Episode 19: Healing from trauma
Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women.
Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.
0:45 -Dr. Makunda welcomes listeners with an introduction to today’s guest, Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Stanley, author of Widen the Window: Training Your Brain and Body to Thrive During Stress and Recover from Trauma, and a longtime friend of Dr. Makunda.
2:15 - Liz shares about her background, starting with her being the ninth generation of her family to serve in the military. She went to Yale on an ROTC scholarship and went on two deployments and finally had to confront many years of trauma in graduate school. Her book is a navigation of her own recovery, the science of trauma and recovery, and how this all came together in the creation of Liz’s resilience training for others.
6:10 - Dr, Makunda asks what Liz experienced when it all became too much, and the process of realizing her physical and emotional traumas. The physical manifestations of stress and trauma can be astounding, which emphasizes the importance of mental health and wellness. It took Liz and her doctors years to figure out all the contributing factors that affected her health.
9:00 - “It’s a strong metaphor - I didn’t want to see what was in my life.” Liz comments on how her physical conditions, like temporarily losing her eyesight, were indicative of larger issues in her life.
10:30 - Liz explains the experience of not being believed by medical professionals when she went to them for help. It was devastating and traumatic not to be believed, but also led Liz to a path of owning her decisions and her body, trying non-traditional techniques and approaches to healing herself. However, she doesn’t fault the doctors at all - they were working with the tools and knowledge they had at the time.
15:00 - Dr. Makunda asks Liz to explain the thinking brain vs. the survival brain, a concept that she dives into in her book. The thinking brain controls reasoning, planning, willpower, and explicit decision-making - it’s the narrator of our daily lives. The survival brain is the evolutionary older parts of the brain that controls emotions and reactions, our unconscious and automatic thought and reaction. Our thinking brain can go offline in trauma and stress, while the survival brain is always on, always learning, always remembering, so our brains operate very differently when we are experiencing a stress event.
20:00 - Liz details the condition of survival brain hijacking, where the thinking brain is overridden by the survival brain and self-medicating and self-harming behavior can become more prevalent, but true mental and physical healing is not being achieved.
21:05 - Dr. Makunda asks Liz about the Mindfulness Based Mind Fitness Training (MMFT) that she developed and why it was necessary. There was a need for people who had experienced mental and physical trauma to navigate meditation and mindfulness differently, and address the survival brain’s responses. The most important aspect is for people to continually practice the exercises, to help the brain retrain itself.
26:50 - “Mindfulness really does need to be taught in a trauma-sensitive or trauma-informed manner, and there’s starting to be some movement towards that direction, because that’s not the way that the mass media often portrays it.” - Liz’s statement that meditation and mindfulness practice is really not as easy as the media can make it seem.
28:45 - Dr Makunda and Liz discuss how meditation and mindfulness practice can help with younger and teenage populations, especially as there is more attention on childhood stress and trauma, and a wider acceptance that early childhood experiences can plant the seeds of behavioral issues and emotional resiliency later in life.
33:27 - Dr. Makunda asks if adversity can create grit and determination in people and actually contribute to success, as both Makunda and Liz have both experienced in their lives. Without adversity, can we develop resiliency and push for greater achievements, more success? Liz offers her perspective on this challenging question. There are so many layers to how an individual may experience adversity, stress, trauma, and how that person may get through and internalize the situation.
41:07 - Dr. Makunda asks Liz how we can practice healthy behaviors in the current climate of living under stay-at-home orders because of COVID-19. Financial uncertainty, losing jobs, disrupted routines, limited movement can be very disrupting and distressing. However, Liz emphasizes that this is a “new beginnings” time, a structural time where we can work on new habits and make choices to build resilience while we are navigating uncertainty.
43:50 - Liz shares some mental and physical wellbeing tips for listeners to reinforce their survival brains while in COVID-19 lockdown. She recommends getting enough sleep, disengaging from the crisis media, finding a way to exercise or move your body every day, to focus on diet and balanced eating, making time to connect virtually with others to socialize, but also making space for alone time as well.
49:10 - Liz leaves listeners with this - you always have a choice about where you are directing your attention. We can learn to train our attention to que the body and survival brain to feel space. Download Liz’s 5-minute guided exercise from her website to get started on your mindfulness practice.
