S3E11: What's it Like Adulting while Healing from Trauma (Mother Wound) w/ Vero

Episode 11 July 10, 2024 00:45:52
S3E11: What's it Like Adulting while Healing from Trauma (Mother Wound) w/ Vero
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S3E11: What's it Like Adulting while Healing from Trauma (Mother Wound) w/ Vero

Jul 10 2024 | 00:45:52


Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

Join Aisha and her guest, Vero, in an enlightening and deeply personal conversation about breaking generational trauma, mother wounds, and the journey towards healing.  Aisha opens up about her challenging childhood and how it shaped her, while Vero shares her insights on mindfulness, mother wounds, and the finite pool of worry. Together, they explore the powerful impact of relationships, both human and with nature, and discuss how confronting fears and nurturing the spirit can lead to profound growth. Tune in to be inspired by their stories and grounded advice, and don't miss Vero's top book recommendations for further reading. Follow Vero's work with the AfriTech Fellowship on LinkedIn!


Vero's book Recommendations (includes affiliate links):


Discovering the Inner Mother, by Bethany Webster

It Didn't Start with You, by Mark Wolynn

Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Taming the Tiger Within, by Thich Nhat Hanh

About the Mother Wound





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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to start to finish motherhood, a podcast for those thinking or already single mothers by choice. Just looking for practical advice for navigating life's relationships. When you decide to have children on your own, it doesn't mean that you're completely alone. I'm Aisha Jenkins and I'm partnering with you every step of your journey. Hi everybody. I am here with a guest today, and this guest is a good friend of mine. It's interesting how this conversation has evolved, and it's a conversation that has been brewing probably for a good nine to twelve months. We knew we wanted to have this conversation. I wanted to do some research and get in touch with my feelings on this topic and then to really sit down and be in the right headspace to have this conversation. And I think I have finally reached a point where I am vulnerable enough to have this conversation out in the open, because I think it has shaped a lot of who I am and I think has shaped a lot of who my guest is. So my childhood was not an easy one. And when I was younger and my life was taking this really hard detour of unexpected events, I ended up as a 1314 year old with a lot of rage built inside of me. I had rage for how I was treated by my parents. I had rage for what felt like the injustice of certain situations and circumstances. I had rage about how my siblings were treating me. I had to work really hard, hard to come to terms with the rage and what I felt was owed to me, which was nothing, because really, people, a lot of people are just doing the best that they can. And so with age came maturity, and it also came with perspective. My mom was 15 when she had me and she was 32 when she passed away. My parents were children of the sixties and seventies. Lots of black neighborhoods were in a transition period. We were dealing with sometimes poverty, a lot of times systemic racism and the disparities that come with those. And my parents were really young. So knowing what I know now, and when I look back on my childhood, as complicated as my sibling dynamics were, I see things differently. And I look back on those two adults who raised me with a more gentle lens. And as I'm parenting myself, I have to remind myself to look at me with a gentle lens because my children won't understand the impact of their words and the things that they do and why I do the things that I do in my parenting until they become adults and I probably won't even be here. I fully reached a level of understanding until I reached 32, which was the age at which my mother passed away. At 32, I was a carefree, single, professional woman with no children. At 32, my mother had birthed five children and maybe lost two or three to miscarriage. Her partner had just died suddenly, and he was left to raise not just her children, but two of his children who were still young at the time. And I think that was a lot to bear. And so, as I progress into adulthood and I have a close relationship with therapy, transparency and accountability, I learned that healing really is a journey, and it's a state of being. And I want to have a type of healing spirit wherever I go. And so I'm here today with my guest, Barrow, who probably heard these things for the first time. I love your energy. I love the peace that you bring when you walk into a room. And we're here to talk through this weighty and sometimes emotional topic of breaking generational trauma and how we heal as adults, because it does impact how we show up in our relationships, how we show up to ourselves in the mirror, how we treat ourselves, the words that we use on ourselves and others. There is something definitely to breaking the cycle of generational trauma. One of the things that you said that let me know, I definitely needed to have a deeper conversation with you and bring you on the podcast is that you said at some point something along the lines that people have a limited capacity to worry. And