First thing’s first: It’s important to stop the cycle of generational trauma. Of course, it’s not easy to “heal” someone else’s trauma that you didn’t experience first-hand—but it is possible.
If you’re in contact with any of your older family members, talking with them about what traumatic experiences they’ve gone through might be a good first step. If they’re either not alive or in your life anymore, you can do some digging on your own: Take note every time you feel yourself becoming emotionally triggered. Then analyze the event that happened and why it made you feel upset—did you feel abandoned? Let down? Scared? Betrayed? Violated?
Once you know the root emotion you’re feeling, you’ve answered the “why.” Next, move on to the “what,” which entails asking yourself what you can actually do to feel better. It could be calling a friend to talk through the emotions, going on a walk to clear your mind, journaling, etc.—however you choose to move through those emotions, do so with one baby step at a time.
While unraveling generational trauma may feel like a burden, it’s an act of love that will only positively impact you, your children, and those to come after. That said, releasing deeply rooted emotions isn’t easy, so here are a few more tips from a trauma specialist to help you out.
It’s important to note that if you have access to therapy, it can also be a helpful tool for unraveling trauma and coming up with personalized ways to cope that make sense in your life. If not, you can talk to a trusted friend or family member. After all, you might not be able to see your trauma clearly until someone starts asking you the right questions.