Happy Black History Month and Welcome 2020 and Our first show of the year. In this episode we discuss why we took a break, and our first time visiting the continent of Africa.
Finding happy seven steps to relationships that will not steal your joy is the new book by me Nikita banks, a licensed psychotherapist and life strategist, leverage the knowledge and you’ll receive in this book to help you with the process of obtaining absolute clarity. Through the use of Guided Self exploration. This process is necessary to help you master all your relationships in 2019 and beyond going amazon.com or black therapists podcast calm and grab your copy of the book guaranteed to help you redesign all your relationships based on two basic principle, health and happiness. Get your copy today. Welcome to the black therapist podcast. The black therapist podcast is podcast where we discuss the unique issues people of color face when dealing with mental health issues and mental health diagnosis. Now if you are new to our show, I am your host author a life strategist. psychotherapist Nikita banks in private practice in my hometown of Brooklyn, New York. I am available for adult psychotherapy and coaching sessions. And you can find more information about that on my website Niki banks calm you can listen to our podcast everywhere podcasts are found Apple podcast Google Play YouTube, SoundCloud, pipper Stitcher, I Heart Radio and black therapists podcast com. If you are a mental health advocate or a therapist and you want to buy our podcast merchandise, you can do so by visiting our site. And if you want access to our free mental health tips, free online trainings, discount is selected selective services and resources do so by joining our mailing list by texting get happy, all one word 266866 if you love the podcast, please like comment and share. We love to hear from you. And if you want to send me some feedback, guest suggestions or simply to say hey, you can contact us at our website, black therapists podcast.com Please be mindful that this episode and all the information that we provide here is just a resource and a tool to help get you started on your mental health journey. If you are feeling any mental health distress or you having any significant issues, please feel free to reach out to us so that we can find you a mental health provider in your area.
Okay, let’s go.
Happy New Year. Happy February happy Black History Month by the time the show comes on. I feel like I need to apologize to you guys. First of all, I’ve practiced doing this show about 50 different times in my head just kind of like coming back. I’ve missed you guys. I hope that you’ve missed me. It was not my intention to stay away this long with the podcasts. But a lot has happened in the last four to six weeks. I remember when the Last time, there was a show that we did a show. I don’t remember, because the last few weeks has kind of been a blur to me. And I’m going to explain that and then we’re going to talk about some other things. Okay.
I think the last time that we did a show you guys if you’ve listened for a while, you know that I don’t listen to the old shows. I listened to them if I have to, for business purposes, but I usually don’t ever listen to the old shows, but I believe the last few shows were basically about death and the grieving process. And so I don’t know if God was trying to prepare me for something. But I had a few people pass away that were like good friends. It was the end of 2019 and what ended up happening before the year was over. I got a call that my aunt who raised me was not doing well, and that she didn’t have long to live. And so it forced me to deal with my own personal grief. And it forced me to deal with my own emotions surrounding death in a way that I’m just kind of not used to dealing with if you’ve heard the episode where I talk about my dad passing away, that was more mechanical for me, and it was just kind of like, Okay, my father’s passed away. There are things that needs to be done. I have to plan this funeral. I have to pay for this stuff. I have to find documents and things. So there were things that needed to be done. I just did the things that needed to be done. But in the process of learning, try not to cry that much. Audrey was dying.
There was just so much going on in my life, but being
but not having to be active. I felt my grief in a way that I hadn’t in a while. Where was just like, full on grief and we knew that she was passing she made a decision that she was no longer going to get treatment. She lived for 80 years was 79. She told me 79 her last was her last birthday. But she you know, she she lived almost 80 she’d been married for 62 years. She raised basically my sister and I, my cousin and you know her way always Forget
her six kids,
grandkids. Fourth, the kids think she raised the whole Bainbridge street in Brooklyn. And so
I knew she was sick.
Last time we spoke was maybe two months before
wait two weeks, three months before it had gotten bad. And what two months before she’d gotten cheap foot, you know really fell ill. And so. So having that conversation with her and her telling me that she was okay and everything was alright. And then, you know, a month later hearing that she may not make it was just kind of strange to me. And I got tired of being strong for everybody. You know, I’m strong for people and My
I had been dealing with a lot of clients with death issues, I’m back to work now, after being off for months, I wasn’t just away from here, I had to take a month off of work. But we’ll talk about why that was. And, you know, now that I’m back to work, I’m dealing with grief issues. And you know, I think I’ve said this previously, what happens to me in my real life happens to me at work. So usually in if you are therapists out there, and this happened to you, please tell me if this happens to you so that I know that I’m just not crazy or like projecting my stuff on to whatever is going on with my clients. But I feel like whatever is happening in my own life is also happening in my client work. Not always but majority of the time. Are there like underlying themes that I can learn from my own personal life and so I had a client who came in and she’s dealing with grief issues herself. And she so articularly Lee stated that whenever she’s had a death in her life or a loss related to a death, it’s always been multiple losses. And I’ve never thought of it. I’m going to get emotional. I never thought of it that way. But it precisely described to me what this loss felt like. And it definitely described to me why grieving is so so hard for me. I’ve often often said this, on the podcast that being a therapist sometimes is very therapeutic for me because I find answers to questions that I didn’t even know I had. And so my She said it. I was like, tell me, you know, obviously tell me more about that. But when she she mentioned it, I was like, yo, basically what she said was, is that when any, anytime she’s encountered the death of a person, she’s had losses related to those people around based off of the feelings and the emotions and the behaviors that happen, that eventually somebody else either either needs to be cut out of her life or removes themselves from her after the situation or whatever. And I was like, yo, that’s happened to me.
