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30 Generational Trauma Quotes That Will Make You Feel Less Alone

Generational Trauma Quotes

This post contains some of the best generational trauma quotes that will make you feel less alone.

What Is Generational Trauma?

Generational or ancestral or intergenerational trauma is the psychological effects of a trauma that gets passed down from one generation to the next – within one family or a group of people.

Related: How To Break Generational Trauma? 5 Steps To Release Trauma & End Self-Sabotage

Generational Trauma Quotes

1. “After a moment, he calmed enough to see how his anger was a separate thing inside him, a dingy, surprise gift from his father.” ― Maggie Stiefvater

2. “As the adage goes, history is written by the victors, penned by those who remain to tell it. No matter how skewed or one-sided the story, many of us rarely think to question what that story would look like if told by the other side.” ― Mark Wolynn

3. “By developing a relationship with the painful parts of ourselves—parts we have often inherited from our family—we have an opportunity to shift them. Qualities like cruelty can become the source of our kindness; our judgments can forge the foundation of our compassion.” ― Mark Wolynn

4. “Healing generational trauma takes courage and strength. It’s common for dysfunctional families to deny their abuse. They silence victims and dump toxic shame onto them. Complicit families keep abuse alive from generation to generation, until one brave survivor boldly ends the cycle of abuse.” ― Dana Arcuri

5. “If people have harmed us, that part is usually a protector whose need to cause injury comes from desperate attempts to not feel destroyed by the pain and fear they are carrying. Generally they are not conscious of this process, but it likely mirrors what has been passed down through the generations in the family.”― Bonnie Badenoch

Related: Take The Childhood Trauma Test (ACE Score Test)

6. “If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people. —Thich Nhat Hanh

7. “Ignoring the pain actually deepens it. What is hidden from sight often increases in intensity.” ― Mark Wolynn

8. “It’s important to restate: not all behaviors expressed by us actually originate from us. They can easily belong to family members who came before us. We can merely be carrying the feelings for them or sharing them. We call these “identification feelings.” ― Mark Wolynn

9. “Our Ancestors knew that healing comes in cycles and circles.
One generation carries the pain so that the next can live and heal.
One cannot live without the other, each is the other’s hope, meaning & strength.” ― Gemma B. Benton

10. “Paternal PTSD, she discovered, increases the likelihood that the child will feel “dissociated from [his or] her memories,” whereas maternal PTSD increases the likelihood that a child will have difficulty “calming down.” ― Mark Wolynn

11. “Perhaps your mother carried a wound from her mother and was unable to give you what she didn’t get. Her parenting skills would be limited by what she did not receive from her parents.” ― Mark Wolynn

12. “Poverty has long arms that reach through generations of people, leaving telltale bruise marks on its victims even after they are blessed enough to get out.” ― Julia K. Dinsmore

Related: Top 35 Quotes About Adverse Childhood Experiences That Will Make You Feel Seen

13. “Remaining silent about family pain is rarely an effective strategy for healing it. The suffering will surface again at a later time, often expressing in the fears or symptoms of a later generation.”― Mark Wolynn

14. “Sleeping inside each of them were fragments of traumas too great to be resolved in one generation.” ― Mark Wolynn

15. “The depth at which we take in the preceding generations astonishes me. There is likely an epigenetic component to this as well as transmission through the internalizations that get passed down through the generations. Whole cultures are carried forward that way, so it makes sense that family legacies might be transmitted that way as well.” ― Bonnie Badenoch

16. “The emotions, traits, and behaviors we reject in our parents will likely live on in us. It’s our unconscious way of loving them, a way to bring them back into our lives.” ― Mark Wolynn

17. “The most powerful ties are the ones to the people who gave us birth . . . it hardly seems to matter how many years have passed, how many betrayals there may have been, how much misery in the family: We remain connected, even against our wills.” —Anthony Brandt, “Bloodlines”

18. “The notion that we inherit and “relive” aspects of family trauma has been the subject of many books by the renowned German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger.” ― Mark Wolynn

19. “The worst part is that the very thing that holds us back is often invisible to us, keeping us frustrated and confused.” ― Mark Wolynn

20. “This toxic pattern within the broken family system will continue from one generation to the next, until one brave survivor finally ends the cycle of abuse. The dysfunction, bullying, and abuse didn’t start with you, but it most certainly can end with you.” ― Dana Arcuri

Related: Top 72 Childhood Trauma Quotes That Will Make You Feel Seen

21. “Until we uncover the actual triggering event in our family history, we can relive fears and feelings that don’t belong to us—unconscious fragments of a trauma—and we will think they’re ours.” ― Mark Wolynn

22. “Viewed in this way, the traumas we inherit or experience firsthand can not only create a legacy of distress, but also forge a legacy of strength and resilience that can be felt for generations to come.” ― Mark Wolynn

23. “What I failed to realize at the time is that when we try to resist feeling something painful, we often protract the very pain we’re trying to avoid.” ― Mark Wolynn

24. “When entangled, you unconsciously carry the feelings, symptoms, behaviors, or hardships of an earlier member of your family system as if these were your own.” ― Mark Wolynn

25. “When suffering confounds us, we need to ask ourselves: whose feelings am I actually living?” ― Mark Wolynn

26. “When we cut ourselves off from our parents, the qualities we view as negative in them can express in us unconsciously.” ― Mark Wolynn4

27. “Where does the pain go when we die?
does it stay in the bed as it begins to stink—
does it racket through the home like a scream—
do the children inherit it like a sprawling estate—
And where does it go while we live?
Maybe the pain is like me, desperate to be seen in the lives of those around me. I will abandon others again and again until I can finally be free of my own abandonment.” ― Sondra Charbadze

28. “Younger children often, though not always, seem to do a bit better than first children, or only children, who seem to carry a bigger portion of unfinished business from the family history.” ― Mark Wolynn

Related: Healing From Childhood Emotional Neglect In 6 Steps (+FREE Worksheets PDF)

29. “Your pain didn’t start with you, but it can end with you.” ― Stephanie M. Hutchins

30. “Native American youths, like the children of war veterans, like the children of Holocaust survivors, like the children of Cambodian genocide survivors, and like the children of the World Trade Center attack survivors, are among the modern world’s newest victims of transgenerational trauma.” ― Mark Wolynn

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