The Wounded Generation by Victoria M. Thorn With over thirteen years of experience in post-abortion ministry, I continue to ask myself, "Who are the people who phone our office? I believe we could better help these wounded people if we could better understand these formative issues that have shaped their lives. A little over a year ago, a couple of experiences coincided that led me to begin an in-depth examination of societal influences on this generation of adolescents and young adults. I attended a national conference on trauma that brought together experts from very diverse fields to share their information. This experience started me questioning whether there were some traumatic events that had touched the lives of many young adults - events that are now being played out in their lives.
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The Wounded Generation by Victoria M. Thorn With over thirteen years of experience in post-abortion ministry, I continue to ask myself, "Who are the people who phone our office? I believe we could better help these wounded people if we could better understand these formative issues that have shaped their lives. A little over a year ago, a couple of experiences coincided that led me to begin an in-depth examination of societal influences on this generation of adolescents and young adults.
I attended a national conference on trauma that brought together experts from very diverse fields to share their information. This experience started me questioning whether there were some traumatic events that had touched the lives of many young adults - events that are now being played out in their lives.
Conferences like this always raise more questions for me than they answer. In this book, the authors Neil Howe and Bill Strauss examine issues which they believe are significant events, personally and societally, in the formation of what is called Generation X or Generation This generation is arbitrarily defined as those born between and or and , depending on whose schema you use.
In either schema, included in the group are individuals on either end of the spectrum who might also carry the described traits. The information in the book fueled my questioning and led me deeper. Howe and Strauss speak of six influences which they believe have shaped Generation I would add one more influence and, while they allude to it, it is not specifically named. These influences are as follows: Readily-accessible birth control Legalization of abortion on demand Increase in divorce Increase in mothers in the workplace The Zero Population movement "Evil child" movies High societal mobility my addition Certainly there are those who would argue that these are not all bad things-that, indeed, people have new freedom and a sense of control over their lives that was not there in the past.
However, let me explore exactly what some of this has meant in terms of the lived experience of our young people. In fact, many claim that the availability of readily accessible and easy-to-use birth control has ushered in the first era In which there has been an open discussion of "planned" or "wanted" children. The drawback, however, is that as children become more "wanted" they also become less "welcome. Philip Ney, a child psychiatrist from Canada who has done a great deal of work with abortion survivors, points out that there is a significant difference between "wantedness" and "welcomeness.
Ney makes the point that for something or someone to be "wanted," it must fit into a plan or an agenda. The object is wanted precisely because it fills some need. This means that "wanted" children are, by definition, desirable because they fit into some plan of their parents But the fact that they have been made part of a plan is confining.
In contrast, when unplanned children are simply welcomed as a "gift from God," they face fewer parental expectations for how they are to fit into the "plan.
This simple decision to plan childbearing has fundamentally shifted the mindset of parents to a more controlling mode. Couples must begin by deciding how many children would best fit into theft life plan and when they should most optimally be conceived.
Proper planning requires an effort to anticipate their lifestyle decades into the future. How big will the education budget be? How many children can they put through college? Should they save for the mini-van before becoming pregnant or "risk it" now?
In this way, even before children are conceived, planning parents have begun "fitting" their child into a planned life. This invites even more planning and expectations that will be attached to the child. So we find pregnant couples who already worrying about what preschool the child will attend. Should the child be allowed to play football? Should she be in ballet or gymnastics? Perhaps more than in any previous generation, the dreams of parents have become a script for their children.
When the plan goes awry, family anxiety, tension, and conflicts are exacerbated. This mentality of wantedness also feeds into abortion decisions. Other children, who would he welcomed in just a few years, are aborted because they were conceived "too soon"-before the plan allowed. The "wanted" mentality makes children into objects and not people. They become possessions, and as such are expected to meet the expectations of those around them.
The children of Generation 13, individually and collectively, carry an enormous burden of expectations. These issues play a formative role in the self-identity and self-esteem of Generation This generation has been exposed to issues of "wantedness" that were never openly discussed in prior times. Many children now know if they were originally planned or "wanted. The unintended subtext to such an explanation is that "your conception was a mistake" or "you were a convenient excuse. Children are confused by this message that there is only room for a specific number of children.
They observe that their parents have two or three cars, perhaps a home and a summer home, several televisions-and the logic of what they have been told escapes them. These mixed messages lead to confusion: maybe they really are not such special gifts in the eyes of their parents.
Maybe children are more of a burden than a blessing. It is almost inevitable that this perception will color theft own attitudes toward their own children. All of this is a far cry from the traditional explanation that children are a gift from God who come whenever God sees fit-the result of a three-way love between a man, a woman, and our Creator.
While modernists may scoff at this "mystical nonsense," none can doubt that this message gives young children a bedrock upon which to build their identity and purpose in life: "I am here because God wanted me. A Generation of Abortion Survivors One in three of this generation have been aborted.
This fact has aggravated the sense of inequality between generations. Author Donna Gaines, a social worker who examined suburban youths in a community following a successful group suicide, has observed that "The baby bust is the last generation conceived before abortion became legal.
