Natalia alexandrova
Motherhood trauma inherited from a grandmother
During a pregnancy some subconscious processes can influence woman's perception of her pregnancy and the child. Sex and order of birth of a child can shape her perception as well. This article tells a story of a motherhood trauma passing from generation to generation, illustrating the way a rape can influence children and grandchildren of a woman. I am grateful to Lisa for letting me publish her case. This story can help women, who carry a similar motherhood trauma in them. Those, who have problems with accepting and loving their children.
Factors that may shape her perception:

  • life experience of a woman
  • her mother's attitude towards her during the pregnancy
  • other relative's attitude towards her during the pregnancy
  • emotional state of the future mother and the events happening to her
  • generational experience in the female line up to 3-4 generations
  • intergenerational traumas associated with pregnancy and childbirth
People prefer not to talk about this topic. An image of motherhood is over idealised. Therefore a woman can stay one-to-one with her confusing feelings towards the child, not understanding what is happening to her and why she feels the way she feels, also not being able to share her worries.

Lisa has two children. She told me sometimes she feels hate to herself and to her children. Also she had a feeling of not being worth to live, a feeling of being terrible mother.

I asked Lisa to track her body response to those feelings. She mentioned redness in her cheeks and pulsations in her temples, also feeling of shame. An image of those feelings was a big fat toad. It felt to her as the toad was Lisa's mother, also grandmother, and also grand-grandmother. Lisa felt contempt to the toad, wanting to blame it for giving a birth to Lisa. Because of this toad everyone felt miserable.

Identifying with the image of the toad Lisa (from the toads perspective) said she hated herself, children and everything around. This hate felt as a black hole in toad's body. The same black hole had every female of her family. Inside of it Lisa saw a mace with thorns.

Lisa let the mace to express its feelings, showing what stands behind this image. It transformed into an ugly old woman (mother figure). The old woman called the toad a "beast", kept insulting it, commanding it to commit suicide.

Lisa's mother was saying often "Why did I gave a birth to you? I would better do an abortion" (Parental "don't exist" injunction). Lisa confessed, often she had suicidal thoughts. She felt herself as a physical body not having anything good inside. When she was taking care of her children, she would often wishing death to them, at the same time she felt shame because of her wishes. She also had a feeling that the second child ruined her life, and because of it she must stay home all the time. On other hand thought of being horrible mother made Lisa feel guilty and miserable.

Later we had to work on the image of the old woman — image of the aggressive and rejective mother. We used the method of return of investments and return of hurts. Lisa asked the old woman "What did I gave you in the past, that is actually mine?". The old women gave her a rotten apple. Lisa asked the image of the apple to transform to its initial shape. An image of an embryo appeared. When Lisa identified with the image of it, she felt as someone have wanted to abort the embryo, but couldn't do it.

Lisa mentioned there were illegitimate children in her family tree. She herself didn't want to get married. Once she got pregnant she had to merry though, but soon she wanted to divorce. Also every time Lisa heard the word "abortion" she felt physical discomfort. She was always against abortions, at the same time she felt a weird desire to watch a video of the process.

Lisa also mentioned her grandmother was raped once. The grandmother wanted to do an abortion after the incident, but somehow couldn't. All her future kids got partners that appeared to be alcohol addicts. Thos families had unhappy life, which of course influenced the next generation.

Lisa again looked at the image on the embryo: it looked bitten by the old woman. It was important to return the old woman's hurts back. After it was done the embryo looked healthy and undamaged. Lisa also told the embryo that she loved it and it worth living. Saying that she felt an instant relief. The old women started crying and telling she was reaped once, and that event made her hate the embryo. Behind her aggression were hiding tears of an abused woman. The old woman transformed into a younger version of herself with a sword stuck along her spine (an image of a hurt). The sword has grown together with the spine so much that pulling it out would kill the woman.

Lisa's attitude to the woman changed after that. She felt sorry for her and also grateful for sacrificing herself for her children. After Lisa told her that the woman died in relief: there was nothing more holding her in this world. Lisa let the image of the woman to be healthy and happy wherever she is now. Her soul flew up in the sky, and her body stayed laying on the ground. Now the sword could be easily pulled out from it. Lisa saw the body floats away in a river, symbolising the funeral.

In this case we witnessed how consequences of a sexual abuse and unwanted pregnancy (rejecting and hate to own body, reproductive function, children; feeling of shame, and seeing life as suffer) was passed from generation to generation, causing more unwanted pregnancies, self-hate and hate towards children, difficulties with finding the right partner. Every woman was experiencing rejection and hate from her mother starting from the prenatal period, and also was passing the same attitude further to her children. On one hand they would hate their own mothers, blaming them for being born, on other hand they would end up behaving exactly the same way with their own children, since they couldn't experience a loving mother figure in their childhood.

Lisa let the emptiness of the black hole in the toad to fill itself with what supposed to be there, and the embryo appeared it. Lisa said some kind words to it. During this the toad felt some unusual feeling, which Lisa could not describe. The toad transformed into a young pregnant woman. Lisa got interested and wanted to get to know her better. What she felt was that the pregnant woman is an image of the progenitress of life. She was radiating warmth and kindness to children. We witness how Lisa's perception of motherhood has changed, therefore her attitude to children.

During the next session Lisa said she didn't feel hate to herself and to her children anymore. She didn't not think of herself as unworthy living. Since January 2020 those feelings have never came back to her.
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