The Traumatic Impact of Racism, COVID-19, & the Strong Black Woman Myth

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In this webinar replay, Lisa Lackey, LCPC, CSAT, CMAT discusses what can cause burnout for women, including the significant impacts of racism, COVID-19, and the strong black woman myth.

Lisa Lackey is an esteemed therapy practitioner and dynamic trauma expert who is driven by a passion to support people as they journey towards resolution from the inside out. Lisa holds two Master’s Degrees, one in Education from the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University and one in Counseling from National-Louis University. She is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Certified Multiple Addictions Therapist (CMAT), and a Level II EMDR therapist with training in Somatic Transformation. A veteran therapist who has specialized in addiction and trauma since 1994, Lisa is a thought leader who has focused on practicing cutting-edge trauma healing strategies, exploring and breaking down society’s ingrained intergenerational trauma as a direct impact of racism, childhood trauma & addiction, and helping all people break the cycles and patterns of abuse and pain.

Lisa co-founded Insideout Living in 1999 with her husband Steve as they traveled their own insideout process of discovering challenging, replacing disruptive patterns with patterns resilience. Insideoutliving was birthed from gratitude, personal process & an insatiable desire to bring more healing into the world. Insideout Living is a clinical practice dedicated to assisting people in making sense of overwhelming, confusing, traumatic experiences that they survived, restructuring the physical impacts of trauma or neglect in their brains, and creating new patterns of wellbeing. In addition to practicing at Insideout, Lisa has served as a thought leader, public speaker, pastor, and leadership development consultant. Using her advanced knowledge of trauma, Lisa has created podcasts, speeches, and community initiatives that tackle society’s deepest wounds, including wounds that Black men and women cope with as a result of longstanding intergenerational trauma, and high functioning successful people that struggle with
changing patterns that no longer serve them. Whether it is helping guide someone through addiction, patterns that are no longer useful or connecting with diverse groups and leaders, Lisa promotes trust, safety, and collaboration wherever she goes. Equally talented as both a clinician and as a subject matter expert, Lisa is a compassionate, emotionally intelligent, engaging woman who connects as easily and warmly with a large audience as she does with an individual client.

You can learn more and connect with Lisa on LinkedIn.

Webinar Transcript

Speakers: Ani King, Lisa Lackey

Ani King 0:02
Hi, folks.

Ani King 0:05
Hi, folks, this is Annie King again with all counselors comm with another

Ani King 0:11
segment of our inclusive therapy serious. We are doing an excellent webinar today with Lisa Lackey, who’s going to talk about, specifically burnout for women, how that’s been impacted by COVID-19. How that specifically affects black women. And as it relates to the strong black woman myth, and we’re gonna have a lot of really interesting conversation today about those areas. So we’ll give it just a minute while we let folks come in and get situated.

Ani King 0:40
Just so folks are aware, if you have any questions you want to ask, the best way to do that is to hit the chat button or the raise hand button at the bottom of your screen. And I will collect your questions so that we can ask Lisa, at the end. For folks who are just coming in again, go ahead and get situated. Lisa has a lot of experience. She’s an lcpc, she has a cset c mat, and has been running How long? Have you been running inside out there? Or inside out at this point?

Lisa Lackey 1:13
You know, it’s always get confused. It’s been over 20 years. Yeah. Yeah.

Ani King 1:19
Which is fantastic.

Ani King 1:22
It’s such a good mission, would you mind telling me in the audience a little bit about yourself and in that living and kind of how that led you to want to talk about topics like these? Yes. So inside out living is, I would say, birthed out of my and my husband’s experience in terms of our recovery journeys.

Lisa Lackey 1:52
And really realizing that you could make a lot of behavioral changes, and you can look good even and not have that matching on the inside. And so the work that really meant something to us, in our personal lives was when we were able to be more vulnerable and transparent. And, you know, meet those shadow parts of ourselves that we try to avoid and make connections. And so the one we built this business, even before it came into fruition, the name was going to be inside out living.

Lisa Lackey 2:36
And I think what we if I were a healing,

Lisa Lackey 2:42
trauma and addiction center. And when we’re working with people in addiction, mostly we’re working with a process addiction, sex addiction. And,

Lisa Lackey 2:56
and underlying any addiction I’ve ever seen in the years that I’ve been in this field. And in my own life, there’s trauma. And oftentimes trauma does not get addressed. We want to kind of take care of the behavioral things. And you do have to do that because they are causing a disturbance. But if we don’t dig down deeper, we find people replacing, and the digging down deeper is the look on the inside what’s happening internally. And where does this connect to your past? And how do we repair what wasn’t repaired in the past. And so we have a staff and we all work in the area of trauma, and they have other specialties as well.