I have sat with that quote for almost a year, and it has deeply affected me. It has affected the way that I now see how I interact with people, how people interact with me, how sometimes something you might say is a ghosting or somebody stopped communicating, that it may not be that it may have been that they hit their capacity for worry. I think it lightens the load that I put on myself and my kids as we interact, because at four and nine, I can only imagine that their pool of caring gets so small and so fragile. So it really affected me. I'm going to ask my special guest, Vero, to introduce yourself, and then we will get into the episode. [00:05:56] Speaker B: Hi, Aisha. Thank you so much for having me here today. A real pleasure to be with you. I want to thank you for sharing your story. You're right. It's the first time I hear the whole complete picture, and I know there's more to that picture as well. So I really appreciate the vulnerability to share, like, everything you went through, but also the generations before you. And I can relate a lot to that journey. I'm a professional that works a lot in the space around women and women empowerment and supporting women and identity and our journey towards understanding ourselves in that space. As part of that journey, I've had to think of myself. Obviously, I can't just help other women if I don't take a closer look to myself. And I am very fortunate to work with a lot of women in my home country, Mauritius, which is an island east of Madagascar. For those that don't know. And as, like, a leadership person that really wants to empower women and bring out the best out of others, I've had to do a lot of self work, and it feels like a never ending journey to who I am. I am soon to be married as well, so I'm having to rethink of myself as a woman. I went from being, I like how you say, like, 32, child free and, like, carefree, and I'm going to be married in a month. And there is a lot of change that's going to come with that. And so I'm really excited to chat with you about everything we have been discussing in the past and bring that to a wider audience because it's a very important conversation to have. [00:07:56] Speaker A: All right, so let's ground this episode just a little, because we're going to be talking about terms. And I know you're coming from a particular perspective that sets the foundation for you. And so I want to make sure that we are setting the stage in terms of trauma, in terms of mother wound, we're going to talk about mindfulness, and we're going to talk about that favorite phrase of mine, finite pool of worry. And so, Vera, I'm going to turn it over to you, who has done a lot of deep work on yourself and talked through and studied in this area. So how are we defining the term trauma? [00:08:36] Speaker B: Trauma is, and I'm not going with the dictionary definition. I'm going with my perspective definition is the series of events and interaction in my past that were negative experiences that have created a lasting imprint on my brain, but also on the brains of prior generations. And I come from an island that is a former british and french colony. So, you know, I'm descended from slaves, and that is not that many generations away. And then it passes down and there has been lost. And you mentioned having kids very young age. My mom never met her mom because her mom died when she was so young. She had, like, five kids, one after the other, from a husband that was an alcoholic and suffered from alcoholism. And that alcoholism has been a disease in my community growing up that was very prevalent. All these are trauma that can be passed down and can influence how I interact with the world is really what I mean by trauma. [00:09:54] Speaker A: All right, and so let's talk about motherbone. I think before you and I spoke, I heard the terminal, but it's an actual thing in sociology and it's been studied. So let's define mother wound. [00:10:10] Speaker B: So my favorite definition there was this blog that I found by Bethany Webster, and I really liked her way of outlining it because it resonated to who I am on both a personal and also professional level. Personal because, first of all, she talks about the mother wound being this, the pain that comes from having a dysfunctional relationship with your mother. So it could be your biological mother or someone that you see as a mother figure in your life, irrespective of gender, someone that has had maternal care towards you as a child. So that's like, on a personal level, but it also exists on a level which is cultural. The cultural level is the pain that we experience because of the patriarchal society that we currently exist in that has made women feel less than that, are also distorting young boys by putting them in boxes of how they're supposed to act and supposed to be because they are male. And there is the spiritual level, which is what is our relationship to life itself. Do we have any spiritual belief? How are we living our life? And what are the values that we carry? And there is also a dysfunction that can happen at this level where that has nothing to do with religion. I want to clarify, like spirituality and religion are two different things. You can be very religious, but have lost a sense of what values are important to you because you've been raised to be religious. Spirituality is really about your