One aspect of recovering from trauma: recognizing collective trauma

 

Here is a very brief point about healing from trauma, and specifically the trauma that’s passed on through generations or through society.

When we are caught up in the trauma, it’s not uncommon to feel like a victim and have a me vs them view. For instance, if trauma was passed on in our birth family, we may – secretly or openly – blame our parents. We see ourselves as victim of their behavior and hangups. (This trauma can be developmental trauma which comes from difficult ongoing dynamics in our childhood.)

A turning point in our healing process can be when we understand that our parents too were traumatized. The trauma has, most likely, been passed on through generations. And it may also be a common trauma in our culture shared by many families to different extent. They were traumatized, lived – or lives – from that trauma, and that traumatized us.

There is a shift from they did it to me to we are all in the same boat.

If anyone is a victim, it’s not just me it’s all of us. (And it’s good to question the idea of victim.)

This doesn’t excuse us from responsibility for our own actions. We are all responsible for our actions. But it does reframe how we understand the situation and – to the extent we take it in – this can be an important part of our own healing process.

This reframing supports our own healing, and it’s also often a product of our healing.

It can also be an indicator to see what’s left of our own healing process. Do I genuinely feel that we are all in the same boat? Or do I go into a me vs them view?

This goes for healing any emotional issue, not just obvious trauma. A part of the healing process is seeing that it’s passed on through generations and the culture. It’s not personal. (Although it appears personal to us when we are identified with it.)

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