Check out Liz’s website - https://elizabeth-stanley.com/
Gain access to the MMFT® Contact Points Exercise - https://elizabeth-stanley.com/resources/
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18. Episode 18: PRIDE38:40Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.---00:48 - Welcome to another episode of Uninhibited! Today we’re joined by guest Sharon Monsanto Carter, and she kicks off the discussion by sharing some about her personal background.2:03 - Dr. Makunda explains that she invited Sharon to speak as she is the mother of a gay child, and because Sharon acts as an advocate for both of her daughters.3:30 - Sharon shares about navigating the differences in her daughters as they grew up, and how she supported her daughter, Taylor, as she discovered her identity as a lesbian. They had a household of honesty and support, which allowed her daughter to feel comfortable being her true self and not being afraid to come out.8:00 - Dr. Makunda asks Sharon about how Taylor’s coming out was received by her father and her sister. Her father was most concerned about how the world would perceive her and the challenges she would face, and Taylor’s sister also struggled with how to properly support her sister’s identity. But their family was able to rally around Taylor and love her for who she is.11:50 - Dr. Makunda inquires about how faith played into their views and if there was a conflict there. Sharon explains that God and faith is based in love, so her faith was not altered but neither was the love she has for her child. 14:10 - Sharon explains how her extended family accepted and supported Taylor, and how she as a mother didn’t feel like she needed to be over protective. Sharon tells the story about how Taylor felt confident going to prom wearing a tuxedo because nobody would want to deal with the repercussions of upsetting Sharon!16:51 - Dr. Makunda asks about the difficulties that Taylor faced growing up and being her true self. Sharon explains that other kids would talk about her, that they accused her of choosing to be gay and different, that she felt disrespected as a person. 19:22 - Sharon talks more about why the family chose to leave their home Pentacostal church for a different type of church. While there were many reasons, the heart of it lay in the church being able to accept Taylor. Now, their current church and their pastor love and welcome Taylor for who she is, and Taylor was able to find a renewed identity in her faith.21:50 - Dr. Makunda asks what advice Sharon would give to a parent who is struggling with accepting their child who has come out to them. Sharon explains that it’s not about your image, it’s about your child and loving them. There are so many people in the world who will judge them that they need the love, support, and safety from their family. 24:05 - Sharon shares about how Taylor has changed and learned so much since going to college, especially as she’s been exposed to so many people’s experiences and stories. She appreciates how her family supports and accepts her because there are so many people who do not have that. Sharon goes back to what is most important - not image, not what other people think, but the deep love between a parent and child.30:05 - Dr. Makunda asks what Sharon tells Taylor in terms of protecting herself and treating others in relationships, especially as there is more information about rates of violence in LGBTQ relationships. Sharon speaks to the open communication that she and Taylor have, the emphasis that violence is never the answer to a problem, and being transparent with a partner when a relationship begins so each person understands where the other is coming from.35:13 - Dr. Makunda asks what advice Sharon would end with. Sharon emphasizes pouring love into your children, however they identify, if they got in trouble, if they are doing well in life. Support them in all that they do because they need you as a parent to love them and be there for them.
17. Episode 17: COVID 19 in the African-American community01:08:58Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.---00:48 - Dr. Makunda opens the episode by introducing her two guests and the topic for today, the impact of COVID-19 in underserved communities. Shani Gaylord works for the Virginia Department of Health, Youth Health Equity Institute, and is a passionate community member that cares for public health and sharing reliable knowledge. Sable K. Nelson Dyer is the Acting Director of the Office of Health Equity at the VA Department of Health, and currently serves as the chair of the Health Equity Working Group that is responding to the Virginia COVID-19 crisis. 3:45 - Dr. Makunda brings up how the news brought attention to the higher death rates in black and brown communities, and asks Shani and Sable to weigh in on why COVID-19 is ravaging these populations at a higher rate. Shani speaks to the socio-economic patterns in America’s history that place minorities at higher risk, such as working in essential roles and living in more multi-generational situations. Sable agrees that COVID-19 has only emphasized health, social, and resource inequities that existed before the virus. 10:46 - Shani shares something good to come from all this, which is that healthcare has expanded to cover more people who are without insurance and access. COVID-19 testing and paid sick time during this time is a critical way to include vulnerable and underserved populations who are affected by the pandemic. The group discusses the concept of “weathering” in black communities, and the heightened levels of stress and health issues that black people have to face that makes them more susceptible to illness. 