Intergenerational love will save us
Illustration courtesy: Canva AI

Intergenerational love will save us

An antidote to inherited rage.

Tanmoy Goswami
Last week, I wrote about modern fathers quietly battling to break free from the rage they inherited from their fathers. This week: the struggle to find an antidote to this rage. Please support my work if you haven't already by clicking one of the buttons below:

Freud said, "I think this man is suffering from memories." Damn right we are. Turns out, the cure for bad memories isn't forgetting. It's love.

The term 'intergenerational love' entered my consciousness at a recent conference on childhood trauma. I didn't clearly know what it meant, but it had an immediate effect on me. Go on, close your eyes and whisper intergenerational love a few times to yourself. Don't overthink it. Just allow the sound to dissolve slowly into your bloodstream. I've found that simply letting your mind picture the possibilities contained in that term can help soothe the reflux of your earliest loveless memories – and douse the fear that it will corrode those who came after you.

So much of the rage my father held in his body and mind, which spilled over on to his relationship with me, was the spawn of culturally and familially transmitted experiences and memories of helpless suffering – hunger, disease, deprivation, hard labour. No matter how badly I want to disown that rage, it runs in my veins too, because one generation isn't enough to erase so deep a scar. Intergenerational love helps me take responsibility for my rage. It reminds me to honour my history but not be controlled by it. It says, You don't have to pass on this rage to your child. You can write a new history. It is a family heirloom that betokens safety, belonging, and compassionate connection with your roots.

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