Lucinda Gordon-Lennox, TRC London, explains why so much of the pain we are carrying simply is not ours – so why is this? How is it that we carry the unprocessed pain of our parents, grandparents and beyond?
As soon as we are conceived – and definitely through to the age of 2 years old, our pre-frontal cortex, our rational/logical decision-making brain – is simply not formed. It is not yet ‘online’; this means that we are emotional sponges.
And there is a very high probability that our parents will carry unresolved pain inside them. And when this is the case, there is a very high chance we will pick up on it. At this young age we don’t have the cognitive or emotional capacity to work out “this is Mum’s stuff not mine”, so we absorb it as our own. And it becomes part of our own pain.
Sometimes during trauma work we might go back into the womb – very often here we have picked up on Mum’s stuff. Perhaps her anxiety makes us feel unsafe. Perhaps her unprocessed grief makes us feel as though we don’t want to be born because it all feels too painful.
Sometimes too, during trauma work, we work directly on the Mum or Dad interject (thoughts, beliefs/feelings of those around us that we unconsciously adopt when we are children, taking them on as though they are ours). By doing this, we are not doing Mum or Dad’s trauma work for them, but we are able to release our own felt experience if their stuff that has become lodged in us.
Of course we carry our own pain from our own lives and our own relational misalignments and traumas. But if we feel we have looked at this and processed this – and we still don’t feel that wonderful, I wonder if it’s time to look beyond our own trauma and to that of our parents and beyond; there is a high chance we are carrying that too.
And we can release it.
Author: Lucinda Gordon-Lennox
Trauma Specialist MSc (Reg MBACP, FDAP Accred)