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 I have never met you…When the presence of absence is felt. A Holocaust Constellation

I have never met you…When the presence of absence is felt. A Family Constellation/Holocaust

When because of war or other disasters many family members are killed or perished, the family members who survived, even though they might have never met the others, can often feel the absence of their presence. Family Constellations show that, unexpectedly, identification can occur with one or more dead family members. We all are part of a so-called ‘Family-Soul’; a sort of collective consciousness, an intelligence that encompasses the evolution and nature of the family over several generations. A different way of saying is that clinical psychology science shows that traumas can reverberate through approximately 7 generations.

Those who belong to the Family Soul are the children, parents and their siblings, (great) grandparents, and anyone who has been excluded from the family system ( i.e. excluded, rejected members who were called ’bad’, former spouses, stillborn and aborted children).When we bring them back into the system by acknowledging and honoring them, we see that Constellations are a very effective way to restore harmony in the family. Members who didn’t talk to each other for years, suddenly call  a few days after a constellation.

Even brief constellations, can provide clarity in a wide  variety of issue, often within  a few minutes.. 

She looks at me, a bit insecure. “I don’t know if this makes sense to you” “Well, try!” I say. Sivan sighs deeply and begins to talk..”I have kind of feeling that all the people in my family who died in the Holocaust have an influence on how I am. I feel often depressed, and I don’t know why.  My mother’s sister was killed in the Holocaust along with 5 children, and another sister died in an accident  when she was a young child. My grandparents too, my three uncles and their families. I am named after my grandmother who perished too. She was very loved and appreciated by my family. I actually would like to look closer into that side of my family.”

When we start to constellate a family, we usually begin with the family of origin, the parents of the tree twiiterclient, grandparents, siblings. We choose people from the audience, who don’t have any information about the client, and are required to be “put their mind on blank”   as they will represent family members in the Constellation.  How it works? You must experience it to understand, if you are not a biologist. This work has access to the nigger picture of our subconscious. It is phenomenal to see that doors are opening to a hidden dimension of inner images and unknown information, often offering the key to resolution and relief.  Over and over again Constellations consistently reveal profound and lasting material benefiting for the participants and loved ones. Surprisingly, the healing processes and the results shown are far-reaching in the family.

“Choose representatives for you, your grandmother, the aunt with five children, and the aunt who died in an accident and your grandmother.” Sivan puts the aunt with her children very close together. They all look down, which means in a constellation that they look at dead people or a grave. When the grandmother is set up in front of her daughter, she becomes very unstable, her body convulses as if she is crying silently. “ Go to your daughter and all of your grandchildren and touch them, one by one. You too, Sivan, do the same.”

They all embrace each other in silence. ”Now take your granddaughter by the hand and bow to your relatives, both of you, in front of all of them, with one bow.”

Grandmother hesitates. “One deep bow. You take the lead .” (to grandmother). Grandmother and Sivan bow deeply and slowly. “Now look at them, and tell them: “I am one of you”. Sivan is doing that.

“Look at them… Now straighten up, look at them very clearly, and say: “I’ll carry on.” “I am so sorry for what happened to you. I carry on in honor of your name and spirit.”

Sivan closes her eyes and breathes deeply. “Sivan…please … Look them in the eyes and say: “I’ll carry on”. Sivan, deeply moved: ”I’ll continue to live.” ”I’ll carry on in memory of you.” Sivan looks down and shakes her head. ”Tell them, look at them: “I’ll carry on.” Sivan shakes her head, “No, I cannot…”

Then I ask  the aunt  to say to Sivan:  “It is enough that we are dead. You are alive…Honor your live…”

The aunt smiles spontaneously. “It is enough that we are dead.” Sivan covers her face, smiles and tears are flowing. “Now, say it again; I’ll carry on” “I’ll carry on in remembrance of you, it’s enough that you are dead. I’ll make my life ” “Look at your grandmother and say: I’ll carry on’.

Sivan is speaking those words very softly. I ask the grandmother: “Do you want to tell her something?

Grandmother whispers: “No”. To Sivan: “Now stand with your back leaning against your aunt and look forward.”

“Do you have children?” Sivan nods, smiles. “How many do you have?” “Five.” 

”Now look at them, and tell them; ”I have five children.”

She is doing that. The children of the aunt smile. “Now turn around again, I’ll put five representatives for your children, and I’ll place them opposite of you.”

“Sivan, tell your children: ”We’ll carry on with life”. Sivan, covers her eyes, laughing and crying at once… ”Now, go to your children”…

I asked the audience if they can see how the dead are changed after this, how different the energy feels in the room. “That is very important. The dead participate in the lives of the living, but only when they are seen, honored or remembered.”

“May I leave it here?” Sivan nods and smiles…  Conclusion: usually after  a session like this the client notices a shift and relief. Feelings of depression and attachment to the trauma seem to change dramatically for the better.