personal beliefs and how you're living life and how you're approaching life. And last but not least, is really on the planetary level. So our relationship to Mother nature and how close we are to mother nature and how that relationship has been broken. And from dysfunction at all these levels, we can experience pain and we can experience trauma. We'll talk about trauma at these different levels, and that can inform and influence how we interact with the world again. And it can end up creating very toxic situation for us if we don't address it. [00:12:35] Speaker A: Okay. And then mindfulness. [00:12:39] Speaker B: Mindfulness is being present with the breath being present in the here and now, which is one of the hardest things every day that I have to do because I am someone who lives with a lot of anxiety. I've suffered for quite a while with depression. It has gotten better as I became more aware of mindfulness. Mindfulness is to be present in the moment, to be with the breath, to be able to give your full attention to everything you're doing in the present moment. Even brushing your teeth. Like so many times I find myself mindlessly brushing my teeth and not even paying attention. Like, even like being a bit too vigorous or like hurting my gum. And because I'm not mindful of what I'm doing, I'm already thinking about, you know, the day, if I'm brushing my teeth or what is going to happen next. And we live in a world where mindfulness is a challenge because we are so attached to our devices, we are so attached to like, this other window of world that gives us all these information, like consistently, which I think is a good segue to our next term, which is the finite pool of worry, I suppose. [00:14:02] Speaker A: Please explain. My favorite phrase these days is finite pool of worry. [00:14:08] Speaker B: Yes. So I found this term my specialization as a scientist and doing research. My whole life before I was interested in leadership as a field of research was conservation. So I come from a very environmental conservation background. And one thing that came up systematically when trying to understand why do people not believe in climate change, is they found that at different times of the year, when different events were happening in people's life, their belief in climate change, of how bad it was for one individual, could fluctuate in a year because of the finite pull to worry. So it means that we all have limited capacity and emotional resources to worry about things. So when you have many things going on in your life, and asking someone to care about the climate, for instance, or the planet, is a lot to actually ask that person, because we all have fine and full of worry. The reason why that from like a scientific perspective, that's important. It really goes to show that we need to start creating healthier spaces where people have the emotional bandwidth to care about the planetary issues that are also affecting them. So how do we start? At the personal level? Creating spaces where people can think about their trauma, can heal from their trauma, so that they have more space to think about societal and the spiritual and the cultural and the other side of the mother wound. And it's really starting with creating space for people to think about their own worries and helping them navigate the space. [00:15:59] Speaker A: Okay, so we define the terms trauma, mother, womb, mindfulness, and finite pool of worry. Okay. So with that ground laid, my understanding is that trauma that people experience, it shows up differently for each person. And so what that means is it could show up visibly. You could just be haggard looking, disgruntled looking, no, expression at all. It shows up in how you carry yourself, the energy that you bring into a room. And so can you talk about that just a little bit more? So sometimes we don't know why people react to us the way that we do. I know that that's something I struggle with a lot and I talk to my therapist because I end up being in some horrible situation where people will just say things. And I'm just like, it has to be. If it happens once, it's like, okay, it's something. But if it continues to happen at points where it leaves a lasting mark on you, then that is usually my cue to go inward and try to figure out how I show up. And what is it for me that is giving off an energy that brings certain things into my life? So can we talk about trauma and how it impacts how we show up and loss of attraction and mindfulness? [00:17:29] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. I will actually move away from human interaction to trauma on other levels because I like this example when I talk about, about trauma or when I just narrate generational trauma, I think it's a really good example of how part of it is beyond our control. The theory around what happens in our brain is when we relieve trauma, our frontal lobe shuts down and we are put back into that situation of trauma, knowing that trauma can be passed down. It was very interesting for me, like when I read, there was a book that I read called it didn't start with you by Mark Woolen, that basically you inherit family trauma. In his book, he talks about fears and phobias that can actually be classed down. And so I go back to my relationship with the ocean. I grew up on an island. You know, our island is 50 km by 70, not big. And it has 1.3 