After World War II ended, civilians who lived through the war and veterans who fought, returned home and were told to rebuild and restart their lives. Tools were not made available to help the general public (anywhere in the world) or veterans, with all the psychological impact of what they had experienced. This resulted in civilians and veterans pushing down or ignoring what they had experienced.
When these individuals began having children, and those children had children, the energy and trauma of what they endured was passed down through the generations. This has resulted in countless people on the planet with inherited trauma that they may not realize they carry and are numb to until triggered. Or, they are triggered but do not understand what is happening. The trauma and energy is so decontextualized or never talked about by their parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, that triggered individuals do not understand why they feel the overwhelming emotions they do. This may have resulted in anxiety, depression, addictions, and other physical and mental illnesses.
How many of you reading this article can relate to the overwhelming feelings? I can. These are carried feelings. For much of my life I thought I was depressed. Anxious. Too much. Too different. Too afraid of (insert so many things). However, most of what I was experiencing was not even mine. It belonged to my parents, my grandparents, aunts and uncles, great grandparents, and keep going back in the lineage.
For the spiritual readers, you may say, but couldn’t some of that also be past life experiences that are in need of healing? Yes. I have experienced that too, especially in Europe. Being empathic also means I have picked up the energy of people I love, friends and family, people I pass by, and even the dead.
So what do we do with this? How do we better understand ourselves and the trauma our ancestors pushed down or ignored?
Overwhelming Emotions and Energy
In studying with several teachers who help the collective heal WWII trauma and relationship trauma, one therapist’s work was recommended. Pia Mellody. In her book, Facing Codependency. What it is, Where it comes from, How it sabotages our lives, Pia explains these overwhelming emotions and the carried energy.
I highly recommend this book as most people walking around today have some level of codependency and may not even know it or will not admit it and release the hold it has on them. It can cripple you and your relationships and we learn it from our parents, grandparents, and so forth. It is how society has been programmed to be and carry dysfunctional habits and beliefs. Humanity is more easily controlled when we behave in dysfunctional ways and never question anything. We can see this after any war where things are not to be questioned and truths are hidden, kept secret, lied about, and changed in the history books.
Pia defines these overwhelming feelings in her chapter on “The Emotional Damage of Abuse”, as, ‘carried feelings are overwhelming while your own, even though they may be intense, are not. When we experience carried anger, we rage; when we experience carried fear, we have panic attacks and attacks of paranoia; when we experience carried pain, we move into hopelessness, profound feelings of depression, and perhaps even thoughts of suicide. Carried shame causes us to feel “worth less.”‘
Can you relate? Do you see these carried feelings in your family? Did you ever hear stories that now make more sense understanding this energy? I can see this in my ancestry.
What Do We Do With This Information?
When I looked at the patterns and traumas in my family tree, specifically related to my grandfather’s World War II service, and the energy my grandmother carried, I can trace some of this back to her grandfather, Josef Schubert.
Josef hung himself and my grandma Libbie found him when she was 24 years old. She was married with two children at home. While I knew the basics after reading Josef’s death certificate and talking to my uncle, no one ever thought to talk about how that affected Grandma.
What energies did she carry from that experience that she passed down to her sons and then those sons to their children? What energies did she hold on to that may have made it harder for her when her husband returned from war a changed man? Did she ever deal with any of those?
The deeper I dive into the genogram and patterns and beliefs of my ancestors and explore my own energies, feelings, and beliefs, along with the negative effects that have shown up throughout my life, I wonder if anyone had been brave enough to talk about this event, and what happened after the war, how would we all be different? Less dysfunctional? Less codependent? Less (insert whatever might be coming up)?
My Invitation To You
Most people will say, if a family member wanted a secret to be left in the dark – leave it there. If we feel shame, grief, guilt, anger, sadness, around things in our personal and family history, we should ignore it. Don’t bring it up with living family who may be able to shed light on it. The world has become so politically correct that it is not ok any longer to talk about the shadow sides of our families.
My point of view is we need to start bringing these shadows into the light. We need to be asking questions of the living. We can go about it in a way that is not rage filled but with curiosity. We can better understand the energies passed down to us that create dysfunction and physically illness in our lives.
We can listen and witness someone’s experience or pain. We can heal.
Through these discussions, we can Listen. Witness. Heal. Are you ready?
Are you ready to start your healing journey?
Are you ready to begin untangling and looking at your family’s war trauma? Or any other family trauma and patterns that have 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