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Mar/Apr '18: Heart Berries > Are traumas legacies from our parents and/or for our children?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Hello everyone!

First, this thread may contain substantial traces of spoilers so if you have not finished Heart Berries I invite you not to read further this thread to not ruin your reading, unless you are not allergic to such substances ;)

Let's start! This book made me think about several questions concerning traumas. When I went through the reading of Heart Berries, I noticed (you probably did the same) that the author had traumas (maybe still has, not sure about that) and both her parents had traumas.

So, the questions I would like to bring are:

Are our traumas (if we have some) legacies from our parents?

Is a trauma, either solved or not, can have an impact on our children?

Are traumas mainly created or given during childhood?

message 2: by Nihan (last edited Mar 24, 2018 08:39AM) (new)

Nihan I think traumas certainly occurs when we are children. When we grow up mostly we turn into our parents. If we get beaten we become a nervous person. If we are abused we become unprotected...

message 3: by Pam (last edited Mar 24, 2018 09:39AM) (new)

Pam | 1077 comments Mod
Are our traumas (if we have some) legacies from our parents?

Yes. Because if they haven't learned to heal properly, then they too are providing a broken framework. I.e. you cannot fill a glass of water from a broken pitcher. The glass of water will never be full.

So the child we either learn this the broken world is what is normal OR they if they ever grow up and are able to see that what they had was broken, they will resent what the parent has given, wilbich can foster its own pain and lack of compassion.

Is a trauma, either solved or not, can have an impact on our children?


Are traumas mainly created or given during childhood on our children?

Not necessarily. But as children we do not have the language or the experience to deal with it ourselves. We have to be shown how to.

If the trauma is given by a parent or adult figure: this is a perversion of parenting. The one person whose responsibility it is to teach you is doing the exact opposite.

If the trauma happens and our parents don't show us how to properly heal/ deal with the emotions/ chaotic reality then they have failed in their role as parents.

And I think this is true for parents who are living with children who are "different" not just in trauma circumstances. The parents who have children that don't fit the expectation they had in mind.

And by that I mean like handicapped or austic. Dreams of "my kid is on the honor roll" bumper stickers get ruined if the child will be in diapers their entire life.

Or specifically with austism, more often than not parents will throw money at trying to " fix" the child, ( therapy, private tutors, drugs) instead of fixing their own expectations.

message 4: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 24, 2018 03:59PM) (new)

Hello Florian ! : )

Like the bad and lazy guy I am, I haven't started to read the book yet. I need to find it (it's important) and read it (it's much more important), a very exhausting plan, isn't it ? ; )
Unfortunately, I like to do what's forbidden and thus I chose to read this topic further despite your warning... : P

Well, to be more serious, the questions you asked are very interesting. My answers to them are below obviously. : )

Are our traumas (if we have some) legacies from our parents?

As we are influenced by our parents during our childhood, I think our traumas are often legacies from them. But I also think, as it is an influence (like education), we can work on it after and overcame these traumas more easily than if it was traumas resulting from psychological shocks.

Is a trauma, either solved or not, can have an impact on our children?

I think if the trauma is solved, it can have a positive impact by making us able to tell our experiences to avoid our children to have this trauma or manage it better than us.

If the trauma isn't solved, I think the effect can be both negative and positive, depends of the situation I guess.

Are traumas mainly created or given during childhood?

Not necessarily. I think a lot of people develop traumas after a psychological shocks they have along their life.

message 5: by Ashley (new)

Ashley | 82 comments This is something I have been wrestling with for some time. Both of my parents have suffered traumas, some more recent than others and some that have never been spoken of. I was raised my 2 people that were still healing. I think it has shaped who I have become. I have suffered traumas (like every other person) and try my hardest to raise my son so that they don’t effect him, but I am not perfect.

On the other hand, I heard a long time ago from some where- when you’re 30, you can no longer blame your parents for your choices or who you are. In this assumption, you’ve grown separate from your parents and childhood. Although, I’ve got to say I’m skeptical of this...