million. Yet about 70% of people on the island can't swim. And a big portion of not, it's not just not swimming though. It's more than that. When I would go in the ocean, if I would find myself like going deeper, I would feel paralyzed. Like deep phobia of the ocean, a deepen fear. And so when I read this book and I found these stories of people that were scared of cold weather because they've had ancestors and people that have lost family members to a cold or that have died outside because of the cold weather and people have died at sea. And I just sat back and I reflected on how, you know, as a country, we have lost a lot of people at sea. Fishermen that couldn't swim. People die every day because they can't swim and they drown. Relationship with nature, again, the smother one with nature, where people have now seen it as the enemy. And so as soon as they are put in situation where they have to be in that water and they are like, they can't stand and they're not. In shallow water, there's panic. Like, complete panic, and they lose control. They can't breathe. They are not. You're not this out of body experience. And so I have made it my mission to confront that fear in my life. I have learned how to swim. A couple of years back, I'm still not comfortable in the water. I have gone diving. I have gone snorkeling. And I consistently try to confront that fear because I want to heal that relationship with the ocean, but I want to heal that. So that's why I want to be in the ocean. I want to be snorkeling and diving and be able to enjoy an asset that is mine to enjoy. I give this story because this is ocean, right? It feels like, oh, this is an element outside of our control. Here's the thing. People are also outside of our control. When we interact with people, we can only give them what we want to give them. And however they choose to react to it is the ocean. In that case, like, whatever the ocean is going to swallow you, spit you out, drown you, it's the ocean. It's going to do what it's going to do. And the traumatic relationship that we have with the ocean, in that case, the person is influenced by our past, and we make a decision in that moment of how we're going to respond to that situation based on our trauma. And there is no. I don't have an answer of how to navigate this in a perfect way. There is moments where I'm thrown back to being depressed, and it happened this week, and I find myself spiraling, and I'm in that really dark space where I don't feel like anything is going to get better. And it comes from past trauma. It comes from everything I've experienced. And my mom struggling with mental issues. Growing up, I was terrified I would be like her. And I'm still living in that fear. And for me, in that space, then it's really about, you know, looking in the mirror and saying, is this really how I want to show up? Because you can't really control the ocean, which means everyone else that's around. [00:22:23] Speaker A: I love that, you know? And a lot of what you said resonates with me because I think my trauma response is freeze. And I tell people I'm waiting for the dust to settle, really. I am trying to gather myself right, because I can't control everything. And I know rage from when I was 13 is not the answer. Right. But also, there's something that you said to about you can't when the drama happens or when you're in the ocean and you panic, right. And you don't wanna die. Right. And so for me, it's like I freeze, but I'm still panicking on the inside. But, you know, I don't want to to the darkness and the fear. And so I stand there and I have to face it, right. It makes me nervous. It makes me feel ill because I still have to recover from the fight, not even just the trauma from the fight to breathe after the trauma. And a lot of what you said resonates with me. You also said something when we spoke before about my upbringing. And before you decide who you want to be in the world, you kind of innately decide what you don't want to be. And I think. So I wrote down notes. Our last conversation, I had to refresh my brain, like, were they from you or were they from me? Because I wrote down, I'm not a joiner. I don't want to be a bully. I like peace. I don't want drama. I want to protect the small and innocent. I want to support and protect women, and I want to have self awareness and parenting. And I think that those are all the things that I want to be. Because the flip side is, I don't want to be like everybody else. I don't want drama. And so the flip side is peace. The flip side is kindness. The flip side is just. Just kind of walking my own journey. And so a lot of what you said did resonate with me. So did you do that? If you're thinking back to your entry into adulthood, you came into it. Did you think, like, I don't want to be like that. I want to be dot, dot, dot. [00:24:47] Speaker B: Yeah. I definitely have these moments in my life where I realized that I'm not my parents. And that was very liberating because there will be always elements of who they are in me because that's just how it works. But I don't have to be like my parents. I don't have to be like anyone from my family before my parents, either. I'm on my own journey, my journey, because I'm the first person in my family to like, you know, I'm one of the few, at least in my family, that has succeeded in going abroad and having education abroad, and