The next generation for post-trauma: on intergenerational transmission, on anxiety and survival

The abductees will be released only after the left comes to power • Uri Lev's opinion

Sometimes reality slaps me in the face, and I see the truth...

In "Zikhron Beslon" next year - we will also hear the stories of the immigrants from the Commonwealth of Nations

Tatiana Levy takes care of everyone Tatiana Levy, 67, coordinator of immigrants and culture...

Talfiot market in Haifa - a genius creation in endless renovation

At the eastern end of Sirkin Street, stands the Talpiot market building,...

An exciting Passover ceremony was held in the refugee camp • The ship 'Exodus' ► Watch

'Exodus', a symbol of bravery and determination, great excitement was recorded last Friday...

The return of the multi-armed octopus to the beach in Haifa

Lately, one of the most fascinating animals has been rediscovered in the natural world...
Banner Gordon 240624
Wide sea front banner
Haifa museums banner 140724
Economic company banner 100724
Live advertising - wide - animated
Haifa museums banner 140724
Banner Kiryat Ata summer 2024
Banner Kiryat Bialik Veterans 140724

Huge traffic jams and peaks of frustration • Residents of the neighborhood in Haifa are angry

(I live here) - huge traffic jams, the nerve-wracking wait,...

Hadar in Haifa: Will we get to see the neighborhood where it was in its prime?

(Live here in splendor) - Over the years the mayors spoke...

Aphids have taken over trees throughout Haifa

(Live here) - Many residents from Haifa, who live in different places in Haifa...

In Kiryat Bialik they are moving to 5 school days a week

On Tuesday 23/7/2024, Mayor Kiryat Bialik announced that Eli...

The second generation for people who have experienced trauma

Every event leaves a mark, some say that the mark of the dramatic events passes from incarnation to incarnation because the wounded soul remembers and reminds every time. Moreover, the difficult and dramatic events that happen to a person are burned in him to such an extent that he unintentionally passes them on to the generations that come after him, and some researchers have even claimed that the trauma creates a change in genetics. To be the children of those who experienced the trauma, is to be a second generation to the pain, to bear together with the parents the suffering and the mental burdens that come with living in the shadow of the trauma.

hide the hard feelings

It is evident that people who grew up with parents who experienced survival anxiety and traumas, grew up without hugs and with too much worry.

Mother of kid She was in the ghetto until the age of 13, when she came to Israel on an immigration ship that was captured by the British, was deported to Cyprus, and from there she arrived in Israel with the help of the Haganah. When she arrived in Israel as a young girl, she settled in Kibbutz Ashdot Ya'akov, from where she again had to flee under the cover of night, along with other children, when Arab armies attacked the settlements and invaded some of them.

kid: "Mother didn't tell about the ghetto. Only later, when I had children, did she start talking about the yellow patch, about the fear, about the brutality of the Nazis, about orphanhood and the endless longing for her mother. She did tell about Jacob's Falls. How she carried a baby in her arms in the dark to to save him from the Arab invaders, about the difficulty and fear, about the loss of childhood and trying to look and sound mature even though she was only 13. She hid her difficult feelings.

For many years I did not know what happened to her. I only knew that she was in the ghetto and that I shouldn't upset her because everything upsets her. I didn't know my parents loved me. I knew I was cared for, but I felt no love, no hugs and no kisses. I'm a bit like that too, I care about everyone but find it hard to show affection. Along with that," he adds with a smile, "I finish everything off the plate."

It is difficult to open up to emotional processes

Studies show that people who grew up with post-traumatic parents, carry some of their parents' trauma. This is called intergenerational transfer.

This is expressed, among other things, in the difficulty of opening up about emotional processes in society, an unclear sense of guilt, difficulty in trusting, hoarding food or objects in case they are missing, or the opposite, a lack of attachment because wanderings are expected anyway.

Among the subjects of intergenerational transmission are those who look for ways of pain for themselves, to feel belonging, to feel real. Suffering gives them a familiar feeling of home, and unconsciously they are drawn to those who hurt them. Others chose to take care of the weak, to be angry with the strong, as if trying to save their parents from the torment of memory, to save the world from suffering and fear.

