Generational trauma: Is there such a thing?
Some of us may not have a pleasant childhood. Some experienced violence – verbally abused, neglected, and things a child should never experience. The things you experience as a child have a big impact on how you will live as an adult or maybe, until you die.
Our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents have always talked about how their parents inflicted violence on them when they were kids. I remember telling myself that I should be grateful for being born in this generation, “baken kaman ed idi”, which means our parents have experienced worse, but they are always proud to say they learned a good lesson. It is true, you learn a lesson from violence. The only bad thing about it is lessons don’t always come out as good. Those who experienced violence growing up may have learned to become still, proper, perfect, and disciplined, but most of them lack affection, gentleness, love, and other attributes that describe one as a sane person. When a person lacks these attributes, they fail to show and teach their child to also develop positive values. Some may become the abuser without even realizing it, which results in having teenagers and adults who can’t figure out what’s wrong with them.
Then the cycle repeats.
As you realize everything, from how you were treated during your childhood to who and what you are now, you ask: Am I a victim of generational trauma?
Generational trauma can be defined by the words “generation” and “trauma”, an unpleasant experience from a certain generation that is passed down from generation to generation. Some say that every person you meet is repeating a cycle of generational trauma, or carrying the burden of breaking cycles.
When we become fully aware of ourselves, we tend to understand everything and realize how it all makes sense. The reason people, you, and your parents are what they are is how they were raised. Now that we become aware of the what’s and why’s, we also think about the ‘how’s’ like “How will I break this?” or “How should I act as a parent?” Being aware of it is the first step in breaking the cycle of abuse.
Now that we started it, maybe you try to learn how to break the cycle now. I know it’s not easy to unlearn the things that you grew up with. But start with doing things that are not common in your family. Try to actually love them, ask for help, a professional help or a helping friend. Heal your inner child, it’s waiting for you. The cycle can end with you.