I have. For me, having a therapist is normal. It's an integral part of my life. That's not very much a reality in my household where I grew up. Having a therapist, or I won't say that having a therapist is necessarily seen as something you maintain long term. It may be as like a one off. And for me, the way I choose who I want to be is I chose myself as much as I can, which is the reason sometimes I have doubts whether I have the bandwidth to have children, because I haven't chosen me long enough. Because growing up, my parents had a very dysfunctional relationship, and I chose to be the mediator to that relationship. I realized that I was parenting to some extent. Now I want to leave my life. And so I'm very fortunate that I'm with someone that I love, and for the first time in my life, I see him as someone that I could have children with because it would not be a one person journey in this particular relationship. It hasn't even crossed my mind, like marriage or children, hadn't even crossed my mind that it was an option. I was happy at the time in the relationship, just didn't even cross my mind that I would want that. I am in a stage where I think about it, but I also think to myself, I parented in some ways growing up, and that robbed me of my childhood. And I kind of just want to enjoy my life at this point. It doesn't feel like I've done enough for myself yet. And I know that if I have children, whether it's biological or adopted or I whatever, I want to give them the best version of myself and be fully present and be well equipped from an emotional and intellectual perspective to become a parent, because I'm going to mess up as a parent, because that's an integral part of being a parent. And what I want to be able is to not shame myself and bully myself into thinking that I'm not worthy of being a parent because I'm messing up. And that's my fear about parenthood, is that I'm not in a space where I'm able to forgive myself for my mistakes. And that is very difficult for me. So that time may never happen, and I'm not overly worried about it because I'm not someone who believes that my life will be less happy without children. So, yeah, I definitely don't think that my happiness is tied to other human beings, whether good or bad, in any way. But if I'm going to bring other human beings on this planet. I should be present for them. I should be able to be mindful and enjoy the time I have with them. And that includes my fiance and that includes the person I'm going to marry. So I'm working on that first and then we'll see what happens. [00:29:25] Speaker A: So what are you going to say to all those who bow to the patriarchy? Who's going to look at you as a uterus and say, pharaoh, when are you having children? [00:29:39] Speaker B: It's funny because of the way I am and the way I grew up in my personality and having always. People I think are scared to ask me that question because they know they're going to get a very elaborate answer that he won't be able to handle. [00:29:54] Speaker A: Because I just saw you said people were scared to ask me that question. [00:29:58] Speaker B: Yes, people are scared to ask me that question because they will probably get a very elaborate answer about how parenting is not a joke and how, you know, it has nothing. My role in society is not to. And I realized that motherhood exists in many shape or form. And it's funny at work with the fellowship that I have with women in Mauritius, sometimes people jokingly call me mom. They say that I have a very motherly presence in their lives, even with my friends. I have this very nurturing personality and I have nieces and nephew, and I'm not their biological mom, but I have a responsibility to nurture them as individual because I've chosen to have them in my life. And I think if we all looked at the world, irrespective of gender, with more of this nurturing lens, then a lot more people would decide not to have children because they would realize that they're not equipped with natural lens to be a parent. So good luck to anyone who wants to ask me when I'm having children. It's not going to be fun for them. [00:31:16] Speaker A: Good. I love your response to that, and I applaud you because it's humbling. I do want to get back to one part of the mother wound that I think speaks to me a lot. And it's the relationship with the earth. With mother Earth. When we talked, you mentioned how the earth can teach you the role of nature as a teacher, the role of nature as mother. And I think that as I am still on my healing journey, what brings me joy, what brings me quiet, what brings me peace and keeps me in the moment is my garden. Like being outdoors. Now, I'm not an outdoorsy. Like, give me a backpack and a camel, you know, drinking thingy, and I'm going to camp outside and I'm going to potty outside and fish for my own food. I'm not that person, but give me some soil and nature's beauty and just being one. And I know that there's a connection between gardening and actually getting minerals into your body. Right. Nature. I use my garden to both heal my spirit and center me. It's one of the first things I do when I get up in the morning. I kiss the kids and then I go walk around my garden. And I actually am trying to get the girls into the habit of walking around your garden, right. And just taking in the morning before you interact with the world. But