15:05 - Dr. Makunda asks her guests to speak on institutional racism and its effects on black communities. Shani shares background and definition of the concept, while Sable and Dr. Makunda share examples of institutional racism in action.25:57 - Dr. Makunda talks about the conspiracy theories and misinformation around COVID-19, like the early statements that African Americans couldn’t get the disease. This put many people in vulnerable populations at risk, especially because access to higher quality resources is more limited within minority communities. Shani brings up that this negatively affects data collection and can reinforce misconceptions about how the disease is impacting the population.31:45 - Shani speaks to her knowledge on unequal data collection on the demographics of COVID-19 infection and death across healthcare providers. There is discussion around how and why this is occurring and how it is impacting health and public policy.37:55 - Dr. Makunda poses another controversial question: Just because the government says we can reopen, does that mean it’s safe to go out. Shani and Sable chime in on their impressions on if safe reopening can occur from a governmental and individual viewpoint.44:10 - Sable brings up the misconception that younger people have that COVID-19 cannot sicken them badly. There are COVID-19 cases that are showing up in children, and there are deaths and long-term post-infection impacts in younger people. There is also a huge risk that people in younger age groups can be carriers and spread the virus even more. 47:31 - Sable also discusses confusion around what kind of masks to wear, the importance of wearing a mask, and if it even makes a difference. Dr. Makunda lends her professional knowledge to explain how critical masks are in minimizing the spread of the virus. 49:15 - Dr. Makunda asks if Shani and Sable think there is enough testing occurring and what they’ve seen in their communities. Shani says there isn’t enough testing and has personal experiences that people are being dissuaded from getting tested. Sable agrees that in order to get a test in the Virginia area, you need to have a prescription and be exhibiting visible COVID-19 symptoms. This does not appropriately protect underserved communities from becoming hotspots of infection.57:15 - Dr. Makunda talks about the states that are starting to reopen, asking what their community should do as they prepare to phase back into reopening. Shani emphasizes getting tested and sticking to healthy practices, like good hand washing and social distancing. 58:25 - The group discusses special considerations and potential concerns when a vaccine is developed. Shani thinks there will be skepticism and mistrust around a vaccine, as they often take years to develop. Sable agrees and encourages following the data and cautiously proceeding in taking advantage of a vaccine once one has been developed. 1:04:15 - Dr. Makunda asks “Where do we go now?”, inquiring how we can change the systems in place and create positive change moving forward. Sable thinks that COVID-19 has highlighted a lot of potential for change for marginalized communities to receive funding and resources to support those who need it. Shani agrees, seeing that relationships with political and community organizations have strengthened, and the virtual reach we now have can extend to more people.
16. Episode 16: What's done in the dark55:19Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.---00:48 Dr. Makunda welcomes today’s guest, Anita Kopacz, a mother, writer, speaker, and a survivor of sexual molestation as a young child who is willing to share her story and journey. Anita starts the episode by sharing more about herself, her background, and her work. 3:05 - Dr. Makunda asks Anita about how she developed the awareness of the abuse that she went through as a child, and how that realization affected her as an adult. Anita expressed that it took a long time and having her own children to fully realize the trauma of what she went through, and experienced a lot of guilt and shame from that experience.5:25 - Anita expresses that she needed to heal herself from her trauma because it was not only negatively effecting her children, but she was also not enjoying sex, having flashbacks from her molestation, and had other negative experiences around sex.7:11 - Dr. Makunda asks Anita who the first person was that she shared her molestation with. While in college, Anita shared her experience for the first time with her two older sisters. However, she recalls a memory of watching Oprah at a young age and fully took on the ownership and shame of her experience because of the confusing feelings that her molestation caused.9:26 - Anita explains that she began to share her experience more with other people as she grew up. She told her mother in her late twenties, and had to navigate talking through the experience with her father when he found out through her social media. 14:12 - Dr. Makunda inquires how the interactions began and if Anita noticed any grooming habits during the time her molestation took place. Anita explains that her abuser is in her family so there were perhaps grooming habits that she didn’t notice. While she was in training, Ainta addressed her abuser and they had a direct conversation about the experience, where he apologized to her and shared the experience of his own molestation.19:20 - Anita and Dr. Makunda discuss how to positively influence, help, and protect their children, especially with the growing movement of allowing children to be autonomous and decide if they do or don’t want to hug or kiss family members. If a child doesn’t want to physically interact with someone, then don’t force it.23:43 - Anita talks about her relationship with her partner and how he was included in her healing process, especially because intimacy is a critical part of how he feels love, but sex was difficult for her for a long time. They had to work through it together.26:20 - Dr. Makunda asks Anita to share about her pathway to healing, acknowledging that healing is not linear or necessarily an easy path. Anita felt that her healing was not just for her - it was for her children and her partner too, and she felt drawn to document her journey in order to help others. She also incorporated artistic elements and body-focused trauma therapy as tools to help with her healing. 