I don’t know all of what happened. I just know that it was significant. Both sides of my family are secret keepers—much of my family history I learned as an adult. And, much of it is traumatic.
I grew up with the last name Sullivan but my real maiden name is Tremble. I found this out as an adult.
Often, a difficult relationship with a family member brings someone to therapy. In therapy, we recognize the impact of intergenerational trauma. It’s one of the first “ah ha” moments in the journey to healing. You can’t change your family of origin and you can’t change the traumatic experiences you or previous generations suffered, but you can use the history to re-write your future. Knowing the impact of previous traumas helps make sense of your struggles to this point and takes away the notion you are flawed, weird or an anomaly. Previous events affected you but now, you get to alter your future.