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MAYBE I'M NOT THE PROBLEM PODCAST

August 3, 2023

Maybe I'm Not the Problem: Minaa B. @minaa_b

Minaa B. is a licensed social worker, writer, and author of Owning Our Struggles. She is also the founder of Minaa B. Consulting, a mental health consulting practice that helps organizations develop psychological safety and promote mental health inclusivity. 

In this heartfelt episode, Kristen and Minaa discuss:

  1. Psychological safety in the workplace
  2. Bullying
  3. Systematic traumas that we face daily 
  4. The nuance of boundaries in relationships
  5. Recognizing when you ARE the problem
  6. Healing through community

Minaa is an expert in her field, serving on the Mental Health Advisory Committee for Wondermind, a mental fitness company co-founded by Selena Gomez. She has been featured in various media outlets, such as Red Table Talk, Peace of Mind With Taraji, BBC, and Essence. Minaa resides in New York City, and you can learn more about her by visiting www.minaab.com.

Minaa’s book Owning Our Struggles can be Pre-Ordered HERE.

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Kristen Carder 0:07
Hey, what’s up? This is Kristen Carter and you’re listening to a new bi weekly series on the I have ADHD podcast called, maybe I’m not the problem. This is a different type of podcast where I have deep conversations with therapists, psychologists, and trauma informed coaches about how our pasts, our upbringing, our parents, or teachers or traumas or narrative urgencies, all of that have impacted us and how maybe, just maybe we are not the problem. Now, this is not ADHD specific content. So if that’s what you’re looking for, just click on one of the over 200 episodes of The I have ADHD podcast and enjoy. You can expect this bi weekly series of maybe I’m not the problem to be a casual, long form and really vulnerable conversation with someone that I deeply respect. For detailed information about today’s guest, check out the episode show notes for their bio and links. And now, let’s get started.

Kristen Carder 1:16
Welcome, Mina, I’m so glad that you’re here with me, I just really appreciate the time, the energy, the effort, I can’t wait to do a deep dive, tell me a little bit about who you are.

Minaa 1:28
Okay, I am a licensed social worker and a mental health educator. I studied social work at NYU, I received my Master’s in Social Work from the I study the clinical track. So right after graduate school, I worked as a therapist for about nine years. And then in 2020, I actually pivoted to doing more of the educating. So now I have my own mental consulting practice where I work with organizations to help them develop psychological safety, and become mental health inclusive. So that is a big bulk of the work that I do. Outside of that I’m also a writer, I have my first book debuting this summer, owning our struggle, paths to healing and finding community in a broken world. And the core concept of the book is teaching people how to heal from trauma through collective care, and community care. So that’s pretty much is my background.

Kristen Carder 2:27
That’s amazing. I am so interested in all of it. I would love to hear what does it mean to develop psychological safety within a company? Like what does that what does that mean?

Minaa 2:41
So basically, that means making space in an organization to have safe conversations, where people are not belittled, where people aren’t judged, where people aren’t shamed for speaking up and asking questions. A psychologically safe environment is one where people listen, it’s an environment that cultivates a space of belonging. It’s an environment that really focuses on how to build connection, and most importantly, as well, combating institutional trauma. So it’s really a space where when ruptures happen, we’re doing the work of repairing through being a psychologically safe environment where we’re listening to your needs, taking ownership for how we may have failed you within our organization, and making an actionable plan of what we’re going to do to move forward. And that really plays a role in you know, managing and nurturing someone’s mental health as well.

Kristen Carder 3:41
I mean, that just sounds so delicious. I wonder, is it? Do you find that organizations that are interested in that kind of work? Like, are the psychologically unsafe, organizations actually interested and like, open and willing? Or is it like almost preaching to the choir, like the people who are willing and open are the ones that you’re like, well, you’re already doing a pretty good job, but like, we can give you pointers? Do you know what I mean? Like, are there toxic environments that are like, hey, we’d like some help with this?

Minaa 4:15
Well, the thing is, most people don’t recognize when they’re toxic. And this applies to organizations. You know, I always tell people, people run organizations and often in our personal lives, if we don’t even realize our toxic tendencies, it’s going to be hard to see, when you micromanage at work. It’s going to be hard to see when you belittle people and talk down to them at work, because that’s who you are in your everyday life. It’s not just who you are when you show up to work, you know. So I do find that some organizations may not realize they have toxic tendency sometimes until they start working with me. And they realize, well, you know what, you know, we may have not understood what psychological safety means until we started working came with Nina. We never understood what institutional betrayal was, until we started working with Nina. We never really knew how to practice ally ship and cultivate a space of inclusivity until we actually started working with you and taking your training, and really diving into the concepts that you share. And that helps us realize we thought we were doing it right. But we still have more to learn. And I think that’s a part of the process. Sometimes you do think you’re doing it right? Or sometimes you do, no, you’re doing it wrong. And you’re finding ways and you’re finding support to do better. So I do find that I have had the luxury and the privilege of being able to work with some really great organizations who have been able to be vulnerable enough to say, we don’t know what we’re doing. And some organizations who have been able to say we’ve done trainings in the past, but we know we need more. And that is how we grow. And that is what workplace safety is. I want to be a part

Kristen Carder 6:01
of organizations that prioritize that way of being, or, sure. So I will I’m just interested in your story. How did you get into this work? You’re an author, you’re a speaker, you’re a mental health professional, like you’re a therapist? How did all of this come to be for you? Like, what was the was the reason that you’re like, Yeah, I’m gonna, I’m gonna go to school for social work.

Minaa 6:33
Um, that reason, I would say is more personal. Growing up, I struggled with depression, and anxiety. for a really long time. I didn’t know because I was a child when I was experiencing it. However, when I became a teenager, I realized something’s not right, because I was in a very, very dark place. I was in so much of a dark place that I was having suicidal thoughts, and I began to cut as a way to cope. So I knew that my mental health was suffering, and it was being impacted by the different things happening within my environment. It wasn’t until I started to see a therapist in my early 20s, that I started to understand where my trauma came from being bullied as a kid. Also, dealing with sibling abuse and rivalry in my home, did play a big factor in me dealing with depression and anxiety as well. And so when I was a teen, I think, I mean, I wanted to do a lot of things. But I always wanted to figure out what was wrong with me. And being on that journey of trying to figure out what was wrong with me really drew me to the mental health field. And it made me curious about my behavior. It made me curious about why was I feeling suicidal? You know, it was that tug of war where I wanted to survive, I wanted to live, but deep down, I just wanted to disappear. And I really was, I was always a curious child. So it’s no surprise that even when it came to my mental health and my own suffering, I was deeply curious to know why is it also just me? I would have conversations with my friends who would say I don’t relate. I don’t understand. But I’m going to tell you something that’s often shocking to people. I was okay with that. I, I was okay with that. And the reason why is because with my personality, and just what I was dealing with, I needed to know what was on the other side of my depression. So if everyone around me could relate, yeah, and if everyone around me was depressed, I would have no idea what hope looks like. Yeah. So I am actually someone who, you know, we often say the concept of you are not alone. For me, it sounds counterintuitive, but I was happy that I was alone. Wow. It made me thrive. Because it gave me something to work toward. Because it made me realize, if I’m alone in this, and there’s people around me who are experiencing the things I want, then that means there’s a way out of this. And you’re showing me that I can have a happy life. You’re showing me that I can have a life where I’m thriving. If I am feeling depressed, and you’re not, you’re letting me know there’s a way to get to where you are. And that propelled me to be more curious about, well, then what’s wrong with me? Why am I feeling this way? And that is when I decided that I wanted to pursue the mental health field. So for undergrad at that time, I was still kind of trying to figure out like what I really really want to do. So I studied business management and I took all of my elective classes and things like sociology, Psych 101, things like that. And my sociologist professor was a social worker. And when she would come to class and share her stories and just talk about her work, I said, I’m going to get my master’s in social work. This is it. This is what I’m called to do. And then I made the choice to pursue social work. So as I shared, my story is not fully linear. But it definitely comes from my own struggle with mental health. But it also comes from it comes from my curiosity around why am I like this? And what will it take for me to get to the other side? And what are the tools that I need to live the life that I know I deserve to have, because I knew the suffering I was feeling wasn’t my end goal. And was, which is why the suicidal thoughts were always tugging at me. And it never felt like this is something I really wanted to do. It was just thoughts that were happening. But deep down inside, I knew I wanted to live. So if I knew I wanted to live, I just I knew that I had to pursue certain things in life that would get me to where I needed to get to. And that’s pretty much my backstory.

