My great great grandma escaped pogroms in Poland, came to America, changed her name to a Marie, and raised her children (including my great grandma) as Catholics.
Great grandma didn’t know. Grandma didn’t know. Mom didn’t know. And I didn’t know (I’m a woman).
Fast forward to 2007. My cousin goes through old family belongings finds Marie’s journal, and then I find out that the last five generations, including myself, have all been the eldest daughters, and we all have Marie in our name. It’s a surprise to us all to some extent, but everyone in the family has made comments about how we all “look” Jewish at one point or another.
Flashback to 1999.
My mom is a bit erratic, and starts to look into Judaism. She’s known Catholicism her whole life, but she started speaking to Rabbis, studying Judaism, and we begin practicing Judaism… But still attend a Catholic church. (Honestly, her behavior is really bizarre).
Now, every single mom in these generations I’ve mentioned have been abusive to their children (except me, I don’t have kids). Physically, emotionally, every mother from Marie down has been especially abusive to their daughters.
I no longer speak to my mom and her side of the family because she was horrifically abusive and her family wouldn’t support me.
But without them, I have no proof of my family history. As bizarre as my childhood religious upbringing was (mixing Judaism with a dose of Catholicism is really something), and as awful as the trauma has been passed down through the generations, I still feel a connection to Judaism and as an adult, would like to explore what my family lost.
Am I wrong for feeling this way? I’m really confused and conflicted and would really appreciate feedback.