(Image: Thought Provoked)
Recently I was having an online conversation about an important topic. It started off great and it was a give & take communication. We both left feeling good.
The second part of the conversation took a turn. I did not understand why this person was angry and upset with me.
They would state "you are doing this!" I would try to explain my intent. This was met with a lot of accusations & labels. They said that I was trying to explain when there is no need to explain but rather to listen.
It was then that it hit me. My responses were being misinterpreted. I didn't even see it in myself before but I was communicating through trauma responses. It was then that this person completely understood.
Of course, something so glaringly in my face...I deal with this everyday in others around me...trauma...historical, 2spirit, colonization, racism, lateral violence, childhood, alcohol/drug addiction, grief trauma...we all experience so much and I understood this...I just never allowed myself to apply it to myself.
I am not my trauma and you are not yours: Healing trauma through the Ancestral teachings of respect and unity
A wellness blog from Patricia Vickers, Director Mental Wellness, FNHA
As First Nation peoples, we have been conditioned to believe that because we are Indigenous, we are inferior as human beings—an oppressive shame-based reality. In addition to this conditioned belief, through colonization, many First Nation peoples have experienced both individual and collective trauma. Through both oppressive acts of colonization and traumatic experiences such as sexual abuse, physical violence, incest and neglect, many of us come to believe that such experiences are evidence that we truly are less than human.
To live in freedom and spiritual balance, it is necessary to face oppression with understanding and clear seeing and to release resentment and/or revenge, to face shame-based, intergenerational social conditioning and embrace ancestral teachings of respect.
I'm totally digging these cartoons. Simple and effective.
(EDIT: three youtube videos were "unavailable" and have since been removed)
Indigenous peoples have a vast, complex and powerful legacy of trauma that has impacted us through generations and continues to manifest its effects. Trauma for Indigenous peoples is alive, complex, and entangled in a web of dysfunction and normalized behaviours. In Indigenous science, “blood memory” is carried from generation to generation as an inheritance, which is passed down through psychological, spiritual, biological, and cultural processes – this memory can contain cultural knowledge as well as trauma (Methot, 2019). The ‘soul wound’ described by psychotherapist, Eduardo Duran (2006), conveys the severity of internalized oppression experienced on a physical, psychological, and spiritual level that is inflicted onto the psyche or soul of the land and its people (p. 21). One theoretical framework is referred to as Historical Trauma (HT), which speaks to the collective psychological wounding across the lifespan and subsequent generations, stemming from cumulative, historic loss and unresolved grief (Yellow Horse Brave Heart et al, 1998, 2003, 2011; Whitbeck et al, 2004).
Why I Believe the Mental Health Community Should Be Concerned About 'Cancel Culture'
I believe cancel culture’s toxicity to the mental health community lies in a flawed notion of accountability. Perpetrators assume that anyone anywhere needs to be held publicly responsible for comparatively minor transgressions that could be more effectively resolved in a private conversation than in a Twitterstorm. Instead, “accountability” is sometimes weaponized against neurodivergent people regardless of if they are in the throes of a crisis or are even capable of comprehending the impact of their actions. While I am not excusing physical, verbal or emotional abuse, the fact that even for smaller acts or comments targets may be ostracized for life without any chance for atonement underscores a pernicious sanism perpetuated by our society.
The reality of cancel culture is that it has imperiled countless people in the mental health community. Calling people out and then permanently canceling them neglects to appreciate our imperfect nature and potential for growth, and the knee-jerk reactions on social media culminate in handing out punishments based upon biases and needing to scapegoat people, without a fair accounting of their character or the presumption of innocence. Too often, people jump to conclusions based upon flawed notions of accountability, not realizing that few of these call-outs give the proper context to make a decision about anyone’s rectitude. As in Mary Purdie’s case, they far more often culminate in trauma rather than in any modicum of justice.
How the Cancel Culture is Toxic for Our Mental Health
At the end of the day, cancel culture is toxic for our mental health because it doesn’t allow us to be human and make mistakes as well as learning how to give people 2nd chances and forgive them. At this rate, celebrities are afraid of old tweets from when they were not as wise resurface and tank their whole career or making any human mistake without their fans giving up on them.
Anxiety and Depression is at it’s all time high with the cancel culture because it can be very isolating and lonely as you feel everyone gave up on you before you could even apologize or correct your mistakes.
TRIGGER WARNING: abuse