Healing From Generational Trauma

Healing From Generational Trauma
Generational Trauma is defined as the transmission or passing down to the younger generation the oppressive or traumatic effects of a situation or historical event. Most people who have generational trauma don’t even know that they have it because they can’t recognize their behavior but some of the most common signs & symptoms are low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, insomnia, anger, and self-destructive behavior. Healing from generational trauma as an individual or a family can be very difficult as every individual experiences trauma differently, however there is always hope. Once again in our community to heal we have to first admit we have a problem/issue & then look for the information and resources necessary to make the initial step. Also once the initial step is made the journey is just beginning. Trust me it is definitely a roller coaster ride & will take a lot of work, dedication, trust, support, and communication.

For me this subject is another one that hits home because I’m a survivor of generational trauma & continue to struggle with the bouts everyday. I am a very meticulous & private person but I’ll share some of my story with you today because it’s educational, transparent, and I know it’ll help at least one person & that’s the goal. Growing up you never really pay attention to things that don't interest you or you don’t yet quite understand the beauty of ignorance at its finest or so it would seem.

Growing up always in earshot of the adult conversation around me you start putting 1+1 together and begin to understand certain people’s actions, behavior, and history. As a child I would hear my “dad”, aunts, uncle, and cousins talk about my grandfather being a drunk/alcoholic who just didn’t when enough was enough. A true alcoholic to my understanding & knowledge because I never got a chance to meet him as he was already dead when I was born but to no shortage were the stories. My aunt would always say he kept nice & pretty but not for too long as he would get in car accidents and wrap them around poles which could have totally played a part in my “dad’s” addiction issues. My “dad” saw his father on a daily basis intoxicated & developed a comfort with alcoholism/addiction because at the age of 16 my “dad” started his longtime journey & battle with alcohol and crack cocaine his battle lasted 20+ years on and off. Still naive to history as an adult I wasn’t paying attention to the signs or believed anything was wrong with me until I felt out of control.

My generational trauma is addiction but it wasn’t in the form of a substance like my ancestors but in my case a physical action sex addiction. After years of sex I mean I needed it when I was happy, mad, sad, depressed, stressed, bored, and just being competitive with friends. One day it was different. I was sitting down talking to one of my friends when he was like bro we didn’t get any today. He then said he was starting to feel funny like he needed it because it was all he could think about & I replied me too bro. So I tried to abstain from sex the next couple days & I couldn’t really achieve it without becoming stressed, distracted, and somewhat angry that I wasn’t releasing. At this point I was already a fan of psychology & frequently talked to my old college psych professors pretty regularly and I explained this to them and they suggested seeking a therapist in my area but also reaching out to a support group.

I assumed they gave me the answers to solve my new dilemma but it wasn’t & boy I was just getting the process started to recover. It was still a whole lot of work I had to put in before I reached the fork in the road of controlling it or continuing to let it control me. The first step I took was finding a therapist in my area I felt comfortable with, they had great reviews, and of course looked like myself but that would be a task in itself. After a few months of searching & trying to see if a therapist fit my guidelines and set a comfortable safe space for me I found one but the journey took a long awaited detour. Not only was I still having sex almost routinely every few days or when life felt like to much but I wasn’t being completely honest & open with my therapist I was having problems trusting the therapist which was a demonstration of self sabotage. The self sabotage I was inflicting on myself lasted about 2 whole years before I felt comfortable enough to start from the beginning of my life & family history so I could be completely analyzed & understood by unpacking all the “trauma” in my life.

The next step is what I like to call the D.R.E.A.M phase because you have to break yourself all the way down to build yourself back up & become conscious of all the self defense mechanisms your mind has subconsciously created to protect itself from pain. The D.R.E.A.M phase is an acronym Discipline, Resilience, Eagerness, Ambition, and Motivation because these are all pillars you’ll need in reconstructing your life & healing I was abstinent/celibate for 4+ years it was days it almost broke me and I felt like I couldn’t be strong but I was & it was surely worth it. Like everyone who’s been through it or knows anything about breaking generational trauma will tell you it’s different for everyone who experiences it but I hope sharing my story helps give someone the confidence to talk to someone, seek advice/help, and to start looking for the signs in themselves & loved ones. The goal is to bring awareness to mental health & generational trauma, open lines of communication, start the process of healing for people, friends, family, and to ultimately uplift the culture.

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