Intergenerational Trauma should never be a norm within the Black Community.
Updated: Dec 14, 2020
I don't think a lot of people realize the weight that generational trauma has on not just the way you are raised but the way you interact in personal relationships involving dating, marriage, friendships and raising kids. To come from a background that has experienced various forms of abuse can be traumatizing and can have an significant amount of influence on the way you live your life. Licensed therapist, certified trauma professional and Youtuber Tamara Hill deeply emphasizes how the trauma can way to the times of our ancestors thus causing deeply rooted issues such as addiction, abuse, mental health issues that spans from mothers, fathers, aunts, cousins, grandparents. etc. We shouldn't be captive by a long cycle of trauma that we are not responsible for.
A big problem in our community is that we don't seek the help that we need in order to recover. We would rather hide it, not speak on it, cover it up causing long-term factors to come into play such as psychotic episodes, depression, anxiety, chronic stress. Seeking help and getting therapy shouldn't be taboo and yes, it is a lot of work but to heal in a healthy and positive way can be rewarding in the end. The benefit of healing is everything in a mental, spiritual and physical sense.
Through generations we learn, see and hear everything that our families say and do. Trauma can be another part of the interactions, stories, situations, food, music, art, political engagement, economic development (or lack thereof), and personal narrative that are given to us, passed down again and again. I think that when we are born, we learn from watching the members of our family, from how we watch our mothers and fathers interact to the way we see our grandparents treated each other. In a cycle of various forms of abuse, it is a repetitive dance that we all are accustomed to at some point in our lives whether we want to admit it or not. For those of us who find themselves in traumatic spaces, whether they be political, social, economic, personal, macro, global, or self-imposed, we should learn how to deal with it healthily.
We either commit the same mistakes that those before us have done or set a new tone for the lives we are impacting not just within ourselves but whether that is a husband, wife, daughter, son, niece, nephew, etc. We can't erase what is done to us and what has been done to those before us but in order to heal and move on gracefully without pain, anger and defeat, we can accept it and be ready to seek help and heal when ready. It can take years but the reward of a positive mindset, attitude and aura is worth it.