I got worried that my heart was passing. I’m going to get back to that. But I got worried that mom was passing away, and I decided that I was going to go down to see her. I’m not sure if I said here, but I had a wedding in Africa that I was supposed to go to. And that was a few weeks later, so I didn’t want Hard to pass away and maybe in Africa not be able to to make it to the funeral. So I least wanted to see her before she passed so that I could, you know, kind of make amends and say goodbye. Say goodbye. And like deal with, with all I was feeling. You know my mother was a teenage mom. By the time she had me she was 20 So, moving in next door to my aunt, who then was
my safety net
and my babysitter in my constant took care of me when I was sick, who you know what me with calamine lotion when I had chicken pox and let me watch Sesame Street in the price is right. While I was sick and stayed home from school and she took care of me on the days off And she was a constant in the only safe place
that I had ever been.
When it came to West stayed and who I stayed with him, gave me complete love.
I had to deal with a lot of feelings about that.
And so when I went to say goodbye, I was like, I have to be strong for my cousin’s. They can’t see me cry. I don’t want them to feel what I’m feeling, but I’ve just overcome with my sadness. And it was a point that I looked at my cousin when I was leaving. And she looked at me like if you cry, I’m going to knock knock your head off You better not as just gave her a look back like Okay, I’m gonna suck it up. When I got on my way home, I just cried the whole entire way I cried myself to sleep. I cried the whole entire way. And it was like I knew that she would be in a better place. I’m religious, I know to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. None of that was comforting. To me. It was literally like, this is the last time I’m going to see her alive and it was just too overwhelming for me emotionally.
I knew that she made her choice. In this she didn’t want to suffer anymore, and that she didn’t want to go to treatment anymore. And I had to respect her choice but my brain was totally overrated by my emotions, I just cannot stop crying about it. And what she meant to me, I don’t know just have a genuine love. My grandmother passed away when I was six. So I kind of assigned that role turn my life.
Pardon me, my voice is cracking you guys.
I kind of assigned that role in my life. So it was just really difficult to say goodbye to somebody that just gave you unconditional love. And knowing life went on and then they moved away and I didn’t get to see her as often and I didn’t speak to her as often, but grateful that I at least got to speak to her that last time because we had a really long conversation and It would do to commitment in me to try to do what I can do not that I’m not a giver because you guys know I’m a giver in my work, but I’m not really as much of a given my personal life.
Just knowing that
my home could be a safe space was safe place of support for my friends, children, and, you know, kids that I know, or young mothers and being able to provide that level of support
that I got. Yeah,
I mean, I’ve talked about my babe my own baby mama, on this show. It takes a village to really truly love and raise a child and it doesn’t always have to be a blood relative. I was Before I recognize that we were actually related related, but I mean, as far as I knew she was the she was our babysitter and she was on Audrey, when I grew up you either you either call an adult Mr. or Mrs. Or on an uncle, and she was, you know, it was Adrienne of coffee. And so you know, knowing that I could do a little bit more, to spread the love in my community and be that safe space for people is something that I aspire to do now and honor her.
knowing that I had the funeral coming, I was actually able to attend the funeral before I went to Africa, but knowing that I had the funeral coming, knowing that we were not as close of a family as we used to be because of proximity. They moved away. I just felt Like I was losing a part of my history I was losing a part of my identity. I was gonna lose my family my cousins because probably not gonna see them again
change the audio quality I had to change my,
my recorder. But yeah, so
good I just felt like I was grieving the loss the two losses that my clan mentioned both the loss of the reason that I would see my cousins which was my art and
the loss of
my actual art, so it was just very devastating to me. And also feeling isolated. If I had gone to Africa and missed the services. That didn’t happen. I was actually able to go before I went on my trip, but it left me in a fog
I missed my flight.
I just was like burnt completely mentally exhausted and burnt out. So I had already been on vacation.
Christmas I had taken the time off.
