Some of our traits are more obviously inherited from the previous generations: skin, hair and eye colors for example. We can pretty clearly see similarities and note where they’re sourced from by comparison. Research is revealing today that trauma — unhealed — can be passed down in both nature and nurture from one generation to the next.
The nature side reveals genetic markers that cause predisposition to certain ailments. Think of an alcoholic father who’s sons have the same proclivity to alcohol and either stay away from it or follow the same path of drinking in excess. On the nurture side of it the sons may have experiences associated with their father which influence their relationship with alcohol (and their interpersonal relationships, ultimately). They’re intertwined because our behaviors are shaped and influenced by our environment.
On a societal level there’s this idea that trauma is a limited experience and only a small few will develop post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most commonly noted are service members who experience war, having PTSD from such an intense experience is considered understandable. The reality is that anything in our lives can be experienced as traumatic and initiate PTSD symptoms such as anxiety or depression.
If the alcoholic father gets angry and beats his child in a fit of rage or even belittles his children verbally out of anger this will create trauma responses as the child’s cortisol levels (the adrenaline for fight / flight in danger) are heightened in an environment that’s meant to be safe (home). This creates psychological conditioning over time to appease the abuser for survival.
For the father to survive his mistreatment of his family he has to live in denial. It’s being in a state of denial that not only keeps us stuck in our cycle of suffering, it causes those around us to suffer too. Being accountable to our pains, our struggles and our actions are key components in healing. We cannot fix a problem we don’t acknowledge exists.
Healing is hard work and that is why many souls will stay planted firmly in denial until their end of time. Knowing that the end is inevitable can be a motivator for healing, it certainly keeps me motivated. My trauma history is extensive when laid out and my healing is the greatest work of my life. We are all capable of improvements and the desire for change is necessary.
Be well, sweet souls. 💛
If you identify with the neurodivergent community, would appreciate an adult space with a focus on support and betterment, I’d like to invite you to check out my discord server! Where shame, blame and devaluation are discouraged while compassion and personal growth are encouraged. The server is designated mature (18+) and minors are promptly removed. Multiple categories allow Members to decide what sort of content they’d like to see from the server using selections in the #about-you channel after joining. You’re invited!