30:50 - Dr. Makunda asks Anita about the sessions that she had with Christopher, the body trauma therapist, and Anita elaborates on how her therapy progressed. They discuss how much of healing is based in trust and addressing the physical trauma within her body slowly.35:33 - Ainta explains how her healing progressed from therapy to the experience of having her body painted, which was intensely emotional but an important step in her healing and her process to becoming a sexual and trauma coach.39:30 - Dr. Makunda asks how someone with less resources than Anita be able to take on their sexual trauma in a similar way. Are there programs available to these populations? Anita speaks about the Center for Safety and Change in New City, NY are able to provide call-in services and support for anyone who needs it. The Center also has a safehouse that is available for individuals located outside of New York to seek refuge at. However, in most major cities, there are local resources that are available to people suffering from trauma. 42:18 - Dr. Makunda asks Ainta what she thinks is the most important aspect about breaking the cycle of abuse in society. Ainta credits speaking up about abuse and giving it a voice helps to call attention to the issue and stop the action. We also need to be ready to do the work of healing and working through those experiences, and people need to believe each other when we talk about this type of pain!47:20 - To wrap up, Anita shares about the Zero F’s Given campaign that she created to bring awareness to those who have experienced sexual violence. Zero F’s day is set for June 7th where people will be brought together for performances, speakers, healing yoga, and togetherness. 80% of the proceeds from Zero F’s merch sales go towards supporting the Center for Safety and Change!-----Check out the Center for Safety and Change.You can call their 24 hour hotline for help - 845-634-3344.Find out more about the Zero F’s campaign and buy your Zero F’s Given Merch!
15. Episode 15: COVID19 and the Church01:04:41Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul-Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.---*This podcast episode is a recording of a Facebook Live event.00:50 - Our episode opens with Reverend Keishawn R. Niblett, who is hosting the episode and interviewing Dr. Mbacke about the COVID-19 response in their local and faith communities, and what responsibilities we as individuals have to minimize the impact of the virus.2:15 - Dr. Mbacke starts with an introduction of herself, her professional background, and explains how COVID-19 in particular is catching her attention because of its negative effects on the black community. 5:27 - Reverend Keishawn asks if and how the local, rural healthcare system will be able to cope with a COVID-19 spike if it were to happen in their community. Dr. Mbacke explains that confirmed cases are just confirmations that the virus is already there, and there are probably many more people that are experiencing mild symptoms or are asymptomatic carriers. She explains that flattening the curve is to help the healthcare system, but there is still a shortage of PPE, ventilators, and hospital beds, especially in their smaller community.12:14 - Reverend Keishawn references a question posed in the chat about the availability of COVID-19 testing in the area. Dr. Mbacke says there are a few tests available at local doctor’s offices, as well as a testing clinic set up by the Department of Health at the Martinsville Speedway. Patients are also being screened for the virus before any surgical procedures.16:35 - The Reverend speaks about the Governor’s stay-at-home order and what limitations are now carefully being lifted. There are requirements that businesses and churches have to have in place in order to operate, and he asks Dr. Mbacke about how this may affect how people worship. She explains that life will definitely be different for a while, at least before a vaccine is developed, and the guidelines of the 50% occupancy are not the only rules to follow. Social distancing and staying with your home-unit is still critical in those types of gatherings.26:22 - Reverend Keishawn asks what resources to point people to for accurate information about COVID-19? Dr. Mbacke recommends referencing the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC website for accurate and up-to-date information about the virus, the spread, and what scientists are working on. They discuss the importance of understanding this information and following the Governor’s orders to ensure that everyone does their part to keep the community safe.28:16 - A listener chimes in with a statement for discussion about the safety of returning to church and how to care for each other by worshipping differently. He questions why there is pressure to reopen the state when there are still people getting sick. Dr. Mbacke agrees with the speaker’s point that the pressure to reopen is driven more by economics rather than science, and discusses how the response to reopening across the nation has been mixed.35:15 - Reverend Keishawn reads a chat question asking if there is a cost for COVID-19 testing and if insurance will cover it. Dr. Mbacke explains that the President has promised everyone who needs a test can get tested and insurance should cover these tests. However, there are not yet enough tests for anyone to get tested; usually, you have to exhibit symptoms or have close contact with an infected person to qualify for testing.36:42 - Another question concerns how long someone may be an asymptomatic carrier, not showing symptoms but still spreading the virus. Dr. Mbacke says there is definitely proof of asymptomatic transmission, but the window of how long someone may be contagious is still unknown.39:27 - Someone asks a question about healthy people wearing masks and potential cross contamination that can occur with wearing gloves in public. With exception of the N95 masks reserved for healthcare workers, Dr. Mbacke encourages the general public to wear cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose, even if you feel healthy. Wearing a mask protects your health and also the health of the people around you. As for gloves, you are easily exposed to cross contamination if you are not changing your gloves regularly, but these are critical supplies that first responders need first and foremost. 