To just kind of be focused, there were things that I had planned on doing in my business to set me up for 2020. That planning didn’t happen because I was busy grieving and running back and forth to Virginia to see her and say goodbye, and then go to the funeral and then come back and then I had like two days back before I had to fly out to to Africa, and in that ship was a seven day trip and then I got sick on trip. So it was just like so much going on. I felt like I felt crazy. I felt mentally drained. I felt physically tired. I felt emotionally tired. So is this like I kind of just need to get my life in order. And it didn’t happen. I had planned on at least resting on the trip a little bit. But there was so much going on and so much packed into the trip. And then this is I missed the flight and had to take a later flight I got, I got delayed. So some of the things that I needed to do or wanted to do just got pushed back, it was just pandemonium. And so I really only got to rest maybe one day on the trip, but again, I got sick and we’re going to talk about that. So that’s why I’ve been away. I had to make a decision of coming back and doing everything that I do for the show or the social media stuff, all of the recording the editing the everything and then feeling overwhelmed be Cuz I literally when I came back I got sick. I got sick on the trip. I don’t know if it I do know. And don’t laugh guys, so I went to a restaurant called gold. I do not believe that that restaurant got me sick but I did try a lot of African delicacies my first time on the continent. It’s my first time eating these kinds of foods. I tried ostrich and some other things. And the next day, I was no good to anybody. I was like, went on a safari, which was amazing. And then there were all these foods on it like different foods that I wasn’t used to eating on the Safari. I didn’t eat a lot, but it was very bumpy. And by the time I went back, I was just like throwing up in the van didn’t throw up all over. Everything but I was just not good. I wasn’t well. And so that lasted for the much almost the majority of the trip to actually the majority of the trip, I was able to kind of manage how I was feeling some days but I only had like maybe a few good hours before. I wasn’t feeling well completely and had to rest so I did as much as I could do when I had the strength to do it. And then because I didn’t want to not do all of the things that had already paid for. It was a great trip. Meaning that we they go on a safari, I got to see the lions they were like literally right next to me. I got to see giraffes and zebras and the elephants were mean by that. elephants were blocking the road they got together and block the road and puffed up the ears and a black these two vans from coming down the road like they were on one. But I got to see all of the big animals, the rhinos will their bases. What else that we see a peacock crane baboons having sex in the street. Yeah, that actually happened. That was like a real advantageous trip. We did a lot of things we went hiking, to say hiking, it really wasn’t hiking, we climbed a bunch of steps. But no one was prepared to even be physical at all that day. We saw penguins out in the Wow. So it was like a lot of different things that we got to do and do activities. And we went to Robben Island. You got to see Nelson Mandela’s cell.
And so for my first time going to Africa, it’s definitely not what
you see on TV.
I think that most people most black people in America are informed about Africa from like, UNICEF commercials and you think about those commercials back in the days of the Ethiopians, to babies with the flyers on inexistent stomachs is starving. Of course we didn’t see any of that stuff. Cape Town, South Africa is a very white town was way too many white people for me to be honest with you. Meaning that I’m going to Africa I expect to see Africans in the motherland and expect it to be a place that you know black, this is celebrate it and I didn’t feel that with that made me sad. I got really close with some of the gentleman who worked at our the condo where we were staying. It was very, very sweet. Every day, they took care of me, they made sure that I was good. They knew that I was sick, they will each had to take take care of me. So it was really a good thing. But there was one point where one of the guys that asked me if I had gone out to the townships in a township, so we’re like the poor people live. And I just let them know that I had passed them. We saw a lot of them. They kind of made me sad because they’re like, little houses with like 10 roofs on them. But I didn’t go in. So I was like, Well, I didn’t go into the townships that he was like, there’s, there’s a township tour. And I’m like, why would I pay anybody to take me into the townships, I’m gonna pay a white person to take me to see poverty, because this doesn’t make any sense. So I was like, you guys live in a township? If you wanted to invite me to dinner, I’d go to meet your family, but definitely wouldn’t go pay some white person to take me on a poverty tour. Like that’s just not respectful to me. Furthermore, like I live in Brooklyn, so I see like these little tours around like East New York and these beds that towards the earth the shit out of me, and so I would never do something that I don’t want done to me just seems kind of crazy. And so I would definitely go back to my motherland and definitely will go back to Cape Town. I feel like there’s a few more things that I wanted to do that I didn’t do. But things that I wanted to experience I definitely want to do overnight Safari. But there’s so much more of Africa that I want to see I met so many different Africans from the Congo and Angola. And
everybody was from Zim Zimbabwe.