Lisa Lackey 3:51
And we do individual group therapy, coaching, and intensives and intensives are this opportunity to get three months of work done in a shorter span of time, not that you’re going to be done and you get your certificate of completion. But you start to clarify all, it’s not all these things I’m working on. It’s a few things in a few areas. And we have offices, downtown Chicago, and also in a suburb just north of Chicago, Evanston, Illinois, where Northwestern University is, and then like everybody else, weird, we’re doing a lot of virtual stuff as well now so we can meet people where they are.

Ani King 4:41
That’s terrific. And I think especially meeting people where they are and talking about,

Ani King 4:47
you know, women and emotional labor and how all of that tends to fall on their shoulders so much more than it sometimes does their counterparts that being able to do you know, remote therapy or remote session. or anything like that. I think I want to be careful not to say, hey, here are a lot of good things that have come out of the last year, because it’s been a pretty devastating Oh, people.

Lisa Lackey 5:11
And there’s been a lot of great things that I caught, the times and the worst of times,

Ani King 5:17
suddenly, we’re all able to kind of make these concessions for people who have probably already needed them, because we’re able to see it from, you know, on a larger scale. So when we, you know, when we started talking about this series, and started talking about, you know, hey, it would be really important to discuss mental health as it relates to women specifically. I’m curious what, you know, I, I know, in my own reasons for thinking, Oh, burnout is a really important thing to talk about. But what made that an important topic in terms of not just the people who are experiencing it, but the people who are going to be helping treat them and work through those things.

Lisa Lackey 6:01
So one of the good things that came out of COVID, for me is just realizing that I didn’t have to go at the pace that I was moving. I didn’t even know that there was an option. And when I did, I quickly dismissed, Oh, I can’t do that. Because then this. And in my years of practicing, I would say primarily, my work has been with men. And a lot of my coaching work, and a lot of workshops and things like that, in speaking engagements have been with all female audiences. And it doesn’t matter, you know, if I am in Illinois, or California or Texas, there is this common theme among women of feeling like we never have enough time. And also feeling like, that’s okay. Like, that’s part of our norm. And it’s almost, you know, becomes this topic of shame, because we can feel any ficient if we’re not just at a level of 10, out of a scale of zero to 10, at all times. And I think, you know, we bought into this so much, I don’t know if you know, Shaka Khan. Oh, yeah. So I’m every woman, right? Yeah. And that was like something like maybe to aspire to. We can’t be every woman.

Lisa Lackey 7:54
I think about when I was much younger seeing this commercial that really kind of disturbed me. And it was I won’t get all the details, right. But it was this woman where she could fry up the bacon, and, you know, bring home the bacon and the bay, you know, and I think she was like, all dressed up and perfectly neat looking. Right. And that became the standard growing up in a family that was pretty female dominant. Lots of messaging, you know, about this is the role of a woman. And most of the women, if not all of the women in my life, at the time I was growing up all worked outside of the home, but they also work inside of the home, the work didn’t stop. And the last thing I’ll say about this is maybe about five or six years ago, I was at this festival. And there was this picture of this little girl, little black girl, and she’s knitting. And she’s looking over kind of to the side. And the caption is a woman’s work is never die. Right.

Ani King 9:17
That’s a Yeah, that’s profound.

Lisa Lackey 9:20
Right? And so I think that, at least in this society, we’re kind of grown to that way of thinking and then feeling poorly, if we’re not measuring up because you’re never measuring up because that’s an impossible standard. And so when you put on top of that I feel anxious or I feel depressed, or I’m drinking a little too much or I’m eating a little too much. Or my mind is always racing and I can’t slow it down. We turn that in and think there’s something wrong with us. So we should just try harder?