Kristen Carder 11:18
Wow, that’s so powerful. I’m really curious. When did you start therapy? Like, specifically, were you in college already? Or was this like post grad like, what was happening? What was like that, that switch that you were like, Okay, I’m, I’m gonna pursue therapy.

Minaa 11:38
So I actually started therapy, the same month that I started graduate school. Wow. Yeah. So yes, so here I am Social Work program. And outside of class, I’m in the therapists office. Yeah. The switch that made me realize I needed to start therapy was one when I got my acceptance letter into NYU. And I realized the path that I wanted to get on, I realized to myself, too, I’ve never been to therapy. Yeah. And I’m about to get into a field, where I’m going to be working with clients, as a therapist. Yeah, we’re going to have to understand what therapy is like and how to really work with clients and build a therapeutic relationship. So a part of me felt that the best way to really understand that was to pursue it. Sure. The other thing that was happening, however, so I started grad school when I was 22 years old. At that time in my life, I was also going through a lot with my mental health once again, my father had passed away when I was 19. So as I share, thank you, as I shared in my story earlier, already growing up dealing with depression and anxiety. A big part of my depression as a teenager came from caretaking for my father. Then he passes away when I’m 19. And when I was 19, I was already an undergrad because I went straight in. I graduated in June. And then I started college in July, when I was 18. So by 19, I was already one year into my college program. And I was just stressed out. Yeah, I found myself going back to that dark place. I found myself actually having urges to cut again, I found myself just struggling with what it meant to move forward. And to be totally transparent, I was angry. And my rage was manifesting in ways that I can be honest and saying I’m not proud of. I was acting out as a very hurt dysregulated and emotionally immature person. I was verbally violent toward people. I was aggressive at times. I was someone that I never used ever been in my life. And the people around me who great like thankfully, I had such an amazing support system, because my friends started to call me out. And then you started to say, your attitude. What happened? Yeah, your anger. Where is this coming from? Yeah, no one can say anything to you without you lashing out. You’re not listening. And I really had to digest that. And I’m also grateful that because these are safe, trusted people in my life. I never had a reaction of oh my gosh, like, Y’all just bothering me or just you’re complaining i right I had the capacity to be in my hurt and still hear how people perceived me, and how I impacted other people. Wow. And that was around age 1920. And then early when I was, like I said earlier within a year 21 is when I apply to grad school and early spring of 20, when I turned 22, is when I got my acceptance letter. And I was just like, there’s no way I can embark on this journey, and be the person that I am right now. Because I’m angry, and I’m hurt. And then, and sometimes I’m miserable. And I just have so much happening that I need a safe outlet to share. And so that is one I was lucky enough to find a therapist, and it worked out that the timing literally was I started grad school. And then the week later, I started therapy. Wow. Yeah.

Kristen Carder 15:58
Wow, I so appreciate you sharing all of that. Because I think that there would be maybe an assumption that you would have started therapy earlier, but to to hear you say that it was you allowing other people to speak into your life, and you being able to be in pain and receptive at the same time. That’s incredible. I think that most of the time when we’re in pain, we’re so closed off to what other people are saying, and we’re so consumed with everything that’s going on in our lives. But for you to have the capacity to, to hear people that’s like Where’d that come from? That’s amazing.

Minaa 16:44
Yeah, I think that comes from this is why I’m passionate about community care. I’m cool. I, I knew the poop people in my community loves me. No matter how angry I was, there was never a time where my anger blindsided me from seeing how people wanted to nurture me. And I was very intentional about allowing myself to be open to that. Wow. And these are the people who have never failed me. These are people who had I had trusted relationships with these were people who were a part of my network, my circle of intimacy. And so even when I had a moment where I felt, I don’t want to hear what they’re saying, Yeah, well, here they go. They’re complaining again, right? In my quiet hour. In my moments of solitude, I had to play those thoughts back. And I had to say really mean, really think what you did did not impact someone else. You really think people are just making statements, you really think you and your actions aren’t leaving an impact around the people who love you. And I guess because I grew up in a big family, I always had to be mindful of feelings. And that was something that played a big role in me being able to be receptive. Because I do believe that is what community care is. Community Care is understanding that despite what you go through, and despite the trauma you have faced, you still leave an impact. And you have to be willing to say despite how dysregulated I am, despite how hurt I am, how am I impacting my neighbor? How am I impacting the person that I love? And what will it take for me to ensure that I repair the ruptures that I’ve caused in my life, and that might mean I need to work on healing my trauma. Because what happened to me is no one it’s not my fault. It’s not and it’s but it’s also not their fault. So it’s not fair for me to lash out on people who are trying to pour into me, who are trying to nourish me and trying to nurture me, for me to treat them as if they don’t matter. For me to treat them as if I don’t owe them anything because I owe people generosity. I owe people kindness, I owe people love and I owe people respect, there is never going to be a time where I believe I don’t owe someone respect and care. And I need to acknowledge how my behaviors impact other people. And I think my self awareness around that comes from again, growing up in a big family. Therefore, I’ve been on the receiving end of harm. And I’ve had to say you hurt me now what are you going to do? How are we going to repair this? But that also trickles out to friends that trickles out to relationships that trickles out to my network. So as a result of me having people and being receptive to the people in my life, that played a big role in my healing.

Kristen Carder 19:56
So beautiful. That’s so beautiful. For Okay, take me to you’re in grad school and you’re in therapy. I can’t imagine being immersed in a social work program because that’s intense I, I would imagine that’s very intense. You’re learning so much about the human brain about families about like society, the impact of trauma. I mean, that’s like, that’s intense on its own. And then you’re unpacking your own. Like, you’re unpacking your own story. In therapy. So you’re you’re you’re getting both sides, right? You’re unpacking other people’s stories in your in your grad school training, and then you’re unpacking your own story. In therapy, what was that, like?

