To Those Who Struggle With Family.

I have never felt like a part of my family.

I lived in Colombia for 10 years with my amazing family of cousins and uncles and aunties, a very loving grandma, and a great number of family friends. 

I had no knowledge of my family that lived in London, or that I even had family that lived in London, until the day that I moved. I was 10 years old, and I was in the company of strangers… My grandma, my aunty, my two cousins, and my uncle. This was my family now. 

10-13 years old:

In the first years, I became close to both of my cousins, one was a year younger than me and one was five years older. For some reason, my grandma treated them a lot more different than she treated me. She played with them, bought them presents, talked to them, got to know them, all that loving grandma stuff!  My grandma tried some of those things with me, but I could tell it was a chore. Any present wasn’t personalised, she didn’t joke around with me, and I knew that she knew nothing about me. She would use me to make my slightly “chubby” cousin feel better, making fun of my weight – at this point I was very underweight. 

13-17 years old:

In the middle years, I became quieter, I didn’t speak to even my cousins. Our friendship had faded because that’s when I started to develop “the anxiety” which, in all honesty, had been there since the start. I physically couldn’t bring my words out, and especially not in my new language, I was very self-conscious of them criticising my English. So I stayed quiet. At this point, I was so alone and I had no one to talk to that “the anxiety” became more serious, and it was not just anxiety anymore. 

17-20 years old:

Fast forward a few years: I am now in my late teens. The dreaded late teens where you don’t feel like a part of anything. Not feeling like a part of your family is one of the worst feelings you could have on top of that. I was completely alone. My parents were out working hard so I barely saw them, I still couldn’t speak English to my cousins, and the rest of them? They were still strangers who I barely knew and barely knew me.

When I turned 17 I finally found a friend. A best friend who was also my boyfriend. I was so excited to meet his family and finally feel like a part of a family. That didn’t happen. However, it is not something that I was too upset over. This was the moment that I turned my thinking around and I decided to stop thinking about the terrible relationship I had with every single member of my family. Instead, I looked at what I could do better. 

It wasn’t until I was 19 (2 years ago) that I could finally speak to my cousins in English. I remember the exact date and time that I did it because of how physically painful it was to get the words out. But I had to do it. I thought to myself, what’s the worse that could happen? I just pushed the words out despite the physical and mental pain it brought me. 

I am 21 years old

About 2 weeks ago I sat down with my cousins and just talked about our day. (in English) We laughed and shared everyday things. Like a “normal” family. 

About 1 week ago I went shopping with my grandma for some shoes she wanted to send to someone in Colombia. We went to sit down in Nandos and ate together, just the two of us. She then bought me some socks from Primark. It was scary to me, but she asked me about my life, and she is now the only family member to know anything about me running a blog. She also hugged me and called me “mija”.

I see my parents more or less every day now, I feel less alone, and they have finally found stability. 

As to the rest of my family, I now speak to them too, and I am not afraid anymore. I share things with them that I could have never imaged, like how my day was. Even the simplest things I couldn’t do before. 

For a lot of us, especially dealing with mental health, feeling like a part of your family is hard. Feeling accepted in your family is hard. Sharing things with your family is hard. Some days, like today, I still feel that I am not a very important member of my family. They would never notice if I wasn’t there, and I do believe that’s true. But I am here, and now I have to make the most of it.

What helped me deal with this is to realise that they have their own struggles and their own ways of being. People are allowed to make mistakes, they’re allowed to be themselves, and they’re allowed to have their own comfort zones.

I now realise that my grandma is naturally not a very affectionate woman, and she simply probably needed more time. My cousins are naturally very critical, but they are also very accepting and caring. I only learned this when I decided to open myself up more, as hard as that was. 

I also learned from this that I am going to try to have the best relationship with my own future family. I want to have a big family so I can finally feel the love that I missed out on. I won’t forget the family that I have now, because after all, they are still my family. But this family, it’s going to be mine, and I’m going to be a part of it. 

I know this is not an uncommon feeling, and all I can say is that if you have ever felt like you were excluded from your family: I understand you and I am sorry you felt like that. 

If you ever need to talk to anyone about this I am more than happy to have a chat, my DMs are always open x

(p.s. Here’s a cute little picture of me back in Colombia. How about those 90s kids eh?) 



