Triumph Over Trauma!

Confronting Taboos: Addressing Mental Health in the Black Community via "A Snowy Day in Oakland" movie.

November 21, 2023 Eve Mcnair
Triumph Over Trauma!
Confronting Taboos: Addressing Mental Health in the Black Community via "A Snowy Day in Oakland" movie.
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Why is it, that within the black community, discussions surrounding mental health are often deemed taboo? This is a topic we've long grappled with and, in today's episode, we take this conversation head on. We unpack the poignant narrative in the film "A Snowy Day in Oakland" as it boldly magnifies the societal notions and stigmas revolving around mental health. The film opens a window into the belief that black people tend to conceal their troubles, a habit that can inadvertently stifles progress. Pondering the recent trend of celebrities unveiling their own traumas, we observe the ripple effects on ordinary individuals and the potential it holds in fostering vital mental health conversations.

As we delve further, we broach the subject of the underrepresentation of mental health within the black community and the stigma linked with it - a poignant barrier, no doubt, in seeking help. We stress the importance of cultivating safe, judgement-free zones where such discussions can be held, driving home the point that transparency can be the catalyst for healing and restoration. We also confront the negative stereotypes associated with mental health professionals, underscoring why it's essential for therapists to undergo therapy themselves. Remember, your trauma does not define you. We are all on unique journeys towards healing, and if you have any questions or concerns, we welcome you to reach out. So, join us for this crucial conversation, because silence, after all, is not always golden.

  •  What is Trauma?                                                                                                                                               Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.  An emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, abuse, or natural disaster.     
  • How to cope with Trauma                                                                                                               Talk to a few trusted people, open up about your struggle, seek online support groups, read self-help books or practice small acts of self-care such as meditation, breathwork, yoga and exercise can help you regain some feeling of control.”
  • Find a therapist                                                                                                                                               Get Started (betterhelp.com)
    Online Psychiatric Medication & Mental Telehealth Services - Rx Anxiety, Depression & Insomnia Treatment | Cerebral  

  • Triumph Over Trauma Scripture:  II Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto to God, who always causes us to Triumph in Christ....   
  • Books I'm reading on my healing journey

It Didn't Start with You! - How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes who we are, & how to end the cycle.  https://a.co/d/f22BoLk

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2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, who always causes us to Triumph!

Speaker 1:

