When Being the Family Outcast is Incredibly Beneficial for Generational Healing

I never did things like the other members of my family, whether it was my family of origin, extended family or chosen family.

I looked at the world differently.  I saw things differently. I chose differently. 

But during childhood and all through my 20’s, I tried really hard to make myself fit their molds.  To make myself fit into their beliefs and fears. To look and act how they thought I should.
- Stephanie Aberlich

I didn’t fit in.  

And I felt it.

A lot.

But during childhood and all through my 20’s, I tried really hard to make myself fit their molds.  To make myself fit into their beliefs and fears. To look and act how they thought I should.

Not until I started waking up in 2011, did I really start to feel like the outcast.

Suddenly, I was the only one not drinking at family gatherings.

Then the only one trying to eat whole foods.

Then, I felt like the only one seeing the layers of dysfunction everyone tried to hide.

And of course I was nearly the only one who decided to raise a family outside of the state of Michigan.

Over the years, feeling like the family outcast felt really harsh.  Especially as a new parent, it felt really hard and it affected my stress levels and health dramatically.

But as I’ve watched others struggle to find their truth in very immeshed communities, I’ve realized what a blessing being the black sheep has been for me.

Because maybe It’s easier for me.

Maybe It’s easier for me to follow my heart in parenting because I’m not trying to fit in anymore.

Maybe it was easier for me to trust my body to give birth at home, because I didn’t have to console those who didn’t want to try and understand.

Maybe it was easier for me to honor a postpartum lying-in period and say no to visitors in the first month after my son was born, because we weren’t a quick car ride away.

Maybe it was easier for me to believe in the enormous and long lasting benefits of full term breastfeeding, because I wasn't constantly asked, "When are you gonna wean him?"

Maybe it’s easier for me to research and question and choose unconventional routes that honor my intuition, instead of the status quo.

Maybe it’s easier for me to parent from connection, instead of constantly feeling the pressure of being watched and critiqued.

Maybe it’s easier for me to love my rounding, makeup & perfume free body because I’m not in an atmosphere of constant self judgement.

Overall, maybe it’s easier for me to break the cycles I was born into because I’m the black sheep.

Without them, I wouldn’t have had the courage to parent exactly the way I was meant to, and feel a deep sense of peace because of it.
-Stephanie Aberlich

Does it feel easy?

Hell no.

Does it feel lonely?

Abso-fucking-lutely.

But parenting from my intuition may just be easier for me because I’m on the outside.  Because I’m alone in this.  Because I’m not surrounded by the mainstream views and parenting narrative I grew up with.

I love my family dearly.  For years I wanted them to understand me, and I struggled so much with that.  

Now I can honestly say “thank you” to them for not getting me.   For not understanding. For looking at me all cockeyed and giving me the one eyebrow raised “What’s she doing again?”.

I see how beneficial this path was for me.   

What I know now, is that it was meant to be this way.

That I wouldn't have been strong enough to parent in my way if I had felt accepted.  I know it would have been too hard for me to break free of that feeling to parent from my inner wisdom.

Without them, I wouldn’t have had the courage to parent exactly the way I was meant to, and feel a deep sense of peace because of it.

Because of them, I was able to listen to my intuition above all.  And that is an absolutely beautiful gift they gave me, and an even more amazing gift they gave my son.

So to everyone who didn't understand, or who still doesn't understand, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to be the outcast.  I love you.

With Harmony,

Stevie