46 Responses

  1. What a lovely and personal post for you to write. I understand how hard this must have been to write and although I am glad now that you have found love in this family, I hate to think of anyone feeling like this. Families are complex and you can’t pick them unfortunately but I hope one day you have a family of your own and you can find some peace xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you had such a hard time. Childhood is the most important time to be supported and loved in order to approach adult live with confidence.
    But somehow you made it through all this and that makes you a very strong character, despite what you might think about yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is something I have felt too within my family and I never really felt like it was something I could talk about. My family are two families blended, my step brothers had each other and I was alone. I too felt like I was a useless part in this family machine. So I moved out and chose my own family. My grandma always said you have two families in life: your god given family and your chosen family. I loved this post and hearing about personal stories really connects me as a reader to you. Well done you🧡
    Alex x


  4. abbyheird

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of you with us! It’s amazing the change we can make through our years of living. It must’ve been so hard for you to continue to try with a family that didn’t seem to make it easy on you. But you have definitely come a long way. I am close to my immediate family but I always found it so odd how much distance there was with my aunts and uncles. I can’t imagine not loving all over my sister’s kids when they have them. It is definitely something I will do even more of because we didn’t get much love from our aunts and uncles. Thank you for sharing even though I know it must’ve been hard to do so!


  5. vince2day

    Arghhh I feel so emotional reading this . Your brave , a fighter and for all what you’ve been through you’ll be stronger. Your life is Infront of you, don’t look back and keep moving forward .

    Regards Gary v X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I told you people would care. 😉
    Wasn’t expecting it to be about family. I get how hard it can be to have to be around people who’s only connection to you is blood. I’ve struggled for years to form bonds with every member of my family and if I’ve learned anything about getting older is that we find our tribe. We are drawn to other people like ourselves and they become our family. And that’s okay. Xxx


  7. Wow this was a really great post! I enjoyed reading it. Your scenario actually made me think about my own family and my cousins from D.R. who came here to the US to live with me and my family. I never thought about how hard it was for them to adjust to a different culture and learn English. I commend you for finding a way to learn and finally communicate how you were feeling with your cousins.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, this is such a personal thing to share but I’m so proud you did! I can kinda relate to how you feel, not in all aspects but there’s certain bits that I really understand. Thanks for being brave and sharing such an emotional story and I’m sure it’ll make a lot of others in similar situations feel better that they’re not alone. I hope that you continue on getting closer to your family, Much love 😘💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Paula |The Value of a Moment

    Beautiful post, love! I’m so sorry that you struggled with connections when you were younger, anxiety really is a thief. I’m glad you’re forging those connections now, treasure them! 💓💓


  10. Ruth

    Wow for you to share that is truly amazing. I’m glad you found love back from your family. Unfortunately sometimes you have to go through things to be better so I’m sure when the time comes you will have a wonderful family and look forward to reading about it on your blog x


  11. Geraldine

    That was a really great and touching post Lavrax! It’s great that you finally got around to being able to speak to your family. I also thought it was nice that instead of blaming them you got around to see the good, not just the”bad”. I have family”issues” but there’s not much I can do to fix it at this point. I just lol ahead to the future instead. Also I’m not a Latina but I understand what “Mija” means 😂 I have friends who are Spanish so they’d say that or chica or Mami 😂


  12. Thank you so much for sharing this, it must have been really hard. I found this super interesting to read, as someone who has grown up and lived in the same town my whole life I can’t imagine moving countries! Especially not with people who you’re not close with. I like the positive end, it feels more like the beginning really – the beginning of your getting closer to your family. I hope it all continues going well for you 🙂


  13. I know what you mean about family life and sometimes it can be hard, there’s that saying ‘you can choose your friends but no your family’. I grew up with one brother, we weren’t in each others pockets or the best of friends and we don’t spend much time together however we are there when it matters. Sometimes I am sad that I never had a sister to be my best friend but then I wouldn’t have wanted to share my mum with a sister. I have 4 children now and sometimes they argue with each other over the stupidest of things, I just hope they grow up to be there for each other and support each other.


  14. This post really resonated with me, thank you so much for sharing! My parents divorced a couple of years ago and this summer I ended up moving out of my Mum’s house because we just have far too much conflict. I too am making my own family, formed of my amazing friends with a good place for my Dad too. I love the idea of family being flexible, because mine definitely is.


  15. Ash

    This was really touching. Thank you for speaking up and using your story to help others. I can definitely resonate with feeling like you’re not apart of your family. I barely speak to anyone in mine including my parent’s. It’s heartbreaking but reading stories like this gives me hope that I can overcome it. You’re amazing! xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ash

        Thank you so much, that’s very sweet of you. You seem like such a genuine person. Just seen that you have Instagram so I’ll be following that page. Even if I don’t find it in family, there’s always friends or individuals who will make me feel like I belong. xxx


  16. A Brewed Awakening

    This is a beautiful post you have written! I’m glad you were able to form relationships with the members of your family even through such hardships!


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