About Wild Moon Counseling
Shah'Tavia Young, MSW
Shah'Tavia Young, MSW
Being Black in America is like being stepped on repeatedly, everyday of your life. It’s traumatizing.
I often felt small, overlooked, unimportant, minuscule and to simply put it, like my life did not matter.
To see what is being done to those who look like us on a daily basis is devastating.
It is disheartening and saddening seeing that our lives do not seem to matter to anyone.
With so much going on in the world, it can be exhausting trying to maneuver through life with the everyday stressors and the weight of the world on your shoulders.
Black Americans are experiencing trauma every single day.
Because of this daily trauma, you struggle to deal with the things that you have experienced in a healthy way and often feel distrusting, skeptical or guarded. You struggle with balancing work and home life, and you have difficulty in developing healthy relationships. You’re ready to find some healing in hopes that you’ll be able to better navigate the world around you.
I can relate because I am also this person.
I can vividly remember in undergrad, I was driving my car near downtown Chicago and a Caucasian man walked in the middle of the street while the light was green and I almost hit him and he called me the N word.
I was angry, but I was hurt more than anything because I had never been called that to my face, despite always hearing stories.
My first year of college, I was paired with a Caucasian girl who never really was around black people (not one black person in her small town either) and we had a disagreement where she pretty much tried to bully me as she was much bigger than I. She talked badly about me on social media, referring to me as “black girls with blonde hair”, and she used her privilege to tell the Dean of housing and we were forced to both move out the room.
Somehow she got to stay in the room by herself and I had to move in with someone else. Those instances made me feel low and really opened my eyes to being black in America. I had to sit back and really process this and it spiraled into me needing to self reflect on myself and where I fit in.
I DIDN'T KNOW WHO I WAS
I went through most of my life not knowing who I was. I just wanted to fit in and be accepted. I was always smart but I wasn’t the prettiest and I wasn’t the most popular.
I did what I thought would get me accepted and that was to be a pushover.
I thought if I let others have their way then they would like me because I was beneficial to them and they needed me. I was wrong.
I learned the hard way that that wasn’t the case. What I thought was important actually wasn’t and the reality I created was not real.
I come from a blended family household where my parents were teen parents, and since I was the oldest, I was considered a caretaker for my two biological younger siblings by force. Being in this role became second nature for me and I was often referred to as their “second mom”.
When I was younger, I thought nothing of it but, as I got older I realized the stigma that came with it. I was forced to grow up faster than I should have. It impacted me because I always felt responsible when I wanted to just be a kid.
It made me resentful of my parents and of those who did not have this responsibility.
When I went away to college, I made sure my visits home were few and far between for this reason.
My home life was chaotic at times. My life was full of dysfunction, but it was life, right? We moved frequently which means I transferred schools multiple times. Right when I would start to get comfortable at a school and begin to make friends, I was whisked away. By the age of 11, I had been to 4 schools.
I realized this gave me anxiety and was very traumatizing for the young me. I was afraid to be the “new girl” because I knew that meant I had to start over in a place where everyone was already comfortable.
That coupled with a week after my 11th birthday, my biological father was killed by gun violence.
I was so young that I couldn’t process it and I simply became numb to it. I only began to process as an adult and even then, I still didn’t understand the brevity of the situation because I was so young so I still couldn’t grasp those feelings.
What eventually helped me was my support system and therapy.
I Strove for Perfection
The only thing that I really felt like held value were my accomplishments.
I felt my value was based solely on my accomplishments, so I strove for perfection.
I felt the constant unsaid pressures, and in return, I put those same pressures on myself in every aspect of my life.
I did not fully understand these unconscious motivations about myself until I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree and went on to pursue my Master’s Degree in Social Work.
I learned a lot about the social work field, but I also learned much more about myself.
I realized that I too needed a therapist because life was getting the best of me and I need a professional to assist me with learning how to navigate life in a healthy way. How could I be beneficial to future clients if I still had pieces of me that were broken?
Therapy changed my life.
I still struggle, but now I’m aware of my triggers.
I have awareness of the trauma that I have experienced and I continue to learn every day how to navigate through the effects of those traumas in healthy ways.
The ways I navigate through past and ongoing trauma is by being present, practicing mindfulness, leaning on my supports, addressing my feelings and thoughts and not letting them control me.
When You’re Ready To Heal Too
If you feel like you’re ready to take the next step in your healing journey, I’d love to work with you! Just send me a message in the box below to get started!
Master of Social Work, Social Work, Governors State University, University Park, Illinois, 2020
Bachelor of Art, Sociology, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, 2015
Currently Pre-Licensed, under supervision of Candace Whitman, LCPC licensed in Illinois