Also, I didn’t read the book yet. Haven’t gotten my hands on a copy just yet. But I enjoy reading spoilers (sometimes) because it can give me an insight that I may not have come to on my own while reading)

message 6: by Ana, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (last edited Mar 26, 2018 08:25AM) (new)

Ana PF | 746 comments Mod
Hello! I have yet to start reading the book because life just won't stop over here, however and since I knew the synopsis, let me pop by with some thoughts...

Are our traumas (if we have some) a legacy from our parents?

Nnnnot necessarily in my opinion. It would depend on the particular trauma and its extent. If it comes to the point where it interferes with the parents' life, then obviously it's going to have an effect on the children, one way or another, however that doesn't necessarily entails that they are inheriting those traumas.

In more extreme cases, such as abuse and domestic violence that the parent later replicates on the family, then, sadly, yes. I should still add an addendum that I am privileged enough to come from a fairly stable family where, although we of course have some sad memories and difficult trials, nothing would even come close to be defined as a trauma.

Can a trauma, either solved or not, have an impact on our children?

If it's solved, perhaps not that much? If anything, even, a positive one. You would know what it entails and would be better equipped to advise your children against whatever it is? Again, luckily I have no personal experience that would make me speak from experience.

Are traumas mainly created or given during childhood?

I would not really say so. For instance, you have many people who had normal, pleasant childhoods and then grew up to be victims of abuse in their teenagehood, or in their early adult years, or at any point of their lives, really. Traumatic events can take place at any moment of your life and they can be just as destructive irregardless of when they take place.

I think the thing with childhood traumas is that they are sadly even easier to go undetected, to just fly under the radar. Kids don't really have that many tools to process stuff and to realise that they are going through something that they should not, or to actually perceive that they are suffering in a way that is going to leave ugly scars or even untreated wounds later. Plus the general understanding is that kids are so resilient!!!. Which, not really, but the result of this all is that many kids do indeed swallow everything and stay silent. Then later certain things appear and once you track things back, well, they stem from a certain place.

What does qualify as a trauma? I'm asking this question to myself aloud because to be perfectly honest, I am not sure whether some of the events of my life could qualify as such. Namely, I was a victim of bullying all throughout elementary school and even well into high school. Ever since I was a very young girl and up until I was a tween, I was subjected on a regular basis to verbal abuse from quite a few of my peers and even a teacher. The former would very incidentally even resort to minor physical violence. This would stop in high school, but the verbal side of it did not really disappear. I was tormented frequently for my good grades, for my hobbies, for my lack of gymnastic skills, for pretty much whatever they could find that would make me vulnerable. I was told to shut up. I was isolated often. It hurt most when it'd come from some of my actual friends.

I, of course, wish it would have been different, but that's how things went. Children, albeit not fully accountable for their acts, can be very cruel. They are also vulnerable, which is why I became a victim, although one with the constant, inconditional love and support of my family.

Now, can those events be considered traumatic? Hmmm. I am not sure. Depends to what you measure them. I do know that I've grown up to be a very insecure person. I can be very, very harsh with myself and I am always seeking perfection or else I come down on myself mercilessly. Things that I do and think will sometimes show a very low self-esteem. I used to be, and in a certain, very vague way, still am, horribly grateful whenever people would be kind and seem to seek my friendship, because why would anyone want that? Things like that. :)

I am now a grown woman and as such I have learned to identify the signs and the issues themselves! :) I am doing my best to heal and I wouldn't say that I am broken in any way. However, lately as I've grown older I've often reflected on my childhood. I was often praised by my family for being a very strong, stubborn little girl who would not surrender to peer pressure or mistreatment. While that is true, I just wonder whether many of my shortcomings come from the years when these things affected me but from which I would seemingly come out unscathed. In this way, perhaps I suffer from past trauma. :)

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Ana wrote: "Hello! I have yet to start reading the book because life just won't stop over here, however and since I knew the synopsis, let me pop by with some thoughts...

Are our traumas (if we have some) a l..."

You rise an excellent question @Ana. : )

What does qualify as a trauma ?