Ani King 10:03
Yeah, it makes me think there’s a meme that I saw going around a while ago. I can’t remember all of the first part of the text, but it essentially was like, are you really good at stuff? Or are you an emotional support daughter. And that kind of, like the family expectations, that’s, you know, they start really early, and it’s okay, you have to do this. And you also have to do this and the expectation that you’ll be nurturing, and you’ll be available, and you’ll be comforting, and you’ll be all of these different things. And then you get into the workplace and find that the expectations are really not any different than they were at home, it’s still that you’ll listen better show up earlier, work harder, you know, and that just continues to stack up and over time,

Lisa Lackey 10:48
until you burn the heck out.

Ani King 10:54
Until Yeah, it’s just too much and you can’t do anything anymore.

Lisa Lackey 10:57
And then we still blame ourselves.

Lisa Lackey 11:01
So yeah, that I remember one of my favorite odds telling me when I got married, she said, Don’t start something you’re not willing to do. Continuously, she said, because it’s harder to stop than it is to start. And I thought, Oh, she’s just saying that because, you know, I was grown to be successful at work successful as a wife successful as a mom. And I remember one time, this was like a turning point for me, it’s probably been about 15 years ago, and I made this big collage. And I, on the collage had all these pictures and words that were expectations of my family of me, my own family, my husband, my children. And it’s like, I’m not doing this anymore. I can’t, you know, like this collage, is a visual, and this collage is going to be ripped in pieces. Because if it’s not, I’m gonna die.

Ani King 12:21
That’s when I was in my early 30s, I had the first doctor ever who was like, Listen, because she, I had some issues, just some general, you know, issues, and my body started to hurt a little bit. And she ended up saying, you know, it seems really easy right now, to just keep doing all of this, but there will be a point where you can’t and even if you don’t stop, your body will stop you at some point. You know, and that kind of tie back to like, drama will always show itself in some way, and you really can’t outrun it. And whether it’s at home or the workplace, or usually that combination of both. You know, having that, that moment of like, I can’t keep doing this.

Ani King 13:05
When you’re working with women who are you know, experiencing burnout, you mentioned having a collage for yourself, is that one of the things that you like to do with them to, you know, help them visualize just kind of the significance because I think that can be a hard thing. It’s easy to minimize and say, Okay, well, I just work too much. Or I just do this too much. Instead of saying, I’ve worked too much means that I have this many tasks and this many expectations and this many people.

Lisa Lackey 13:32
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And because I’m a trauma therapist, and I believe that you not just have to get your mind. Online, but you have to bring your body and your emotions and your soul. And so a lot of the work I do is experience like that. And so yes, collaging is one thing. Another thing when you know, we were seeing each other more in person, I bring like a bunch of different hats, and ask people to grab those hats, and then over on another table will be or what do you need in that role that the hat is describing, grab that. Okay.

Lisa Lackey 14:25
Well, what do you what are the expectations and they’re just like a different word pictures. Grab that. And it was so it’s so interesting, because this always happens is women as many times as I’ve done this, they don’t think about in that moment. There’s an other whole nother group of women in there. Hey, can you help me with this? It’s like, let me adjust. So I can take on more. And so I think it’s important to understand kind of those first signs of stress. And you can that recognize them if you’re not in touch with your body.

Lisa Lackey 15:20
Because those first signs of stress are going to come in, through, you know, your sense of self. Something that you’re hearing something that you’re constantly seeing something that you know. And that first sign of stress or any feeling is in your body. If we don’t realize that the brain makes a decision for us. And some of us will, you know, escalate and be more in that fight flight state, and I’m going to get it all done in more and view, but there are some that will just collapse. And either one, we still tend to think something’s wrong with asking for help. It’s like an admission of defeat, whether it’s because I have a mental health issue, or because I’m in a time crunch, or because you know what, I’m just, I just don’t want to do it today. No.

Ani King 16:35
And I’ve heard other other women also say that sometimes it’s a well, what am I gonna do ask another woman for help, who probably has just as much going out as I do, and that feeling of like, well, I can’t bother somebody else with this. And kind of, you know, the, I think it contributes to a lack of community, you know, that idea of, you know, if I, if I asked for help, it’s bothering someone. And so instead of, you know, money in my hands make letter work, it’s everybody kind of holding as much as they possibly can with trying not to drop everything, even though it’s spilling behind the whole time.

Lisa Lackey 17:12
Yes.And I don’t know if this is true for you. It is true for me. And I have noticed that being true for a lot of other women, when I was growing up. My mom’s side of the family, we all lived in the same community. And so if my mom couldn’t pick me up from school, then my grandmother could, or my hat, or an older cousin. If my mom had to travel for her job, then I could stay with my grandparents or an aunt or somebody could come to. So there was that community of family. And by the time I have my kids, you know, we’re not all in the same community. And people are not even now in the same community. Like, they’re a plane ride away. Yeah. So it’s a whole nother thing, learning how to depend on people. That are not your family.

