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Hi and happy Monday!

As we fly past the end of February, I hope that we can use all that we unpacked these last few weeks as lifelong resources and guides to help us further our efforts when it comes to the liberation of not just all, but Black folks included.

Last week as we touched on stigma, I wonder what came up for you during those reflection questions. There is so much to unpack about stigma and intergenerational trauma which is why I want to give some specifics on how intergenerational trauma can manifest itself:

  • Health conditions: diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.
  • Mood and/or psychological disorders: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc.
  • Maladaptive coping skills: smoking, substance, drug abuse, desensitization, self-harm, etc.

This is just a short list of symptoms, but it is important to highlight the many ways our mind and bodies attempt to cope with pain. Sometimes when that pain, hurt, and trauma goes healed, it can bleed into the rest of the family system and get passed down.

For Black folks, ask yourself:

  • Where do I feel trauma being stored in my body?
  • How have I seen ancestral trauma manifest in my family based off reviewing some of the symptoms of trauma?

I am not sure where in your body you might be holding pain, but it can be hard to carry the burden of hurt and stigma. By tapping into self-care and ancestral healing, we can all do that work on healing the lineage of pain.

For white folks, I also invite you to explore how intergenerational trauma has manifested in your own family system. Trauma has no race, after all. However, if you’re committed to practicing anti-racism, what I also encourage you to explore is this: In what ways may I have caused Black folks harm, which inevitably adds to their already extensive list of trauma experiences?

Examples of this can look like asking yourself:

  • Have I ever diminished a Black person’s pain by either silencing them, debating them, or gaslighting them?
  • Have I ever questioned a Black person’s credentials, ability, or education?
  • Have I ever violated a Black person’s boundaries by touching their hair without permission, or their bodies?

As I said earlier, let’s be sure to stay on the path of doing this healing work way past the 28th when the month is done. I look forward to connecting with you all next to talk more about self-care in the context of managing our mental health and hygiene. Stay tuned!

With love,
Minaa B.