Before we get started, I want to take a second to explain why it’s so important to validate your personal experiences instead of just assuming that “others have it worse”. Just because your trauma seems small to you doesn’t mean it didn’t have a huge impact on your life. Therapists describe trauma as “Big T” or “little t” and both are completely relevant. What you might consider a “little t” trauma could have the same impact on someone else as a “Big T” trauma. It’s all about how your subconscious processed the event and the way you learned to cope with it.
Generational Trauma is trauma of any kind that has been transferred through genetic lineage and can be passed down for hundreds of years. When you think back to your ancestors and how they struggled during their lives, that same cellular structure which was programmed into them has been passed down to you. You are still subconsciously living in their survival mode until someone decides to break the pattern.
Not only do you have a genetic blueprint that is preconditioned to have certain aspects of generational trauma, but that cycle is reinforced between the ages of 0-7 when your subconscious mind is forming and you are learning how to be safe in the world. Most of the time, your parents don’t realize the impact their actions have on your belief system during those formative years and because they are typically unhealed themselves, they will pass along their patterns to you. As you create your reality, you activate your fight or flight sense to keep you safe. Whenever you feel triggered anytime after that (even as an adult) you revert back to the experience from your childhood that established that belief.
Generational Trauma can be tricky to heal because most of the time, you don’t recognize your own patterns because they feel like reality to you. You’ve never lived without them and you have only known this way your entire life. Once you begin to recognize the trauma that has been impacting you, that awareness allows you to move forward with the healing process to break those patterns.
Here are 10 way that you can start to heal your generational trauma:
- respond to your children instead of reacting
- see your parents as people with their own unresolved trauma
- set boundaries with extended family
- normalize apologizing to your children
- recognize that you set the tone in your home
- heal your inner child and change the way you speak to yourself
- recognize how people treat you is a reflection of how they treat themselves
- be willing to see the difference between your triggers and your child’s behavior
- become aware of unhealthy patterns and decide to change them
- do the inner work without judging yourself or your parents