Ani King 18:23
Yeah, that sort of building your found family?

Lisa Lackey 18:26
Yes d

Ani King 18:27
that’s been a huge thing. You know, I moved around a lot as a kid. But when we did live in the same community, as most of my mom’s side of the family, dysfunctional as it might be, it did me always pick you up from school. That’s right, somewhere, you could stay the night, if there was a funeral, or a birthday party or a wedding, it was almost always the same handful of women who would come together and get everything done. But there was less of that feeling of just kind of being on your own. And I’ve definitely found, especially with more therapy and being around, you know, found family more, that kind of being like, Okay, I have to rely on you, and you have to be able to rely on me and there’s sort of that little bit of give in. Okay, like we’ve chosen each other so that means that if your kids sick, cool, I’m gonna come get sick.Work.

Lisa Lackey 19:19

Ani King 19:20
if you need someone to watch your dog for a weekend, I’m just gonna take more allergy pills or whatever. And it’s that kind of like that I think that when it’s you know, that small found family community and sometimes I think being a part of like the queer community, there’s a little bit of ripple outward and margins a bit, right. But it does mean kind of having to weigh that balance of like, Okay, I know that, you know, I’m dealing with all of this, but now my best friend is dealing with all of this and how to, you know, in the smaller groups, you still kind of provide that support and who leans on who and I think a lot of times it ends up being like a three legged stool where it’s like, the middle and we get through it.

Lisa Lackey 19:58
That’s right, but That’s right. That’s right. And I think that most of the time, it is women that have to find those found family, you know. And thank God, God for that, because it’s, it’s like, if I didn’t have I call it my family of choice, if I didn’t have my family of choice, these women, all different ages. I know that I could not get through so many things.

Ani King 20:43
from the, from the very small to the very large from the my kid just got sick, and I don’t have any carpet cleaner. And I don’t have the car right now to the I’ve lost someone very important in my life. And I’m not sure how to move through the world. Now, I think that, you know, it’s a, it’s such an important thing to know that you can, like have those people and also be there for those people at the same thing that sends Community Care versus just self care, you know, finding a way to make those things wed together?

Lisa Lackey 21:14
Yes, yes. And that is, again, one of the things that people are women are most reluctant, and women are to most reluctant to do work within a group. And I really tried to pitch, you know, the value of being in community. Because this allows women to rehearse things that they’re not yet comfortable with doing in their real life. It allows women to hear from other women, oh, you experienced the same thing. And it allows us to speak up and places in in other places like the cat, or feel that we can’t. And so it becomes a real positive impact on stress and burnout. Because now I’m learning mutuality and interdependence. And I keep, I keep getting to practice this and test it out and see is this really real, and it’s facilitated by someone.

Lisa Lackey 22:38
So it’s their job to keep this safe space. And so many of those groups women have stayed in touch and science. And what’s so funny to me is like, you tight, you know, in terms of sharing, and vulnerability and transparency, and honestly, some of them don’t even know each other’s last name, or where they live, or, you know, but they are their soul sister, their their person that knows that gets them. And they can say, right now, I’m not doing so good. Yeah, or right now, I’m doing great. And here’s what I was able to do to get to this place.

Ani King 23:32
Yeah, it’s almost like, it’s an opportunity to release perfectionism a little bit, which I think is one of those things that is one of like, the greatest enemies of women is this idea that there is any, like, standard of perfection for anything, because then you’re just in this permanent state of striving for something that doesn’t exist at your own expense, which always ripples out. And then I think, probably would take us a lot longer than now to talk about how that especially, is impactful because of white supremacy and other things.

Ani King 24:12
But I don’t think that having a tight knit community kind of allows for that to keep existing if you want to stay a part of that community, because sometimes it’s just you have to show up with whatever your best or honestly, just you’re good enough for right now is to make sure that you are a part of that community. And over time, it just gets less uncomfortable to say, Hey, I know I said that I would make dessert but honestly, I just brought a box of cake rolls because yeah, it’s time for everybody else to understand that you didn’t have time to make pie for this potluck because they run into the same things too. And that sort of mutual validation of Okay, sometimes this is just how it is.