46:55 - Another question regards food safety and what to be aware of. Dr. Mbacke cautions against eating food that is exposed to respiratory droplets that can be expelled simply by talking. For example, it is best to avoid birthday party food and buffet style dinners that traditionally bring together lots of people. With grocery store food, there may be germs or virus cells living on the food packaging, but contamination on actual, cooked food is low. 50:25 - Dr. Mbacke asks the Reverend about his concerns about tithe in church and cautions around collecting cash. He explains that there is some movement towards digital giving, but also that church members are working to ensure that any cash donations are properly handled and sanitized. He emphasizes safety over everything and foresees online giving becoming the new way forward.52:30 - Reverend Keishawn thanks Dr. Mbacke for her time and her professional guidance on how to safely move forward in this situation. Dr. Mbacke ends with a reminder to us all that we must support each other during this time to prevent the spread of sickness, and that there is hope and a cure being worked on.1:00:27 - One final question asks if you can be reinfected once you have had COVID-19. Dr. Mbacke explains that it is still too early to know this for certain, but other countries like South Korea are looking into this as their country reopens and infections are spiking again. There is the potential that the virus can lay dormant for a while before resurfacing, but there are too many unknowns with COVID at this time. ---For guidance on COVID-19 requirements and limitations, please reference the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC Website. Find Uninhibited at:FacebookInstagram @uninhibited.podcast
14. Episode 14: Annie Part 243:59Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.---00:50 - Welcome to another episode of Uninhibited. We’re joined by Annie for part two of her interview, to discuss her background and influences that led to situations of interpersonal and relationship violence. Annie talks about her growth and survival through these deeply personal and painful challenges, as well as her future.2:10 - Annie discusses the development of her second serious relationship, as the friendship and safety that her second partner offered was a stark difference from her first boyfriend. However, there were still some behavioral red flags in her second partner that Annie wasn’t able to see at first.4:03 - During that time, Annie started at Yale’s Masters of Public Health program and got pregnant with their first child; her daughter was born during the first year of Annie’s Masters program.There were many other distractions and responsibilities that took up Annie’s focus, so she wasn’t able to clearly see the abusive patterns in her partner.5:10 - Dr. Makunda asks what contributed to the abuse, and what kinds of abuse Annie’s partner subjected her to. Her partner actually suffered physical abuse from his own father and it was his goal never to emulate that behavior. Annie didn’t experience the same types of abuse that she did in her first relationship. She was able to have friends and a social life, she went to school and had jobs, he didn’t insult her - the manipulation came in the form of controlling money and working for his own self interest, at the cost of his family’s future.8:23 - Annie explains how she was very much in the dark about their financial situation and that her partner convinced her that he always knew best. But, this was normal for Annie, as she had grown up in a household that did not speak about money or financial survival and felt she had no concept of income or money management.13:30 - Dr. Makunda asks if Annie continued to work throughout her second relationship. Annie explains that after her daughter, their four other children quickly followed, and her focus was on being a good mother and supportive partner, despite her partner’s lies and deceit about their finances.16:50 - Annie began to stand up for herself and her family and followed her intuition; she pushed back against her partner’s bad business deals and ideas for fear of risking her family’s security. Her partner had been sued a few times in the past, although there was nothing to be won from them because they had no money. 