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My Cultures and

By: Shalyn Helman
Family Structure

I was born to two young parents of the ages of 16 and 22. Both of my parents were drug
addicts my dad got clean when I was 5 and my mom not until I was 15.
My biological parents never actually dated or married each other, but both ended up marring
my father to my step mother when I was 11 and my mom to my step father when I was 15.
Due to the fact that both my parents were drug addicts I moved around a lot and in sense was
tossed from one family member to the next.
Both of my parents had plenty of children after me leaving me with 7 brothers and 3 sisters
none of which are completely biologically related to me, either having a different biological
mother or father.
During high school I meet my husband and we married at 19 now living alone with no children
close to both his parents and my sets of parents.

From birth till about the time I was 11 years old, there was no talk of religion in the many
homes I lived in.
This was until my father married my step-mother who was a Christian and I moved in when I
was 11.
We as a family attended church weekly if not more and I in a sense found god and was
baptized to a nondenominational church.
Once my Biological mother became clean from drugs she also turned to god, but because of
the struggles I faced I turned away.
While living with either set of family I faced huge arguments about my beliefs and where
exactly I would spend my eternity, and overall what kind of person being atheist made me.
At this time in my life I do not believe myself to be part of a religious group nor to I attend
church, but I believe in many of the Christian bibles teachings and in many scientific
I realized that I wasnt normal in fifth grade
elementary school when my best friend kissed me,
Sexual Orientation and I liked it. At that time I didnt know what it
meant, not until I wad 13 and finally realized I was
bisexual and came out to my mom, grandma and
My mother and grandma were very accepting of me
while my step-father told me it was just a phase
and that I didnt actually know.
When I again moved in with my Biological father
and his wife them being devoted Christians believed
my bisexuality a sin.
During the time I lived with them I was not aloud to
talk about my sexuality or have a girlfriend or even
mention the LGBTQ community.
Many days my step-mother would tell me I was
going to hell, or that I needed to change.
Now that I am married to a man both my biological
father and step-mother never mention the earlier
Even though I am married to a man I dont think of
myself as straight and never will, being bisexual has
changed my life. It has brought new friends into my
life ad kicked back ones out, being bisexual made
me understand that family is not always something
to count on, and overall just shaped my life.
Socio-economic Status
Growing up I lived in areas that were majority Working Class Americans.
When either living with my mom (when she was single until I was eight) or my grandma,
both were the breadwinners in the family being the only ones that worked.
Neither of the two had high paying jobs so we never had much money.
Even when my mom meet my step-father we were still considered low-class, mostly
because after me and my brother my step-father had one of his own and they had 3
more children after that.
Now I am married and we are considered lower middle class and my parents are
considered middle class.
I believe growing up poor hugely impacted who I am as a person and my life. When
growing up I went without more than anything, bills not being paid electricity or gas
shut off, things like this humble a person even into adult life.
So now as an adult, because I was poor and went without I hate to see others struggling
and am so much more understanding. Im not nave, I've seen real life struggles and
have gone through them myself.