Lisa Lackey 24:53
Yeah. And I painful as a clinician, you know, when people come in We know generally speaking, that whatever they’re bringing in is just the tip of the iceberg. Right? And it’s not that we don’t have to attend to that we do. But a lot of times women might present with Alma ailments, or relationship problems or taking on so much at work or not getting, you know, and underneath is so key, what you said is like, right on the other the same coin, just the other side of perfection is shame. Because perfection can never be achieved.

Lisa Lackey 25:50
And so for, you know, working with women, it’s really gently moving kind of down that that scale to see, you know, what are your beliefs about yourself? What are your beliefs about? Women? What are your shoulds? What are you shouldn’t? Like, what, how did you get these rules? And what comes up when your body when you’re shooting? You know? Because I think we don’t always know because if you’re constantly going, or constantly stuck, you’re not feeling.

Ani King 26:37
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I, that tip of the eye, you know, it made me think most of my background has been in tech and and managing people. And most of the time that I’ve ever had to pull someone aside and say, You seem really burnt out is with very rare exception been women. And it has been because there is this just constant feeling of pressure of Okay, I have to be the first one and the last one out. And I have to be you know, everything. I do no typos, no mistakes, no anything.

Ani King 27:12
And a lot of my times that my question is has to be okay, so who told you you had to do that? Which is you honestly, usually that ends up with people crying? Because the answer is nobody, but it’s been kind of like, okay, and you know, that also acknowledging like that pressure does come from somewhere. And it’s not always internal. And it’s not, it’s, you know, I think there is a lot of that just kind of built up pressure around womanhood as a role and all of those expectations, and it’s constantly reinforced by all of these little things. But I know the first time somebody asked me, okay, well, who said you had to do that? It was very, like, cathartic. And also really derailing. Yeah, you start to think about it. Okay. Why do I have to be here first? Why do I have to be the one who sends every email out without a single piece of punctuation out of place? or Why do it you know, and once you start asking that, why, then it’s like, well, no, I don’t want to.

Lisa Lackey 28:11
Yeah. Yeah. But how do I not only retrain myself, but those around me that I’ve trained to believe that it’s, you can depend on me all the time. 24 seven?

Ani King 28:30
Yeah. Certainly setting boundaries with people. Yes. Yeah. You know, for years, I think this is an especially like having children is that boundary of like, Hey, I know, I told you to always come to me about this, but actually, I need you to go talk to dad. Yeah. Consistently resetting. That’s really hard to do.

Lisa Lackey 28:50
Yes. Yes. You know, what, the, it’s perfection pressure. Yeah. Which, you know, and it’s not the men don’t have that. They do. And the same things are not expected of men as they are of women. And, you know, so let’s even use people that are single. And are without children.

Ani King 29:26
Yeah, absolutely.

Lisa Lackey 29:27
No, it’s when I speak with friends that are in that situation. It’s like, little people always think, Oh, well, you don’t have anything to do.

Ani King 29:35
Right? which is not true.

Lisa Lackey 29:38
Right? And guess what, even if I don’t, it’s my business and my, my right. So there’s, you know, there’s that and then there’s just the physical implications of stress and not attending. Stress brings us over into burnout. Which, if you’ve ever experienced burnout, it’s, it’s horrible. And we’re not thinking clearly. So again, we’re blaming ourselves. You know,

Ani King 30:23
and I think I’m curious too, you know, I would love to think that COVID-19 is a singular, unique, long going experience. But the truth is that were probably only going to see more of these singular kind of, you know, difficult things that happen that impact a lot of people. What do you think that’s, you know, COVID-19, and I guess, just large events in general that are really like displacing and all of these things. What is the, I think, just effect on women specifically? And I think to kind of leading into the other part on black women and other women of color, who may have even higher and different expectations, kind of hitting them all the time.

Lisa Lackey 31:16
So, like you said, that’s like a question we could add chapters, you know, and I’m not sure I know, you know, the answer.

Ani King 31:28
A lot of answers.

Lisa Lackey 31:30
Exactly. Um, so first part, he asked, say, the first part again,

Ani King 31:40
the empath, just kind of in terms of the thing I’m getting to is I think that burnout, you know, studies are showing that it impacts black women, women of color, more than it does their white counterparts. And I think that that has to have an impact, you know, in the therapy room, too, because that that’s an additional layer of expectations, that’s an additional layer of pressure and those things and that I think my better formed question is, how do you approach that, you know, in a therapeutic sense. Knowing that it’s like, it has that larger impact on daily life.

