My family has had decades to break their silences.

“Do you feel comfortable sharing family stories about living people?” is a question I am frequently asked, particularly when I’ve just published a post about my trauma work.  I never feel comfortable or good about revisiting trauma infused stories, but not because I might upset someone in my family. The only exception is the other […]

The Xmas When I Grew Up Too Fast

Content Note: childhood, family dynamics, shame When I was either a little girl about 5 or 6 years old, I wanted a baby doll that wet its diaper for Christmas. This was somewhere between 1975-77. I was quite thrilled when Santa brought me that doll. It wasn’t quite as fancy as some of the other […]

My Western Pennsylvania Snow Globe

Author’s note: My name is Rachel, and I consider myself to be the product of a typical Pennsylvanian upbringing. Fire hall marriages with cookie tables, going to Idlewild Park on a hot summer day, and eating home-made gobs on my back porch, are all things that I remember from my childhood. I am transgender, and […]

I Chose the Aunt Life

Last night, our friends and their kids had dinner with us then came over to hang out with the kittens. During our meal, the elder asked me why and how we are their aunts because we aren’t related to them. That opened a conversation about choosing family and that we chose to be involved in […]

Ten Thanksgivings Without My Family

Thanksgiving placesetting

Content Note : trauma, neglect, family rejection, mental illness I don’t clearly remember the details of the last holiday meal I spent with my parents, but I know it was ten Thanksgivings ago. We were at Laura’s mother’s house and they were late. I was struggling mightily with mental health symptoms and not admitting yet […]

How ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ shapes my perspective of my 2x great-grandmothers

2x great grandmothers

Over a year ago, I took on a daunting task of blogging about the lives of my eight 2x-great grandmothers (2gg’s) aka the grandmothers of my own grandparents I have four grandparents, they each had two and that equals eight. Technically, I also had three step-2x-great-grandmothers who were the second spouses of my male ancestors, […]

And I Owe It All To You – Remembering my friend, John Ruffing

Dr. John Ruffing

Dear John, It will be 12 years Saturday since you died. I’m frightened by how quickly the memorials to you are overwhelming the memories with you. I guess that makes sense – we met when I was 15 years old and struggling to figure out all of the things. I was 37 when you died. […]

“Can you take a 13-year-old Caucasian boy?” Guest Blog Post for #LGBTQFamiliesDay

Lesbian Foster Family

This is a guest post written by a friend who is a foster parent. Her son has given permission to share pieces of his story to signal boost the vital role of LGBTQ foster families. This is part of our contributions to the #LGBTQFamiliesDay project. Content Note: Abuse, Trauma, Homophobia, Family Rejection “Can you take […]

Happy Birthday to my Cousin Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson Family Tree

Rachel Carson is my cousin and I’m pleased as punch. Today, May 27, is her birthday so I am finally publishing my little tribute to our family connection. I’ve spent most of my life having little to no information on the family of my great-grandmother, Jane Rice Remley. Her story was a mystery of half-hidden […]