The phenomenon was studied on second generation Holocaust survivors, it was studied on Japanese American citizens, who were displaced from their homes and stayed in concentration camps during World War II, and also on the children of American soldiers who returned from Vietnam. What they all have in common is the silence, the fear that the horror stories will have a negative effect on the children. The avoidance of telling, together with behaviors of anxiety, nightmares and avoidance of emotional connections and expressions of emotion, influenced and engraved in the minds of the children in the second and third generation.

Depression and pain (illustration - Yaron Karmi)
Depression and pain (illustration - Yaron Karmi)

A personal connection with history

The children who grew up in this atmosphere kept themselves silent and emotionally withdrawn, as if to please their parents.

The experience of helplessness and the inability to prevent the suffering, the guilt of having survived compared to those who were destroyed, these and others passed on to the next generation who grew up with the feeling that he was responsible for the suffering of his parents, a daily sense of guilt, an increased tendency to anxiety, as well as an experience of being weakened to the point of helplessness in front of people with authority.

Research by Dr. Yael Danieli shows that the second generation trauma creates a personal and emotional connection with history, and this affects their identity. The study claims that a second generation of trauma may feel insecure or worried about the parents' memories.

Another study, by Dr. Neely Segal, examined the way in which the second generation tells the horror story of their parents. The research shows that every family has several angles to the story. It seems that in some cases, the story is a historical story of a difficult and traumatic event, while in those families there will be others who will tell it as a story of heroism and rescue.

The Holocaust was not mentioned until later years

father of Jewish conflict Saved from the concentration camps. "At home they talked about Zionism and society in Israel, but they didn't mention the Holocaust until the later years. After mother died, father started talking, mainly because he moved to a nursing home, met other survivors and participated in the ceremonies they held there to commemorate Holocaust Day. He didn't tell much about the concentration camps, but he did tell About the day of liberation, about how the Russians came and saved him and thanks to them he could return to his home. It was the day of victory and he was ready to talk about it.

An eternal experience of lack

"I carry his memories. To this day, it's hard for me to get on a train abroad, I keep a pantry full of food, and I'm quite anxious about my children. As in many houses, we also had to finish everything off the plate.

As a teacher I had to go on a trip to Poland to the concentration camps and for many years I was afraid that I would not be able to withstand the emotional load there. In recent years I have traveled because I realized how important it is, that we must remember that we must not forget.

In my youth we went with my parents on a Roots trip. I remember the whole time the parents looked around anxiously, to see if we were in a safe place. The feeling was a little paranoid. I was brought up to be suspicious, not to trust others, to understand that the world is full of evil. I worked on myself to release it. But I was not able to free myself from everything.

The feeling that there may be a lack and the knowledge that I need to protect those dear to me and not reach helplessness, accompanies me to this day. I have a little hoarding of food and things, God forbid, and I see that this pattern also exists in my daughters. A full pantry, and always leave the house with some food and drink.

The eternal experience is a lack and you should always take care to fill this lack that will not surprise you. October 7 brought back the fear. The thought of the abductees who are in the dark, hungry, tormented, of the raped women and the burned houses is very difficult."

The effects of trauma on the next generation

In extreme situations of war, threat to life and trauma situations, the energy is focused on survival. In the post-traumatic situations, the years after the event, simple situations may be perceived as a threat and bring back the trauma memory, the reactions and into a space of behavior in an irrational manner.

The psychologist Dr. Kellerman claims that there are characteristics of the children of survivors, the children of the second generation, which are poor self-worth, excessive achievement drive and an experience that they have to emotionally compensate their parents for losing their family. In addition, he claims that the second generation deals more with death and often watches Disasters that are about to happen. They carry anger and guilt, develop excessive dependence on the family or have difficulty relating to relationships. Other researchers emphasize the resistance to the experience of helplessness experienced by the parents in the traumatic event, which can lead to outbursts of violence in the face of threatening experiences for them.

