Generational Trauma can be changed

Your grandmother’s secret may be why you can’t find a partner who loves and supports you. It might be hiding in the stories of generational trauma.

Here’s how it works: imagine the weight of a heavy backpack, filled with all the bad things your grandparents, parents, and even great-grandparents, ever went through. And everyone in the family carries one of those heavy backpacks, without even knowing what’s in them!

That’s the idea of what generational trauma is. It’s when difficult experiences, like witnessing violence or natural disasters, wars, slavery, and emotional traumas like abandonment, keep affecting families long after they happened.

Sometimes people don’t even realize the trauma is there, like hidden in the backpack. They might just feel stressed, anxious, or struggle with relationships for no reason. But the truth is, those old hurts can get passed down through stories, traditions, and even how we act around each other.

So why does it matter?

Why is it helpful to find the truth behind some of the unhealthy or destructive behaviors in your family?

Because you’ll get used to those patterns, thinking they’re “normal”. But they’re not. Those negative patterns will continue to poison your family lineage until someone is willing to heal it.

Generational trauma is real, even if it gets denied or minimized. By understanding the past and talking about it openly, you can begin the healing and break the cycle for you and your children.

That means if you want a strong and healthy base to your own family, ask questions! Get to the root of the problems.

You could begin by asking about the most obvious questions: Why did grandpa leave granny when they had 4 little kids? How did she make it on her own with hardly no money? So, then dad was the man of the house at such an early age?

In this example, transmission of the past trauma may begin to negatively affect granny’s children, grandchildren and her grandchildren’s children, leading to generations of emotional distancing, and defensive behaviors around expression of emotions, based on granny’s very difficult time as a young mother left alone to provide for her family.

Certainly you can see where granny’s son was negatively impacted by the trauma of those years of hardship. And the generational trauma was passed on as emotionally distant, which he had experienced from his mother. He passed it through to his children, although they didn’t understand why dad was always so emotionally distant.

See how it works?

Notice if you see some of the common symptoms of intergenerational trauma in your own family: low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, insomnia, anger, and self-destructive behaviors.

It can be from Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE), which is considered abuse, trauma or neglect that creates toxic stress in a child’s brain. ACE has been linked with physical illness and mental health conditions as an adult. This can be the beginning of a new, or a continuation of an existing traumatic family pattern. Read more here:

Another way of healing is to be aware if you are unconsciously carrying on the family trauma yourself. You have to see if you’re part of the problem, then decide to stop. It’s not just about blaming others, it’s taking responsibility for your part, too.

Giving survivors a chance to share their story and be heard by descendants can open new lines of communication, and new family patterns can be created. Read more here about breaking the chains of generational trauma.

It is supremely helpful to get professional help, even for the initial healing journey. Group programs are really helpful, providing a sense of community, shared experiences, and support.

If you are willing to begin your investigation of your past in a gentle way, please consider scheduling some sessions with me. Breathwork is deeply soothing and freeing to deep emotional wounds.

Click here to schedule call for a free “Stop the Struggle” mini-life plan with Juliana.

Healing is possible, one step at a time.

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