There are certain things that can be passed on from one generation to another that are beneficial and life affirming. This could relate manners, values and etiquette. These aspects will not only affect how one lives their life, the lives of others are also going to be affected.
Through being brought up to realise that these things are important, one is likely to pass them onto their children and to treat other people in the same way. And while one may have thought about how they were brought up and agree with what took place, there is also the chance that they will just pass on how they were brought up to their child/children.
In this case, one has not thought about or questioned what took place. And if this relates to being brought up to have manners or etiquette, then it might not be a problem. However, when what is being passed on is not beneficial or life affirming, it is naturally going to lead to problems.
The Damage Continues
If one was abused whilst they were growing up and then ends up treating their child or children in the same way, they’re passing something on that is destructive. This shows that one has not been able to rise above what took place and has ended up being defined by it.
And it is often hard to understand why someone who was abused would end up abusing someone else. This is because they know what it feels like to experience abuse and how much pain it causes.
Facing The Pain
When one faces the pain of being abused and processes what took place, it is highly unlikely that they will pass on the abuse. However, this doesn’t always take place and this will then play a significant part in why the pattern of abuse has continued.
Instead of this, the pain is likely to have been repressed and one then ends up being disconnected from how they feel. During the time of the abuse, it probably wasn’t safe for one to express how they felt.
So in order to survive, one wouldn’t have been able to show their emotions and therefore had to push them out of their awareness. But while their mind might not remember what took place, the pain has remained in one’s body.
Lack Of Awareness
And as the pain builds up, it is going to affect one’s ability to be aware of themselves. The paint that remains in their body is not just going to sit there and have no effect on one’s life.
This pain will play a part in how one feels, how they perceive life and how they behave. And when this pain is triggered, one’s ability to think can end up disappearing and one can end up being possessed. Also, if one has been abused, it could have affected their ability to think in the first place.
And when one is abused, they’re likely to experience toxic shame. This is not the same as healthy shame and therefore something that is an important part of having a conscience, amongst other things. It is also not just a feeling; it is something that infiltrates ones whole being.
Healthy shame will cause one to feel bad for a short while and then it will soon subside, once one has taken care of why they feel bad. Toxic shame doesn’t just cause one to feel bad; it causes them to believe they are bad. One will feel as though there is nothing they can do to change how they see themselves.
Although this doesn’t reflect ones true nature and is nothing more than a reflection of what was going on for the caregivers/s who abused them, it can become ones identity. And this is likely to have taken place when one didn’t have the ability to question what was going on and to see that they were innocent.
So through feeling that one is deeply flawed and unworthy of life, there is the chance that this will end up defining their life. For one thing, one may feel too ashamed to tell someone how they feel or to seek assistance.
The Years Go By
Unless one deals with their toxic shame, it won’t just disappear; what it will do is play a part in how they treat themselves and how they treat others. One way for one to feel better about themselves is for them to shame the people around them.
This is not to say that this will happen consciously, as one is likely to be unaware of what is taking place. As children are dependent and have very little power compared with an adult, they’re easy targets.
What this shows is how important it is for human beings to face their pain and to heal their wounds. Society encourages people to look after their physical health and to eat well, but there is very little guidance when it comes to their emotional health.
And as the external pressure is not there, it is normal for people to avoid their feelings. However, it is clear to see what can happen when one doesn’t face their pain and ends up harming the next generation.
One doesn’t have to face their pain alone, there is support available. This could be through a therapist, healer, support group or a trusted friend, for instance. No one is their own island and this means that it is normal to need others.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.