I would really like to be able to escape my own history — but I don’t think that’s possible:

At least, not unless I could somehow develop retrograde amnesia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amnesia

This doesn’t imply that I am a “mere” product of my family history (and the surrounding social/political/economic/cultural context).  For example, I was subjected to (broadly) similar socioeconomic context as my idiot, heroin-addict half-brother.  HE turned into a morbidly-obese, racist, chain-smoking heroin addict.  I did not.  If anything, I became the diametrical opposite of pretty much everything about my own relatives: extremely skinny, non-smoker, openly contemptuous of — particularly — opioid addicts, almost reflexively anti-racist, etc.

My idiot, heroin-addict half-brother is basically the fruition of everything else about my relatives/PA “dutch” country, distilled to brute essentials:

The vast majority of all of my other relatives were overweight/obese, racist, simultaneously ignorant of/bigoted against Jews, etc.

I find that…..worrisome.  How much of my individual identity is authentic, and how much of it is a mere reaction to the fact that I was “raised” by fat, functionally-illiterate, racist, xenophobic scumbags?

 

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