Hey y'all, welcome to Triumph Over Trauma, the podcast. Listen y'all. I created this podcast because, like so many other people, I've had a traumatic past. I didn't always realize how those things affected me negatively and how I even carried them into my adult life, and so I wanted to create a space where other people could come and we could have candid conversations on how you identify trauma, how you navigate it and how you recover from traumatic experiences. If this resonates with you, then join me. I am your host and trauma survivor, ms Eve McNair. Let's get into it. What's up guys? Welcome back to Triumph Over Trauma, listen. I know it's been a little bit, so we're just going to go right into the episode because, listen, y'all know life be life and we gotta get in where we can fit in, okay, and today, just where I fit in. Listen, this is the women 15th 2023. I'm coming to you with a new episode. The episode is based on the movie A Snowy Day in Oakley Listen. If you haven't seen the movie, pause the episode. Go watch it and come back and finish listening. If you don't mind spoiler alerts, then continue to watch or continue to listen. I should say Listen. So I watched the Snowy Day in Oakley about three times. First time I was like, oh, it's a cute movie. Second time I was like, wait a minute, I'm picking up on a lot of cultural norms here that we sometimes overlook as it relates to mental health in the black community, the sickness associated with mental health therapy and the need for it. And so I watched it again a third time and I was like, oh, I see what's going on here, I see what they did here. You have to watch the movie. There's literally a character in the movie for everyone. I'm pretty sure that everybody can relate to at least one of the characters that's in the movie. There's a married couple, there's a pastor. There is a bodega owner, it's a male lady. There's a boutique owner. This story is centered around, or centered in, a neighborhood of storefront businesses and all of the businesses each have a storefront and this woman comes and moves and she's actually a psychologist and everybody is literally up in arms regarding her being there and they're like what is going on? Why is she here? And they slowly but surely come around to the fact that not only could they use mental health therapists, but that they start to see that there is a benefit to mental health therapy and slowly the movie kind of picks apart each cultural norm or each stigma that is typically associated with some of the cultural norms that we see regarding mental health and the need for mental health therapy, and so it does have a comedic flair to it, but I think it's easy. I think it has a comedic flair because it helps you to digest the problems that we sometimes ignore. It's a really, really good movie. I'm going to go ahead and pick apart some of those cultural norms, some of those stigmas, and break down each one of them and why do we do the way that we do, why do we think the way we think regarding them and why do we feel the way we feel about it, and let's see if we can find ourselves in between any of these stigmas that we see. Okay, so one of the stigmas associated with mental health that is partly addressed or kind of like exposed in the movie is the idea that black people don't talk about their problems, that our problems are between us and God, and when I heard that being said and when I heard that in the movie, I was like you know what that rings true, because before I became a trauma and mental health advocate. I definitely didn't talk about any of my issues, any of my past traumas, any of my mental health concerns, any of my mental health struggles. I had never talked about it to anyone outside of Jesus, and this was before I even came to therapy. Before I even went to therapy, I hadn't even told anybody. At one point, I wasn't even talking to God about it. So I definitely resonated with that thought that black people don't talk about their problems and that their problems are whether it be mental health or any other type of problems are most likely between them and God, and I wanted to kind of take a moment to think about that. Why is it? Why have we grown to a point where we don't talk about it? Why have we become so relegated to the idea that our problems aren't to be discussed outside of prayer Right Now? Don't get me wrong Prayer is most definitely a tool that I have come to appreciate, so much so in my trauma healing journey. But why is the mental health issues, traumas, trials, tribulations of life so under talked about, so under discussed with anybody else outside of the Father, outside of Jesus, outside of the Lord? Why don't we talk about it? Why is it an issue for us to talk about it. Our issues are struggles and traumas and our problems. Why is it and we have to begin to look at that bit, because I think that holds us back as a people is that we're not talking about it, and if we are, we're kind of like talking at it, we're kind of like talking over it. It's starting to be discussed in a lot of different media outlets. I remember when the story broke regarding Kurt Franklin and him finding his real biological dad, right. I remember when the story broke regarding Carrie Washington and her coming to understand that her, the man she called Father, wasn't her father. And I remember thinking, wow, people are addressing father wounds, right, people are addressing their parental wounds. And I also thought to myself for so many of us who watch their stories on TV, there are so many of us who can relate. Right, though we're not in the spotlight, we still haven't talked about it, we haven't discussed it. There is no documentary for what we've gone through, but we've all gone through it. Maybe there would be, maybe we