Growing up we are dependent on our parents or caregivers. Even if they are not nurturing, due to their own emotional baggage, we have to look up to them, because they provide safety. When parents betray your trust, through neglect, or abuse, or even when our siblings, equally injured perhaps, turn on us, our safety is compromised.
The mother is the most important nurturing person in a family, but the father can help to decrease some trauma if he is really loving and nurturing. All too often children are left to their devices. We grow up either shaming ourselves or blaming others or somewhere in between.
Because we were not well taken care of, we don’t really know how to take care of ourselves. We are so busy defending our parents that we minimize the damage done to ourselves, our self image, to our personalities, and to our health. Sometimes growing up, people pleasers will even become the care giver in the home, even taking care of the parent.
This is how intergenerational trauma works. Traumatized parents traumatize their children. We say then ‘Oh my mother had it far worse,’ again minimizing our trauma. We bear shame. Thinking we should be stronger. Better. Shame causes immense pain and ill health.
The new science of epigentics tells us that stress can temporarily and even permanently change your genes. Stress opens gateways and pathways and causes chemical reactions that change your genes. One change can be inflammation. You can have inflammation pathways switched on. Inflammation in the blood vessels can cause heart disease, strokes, dementia. Inflammation in stomach lining and intestines can even cause cancers. You can have irritable bowel disease and even get inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis genes can be switched on. Eczema, asthma, allergies, acne, are all worse with stress. All sorts of problems.
This can be changed. Contact your mental health workers, counsellors, psychiatrists, people who love you, watch out for toxic people, spiritual leaders. Use your body to calm your mind
Try the Daily Program, especially mindful breathing.