bury-my-heart-at-wounded-kneeMany years ago I read, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.”  It tells America’s history from the perspective of First Nations People.

Although this book is not the focus of my post, there is a particular line of thought that struck a chord with me and has remained with me to this day. I’ll probably jumble it all up but please bear with me.

When our European ancestors took away everything that spoke to the very essence of who the natives of this land were, I believe their spirit was broken.

Proud warriors and hunters were placed on reservations, given whiskey in trade and eventually made dependent on our governments for food and basic necessities.

Now I don’t know if the book indicated the following or if it was a conclusion that I came to, but could it be possible that the high percentage of alcoholism in today’s First Nations people is related to what happened historically?

Could it be that alcoholism was passed down from generation to generation? Could it be that it helped to forget the shame that was associated with losing everything that made a man a proud warrior and hunter? Could it also be that this shame can be a part of someone’s life today without them even being able to explain why they feel shame?

This concept is one I’ve examined from a personal point of view many times over the years. When I react in anger to certain situations, or when I panic in other situations or feel shame, or keep repeating behaviours and don’t understand why, could it be that I am reacting to a long forgotten circumstance experienced by one of my ancestors? For example, did something make one of my ancestors angry and then because they were angry, their children learned anger and so on, but the original cause of the anger is not known or passed down? Make sense? Good! 😉

Because of this, I’ve taken a great interest in my family history. Specifically, I’ve taken a special interest in the history of the women in my family. So…I’ve decided to write the stories of four generations of women in my family. Michaela (my daughter), Diana (yours truly), Margot (my mom) and Ruth (my maternal grandmother).

I’m not doing research or interviews, I will merely tell the stories, snippets if you will, as I know them, as I have experienced them, as they have been told to me. I will be intentional about not embellishing or softening the stories and I will write them with no judgment in my heart. The stories are what they are; neither good nor bad.

I want to tell these stories in part, because I think they will help us understand our whys and because I want to keep them alive for future generations. They may or may not appear consecutively because I want to check in with my ladies (and me too) to make sure that what is shared is ok before I hit publish.

I’m excited about doing this and I hope you’ll come along on the journey and share some of your stories as well…


Have you ever repeated a behaviour without knowing why?