would see more stories like this portrayed in the media or even accepted in the media and entertainment industry if more people were talking about it, if more people were saying, hey, listen, something happened to me and it has altered my brain chemistry or has changed the way I think and feel about myself. It has changed the way I see the world. It has changed my perspective, right, because, for instance, for people who do have parental wounds, your father is one who shapes how you show up in the world, right, your father is one who shapes how you show up in the world and your mother is one who shapes how you feel about yourself, and sometimes those two things collide catastrophically because we don't know that I feel the way I feel because of a parental wound, right, because of my relationship with my father and my mother, and we go off into the world and lead lives that we don't realize are partly fractured because of how we grew up, but nobody's talking about it, right. Nobody's saying, hey, these are my issues, I mean. But who would? Especially within certain communities, because we're kind of we've kind of grown accustomed to not being heard, to not being listened to, right, to not having platforms that speak about our pain without it being misconstrued to mean something else. Right, tell someone thinking that we're trying to pull a race card or something we're not used to speaking about the things that we've gone through and we carry that into every area of our lives and relationships and how we feel about ourselves. We carry that into our adult life, how we live our lives. You can see it manifested in so many different ways, and so that was one of the things that was kind of exposed during the movie is that black people don't talk about their problems. Our problems are between us and God and they are, but they are also between you and your mental health therapist, between you and your family, between you and your best friend, right? These are things that we should be. We should begin to cultivate safe spaces so that we can talk about what it is we've gone through, not just to God, and not I don't say that to minimize the power of talking to the Lord. I don't say that to minimize the power of prayer. I say that to amplify the power of transparency with one another. Even the Bible itself says confess your faults one to another, right, and God wants us to confess our faults one to another so that we are healed, so that we are strengthened, so that we can be forgiven, but also so that we can be restored. And when you talk about when you take. When you, when you talk about restoration or being healed or a healing journey, we often negate the fact that transparency is the bridge that gets us to the other side. The other stigma that was exposed in the movie is that people often look at psychologists or psychiatrists or mental health professionals as head shrinks, and I never understood what that means, like, oh, you want to go see a shrink right. And when I did some research, there were so many different like colloquialism, so many different meanings, especially on urban dictionary, but one of the ones that stuck out to me the most was that there was this negative stigma associated with the negative stigma that mental health professionals of any of any kind will heal you in terms of being able to shrink your head and the problems that you have will dissipate, because there will be some sort of magic on you that will change the size of your head, change your brain size or your brain structure. And sometimes we repeat things like that generationally and don't have any idea where they come from. Well, it was originally thought that psychologists were witch doctors and that they had the ability to heal you by casting some sort of spell that actually shrunk your head, shrunk your brain size, and it's crazy because I've heard that term so often and I never knew that it was related to that. I never knew that it was related to that idea, right, and it goes to show you that there are things that are said generationally in certain communities and certain cultural norms that are passed down that we have no idea what their origins are or how they continue to negatively affect us, like, for instance, I remember hearing that if you're driving in a car you can't turn on the light that's inside of the car, then you could be pulled over for that. Now, I don't know if that's true in every state, don't know if that's literally a motor vehicle law, but in the state where I live, in the state of New Jersey, that is not a law. It is not illegal to drive with the inside light on right. You shouldn't, because not only could it be distracting to you or the person you know, other persons on the road, it's not illegal. But we've heard that so often and I've never seen it in any other motor vehicle pamphlets. I don't think it was ever on the test that I took to get my driver's license, and Even as my other children came up and they began to get their license. It was never something they were struck, instructed about in school. It's literally a myth, an urban legend, and sometimes there are so many urban legends passed on that we accept this truth and don't realize it. But the dangerous thing is when we accept these urban legends as truth when it pertains to our own physical, mental and emotional health, right. The dangerous thing is when we accept urban legends when it, as it relates to our mental and emotional health, our silenced, our psychological health. And so what was the other one? There was another one that says Well, we don't need a psychologist, a psychiatrist or a mental health therapist, because we have our pastors and our pastors have God. But, believe it or not, even our pastors Go through things right. Life lives for everybody. Life is