Understanding Inter-Generational Trauma and how to stop it – InFocus

Discussion about how not to pass on the pain to the next generation

APTN InFocus with Cheryl McKenzie

Trauma is something that can be passed down through the generations.

In this edition we examine what inter-generational trauma is and how Indigenous peoples in Canada are affected by it.

Dr. Gabor Maté also shares what his research has shown.  He believes that trauma can be traced back to childhood experiences and the often resulting addictions as we grow older are a normal response to abnormal circumstances.

Our panel of guests share what they are doing to try not to pass on the effects of trauma to the next generation.

1 thought on “Understanding Inter-Generational Trauma and how to stop it – InFocus

  1. Much appreciation and respect for addressing such a difficult topic (inter-Generational trauma) I truly appreciate Cheryl McKenzie’s professionalism and watch APTN often … although I am not native. Native culture IS Canada’s true cultural roots. I relate to the topic, as I have experienced inter-Generational trauma in my family and now understand the cycle. Denial, pain & addictions are all the result of learned Behaviour, guilt, esteem issues … which is truly difficult to be objective about, when we are victims of such behaviour … 1- We are all part of the story we try to decipher. We are not objective bystanders. 2- We do not objectively perceive our own dysfunctional behaviours. Dr. Gabor Maté is Canada’s top authority on such behaviours and clearly explained the mechanics of dysfunctional behaviour transmission from one generation to the next … which is not obvious to people whom have never experienced the impact of such trauma on behavioural psychology. People who have experienced this trauma find it very difficult to explain correctly … because it is so difficult to grasp or understand by others. They prefer silence or denial, as opening such wounds seems futile … if not received or understood correctly … as opening up only causes us to relive the trauma and pain, without purpose or resolution. Very frustrating … Viscous circle. Native healing rituals are helpful … as they are a spiritual path which builds health, purpose and respect. A gift from your past … The culture is self explanatory … the rituals are a powerful value system. Again, the cultural rituals are not understood by whites at all … nor are they compatible with white values or culture. Not a good topic of conversation with whites … Too much to explain. Very difficult to explain … which again seems futile. The trauma could be explained as a lack of loving social connection, Affection deficit, isolation, abandonment etc. People never learned loving social connection in residential schools … as it was anything but a loving environment. They went home with broken hearts and bitterness … If you don’t have love in your heart … family love, self love … how can you pass that on to your children … That is what makes lost generations … No love. That is what the pain is all about … It’s an abyss. We cannot see the abyss, when we are in it … We cannot see the emptiness in our hearts … we can only feel the emptiness around us … the hole in our hearts … The children cannot understand the lack of love in their lives … but they can feel something is missing … The behaviour is an unloving behaviour which is passed on as a matter of fact … like osmosis … We have no point of reference or comparison … unless we see or experience what loving behaviour is, in relationships around us … compassion, unconditional bonds etc. That is the key. Love is the key … Love is what heals the pain … but learning to love and trust again is very difficult … rebuilding new emotional behaviour is not easy … but it is possible in the right conditions … It’s like rebuilding your soul … from the inside out. Re-building self esteem and self value … so that love can live in your heart again … as one cannot share what one does not possess … We cannot share love if it was not built into our hearts … recovering is a counter intuitive process at first … for people whom are hurting are not very giving. They are experiencing affective deficit … Very difficult to share love, when you don’t have any to share … It’s a non-starter … Difficult and complicated topic. We really need APTN … We all need the native perspective … and native spirituality. Canada knows nothing about native culture, which is ridiculous, after 300 years … but it is the root of Canadian culture … This is your land, your home and your story. Yours is a very powerful culture, ideology and technology, rooted in the land … Your technology is very pragmatic yet very spiritual. Many thanks to the APTN team … great job !

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