The Lost Voice in Generations
During times of big transitions in my life I have dreams with messages from the subconscious. These dreams come with a deep inner knowing that I need to pay attention to them, so I do take these seriously because I recognise the different vibrations they have.
Recently, I woke up in the early hours of the morning and struggled to fall asleep. When finally I was in between the wake and sleep stage, I saw a woman in period clothing looking at me with tears in her eyes speaking to me but no voice was coming out of her mouth. There was a silhouette of a man in the background.
Suddenly another woman replaced her and kept on changing with high speed like a shutter click image constantly changing to the next woman one after another. And each and everyone either was unable to speak or no voice was coming out. All the while the silhouette of the man remained the same. Until it all gradually faded and there was darkness.
I woke up with a deep inner knowing this was a message and asked, is it the end to the oppression of the feminine or surely not the end of women’s voice?
I fell back to sleep with the question out there.
As I went back to sleep, the dream continued, I dreamt that I was speaking and telling my story to the ones who were listening, mainly women and as I was doing so, women were lighting up from inside out one by one. My story will change others because it will resonate.
Telling my story is something which is out of my comfort zone because it makes me vulnerable and until now I did not know how to tell it without sounding like a victim or include the painful details. But I feel I am able to now because even if it helps one person, it sure will make a difference because in turn, that one person will influence another and so on.
"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”
- Brené Brown
I come from a long line of intuitive women with psychic gifts, on my maternal lineage, also passed down to my children too but unfortunately, for most of my life I have been too fearful of these beautiful gifts to use them. You see, because I also inherited fear, shame, guilt and anxiety too. It felt like a double edged sword.
I have been on my healing journey since 2011, each transition has been bringing up different layers of trauma to clear quite intensely but the most intense which has opened me up to my vulnerability has been since spring of last year, after I ended my second relationship, this journey of understanding the role of vulnerability has been coming to its precipice since with the help of two beautiful women mentors helping me and guiding me through it.
I used to be fearful of it, I confused it with weakness. But experiencing it, made me realise that in fact, I also had courage buried deep inside. This journey made me see the real meaning of courage, being humble and how to be in my heart space and free my voice.
So I begin with a brief ancestral history.
My roots are Armenian - one of the oldest races on earth.
The bible says Noah’s Ark landed on our mount Ararat which we proudly boast about, unfortunately, this land has been out of reach for us Armenians. Another statement we boast proudly is the fact that we are the first as a nation to convert to Christianity. We were Pagans before that, as for me, in recent times I lead a more spiritual life.
I am the granddaughter of genocide survivors. My great grandparents apart from my maternal great grandmother, who survived and was such a strong woman who believed in the power of herbs, along with a million and a half of our race were massacred in WW1 when the word genocide did not even exist until much later. This, for all the Armenians, is a painful point in history because it is a genocide that has been denied by the perpetrators. Even at the present time, this painful unresolved history is repeating itself in Armenia by the same perpetrator, reviving the deep pain in our nation’s heart.
“Shame is best defined as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.”
- Brené Brown
We all know nowadays that there have been studies of how, just as we inherit eye colour and our parent’s looks, we can also inherit trauma in our DNA. There has been genocide studies carried out on survivors which concludes that the generations followed by genocide survivors have inherited guilt, shame, fear and anxiety. This is where the transgenerational trauma and collective trauma weaves into the ancestral one. When something is overwhelming, we do not talk about it, instead we keep it in our hearts and tissues as trauma and pass it down to our children instead and muting our voice at the same time. This is played out in each family, in each generation, silently inherited. When a trauma is unresolved, it is constantly re-lived in our lives until we stop running away from it, facing it and begin the healing process. As a nation, we are tapping in to the same vibration of pain, wanting recognition and resolution.
We choose to come to this world with the intention of clearing all these traumas. That is what we all are doing here, as souls, we chose to be here at these times. But how does one heal trauma that has been transferred from one generation to another becoming more and more ingrained with each generation when the emotions are too intense?