Kenya. So I met so many different people while I was there, and everyone was kind of nice. Kind of some of the people women were not so nice. And I get it right. You see us coming. We’re Americans and we’re black. And we are spending a lot of money and we’re staying in a white, a predominantly white area and you know, you may feel left out of your African dream or your South African dream. And here we say the American Dream just because of race or color. I had a lovely discussion with one guy who told me that I couldn’t be black. Because they are because they know who their black people are. And I look mixed, mixed with something, which is I mean, I guess it’s kind of true. This mulatos all down, you know, my family tree. But I didn’t choose that. So in Africa, there’s a theme was South Africa, you were classified as blacks, colors who are mixed and
I mean, they’re Indians or Indians, America where they live.
But it was a very
eye opening cultural experience. I got to go to the diamond Museum, which was also interesting. there and I’m being No but some some things back. But I don’t know it made me emotional. But of course, because of everything I had already gone through, I was already emotional was emotional beat to be on the continent. I got to swim in the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean the same day when I say swim, I’m being very generous with that word. I got to put my feet in the Atlantic Ocean because the water was like super duper, duper cold. And in Indian Ocean, the water was much, much, much warmer. But we did, we went on the same day and the weather was different, the sand was different. The shells were different sea shells were different. The water temperature was completely different. And so it was just very interesting to be honest, exact same Island, and being, you know, surrounded by two different oceans and being able to indulge in those things who in the same day, but that kind of like sums up my trip, just the catering that they, the people on the island did to the Dutch men who were there. I don’t know if you guys know but South Africa used to be a Dutch colony. The Dutch were the ones who imposed apartheid,
political prisoners, and going to visit the jail where Mandela was and being in his garden was extremely emotional. But there was definitely a direct sadness because a lot of history that we learned we learned with based on white people, like there was a guy Vasco de Gama. He came from wherever and if I’m ruining the name, I really wasn’t paying that much of attention. But he came from Portugal. And like they were literally teaching us things of like, this is when Africa was introduced to the west and this is when the portal for African success and it was like, why does it History start by where white people was introduced with Africa. It was just annoying the hell out of me. Like I really wanted to hear more about African pride and success. The only real good thing that happened while I was there was that there was a televised funeral on TV while I was there, and I was like, was this guy, was he a politician? Was he somebody and he was like, No, he was just a rich man. But he was a black man who was able to be rich. He was a billionaire in Africa during apartheid, and he let nothing stop him. And so for them to televise that. I think it was so inspirational, to let other black people know that, you know, circumstances are not great, but you can keep trying and to be in an environment where I was able to like talk to some of the guys that I met about their dreams and their aspirations for themselves and their families. It was really inspiring.
yeah, pushed me to want to go harder. And on that note, so things are gonna change a little bit on this show. I think I said this before I’ve committed to doing this show for five years. We’re almost at year five.
So I want to start talking about business.
In the business of minding your own business, no matter what you you do now, I’m sorry, my nose is running because I was crying. Pardon me, but yeah, the the business of running your own business and just kind of talking about how, whatever it is that you do, you can be a gift to the world by creating opportunities to not only monetize that, but but to get your marketing message out to the people that really want to Buy the thing that you’re selling, and use and leverage your expertise to help them live better in life or improve their situations or do whatever it is that they do. So if you’re interested in working with me and coaching, I’m going to probably start a new Facebook group soon where I’ll be giving exclusive contents and things. I’m working on some platforms to do exclusive content this year, to help you whether you want to start your podcast whether you want to gain clarity on your business ideas, whether you are a therapist in private practice, or a student who wants to be a therapist in private practice and you want to get out, get the message out there and start doing what you need to do. In order to leverage your expertise, to make money and be a blessing to other people in life, then I think that this is for you. So if you haven’t signed up to the mailing list, please Do because the major announcement will probably be there. And if you want to work with me coaching wise pull up pull up send me an email at Nikita in banks in banks and Nikita banks calm that’s in banks at an ik it a banks com of course I always forget how to spell my name Don’t ask me why. And yeah look forward to hear from you and making 2020 and beyond the best years of your life, okay? Because I know that they’re going to be the best years of my life. I just have to live. I have to just get out there and do what I need to do because life is not promised. We know we just lost Colby and his daughters Giana and you know, he’s got to keep pushing and being the best that we can be and doing The work that God has placed us on this earth to do which is finding our voice and being able to utilize our talents skills and ability to be a blessing for other people and if I can help you anywhere in that journey make sure that you you let me know okay alright guys be well thank you guys for listening to another episode of black therapist podcast once again you can follow us on all our social media sites at Black therapists podcast on Instagram and on Twitter as well as black in therapy on Facebook or you can follow your hosts me Miss em s ni k i think on Instagram and Twitter as well as you can find out any information about me at Nikita and ik it a bank calm and on the show’s website laugh therapists podcast calm and don’t forget if you want to send us any general feedback show suggestions show topic for guest ideas please feel free to drop us an email at Black therapist podcast at G gmail.com Thank you be well.