So last night At my mother’s house, I’m Washing dishes and there was this very large gingerbread house cookie Jar sitting in the middle Of the counter.
My mom walked in and I ask her about it, and she says “that belonged to my grandmother, I was thinking about whether or not I was going to throw it out.”
I said, “what? No way! You can’t throw that away! Keep it!”
Maybe I’m just a sentimental hoarder but I don’t know too much about my late great grandmother. Throughout my life, I’ve only met her maybe once or twice, briefly, the last time being when I went out to eat with her and my grandmother when I was in middle school. She passed away years ago and oddly enough, I had quite recently thought about how odd it was, that none of my family (aside from my Grandmother) attended her funeral. And I wondered if that bothered my grandmother that we didn’t?
So as I’m Standing there talking about this cookie jar, it dawned on me That i had forgotten her first name. She was always referred to as Great grandma Olsen but I couldn’t remember her first Name.
I ask my mother and she says, “You know, I actually don’t Remember it either”
I responded, “What?! How can you not even know your own grandmothers Name?”
She then proceeds to tell me how she just didn’t have a really memorable relationship with her grandparents, how my grandmother wasn’t even sure that the man she knew as her father was actually her father and explained that during my Grandmothers ENTIRE Life, her mother never once said ‘I love you’ to her. Or heard her say it at all. Even as an adult she would say I love you when getting off the phone with her, to which her mother would respond “uuh huh, bye” and hang up.
My mother then tells me how when she was a child, it was quite similar for her, it wasn’t always that way, but My Grandmother carried that into her own relationships with her children. Until one day my mom was getting her butt whooped for doing something wrong, and she turned around afterwards and said to her mother, “I still love you!”
After that conversation I had this wave of emotions and I had to just sit and marinate in them.
Thinking about How sad it is that trauma runs so deep, and gets passed down from one generation to the next. Thinking about the sexual Trauma my own mother and her siblings experienced, And then my own. As Well as my own relationship with my Grandparents. (Which is non existent on my fathers side because they’ve always been so emotionally detached towards me and my siblings.) How so much of our Trauma is connected to those before us, and It’s Like this never ending cycle. How we don’t talk about it until it’s too late. As well as The impact it has on our relationships, friendships, and our Children, etc.
And most importantly how do we All Heal so we can break the cycle?