AboutCONSENT™
EP 12 How To Break Cycles Of Generational Trauma
Jan 19, 2020 · 24 min
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Generational trauma can go undetected by those who continue to pass it on, not realizing that they are passing on negative patterns.

 

When it comes to sexual abuse, these patterns can be passed on because of fear and lack of information or education to change those patterns to positive ones.

When we become educated about how to recognize the patterns we can learn how to become self aware and then take the steps to break the patterns that are destructive, not just for ourselves, but for the generations that came before us and the ones ahead of us.

 

I invite you to listen to hear all the ways that you can break the cycles of abuse and create empowering patterns in your life, your family and your community!

 

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TRANSCRIPT:

Speaker 1: those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana

Speaker 2: Welcom e vm Benny Those two about consent. The podcast that sparks conversations about creating consent, culture, boundary repair, sexual empowerment, orgasm, equality and raising a new, sexually conscious and consent empowered generation. This is a safe shame. Free judgment Free zone. We're both survivors, and those who support survivors are welcome. I'm your host, Russell Rivera.

Speaker 1: This episode is brought to you by consent Parenting My online platform for Survivor parents to learn how to keep their kids safe from abuse. Did you know that Children of Survivor parents have a five times higher chance of being abused? Because survivor parents don't know or learn the tools needed to prevent abuse, they tend to over protect instead of empower and prepare. You can change the statistics by becoming an educated parent. Get started by downloading my free guide seven ways to teach your kids about body safety, boundaries and consent by going to about consent dot com forward slash guide. The link will be in the show notes to get your free copy today. Now let's get back to the show. Welcome back to another episode of the about consent podcast. I'm really excited you're here today listening to another episode. I just wantto extend my gratitude to you again because getting your feedback is always so amazing for me. It gives me life. It gives me fuel. And I can't say enough about how important it is, really? To hear the feedback to know what are the things that you are truly resonating with? What you want to hear more about all of that is really just amazing. And so I want to thank you for all of that amazing feedback reviews. And so I wanted to start a weekly shout out of, you know, review spotlight. So if you are the kind of person that loves to give back when you receive something amazing like a review for the podcast, I want to shout you out and thank you and just let others know that it is actually resonating with other people, right? So that Ah, yeah, if you want to post review and a ratings on iTunes, I would most appreciate it, But I also want to shut you out. So I wanted to kick it off with this week, starting off with MelissaMoo87 hosted a five star ratings, and this is her review. Amazing Resource. Rosalia is such a great host and interviewer, and I love that she's willing to provide language. And resource is around a topic that is so often not talked about. More education is needed in this realm for both adults and parents and our Children, and I love that she is fearlessly leading the charge. It must listen for anyone wanting to empower themselves and the Children in their lives. MelissaMoo87 Thank you so much for that review. I truly, truly made me so happy. It made my heart smile because I absolutely agree with you. More education is needed in this realm, and I'm here for it. And I know so many other amazing educators are. So I want to thank everyone who is doing this kind of work in the space and for all of you who are supporting it. So thank you so much. Please keep the reviews coming. So today I'm talking about generational trauma. So what is generational trauma? Well, according to Tamar A. Hill, a licensed therapist and certified trauma professional, she defines intergenerational trauma as a traumatic event that begins years prior to the current generation and has impacted the ways in which individuals within a family understand, cope with and heal from trauma. For example, the patriarch of a family may suffer from an untreated severe mental health disorder, which causes him to engage in harmful behaviors towards his daughter. This daughter, having endured years of emotional and psychological abuse, now has her own family but has not been able to release herself psychologically and emotionally from the torture she endured. And as a result, she begins to exhibit many of the same behaviors of the patriarch, which leads to her own Children exhibiting similar behaviors. These behaviors, including dysfunctional ways of coping, continue for generations. Thes unhealthy behaviors become a quote unquote normal way of raising Children within the family, and that is directly from Tamara Hill explaining how she defines intergenerational trauma. Now, before we dive into this episode, this solo episode, I want to let you know that I will be talking about child sexual abuse and rape trauma. So if at any point this feels too heavy, please stop the episode and take care of your mental wellness. If you need to just take a break and come back to it. That's definitely okay. Or if you feel this is not for you at this time, that's also okay. Please, just make sure that your mental health is the most important thing that you need to care for and come back to this when and if you feel ready. I'm not diving into specific details, but I will be mentioning incidents. And so I just wanted you to be aware of it so that it's a heads up. But with all of that said and done, this episode may also be deeply eye opening and motivational, which is really what my hope is. So why am I talking about this topic? Well, if you heard Episode two of the podcast where I talk about my story and my why of creating this podcast. Well, then you know that as a survivor it didn't just start with me. And unfortunately, everyone in my family has been deeply impacted by trauma to the point that one of the members of my