Being Disowned In An Asian Family

September 06, 2018



Disown: Refuse to acknowledge or maintain any connection with.

That's the definition google so kindly gave me after I found out my family wanted to disown me. 

Being disowned in an Asian household is almost like getting everything you knew taken away and having nothing to start over with. That's not the same case for everyone and disownment is different with everything family, but it all has the same meaning:

You are abandoned. 

My disownment could have been prevented if I had given into what my family wanted. I always wanted to make my family feel proud because we share the same blood. It was easier for me to make mistakes and have no one find out because I didn't live near them. They thought I was special because my blood isn't pure like theirs. My grandmother spoke highly of me to her friends, but even she didn't know what I was doing half the time. 


My family doesn't know that I have failed ignored classes while I was in high school or that I used to sneak out of my house to hang out with other people and even the time they should've found out that I stopped going to church because I didn't like it. They still thought I was doing perfectly fine.

It wasn't until my mother started to tell them I was the primary cause of her stress that they began to have different thoughts. I still was perfect to my grandmother, and since she still liked me, I was allowed to be around.

I got disowned for something I never thought would hurt so many people. I didn't know it was a big deal because I was finally an adult and wanted to make my own decisions. I didn't want to go to college three months after I graduated, I wanted to live in the Philippines first and then go to school. That is the reason I got disowned. 

Because I didn't want to go to school and move back home, I became a disgrace. My grandmother got angry at my mother for not forcing me to go, my mother got mad at me for stressing out my grandmother, and my other family members got mad because I disobeyed the most powerful person in our family. 

I have talked about this before in a previous post so I won't go into much detail but when my grandmother said she didn't want me to come back, and I said I was going to live in the house because it wasn't owned by her but by my parents, that's when disownment came up. 

My aunt told me I was going to give her mother a heart attack because all of the embarrassment I put on her. I was being told I would never be allowed back and that they were looking out for grandmothers health. No one was going to help me, and I was shut out for two weeks from everyone. The only connection I had back home was when my cousin got enough courage to tell me what I had to do and that she would guide me when I arrived.

My cousin wasn't there the night I arrived two hours late. No one was going to come to get me at the airport until my mom broke down and asked if our neighbor would drive our car. I had nightmares about not being able to walk inside the house, the nights I spent sobbing knowing that my family thought I was a disgrace and the long days of me trying to figure out how I will survive without them. 

My two cousins walked me through our front gate and opened the front door. I looked behind me to see they had both vanished and my grandmother sat in the living room. She wasn't happy to see me at all. I couldn't even say hello before she started to yell at me asking why I am back here and why I wasn't in college. I didn't say much to her that first night. We haven't spoken more than a few sentences to each other. She isn't proud of me. 

I am the only person to be disowned by my family. My dad told my two aunts if they kept telling me what I had to do, he was going to shut down our connection to them. They haven't spoken to me except the time I gave my grandmother 100 USD for the house bill. 

This disownment is different though; I'm still allowed to be around them. I am not allowed to go anywhere by myself, so someone always follows me. When people ask who I am, they say I am my mother's daughter. No one will say we are related besides my grandmother's sister. I can see our neighbors whisper about me when I walk outside to see our baby ducks. I don't know how everyone found out.

A few days ago, I called my dad crying saying I wanted to come back to America. I gave into what everyone wanted and begged him to let me stay in their house until I could find an apartment and go to school. My dad was furious because I wasn't doing what I wanted anymore. He told me I wasn't allowed to come back to America until I wasn't sick anymore and that I will have to pay my way. I haven't spoken to both my parents in days. They want nothing to do with me right now. 

There is a distinct difference in our family about being disowned and being shunned. You are ignored until you can repay for what you did or until you are forgiven. Disownment is forever, and after I leave the Philippines, I will probably not see my family again until our grandmother is on her deathbed. 

I wondered why I was disowned for not going to school while my aunt stole our money, one of my cousins abandoned his son with us and said that the baby wasn't his and another one of my cousins scammed her way into Europe to be a nurse, and after getting money from her husband, she wouldn't pay for her family's hospital bills. These people got shunned and now are allowed to come around. No one ever talks about what they did. I am the first to be disowned and one of the first to go against what everyone wanted for me.

 After this, I will be alone. My family will act like they know me but want nothing to do with me. I will somehow find my way without them in this world. Some family members will talk to me, but they do not have the power to lift this burden from me. They can try to give me advice but not provide me with anything, or my grandmother will get angry. I have tried and will continue to try to get them to be okay with what I have done. I love my family more than anything, so this is something I will forever have haunting me. I have the task of going through this until I can find a way out of here.

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