going to continue to life, regardless of is if, regardless of if you're called to preach, teach the gospel, or if you're called to, you know, be in the congregation. And so even our pastors can use, can use therapy. Even our pastors should Utilize that resource. Yes, our pastors, yes, we do have our pastors and yes, our pastors do have God. But that does not negate the fact that counsel is A vital tool. Even the Bible says and here I go quoting scriptures again. But even the Bible says in the multitude of counsel there is safety, which means that, which means which, which, which goes to say that no man is island to himself and you can never be Be so okay that you can't utilize Counsel, wise counsel especially and sometimes we negate wise counsel if it's coming from someone in a mental health background. Now, and another thing that the movie pointed out is that is that though the therapist came to help, you know, to be of assistance to those who were psychologically ignored or Negate, neglected, she herself needed some attention. She herself had some things going on in the background of her life. And what I've come to understand is that even Therapists need therapists. Even my own therapist has a therapist right, and I would I think I would actually be alarmed, I would kind of be taken back if I had a mental health therapist who said I don't believe that I need one right, I don't believe that therapists should have them, because I would be taken back, I would be, I would be off put, because I I understand the power of counsel, I understand the power of being able to decompress with someone who is not only Neutral but who who holds space professionally For people's emotions, thoughts, feelings, and without judgment, and who could offer valid professional In order to help you. Right? But their opinions or their answers have been tried Through study and research and so, yes, therapists need therapists too. And now one of the ones that I thought was the most hilarious right was there's a young man I forget his name, but there's a young man in the movie who goes to see the therapist, but not for an appointment. He's basically just trying to sell his CDs and he says to the therapist listen, nobody's going to pay you money, nobody's gonna give you money to talk about their stuff when they don't know you. I'm not gonna pay you to talk about my problems and I don't even know you. But the fact of the matter is is there are problems that we have that we don't talk about with the people that we do know for free right, and we undervalue mental health therapy. We undervalue the power of therapy, of counseling, of Behavior therapy, of cognitive therapy, of emotional therapy. We undervalue. We undervalue the power of therapy when we, when we say that I'm not going to pay you money for it because either way you're gonna pay. You're gonna pay either at the pharmacy when you're filling prescriptions in or you're gonna pay. Pay as a result of unresolved trauma, when it shows up in your life, when it manifests in different areas like anger, depression, anxiety. You're gonna pay in that capacity, or you may pay if it manifests In your relationships, right in your everyday life. So if you're going to pay financially, why? If you're going to have to pay, if there is a cost associated with gardening your mental health, let it be a cost associated with preventive care rather than care in the aftermath. Right, we should be focusing on preventive health care rather than traditional health care. Traditional health care says when there is a symptom that has manifested, then we go get help, versus preventive health care says listen, regardless of whether there's a symptom or not. I want to get ahead of this, especially having known my past history, right, things I've gone through, things I've experienced, and so I'm going to be preventive, or I like to say proactive instead of reactive. Now, there was a scene in the movie in which the young African-American male was basically a canvas in the neighborhood looking for somebody to buy his CDs. He was selling his CDs all over the neighborhood and as he was leaving the psychologist's office after attempting to sell his CDs to her. He runs into a police officer and the police officer notices that he has cash in hand and a police officer begins to question him where's he going and what's he doing with the money that he has. Then the young boy gets nervous and begins to run. The officer winds up shooting him and a spoiler alert he does survive. But in the movie that particular scene kind of exposes what we think and feel regarding police brutality, the senseless murders that we've endured over the last couple of years. I mean, there have been so many, I'm afraid to name a few, because there's been so many, but some of the higher profile cases that we've seen. But nobody is talking about the trauma or the mental health challenges that one faces after having gone through something like that. And then how do we as a society heal from that? How do you reconcile that? Because you still need the police and their job is still to protect and serve. But it becomes, there becomes a level of mistrust, there becomes a level of insecurity, of a feeling of unsafety because of what has happened to how we've been treated historically in the past. And so even that is one in which we should be seeking there before. I remember, at the height of the pandemic, where we were discussing different cases George Floyd, sandra Bland, just different things that were going on. A group of us were discussing it and I remember the anxiety welling up. I remember the anxiety welling up. I remember becoming overwhelmed with fear, with distrust, and those are things that we have to yield in therapy. Those are things that we have to begin to work