Can Individuals with Traumatic Childhoods Become Free Adults?
Many individuals are burdened by especially difficult fates. Some fates are carried from childhood and involve especially traumatic events such as difficult births, early separation from mother due to sickness and/or death, child molestation, extreme depravation, neglect, poverty, and sometime homelessness. These early traumas are then carried as burdens and often create significant dysfunctions well into adulthood.
A couple of questions are raised. Can these early traumatic events ever be resolved? And, can adults who experienced birth or childhood trauma ever become fully functioning adults? The answer is a resounding, YES! And, Systemic Family Constellations can resolve these very difficult challenges.
Systemic Family Constellations asks the difficult question: Does an individual’s difficult fate really belong to him or her? Or, is he or she entangled with the fate of an ancestor? People do this, although they have never met the ancestor, or even heard his or her name. This is done out of “love” for those who have passed before. It is generally unconscious, because often the ancestor has died without having the opportunity to resolve traumatic issues. The person in the present becomes entangled—sometimes following the ancestor into an early death by becoming extremely ill, by experiencing repeated injuries, operations, or serious illnesses. A difficult or challenging fate can wear a person down, causing him or her constant grief or pain.
Traumatic events in which the ancestors were involved may have included war, famine, banishment or expulsion from the homeland, because the jobs that supported them were no longer viable or available. Some ancestors were forced to travel far across continents and oceans, and many were exposed to seriously traumatic events right here in the United States. Many left the Old Country only to find even greater traumas here.
Some indigenous peoples were forced to travel great distances, such as the march of the Cherokees on the Trail of Tears. Some miners from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were forced to send their children in busloads to orphanages and foster homes around Detroit when the mines could no longer support their men. Slave owners separated wives from their men when they sold husbands to distant plantations in order to keep families from developing strength, and to prevent rebellions. Ever since the early settlers to the US, children have been separated from parents, husbands taken from wives, and mothers have left their children in order to work at jobs far from their homes.
These difficult fates are passed down through families, and many living today carry the scars of ancestral traumas they got through their parents. Many forms of therapy stress the need to feel and express anger towards parents who were simply victims of the fates they took on. Systemic Family Constellations allows for these traumas to be healed and the Orders of Love resolved in the family system—without blame.
When an individual with a traumatic fate can see that the traumas have been passed down through generations, he or she is better able to look at the parents with love, and through to the generations before them, all the way back to the “healed ancestors,” to the very source of life. When the individual understands that he or she has taken life from his or her parents, and that this same life was passed down to him or her, they are better able to open their heart and let love flow in. These are the individual’s parents, their only parents, and even if adopted, the true mother and father are always the birth parents—even though in the past, adopted children rarely knew who the birth parents were. Since they are the only true parents, the birth parents are always the very “best” parents for that individual—even when that individual has never met the parents who gave them life.
Every individual is limited by the parents they have, with only certain options being available to them. Based on who their parents are, some individuals have a tougher fate than others. However, as Bert Hellinger, creator of Systemic Family Constellations suggests, the more difficult a person’s life is, very often the greater gifts that person has been given, and therefore the greater heights that person can attain. But, in the end, parents are parents, and fate is fate, and there isn’t one that is better or worse than another! Therefore, no individual is better or worse than another!