Minaa 20:44
I also will add internship. So I’m unpacking my story. I’m learning about human behavior. And I’m also in internship listening to other people in their stories as

Kristen Carder 20:57
Oh, that’s a lot of stories.

Minaa 21:02
Wow. Um, you know, I will say, overall, it was an amazing experience. Of course, there were moments where it was painful me sharing my story. And really getting into the root, getting to the root of why why was I behaving that way? Why was I so angry? What is the hurt that I’m carrying, that I’m not acknowledging? And then also learning about human behavior at the time, was really eye opening, you know, being able to learn about how trauma impacts the brain, how childhood trauma leaves a long lasting impact up to 30 years how trauma from childhood rewires the brain, how trauma causes dysregulation to the body, learning about the nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system, and recognizing when I’m in a constant state of survival mode, why I learned why my initial reaction is always to get into fight mode. That was my trauma response. Everything was right. Everything was the argument. Everything was you want to play with me? All right, I’m gonna show you. Like, I’m being real. I’m being like, I’m letting people know, like, that was me. My trauma response was fight. Yeah, um, and I think it was just so interesting, because I was able to connect the dots like I would be able to go to school and learn about these concepts, and then come to therapy. And I, it was always so interesting, because I would come to the therapeutic relationship. And I would say, okay, so I want to talk about this. But I think I figured it out already. Let me just tell you, though, what happened, and I’m going to tell you what I think was going on for me, and she would just sit there and literally for like, the whole 45 minute session, and I would therapy myself, I love it. Because I was gaining so much self awareness that I was like, remember that story I told you about how I felt when this happened? Well, I actually realized it was probably because I was triggered from XYZ. And this was, well, I felt, and I felt disrespected. And I felt this. And so I reacted. But that probably wasn’t the proper way to respond to the situation. So one alternative would be, and I found that maybe when I do deep breaths, that helps me call and she was just be like, I’m still here. Like, I

Kristen Carder 23:17
mean, I just get to sit here, she’s just drinking her coffee,

Minaa 23:21
just chillin, laid back. And it was just like, it was just, I think the best way to say it was, I was in awe. And it was so inspiring and eye opening, because I carried so much my whole life. And I think it was just also the perfect timing, you know, for me to be able to experience laying down my burdens and laying down my pain, and really releasing myself and stepping into vulnerability, while simultaneously seeing what that also looks like in a therapeutic relationship where I am the person now leading the discussion, because this is where the internship part comes in. Right? So by being able to learn about human behavior, learn about trauma, learn about systems, learn about family, bring that into my own therapeutic relationship. Those things helped me and shaped me to know how to show up as a therapist, because I think for me with my story, it wasn’t just about going to grad school. It was also about unpacking my history. Yeah, you know, and I think by being able to unpack my history and sort through all of my mess, and figure out the areas where I felt broken and repair myself and put myself back together. And also think about the different resources and coping strategies that helped me with my own repair, while again learning evidence based modes. I will be using practices that really helped to inform our work in a way that I think is very beautiful and sacred. And I, I was in therapy for the whole two years that I was in grad school. So it’s not like I stop in the middle like I literally the whole two years, I did grad school, I did therapy the whole two years. So it was just this beautiful journey, because after my my first internship was out of school, then my second internship was at a substance abuse clinic. So also being able to shift those environments and show up in a completely different atmosphere, but also have my tools and my knowledge. I think, though, that experience was just necessary. And it was. Yeah.

Kristen Carder 25:47
And now a word from our sponsor. Hey, Kristen here, I’m the host of this podcast, an ADHD expert and a certified life coach, who’s helped hundreds of adults with ADHD understand their unique brains and make real changes in their lives. If you’re not sure what a life coaches, let me tell you, a life coach is someone who helps you achieve your goals like a personal trainer for your life. A life coach is a guide who holds your hand along the way as you take baby step after baby step to accomplish the things that you want to accomplish. A good life coach is a trained expert, who knows how to look at situations or situations with non judgmental neutrality, and offer you solutions that you’ve probably never even considered before. If you’re being treated for your ADHD, and maybe even you’ve done some work in therapy, and you want to add to your scaffolding of support, you’ve got to join my group coaching, program focused focused is where functional adults with ADHD surround each other with encouragement and support. And I lead the way with innovative and creative solutions to help you fully accept yourself, understand your ADHD, and create the life that you’ve always wanted to create. Even with ADHD, go to I have adhd.com/focused to join. And I hope to see you in our community today. So I have been in therapy for two and a half years and unpacking all of the things and I feel like it’s been a reckoning, it’s been a reckoning. And it’s really informed my coaching. So I’m a coach, I coach adults with ADHD. And I get the question a lot. What’s the difference between coaching and therapy? There’s no perfect answer to that. But one of the things that I like to say is, coaching helps you see where you are the problem, and like change it move forward. Therapy, at least for me, helps me to see where I’m not the problem. Someone else where they where there was harm, where there was trauma, where they’re where my story impacted me. And I know that’s oversimplifying it, but for me, it resonates so much, and is a big reason of why I’m starting this podcast called, maybe I’m not the problem, because as somebody with ADHD, who grew up in a narcissistic family system, I always thought I was the problem. I mean, and for almost four decades, I was like, I am the problem here. And every every relationship that I show up in every, like any conflict, I know that it’s my fault. And therapy helps me to discover Wait a second. I’m actually not always the problem. And being able to see clearly with very clear eyes, other people and how they’ve impacted me has been just the biggest. It’s been the biggest I can’t I don’t even have words. It’s so huge for me. And when I say it’s been a reckoning, that’s not even a big enough statement. And so I’m curious for you. Was your therapeutic process similar? In that you also discovered? Maybe I’m not the problem here. Maybe there are things around me that have harmed me. I just I wonder if if you relate to that at all?

Minaa 29:33
Yeah, definitely. I definitely think being in therapy helps me to explore why I was the way that I was. What are certain things that I may have experienced that impacted me, left a mark on me and maybe the wounds that I was carrying, that were still open? And that therapeutic relationship was really the stitches that I need? To heal and bring myself to this full space of healing. And I think for me, I really began to realize how I’ll talk about my fight activation, my nervous system dysregulation. I was bullied as a child, I was bullied in my home. And I was also bullied at school. And I know bullying is something that happens to many people, right. But I think it’s often something that is overlooked as kids just doing horseplay, as our don’t be too sensitive, and we don’t really realize how bullying can be the first, our first our first encounter with verbal abuse, yeah. And so I grew up feeling very sensitive to the bullying that I experienced. But it makes sense because it’s verbally traumatic, right? It’s a form of trauma, and then to be out in school and be bullied, but then come home to an environment that is supposed to be safe. Yeah, it’s supposed to be a sacred space that is supposed to be a place of refuge away from the outside world where you feel like you’re being harmed, to now experience bullying, and verbal assaults, and consistently be the victim of verbal harm. That in many ways, almost led to physical harm. That was hard for me. And I don’t know what the switch was. But I remember by the time I reached Middle School is so funny because I write about this story in my book. By the time I reached middle school, I remember having this encounter with a teacher who told me to shut up.

