Recently I become aware of the field of epigenetics and research that shows that trauma is passed down into DNA from mother to baby and how excessive stress alters the DNA of adults. This gives clues to so many family puzzles.
My parents were both traumatized in infancy. They developed some pretty complex coping mechanisms for a life that was hard – their coping behaviours impacted myself and my siblings. I think many children of trauma know this multigenerational kind of story. The bible verse Numbers 14:18 references this. The sins of the father are visited upon the children and grandchildren. Perhaps it was not an actual sin though – but a catastrophe like war or famine that began the story. Many people get stuck blaming their parents but those parents were most likely responding to a multigenerational trauma that got handed to them. I have come to understand that my parents were doing the best with what they were given. Sometimes what is given though falls far short of Best Practice!
Compassion with boundaries is what is needed to move forward out of deep family injuries. Boundaries being the key word – one needs to heal the self and then perhaps help the family.
In the studies on epigenetics what I found most fascinating was that both meditation and yoga can alter the stressed DNA of a person and put it back into a balanced state. A person can heal themselves and move beyond family injury. Spending the time to watch thoughts, allowing them to be and, letting them pass – can alter DNA response! I find that piece of information so amazing and – encouraging.