19:48 - Her partner would continue to lie to her face, saying that he was listening to her but continuing to push his bad business through, which eventually landed them in bankruptcy court. Annie describes wanting to believe that their relationship was still good, even though it was clear to her that it wasn’t.22:12 - Annie’s aha moment when she realized she had to leave her partner was signified by two events. First was when her two oldest children saw the dysfunction in the home for themselves and made the decision to leave. Second, a woman very who Annie holds very close in her heart, taught Annie about poverty, finances, and how women can be the money savers in the family, that women are generally more financially-savvy than men. This woman empowered Annie to start taking control.24:30 - After recognizing the financial dysfunction in her partner, Annie demanded a separate bank account, prevented irresponsible spending on big-ticket items, and accurate accounting of their finances. Her partner then pursued disability and social security payments to fund his life, and Annie started to regain control and fix their financial situation.30:20 - Annie discusses her realization of the risks her partner put her in, if he were to leave with all of their money. However, she educated herself about all the available options for money management and how to care for her finances, and empowered herself to take control. Dr. Makunda acknowledges that this is still something that we don’t promote in women, despite our good education and hard work ethic - but this is starting to change with our younger generation.35:43 - Annie describes climbing out of their financial hole and how she transformed her life. She managed to move herself and her two youngest children to a new apartment and told her partner that he needed to find his own, separate living situation. Annie is finally finding stability for herself; she is saving herself and transforming her life.39:45 - “I have to tell you, being your own rescuer is the best rescue of all.” - Annie leaves listeners with an inspiring message of hope, survival, and self-empowerment. 42:35 - Annie shares a quote that really captures what her journey - and this podcast - is about: “Don’t be afraid to share your story. It could be the key that unlocks someone else’s prison.”
13. Episode 13: From Victim to Survivor40:23Uninhibited Podcast ShownotesSeason 2, Episode 3: Annie Part 1Welcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.---1:00 - Today, we are joined by Annie, a survivor of interpersonal violence. With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Dr. Makunda wanted to feature Annie to share her story of overcoming her situation and taking back control. 1:45 - Annie shares some about herself and her personal history of abuse, including physical and psychological abuse from her parents and her domestic partners. Annie had a negative relationship with her mother, who was very controlling, physically abusive, and socially isolated Annie. Annie’s father was an older man, a laid-off factory worker and rather removed from family interaction. 6:07 - Despite her parents raising her in Depression-era mindset, Annie’s parents wanted her to get a good education and attend a private school. Annie faced a lot of bullying in public school, so she attended a boarding school for high school, where she lived full-time in her junior year. This was the time she started dating her first boyfriend, who would later become her husband.8:25 - Dr. Makunda asks Annie what drew her to her boyfriend, which now she would read as warning signs. Annie describes that her boyfriend was not nice, often teasing and putting her down, and he didn’t offer kind or compassionate communication. He also isolated Annie from her friends and social events, especially when other men were involved. Resistance from her mother towards the relationship drove Annie to stay with this man even more. 11:30 - Dr. Makunda reinforces that so much of what we see and experience as children can shape our future, and we should be mindful of what we expose our own kids to in their young lives. Annie missed the red flags in her partner because she saw that as normal behavior, as expressed by her mother.12:55 - Annie was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) while her boyfriend went to Cornell, although she was afraid to end the relationship despite the distance. While she established a social life, Annie still felt the tension of her boyfriend telling her who she could interact with and he continued to place a lot of limitations and ultimations on what she could do. 15:13 - Annie declared her major in Sociology and sub-matriculated into the Social Work program, which meant she could begin to take graduate studies at the same time as finishing her undergraduate degree. Her boyfriend was unhappy with that decision because she would be in Philadelphia longer and her parents were also disappointed because they expected that a prep school and Ivy League education would result in a more lucrative occupation. Annie’s parents ultimately withdrew their financial support because of her decision, and she had to figure out how to support herself in school.19:38 - Under another ultimatum to come visit her boyfriend, Annie caught a ride with a friend to go see him when they got into a car accident. She suffered a bilateral concussion, several broken ribs, a lacerated liver, and a punctured lung, and had to be in the ICU for two weeks. Whenever she awoke in the hospital, she was surrounded by the people trying to manipulate and control her - the boyfriend and her parents. 21:23 - After getting out of the hospital, Annie was caught between her parents, who would pay for school if she studied business and changed her living arrangements, and her boyfriend, who wanted her to live with him and switch to his university. She decided to live with her boyfriend, take a semester off, worked with different agencies, and got accepted into the Bachelor of Social Work next semester. 