In effect, Scott and his peers grew up understanding that one generation now had the legitimate right to annihilate another, up-front. Ney, Dr. Edward Sheridan at Georgetown, and others have observed that this effect can be felt even when the surviving children have not specifically been told about the abortion. In essence, on some level these siblings of aborted children feel themselves to be the "abortion survivors.
Others have themselves survived an unsuccessful abortion attempt on their own lives. Far many more children were "unplanned" and scheduled for abortion hut then survived because the mother changed her mind. Bonding or Breaking? I believe this latter group is especially significant. There is an uncountable multitude of children whose mothers, at least for a while, contemplated aborting them. This contemplation of an abortion can impede proper in-utero bonding between mother and child, at least in the early stages of pregnancy, and possibly throughout the pregnancy.
This is a topic covered in the fast-growing field of pre- and peri-natal psychology In a growing body of literature, these researchers are showing that inadequate bonding in-utero, or traumatic birth experiences, can have lasting impact on the emotional development of children. Thomas Verny, M. Puzzled by this unusual behavior, he experimented by taking the baby to another nursing mother who agreed to put the child to breast.
Amazingly, the child responded by vigorously nursing. She told him that she had not wanted to carry the pregnancy and had, in fact, planned to abort it. However, the protests of her husband caused her to carry the baby to term. Verny concluded that the child experienced maternal rejection in-utero. There is also psychiatric literature that suggests that those who survive an attempted abortion grow up to be periodically suicidal. This can occur if the woman resists bonding because she is contemplating abortion or awaiting the results of prenatal testing for fetal defects.
Furthermore, many writers in the field of pre- and peri-natal psychology believe that trauma--in the form of rejection or exposure to inter-parental physical or verbal abuse, or traumatic birth experiences--can have permanent negative effects In addition, we do not know what effect maternal anxiety or alarm may have on a developing infant.
Most certainly, the hormonal chemistry of anxiety or alarm is quite different from the chemistry of calm and happiness. Since the blood chemistry of the mother passes through the placental tissue, we must ask what impact this might have on the unborn child There is substantial evidence to support the conclusion that hyper-arousal in-utero may increase the tendency for a child to become hyper-sensitive to stress, over-fearful, angry and withdrawn. Such children may act out, in the form of social aggression against others, or to turn inward and become suicidal.
This issue of proper mother-child bonding is further complicated by the fact that women with a history of abortion frequently report that the birth of a subsequent child is often the trigger event that releases repressed guilt or anxiety about the previous abortion. These aroused feelings of distress about the prior abortion can impede bonding with the newborn child who is subconsciously "connected" with the stress.
The woman may withdraw. Many report that they became afraid of loving the child "too much, because God will punish me by taking this child away from me. All of these scenarios suggest that abortion may be distorting the relationship between the mothers and children of this abortion generation.
Life as a Menace On some level, the children of Generation 13 are aware that they are the survivors of a pre-birth holocaust. Themes of survival, death, the destruction and revenge of innocents are common m their literature. It is also reflected in their music. John Sonne, a psychiatrist, writes of the abortion themes present in contemporary music and album covers, for example that of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. The abortion images are clear and graphic. Howe and Strauss also talk about the impact of the "evil child" movies on our society.
Children have been demonized. This fact has not been lost on Generation 13, which describes itself as lost, empty, and no good. This "children are a menace" concept is also a major theme in the Zero Population Growth movement and in many areas of environmentalism. Population control advocates have sought to place a burden of guilt upon parents who consider having children.
School children are routinely taught that the birth of every new child will result in more pollution of our earth. This is a powerful message. It is also distributed at every level of the media. Just one aspect of this major propaganda effort is the periodic appearance of newspaper articles claiming that it takes a million dollars or whatever the latest figure is, to raise one child. Another message, commonly taught in schools, is that children are a great burden.
Fourth graders are given hard-boiled eggs that they must keep under constant supervision for a week. High school freshmen are given paper sacks of flour.
To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Illustrated by R. New York: Vintage Books. REVILED as apathetic, cynical and just plain dumb by both its elders and itself, the generation born between and has, understandably enough, an inferiority complex bordering on the pathological. But guess what? Consider the statistics presented in "13th Gen": child poverty, employment, wages, home ownership, arrest records -- in every category, this generation, the 13th since the American Revolution, is doing worse than the generation that came before.
13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?
Even the first IBM PC had hardware that told the operating system that the disk drive door was open, but returning an error to software trying to read the disk would break the ability to manage disks this way without such changes. Still, it was desirable to improve the experience, in particular by giving the user a way to get out of the hang without having to find a disk to insert in the drive. Description[ edit ] A missing disk or disk drive door opened was defined by DOS as a "critical error" and would call the "critical error handler". COM  and printed the "Abort, Retry, Other problems in particular, a checksum error while reading data from a disk were also defined as a "critical error", thus causing the prompt to appear for reasons other than a missing disk or opened disk drive.
The Boomers' Babies
13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, and Fail?