Generational Trauma

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If you follow Neurodivergent Rebel on social media, you’ve seen the #MyAutisticTruth hashtags and questions being asked. One of the questions was ‘What did your parents do wrong?’ While I’ve been sharing my own truths, I didn’t feel appropriate to tag that one with anything my parents did wrong or how they could’ve supported me better. The posts had me thinking all day.

I suspect that my mom, who passed in 1999, was misdiagnosed multiple times during her life. She was in and out of hospitals and tried numerous pharmaceuticals. This experience left my father weary of the psychology field. His own experiences didn’t help.

I was raised to avoid psychology, counseling, diagnosis, and psychotropics. Now, this is different than a parent who refuses to acknowledge there is a mental health issue with their child. Ignoring mental health or neurodiversity needs are harmful. My dad knew I struggled with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and social anxiety. Especially at 15, after my mom passed. Instead of counseling, diagnosis, and medications, my father introduced me to the world of alternative medicines. And according to my father, now a Grandmaster, Taekwondo cures everything šŸ™‚

By the time I was 18, I had received acupuncture, massage therapy, energy work, cupping, and more. One of the top philosophies in alternative medicine is the mind/body connection. Healing the body helps to heal the mind. Mindfulness and meditation were implemented both through martial arts training and my father’s guidance. He’s always been a cannabis advocate too. Thankfully, now medically legal where we are. While I’ve had ups and downs, these still work for me. It’s been interesting to see the change in society around mindfulness and meditation for the past 20 years.

It was the next generation, my daughter and now my son, that brought neurodivergency to light. Five years ago, I ‘self-diagnosed’ myself and daughter with Autism. (I know, that’s frowned on by society). It took until this year, 2022, for us to be able to get a diagnosis. While I always suspected the boy of ADHD, I didn’t suspect autism until this past summer. I was and am still unlearning my bias of autism. We are all three a combination of both, well maybe only the boy has the hyper part šŸ™‚

On my healing journey, I went through the emotions of trying to think of what could my parents have done right. And settled on what my dad did do right. He still supports me, at almost 40. Any dopamine fix, desperate need to learn, or weird idea I have, he supports. While he didn’t go the traditional route, he found me support, tools, and helped to handle my quirks. It’s taken some adjustment and time, but my father listens about autism, accepted our self-diagnosis, and has continued to learn about neurodivergence. I know I’m fortunate in that, and thankful he’s still here everyday.

Just to be clear, I’m not against western medicine, psychology/counseling, or pharmaceuticals (maybe a little pharmaceuticals). Firstly, vaccines save lives! From the moment I began studying psychology in high school, I’ve used the knowledge to help myself. Later, my kids. Therapy and therapy tools work. I tend to lean towards therapy tools, like those offered by Neurodivergent Insights. There are so many therapy tools that aren’t even attempted (most of the time). Nature therapy, art therapy, animal therapy. I’m still learning about tools becoming available. Recently bought Loop earplugs, designed for sound sensitivity. I haven’t had a chance to use yet, but will in a couple weeks. Martial arts is an alternative therapy, the basis of my book. My teenage self would despise that my dad was right.

I will never judge someone for trying psychotropics. Our society and the pharmaceutical companies have pushed these as the go-to for anxiety, depression, adhd, and everything in between. I believe there are some people and conditions that psychotropics are needed. But I’ve also known many who struggle through trial and error with many side effects, not finding it helping. I tried 1 pill this year, which I write about in my book, but psychotropics aren’t for me. Or for my kids.

I even get anxiety writing about this because people make assumptions. If I’m “anti-medication”, that means I don’t take care of my kids, am anti-vax, or extreme beliefs. No, if my kids have a bacterial infection, I’ll get them antibiotics. We do our check-ups, eyes, ears, doctors. Fully vaccinated, even Covid. I sought psychological help for my daughter when she was 8, now an adult. Like my father, while cautioning against it, I’d still support my kids if they decided to try psychotropics to help with mental health. Support is the key.

We just choose different tools for mental health. I have my dad to thank for that. My holistic mental health choices come from him. Yes, I still struggle. With my autism diagnosis came chronic depression, as I’ve struggled with Covid leftover health issues for two years.Social anxiety is a (insert bad word of choice) when my face has now changed with nerve damage. I look and feel different than 9 months ago. I’m still pulling through my toolbox on that one. But the one thing that has helped me the most, was learning I’m autistic. Understanding how my brain works, helps to understand how to help. Understanding and still learning about my kids, helps me find tools to help them.

There are generations of undiagnosed/misdiagnosed neurodivergent people that have been traumatized. The stigma around talking about mental health, learning differences, and people trying to heal has only increased that. It trickles down to the next generation. It took a long time for me to able to forgive my mom for being unable to be a good parent to me. For not making the right choices to be a full time mom. During my awakening to autism and neurodivergence, that forgiveness turned to compassion and understanding.

Here is an excerpt from my book –

“I hope I break the chains of generational trauma. I hope my daughter forgives me for any choices that caused her trauma. I hope she has compassion and understanding that for the first 13 years of her life, and 33 years of mine, I was walking blind through life carrying the weight of generational trama. I hope my son forgives my being unable to see the tistic side of him. I see you both now. I see me now.”

Sending healing vibes to all in need.

Becca Dove


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