I think trauma is a psychological injury made to us which, like physical trauma, leaves scars. Like you, I lived bullying at school and I think psychological scars remain forever to make us stronger for the rest of our life. Finally, "thanks" to people who bullied us, we are stronger than them in our adulthood and more prepared than them to face difficult situations (the lonelyness when we move to a foreign country for example). Obviously, I speak from my point of view as a person who overcame his trauma.

It's kinda paradoxical but that's my feeling on that subject. : )

So, to sum up, I think we can call a trauma what leaves scars on us.

message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 28, 2018 06:03AM) (new)

Hello everyone!

Those questions seem to interest many people here. Ok, now time to contribute :)

Are our traumas (if we have some) a legacy from our parents?

The question was probably either too specific or not enough.
I think you are right, a trauma can be the consequence of a stress (Stress= event, actions, situations etc...) which is external to the family "being bullied" is a good example.
A trauma may also be the "legacy" of a parent since, in my opinion, we build ourselves from external sources and the closest one are usually our parents. They raise us and we tend to partially see the world through their eyes while we are developing ourselves.

Can a trauma, either solved or not, have an impact on our children?

I think a not solved trauma may impact a child since she/he can either absord it or build walls to contain it. Why in some situation it breaks down someone whereas in another situation it strenghtens someone? No idea, I have spent years to think about that question and I have no answers.

I agree with you, a trauma which is solved, has potentially a positive effect on our children since we won't transfer any of those wounds to our children either by emotional/moral/physical pains or by giving "unstable foundations" for our children to build on. I feel those scars are like a knowledge that we may teach to our childrent to show them how to face a specific situation and to tell that there is hope.

I am not ashamed to admit that the impact of a psychologic pain on my children (if I have some one day) was a fear I had. We do not want to reproduce those pains :)

Are traumas mainly created or given during childhood?

In my opionion, not always. A tragic event can strike everyone at any time. I have the feeling a child is usually defenseless and does not possess the tools and the experience to face terrible obstacles but, just like Ana mentioned it, the majority of the children is resilient, this is a mystery to me.
Nevertheless, I think that this resilience fades along the time or maybe we open our eyes little by little and we realize what was around or inside us.

I would say that traumas transmit or developed in the childhood are like a poison that reveal themselves later.

I will probably add more and edit my post later. I will need to read your instructive posts again :)

message 9: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (crazylittlebookpage) | 55 comments https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4... this book is a really good resource to put childhood traumas into perspective

message 10: by Krystal (new)

Krystal (crazylittlebookpage) | 55 comments Are our traumas (if we have some) legacies from our parents?
I think if our parents aren't given the resources of how to break the cycle of abuse and trauma then yes most certainly we can be.

Is a trauma, either solved or not, can have an impact on our children?
The only time the trauma I think can have an impact on our children is if we let it have an impact. We can and must do everything we can to prevent that cycle from continuing no matter what it takes

Are traumas mainly created or given during childhood?
I feel like this is a trick question. A child is not responsible for their trauma and no child should be the victim of childhood traumas

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

It's reasonable to think that our traumas stem from our parents. They are the first role models we have. They are the ones to show us the world and explain it to us. They are the first ones to help us understand the world. When we're born, we're initially dependent upon them and they're the first ones to offer us a hand, so we can naturally find ourselves trusting them more than anyone else. When they turn out to be entirely different than our expectations or idealized image of them, it's easy for us to see how trauma can come from them. Sometimes we feel like we have no control over letting people affect us and it is inevitable to have others like our parents change us. But is that really true? Or is it not our situation but the way that we react to the situation that really defines who we are? How important is our childhood and adolescence for our future personality? How much will it take before something is traumatic enough to change us drastically? Does this depend on the broken expectations we had from our parents?

I feel that trauma can have an impact on our children. If rooted from our parents, it is possible that how much we pick up from them (like their certain minor habits) can determine or imply how much we can easily let our trauma influence our children.