Tells and cries

Mother of Hana She was saved from the concentration camps, so she carried the trauma with pain all her life:
"At first they didn't talk. When I asked why my mother and aunts had a number on their arm, they said that the number was so they wouldn't forget the phone number of the house they had abroad. They didn't tell me about the horrors because they were afraid of being exposed and hurt. Over the years, my mother's mental state deteriorated, and the memories of the torment flooded in More.

On Holocaust Day, there was a feeling of Holocaust in the house. Father was silent and mother would lie down and cry, telling about what she went through in great pain. She said that she and her sisters were picked up from the city square and taken to the concentration camps. They were transferred between the extermination camps, Auschwitz, Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, but they always walked in threes. The two big sisters on the sides and the little sister in the middle, to protect her.

Mother said that they slept on one bunk, were beaten, worked hard in hunger, in the cold. Mother would tell stories and cry, as if the suffering was with her all the time. Mother carried the Holocaust inside her all the time. I took on part of it. The matter of not throwing away food, fearing for the children, hoarding things, and being careful all the time."  

compensate the parents for their history

father of Beautiful Returned with trauma from the war in 1973:
"Father is withdrawn. Does what is necessary but does not speak emotion and does not say love. He sits silent and ponders all the time. When he was at work everything was fine but when he came home he was angry. Make sure to lock doors, do not stand near a window because someone from outside could throw something and hurt you , not to believe anyone and not to trust.

If I had a friend he would check him from all directions, and when he heard Arabic in the market or on the street you saw how his whole body would contract as if something terrible was going to happen. I grew up in this pain, in these memories of the murdered friends, the memory of the smell of war. On October 7th, immense pain and terrible sadness arose again.

I think it's because I'm Israeli regardless of my father, but there is a situation where I carry some of his trauma. The blame for him staying alive also passed to me. Every time I succeed in something I feel unpleasant, because others lost. For many years I had a desire to save the parents from their history and compensate them for their losses, along with an emotional difficulty to reveal pain and fear, as well as to reveal love.

If I have a fear that it might happen again?
If I have survival anxiety? Probably so.

Perhaps this is something else that the children of the victims of October 7th will also have to bear, even though it seems as if it is a national trauma that even those who were not there carry somewhere inside of them.

Contact Chai here: At watsapBy email

Tammy Goldstein
Tammy Goldstein
Caller, Hilarit, a spiritual teacher specializing in personal and couple holistic counseling and energy therapy to balance the body and emotions, with over 20 years of experience

More articles from the same reporter

2 תגובות

Leave a comment

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

All the articles are alive

The Ministry of Health warns: a rare amoeba caused encephalitis in a 10-year-old boy from the northern region • The water park is closed

(Hai Fe) - The Ministry of Health has informed that a 10-year-old boy from the Northern District, with no underlying illnesses, suffered from severe encephalitis and is hospitalized in critical condition in intensive care...

Mosquitoes infected with West Nile fever were captured

The Ministry of Environmental Protection informed Lahi Pa News Corporation: in a monitoring operation, the Ministry of Environmental Protection captured mosquitoes that were later diagnosed in the Ministry of Health's laboratories as being infected with the West Fever virus...

Carmel Castle Mayor's Cup Finals • Thursday 25/7/24

are you ready? On Thursday 25/7/24 it's happening! The 2024 Mayor's Cup final - a sports and community event for the whole family. Additional details: Thursday 25/7/2024 from 18:00 at the community center grounds,...

Demonstration for a deal to release the kidnapped • Wednesday 24/7/24

(Hai Fe) - Today, Wednesday 24/7/24 at 19:30 PM in Sefer Square in Haifa there will be a protest for a deal to return the abductees home. The people's protest was delivered to Haifa News Corporation: Haifa...

Kiryat Ata is building new day care centers for the children of the neighborhood

The municipality of Kiryat Ata has published a tender for the construction of two day care centers in the Givat Alonim neighborhood. As part of the completion of the urban development plans in the new neighborhood and further to the construction of an innovative school,...