Healing Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome
with Dr. Lydiana Garcia
My Personal Journey on Healing from Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome
I'm definitely working on breaking some of the patterns, and it's hasn’t been easy. There are days I'm so overwhelmed that I scream more than I want to. But then I think about that whole aspect that Dr. Dan Siegel talks about, the repair and the ways that you can repair. That has helped me repair those instances and I kind of show that I'm a human being.
The way about food, I am working on that intuitive and when I eat, I’m trying to be more conscious and help the body to be in that rest and digest mode. I give the optimal not only with what I ingest, but also the state of when I'm ingesting the food. I'm also working towards eating a lot of different diverse vegetables and fruits. It’s interesting that the diets of enslaved Africans in Puerto Rico are some of the foods that I crave when I am having a hard time, which mostly are root vegetables. It’s so healing when I’ve learned that and when I'm eating those vegetables, I'm also bringing that sense of connection.
The learn efficacy, I did it via my parents and my family. They instill so much of that. I saw my parent, my dad “making it in life” and I know that I had in me what it takes. I know that it was going to be harder especially when I moved to the US because of all these different labels that are basically making me not to be white or not being American. I have experienced a lot of instances where things have been way harder and yet, I tap into my ancestors, I tap into that idea that I can make it, I can do it. And I have the support, not only here my family, but also my ancestors in the other realm and the generational lessons and resiliency.
In terms of becoming healthier, I'm working out three to four days a week, doing the spinning if not, yoga, or walking, dancing, doing something and showing it to my kids so they’re seeing that I prioritize my health by working out. For taking a rest, I am not waking up at four or five o’clock to meditate or none of that at this moment, because my nights are so random. Sometimes, Luna would wake up once or twice, or my son has a nightmare or something. So, right now I'm in a stage that I'm going to sleep as much as I can because I need it and it’s so important for me.
For building up the self esteem, my parents helped me a lot, and my society, my community to show me my esteem. But something that was really helpful for me was when I was growing up, I started dancing in eighth grade, and it was around the time that I was starting to get bullied. I think it was a great timing because the bullying ended and dancing gave me that new opportunity to perform live and be in places that I was really scared and those experiences helped build my worth and my sense of value. There was also a time when I was 17 years old that I was asked to be a substitute dance teacher in the summer camp, and that gave me so much sense of value. This is one of the things that I really talked about to parents when I work with children or adolescents, that extracurricular activities are so important. They can provide that sense of value and worth, and doing something that they enjoy because when they enjoy it, they’d want to do it.
For regulating myself, I’ve been really working on learning how I feel stable, how I feel regulated, and how can I continue to add different things like music and scents, and other different things that I can do on a daily to help me, like have enough water and comfort and weighted lap, these are some of the things that have been helpful.
Managing my finances is something that I definitely am working towards. My husband is mostly doing that but I also need to take ownership of that especially my father was amazing at managing his finances. Right now, I am also definitely valuing more my work and really setting the prices for the things that I serve, because that's what I feel like I'm valuable and that's what I deserve, and being okay with that which has been a big journey.
And telling my story, here I am telling my story. I feel like it's so important to continue telling our stories, it is so healing. This episode has been one of the hardest for me to create and one of the longest, but I hope is one of the most healing.
I hope that as you're reading this, you hear my intention of hope, that intention that you do deserve to be whole, you do deserve to be complete, you do deserve to have the life that you envisioned, and to live in peace. I'm sending you so much love so much compassion and gentleness and I believe in you. I believe in your journey. I believe in your ability to heal I believe in your dreams, and I wish you the best.