Kristen Carder 31:56
Yeah. Oh, my goodness,

Minaa 31:58
right. Yes. Yes. And I will

Kristen Carder 32:03
just add, like, bullying from teachers in there as well. Exactly. Yeah.

Minaa 32:08
And I literally write about the story because and I still feel it in my body where the moment that teacher told me to shut up. The way I exploded. I lashed out. Um, I lashed out in ways that even when I think back, I can’t believe my young. I don’t know how old was I was sixth grade, so maybe 11. And like, if she were little I was I was new. I was little, but I had a mouth. And I just, I just went off on her. I’ll just use my AAV right now. And I just say, I went off on her. And I, I even share her like, I went off on her so bad, she started crying and ran out the classroom. And I think what ended up why wasn’t therapy, what helps me realize was as a result of being bullied, the way my body internalized it was in order to protect because we all find different defenses and mechanisms to self protect. Some of us might shut down, some of us might internalize the things that we hear. And so the bullying might make us become very quiet and might meet because make us become very shy, which is what I used to be. And I think the more I experienced bullying, the more my self protection said, I’m going to have to match these people their energy. Yeah, to let them know I am not to be messed with because I’m tired. my nervous system was tired. my nervous system was shut down so much that I said if someone pushes this button, panic mode is going to go up. It’s kind of like you know, when you pull the emergency alarm, and it’s just like blaring blaring blaring. That is where my nervous system was just so shot that I said if someone says one more thing to me, I’m going to lose my mind. Yep, that is what happened. That is what happened. So in many ways, though, I began to lash out. And while I was in therapy, however, this is the part where I will say is a slightly different experience for me in regards to like the coaching and therapeutic relationship. A part of me recognize the weird area where I wasn’t the problem. So this is where my traumas started. Sure, right. We all have Pete when you’re dealing with trauma, you have PTSD. These are the symptoms that exist because of the trauma that took place. The trauma is not your fault, you begin to realize that the trauma came from being bullied. The trauma came from having sibling abuse. The trauma came from all of these external know things, you have to pay attention to how that trauma shaped you. And what I started to learn was that trauma shaped me to the point where my nervous system did not know how to self regulate and cope, or my nervous system knew how to do was lash out. But lashing out was becoming problematic. Yes, yeah. So yeah, you know. And so for me, it was an experience of being able to feel validated, feel heard, and feel seen, to be able to have a conversation where I can share my hurt and pain. And be told, like, that was not okay. Or like, even when I just shared with you right now, my teacher told me to shut up that type of reaction alone. It’s like, it’s validating to know, okay, so I’m not crazy, right? It’s not crazy to feel hurt by this right? offended by this, like, other people feel like that is also inappropriate. And that helps me to feel cared for it helps me to feel nourished. And it helps me to understand the different systems at play when you’re dealing with outside stimuli. And you’re dealing with other people, because we can’t control people, right? And so when you’re dealing with people who are causing you harm, you start to recognize how that PTSD comes up. But the other part of therapy that I worked on was recognizing that as a result of having PTSD, I was now beginning to hurt others. Yeah.

Kristen Carder 36:34
And that’s a problem. And that’s, yeah, that is, yeah, for sure. All.

Minaa 36:40
And I think for me, and it’s, it’s something that I share in my book as well. I have a bunch of clients stories where I share that concept of how sometimes when we’re dealing with PTSD, that in many ways, the trauma that happened is not our fault, right. But when you are shaped by that trauma, moving through life, as if we’re not hurting people can be a bit careless. And that’s not an act of community care. And because I was hurting people I loved, that helped me to recognize I need to do some repairing on the inside. But I also was able to feel validated enough to say, I’m going to do this repairing. And now I also feel empowered, because I know that I got this way because of my experiences. And now I need to start drawing some boundaries. Because every time I’m around you, I get so dysregulated I get out of character that this is showing me I cannot have a conversation with you. I cannot be in relationship with you. And I’m realizing that you are the person who caused this because you cause the ruptures in this relationship. But because I have agency over myself in my actions, I have to now make a choice on how I am going to move forward in life so that I am protecting my peace, protecting my well being but also still showing up as a member of my community who is playing a role in collective care versus because I don’t want to be the person who armed me, I don’t want to turn into them. Right. So being mindful of that. And that therapeutic relationship was very rewarding for me because I think for so long. You know, as you shared, I felt very invalidated. I felt like I was going crazy. I felt like I was gaslighting myself, like Why couldn’t you just deal with being bullied? You were kids? Why can’t you just brush that off? Why did you let it impact you so badly? And I started to realize verbal abuse, I started to learn about sibling abuse, I started to learn about all of these different concepts that helped me realize this is what shapes the human experience. And a nervous system is not designed to deal with those things. So your body is just going in survival mode every time you encounter someone. So you want to do the work of really reflecting on what kind of relationships do you want to hold in the midst of you learning about your history, and I think that really helped me a lot.

Kristen Carder 39:18
I’m so grateful to you for sharing your story because it is just it’s so tender. And it’s just so it’s just so real. I am curious now because I have also in a similar way, you know, uncovering how much I lived in survival mode and then trying to structure my life in a way that allows me to thrive and allows me to show up for the people. Especially not just the people I love because I’ve had to release some people from my life that I actually really love. I’ve had to release them with love so that I can show up for the people that are dependent on me, I have three kids. I’ve got a large client base, I was unable to show up for the people in my life, my husband, my kids, my clients, my close circle of intimacy friends, because of these relationships, and I’m curious what that process was like for you, recognizing, I’m gonna have to set some really, maybe strict boundaries, or I’m gonna have to release this person from my life, especially at such a young age. I mean, I’m, I’m 42, I was 20 years older than you when you were kind of making these discoveries. What was that like for you to begin implementing those boundaries?

Minaa 40:49
Um, you know, for me, it was actually slightly slightly different. It was I wouldn’t say it was implementing boundaries. It was me actually learning to soften them. Oh, always had boundaries. My boundaries, however, were aggressive.

Kristen Carder 41:09
I say more. This is so good.

Minaa 41:11
My boundaries were rigid. My boundaries were

Kristen Carder 41:16
walls. Yeah. I’m picturing like, a brick wall. Like,

Minaa 41:19
yeah, that’s perfectly to envision it. It was. It was it just came out in a way where, like I said, I was very verbally aggressive at times. Right? I found myself in a position where with people that I loved, it was like an instant, oh, I don’t want to talk to you. And, but in a way that wasn’t caring in a way that was still filled with hate, sure, still filled with anger, and not a space to sit in the grayness of certain relationships. So for me, to be fully transparent, it became difficult for me to to navigate how to soften my boundaries, because as I shared, a big person who played a role in my harm was a sibling. Yeah. Now this sibling had children. And I wanted a relationship with them. I did not want to cut this person is so far out of my life, that the consequence would be not having a relationship with their kids who I love. Who should not have to deal with the consequences of their parent. So that forced me to have to. Yeah, and I think this is a part of boundaries that most people don’t talk about. Yep. You know, I think we live in a world where it’s like, say what you got to say, if it’s no, it’s no, right. And there’s a lot of difficulties like, like you even just said, you had to cut people out that you love. There’s a lot of grief that comes with that. And for me, it was this person is harmful. But there is something at stake that I’m not willing to let go of. And now those are the kids. So if I want a relationship with the children, what does it look like for me to soften my boundaries, but still stay firm? impassive? Not to get rid of them. But what does it look like for me to be firm in my No, be firm and how we communicate, so that there can be peace. So that there can be an arrangement where I am not in fight mode, yet, right? I feel secure. I feel regulated, I feel comfortable. And I can say what I need to say with you to you without being aggressive, without being that combative. That’s my that’s the all the time, right. And that’s how I used to deliver my boundaries. My boundaries used to be that oh, yeah, you you have to be the big thing. That’s fine. Like,

