We all carry trauma from our parents, grandparents, model it after our collateral relatives, and even pick it up from others outside the family as we grow up. It does not matter if you lived with your biological parents or adopted parents or step-parents, everyone is affected. Layers of trauma are something no human can be without, unless this is their first incarnation. Trauma is part of what we carry in our souls and physical bodies on this planet.
Many people are unaware they carry trauma from their ancestors. They are unaware why they trigger and are hyper reactive in certain situations. Unaware why they rage at the people they claim to love. Unaware why they have panic attacks or want to crawl out of their bodies during certain intense (or not so intense) moments. Much of this can be identified as trauma, even trauma we carry from our childhoods. Some of it can also be connected to our past lives and the trauma we endured as souls in other bodies, times, and places. I have experienced this life and past life trauma triggers, especially when traveling Europe.
There have been many studies done on Holocaust survivors and their children and grandchildren identifying inherited trauma. Numerous books have been written, lectures given, and websites created with information. Yet no one is really talking about any other World War II inherited trauma and how it affects us. The focus has been those involved in the Holocaust and primarily Jews.
So why, you may ask, should we care about those Holocaust studies if our family history does not contain that aspect? The answer is simple – trauma affects us all and it does not matter if you have a Jewish lineage or any other lineage – we all carry it and there are patterns waiting to be identified so we can heal. Researching those resources will help lead us to our own healing. We can find similarities between our family history and other history if we dive beneath the surface. There are common themes, even outside of WWII, going back in time where mass trauma occurred, that we can connect to, learn from, and heal.
So where do we begin if this is new to us? This healing work? I think the first place is to sit with your genealogy and the military research. Look at the trauma events, even beyond WWII (Great Depression, prior wars, dustbowl, immigration, slavery, indentured servitude, sex trafficking, orphans, adoption, etc.) and see the patterns of what negative traits and behaviors have been passed down through the generations.
Honestly look at the negative behaviors or issues, illnesses, traits, judgments, beliefs you carry. Where did they come from? We are not born to hate others or be angry or violent or rage. Who did it come from and where did it begin? Let me give you two short examples to consider.
Example 1: Son or Grandson of European parents or grandparents who survived WWII and endured hunger, occupation, forced labor, forced or chosen sexual acts, leaving their family, violence both given and received, living with the not knowing if today was your last day on earth or if you would see your loved one again, and having to rebuild.
In this example when we look at the children and grandchildren of people in this scenario we might find illness and disease they carry. Body issues, shame, guilt, addiction to sex or drugs or weight, radical life choices, anxiety, depression, guilt, and often a complete shut down or blockage of emotional processing. These people may see nothing in their current life that would explain why some of this is happening, yet when we look at what their ancestors experienced, we often see links between the past and present. Seeing these links we can begin to heal.
Example 2: Child or grandchild of American WWII service member who was married with children before leaving to fight. Husband comes back with mental issues but no visible wounds. Wife lived as a single mother for years never knowing if her husband would return. Ended up raising her children alone after he returned. She also dealt with the Great Depression before the war, rationing during the war, fear, shame, guilt at how life was when the war ended.
In this case we may see similar patterns and links as the European families but I can say another thing to look for (based on personal experience) is, where are we living the lives our ancestors could not? Or where are we re-enacting their lives at certain moments that is creating more trauma, suffering, guilt, shame, negativity, etc. in our own lives? Looking at my grandparent’s war experience and lives, I can say that after I married a European and he became very ill, I realized I was in part, living my grandparent’s lives. My grandmother had come through several times before I married this man to tell me she wanted me to have the life and love she did not. But because we were so entangled, I also lived through some of the single mother part of her life with a far away husband, health hell and not knowing if he would be dead or alive each day. There is more to this story but you get the idea. I had to be open to looking at their story and my own to untangle and heal. Once I did, I was set free in ways I could not have imagined.
My invitation to you!
Are you ready to begin untangling and looking at your family’s war trauma? Or any other family trauma that has affected your life? If you would like assistance in this, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask how I can help you. I use facilitation packages of 1, 3 or 5 hours to work with clients as we explore their genealogy and military histories, to find the patterns, and do energy healing together.
Are you ready to heal your past to live a fuller, more vibrant life with more possibilities?
© 2021 WWII Research & Writing Center