there's a lot of healing that happens in our garden. There's a lot of teaching. Like one of my children, we struggled with trying to identify a type of dyslexia. And, you know, when you're not sure what's going on and how your brain is working and reading these words on the page, you might think that you can't go toe to toe with people in terms of thought and articulation. And because we had the garden, I'm able to teach her through the garden and the context. And so where she might not in a moment have been excelling at reading. If you ask that child about climate change, recycling the garden, what lives in the garden, how the garden grows, she could run it down for you. You know, we learn kindness and gentleness by how we treat the salamanders that show up under the pots that we move, how we respect the earthworms that are in our compost. And when we bring flowers and the flowers die, well, you took it out of nature. So sometimes you just leave it in nature and you look at it and it's beautiful and you leave it in nature, because the moment you take it out of its environment, its lifespan is finite and it dies. Can you talk about that a little? Especially since you're in conservation? We work professionally together, but I think we also commune in this little green spot. [00:34:10] Speaker B: Absolutely. So I. I'm a conservationist. I can't say I grew up outdoors. Didn't really have a backpack either, growing up. But conservation kind of threw me into that space. And it's interesting because most people actually don't realize that spending time with nature doesn't have to be overly complicated. And I have this friend who you've actually met, this tacky James, who brings people in DC, birding in DC, and I love that because you wouldn't think of DC as a birding spot, and yet it's interesting how much happens around us, even in a city, if you take time and observe, like a tree. And this is why I love birds. I'm a birderezenhenne, is because birds are easy to spot. They are oftentimes even in cities, and they're doing so many things. Like anywhere you go, just observe that there's a lot of social interaction happening between birds. If you observe pigeons, there will be courting. You will see them bowing to each other. They are courting each other while she's busy eating and doesn't care about his courting. But the ability to notice our not just physical world, but our natural world has been lost. And I had felt it. And then there was this professor that I read her book, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and she talks about the indigenous knowledge and their relationship to land. And she has so many beautiful anecdotes in her book, Braiding Sweetgrass, about her never ending battle of her wanting to have a pond where her kids could swim, but how it took her years and years of work to actually get the pond right. And this idea that nature is not within our control, and that we have lost a lot of the knowledge that comes naturally from nature, because we don't even. We're not mindful with nature. We don't pay attention to it. And I loved reading thich nhaan, which is full of spiritual wisdom. I love a lot of his quotes around mindfulness, because he talked about, you know, if you just observe a tree and just think about how much is going on in that tree, from the fact that it's capturing sunlight to the photosynthesis, to the nest that's on this, to the mushrooms that are growing on it, to the web of roots that are underneath the soil that we can't see, that are connected to other trees, and that they have this network of information being transmitted to each other, and there's a lot of that relationship that has been broken. We don't take enough time with nature. We don't take enough time to go on walks. And even me sometimes, I am very much a data person. So I love. I love tracking my steps. I love tracking how many minutes of activities. I love watching the map that comes out of tracking my walk. And sometime in my desire to, like, be so, like data and numerical with my life, how many hours of walking and how many steps, I find myself not enjoying my walk and not looking at stuff. So I have to be aware of my steps and physically be aware of things and look at it. Yesterday I went on a walk. I was not feeling the greatest, but I still, you know, my fiance really pushed me. And while walking, I saw a beautiful rose bush, and I stopped to smell the rose bush, and I. I felt that this was important in honoring that rose that's living alone on the side of someone's fence. And a lot of our relationship with nature has been broken because we don't take time to honor it. And like you say, waking up in the morning and honoring the work you put in the garden, but also honoring that the garden is still choosing to do its thing despite the weather, despite the cold, or despite the warmth that's happening. So, yeah. All this to say that we don't have to have a relationship with nature by necessarily buying all the hiking gears, the backpack. We can take a walk in our city and look at the trees. We can go into the park and just sit and look at the pigeons. I mean, I know they're just pigeons, but there's a lot happening within their little space if you take attention to them. Look at bugs, look at the soil, and just be more aware of little things like this. And this is why I take a lot of joy Bird watching, because it really