I mean no disrespect to anyone by saying this: I am thinking about trauma that passes its way down through generations of cultures, civilizations, societies, and down through many families, as well. I am seeing images in my mind of pictures like the aftermath of the massive tragedy of 9/11, accompanied by this question: “What would it be like if nobody had ever cleared away the wreckage from that disaster and instead had built right on top of it as if life could go on that way?”
This is not a stretch of illustration for those of us who grew up as children in massively abusive homes. Terrible things had happened in the past for such families and nobody ever did clear up the rubble. Nobody found the remains of the victims. Nobody finished their grieving. Nobody learned any lessons. Nobody helped anybody cope. Nobody healed. Nobody.
The carnage of the hopes of the innocent pile precariously below each new baby born into families — and into cultures, societies and civilizations — as the traumas continue in unbroken chains down the generations. Often those who try to overcome the odds and work to build a better life are STILL living upon those piles of rubble, wreckage and unburied carnage.
No solid ground under foot. Everything quaking and shifting, tilting and sliding, they try to live a ‘normal’ life with sinkholes opening beneath their homes and under their feet as hope after hope, effort after effort to heal and to grow into a better life is met with failure after failure to communicate with anyone, even self, about how the transmission of the repeating traumas hurt and hollow out from under any chance to reach solid, pure ground.
Infant and child abuse that happens within homes filled with the aftermath of unresolved trauma that has filled up the family members with sorrow and self loathing – as well as with disrespect of others, with violence, with lies and deceit, trickery, denial, and mental and physical stress/distress disease — sabotages each new and perfect life born to families living in these refugee settlements upon these piles of traumatic rubble. Often when some member of a family chooses to heal, chooses to look for, to know and to understand the truth the sickness in their family works to further undermine all attempts at making a better life.
If nobody is there to collectively address all the difficulties that lie within and under traumatized/traumatizing families it may be that the one who wishes to heal must walk away. Survivors of the tragedies within so many families — with so much of this tragedy being hidden away from sight at the same time it is perched on past family chaos and destruction — have often already endured and survived enough difficulty for a thousand lifetimes. These survivors cannot possibly rescue all those that they love.
Adults are responsible for rescuing their self. Those adults who suffer from devastating diseases that contribute to abuse (Borderline Personality Disorder being one of them) are casualties that cannot, in most cases, be saved. They can be loved from a distance, but nobody deserves to further endanger their well-being by being in relationship with the perpetrator(s) who wounded them. There are members of families who cannot be saved.
There are also members of families who CAN be saved – including our self. Knowing the truth about which is which, who is who, can be one of the most difficult tasks of our lifetime. Yet I also believe it is one that cannot be skipped if we are going to clear away the wreckage and rubble, purify from toxic waste and decontaminate the soil of the new life we are working to build out of love for self and others we are responsible for.
A long time ago I heard someone say, “The best thing to do for the poor is to not be one of them.” The same thing can be said for those who are choosing to heal from trauma in their lives, “The best thing to do for the wounded is to not be one of them.”
It took half of my life before I ever got the wake-up call that there was anything wrong within my family and there was something TERRIBLY wrong with what happened to me during the first 18 years of my life. There is no honor in ignoring that wake-up call when it comes to us. Let the truth ring clear.
Act on that truth on your own behalf and on the behalf of those you love and in some way everyone will benefit — whether they know it consciously or not. Though there may be many we leave behind, there are also many more to welcome and assist us in our new found search for ever increasing well-being. Yes, we are asking for miracles as we reach for healing. But we need to know, really KNOW — and for survivors especially of severe chaos and abuse in childhood this might be the hardest lesson we will ever learn — that WE ARE MIRACLES ourselves, each and every one of us.
Having THIS reality become real to us inside our body, our mind, our self, our soul opens up to us new avenues of light and life that will renew and heal us all the way back through our entire life story as the denial and lies that entrapped us evaporate one by one by one. Through this process the future becomes a better place for everyone on our planet now and forever more.