A generational curse is a negative cycle of behavior patterns, beliefs, or practices that’s passed down from one generation to another. These could also be unconsciously inherited, a sort of psychological imprint. Mental illness, emotional instability, addiction, and even poverty are just some examples of a generational curse. Breaking these is not an easy feat. The mere fact that your generational curse has been there for literal generations means it will take a lot of effort and pain to break. You have to make the conscious decision to stop doing and passing on toxic traits.But in the end, when you see you’ve been healing and your children aren’t suffering the same way you did, it’s going to be worth it. Here are just 8 generational curses that can stop with you.
Addictions (drugs, alcohol)
“Our families’ history and baggage impacts who we are as people, whether we like it or not,” wrote The Source on generational curses. Some of us came from families who have a long, winding relationship with addiction which could be substance or alcohol abuse. The desire to give in must be there in the back of your brain. It’s tempting. But if you want to break this generational curse of addiction, you know you have to fight it. You can seek professional help if you can’t do it on your own.
There’s one quote from Bojack Horseman that might help you out. In the scene, Bojack wants to give up jogging after one attempt but a stranger comes up to him and tells him: “It gets easier. Every day it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it every day, that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.”
Lack of education
You might come from a family that doesn’t value education. Or they might recognize its importance but they would rather spend their money on other things. This generational curse could be closely tied with poverty, but that doesn’t mean it should hold you back. You could be the first in your family to finish school and get a degree. Don’t give in to the belief that both the uneducated and the educated have the same opportunities — education gives you the knowledge and that, as they say, is power. Yes, there are stories of people who make it big after dropping out of school, but those are exceptions to the rule. Getting proper education will affect your future in terms of getting better-paid jobs and being a better citizen and person overall.
Poor relationship with money
Debt, mindless spending, and horrible financial habits — these are all examples of a poor relationship with money that’s often passed down to generations. You could accrue debt from your parents you have to pay off which would, in turn, limit your capacity to spend and might push you to more debt. But you can break away from the cycle. Practice good financial habits like saving up — even if it’s just P100 a week. Find ways to earn and spend below your means. Fix your budget and stick with it. Learning all these things and teaching them to your own kids will make sure they won’t go through what you did.
Divorce or splitting with a spouse/partner
Divorce might be prohibited in the Philippines, but that has never stopped Filipinos from splitting with their spouses or partners. It’s still as messy — maybe even messier — without the label. Kids are left to grow with a broken family, often with a display of unhealthy relationships. And since this is the environment they know, there’s a huge chance they pick it up when they’re older and break relationships of their own. If you’re a victim of a broken family or even just a family with conflicted relationships, you know what it’s like for the affected kids.
Abusive and manipulative relationships
Abuse is not always about physical violence. It could be sexual, emotional, or verbal. Sometimes emotional abuse is difficult to detect. It’s so embedded in your day-to-day relationship with your abuser that you think it’s normal. What could be the signs? Parents are demanding, controlling, manipulative, possessive, and might resort to belittling and saying negative things towards their children. It could be lost behind the idea that parents know what’s best for their kids and the notion of love but you know better now. A healthy relationship is formed out of trust, mutual respect, and love for each other. Kids who have experienced abuse from their parents at a young age might have to work hard so they won’t repeat the patterns when they’re older. But the good news is there is a lot of professional help available. It’s possible to change.
Not seeking mental health help
Mental illnesses can be passed down through generations. And because there is a lot of stigma surrounding mental health not just in the Philippines, people prefer to keep theirs under wraps instead of seeking professional help. They make the mistake of brushing it off as something they could “heal” on their own. But being mentally ill affects not only you but also those around you. If you grew up around people who never bothered to get mental health treatment, getting better can start with with you. Getting help is you taking action and setting an example for your kids and the generation after that.
Being a bad communicator
A generational curse might even be responsible for ruining your love life, or any other relationship in your life for that matter. If you’ve got parents who are bad communicators, you’re most likely one yourself. They may find it difficult to express their emotions in words, like telling people they love them or are proud of them. Instead of resolving arguments by communicating, they may prefer to sweep things under the rug until the issues pile up and it just explodes. Emotional repression could also lead to bigger problems like the abusive relationship we mentioned earlier. So if you’ve adopted this trait, it’s never too late to change. Start expressing yourself and using your words.
Maybe you come from a long line of people who’ve all had diabetes, obesity, or high blood pressure. In some cases, these health issues are unavoidable, but you might also be able to do something to manage it early on. Start a healthy lifestyle by educating yourself on nutrition and other ways to prevent physical illnesses from getting worse. If you’re not complacent, you can break the generational curse just like this guy did with his family’s diabetes.
These are just some generational curses that can be broken in order to create more healthy relationships with future generations. You might recognize some of these in your life. If so, it may be time to reflect on it. Think about which generational curse you can break in your family, which cycle of negativity will stop with them. And don’t worry if you feel like you can’t do it alone. Seek the help of professionals and counselors and don’t carry the burden on your own.