family has CPTSD, which if you're not familiar with that term, that acronym, it stands for complex, post traumatic stress disorder. Most people would know PTSD. That's a more familiar one. But see, PTSD is complex, and essentially what that means is that it was a number of events with different levels of intensity or severity of that particular trauma or of other kinds of traumas, which were all compact ID over a series of time. Now, Michael, on taking on the issues of abuse awareness and prevention. My goal with this is to break generational patterns in cycles. And so I wanted to open up a bit more and share more aspects of my own history with you in Hopes Sig, you may be able to relate you. It may resonate with you in different ways on different levels, Maybe help you connect the dots for yourself. And of course, more importantly for me is for you to find ways to also begin breaking your own generational traumas. So perhaps you are maybe the first in your family to experience sexual violence. You have the ability to end it there instead of it now continuing to become a cycle where passes on so it would end with you where you would not have to pass it down. And that is my hope, really, for everyone listening, no matter what level or type of trauma, no matter if it happened generations before you, maybe many multiple, long, deep generational trauma, which is probably more of a likelihood. Unfortunately, when you look at the statistics, there is a beautiful saying that yes, trauma can be passed down through generations, but healing can also be passed down. So with that, I said the intention for this episode. So it wasn't until about five or six years ago that I found out that my mother had been violently raped at 14 by her teacher, and she had never told anyone except her husband after they had been married. But beyond him, she felt too ashamed to tell anyone else for fear that she would be either ostracised or worse, not believed so. She kept the secret to herself until years ago, and it explained so much when I found out when I heard the news and it wasn't even something that I found out directly, it was through my sibling and they also had a really big eye opening moment of understanding our mother so much better, so much more clarity in an explanation of you know why she couldn't talk about sex, why she was so afraid of her Children looking too, quote unquote provocative, even though it probably wasn't at all because she was afraid of inviting unwanted attention. It explained why she was so overprotective and never let us do things like sleepovers, Which for me was something I always wanted to do because I saw all of my other American friends constantly having sleepovers. It ultimately explained why she was always so strict, especially because she was an immigrant in a new culture that she also considered to be way too liberal. Compared to the way that she grew up and with the religious background that she grew up with, which also demonized sex and sexuality. She was afraid to tell us the deep down reason that she feared boys and men even looking at us once it all explained her anxiety. She had no idea what had happened to my siblings and I because she was very worried about what could happen out in the world, so much so that she couldn't see what was happening in our home, but also because she couldn't talk to us about how to protect ourselves or that we had rights to our bodies because she didn't realize that she had rights to her own body, particularly because they were violated when she was so young. And also the culture that she grew up in, which I think we still have in our culture, is one that our bodies ultimately don't belong to us. So we went out into the world as we got older, without the understanding, without the language or the tools to know how to navigate the rape culture filled world that we live in. So I don't blame her. I understand her. I have compassion much more even now, knowing about her history about her past. I understand her and all the parents like her, who went through similar experiences and lived out their lives in similar ways. For example, this year I met a woman who had not experienced sexual violence. However, her mother is a survivor and exhibited the same kinds of behaviors that my mom did over protectiveness and strictness that almost borders on paranoia and in turn. Although this woman herself was not abused, she now has Children and finds herself exhibiting the same kind of over protectiveness and anxiety about her child's safety. So even if it doesn't get passed on directly through that experience of assault, it can be passed on through psychological and emotional experiences. Most survivors, in fact, live with even higher levels of anxiety when they become parents, especially when their child is nearing the age when the parent had begun to be abused, if it was child sexual abuse or when they had an experience of rape, even if it was just once, which is more than it should ever be. And it becomes a very taxing experience. The child, however, is the one that becomes the bearer of the anxiety until they grow up and have their own. And so the cycle repeats in one way or another. So what do we do? How can we break the cycles? And that's really what it comes down to at the end of the day. How can we stop this from repeating and happening forward? Right? And there are very many ways, and there are so many that it can almost feel overwhelming because you don't know where to begin. How do you even start but it really begins with us learning how to heal ourselves. And when I talk about healing, he can be really scary to think about it. If you are the type who has PTSD or CPTSD. Because it can feel like you've been carrying this really heavy load all your life that you haven't wanted to really look at. But it's really heavy, so you really want to put it down. But you're afraid if you put it down, you now have to look at it. And if you have to look at it, it means that you probably have to examine it. And if you have to examine it, it means that you have to unpack what's there. And that could be a really scary proposition, because what you've been trying to not look at your whole life, you are now being told to look at now. Here's the thing, though, as I've been learning about healing and as I've been going through my own healing journey, there