Tears started pouring down my moms face and she couldn’t talk. I knew once that happened the conversation was more or less over.
“It’s ok,” I say as she apologizes I can see anger written all over her body that she’d let herself cry.
The first time I heard the term “generational trauma” I approached with curiosity and skepticism. How could trauma that happened several generations up a bloodline affect me, now? It seemed a bit far-fetched. Still, I kept trying to understand it because it also explained so well why my family system is the way it is.
I explain this to my mom after one thing led to another and another and soon we were deep in a story of how she was three years old sitting on the staircase listening to her father scream at her mother, an alcoholic, who was drunk.
“Mom, you were three! And so scared and alone and just the fact that you remember that so well….”
“It’s exactly the same with your dad and I. I’m so sorry. I couldn’t step in, and I always felt so awful and helpless.”
No one had the fortitude to make a change. It just kept happening over and over and over. And I am the end of it. It’s not going to continue to wreak havoc on the generations after me, if I can at all help it.
Today, that means I need to start with breakfast. And then it means showing up and reaching out and reaching in and up. It means grounding and letting myself feel opposing emotions. I feel sad and content, concerned and grateful, angry and forgiving. All of this is ok, all of this is human.