Intergenerational Trauma

by Sasha Vasilou

Image source: Still from the Documentary Under the Sun and Stars of Solidarity by Mako Fuwa (reproduced with Director’s permission)

Abstract: To prove that spectral pain is not only one’s own. But why am I the only one who can  see the phantom branches on the family tree? 

Keywords: intergenerational trauma, multigenerational memory, emotional specters,  misplaced burials, falling heir to deathless ghosts 


Jita never said what happened to him; no one asked. Grandma saved every piece of  everything; I knew to not ask why. Mom’s habits are the same; I hope I don’t inherit them. familiar 

A stack of estate papers, legal notices, water-damage and mold, nothing from before  1942. heirlooms 

Google Translate: English – detected: no one taught us japanese 

Japanese: 私の日本語はとてもkanashiiです. language 

Heading 1: Developmental History of Hauntings 

Put the past on mute. 

Let it linger. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Intentional Human Design is an inherited  condition. Hypothalamic-pituitary adrenocortical (HPA) axis will remind you later. Don’t  worry. It won’t forget.  

Heading 2: Unconscious Factors of Collective Amnesia 

Maybe if we pretend it’s fine it will be fine.  

Don’t look back. It’s too awful. 

It should come as no surprise that the neglected child has learned how to  neglect. It should come as no surprise that cultural amputation begets dysfunction. It  should come as no surprise that Jita’s amnesia has become mine.  

Heading 3: Attachment Theory of the Third Generation 

Deny to dissociate to split to project to pass the hauntings along.  

The third generation’s memory is living and lost. The disturbing unconscious  opaque memories of generations before condensed in me. I am facing backward looking  for the answer for why I feel a fishhook in my spine. I see those phantom limbs swaying  in an old breeze.  


Maybe at home, I can save us.

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