As a result of the genocide my grandparents ended up in Beirut, where I was born. I had a happy childhood with a close knit family, summer times living in the countryside were the highlight of my life and having my older sister and my young aunt as my best friends, we were in our elements of happiness. Unfortunately, from the age of 8, darkness gradually began to engulf me as the country was surrounded by war scenes. I stopped seeing the beauty around me and prayed religiously, went into periods of dissociation and dreamed about a saviour. We all spoke the silent language of internalised pain. Have you noticed how the eye colour goes deeper when there’s depression and sorrow in the heart and gets lighter as you release those emotions after a good cry? When there’s dissociation, not being able to be aware of what, where, why am I feeling, I monitored my eye colour. We find ways of coping mechanisms, this was one of many for me.
As an adult, looking back, I could see how transgenerational trauma was very much present in my parents and grandparents lives, and how reliving the current version of what my ancestors lived has kept their trauma alive and evolved, so I grew up taking on their personalities and parenting skills. Recently, my younger sister and I also took on my father’s pain in his left shoulder, all these years we thought it was just work related but only when I had the frozen shoulder and delved deep into my discomfort that I realised it was generational trauma. It only began to heal after my awareness of it.
When trauma is unresolved we subconsciously end up seeking co-dependent relationships with the other seeking the same. We look for love outside of ourselves trying to heal the pain within, which was my experience getting married at the age of 21. We were both young with deep similar wounds.
In such relationships, the couple play 3 roles - saviour, victim and/or persecutor. Each takes on one dominant role, with every once in a while taking on the other roles and going round in circles, all done subconsciously of course. And this not only affects us but it also affects our children too, which brings me to emphasise the importance of conscious coupling and conceiving. Hindsight is always a beautiful realisation but a good start, it soon changes and becomes closer to our awareness until we are ready to make the change.
It is amazing how with each generation the veil has become thinner and the younger generations have more awareness. All children are born with awareness but it takes a conscious parent to nourish and support them. My children have helped me with my healing journey and changing my mindset. It brings tears to my eyes when I think of how proud I am of them and how they have taught me to evolve my re-parenting skills towards them as well as my own.
Our nervous system is designed to detect danger and look for safety, once all is well we go back to normal social mode again.
In traumatised individuals, the nervous system is constantly on guard, we perceive danger in most things, there is tension and stiffness in the muscles specifically shoulders and neck, anger is one common emotion directed either towards others or self. There comes a time when things are too much to cope with, so we become either overwhelmed or we freeze, manifesting as denial, dissociation or dreamy or we flop, we faint when all is too much. And if the perceived danger is still present and none of the above is working, we become people pleasers and befriend our perceived enemy. This is the most tiring form because we are always on alert, reading our own emotions as well as the other person’s body language. Wearing a mask of calm on the outside while there is chaos inside.
Have you noticed that it is always the woman who initiates change?
We can play all these roles in co-dependent relationships until one day we become aware that this is not how it is meant to be.
Couples can survive co-dependency if both individuals bring awareness to the part they are playing in the relationship. My marriage did end after 22 years. Even I was surprised at myself when I said I wanted out. I pretended that we didn’t have the conversation for a while. After all divorce is looked down upon in our culture and it is easier to go back to what I knew best, which was survival mode.
Awareness is a point in a situation or life, where looking back, it is somewhere we do not want to go back to any more, but taking a step forward scares us. It is out of our comfort zone, because it is a step that we haven’t taken yet. So most people stay at this point and decide to go back instead but since the awareness is there, they sink into depression.
Have you noticed that it is always the woman or the one with the feminine energy is the individual who makes the first move towards change? We are the ones who create the ripple effect of change towards healing, and when we do, our families and everyone around us begin to change too and the ones who don’t agree to those changes or are too afraid of the changes occurring, will drift away.
I did go forward with fear of the unknown as my companion. I was even scared to tell my parents in case they didn’t accept it. Perception when feeling low comes in negative form. My parents over the years have become mellow with age and since they had unconditional love for me, supported me in my decision. It felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.
"If everything around you seems dark, look again, You might be the Light."
During this time, I enrolled in CranioSacral therapy (CST) course which brought up all the layers of trauma - starting with my own and going deeper with time into peeling off the layers of generational, ancestral and collective trauma more in the recent years.