Kristen Carder 44:09
as someone who’s who’s trauma response is freeze fun. I’m so jealous, that weird to be jealous of someone else’s trauma response. Like from a freeze bond person that sounds incredible, like being able to say that things like the things that go on in my head, but I’m just like, frozen, and then I’m complimenting someone that’s being like, aggressive and mean to me, I’m just like, you’re great. Just please take care of me. I’m like, give me some of that weight, please.

Minaa 44:43
You know, I totally understand where you’re coming from. Because I get it. I get it. Sometimes we need to be able to verbally say that we want to say and then sometimes it’s also like maybe I do need to just like

Kristen Carder 44:57
calm down. Yeah, totally.

Minaa 44:59
This moment. Because I need to learn how to think and pass It’s the power of pause before reacting. And I didn’t do that I just reacted. No. So for me, softening my boundaries looks like having clear communication, being very direct about what I was saying no to what I was when I was willing to end a conversation and I’m used, I’m still using this family member as an example. Because this was a family member that would talk in circles. No, well, why not? This, that this that and I realized you need to minimize you’re explaining. Right, you need to you need to know when it’s time to walk away from a conversation you want to explain? Is it a courtesy for you to explain, go ahead and do that. But if there’s more pushback, this is where you stop. Yep. And this is where you make it clear to the person. I’ve said what I said, I’m not engaging anymore. Yeah, that was how I learned to soften my boundaries. Versus I told you, my blah, and me becoming the aggressor. And now we’re both angry. And it’s like, where do you go from here? Yeah, right. And so that’s an example of what it looked like to soften my boundaries. Another example was to be this is hard for some people, but I had to get to a place where I admitted to the person who would sometimes request to hang out with me. And I would have to say, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I had to just let them know, like, I am not in a space where I feel ready to do that. So I found myself really having to just be mindful of what makes me feel safe. What makes me feel like, if I do this thing, what are the limits to it? Those are the ways that I had to assess how to soften my boundary. And then most importantly, I had to say to myself, would you want to be talked to that way? Because I knew my tone, and I knew my language was not appropriate, you know, just being fully transparent. Like, I had to assess that as well. And that’s me, that made me realize your boundaries are strong, but they are rigid. They are walls. And there is no space to tackle the greatness of this relationship. And that grayness is the black and white is harm was caused. So that’s clear cut. Yep, the grayness is there’s other things happening in this relationship that are meaningful, meaningful to you. Yeah. And this is the part where the children came in, you want that relationship with the children? So are you willing to step away? And just recognize you may not be able to get that? For me? It was a no, yeah, I wasn’t willing to do that. So I knew that I needed to one also, because even though my reaction was to be there in a fight mode, I also had to pay attention to moments, where am I people pleasing, right, because I also, as I started to heal, there were times where I would get so tired of the arguing that I found having moments where I would just give in to certain things because I’m like, This is exhausting. I have to repeat myself, I have to do this. And then by giving in and people pleasing, I got exhausted from that, too. So it’s, it’s trial and error. I always tell people, you know, boundary work is is is is lifetime work. You know, it’s something that we, we figure out daily, because our relationships can ebb and flow needs and our desires can ebb and flow. And so you might find yourself constantly negotiating because things that you may have firmly said no to two years ago, you might be open to it now. And the things you used to be open to it might just be a firm no right now, you know. And so I do believe that every single day, I’m always assessing what are my boundaries for today? What do I need to thrive today? Because it might look different from how I thrived yesterday, and how I showed up in those relationships, and how certain people interacted with me. Today is a new day. And my capacity is different. Yeah, my nervous system may not be as dysregulated as it was the night before, or today, maybe with certain things I’ve experienced. I am so dysregulated I can’t show up this way. I can’t tolerate this today. And so for me, I’ve always learned to dance with my boundaries on a daily basis to assess what’s right for me in this moment. You know, and because of those boundaries, I’m very happy and proud to say that like I’ve come a long way with this person. I have come a long way they need that was in my heart is no longer You’re there. Wow, it is no longer there. And I think for me a big part of that was developing my boundaries being firm in my boundaries, but also not taking their ignorance personal, not taking their harm personal, recognizing that I can respond to your behavior with my boundary. Yeah. But your behavior is not a reflection of me. Because that was another thing that I used to do. I used to feel like this was personal. Yeah. And because of some of the things that person would say to me that it felt like it could be personal. But I realized at the core, though, there’s some self esteem issues. At the core, there’s some trauma, that they’re that they have not healed from. Sure. And this is what it looks like when we don’t heal our trauma and how it trickles down to community. And harmony trickles down to by you not healing, you don’t even realize the harm. You’re causing me. You want to be in relationship with me so badly. You don’t even you don’t even have the self awareness to see the harm you consistently cause. Yes, and I can’t repair that for you. I can’t. And so I am very grateful that even though that person still has work they need to do i in that piece. Wow, I am at peace, being in close proximity with them. I am I have a relationship with the children. I am at peace because I just learned how to stay firm. And I learned anytime I realized I did something that I was like, Oh man, like, this doesn’t feel comfortable. I didn’t beat myself up for it. I just said, You know what? New boundary? Yep. Boundary alert didn’t make you feel good. So now you know, moving forward, this is not okay. And that’s, that’s a part of it too. Learning to be gentle with yourself through this process.

Kristen Carder 51:51
I think that’s such a good beautiful point. Because, you know, there’s a lot of instant therapy out there right now. And, and it it makes it seem like it’s cut and dry. And I don’t think any, any person is trying to sound like it’s cut and dry. But like, there’s only so much you can get from like social media, right. And so it makes it seem like it’s pretty cut and dry. And I do think that there’s there the nuance of it is not able to be communicated in an Instagram post, the nuance of it is not really able to be communicated in the 92nd video. But there is a lot of nuance to who we allow in our lives, who we have the capacity for, who we’re able to feel safe enough with to communicate boundaries, or who is like causing repeated harm who’s just like not not getting it and not wanting to get it. And I think that the nuance of that all you just you beautifully painted a picture for that. So I’m, I’m really grateful to you for that. Because something that you said at the very beginning of this conversation on boundaries was you were considering what was at stake. When you’re when you’re considering boundaries, what you want things to look like, you have to consider what’s at stake, what are you giving up? There’s always there’s always like a counterpart to your no. Right. And there’s always there’s an impact of your No, and that’s okay, that’s that’s just like reality. But considering what’s at stake. What’s at stake. If I do say no, what’s at stake? If I don’t say no, what’s at stake for me? What’s at stake for the other person? I think that’s a really interesting conversation.

