Stepping Stones

by Carol Hansen

"Emotional Genetics"

© 1996

"Why are you so angry?" I would ask. "I don't know, I'm just angry!" he would respond while clenching his fists. This scenario was played out several times a week for many years while my son was growing up. My son was born angry. He came out of the womb screaming and began throwing tantrums as a small infant. He is 20 now and living in the midwest.

Last summer I was talking with him on the phone and told him that I felt I had done him a disservice when he was growing up. I never let him fully express his anger-I would always tell him to go to his room or yell at him for throwing a tantrum. I have come to realize the importance of allowing those in your life to fully express whatever emotion is going on in them until that energy is dissipated and out of their bodies. As I was sharing this with my son I said to him, "You were born angry." As soon as those words came out of my mouth, it was as if I had been hit with a thunderbolt. I told my son to hold on for a few moments because I had to "be with' the process that I had spiraled into as a result of that statement.

What came to me in that moment was the memory that when I was pregnant with Greg my husband began seeing another woman. I was very angry but I never let anyone know how I was feeling. Whenever anyone would ask how we were doing, I would smile and say, "Oh, just fine," all the while seething inside. Well, guess who got my anger-that little boy in my womb! And as he was growing up he mirrored back my anger to me every day. No wonder he didn't know why he was angry. It wasn't his anger that he was feeling! Therefore, he was never able to get in touch with it.

As a result of that flash of insight, I was able to share with my son right then on the phone all of this information. It started a healing process for both of us.

A few months ago my youngest daughter, age 17, was going through a major depression. She has been a melancholy child all her life and in the past year and a half has had several serious bouts of depression. She, too, is living in the midwest with her father. As I was discussing her emotional state with Victor, I again had a revelation. When I was pregnant with her I was going through the only major depression I have ever experienced in my life. My marriage was falling apart and I felt my life was falling apart. I would spend days in bed crying. Well, guess who got my depression. That innocent little child in my womb! She has never been able to get in touch with her depression, and again that's because it is not hers! She spent Christmas with me this year and we began a healing process around her depression. Now she has an understanding of where her depression comes from and how she can release it.

I began to realize how the emotional state of the mother during pregnancy can have a direct effect on the child as he/she is growing up. To test my theory even further I decided to explore what was going on with me when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.

When I was pregnant with her I was living in Maine with my husband who was in the military. My mother committed suicide the same week my husband got orders to go to Japan. I had to move from Maine back Wisconsin to be with my dad and to help with my only sister's wedding. A few months later I then flew to Japan where my oldest daughter was born. Even though several tragic events happened in my life during this pregnancy, I never lost the joy and excitement of being pregnant. My oldest daughter, now 26, has been a happy, joyous child all her life and has been able to cope with everything that life hands her.

Isn't it remarkable how each of my children have mirrored the emotional state I was in at the time I was pregnant with them. I understand now that one of the greatest gifts you can give your children is to be in a balanced, harmonious state during pregnancy. Easier said than done, I thought. Then I realized that I have been teaching people how to achieve that state for over 2 years. Lighten Up brings you to a state of harmony and balance. I guess I've been given another mission!