Halfway through the course, the intensity of what was coming up became too much for me and I did not have faith in my ability to become a good facilitator. Self doubt is another thing that can surround a trauma survivor. Finding blame in external things is another, it makes it easier to defer from our life paths. We can trust easily followed by taking a step back so not being fully present. I took a break from studying to focus on my healing.
I experimented or did courses in Shamanic healing, became a Reiki Master, different approach to CST, meditation, meridians & acupoints, always onto the next course that I thought would help me find my peace within. They all did help in different ways but healing happens when we find a way of coming back to be in our body again because as a traumatised person, we are always outside of our body, in our thoughts, even though at the same time we feel everything deeply too. Does it make sense?
We are mostly in our heads, in our thoughts, thinking about subjects we don’t even know how we got to it, by one thought leading to another, simply because we are never in our body, we are always somewhere else because being in our bodies will remind us of the pain present but we also don’t know why we feel things so intensely.
There is disconnection between our body awareness and brain and what connects these two is the heart and the higher heart where our Thymus sits and as a result our throat, our voice gets restricted.. We carry a lot of pain in our hearts with barriers around it to stop hurting but what happens is we sit inside with those emotions, feeling alone in our pain, creating disconnection within and without, in our relationships.
I found grounding is the key to bring myself back to my body again, I always emphasise this. Initially I used to do this only when feeling ungrounded and in my head, which took longer for me to bring myself back to balance. For a while now I do this twice daily morning and evening as well as aligning my midline and clearing my energy field to maintain my calm and balance instead of using it when needed.
After four years I went back to fully qualify in CST which I have been practicing for more than 3 years.
"When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open and love steps forth to heal everything in sight."
- Michael Bridge
Over the years, but more so now, I have learnt to embrace my gifts and am regularly learning how to make that bond stronger.
I have learnt that healing comes from within, there is an infinite source of love deep inside connected to each and every person through our heart, accessible once the layers of the armour has been peeled off. This source of energy is reached together with a facilitator that we trust, but it is us who does the work.
When we reach this point, we realise that forgiveness is just a word used to satisfy the ego, when there is love, there’s no need for forgiveness.
It doesn’t mean that once this point is reached, the trauma is healed. I used to think that trauma is something that has been planted and needed to be shed away but I soon realised that it is a part of me, it is part of my nervous system but the beauty of our nervous system is that it can create new pathways. By changing the way we react to the triggers, the nervous system will carve new pathways of coping mechanisms.
It’s not as easy as an abc and a magic wand or we lie down on the treatment couch, the therapist does all the work then we carry on with our lives and wonder why the feel good after a session is short lived? Sometimes we can use healing as escapism too where we feel floaty and good but it is important to realise this because it becomes a pattern.
Healing is not done in a straight line, it is in spiral form peeling away layers of trauma. And sometimes we come to the same point and wonder why we are here again, didn't I heal this already? When getting to this stage, it is very easy to despair and decide to give up. But we are healing, it is just that we are healing the deeper layers that still have emotions attached to the event concerned.
It is not only healing the body, we also need to heal our mindset too. Everything is connected with layers.
It has been 8 years since my initial awareness came to my attention, but the seed was planted by my children long before. As a result so many members of my family have begun their journey towards their own healing. And they in turn will have their own ripple effect of healing around them growing bigger and bigger until we all realise that we cannot heal through becoming a victim, a rescuer nor a perpetrator.
We heal through the love within.
With my awareness deepening, my parents started to be open to receiving healing. During lockdown I have been doing distant group healing on my family. My mum is learning to ground herself daily and I felt deep gratitude when I saw her face as she lit up from inside out while she explained to me what she felt during her grounding. My relationship with my parents and my children is so much deeper and meaningful now.
We heal once we realise that the mistakes our parents and us as parents made in the past were done with the tools and knowledge we had at the time.
I have had a love hate relationship for my ancestors since childhood but as I write this, my heart fills with love and gratitude for walking the journey of my ancestors.
We should heal for us, for our ancestors, for our children.
Sending you love from my heart to yours,
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