are ups and downs. There are waves that ebb and flow. There are moments that feel really intense and others where it feels like Maybe I'm done healing. Maybe this is it. This is where I can breathe and just take it all in and enjoy life. But to be honest, healing is messy. It's not linear, and it can feel really heavy at times. But when you get through that muck through that heaviness, you feel like you've let go of a piece of it. Finally, and things start to feel later. Now healing is only one part of how we can break the cycles. Healing is a very important part, and it is probably at the foundation of all of the other parts that I'm going to recommend based on my own experience and what I've seen work for others. The next piece that's really important is learning to develop the courage. Two. Ask for support to Ask for help. To take back your voice and share your story. Now that doesn't mean to get on a podcast like I'm doing and share your story with the world. It simply means to find the person or group or therapist that you feel comfortable enough to share your story with, because when we can voice and vocalize, we can finally give less power to the thing that we're so afraid of. And then we realized it's a lot lighter and that's part of the healing. The next part is that once you've developed that courage and you start to realize that you have a lot more strength and courage than you ever believed you had, you can now start to empower others. And by that I mean specifically the offspring, the Children in your lives, the child that you are now responsible to care for, who you don't want to pass down the trauma two and you may feel like, Well, my child is now 12 and is it too late? Have I already done damage? The truth is that it's never too late. We always have an opportunity every single day, every single hour, every single moment is an opportunity and an invitation to break the cycle. So no, it's never too late. And more importantly, it's always important to step into that role of empowering and educating, because not only are we breaking the cycle by empowering and helping our child learn all of the things that we didn't get to learn when we were Children, but now they're going to be carrying on that healing and that empowerment forward, and that is truly exciting. So the ways that we can start is by one realizing that intergenerational trauma is a thing. It is something that we have experienced ourselves potentially, that we don't want to pass on, so that awareness is really important. To become aware of it and make it part of our mindfulness is the first step. The second step is to determine a path towards healing, to determine how we want to step into that. And when I say that I'm not telling you to rush to a therapist and sign up for 12 sessions with someone or figure out how you're going to, you know, do you buy books or do you take courses or do you do this or do you do that? But it may start with something a simple as learning how to be kinder to yourself, to be more loving towards yourself, to talk kindly to yourself, to take more time, to take care of your whole self. Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, physically and two make it a priority. And from there, when you gain strength as you gain momentum towards self love, you can then truly move into that next phase of healing, and that can look very different for everyone. It may be at that point that you were willing to share with someone. Maybe at that point you're willing to finally seek a therapist or someone who is specializing in healing of some kind. Maybe it's holistic. Maybe it's energy. Maybe it's some other kind of somatic healing, right? So there's so many different ways that we can step into that. But simultaneously, as we're doing that, as we are starting to care for ourselves as we're starting to heal, that through osmosis starts to affect our relationship with our Children. Because as we're kinder and more loving toe ourselves, we have more compassion, and we begin to see our relationship with our Children differently. And as we become more empowered ourselves, we realize how much more we need to do that for them as well. How much we need to step into that role of educator and protector, not toe over, protect the to empower right, too. Give our Children the tools, and so that is how we ultimately break the cycle. The more we educate ourselves on prevention, education and radically empowering our relationship as a parent and child, the more that we can truly help our Children become their highest Selves and break the cycles. So those are the ways that I would recommend to begin breaking the generational cycles of trauma that have come from abuse in our culture in our family lineage. Maybe we don't have any of that, and we're the first ones. So let's break it right there and not past that forward. So I hope that those ideas those recommendations, those suggestions give you some pause for thought and help you realize the ways that you can start empowering yourself and your family and break the cycles. My name is Rosario Rivera, and it is always my honor, too. Share this time with you. I thank you for spending it with me, and I hope to have you back next week for another amazing episode. Next week I have the joy of interviewing Janeane Sanders. She is an author and publisher of Children's books that are all about helping kids learn about body safety, boundaries, consent, diversity, tolerance, love, compassion and she's just simply amazing. I know you're gonna love the episode, so if you're a parent. You most definitely want to tune in. So thank you again. I look forward to seeing you. And again if you enjoyed this, please do share it with those that you love and tag me screen Share it. Tag me on instagram so I can shut you out Thanks so much. And I will see you next time.

Speaker 2: Don't miss the next episode. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast. And I would be so grateful if you took one minute to post a five star rating and reviews on iTunes so that others can also find this information. I will be shouting you out and thanking you on the next episode. If you found this useful, be sure to share it with others as well. Let's continue to create consent Culture One conversation at a time. Stay empowered.

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