Minaa 53:39
Yeah. And I think it’s a big part of complexity of boundaries. Yeah. Even outside of that I think of people who are in abusive relationships. I think of people who live with abusive household members, I think of people who are financially insecure. I think people who, even in my situation, you have kids that you love their kids. Yeah, children. Yeah. involved, that really, like I said earlier, should not deal with the consequences of their parents of their parents harm that that phone loss. And so there’s always something at stake. And you have to ask yourself, if something is at stake, what am I willing to be flexible with? And what do I need to stay firm with? Because it all goes back to safety? And it all goes back to regulation? And so is there a way that I can maneuver in this situation? And are there things that I might have to do to help me get out of whatever the particular situation is? Or are there mental things that I might have to do such as light and that’s why I shared for me a big mental shift was let me stop taking this personally. Let me do the work of stop believing that this person is acting this way because of me. It’s because Have them, you know, some of the things he went through, you know, a lot of information that it’s showing and how they behave. And it’s not about you. And I tell you the peace that comes when you stop taking things personally. Oh, man, I live such a peaceful life now. Oh,

Kristen Carder 55:19
but like, if you notice someone just do that, like, how do you? Like it’s uh, I feel like what often happens is we we almost gaslight ourselves where we’re like they don’t mean it. They don’t mean it. But our body doesn’t believe us. How do we really sit in like a full body? This is not about me.

Minaa 55:45
I love how you just framed it because you framed it in a way that feels meditative. And that is what I had to do. Well, I really had to learn how to meditate and stay present. Because often when we are dysregulated, and we’re in a state of fear, we’re no longer present in our body. Our thought took us somewhere. Yep. It took us to this place that’s imagined or took us to our past to an experience that has happened before. Yeah, so the body is so dysregulated it is not here in the present. And that is one of the things that’s one of the things that I had to learn how to do to recognize when I am so dysregulated What can I do to stay present grounding is so so vital for me. And it’s a method I always teach because it has been so therapeutic. And I find that it plays a big role in radical acceptance. When we take ourselves from our away from our thoughts, we take ourselves away from the future, we take ourselves away from the PRAT past. And we sit here and I say, I’m sitting at my desk, I’m talking to Kristen, I hear the birds chirping outside, I have a glass of water next to me, I hear my dog bark barking, I realize I’m safe. I am safe. This physical domain an atmosphere I’m in right now. I am safe. I am not where my mind took me. I am not where my past is. I may have created scenarios in my head. And when I open my eyes, and I take in what’s around me, I realize I am not anywhere my brain in my mind just took me that fear I’m feeling in my body. There is no fear in this atmosphere. There is no fear in my home. In my house, this space is so sacred, I have nothing to be afraid of. And I learned to ground myself as a way to cope. Because the mind does that trick on you. Because it’s survival. The mind says remember when it happened with that last person is probably going to happen again with this person. And I have to say, No, I am right here. I’m going to take a sip of water. Maybe I need to move my body. So maybe that’s how I ground myself to regulate my emotions. Another way that I like to ground myself is to engage in being more conscious with my tasks. So I my for example, I’m really big on being having conscious breakfast is what that means is or eating right, just conscious eating. And that’s not about the foods that I eat. It’s about the practice. Do I need my phone while I’m eating dinner? Absolutely not. Put the phone away? Do I need to be sitting at my desk on the computer while I’m eating my waffles? No, you do not. Give yourself that five to 10 minutes to sit in that before you immerse yourself in a world that’s going to be demanding something from you. Wow. Sit with yourself for a second. And by doing that as a meditative practice. What that has helped me when it comes to my interactions with people is I have been able to reframe and say, when this person is acting this way, how can I regulate myself? How can I ground myself by being present? And recognizing the safety that exists around me? How can I create that sense of safety that exists around me? Sometimes we’ll be on the phone and get so dysregulated that when we hang up our heart’s racing. We’re so impacted by that interaction that we start to have this feeling of fear. And grounding helps us to realize I’m not on the phone anymore. Yeah, I’m here in this Sacred safe space. And that has been a big, big role in helping me learn to not take things personally. And I think the other mental shift around that was being able to say, Has my behavior impacted a person where I have caused them harm? Let me investigate. Let me investigate what I may have done that could have hurt someone. And when I realized that I can’t really come up with a rational answer. And I am doing the work of trying to repair I can’t control other people. And I’ve learned that radical acceptance plays a big role in being able to say, you know, what, this is where they are, this is how they feel, let me take a step back, and trust that they will make it to the other side. And I’ve been able to shift my mindset, because now, I’m realizing that everything that happens is not always about me. And I think, I think that’s ego work to be honest. Yeah, that’s ego work. That’s because we put ourselves at the center at the center. Yeah, yeah, we often don’t realize when we’re putting ourselves at the center of someone else’s pain, that that pain isn’t about you, they’re acting out. So it feels as if you are the source of their pain. Right? But often, you’re not. Yeah, often it’s a bigger picture. And for me, I’ve always learned to investigate and say, am I the person who was the source of your pain, right, but I can’t control if you’re not willing to have a conversation, right? I can’t control how you react to that. So I still have to learn when it’s appropriate for me to take a step back, I ground myself in the present and just trust that when they’re ready to heal, when they’re ready to repair, when they’re ready to do what they need to do, to progress in life and to progress in this relationship, they will be here. And that those are just the things that I feel like has helped me get to where I am. Now, this has been a journey. I didn’t wake up and mastered, you know, all of this. Right. And I want to offer that because I do think people struggle with how do I stop taking things so personally, but again, everything is a case by case basis, you know, and I think a big part of it is really just getting out of your mind, shifting that mental mentality, and really learning to ground yourself in the present. So that you can feel what’s happening around you, and not allow your nervous system dysregulation to take you to a past experience, or create a false experience based off because we just use our history as learning that. Yeah, you know, well, if that’s my history, I’m going to create this false idea that this is probably the outcome, and what does it look like for me to just detach myself from the outcome, and rest in what’s happening in the present? Wow,

Kristen Carder 1:03:04
that was big, that was so big. The part about trusting that the other person is going to make it to the other side, that really impacted me, that was, that was really impactful for me, to allow a grown up to be a grown up, to give them their agency and their autonomy, and to just trust that they, you know, do any repair work that I need to do and then trust that the other person is going to take the time and energy and however long it takes like they I’m gonna let them have their experience and make it to the other side. But it doesn’t have to be about me all the

Minaa 1:03:47
time. Exactly, exactly. And that’s how I manage even setting boundaries when people say, Oh, how the other person is going to react. And I think what has helped me develop more peace around setting boundaries is that I trust that you can deal with this dysregulation. Because I can I just use myself as a framework. I tell myself, I’ve been in the darkest places. And I’m Brian out of it, right? And so why won’t I trust that they don’t have the skills to do that to I’m gonna have hope for them the way I have hoped for me. And I’ve been able to reframe it that way where I know that you can get to the other side of this discomfort. I know you can. And that empowers me, that empowers me to be bold with my boundaries, because I see it as an act of love. And I’m giving people an opportunity to develop a new skill. I’ve had to develop it, you know, and we all this is a part of life. Yeah. So for me, it’s like what is the opportunity that I can take to shape someone? Yeah. And I see it as an act of hope I see it as an act of generosity. I don’t. I’m really big on telling people to stop calling boundaries mean it’s not mean Have a boundary, you’re being generous with how someone know, when you speak up and share your limits, you are giving someone the opportunity to manage whatever discomfort comes up for you them. But you’re also being honest, in your relationships. I believe a lack of boundaries is a societal issue. It is not just a childhood upbringing issue.