Lisa Lackey 32:25
So first, I’ll share a bit of my experience as a client, that is a therapist, and I’ve had therapists in my life, and great therapists, that have helped me in so many ways. And other kinds of teachers. And the one that made the biggest impact, even before we said, words, was a woman named Nancy good. And Nancy was a black woman. I’d never had a black therapist. And I didn’t know, you know, she was black until we had our first appointment. And there was just a felt sense of there’s understanding. And some things I don’t have to explain. And I think it probably helped me that she was an older black woman, because my experience again with with grandmothers and aunts and play ads, you know, that was always a good thing in my life, that was always a nurturing place.

Lisa Lackey 33:59
And so I could speak to her about experiences that I was having related to exploitation and racism and being a black mom and wife and expectations that I might be putting on my kids because of that, and the pain that I feel that it’s so painful. It’s become numb, and I don’t notice it, and I’m feeling I don’t have to bring her up to speed. Yeah, I’m another therapist I had her name is Darlene Morgan. She was white woman, and, you know, made a huge difference in my healing, like deep healing, and I think what made that comfortable Is it she knew, experiences that were not familiar to her. And she would name that. And not only would she name it, then she would, you know, between sessions going, try to understand more about this, and come back and say, Okay, this is what I’m learning. And so I was worth the time for you to spend time to understand something about me that was unfamiliar to you. And you didn’t put it on me to teach you.

Ani King 35:44
That’s a, that’s, that’s such a huge thing the being seen, and having somebody make the attempt to see you better, instead of asking you to illuminate everything. Yeah, that’s a really significant.

Lisa Lackey 36:00
Yeah. And she would often say, I can’t imagine she said, you know, how people say, I can’t imagine, like, she’s, I really can’t imagine. And I don’t even know if I’d ever be able to imagine the closest thing I could get to it is something where the feeling was similar. You know, but the experience is not. And so I think that, first of all, knowing all black people, not just black women, but every single day from, I would say, the time of being very, really little. We, as black people are self protected, automatically. Because we’ve had to be, and that’s not a victim story. To me, that’s really a brilliant, creative story. And it’s also cost. Because if you look at Black women historically, they were seen as people that gave everything, and that, you know, I’m gonna just be blunt, even their breast milk.

Lisa Lackey 37:40
You know, and so I, my body is not mine. My thoughts are not mine. My understanding and perception of myself in the world are not mine. And I have to survive. Yeah. And it’s not that other women don’t experience that they do. But when you live in a country, where every frickin cranny, there’s structural racism, you know, maybe you get to, when you’re, you know, with your own peeps. And so, most clinicians, we don’t have a lot of black clinicians. Overall, there are more than there ever have been. But we’re still not as many. And so the client already comes in the room. This doesn’t mean not being liked, it doesn’t mean, you know, the person isn’t good at what they do. unconsciously, you come into the world. A little buttoned up.

Ani King 39:08
shoulders up a little bit.

Lisa Lackey 39:10
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And maybe even not even disclosing some things that you would not necessarily because you’re trying to keep it secret, but because it’s like, I want to really understand this.

Ani King 39:28
And how much work will it be for you to have to help them understand it enough for to use it as context.

Lisa Lackey 39:35
Yeah. Yeah. And so I think, you know, you hear a lot about, you know, decolonizing, the mental health space and it’s, it’s so needed and for me, that means using that overused term thinking outside of the box, You know? And does therapy always need to look like this. And let’s look at our own personal biases, for real for real, you know, and see how we might be imposing this, even unconsciously. And it’s not just this kind of once and done thing, I take a course so that I can become trauma informed and racially informed, you know, and it’s what am I gonna do in my life, even if it’s a tiny step, to expand my way of understanding and seeing the people in front of me that look different.

Lisa Lackey 40:56
decolonizing means telling the truth that our whole mental health system is a racist structure. If you look at the history, you know, one of the very first diagnosis was draped Romania. And that was given to runaway slaves. Now, they were good slaves, or had their right mind if they didn’t do that.

