Historic portrait of a Family Geneologist

The universe can be so cunningly quirky and on point at times create moments of amusing even beautiful serendipity (the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.”a fortunate stroke of serendipity”) or destiny. These moments I like to believe are divine connection/relationships/moments.

The backstory:

I began a challenging, rewarding and purposeful life path to working through my traumatic childhood and to try to sort through and heal my sordid family system (multiple generations of acting out examples but not limited to: sexual acting out, aggression, triangling, cutoff, passive aggressivity, substance abuse by many or most generations up both paternal and maternal lines of my family). I am doing this work mostly under the guidance, training and supervision of the watchful and caring professors at Clearmind International in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the major assignments in this therapist training program of experiential/transpersonal psychology is to dig up and discover the family of origin; to go into your past and get as much information as possible about my ancestors and not only the mundane details of birth and death but the REAL stories of their joys and disappointments, their tragedies, behaviours, addictions, losses and anything that could paint a picture and shed a light upon the unspoken family rules that rapidly start being put in place by families to AVOID pain, anxiety, loss, so on and so forth.

As humans we all hate pain. What do we do when we feel pain and do not have the tools to sit in that pain (your level of differentiation i.e her feelings are no reflection of me simply a projection, I am safe and whole)? We act out and start using anxiety binding mechanisms to pull our self out of the pain and to keep its wrath far from us.
These ‘masks’ and techniques to keep ourselves safe held a great purpose at their point of origin (simple example: grandpa went to war family had no food, mother became strict about not wasting food with children getting visibly stern when the kids refuse to eat a meal. Now look down two generations, issues around food and control still exist innately without having a dire purpose anymore, rendering them hazardous and non beneficial to the family system.).

One major struggle in my family that made it hard to research is CUTOFF and SECRETS. Cutoff is when family cut out all communication and contact any time they feel anxiety/fear/unsafe. So rather than emotionally confronting the situation or seeking help to do so cutoff happens. This can leak into friendships and more as we get used to shutting people out any time we feel threatened. This causes complete isolation to you and possibly to the people involved. This you can see easily becomes a domino effect in terms of other problems arising such as loneliness, isolation, substances , acting out behaviours. I wanted to understand the cutoffs , the stories and where the cutoffs originated. I signed up for Ancestry services online and started with my root family. Slowly but surely more and more family members got added with incomplete details. I realised I didn’t know births, deaths, locations with 100% clarity for anyone. My entire system was mired in SECRETS and inconsistencies. Well in comes a long lost cousin, from the United Kingdom who just happened to be a geleologist by trade! Well to me that is divine connection. To make a long story short, I am incredibly blessed to have a direct descendant of my great great great maybe another great (still unclear) grandparents be a historian specialising in researching family. Not only does she have all the accreditations but she is a lecturer AND happened to be invited to lecture at the genealogy conference in Ottawa this past August!! Another divine occurrence. Well of course at this point as I had just finished up year one of my practitioner’s training and research into my family of origin I had to meet the one and only Celia Heritage!

Here is her information if you need help researching and or setting up a family tree to understand your past. She has ability to get into records in Europe and databases etc she is highly skilled .

Celia Heritage; Genealogist, Historical Researcher, Writer

Well to end this long post I wanted to share with you the portrait I took of Celia using a technique from the 1800’s called wet plate photography. Her image is a perfect interpretation of someone who specialises in the past, here she is photographed using this historic technique on metal-one of a kind, no alterations, clean scan :




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