How does trauma spill from one generation to the next?

“We are all products of our history,” she said in an email interview. “I don’t really think it’s surprising that we carry our fears, traumas, tics and insecurities and pass them on to their children to some degree, whether it’s a depression-era recipe for potato salad or a deep-seated fear of abandonment.”

Foo’s great-grandmother and grandmother survived the Japanese occupation of Malaysia during World War II and a brutal guerrilla war with Britain known as the Malayan Emergency.

“I personally believe that because my great-grandmother and grandmother had to hustle desperately to survive,” Foo said, “that has contributed to the hustle and creativity I’ve possessed in building my own career and survival skills here in America. It’s probably also contributed to my intense anxiety.”

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