26:02 - Annie describes living with her boyfriend at Cornell as a little bit of a honeymoon period, despite the controlling limitations he placed on her, like not allowing her to wear tie dye, volunteer or work with men, or contact her friends in Philadelphia. The manipulation her boyfriend exercised on her was framed by trying to help protect Annie from bad influences, and for her, he was a safe place at that time.29:50 - Dr. Makunda asks if Annie’s boyfriend had a social life, even if she wasn’t allowed to. Annie says that many of his limits on her didn’t apply to him. He rushed a fraternity although he told her she couldn’t join a sorority; he had friends from a wide variety of activities and extracurriculars, despite telling her that she would ruin their relationship if she did the same. 34:24 - Annie also experienced financial abuse from her partner, especially after she received a sizeable settlement from the car accident. She was pressured to spend excessively to fit in with his wealthy family, and she had the voices of her parents in her mind saying money will always be more important than happiness. Her settlement money disappeared quickly, and after they got married, she was assured that continuing to spend was okay because her husband would always have a job at his father’s company.36:12 - Annie started to go to a gym, which she enjoyed, but she also found a group of people that she connected with socially. Her husband did not like these friendly relationships and did not allow her to interact with them socially - especially as her money was spent or shared with him and he exercised control over what she could do financially. 39:00 - Thank you to Annie for sharing the details of your life story. Make sure you tune in for the next podcast to hear Part Two of Annie’s story.---Find out more about the history of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM): https://nrcdv.org/dvam/DVAM-historyRAINN https://www.rainn.org/ | The nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. They organize and run a National Sexual Assault Hotline. Also, you can get the latest news on the work RAINN is doing every day to end sexual violence.
12. Episode 12: When Love Hurts.36:49Uninhibited Podcast ShownotesSeason 2, Episode 2SharikaWelcome to Season Two of Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.---1:00 - Today, Dr. Makunda is joined by Sharika, an outreach advocate with a local survivor response group. Sharika is going to discuss intimate partner violence (also known as IPV) in teens and young adults. Statistically, 1 out of 5 women and 1 out of 7 men have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetimes, and most have experienced this before the age of 18.2:52 - Sharika introduces herself and shares some information about her professional background. In doing some research for this podcast, Sharika found out some shocking statistics that indicate that IPV is still a present and increasing problem; for example, 80% of girls who have been physically abused in IPV relationships continue to date the abuser.5:42 - Sharika shares some of the stories of teenagers that she’s worked with who have experienced IPV, and each case is very different from the next because this type of violence is so personal and painful. Although physical abuse is absolutely damaging, intimate partner violence also manifests in other ways, like controlling behavior, emotional manipulation, or isolating someone from their family and friends.11:30 - What are some of the warning signs of violence to be on the lookout for? Warning signs are typically found within the behavioral and social aspects of our lives. Observe how a person acts with others in their life - friends, family - and see if it aligns with what they’ve told about their relationships with those people. Demonstrations of aggression, anti-social, and jealous behavior can also be warning signs; listen to what they say about past relationship, if they accept responsibility for their actions. These are indicators of how someone may act towards you.14:56 - When does behavior cross the line from teenage-attachment kind of love to excessive and potentially dangerous? That point can be hard to pin down, but most people realize it when they can no longer have alone time, watch TV, do homework or have a little peace away from their partner.15:58 - Dr. Makunda asks Sharika if there is a difference between how IPV manifests between younger couples vs. older couples. Sharika explains that the patterns of violence - control, manipulation, isolation - are very similar in abusers, despite age. So many people misinterpret constant texting, calling or demands on time as love and care, when really, it’s about control and fear.20:47 - What are the warning signs that we can look for as parents, guardians, or other loved ones? Sharika explains that paying attention is key; there aren’t any specific warning signs to watch for, because each child, teen, and young adult is different. Observing prolonged personality differences, or changes in demeanor, then give them a standing offer to come to you or another trusted person with any problem they may have. 25:15 - If you’re in a situation where you know abuse is happening to your child or loved one, but they are insistent on continuing to be in the abusive relationship, do not make every conversation about the abuser and your dislike of the situation. Rephrase the conversation away from negative comments to reassure your loved one that you are there to support them - “I love you,” “Home will always be a safe place for you,” and similar words of comfort. Prove the abuser wrong by showing love and support (and yes, we know this is hard).30:48 - What can we do to ensure we are promoting healthy relationships? Re-evaluate our own relationships, refrain from the do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do approach, and realize that teens and young people are aware of the actions of their elders. Show healthy relationships through communication and honesty; offer yourself to listen without interruption; be consistent with your probing questions that show support (how can I help, what do you need from me?).---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------RAINN https://www.rainn.org/ | The nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. They organize and run a National Sexual Assault Hotline. Also, you can get the latest news on the work RAINN is doing every day to end sexual violence.
