The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
I've just recently found out a little about my family tree thanks to one of my dearest friends (who is an amazing genealogist - hire her, seriously). My favorite story is that of my great-great-great grandmother, Hannah Todd. Great-great-great granny Todd was born in 1825 in Tennessee, which means that she was one year younger than I am now when the Civil War began. Now, what fascinates me about her is that she never married. A woman in that time that did not marry...life could not have been easy for her on that fact alone. Then you learn more. You may be asking yourself, 'Hon, if she never married, how is she your g-g-g grandmother?'. Well, I'm glad you asked. Granny Todd had 9 kids. Yes, 9. Including one she named California...who later moved to California. Granny Todd had these 9 kids with at least 4 different men. Who were married. And also her neighbors. One of the men that she carried on with was a judge.
Third great granny Todd was 21 when she popped out my great great grandfather with her married-judge-lover. They went on to have two more kids together after him. It seems that she had moved on to another lover before the war started, had 2 kids with him, then 1 with the next, and 3 with the last known one. All of these men and their wives lived in her neighborhood. Can you imagine how goddamn awkward that was? Now, in my opinion, having lived here my entire life, the southern United States is still behind the times on learning not to judge or slut-shame. I can not even begin to imagine what she must have had to deal with back then! Was she ostracized? Was she forced to cling to whatever man offered support in exchange for her 'affections'? Did she choose these lovers herself? Did she enjoy herself and not give a fuck how people saw her/treated her? Did she die because she was actually hit by a train she was unable to get away from, or did someone's angry wife push her in front of one?
There's no way of knowing if this was the path she chose for herself, or if it was forced on her due to circumstances beyond her control. I can tell you that I am very headstrong, and detest the thought of being forced into a life I don't want. I fall in love with people I shouldn't, and make a mountain of bad decisions while blinded by my feelings. However, I also learn to make the best of my circumstances and refuse to let them, or the opinions of others, hold me back. I like to think that maybe that's how she was too. That she passed some ballsy, blinded by love, fuck-all-y'all-Imma-do-what-I-want genes down so that I could be the colossal pain in the ass, floozy that I am today.