Stored trauma from past generations

I am learning to listen to the information stored in the cells of my body a lot more lately.. Today I did therapy by phone as I had a busy week with a lot of struggle after watching the movie that stirred up past trauma and today in therapy my ancestor Bluey came through in my body.. It might sound bizzare but after I shared my poem On The Wind with Kat my therapist I felt the energetic print and force of being on a World War One battle field with shocks going off all around me as bodies were being tossed this way and me Jung had Sun square to Neptune and lived very close to the collective unconscious.

It is something my first Jungian therapist recognised in me back in 1999 when I did my first stint of therapy that got aborted 2 years later. I remember asking her if she thought I had Borderline Personality Disorder. Her reply was this : “No Deborah you are someone who lives very close to the border of the collective unconscious.”

Today I felt the trauma Bluey endured as I was reading one of my posts and there was a feeling like being twisted and crushed by an inner psychic force all around the back of my left shoulder blade and I felt the pain deep in my lungs.. My grandfather was gassed during WWI and died from those injuries in 1931.

I have been having these intense spiral spins for most of the week around my spinal axis and its getting intense as transiting Mars at 17 Aries squares transiting Mercury at 19 Cancer as both slowly approach both the square and opposition to transiting Saturn Jupiter and Pluto in the final decante of Capricorn (each signs has 3 decantes that span 0-10, 11-20, and 21 – 30 degrees of each sign.)

Pluto stores the imprints of what has passed or been experienced in past generations. It also makes us sensitive to the spirit world or etheric ether in some way, at least that is my intuitive sense.. Those of us with Moon Pluto aspects often carry something deeply emotional powerful and hidden from our multi generational maternal inheritance. (Possibly those with Pluto Sun carry it from the father’s side though I have not yet researched this.) I know in my own life this relates back to the loss of his mother my great great grandfather endured in the 1760s… eventually Thomas became an alcoholic, our great great grandmother left him and that alcoholism trauma was passed down skipping a generation….something I have been exploring in therapy with Katina today.

Kat was asking me what sort of person my older sister who is now dead was.. She was beautiful, full of spirit, strong, forceful, creative and sadly became an alcoholic who pushed herself too hard to achieve and eventually came unstuck… she was more of an engaged mother to me than my own mother but sadly she left when I was 3 years old, returning when I was about 10… I often used to visit her before she finally moved back to our home town and suffered a cerebral bleed in 1980, six months after my near death accident. I still miss her though she suffered so much later in life that I am now glad she is at peace.

A spiritual healer once told me my sister’s trauma was related to ancestral trauma.. She even married a man from New Zealand which was the place my g g grandparents migrated to in 1875. She moved back to New Zealand for a time and her two oldest boys were born there..she named them John and James not knowing those were my Mum’s Dad’s first and second names as Mum’s father died of war injuries when she was 7.

In our family it was my older brother who was the golden child. He carried all of my father’s hopes and dreams of material and financial success and has achieved that but sadly has next to nothing to do with my dead sister’s sons, which is a shame.. they are all beautiful boys who suffered from the fracturing of the family that accompanied my sister’s illness, breakdown and later psychosis.

I feel grateful lately to be breaking free more and more of any expectations of my family being other than they can or could be. Ours is an emotionally distant and avoidant family sadly, and it is a pattern I wish to change in my own life going forward. Sadly I could not recognise this hidden influence in time to stop that dynamic affecting my life until now, and after all I am only lately learning to love, respect, nurture, support and champion myself as well as stop judging myself for the consequences of all this abandonment trauma playing out. It’s the 16th anniversary of my ex husband leaving me in 4 days so it’s no wonder past weeks have felt intense emotionally.

I read a beautiful but very sad poem from one of the World War One poet’s Siegfried Sassoon featured in a collection I bought last year called Some Desperate Glory. I cried a lot reading it but felt a distance too. How those young men coped after returning to ‘normal life is beyond me. They had visited the Underworld. Shell shock was a more honest embodied description of traumatic experience than the term PTSD which was only coined after the Vietnam War. As trauma specialist Peter Levine notes in his wonderful book In An Unspoken Voice the newer term is more dissociated…I felt those shocks in my body yesterday as we spoke of the OCD cleaning impulses that dog our family. My older sis was a big fan of Mr Sheen…Cleaning and compulsively ordering were ways Mum kept deeper more complex messy feelings at bay.

Today my dog Jasper runs out the door when cleaning starts reminding me of how it felt to be a young child who could never just kick back relax, sink in to the moment and zone out for a while these are the ways we access the imaginative creative realms…luckily today I can live differently when I loosen the hold of this tightly spun energy that at times wants to possess and tie me up in knots compulsively. The nasty witch mother isn’t waggling her finger at me so much times I am feeling capable of drawing a deeper breath while allowing a longer exhalation….big sigh!! Moments of pure peace are arising more lately as islands of calm amidst the frenzy and buried emotional chaos I am being born out of. The more emotion I recognise, feel, have validated and release the freer and lighter I feel. The Sun then emerges from behind clouds and I soak it up..knowing it feels a lot like love..I feel then the Universal light shining down on me healing relaxing and empowering me..refreshing me deeply in body mind soul and spirit even as I hear my ancestors voices and feel their suffering I can begin to know I only ever was a container for something seeking expression through my art, writing and therapy. I am sure many artists and writers also access this realm through their work.

Following are the final two stanzas of Siegfried Sassoon’s poem The Redeemer

No thorny crown, only a woollen cap

He wore – an English soldier, white and strong,

Who loved his time like any simple chap,

Good days of work and sport and homely song,

Now he has learned that nights are very long,

But to the end, unjudging, he’ll endure

Horror and pain, not uncontent to die

That Lancaster on Lune may stand secure.

He faced me, reeling in his weariness,

Shouldering his load of planks, so hard to bear.

I say that He was Christ who wrought to bless

All groping things with freedom bright as air,

And with His mercy washed and made them fair.

Then the flame sunk, all grew black as pitch,

Whie we began to struggle along the ditch;

And someone flung his burden in the muck,

Mumbling: ‘Oh Christ Almighty, now I’m sunk’

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12 thoughts on “Stored trauma from past generations

  1. I’ve never heard of ‘ancestral trauma’ – but maybe it can explain some of things I experience too. Though, I’m not possessed by it that actual ancestors emerge – but the other things, yes. I can relate- it’s part of the reason I make poems.

    1. I found out a lot about it by reading I the book It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn three years ago. It helped me make sense of a lot. I think the struggle our ancestors had to stay alive is big in some families..though each situation can differ.

      1. I agree. Would it not pass after a few generations though, or does it remain as part of our dna for all time. Very interesting concept, thank you for the book referral, I’m going to read it.

      2. You can work to release it’s hold according to him..They just want it acknowledged and you see what core scentences or beliefs drive you and pass them back. I’ll try and find the links to a number of posts I did on his work for you later.

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