Tag Archives: “intergenerational transmission of trauma”

The Origins of Daisy Love (Unmentionables, 28)

[Editorial comment: Because of various things that happened during the month, I’m running a bit behind and have a few more poems to do to complete this series. Therefore, even though April is over, and NaPoWriMo is officially over, this poem series will continue on for a few more days. Stay with me folks!]

i. Girl

Teeny. Tiny. Little. White flower stars.
They’re pretty. See how the wind makes them bounce?
They’re bouncing in circles! Now I’m dizzy.
I like to bounce. Do you like to bounce? Me, too.
No, no! No tickling. Tickling’s not allowed.

“An array of common sleep related problems in infants
and toddlers, including bedtime, wakeup time, and frequency
and duration of wake during the night.” “Dark-enhanced startle
was increased in children whose mothers survived childhood abuse.”

ii. Her Mother

I don’t know. Daisies are just happy things!
Especially for people raised when I was.
We invented smiley faces, flower
power, and all that. How can you not smile
whenever you see daisies? So happy.

“After controlling for maternal psychopathology,
it was maternal trauma that predicted children’s response.”
“These data show parental trauma exposure need not have
occurred during the child’s lifetime to affect the child.” “Children
of women trauma survivors were likely to experience
traumatic events; this suggests why this crosses generations.”

iii. Her Grandmother

Careful! That vase is special. Don’t break it!
Why? Because of the daisies all around it,
I guess. The milk glass might be worth something,
but really, this one was my mother’s, so …
she liked daisies, white, with a yellow heart.

“Of course, trauma is rarely, if ever, all by itself. There’s
usually preexisting childhood conditions that happened.”
“What comes to mind when I say traumatic? What does it mean for
you? What kind of events can cause traumatic injuries? What are
the consequences of trauma? Is it a common thing here?”

iv. Her Great-Grandmother

Daisies grow everywhere. Sometimes being common is lovely.
The summer after my mother died was a hard one — hot, dry,
nothing grew very well. There wasn’t much aside from daisies
for me to put on her grave. Daisies bloomed early in the spring,
and were among the last in the fall, bright against the browned grass.

“Like the question of death and its consequences: bereavement,
parentality, transgenerational transmission and
organicity often linked to illness.” “We organized
these themes into four categories: causes; consequences
of injury; risks & protective factors; barriers to care.”

v. Her Great-Great-Grandmother

Sometimes I wish we’d kept going out West,
but this is far enough, with so many
small ones. A farm, cabin, town not too far.
Daisies to pretty the table. Sometimes
they’d even last a couple days. They’re tough.

“There’s energy behind every trauma.
There’s energy that’s involved in it. So,
that energy can be seen physically,
but it’s very difficult to see it
spiritually, on a person’s mind and brain.”


AFTERWORD (added May 2, 2015)

I have been asked to add the citations for the quotes (and paraphrased quotes) embedded in the poem above. There are a lot of them, which is why I didn’t do it at the time. Here they are, in alphabetical order by first author.

Auxéméry Y. [Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a consequence of the interaction between an individual genetic susceptibility, a traumatogenic event and a social context]. Encephale. 2012 Oct;38(5):373-80. doi: 10.1016/j.encep.2011.12.003. Epub 2012 Jan 24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23062450

Bassett D, Tsosie U, Nannauck S. “Our Culture Is Medicine”: Perspectives of Native Healers on Posttrauma Recovery Among American Indian and Alaska Native Patients. Perm J. 2012 Winter; 16(1): 19–27. http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2012/winter/4253-pts.html | http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3327107/

Bosquet Enlow M, Egeland B, Carlson E, Blood E, Wright RJ. Mother-Infant Attachment and the Intergenerational Transmission of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Dev Psychopathol. 2014 Feb; 26(1): 41–65. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4145695/

Hairston IS, Waxler E, Seng JS, Fezzey AG, Rosenblum KL, Muzik M. The Role of Infant Sleep in Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma. Sleep. 2011 Oct 1; 34(10): 1373–1383. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3174839/

Jovanovic T, Smith A, Kamkwalala A, Poole J, Samples T, Norrholm SD, Ressler KJ, Bradley B. Physiological markers of anxiety are increased in children of abused mothers. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2011 Aug; 52(8): 844–852. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3134615/

Roberts AL, Galea S, Austin SB, Cerda M, Wright RJ, Rich-Edwards JW, Koenen KC. Posttraumatic stress disorder across two generations: concordance and mechanisms in a population-based sample. Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Sep 15; 72(6): 505–511. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3412195/

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