July 29, 2017
From Javelin Hardy, Author of The Girl Inside of Me
I didn’t realize as a mental health therapist how vulnerable we ask our clients to be until I shared my story when I promoted my book, The Girl Inside of Me.
I was not only sharing my personal story of how I’m a survivor of childhood sexual abuse/trauma but the generational and historic trauma of my family was revealed. I realized the most significant places I wanted to share and teach how to address trauma in the African American community were in churches and colleges. Both institutions read my book and said the book was too “risky” and not suitable for these institutions. As a therapist, the clients I serve attend these churches and colleges who haven’t addressed their sexual abuse when they were children. So I promoted my book in jazz clubs, libraries, and community places where I gave poetry readings. Much to my surprise, there were more men who shared their stories with me; men who never told anyone what happened to them due to all the stigma they face because being a survivor of any kind of abuse isn’t accepted as much as a women’s abuse. In the African American community, the male will be seen as weak even though he is walking around in a lot of pain. I asked myself a question, why are the churches and colleges not ready to provide a platform where people can openly speak on their trauma and have conversations of healing. It’s because they are afraid and wouldn’t know what to do, or better yet, in some cases, accept the responsibility of being a part of the abuse.
Universities teach theories, churches teach trust God. As for people of color we heal with cleansing ceremonies, dancing, drumming, and singing/prayer. Regardless if it’s public or private, a healing circle needs to be held in a trusted community so others can share their story and heal with one another. I choose to share my story for the unspoken and those who continue to suffer.
Be healed in sharing.