What does your family say about you?

What does your family say about you?

I don’t mean: Do they say you are pretty or smart or an ass-hole?
I mean: What does your family history say about you as a person?

I want to say that the answer is nothing. I want to say that I am my own person and I make my own decisions and none of that has to do with whatever shit has happened in my past. Saying this, I wouldn’t be totally wrong but I would not be right either.

From the psychological and biological perspective, there are many characteristics that are passed down genetically that indicate clear connections in a family line. Mental and physical diseases are part of that package.┬áSocially, the family you know and are surrounded by play a huge role in how you interpret and handle the environment around you. You learn behavior and morals from the people who ‘teach’ you behavior and morals.

So then, yes, your family is quite the talker when it comes to saying stuff about you as a person.

But it doesn’t have to!

Look at me. I am a 22 year old women who has graduated from Luther College, traveled the world, works a full time job (that I’m pretty good at), and volunteers in many groups and organizations in the communities I have been a part of throughout my life. I am by no means perfect, but I am a hard worker who genuinely cares about the world around me.

However, if you were to only look at my family line you would see a depressed mother who committed suicide at age 26 and a biological father who was hardly a part of my life and is a clear case drug addict. There is also my step dad, who I considered a dad because he taught me how to ride a bike, who is now a raging alcoholic. If you were to look at me from my family line you would expect to see a depressed and/or anxious girl who resorts to drugs and alcohol to keep herself together. Even if you don’t expect it, you wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case.

I have lived my whole life refusing to live in the shadow of my family tree. Ashamed may not be the perfect word, but it is not far off. Afraid might be closer.

I sometimes feel depressed. I sometimes feel anxious. I don’t always make the right choices.

I can’t be perfect. I can only be Branna.

That being said, I have made it this far on ‘the path of Branna’ with the help of the people who have supported me and the person I am now. These people are still in my life because they believe in me and who I am as a person, not who all those -ology sciences tell me I should be.

I am not my mother, or my father, or my step-dad, or my neighbor down the road. I am Branna Lace and I will not be defined by what’s behind me. I will be driven by the path a make before me and the journey I’ve made my life become.

 

My reality of settling

I would like to picture settling in the form of sand slowly falling to the bottom on a sea shore after a long summer day of feet wading in and out of its salty waves.

My reality of settling, however, comes in the middle of the night when all is quiet around me leaving room for the racing thoughts in my head to change the stillness from calm to chaos in seconds.

They hide in silence and come out when all seems clear to bring up fears of insecurity, loss of control, and inability to move. They snicker in the silence knowing only I can hear their voices. They grow in the darkness, merely subdued by busying my mind with the toxins of social media.

I used to fear the silence. I feard these monsters and the power they continue to hold over me. I still fear the consequences if they win.

But more resently, I have come to embrace the silence. I confront the demons head on, an expert in these interactions by now. I face them knowing that the dreams of settling sand on the sea shore can never be my reality if the monsters of my mind infest the waters.

My hope is that the waves kick up enough sand to land right on top of those fears and bury them beneath the settling ground. But that wave can only come from me and I can only create such a thing by embracing the silence that I shouldn’t have to fear.

Maybe the settling will never happen; maybe it’s not supposed to. But each day I take another step and create another wave that may just be the one that saves me.

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