Historical trauma refers to trauma that is experienced and held not just in individual bodies, but in whole communities and across generations.
I believe it is important to find out as much as we can about our own historical and collective trauma. Humans have been physically violent towards one another since the beginning of human civilization. In the middle ages, human torture was a sport that you watched in an arena, and public torture called "punishment" was available in town squares. Humans have continued to perpetuate abuse against one another. Some of these methods are state sanctioned and many are just culturally supported.
Much of current cultural trauma is hidden in plain sight. Examples include the language of sexual violence where the discourse names how many victims who were assaulted and programs focused on prevention of being raped (passive voice) vs. how many people committing acts of sexual violence and stopping people from raping (active voice). Words like "inner city" and "diversity training" (code for non-white and not-like-me) vs. efforts to challenge white segregation and structural white supremacy.
This cultural and historical trauma is passed down in our stories, cultures, laws and policies. It's not just our thoughts but in our bodies. We literally "embody" that trauma. The field of epigenetics is teaching us that traumatic events show up in our dna with gene receptors being turned on or off and those "settings" get passed along to our offspring.
If we wish to heal ourselves, our families, our communities and our culture, I believe the path can be found in somatic (meaning of the body) healing methods. The more each of us can build our capacity to feel from within our embodied reactions and patterns, the more we can attune to and heal our generational wounds and evolve our humanity.
Terri Delaney is committed to growing her own capacity to heal racialized and historical trauma and to be a part of nurturing that healing in her family, local community, spiritual community and healing practitioner community.
Terri is currently coordinating a monthly gathering of white-bodied healers to address and grow their capacity for healing racialized trauma.
She also founded and leads a weekly personal group that has been meeting out of her home since July 2016.
If you are interested in learning more about starting or joining a group like this, send Terri a message.