Whether traumas are mainly created or given during childhood depends on how others define trauma. Some people's definition of trauma may be drastically different than those of others, and maybe that could be rooted from how they were raised, how they act or other factors.

message 12: by Gilgamesha (new)

Gilgamesha | 3 comments There is research which shows a correlation between chronic trauma and epigenetic changes which will be passed to offspring so in terms of science it is something that our parents could give us and we could also pass on to our children. That being said we are obviously more than our genes and from personal observation those who are resilient and overcome trauma are extraordinary individuals.

message 13: by Shayesteh (new)

Shayesteh | 10 comments A trauma can happen in one’s life at any point, but what is of importance about the traumas experienced through childhood -either given through parents or others- is that considering a child is not equipped with means of overcoming them they can easily be fixated on them and later on they can result in personality disorders. And in my opinion, personality disorders are the reason why parents may transfer the traumas they’ve been through to their children. Having said all this, as an adult, I think, we can work our way through each and every one of them and move past them, for want of a better word, so that they won’t be a problem in our lives, anymore.
I remember in Hunger -one of the books we read together- the author had experienced a trauma as a teenager -she was raped- and she was not able to tell anyone, afterwards, being fixated on it, but as an adult she could even write about it, which in my opinion if she was still fixated on the trauma, she couldn’t have.
I think, artists can best move on from the traumas they have experienced, through their artworks.
In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, too, Joyce has been able to move past his traumatic life, frame by frame.

message 14: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (makbeta) | 11 comments Very interesting discussions Florian, thanks for bringing it up.

On childhood traumas
Childhood trauma has a big impact on our lives, as we are most vulnerable during that time.
I believe that our greatest strength and resilience comes from the inner family nucleus. But that also has the flipside, it can also be the deepest source of our pain. Repeated trauma from caretakers is known to have lifelong consequences. However, there is also the resilience factor. ACES score is one way scientist try to quantify at least some of these factors.

Is a trauma, either solved or not, can have an impact on our children?
I think all trauma has effect on us. But I believe that what makes one a good parent vs not so good of a parent is not whether or not one is "perfect". Rather, I think the effects trauma is lessened when one as a parent takes full responsibility in front of the children for any situation that may be traumatic to a child and also teaches the child to develop tools and resources to deal with trauma effectively.

On trauma resolution
I see many hopeful messages of ability to have a meaningful life after trauma. Optimism is very healthy and what helps us get through. However, when I look realistically at people like the author who just faced so much adversity so early in life with very little resources for resilience, it's an uphill battle. Suppression of the trauma is usually the most common way people deal with it, we biologically wired for that. I think true trauma resolution requires a lot of dedicated hard work and few people truly achieve it. That said, I still believe it's worthwhile to try to renegotiate the traumatic experiences so they have less damaging effect on our lives and those around us.

message 15: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 04, 2018 06:37AM) (new)

Good morning everyone!

@Elizabeth: thanks for bringing answers and participating in the discussion :) I did not know about the ACES, I am curious how some scientists quantify such things and I have to admit I am sceptical. I work in science and I know that many scientists are not that good and propose irrelevant theories and results so this explain (partially) why I am sceptical :) . I need to read about it to make a clear opinion :)

Oooh... you are right! I did not differentiate personality disoders, thanks you for bringing this point Shayesteh! I am just wondering if a trauma which is not initially a personality disorder can create one? I am tempted to say yes.

Have a good one!

message 16: by Shayesteh (new)

Shayesteh | 10 comments According to what I have read of Freud and Lacan and other psychoanalysts so far, I think it is a trauma that leads to personality disorders.

message 17: by Elizabeth (last edited Apr 04, 2018 11:35PM) (new)

Elizabeth (makbeta) | 11 comments Florian wrote: "I did not know about the ACES, I am curious how some scientists quantify such things and I have to admit I am sceptical."

You are right to be skeptical, science doesn't work well without skepticism. Based on what I've read, even the original designers of the the test (basically questionnaires on traumatic and resilience factors) will readily admit that it's merely a start and it is far from perfect. However, even with the limited set of questions the data showed that there is a link childhood adverse experiences and adult's success and health. The CDC did the original study and I believe there has been a few more done since. The link contains plenty of "geeky" data, if you want to get into it.

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