 

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 An opportunity for learning compassion…

With his grandmother, 9 Year old Jimmy came for a session to my office.  I was the last therapist to try before they would put Jimmy on medication for ADHD and hyperactivity. Grandma was the caretaker for Jimmy and his sister because their parents were divorced and unable to take care of their children. Grandma spoke very negatively about her ex-daughter in law. “She‘s a horrible mother, a drug addict. She’s not even paying child-support.”  Jimmy looked away while she spoke. For me the task was to elicit some empathy from grandmother for Jimmy’s mother, who was seemingly immersed in her own problems. Being addicted to drugs never occurs because of happy reasons. Grandma was not open to hear any other vision than her own.
I asked Jimmy to “map his family” with colored footprints he would choose from, and to put them in the open space on the floor that we call “the field”. Spontaneously he put the footprints wherever he felt like. He chose a pair of footprints for himself, his mother, father, sister and grand- parents. We added the dog too.  I asked Jimmy  to put shapes that are representing feelings next to the footprints , where ever he would feel comfortable .  Those feelings would then  be seen as belonging to the footprints of that person. Jimmy put next to everyone  “love” but not for himself. He put “sadness” to his mother’s footprints and also to his own. He put “anger” next to his father’s prints.
The mapping shows the inner picture of how Jimmy perceives his family and ultimately his world. He was obviously feeling lonely, disconnected from his parents, but supported by grandparents, and had no love for himself (!).
The way he positioned his own feet showed a deep longing for his mother. It became clear how he was connected to his mother, which was with sadness and pain. He peeked from the corners of his eyes to his grandmother, almost afraid of what she would think from all this and he saw that she was tearing up. This picture made her realize that it is detrimental for the boy when she speaks negatively about his mother. His feelings need to be respected. Even a troubled mother wants to be loved by the child, and deserves respect for wherever and whatever she is going through.  Most importantly, regardless of the situation, the child will love his mother. The child needs to have positive feelings about his parents., which can be very difficult and conflicting. Tearing natural family ties apart can cause restlessness and depression. It is our judging that can hurt others so much.  One session seemed to be enough to have Jimmy‘s behavior change.  The need for medication was gone.


The green footprints are from Jimmy, yellow and blue the grandparents, dark pink the dad (left corner beneath), yellow in the upper left corner; the mom. The pink circles symbolize “love”, the purple circles “sadness”. Red square: anger

 

http://carlavanwalsum.com/create-harmony-in-your-life-family-family-constellations/

A DEADLY HABIT IN…

anger in rel.

What to do with anger? Heartbased Parenting

Being a parent is not the easiest job but one that can give and teach you a lot if you are ready to learn about yourself and the world. One of the most interesting things I observed is that every parent I meet has that innate trust that he/ she KNOWS what is good parenting. Many parents have as well a deep insecurity that is not easily shown, but by looking closer  clearly reaches the surface.

“It takes a village to raise a child” shows how important the loving wisdom of others can be of support, not the criticism that is so often experienced. Don’t you know those adults who mention that their childhood wasn’t a happy one, they experienced at least one of the parents as tough or abusive, and they had to do a lot of work in therapy to heal and let go of the painful impact and memories. If you meet then the parent(s) of this person they speak very confident about what a great parent they were, because they really liked how their child turned out!

Having that said I am concluding that there are not so many  people who are REALLY happy in this world,  as a result of what was missing and lacking in their education. Heartbased, lovebased parenting was certainly not a general habit. One of the reasons is that traumas and dramatic events occurring in past generations could cause the flow of love in the family to stop. How often do I hear: my mother didn’t love me. The systemic family constellations show often where the entanglement stems from. Healing is then key and often the results are mind blowing and shifting patterns.

The greatest gift we can give our children is  acceptance for who they really are. Unfortunately criticism and punishment is a widely spread way of educating and giving the opposite message. Its just negative and we overrate the impact of environment in the outcome. Fear-based education combined with projection consciously and subconsciously from own traumas and trans-generational traumas are custom.

A high divorce rate is not to blame the divorcees for easily giving  up what seems to be a general saying. No, it is simply because people lack means of how to find happiness and how to handle it if they find it. The shelves with Self-Help books are overloaded. We simply don’t stay for the wrong reasons. But do we know the right ones?

Step 1 is to be loving and kind without judgment. Appreciation for what is and for how anyone appears. Insight of ones own feelings and needs. Compassionate attitude instead of an angry frustrated response. Compassion is an excellent answer on anger. Parenting is about YOU as a parent, how you feel, how you appreciate yourself. healing and releasing your own stuff. Seeing the limitations of your parents as a result of where they came from.
Always connect to what is below the anger, when your child explodes, certainly after checking environmental factors.

If you are more concerned about being treated respectfully by your child and you punish him for expressing frustration not according your standards, then ask yourself: “How do I react when I am angry or frustrated? What do I teach my child? What role model am I?” can we expect a child to handle his emotions better then we do as an adult?2-201_sad_teen_girl_d_b-1024x682

Also, what food is your child getting? Sugar, coloring can be of incredible influence to behavior. I mean, the correlation between eating a mountain of sugar and difficult uncontrollable behavior is just high! Lately I recommended in my practice a parent of a 6-year old hyper active daughter to buy natural snacks without added sugar or additives. She was eating cookies and all kind of sugary snacks after school. Lunch in school is around 11am. Snack time is after school and then the family goes out for diner at 6.  No peaceful  family diner at home, cooked with care and love… Noisy restaurants instead.

Seven hours at least between lunch and diner. That is much too long.

Can you believe that in many elementary schools in Florida candies are given for rewarding “good behavior or grades?” And that in the same schools often recess is taken away??? Is there anybody out there who does not KNOW that children need to move and not put on a chair for hours without physical activity? In Holland children have recess every one and a half hour. Wednesday afternoon off after 12 pm. Play-time… Children deserve a childhood. Childhood means a stress-free play world. It prepares them for a better future.

Read in my next blog the research I am doing about anger and family dynamics in several generations.
WWW.CARLAVANWALSUM.COM

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