Yes this. This is exactly the sort of experiences I supposed you were having. I gleaned that from your story. That’s what I mean when I say these ancestors won’t leave us alone.
This is heavy stuff…and it’s taken me a while to respond because I am not sure I have the correct answers to your questions, but I think we honor our ancestors, just by the things that we are doing now. Talking about them. Writing about them. Acknowledging their lived experiences. Writing them back into the history that they have been written out of.
Your story about your great grand-mum reminded me so much of my experiences with mine- who had been written out of the family oral history. We just don’t know much about her. We know she came in on a slave ship, and that she was West-African. She wore a head wrap, which my aunt, recognized as being West-African. But beyond that, I know very little. And yet, she deserves respect and recognition. That was what I was trying to do with the afro-brazillian class I took. I think this is what you are trying to do by reconnecting with your native heritage. You are giving life and voice to your great gran’s experiences, which a part of your family tried to stamp out, of it’s own lineage.
This is just wrong. I think you (I think a lot of trans people actually) are coal mine canaries of sorts. They are saying to all of us - hey, our male/female dynamic is off. We need to fix it. Trans people are forcing that showdown. I think it is long overdue. I mean the fact that trans people are murdered, just for being who they are — shows that we clearly, clearly are sick- as a species, with regard to gender issues.
What in the world causes someone to be so outraged by a man who is or was biologically a woman or vice /versa, that he would feel that he needs to murder someone for this offense. Why are most people so deeply tied to the idea of gender being binary- that they freak out about trans people, and seek to marginalize and stigmatize them so?
Being white and trans-female and not ignoring your native heritage, you are actually confronting an outrageous sort of oppression that has haunted, women and women of color for years, and your intersectionality allows you to do this from a place of power, in some ways, not so much in others.
I mean, how can a family just completely disregard one if its members…a mother no less? Just because she was a native? Just because she was the wrong color and culture? Well it happens. It has happened a lot, and these days and times, for whatever reason, are the times of reckoning. People like you and me and my sister, we are the vehicles.
We are all everybody anyway. By that I mean, we are souls who live and love over multiple lifetimes and we play multiple roles. But now we are coming to a place and time, there is some need, to combine all the experiences, all at once- and heal them. I think there is a lot of that going on, right now.
I’m not that intuitive, it’s rare that I have experiences as vivid as actual ancestors speaking to me in waking dreams. But I do meet them in dreams sometimes, and also other in between places. (Ever had surgery? Well that anestesia can be quite a doozy on the mind, body and spirit.)
These meetings can be distressing. Usually, I find that our ancestors want us to fix things in the present. I have had at least a few dreams were they were providing guidance or instruction.
I never dreamt of the African ancestor. But my sister, far more intuitive than me, has. She said that she was very old, and very distressed and kept pointing to these children. I asked my sister - whose children were they, mine, yours, any that we might recognize? She said no, she did not recognize the children, but that they were contemporary children.
Honestly, I don’t know what to make of it, except to say that as a species, we have got to do better. We have to. We have to talk about how one set of ancestors wronged and silenced another set ancestors. We have to acknowledge that it wasn’t right. We have to give them back their voice, in as much a possible; and we have to do this so that we can look to a better future. So that the children can know exactly who they are, and so that they can embrace all of it, without fear.