I became aware of generational trauma (inherited trauma) as I began to learn about the impacts of adoption on the adoptee as well as on members of their family. Both of my parents were adopted and I do believe that the trauma they were either only vaguely aware of or totally unconscious of did impact us as their children. As to spanking, I remember my mom said she stopped spanking me when she dreamed she was hitting me harder and harder and I was laughing at her. Thanking all that is good. I only spanked my daughter once, in a grocery store, she was very young and it was just a light slap on her little hiney to get her attention. At the time, I had been told that punishment must come close to the action that provokes it but I never spanked her again.
Today, I read this piece in my adoption group –
My parents beat me as a child and I am not traumatized, said the man whose ex-partner reported him for physical violence.
When I was a child they left me crying alone until I fell asleep and it was so bad I did not go out, said the man who spends long hours in social networks, affecting his sleep.
They punished me as a child and I’m fine, said the man who, every time he makes a mistake, says to himself words of contempt, as a form of self-punishment.
As a child, they put a heavy hand on me and I suffer from a trauma called ‘education’, said the woman who still does not understand why all of her partners end up being aggressive.
When I became capricious as a child, my father locked me in a room alone to learn and today I appreciate it, said the woman who has suffered anxiety attacks and can not explain why she is so afraid of being locked in small spaces .
My parents told me they were going to leave me alone or give me to a stranger when I did my tantrums and I do not have traumas, said the woman who has prayed for love and has forgiven repeated infidelities so as not to feel abandoned.
My parents controlled me with just the look and see how well I came out, said the woman who can not maintain eye contact with figures of ‘authority’ without feeling intimidated.
As a child, I got even with the iron cable and today I am a good man, even professional, said the man who his neighbors have accused him of hitting objects while drunk and yelling at his wife.
My parents forced me to study a career that would make me money, and see how well off I am, said the man who dreams of Friday every day because he is desperate in his work doing something every day that is not what he always wanted.
When I was little they forced me to sit down until all the food was finished and they even force fed me, not like those permissive parents, affirmed the woman who does not understand why she could not have a healthy relationship with food and in her adolescence came to develop an eating disorder.
My mother taught me to respect her good chancletazos (Spanish meaning strike with a sandal) to the point, said the woman who smokes 5 cigarettes a day to control her anxiety.
I thank my mom and my dad for every blow and every punishment, because, if not, who knows what would happen to me, said the man who has never been able to have a healthy relationship, and whose son constantly lies to him because he has fear.
And so we go through life, listening to people claiming to be good people without trauma, but paradoxically, in a society full of violence and wounded people. It’s time to break generational trauma cycles.
~ David Bradbury, from A little Hippie, A little Hood