Auntie Unfiltered: On Generational Trauma and Healing

How many of you got beatings when you were younger? How many of you are still trying to heal from them? How many of you are still trying to heal from your childhood period?

Last week, Lauryn Hill’s daughter Selah posted a two-hour video on Instagram where she discussed her upbringing. She talked about her relationship with both of her parents, the struggles she witnessed her mother having, the impact those struggles had on her and her siblings, and the way her mother’s trauma manifested in the way she parented.


She discussed wanting to heal from the trauma of it all, and that resonated deeply with me, because don’t we all want to heal from our childhood trauma?

I was so moved by it, I wrote a thread on Twitter discussing it.


The thread ended up going viral, and so many people reached out to tell me that they were moved and inspired by it, I wanted to bring the topic here and discuss it with you as well.

We all have pain. We all have trauma. We all want to be healthy, happy, and whole. It is not an easy journey, and it can take some time to get there, but trust me when I tell you: We can get there.

I talk about my own healing journey and what works for me. Hopefully this will resonate with you as well and hit those who need it.

As always, I want to hear from you. I receive many emails, DMs and messages from you each week, and you all are a lot of the inspiration for this series. If you have a question, comments, or concerns, if you need advice or even if you just have a topic you think I should discuss, please hit me up at

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.



The thing that helped me with my father’s absence and everything that went on with me while being raised by my mother was the realization that my parents don’t owe me an apology.

Having your own children will also grant you insight into this. I have a young son.

Parents aren’t superheroes; they’re people, too. No one apologized to them, they caught beatings (I’m carribean and I caught an actual whipping with an extension cord so...), they didn’t all have toys, they didn’t all eat well or even consistently, depending on when they were brought up and where they were from.

For the first six years of my son’s life I was a single father (because I thought I was going to do a better job than mine!) and in that time I caught a TASTE- a whiff - of what my parents must have endured with less resources, technology and help.

So I handled it by thanking my mom AND dad for putting up their best. Even if they lost the game, they played. I had to thank them for being on the court.

***I should qualify with this: I don’t regard myself to have been sexually abused or put in danger. Abject child abuse is something else entirely from what I went through, so I can’t speak on that***