11. Episode 11: Breast Cancer Awareness29:08Uninhibited Podcast ShownotesEpisode 1, Season 2: Terralyn, Breast Cancer SurvivorWelcome to Uninhibited, a podcast with the mission to discuss taboo, multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-layered topics that matter to women. Our host, Dr. Makunda Abdul Mbacke, is an Ivy-League trained OBGYN, practicing medicine in rural America. She is a mother, career professional, part of Generation X, and so much more.---1:00 - Today’s guest is Ms. Terralyn “Terri” House, a breast cancer survivor with unique experiences. She will walk us through what it was like receiving her diagnosis, going through treatment, and life after cancer. 1:38 - Terri shares some background about who she is and the start of her breast cancer journey when she received her diagnosis in 2010. Through a self-examination, Terri discovered a lump on her breast and she took the initiative to get it checked by her doctor the next day. However, after a mammogram, she was informed that the lump was just a cyst. 4:12 - At that time, Terri was also under the care of Dr. Makunda. Since there was no follow up plan with her primary care doctor, Terri asked if Dr. Makunda would remove the cyst at their next examination. The lump was actually too dense to remove in the office, and further examination led Dr. Makunda requesting a second mammogram for Terri. Terri approached this second mammogram with the determination that some sort of action would result from her visit. 7:55 - For the second mammogram, Terri informed her healthcare providers that she wanted to speak with the doctor to review her results and options to either remove or biopsy the lump. They chose to biopsy, and two days later, Terri found out that she had breast cancer.9:18 - Terri’s first thought was of survival, which also meant making the decision to leave her more rural area for somewhere better equipped for her care. She began the process of researching facilities and contacting practitioners straight away. On a Saturday, she received a call from a nurse at Duke, reassuring Terri that they had received her message and would reach out on Monday. The fact that they cared enough about her wellbeing to call on a weekend made Terri certain she was choosing the right care by choosing Duke.13:10 - Terri shares some details about the level of care that she received from Duke, which felt like a more holistic approach. This included shrinking and removing the lump, and an oral form of chemotherapy. Terri also credits her good health going into her cancer experience, which allowed doctors to try more with her treatments because her body and mindset were strong and healthy. 17:25 - She started with chemotherapy every two weeks until the lump shrunk enough to allow for a less-invasive surgery. After the removal, Terri started radiation treatments once per week at her local hospital. From there, she moved on to the oral form of chemotherapy. 18:55 - After backing off from the chemo treatments and the side effects lessened, Terri was released to the Survivor’s Clinic a full year early. She attends the Clinic once a year for a full review - bloodwork, a mammogram - to ensure that she remains cancer free!21:02 - Dr. Makunda asks Terri what the important lessons she wants to share with others after going through this experience. Terri found it was very important for her to inform the attending medical students at Duke Hospital about “listening to your patient.” Terri also voiced her concerns and found practitioners, like Dr. Makunda, who would take her seriously. Lastly, she feels it is paramount that patients are partners and active participants in their treatment plans.22:45 - Terri shares some about the diet she maintained before cancer and during treatment. For her, diet played an important role, eating living foods that gave her body nutrients and strength. She found she never lost her appetite during her chemo treatments, and she stuck to a healthy diet to help her body fight.27:10 - “Just listen to your body, absolutely. Women, listen to your body!” - Terralyn House---------Breast Cancer Resources:Duke Health Cancer Center How to Conduct a Breast Self-ExamA breast examination should be a routine part of your annual well-woman exam. If you are not sure if this is being conducted, remember you can be your own advocate and ask a nurse or doctor the next time you go!Remember, you can Google “free cancer screenings” to see what offerings are provided around your local area!