Survival Strategies and Denying Racism

By Susan Shehata / June 22, 2020 /

There are people who will never acknowledge that systemic racism exists, even if they know it does. Because, to do so would alienate them from their family and friends who are attached to racist ideology. The need for belonging will override any need for truth or justice.   This may strike you as shallow (or…

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Why We Don’t Like Being Corrected

By Susan Shehata / June 19, 2020 /

Do you know why we don’t like to be corrected? It’s actually a trauma response.   It’s an “authority imprint” from our childhood.   Let me explain.   When we were young, and we engaged in a behavior that required correction, it often came with a raised voice or a disciplinary action. Depending on how…

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An Oppressive Society Depends on our Shame

By Susan Shehata / June 17, 2020 /

My fellow white friends, maybe you are shutting down because you are hearing messages like your hashtags and your posts and your book clubs are not enough.   So you stopped.   And you know what? That’s what an oppressive system counts on—that you will feel shame and that you will stop.   But here’s…

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A Consciousness of Convenience

By Susan Shehata / June 15, 2020 /

I remember what it was like the week Robin Williams died by suicide. For a brief moment in time, we had a collective conversation about mental health. It was powerful.   And then it stopped.   Until the next famous person died by suicide. Collective conversation. Abrupt ending.   School shootings. Collective conversations. Abrupt endings.…

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Racism as a Belief

By Susan Shehata / June 9, 2020 /

Living in a world with so much racialized trauma, it is impossible for white people to not absorb some racist beliefs into our Consciousness.   It doesn’t make us* inherently bad people. It just means that we* adopted beliefs that were commonly held and taught, at some point. And, perhaps, we never took the time,…

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Unmet Needs: a holistic perspective on crime

By Susan Shehata / June 8, 2020 /

Putting my trauma educator hat on, I want to talk a little bit about unmet needs, because I am hoping it will expand your perspective.   We have collectively been taught to think of human beings through a binary lens of “good people” and “bad people.” This way of thinking permeates every aspect of our…

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Self Work for Social Change

By Susan Shehata / June 5, 2020 /

Wherever you are right now, I guarantee you are running into Unresolved Grief, Anger, Shame and Victimization.   In the last week or so, maybe you’ve found yourself having difficult conversations with people—either in person or online. Maybe you’re running into a whole pile of feelings or resistance—either in yourself or in others.   So,…

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A Gentle Trauma Reminder

By Susan Shehata / June 2, 2020 /

You, your family and your friends are experiencing a response to a collective trauma.   In your communications (online and in person), remember that people are responding from different trauma responses: Fight, Flight, Freeze, Fawn, Flop   If you or others are being argumentative, defensive or combative, that may be a Fight Response.   If…

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Confusion is the Name of the Game

By Susan Shehata / June 1, 2020 /

(Please note: this post was written in the context of the murder of George Floyd and the uprising that began in my neighborhood. I share it here because the point made has broad relevance to this time period)   In our world, we encounter fiction disguised as fact and fact disguised as fiction.   Confusion…

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The Hierarchy of Processing Trauma

By Susan Shehata / June 1, 2020 /

Are you freaked out, right now? Scared? Uncomfortable? There are plenty of reasons to be. But in all of our own feelings, we can easily lose sight of who is at the center of the story.   I just saw a post about a group of white women “discussing” the current climate around their Black…

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