Ani King 41:34

Lisa Lackey 41:35
And so, and nowadays, just seeing how many people even still, and it’s like, it’s baffling to me, how many times black people have been given a diagnosis of schizophrenia. And it’s like, it’s just so these are extreme things. And the little things are just as much of an obstacle to getting the care that you need from the inside out.

Ani King 42:16
Absolutely. I mean, again, all of the individual topics are long, lifelong conversations to be had. But you know, even starting at a school age, how, you know, how our behavior is handled in a classroom, and how varied are they based on, you know, who the kids are, and that determines where they go next. And you know, everything when you talk school to prison pipeline, and how that impacts mental health and just all of that, and the fact that the mental health industry is largely built on theories that are written by white colonizers means that there is something suspect, kind of available at every turn for anyone.

Lisa Lackey 43:00

Ani King 43:01
You know, it’s such a maze to kind of get through. There, I read something recently talking about it was a slightly older article, but talking about how, you know, Sigmund Freud both contributed to ended in surmountable damage to queer communities even today because of some of the things that

Lisa Lackey 43:22

Ani King 43:23
he believed and pushed forward and, and that just kind of the looking at, okay, what are the things that have done damage and looking at Okay, and, you know, say, 1985, we still believe this. And in 1995, we were a little bit better starting to look beyond that and say, Okay, what will we think in five years didn’t make sense? Till we start working on that now.

Lisa Lackey 43:49
And, you know, in, in my generation, you know, how many black girls were taught directly or indirectly, not only do you have to be the best, you’ve got to be better than that. You got to double down because you are black. from school age. You can’t act out at school because if you act out at school, you’re going to get labeled me even telling you know the pressure of mothers and fathers but we’re talking about women of some people refer to the talk as a talk about sex. The top is the talk about, here’s how you handle yourself with racism. Here’s how you handle yourself. If once you start driving, you get pulled over. Here’s what to expect when you think something is going on.

Lisa Lackey 44:55
And it’s a whole nother agenda. And is that true 100% of the time. Now, but it’s true 90% of the time, historically, and so even our kids have to grow up so much faster. There’s, I’m looking down because I wanted to look at this is the way they’re called telomeres. And so telomeres at the end of the chromosome, you may already know this. And off what what kind of tells what your real age is, you know, not just your chronological age is the length of these telomeres. Okay, so for black women, no matter, you know how much it is true Black doesn’t crack on the outside, you know, you might look not your age, on the inside, black women are seven years older than white women of the same age, because of stress and burnout.

Ani King 46:12
That’s huge.

Lisa Lackey 46:13
That’s, that is freaking huge.

Ani King 46:18
And it’s, it’s hard not to think about all of the things that play into that, that start, like you were talking about from school from kindly having to constantly think about that perfection expectation that Okay, don’t match. You know, don’t be too loud. Don’t do these things. Don’t do that. Because here’s what happens. And now you’re in the workplace. And now you’re in a relationship. And now you have to do this with your kids. And all of that stress and all of the things that stress those to your body just accumulating over time.

Lisa Lackey 46:47

Ani King 46:48
Yeah, that’s just yeah.

Lisa Lackey 46:51
And we don’t know it until we go to the doctor and your blood pressure sky high. Or, you know, you’re find yourself over and over medicating with food, or all kinds of things, right. And so it’s not unique in the sense, nobody else experiences this. It’s unique in the sense, no one experiences it and to this extent, and that’s bad. So it’s not a theory, that’s bad. And so radical self care and self love becomes absolutely needed among black women. Yeah, because every day, you’re getting older than you are chronologically. If you continue not addressing the issues that face you, and then when you decide to address them and mental health spaces, then it’s incumbent upon all of us to learn and understand more about how do I need to show up in this space for this person?

Ani King 48:19
Yeah, absolutely. Cuz, folks, just a note, we’ve got about 10 minutes left. So if you have questions, please feel free to drop them in the chat or q&a section. So sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt.

Lisa Lackey 48:31
No, no, that’s okay.