forces me to put my attention into something else. You can spend every single day hiking, but be now present, right? That is 100% possible. I can tell you that because I worked in conservation and lived outdoors. So it's totally possible to not be mindful, even if you're outdoors every single day. [00:39:41] Speaker A: Yes. Yes. I love it. I feel like we can just continue on with this conversation about just being one, being at peace, and feeling as if you are a part of something that is larger. Now, you mentioned a few books that I'm going to. I know I want to go back and, like, read through and just process. And I know that some of our listeners will as well. So can you give us those? If you were to pick top three books and we'll put them in the show notes as well. But I think you mentioned breathing. Sweetgrass, the mother wound. It didn't start with you, and I feel like there was a fourth one. [00:40:26] Speaker B: I didn't mention the fourth one, but one book that I would recommend is taming the tiger within. Because you talked about anger earlier. It's by Tiknahan. And it's really about taking a step back and looking at yourself when you're angry. And it really centers around the breath. None of that is a magical fix all solution. I know that when it comes to this healing journey, I might sound like, oh, I've got it all figured out I don't. And I still, like I said, not even yesterday. I felt really down and depressed and overwhelmed, and it was a very difficult day just yesterday. It's not like a linear, oh, you're going to heal and then it's done. You're never going to need to do any work. That's it. It's finished? No, like, unfortunately, bad news is, you know, it's a lifelong journey. The positive news is the more you do it, the more it's going to become part of your routine to do things that are healthy for you. The more you make small choices to be healthier. Maybe seeing a therapist, maybe reading the books I recommend. It may be staring at one particular tree or staring at a few birds. Whatever you choose to do in how big or how small, it's the right step and the right decision, because you're choosing yourself, you're choosing self care. And with time, it's going to become more natural for you to choose yourself. And for me, it's become more natural. Sometimes I feel like I've made no progress. And then my therapist reminds me, this is where you were at. Like, I was struggling to get out of bed. I was crying. I didn't even want to get dressed. This is how low I had been. Where I now know what are some of the steps that makes me feel better? Even if I'm going to have a panic attack during the walk or be depressed or cry, I have created steps that have allowed me to come out of the other end of depression or anxiety, not completely self destroy in my, my self image. And I think that's a win for me, at least. Yes. [00:43:00] Speaker A: Yes. Well, Vero, thank you for having this very transparent and vulnerable conversation with me. I wish you so much joy in your marriage, relating to people, finding the lid for your pot, finding peace and contentment with where you are. You know, there's so much love around us, and not just romantic love, there is just so much love. And I gravitate toward that. I feel fortunate to have so many good people in my life and so many good relationships that there is love. So for me, where there is love, there's always hope. I thank you for your friendship. I thank you for coming and talking with me and my audience today. And I thank you for your openness. [00:43:50] Speaker B: Thanks to you. It was really amazing, as always, whether we bought it or not. It's wonderful to chat with you, Aisha. Thank you so much. [00:43:57] Speaker A: All right, there you have it. I will put Vero's book recommendations in the chat and Vero, if people want to follow your organization and learn a little bit more about how you empower women, where can they go and find you on the socials? [00:44:14] Speaker B: So if you go on and you just type my name, you will find my personal page. You can connect or follow me and just send me a little note where you're coming from. And I have all my professional links as well on my LinkedIn page. [00:44:32] Speaker A: So, Vero, where can my listeners reach out to you and find out more about what you're doing to empower women and to just find out more about your nature journeys? [00:44:45] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. So if you go on my personal LinkedIn page, you will find the link to the fellowship that I have for women, the Afriktech Fellowship program. So the links are in there, but you can simply just do a search for LinkedIn for Afritech fellowship as well and follow and like Afritech's work. [00:45:05] Speaker A: Well, Vero, thank you again, and we'll chat soon. Thanks for listening to start to finish motherhood with Aisha. If you want to keep the conversation going, follow start to finish motherhood on Instagram or email meishaerttofinishmotherhood.com. if you love this episode, please share it with anyone who's thinking of becoming a single mother by choice, anyone who's already parenting as a single mother by choice and just looking for advice on navigating it all, or a friend or family member who's looking to support someone else's single mother by choice journey. Until next time. Bye now.

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