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Does generational trauma really exist?

by Monsurat Momoh
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Generational trauma also known as intergenerational trauma refers to behaviors or challenges passed down, generation after generation. As the name signifies, it affects people in families negatively. There’s absolutely no positivity in trauma.

Although this trauma can include sexual abuse, murder amongst others, this article focuses on the emotional effect of generational trauma. As Nigerians, it is very easy to identify emotional abuse and trauma within families, as we have grown used to it. It is so normal that we make jokes about them and then we would probably repeat the same process with our children.

A perfect example would be, our parents barely apologize to their children. In fact, it is common knowledge here that children should never anger their parents in anyway. But it does not apply, the other way round. I mean, how can you be angry at your parents? Very nonsense something. You have no right to be annoyed at them. In fact, if they were to find out about your ridiculous anger, family meeting would be needed.

Other than making sarcastic remarks like I have just done, breaking generational trauma is easier thought than done. What’s an easy thing to do? Taking your anger out on someone.

Because our parents probably experienced worse things, they cannot be exactly blamed. I like to think of it as “that’s just how they are”. You know, it is very difficult to let go of something you are very well accustomed with.

Our generation on the other hand is filled with a lot more educated people who have realized that emotional trauma is toxic and our mental health is to be taken care of. Instead of hammering on the fact that our parents could have done better, let us work hard so we never have to repeat the same mistakes.  (I should probably run away before my dad sees this).

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