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Mental Health Journey

Breaking Toxic Cycles and Patterns

Toxicity and inter-generational trauma have been passed on through various generations. Most of the times when people hurt others or are rude, they are projecting their own insecurities upon another person. It usually happens because the person who is rude was treated the very same way by family or peers or the society and this person does not know any better at that point of time. This person ends up projecting their insecurities upon others, who in turn passes it on to another and the cycle keeps going. The only way to break this chain is to pause and think at some point, to work on consciously breaking the toxic patterns. It requires work and dedication but the effects it yields is going to be phenomenal and helps in creating a safer space for the coming generations. The two famous Evil Queens of Disney: Maleficent and Cruella devil are examples of women who were wronged and who project the toxic cycles they were subjected to.

They say evil queens were just princesses who were never rescued. Both Maleficent and Cruella devil were once innocent little children who then were forced to go through certain dark moments which traumatized them and had a deep impact on them. This very trauma made them do many evil things that were harmful for others.

But one notable difference between these both is that soon after she cursed Princess Aurora, Maleficent realized her mistake and from there on she chose a different path, she very actively helped in saving Aurora from her own curse. Whereas Cruella devil turned her dark past into vengeance and hatred, she put the life of so many innocent dalmatians in danger.

The above two stories clearly show that villains or bad people were not born that way, they were immensely wronged by the society, and they end up projecting their trauma onto others. So, where is this cycle going to end? Is it fair to treat others wrong because you were wronged once? In the above two stories, why they did what they did was explainable based on their pasts. Their past explains their behavior, but does it justify their behavior? Can we place the blame on society for our behavior? Aren’t we all a part of the society? We are the society and thus we must become a generation of cycle breakers to pave a new trauma free life for the coming generations.

“I bet you got pushed around, somebody made you cold, but the cycle ends right now, because you can’t lead me down that road”. I’d say we all follow this approach as suggested (or rather sung) by Taylor Swift.

Yes, we all must consciously break the cycles. During this journey we also must be compassionate towards ourselves. Because we might find ourselves trying so hard yet loosing our cool at certain moments and letting it get the worst off us. That is perfectly normal. It happens because that was what we knew, that was how we were treated, but not anymore, now we are trying to change for better, we no longer identify ourselves with the old patterns. I once read somewhere, “The first thought that goes through your mind is what you have been conditioned to think, what you think next defines who you are”. Hold some space for yourselves when you behave as you were conditioned to behave, because it’s the next thought that comes up and what you do next defines who you are. Maleficent too cursed Aurora in a fit of rage but she soon realized and repented. She rescued Aurora and that defines Maleficent but not the curse. Unfortunately, all of us are not Auroras and we do not have a Maleficent waiting around to rescue us. Its high time we become our own rescuers and save ourselves and others from the cycles of generational trauma and abuse.

Some ways to be a cycle breaker:

  • Be mindful of your behavior
  • When you act in a way you would not want to, take a pause, be compassionate towards yourself and if in the process you hurt someone, apologize to them
  • Stand up for yourself and others when you see someone is unfairly projecting their insecurities upon you or anyone else.
  • When someone shares something with you, listen to understand where they are coming from rather than wondering about what you have to say next
  • Practice self-compassion
  • Be kind to others because everyone is fighting their own battle.
  • Ask for help when needed. Sometimes professional help is necessary to identify patterns and to break them. Psyklife provides one on one counselling sessions. Feel free to reach out.

Written by- Madaalasa Mannava

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