In this weeks episode I am joined by Mark Oviri, the director of Simplify-Ed and school teacher.
Every time someone reaches out to me to be a part of the platform, I try to keep an open mind. Sometimes we can make assumptions about peoples stories and past because we know them. What I will say is that you should never assume.
- Never assume because you’ve known them for a long time.
- Never assume because you know their family.
- Never assume because they’re your best-friend.
- Never assume because they’re your sibling.
One thing life has taught me is that trauma does not discriminate, but sometimes it can be picky. Two people can live within the same family household, but have two completely different experiences growing up. This can range from emotional, physical and even to sexual abuse.
The next time someone shares their version of the truth, don’t discount it because it does not make sense to you. Every time you dismiss someones story, you are potentially assisting n burying that trauma further and further underground. I have heard on many occasions outside of the space of Love Laid Bare, of people sharing their trauma, only to be questioned as to whether they are sure it even happened.
Uncle Terry may have been the best uncle in the world to you, but for Maria, he was the devil incarnate. He has made her life, friendships and relationships a living hell because of what he did to her.
Just recently, my home was broken into and the car, along with some other items were stolen. Other than a particularly ‘violent attempted robbery’ that I experienced back in 2006, this was my only experience with having my home violated. I have always felt safe.
However, someone within my own family suggested that those version of events (that they had heard second-hand) didn’t make sense to them, so therefore something untoward had happened which I was responsible for?! So, not only did I have to go through the trauma of having my home violated and having my daughters possessions and car stolen; I then was faced with the prospect of defending myself. Defending myself against accusations that I had somehow done this to myself? The suggestion in itself was so ludicrous that I didn’t even bother to defend myself. Why should I? The car was retrieved and nothing of any particular value was taken, so how would lying benefit me?
I seldom come across victims of trauma who have lied for lyings sake. I urge you to listen with an open mind and compassion the next time someone shares something of magnitude with you.
Very often we see family members or friends acting out in ways that don’t make sense to us. Nine times out of ten these very same people have experienced traumas that they still haven’t found the courage to speak out on. This is why this platform is so important. This can be a safe space for you to speak your truth and to do so anonymously if need be.
I want to thank Mark for being so open about his trauma’s, particularly as a lot of it is rooted in his childhood experiences. We often have unwavering loyalty towards our parents, but we must understand that speaking up and out about our traumas (even if it does include them) is the ONLY WAY WE CAN BEGIN TO HEAL!
I remember in my therapy sessions where my therapist would highlight certain things that my parents had done that were ‘not right’, and I felt annoyed with her. How dare she insinuate that my parents did something irresponsible? Yes of course I am well aware that they weren’t perfect, but they did the best they could. Back in the 80s/early 90s it was wasn’t unreasonable to leave your children in the house unattended. My brother and I never saw a problem with it and it probably made us feel more grown up. But at 5 years old, what do you really know? Would I leave my daughter home alone with a 7/8 year old now? More than likely not, but again our parents are not perfect, and we grow to realise this over time.
I also want to applaud Mark for taking the massive leap to getting himself diagnosed. Do you know how commendable that is? Why do we as a culture (Im speaking specifically about Black culture in this instance) find it so difficult to be forthcoming about our mental health? As I type this I can already start listing the reasons why and how they particularly apply to men.
Mark will be speaking on the panel for Male Depression & Self Esteem at my first live show ‘The Conversation’ on Sunday 28th April 2019. If you recognise some of the signs and symptoms Mark has mentioned in this episode, why not come out and speak with him personally? There will be a wealth of knowledge and expertise at the event, so please take advantage of it.
I will be closing this season with this weeks episode as I believe we all need time to engage in self care and reflect. As you all may know by now, I am very conscious of ‘energy’, so it is important for me to work through my own issues as well as those that are brought to me. The next week and a half will be very hectic as Im pretty much putting this show only myself.
I hope to see as many of my London based listeners as possible on 28th April 2019! It will be a fantastic show so do come along.
If you have been affected by anything we have mentioned in this story, please visit our Resources Page for information on our support services.
Take care & have an amazing start to the spring!