As a child of Holocaust survivors, I observed that some children grow up to be resilient and successful while others are unable to take risks and live full lives. I also suffered a strong sense of loss and pain from the killing of my father's first children, and his first wife, my half brother and sister. Their death haunted me. What was puzzling was that I felt I knew that they were shot. Another question. My desire to understand resilience, memory, inherited trauma, led me to a Doctorate researching what I call “Inherited trauma.”
I discovered many similarities between the experience of Inheritors whose families lived through war, slavery, displacement, residential schools, children of the military especially vets with PTSD, people, devastating events such as economic or environmental, court injustices, poverty, illness in the family, abuse and other kinds of trauma. I wondered about the shame and guilt of descendants of perpetrators and bystanders. I realized that there was an urgent need for our generation to process our trauma if we are to reclaim a whole life and if we are to stop passing on the trauma to our future generations. My book is in fact a warning that if our trauma is not processed, the pain, anger and even hatred and violence will continue to future generations. The cycle must be interrupted. While recognizing that inherited trauma is difficult to recognize and difficult to treat, my book offers help. In particular, it offers a way to process your story from your context. You will not find 1-2-3 step solutions. One of the tools are questions at the end of each chapter which will assist you to reflect on and write your own story. I look forward to hearing your stories and about the resources you used (your own or from my book) to moving forward.