Lisa Lackey 48:34
So I just, I think Wherever I am, probably for the last four or five years, like my work is focused on women in general. And in particular ways, black women and other women of color. Because it’s, it’s a different and then with COVID. We see what was happening and it wasn’t just poor, black people that were having that just a higher level of of COVID, but a higher level of death. And then any black woman mom or not saying all that was going on with the televised racism is not new. But you’re looking at it, you. You can’t help but see those people as your child or your brother or your husband or your sister or your mother over and over and you feel powerless because we’re still trying to prove that this is a thing that You’re seeing it. This is a thing. And everybody’s on board. But now it’s a year later. And what what did that onboard really mean? Yeah, what is

Ani King 50:15
I have a friend who does anti racism courses with people. And she she said before she started doing it, she was like, I swear, if one more white person asked me how to be not racist, I’m gonna charge them for it. Yeah, whenever other friends was like, you should charge them for GMO link, you’re like, I’d be happy to answer you after I get my deposit. And so also the added layer of people now saying, once again, we would like you to tell us how to solve this problem, even though you’ve already told us how to solve this problem repeatedly. And we’re going to be really excited about it for about 30 days. Yeah, and that’s Yeah.

Lisa Lackey 50:55
In and people still want to, in some cases, sensor you like, I was to work with this group. And the person that was the contact person reaching out to me, she was like, but I’m afraid that you might say too much. say too much about what you don’t know. This is how I’m going to state facts. And I’m going to use research based interventions to describe ways in which we can start to address things. And she never followed back up with me. And then maybe months later, I reached out to her for something completely different. And then I just said, you know, Hey, what happened there? And she said, Well, I’m gonna be honest, I just, I didn’t know if our people were ready for that.

Ani King 52:05
Yeah, that’s,

Lisa Lackey 52:08
and we don’t have to worry about it. Because we don’t have black clients, we have white clients. So

Ani King 52:15

Lisa Lackey 52:16
And I honestly, in my heart, read that. Most people are not doing things like that in an intentional way. I think there’s so much education that people are afraid to have and don’t have.

Ani King 52:39
Because then once you have it, you have to do something with it.

Lisa Lackey 52:41
Yeah, that’s, that’s true.

Ani King 52:45
And changes really scary. Especially, I think, when you’re talking about a system that is, by design always kind of got everyone on edge to some extent. And so as long as you feel like you’re here, and somebody else is here, then there’s that worry that okay, well, what if I give up some of my privilege? Or what if I give up some of this, well, then I’m not here anymore. Now I’m just here, instead of understanding, then here starts to not exist anymore, or your exists, but other people start to be there as well.

Lisa Lackey 53:15

Ani King 53:16
that’s a lot of fear. I think, kind of all of the time. And I think, you know, living in COVID times, you know, that amplification of a lot of very specific fears. And it gets so hard, I think, for people to kind of separate between, okay, like, this is a legitimate fear. And here’s what I can do about it, or this is a, this is a thing that has been amplified, because it all kind of gets thrown together in noise. And I think, you know, when we’re talking kind of specifically about women, if you’re already doing more than the next person at your job, or you’re already trying to shoulder a lot on her own, or you’re dealing with a mental health crisis, but feel like you honestly can’t get the help, you know, in some cases, because mental health, health is not always accessible to everyone.

Ani King 54:08
And depending on, you know, who where they live and what their situation is, then it just gets even harder. And then that burnout becomes not, you know, that kind of multi layer of like, Okay, this is work, and this is home, and this is the world. Where do you even start with that? We’ve got just a few minutes left, and I know I’ve asked you a lot of questions. Is there anything you want to make sure that we talked about as we close out that we didn’t get to yet?

Lisa Lackey 54:41
I don’t think it’s anything we didn’t get to. What I think I would like to say is it kind of in summary life is stressful. Women metabolize stress differently than men do. And so working with women in general, we need to assess for that in creative ways. And we need to, you know, unnormalized, I noticed that a word, this notion that we should be every woman and reach for the shame that’s underneath those layers of perfection, to bring healing. And if we can do that, by bringing women together and community we can make big impacts and just basic educating women on this is what stress looks like, feels like does to your body.

Lisa Lackey 55:56
And this is what happens if you don’t address it. These are the symptoms of burnout. And here’s what happens mentally physically, spiritually if you don’t address it. And if you happen to be a woman of color you’ve been living in stress your entire life without even knowing it. And wow, then how can we change some of our

Ani King 56:32
Thank you so much, Lisa. Folks real quick just so you know, and I will drop it in the chat as well. You can learn more about Lisa and inside out living by going to Yes. I will have in the chat. So sorry about that. And again, this is this has been such an incredible conversation. Thank you so much for taking the time to join you today and answer these questions. We will have a replay up as well for anyone who wants to dig into this again. And you can find all of that at

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