Importance of Knowing Your Ancestors' Patterns & Traumas

ancestral healing genealogy generational trauma inherited trauma Jun 07, 2023

Knowing your family's generational patterns and trauma can provide important insights into the context and circumstances in which your ancestors lived. Those insights may also provide awareness about the choices you have made and patterns you live. This information can help you expand your genealogy and military research by giving you a deeper understanding of your family's history, community, religious, and cultural background.

Some questions you might ask about generational patterns and trauma include:

What significant events or experiences have occurred in your family's history that may have had a lasting impact on future generations? Tip! Be sure to examine this through the historical lens without judgment. We don't know the choices they made or things they had to face to create the life they led.

How have these events or experiences shaped your family's values, beliefs, and behaviors? Tip! Journal about the stories you've been told or overheard about big events or experiences. What do you notice? Are there patterns? Did behaviors change as a result of an event?

Are there any recurring themes or patterns in your family's history that may be related to past traumas or challenges? Tip! Try not to judge whatever you discover. Make notes, ask more questions of family members where you can, and allow whatever you feel around this information to rise, be felt, and release.

As the family healer, if you identify as this, how much of my family's trauma, grief, loss, anger, and other emotions and patterns have I taken on to heal for myself and them? Tip! The more we identify the patterns and traumas, the easier it is to see where we have been living those out. Keep going even though this is emotionally and sometimes physically difficult work.

Family Trauma - Pregnancy and Child Loss

One of the things I discovered in my family history was child loss. Now, you might say we all have that in our families but I discovered a pattern of 3 child losses in several generations which led to me. When I discovered this, it made the extreme pain of my losses and how it was handled and how I was (NOT) supported, make more sense.

My great grandma Bessie was one of eight children and three had died by the time she was a teenager. So her mother lost 3 children. Bessie lost three children early in life. Her daughter Jennie (my great aunt) lost 3 children. Then it seems to have skipped a generation unless one of my aunts lost three children. I know one aunt lost a child. The other may have had a miscarriage but I'm not sure.

Then we get to me. After the birth of my oldest son, my then husband was diagnosed with cancer that required extensive treatment which led to him not being able to have any more kids. So he banked sperm prior to a major surgery and our only option to have other kids was IVF. In 2014 I went through four rounds of IVF. Number 1 failed. Number 2 resulted in the loss of twins at 9 weeks. Number 3 resulted in the loss of a singleton (So now I've lost 3 babies). Number 4 resulted in my twin boys who just graduated high school.

When I lost those twins, I had no emotional support at home because my then husband was never available to help anyone that way. Had I not already had a child, I'm not sure what my journey would have been out of the darkness I fell into. When I lost baby #3 it got worse. However, looking back after identifying the pattern of child loss, I realized as the family healer, I took on some of my female ancestors' pain and that made mine so much worse. My ancestors likely had no emotional support to process their loss, no tools to process and maybe no time because they were so busy surviving and raising other children that they had to shove the emotions away.

Those unprocessed emotions were passed down through the generations and I was the "lucky" one who got to feel them in all their horrific glory. Yet here I stand today stronger because of it. My lineage has healed some major traumas and patterns because I was willing to feel it all and heal it. This is only one example of things I have healed for my lineage.

Ultimately, learning about your family's generational beliefs, behaviors, patterns, and trauma can help you better understand your own personal history and identity, as well as your place within your family and community. It may not be easy emotionally, but by taking the time to explore these issues, you can gain valuable insights that can inform your genealogy and military research and enrich your overall understanding of your family's story. This information may even help you create a vastly different life than you ever imagined.

Begin to explore your family's patterns & traumas

Purchase access to my webinar, Why Was Grandma So Mean? to begin your exploration into how genealogical and military records can help use see family patterns.

Book an private session, many options available based on your needs, and let me help you explore what's hidden in your family tree.

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