through so that we are not fearful Of the people who should be protecting us. Right, and I think I think the officers themselves in general, whether they've been involved in anything like that or not, but I think the officers in general, I think that they also need, can benefit from therapy, because there are things that are happening, things that they're seeing, things that they're exposed to, different trainings that they're made privy to, that need, you know, need to be reviewed, and also they need a place where they can decompress so that they're not walking around Full of anxiety. You know anger, rage and yielding Unfortunately yielding weapons. You know that should be used to protect and serve, but instead it has been used historically to To her, to harm us, and so that was one of the things in the movie that I appreciated and I thought was interesting, what was very sensitive topic and I almost didn't want to make a point of it on the podcast because it's so sensitive and I try my best to be careful With what I say and how that I say. How I say it because I don't want People to be offended, I don't want to be insensitive and I don't want to harm anybody with my words, right? But I say all that to say, although this was a movie, you know what they say art imitates life and you know this is a film, but it rings very true. A lot of the different scenarios that you see in a film Rings very true to our society today, which is why I said I think that there is Somebody in the film that we all can identify with. If not, you know more than one person, there's at least somebody in the film that we can all identify with. So again, I think it's worth watching, and I mean it wasn't deeply, deeply serious but Because of the comedic fear, but again, I think that's there, so that is easily digestible, so that what the author, what I would assume the author or the director is trying to make note of is that, for those of us who have been psychologically ignored or neglected, that there's still time for us, uh, regardless of how long the issue, the circumstance, the trauma, the problem existed or presented itself, no matter how long ago that was, there's still time for us To receive healing, to receive help and hope for our futures. Um, despite what we've gone through, and I think, uh, that is my takeaway from the film itself is that we still have time, not time to waste, you know, not time to, you know put it off till next year, or you know, wait until then, or wait until this or wait until that, but time right now to deal with it. So it is my prayer that your takeaway from this episode will be to identify any A possible stigmas or biases that you have toward mental health, um, and the necessity for mental health therapists. Um, I'm hoping that we as a society in my prayer, honestly, is that we as a Society can begin to move away from those negative thoughts toward it, that we can truly begin to heal, we can truly begin to open up and tell our stories, as deep and dark as Her poor, painful that they may be, because Transparency brings freedom and freedom fosters transparency. Um, and I think, when we come to understand that, we'll do away with some of the shame, some of the guilt, some of those negative feelings associated with, um, opening up or seeking mental health. Um, I think we'll do away with. I think we will do good to do away with those as we continue to identify any of them in our lives. And as I continue on my own trauma healing journey, I have come to the point where I understand the depths, the abs and the flows, uh, that come along with healing from traumatic experiences. And I understand that I haven't just I understand that I haven't even scratched the surface of where I've been. I always say that trauma is the mind's picture of where the soul has been or what the soul has endured. And I understand that my soul has endured a lot and my mind is still coming to terms with some of those things and therefore, as a consequence, still having to heal right, still needing healing, still requiring Visitation of those painful experiences of places and things, um, and which you know my heart and soul have been. And so let this be a lesson to you To be a little bit more gentler, gentler with yourself, a little bit more kinder with the next person, because you never know where it is that they're navigating from. You never know from from what place in life they are approaching you or you are engaging with them. You never know where they are, and so I feel like Having that perspective can help us all, not only in our own journeys, but also maybe helpful to someone else who may also be going through this journey as well. If that makes sense, before we go, I'd like to extend an invitation to you to host the podcast with me. Perhaps you have a question, comment or concern regarding your own trauma healing journey or that of someone you care about. Feel free to contact me. Check out the show notes at the bottom of each episode. There's also a ton of other resources books, information, links to other mental health therapists as such as well. Also, just a little announcement trying for the trauma does have merch. We have hoodies, baseball caps, mugs, and we're working on Adding to that collection. If you'd like to purchase also, please email me. You can purchase them via email or you can purchase them via my tiktok shop. I am even all my platforms Instagram, facebook, tiktok in YouTube Try and forward trauma. There's also have a YouTube page where you can see some of the videos we've posted there as well. Thank you so much for your time today. Remember now thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph. That's 2nd Corinthians, 2 and 14. God bless you. See you next time.

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