the effects of unresolved emotional trauma in the black community

May 4, 2018



We live in a society where if a topic is the point of discussion at least five days it’s considered old news; our attention spans aren’t able to attach ourselves to anything long enough without our focus being coaxed on the next thing. Even though millennials know what’s it’s like to live without social media, live in a house where the dial up took forever to connect and your mama fussed you out for tying up her line - those days are just memories. The reality is now we have unlimited data, can access nearly any question we’ve ever had within seconds and unknowingly read someone else’s opinion on a topic before we internalize it ourselves. I believe our horrors of emotional trauma are treated no differently.


Physical abuse. Absent parent. Sexual abuse. The death of someone significant in your life. Grief of unanswered questions. Childhood experiences you remember vividly. Police brutality. Incarceration. Poverty. Teen pregnancy. Failed relationships.


There are so many examples we’ve either had personally or know someone close to us that’s had baggage too heavy for them to bear alone. In the black community we’re taught early to deal with things - not necessarily deal to resolve; but more so move on. The recognition of what happens isn’t a question commonly asked. We’re groomed to bear the cause and effect when there are things outside of our control.

Shame. Guilt. Anxiety. Depression. Overspending. Overeating. Alcoholism. Drug abuse. Sexual addictions. Bitterness. Resentment. Anger. Violence. Nightmares. Insomnia. Isolation. Hopelessness.

Narcissism: Obsession to be admired and win the approval of others. 
Overcompensating: Attempts at overcoming a lack to temporarily feel whole. Spending money on what’s not a necessity when you KNOW it ain’t there.  
Denial/avoidance: Using an unhealthy vice to escape reality, regularly. Or ignoring a series of events to 'protect' yourself.
Manipulation: Using traumatic incidents to justify your ability to control others.


We take this baggage and build families...relationships. Then ask ourselves why things aren't the way they should be...or the way we envisioned. No one is perfect - but we shouldn't continue to pass down the generational baggage of our parents and life experiences to children that haven't had a chance to experience life themselves. Instead of continuing the cycle of dumping; we have to master the art of digging. Digging into the dirty parts of our lives we want no one to see. Taking the time to process why we are the way we are instead of saying, "I've always been like this.." Some answers are easier than others to uncover. Others take much more time and effort; more than we would like to dedicate for one area in our lives. Unresolved emotional trauma taints, robs, and suffocates your talents, gifts, God-given abilities. The effort of protecting yourself from more scarring actually doesn't provide the space to heal.


Growing up my mom always told me she loved me before we even started a conversation…except when I was extra hellish between the ages of 15-17ish. She always asked me if I was okay. I didn’t put much thought into wondering why until I got older - a small, consistent attempt to subside OUR emotional trauma.


would address Kanye, and I’m not dismissing or judging his current state…but that’s old news.  

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