Dealing with Trauma

Maybe this post should be called “Healing from Trauma,” but since I don’t have all the answers and I’m still in the beginning stages of healing I think the title is ok as is. I am dealing with trauma at the moment.

Did you know that trauma can come in waves? It can just wash up over you or line up in front of you or present itself in stages. For example, if you experienced psychological trauma as a child and never dealt with it because you didn’t know that the events that took place were abnormal and then later in your adult years you realized that what happened was, in fact, completely abnormal and in no way your fault, but that new realization leaves you feeling raw and out of control and you start to understand that this is trauma stemming from that childhood event.

So you start to deal with the trauma while also dealing with adulting. But then you start experiencing adult trauma. A severely broken heart, the death of a family member, sexual assault in the workplace, racism everyday all damn day, physical assault in the workplace, abandonment from friends and the loss of two babies.

That is a massive pile of trauma, am I right?

I unexpectedly remembered a traumatic childhood experience while living in Los Angeles and even though I ran as fast as I could to therapy to face it, I, unfortunately chose the wrong therapists. They were white women who simply didn’t get me. In fact, every therapist I’ve ever had (and there have been many) has been a white woman or a white men and it was simply never a good fit.Why? Because of microaggressions.

I think sometimes some professionals do it without realizing it – not that it’s any excuse. It’s just so second-nature for some white people to not think of Black people as human. So over the years my therapy sessions only made me feel worse. Is it ever a therapist’s job to explain the behaviors of the people who have harmed me and try to make me understand their point of view when I’ve clearly stated that I feel voiceless and invisible? Since when is it ok for therapists to gaslight their patients? So I’ve set my sights on working with Black therapists. No luck so far but fingers crossed. I didn’t get the treatment I needed to heal from the childhood trauma. Instead I suppressed everything and decided to move to London. There I was bombarded with racism, had a circle of karens in the most toxic friend group ever and was sexually assaulted while working at a restaurant. Again, I tried speaking to a therapist, another white woman who was more concerned with me seeing her in the street and speaking to her (Seriously? Why would I talk to you outside of therapy?) than actually listening to me.

At this point I was developing a fear of leaving the house because my anxiety was so high. Her advice? “Just go outside.” Oh….ok.

So I didn’t get treatment for the childhood trauma and the sexual assault and so I suppressed all that and moved to Italy. I traveled a bit around Europe, experienced some serious racism while visiting Alicante and also while volunteering to teach English in Spain. And then my grandfather died. Do you see what I mean about the waves and stages and the pile on of emotional and psychological trauma? I didn’t seek help from a therapist but I did try to get comfort from family – who naturally made the situation about them. (Yes, they’re white)So I suppressed that sadness and got pregnant. Twice. And then lost both babies.

And I reached my breaking point. The worst thing about losing babies is that everyone says the wrong thing. But sometimes the people saying the wrong things are saying it intentionally. They want to see you hurt. They want to add to your pain by talking about abortions and blackface. They want to take advantage of your vulnerability and humiliate and berate you in public. Just to see how much they can get away. Just to see how broken down they can get you.

I’m thankful for hitting rock bottom that one night in Milan. It was then that I finally realized no one was going to rescue me.

I had to save myself. A little bit of research later I found helpful tips on how to deal with my trauma. It included exercising, meditation and mindfulness and most important – cutting toxic people and karens from my life.

I will never go back to a karen-filled lifestyle.

Black women are beautiful

And by any means necessary, I will get through this trauma. I will heal from it. If you or someone you know is experiencing trauma there are resources out there. I personally joined a support group for women who’ve experienced baby loss. I also joined support groups that are specifically for Black women and Black people. Check out this website, Help Guide, for tips on dealing with trauma and also helping someone who is dealing with trauma. You may not have all the answers or know the right thing to say when someone you know is hurting. But you can try to avoid saying and doing the wrong thing. That’s all for now, lovelies. It’s a beautiful day and I plan to enjoy it. I hope you are staying safe, wearing a mask, keeping your loved ones close and continuing to love yourselves the way you want to be loved.

Ciao for now,

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