I wonder how many of us can look back on the genesis of our chronic illness as far back as previous generations where our parents or grandparents suffered injustice, and the stresses carried through into our own lives. So often I hope that whatever I have carried with me, handed down in part from my ancestors, part things that have happened to me, how often I hope that I've not inflicted too great a burden on my children. I don't think we will ever be able to prevent diseases like PMR because the human tragedy is too great. But as individuals we do what we can, what we must, to ease our own burdens and try not to inflict more suffering on others.
PMR and stress: I wonder how many of us can look... - PMRGCAuk
Your post reminds me of “Family Constellations” that is very much part of my eldest daughter’s work with children and families as a psychotherapist. Are you familiar with the concept?
oh yes, I’ve done work on handing back my ancestral trauma with a visualisation of handing over a golden tray to them. Sounds like a load of mumbo jumbo but it has been quite powerful for me.
I'm not sure you can get BBC programmes where you are .. recently there was a fascinating 2-part series called Neanderthals - Meet your Ancestors which investigated the remnants of their DNA that exist in us today, affecting our skin and immune system amongst other conditions in both positive and negative ways. I'll put the link here bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/... just in case, it's an hour each episode. We're subject to our DNA and we're used to saying Oh my Mum/Dad/Gran... had that, that's where I get it from, but we are so much older than that!
As you say, as individuals we can do what we can not to inflict our stresses on others - we learn all the right things at the wrong time, towards the end of our lives when we see the long perspective and become generally kinder, more tolerant.
Lovely thoughtful post, Heron.
I think The Neanderthals has aired here. It was probably one of those programs that's on too late for me (I live in the Atlantic time zone and most of our cable comes from the Eastern time zone) and I fell asleep during key moments. I'm sure it will be shown again and I'll try to stay awake!
In a conversation I had recently it was noted how the concept of "seven generations" seems to exist in disparate cultures: aboriginal Americans who look both to the past and the future saying we must pay attention how what we do today will impact seven generations after us, and the biblical "sins of the fathers" visited upon the children up to the seventh generation, came to mind.
SheffieldJane I hadn't heard of "family constellations".
thank you for this post HeronNS.
When you think of the constant wars that seem to be part of the human condition, is it any wonder that we're subject to stress inherited from our ancestors? I remember the days when if a woman was pregnant, she was treated like bone china as regards - don't upset her, treat her gently. All that was thrown away; what could the wisdom of generations of women possibly have to do with today's women? Only recently that wisdom has proved to be correct by the new science of epigenetics - stress and worry whilst in the womb affects our very DNA. One can only hope that we see eventually a world where everyone tries to treat each other with care and respect. Fingers crossed anyway!
Take care all x
That "bone china" treatment was the exclusive province of a certain class of women. The rest just went on as usual until the water broke, and then they were back at work in a day or so.
I imagine, although I don't really know, that in pre-industrial societies a pregnant woman would have been viewed as a sacred vessel. Vikings believed that you went to Valhalla if you were a man who died in battle or a woman who died in childbirth. Certainly respect for pregnant and postpartum women seems to have been lost now that childbirth is not so dangerous and children not so valuable.
Yeah, but when they were getting pregnant every year, it wasn't so special. It wasn't until the men pushed out the midwives that women died in, or after, childbirth as a regular thing, which, oddly, coincided with the time frame of the "bone china" syndrome surrounding that certain class of women. The rest usually did just fine in childbirth, with the assistance of a midwife or wise woman. It was mostly accident, disease and famine that took the babes and children.
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