Kristen Carder 1:05:30
If you are loving this podcast, would you take a moment and share it with a friend, there are so many people in the world who need to know that they are not the problem. And I know that there are a lot of people in your life who would benefit from hearing these conversations with therapists and coaches about how to establish a healthy sense of self and create better relationships. So take a moment and share this episode with someone that you respect. It’ll be like a beautiful free gift from you to them. And if you’d like to share it to your socials, make sure to tag me at I have ADHD podcast and maybe even today’s guest so that we can both say thank you to you and give you a virtual hug. All right, back to the show. Okay, I’m so excited that you brought this up, because that’s where I wanted to go next. So would you please I know I’m interrupting you. I apologize. But I’m so glad that you said that a lack of boundaries is a societal issue. Before you start, I want to read a quote from you from your social. We live in a country that traumatizes us daily. That’s something that you say it’s time to shift the narrative from blaming individuals to addressing the root cause of mental health issues working toward building a more equitable and supportive society, a supportive society. Talk to me a little bit about your perspective on this because I think it’s unique. And I think it needs to be heard.

Minaa 1:07:02
Okay, I can do that for you.

Kristen Carder 1:07:04
I’m so excited.

Minaa 1:07:07
So when I say boundaries is a societal issue, I think of American history. We as a country, have not had boundaries. And as a country, when you have laws in place that oppress women, you have laws in place that tell them and they’re not allowed to have a bank account. You have laws in place, let’s go even further than that, where you can enslave people that shows me you have no respect for human rights. You have already created a system that people have to fall in line. Intergenerational trauma is when those traumatic experiences begin to trickle down within our bloodline. It trickles down into every every error we have experienced. So when you think of boundaries, you have to look as as as I said, you have to examine American history, which is why a lot of our parents did not teach us boundaries. They didn’t get to have any. Yeah, you were not allowed to work. Grandma wasn’t allowed to work. What do you mean? What do you mean get up and go to work or open up a bank account or do something other than cooking and cleaning? Now there was no more autonomy? How was I supposed to teach you how to be a kid who had agency when my mother didn’t have it? So therefore, she didn’t teach it to me. Even when I leave the home, we can go anywhere in the world. And we can see where at least in the US I would say and we can see that there are boundary boundary issues all over the place. A great example of that is after the Coronavirus pandemic hit, they started putting stickers on the floor to measure social distancing. Yeah. When places started to pull those stickers up, I started to think to myself man, we have no sense of physical space. People are breathing down your back when you are standing in a line. It is common culture tonight even realize I don’t need to stand next to her this close to a person right like personal space, personal space is not even appropriate. Yeah. When we go to school, when we engage with the law, when we engage in professions, there are rules, rules have already always existed. So the reason why I say that boundaries is a societal issue is because when we look at history, and when we look at the systems that we are forced to interact with, one we are being raised by people who may have not had boundaries or learn to have boundaries, because of the systems that they were forced to interact with the system of patriarchy, the system of racism, the system of discrimination, the system of work and structure. inequities, those things shape how we show up in the world, we’re not going to pretend that those things do not impact the way we maneuver in certain spaces. If we are trying to gain economic prosperity and upward mobility, if we are trying to grow in many areas of our lives, they are a places where we do not have autonomy and it is stripped from us. Once our your autonomy is stripped from you, how are you going to have the ability to advocate boundaries in itself is a form of self advocacy. That is what a boundary is. So when you are not given the opportunity to self advocate because you live in a country that traumatizes you daily, because we don’t want to erect gun laws, because we allow racism to be so prevailing because it is a system it is not just an individual’s issue, it is a systemic issue. When structural inequities happen, this is a part of limits. This is a part of rules. These things take away agency and autonomy. So why would it? Well, of course, it’s going to be hard that even when I’m trying to have a conversation with someone, I don’t even know what it feels like to be firm and advocate for myself. Because society on a societal level, we’re not taught to do that. We’re not taught to do that. I am fully convinced, especially in the work that I do that because boundaries is a societal issue. It is also why we struggle with hearing the truth. It is also why we have used denial as a way to cope. A lot of us do not like the truth, which is also why boundaries are hard. I often say with the truth part. Going back to our ego, right? I believe that there is a big difference between entitlement and expectations. Often we are in the driver’s seat of entitlement, because that is the ego at play. entitlements. I like to shape them as demands, or expectations or desires. These are the standards that I have when I’m in relationship with you. I desire that you speak to me this particular way. I can’t be in a relationship with someone who screams at me when something goes wrong. Entitlement says you do what I say you act how I say they are there is no top back. There’s no such thing as you can’t do this. For me. There’s no such thing as I’m not okay, and you can’t drop everything that you’re doing to tend to me. There is no such thing as you haven’t autonomy. When I’m hurt. When I’m feeling XYZ you do you drop it all and you do for me? And that kind of goes back to this system? Yep. Yep. of individualism in our country, which is why we don’t know how to have a boundary. We don’t know how to engage with the boundary, because we’ve been taught everything is about us. And that’s one side of it. And we have been taught that we have no rights because we don’t

Kristen Carder 1:13:00
know it’s so counterintuitive. Everything’s about you. But also you have no rights. Exactly. That’s that

Minaa 1:13:06
battle. Wow. Right. So I believe that a lot of what we do is shaped by what’s happening again, not just in our childhood, because when we talk about trauma, yeah, we tend to focus specifically on childhood development. A big part of my work and community care is talking about systems and talking about community violence. I grew up in a home where when you hear gunshots, you don’t call the cops. Because whoever shooting will come for you. That’s good politics. Whoa, right. And the reason why I’m sharing that as a story is because we don’t talk about how traumatic that is now, as in the wellness world, we hyper focus on childhood development that we forget our society shapes children. Wow.

