not a family of six, not seven but twelve. And no, I do not live in a foster home, but a home with my aunt’s family, grandmother, step mom, dad, two half brothers and of course my sister and I. Everyday, I look at these people and wonder where do I belong? Most of you would probably say, you have your dad and stepmom. But to me, it has always felt as if I belonged somewhere else, somewhere away from these people. Not that I don’t like these people, in fact I love them. This overwhelming feeling of being lost and not belonging all started about eight years ago.

It was on the morning of my eighth birthday when I went from being mommy and daddy’s little girl to someone who had absolutely no idea where to go. My mom left from the constant pressure my dad gave her to bear a son. Coming from a very traditional Chinese family, the importance of having a son in the family is of course understandable. Personally, at that time, I really did not mind the separation and the divorce that had followed. Maybe because I was simply too immature and naive to understand at the time. But following my parent’s divorce, it was only weeks until my father began to date another woman who I would very soon call my stepmother.

Step mom was nice to me and sister at first. She would attend parent teacher conferences, shop for us, it was like mom was right there with us. But then, it was also only months after they began dating where they rushed to get married when we discovered that she was pregnant with my father’s child. Once this all happened and her position in the family was so called “stable”, she went from being the very nice and caring and only motherly figure I had in my life at the time to someone I would come to constantly hide from.

After months of accompanying her to routine doctor’s visits and staying by her side, baby brother was finally born, and surprisingly enough, I was happy. Happy that my father’s wishes had finally come true. All of a sudden, it felt to me that losing my mom was worth it for the happiness of my father. Not only that but I was thankful to this woman who was really nothing more than a stranger to me at the time for making my dad’s long hoped for wishes to finally come true. But it was then only a few years after baby brother’s birth where stepmom once again became pregnant with a baby boy.

It was the conception of this second baby that had eventually come to make me feel as if I were intruding on the happiness of a perfect family. A family where both father and mother loved each other and the products of their happiness. I never really knew how sister had felt about all these chaotic things happening back to back, but I definitely felt as if I were this weed that could not be rid of on a perfectly tended lawn. I felt guilty for intruding upon the happiness that was built by these people. I felt like a parasite that had been feeding off of these people for the past eight years. Slowly, my father became nothing more to me but a stranger. He would no longer care for me as he did eight years ago. My feelings, actions and opinions would no longer matter to him. Weird enough, I even started to miss those days where my dad would punish me for doing something wrong, for saying something that was bad, or even when he yelled at me for no reason.

Up until today, I still have absolutely no idea where I belong. Will I one day become abandoned by this stranger family of mine and become blown away like the seeds of a weed in the wind and once again intrude upon the happiness of others? I always told myself, “This is the twenty first century for goodness sakes! Why in the world are we women still being suppressed and looked down upon?” The influences coming from my father tell me to not only not fight for my rights as a female but also to look down upon myself. He always told me, “If you were a boy, me and your mother would never had been separated.” But is it really my fault? Maybe it is, maybe it’s not, but as for now, I am waiting for that day where I can create my own happiness and welcome anyone who just so happens to come into my life, because no one should ever have to feel as if they don’t belong.





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