"The things that make me different are the things that make me me" - Winnie the Pooh
"Bagay sa yo ki fè m 'diferan se bagay sa yo ki fè m' m ' "-Winnie Pooh an
"Les choses qui me rendent différente sont les choses qui me font me "- Winnie l'Ourson
"Las cosas que me hacen diferente son las cosas que me hacen quien soy "- Winnie the Pooh
I am Alejandra Isha Castillo. I am Mexican, Haitian, and Belizean. I was born in America. I am 14 turning 15 el dos de mayo (that's May 2). I am Middle Class. I live in Yonkers, New York. I am a practicing Roman Catholic.
I am a ninth grader. I am athletic. I am an artist. I am an honors student. I was a cheerleader. I was a basketball player. I am a track runner. I am a figure skater. I am a singer. I am a guitarist. I am a song writer. All these things make me who I am.
I am the forgotten in my family. Forgotten because their is no place. Forgotten because they don't know your name. Forgotten because you break the normality
I still hold true for the things that make me different are the things that make me me.
I am a Castillo and a Jean-Louis. My father, a Castillo, was born in Mexico alongside the rest of his family. He often held his families traditions close to him. Often going to visit his mother's house in Izucar de Mataoros, Mexico. As most Mexicans do my sisters and me included, he sticks close to his siblings at least the one in the states.
He was often interested in the sciences, drawing and writing, he loved music, cleanliness and organization as well. It often got him upset when i did not understand certain material from school. Or when I neglected to clean my room.
At times it felt like he did not understand me cause I did not understand or appreciate the Mexican traditions as much as he did. When walking in the streets people often questioned weather i was even his child or not.
I am a Jean-Louis and Castillo. My mother, a Jean-Louis, is both Haitian and Belizean. Born in Queens, New York. My mother was nonetheless raised in Haiti only coming back to the place she was born for summer breaks. being the third oldest of seven she often helped to raise her younger siblings. When her parents took trips to New York during the school year leaving the kids to mind themselves. She fed seven mouths three times a day with ten dollars. By age 7 fluent in three languages. In the words of Anne, she had a hard-knock life.
When her family moved to New York permanently she attended Dewitt Clinton High School. Still helping to raise her then three younger siblings, one of which did not even speak English. She still studied hard. Putting her academic career on hold to pursue her talent and love of cooking. Going through culinary school with two kids already, who at the time was 6 and 10.
Sticking close to her siblings, parents, grandmother, cousins and aunts. Haiti never left her, growing up her father was not accustomed to change and when change did occur he often did not like it. It's this trait at times often makes he think her side of the family does not understand me and almost appear at times to shun me.
My family is one that likes things to go a certain way. Being that my mom and five out of the six siblings grew up in Haiti, they are used to different things than my cousins, siblings, and me. While my cousins and siblings may be able to conform to the way my mom and her siblings think, I can not. This often time causes my family to not understand me, and at times even flat out ignore me.
I've seen and heard the things my mother had to go through. However she always tries to hide this, growing up and seeing her hide her emotions. It made me think that to be strong is to not let people see you cry, to not let people know they have affected you with their words or actions. The struggle of being a single mom to three girls two of which are teenagers, working full time, etc are just some things she has to deal with.
My father was in my life for about seven and a half years. Growing up I knew that I had more siblings than just my two sister. I was aware of the fact that I had two brothers. Though they were my step-brothers, I only ever thought of them as my brothers. I saw my father often, until my older brother got sick and he had to live with them. I had always seemed to get along more with my father's side. My cousins were always closer to my age on his side. However I did not get to see them often.
It was during 4th grade year that I truly started to realize that my life would't go back to how it use to be. My father wouldn't be in my life, nor my brothers or anyone from there side of the family. I wouldn't continue to get to see my friends from the public school i attended. It was fifth grade year it happened that was the year I lost them. I lost most of my friends from Ampark, my old school, My ex-best friend decided that she didn't need me around anymore. My sister realized that boys don't have cooties and let her friends bully me. What hurt the most is that the one person that swore they would never leave left. It was then I realized I am the forgotten one. The one that at family occasions job is to merely watch the kids and even then the kids don't like listening to you. When you bring up things that are important to you or that was a big accomplishment, its never enough you need to work harder or perhaps even oh ok thats nice then they continue to talk about themselves not giving your acheivement the attention it deserves
After a while as sad as it is, you tend to accept what they say as facts. That is at least until you find something that may lead to you questioning your reality. The very fabric of your being, is what was told to you true? You question this and these questions often would make one want an answer. But not just any answer, no the truth is needed to extinguish the feeling. However as a Castillo and a Jean-Louis this isn't allowed to be yourself isn't.
However there is always a few people in the family that aren't like the rest. Family married in, cousins of different backgrounds, pets, best friends, even sisters as evil as they are. They help you see it will not always be this way. No offense to anyone but our Haitian side, which often times is the more aggressive side, does not always have to be the forefront of our personalities.
Being of a middle class standard, my mother tries her best to make sure that my siblings and I are happy. That we have everything that we need. Good education, nice place to live, good community, nice cloths. Often times we don't have the latest trending sneakers, clothes, heck my older sister and I's first phone was what is known as an Obama phone.
Being that my mother cares so much about my sisters and I, religion was a big thing for her. Just as it is a big thing on my father's side. I remember one summer it was the summer before i was to enter the third grade my mother, two sisters and I went to visit mi abuela en México. Our second week in Mexico she took my family and I to a former castle changed Roman Catholic Church. To little me it was huger than huge, yet now thinking about it and my 5" self it probably still would seem that way. It was so beautiful and had an amazing statue of the the blessed virgin Mary. Anyways i'm getting a bit off topic back to my maternal side, ah yes church, religion being a big thing. As it probably will stay It still is a big thing for her, we are Roman Catholic,it is the religion that my mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and so on grew up with. often times when something is wrong they say "Pray, God will help, he is your only friend, he knows what to do".
So as expected when i was diagnosed with Chronic Migraines the first thing my mother said after leaving the doctor's office was "Well all you can do now is pray...." My grandmother just told me to pray the rosary and go to confession. Yet even before the doctor visit I knew that I had migraines and self-diagnosed myself with chronic migraines. My father as well had chronic migraines just as my mom's mom and my mom's mom's mom.
With a family such as mine, you always have a place to go. On both sides as much as it seems not. They try to fit you into some part of the family. So everyone has a place...even the forgotten one