Kristen Carder 1:14:00
Yeah, well, society shapes the parent, the grandparent, the parent, I mean, exactly. Because we don’t exist in that in a vacuum. And now I’m born and now things start influencing me

Minaa 1:14:13
exactly. My parent raises me based off the system that they have been able to, that they have had to interact with, right, or the systems that they have had the privilege of being able to interact with. Yeah. And when we forget systems, we’ve kind of fail ourselves. And it goes back to believing it’s me. It’s me. And it’s funny, because then it goes back to individualism, self blame. Yeah, you’re still at the center of why you’re hurting. Yes, seeing the bigger picture here. And it’s like, no, this is a larger system at play. And this is a big part of boundary work that I you know, I just believe that often that is missing from the conversation. Yeah. I believe everywhere you go outside of your home, you probably have had an encounter with someone who had a port who had a poor boundary, that person who cuts you off knowing they could not squeeze in front of you, right? That person breathing down your neck, that person who maybe ask you something inappropriate share our poor boundaries everywhere shall so there’s no way you can say that that is just a result of oh, well, maybe all of us just have really terrible parents. Right? All interacting with systems, we’re all interacting with certain systems, that causes us to become more individualistic, versus community oriented. And boundaries, our community is an act of community care. And until we learn to become more community oriented, we are going to continue to be a fragmented country. I just want

Kristen Carder 1:15:57
to highlight what you said just there because I think I would love to ask you to expound on it. Boundaries are an aspect of community care. Because what’s so interesting, it’s like, it’s a circle, and I, I’m starting to piece it together, I really appreciate you sharing this. It’s like a boundary, it’s an acknowledgement of my own agency, my own autonomy. And when I respect someone else’s boundary, I’m acknowledging that they have agency and they have autonomy, that’s actually so much better for the community at large. And it promotes community actually not individualism, you would think it would promote individualism, right? Because it’s like, I have agency. But it’s also saying you have agency. So it has to be both, I can’t set boundaries for myself and not receive boundaries from other people. It’s a both and right, I can’t say well, I have agency, I have autonomy, I get to define my capacity, and not also acknowledge that in my, in my employee, in my child, in my friend, in my parent, being able to acknowledge my capacity me understanding my capacity means that I am open to someone else’s version of their capacity as well.

Minaa 1:17:23
Yes, and that is what community care is it’s reciprocity. That how connections thrive, when both of us are pouring into each other, versus me giving and giving and you taking and taking, and now my cup is empty, and no one is nourishing me. And I need to be nourished in order to be full in order to be whole, in order to have a quality of life. In order to sustain my well being I have to be full. But how do I get full, I get full through nourishment, nourishing myself and others nourishing me as well. You know, and so I think when we practice boundaries, and we see it as a form of community care, we recognize that this is what it looks like to build trust, care, and respect. When we are amongst other people. It’s about hearing the needs of others, because you care about them enough to know, how do I show up for you? The same way I want you to show up for me, it’s not just about what I want, right. And that’s why I always say boundaries is a two way street. When you’re practicing erecting a boundary, you always need to be practicing being receptive to someone’s boundaries. Right. And when we do that, we learn to function as a community, right? Because I think when I when I think of community, as well, we all have different roles in our community. And because of the different roles that we have, each person is playing a part in building a greater society. And when we have boundaries, right, I can recognize, Well, Kristen isn’t the resource for this because this is where her limitation is. But if I go over here, this is someone that I can interact with, right? So I have a social of support. I have a circle of support. I have social capital, which is my networks of relationships, so that when crystal can’t play a role in building this thing, to this other person who plays a role in building this thing, and you see at the end, we’re still coming together. We’re still building brick by brick. It’s just that this time Kristen isn’t putting the brick up someone else’s. Yes, Kristen has a limit here. She has tapped out. And so we’re going to call someone else in and this is why for me too, when I think of boundaries. And I just think of connection and care. I’m really big on teaching people to build develop their social capital, because we need people, not just a person person. And a lot of us depend on one person for everything. Yeah, often, this is why we take things personally because I only have one person in my networks. So when they erect a boundary with me, entitlement comes up, because it’s like how dare you not respond to my demand? Yeah.

Kristen Carder 1:20:21
It’s almost like from a desperation of like, where else am I going to get this exam? Right?

Minaa 1:20:27
Exactly. Because there’s scarcity there. Yeah, I’ve no one else, that’s good, have no one else. So when you become fully dependent on one person to meet all of your needs, there’s a level of urgency that you start to experience when you are in a crisis or when you are struggling with something. And often we make our urgency, we want our urgency to be someone else’s urgency, like solve this for me, this for me, and when we are dysregulated, come very egocentric. By nature, because the body is trying to find a way to self protect, the body is searching for some sort of coping mechanism to help you regulate. So we’re so self focused in that moment, because we’re focused on our survival. But one of the things we have to remember, again, is that we are wired for connection with multiple people. And when we have multiple people in our networks, when Kristen isn’t available, when that other person isn’t available, right, I can reach out to different members of my community. This is why I always say self care is the bridge to community care. And community here is the bridge to community healing. self care is that healing part that’s self healing part, we all are called to heal ourselves through therapy or different modalities to ensure we’re working through our trauma. But when I’m healing myself, I am a that is a gift to you. Because now I learn how to be in relationship with you. It’s a gift, it is like a cash gift that allows me to show up in a in this relationship with peace and vulnerability versus fear and dysregulation. And when I can engage with you with that gift, that allows us to continue to stay connected. So those are the things that I just really, really encourage people to be thinking about when it comes to your boundaries. One remember it is an act of community care. So see boundaries as a two way street. But also remember community requires social capital, it requires a network, not just one person. So let’s not burn out our friendships and relationships by trying to make one person, everything to less because we’re wired to be amongst people. We are not wired to be extremely segregated from others are isolated from others. We are wired to be in connection, because that is what helps us thrive as individuals. But that is what helps society thrive. We are the people who push culture. And so when we can collectively come together and agree on something, we are also changing our future. Hmm.

Kristen Carder 1:23:23
I wish we could talk all day long. The wisdom that you bring, it’s like a deep, deep well, I’m just so grateful that you are willing to share. Before we go tell us about your book, tell us where we can find it. Tell us where we can preorder it tell us that things?

Minaa 1:23:45
Well, my book is available for preorder everywhere. So you can go on Amazon, Barnes and Noble bookshop.org. It’s also available in the UK in case anyone from the UK is listening. As I showed you here owning our struggles, I’ll just grab it. It is so

Kristen Carder 1:24:03
pretty. I love the coloring. I love the cover. I love the whole thing. What’s the tagline

Minaa 1:24:09
So owning our struggle with a path to healing and finding community in a broken world. So literally everything I just shared with Kristen today is what I talk about in my book, talking about family relationships, talking about race in our country and how to find safe spaces, talking about our relationship to work and productivity and how that also leads to broken this and just giving you the tools that you need to repair, build social connections and use collective care as a medium that helps you heal. So it’s on sale right? It’s on sale August 22. But right now it is in its pre order phase. reorders are very important for an author so please pre order my book before August 22 and I’m super excited to talk more once the book comes out.

Kristen Carder 1:24:59
Oh I love it so much everyone, run, run, run runs Amazon, right, the second or wherever and preorder. I will do it right now as well. I just appreciate you I would love for you to come back on once your book is out. Thanks for your time, your vulnerability, your wisdom. It’s just been a joy.

Minaa 1:25:19
Thank you, Kristen. I would love to come back. And this has been such a wonderful conversation. So thank you. Thanks

Kristen Carder 1:25:34
Thanks for listening to maybe I’m not the problem, a biweekly series of the I have ADHD podcast. For more information about today’s guest, check out the episode show notes where you can find their bio links and all the fun things. Make sure to like subscribe and add this podcast to your feed and then tune in every Tuesday for new episodes of The I have ADHD podcast. And I’ll be back here with you in two weeks for the next episode of maybe I’m not the problem

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