Episode 40: The Trauma Queen
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[INTRO WITH EV’YAN]
Hey everyone, I'm Ev’Yan Whitney and this is The Sexually Liberated Woman. In this episode I'm speaking to my boo Jimanekia Eborn, who’s a trauma specialist and a sex educator whose work is not just about providing a safe space of healing to survivors, it's also about not shaming and taking the charge out of talking about sexual assault.
If you've been listening to The Sexually Liberated Woman for awhile you know that we've had a couple of episodes dedicated to this conversation about sexual trauma, sexual assault and healing. I'm specifically thinking about my conversation with Rachel Maddox, on episode 17 and then Sheena’s story of a erotic empowerment after rape in episode 18. So we definitely talked about this before and I'm going to continue talking about it because I think that this is a conversation that needs to be had over and over again. We need to continue telling our stories and sharing the ways we’re actively healing because it's that sharing that helps release the shame and stigma around sexual assault and being survivors.
And with Jimanekia, I especially wanted her to be on the podcast to talk specifically about the ways we can help support and take care of survivors, that being ourselves and each other. Because that's Jimanekia specialty, she does this amazing, important work as both a sex educator and also through her podcast, Trauma Queen, which you should definitely check out, because it is one of my personal favorites and your girl was also on an episode. Jimanekia is a gem and I love how resourceful she is, I love how real and fiery she is. I get so much life and inspiration from her just by her being in my life on a daily basis.
So needless to say I am very thrilled to have her on The Sexually Liberated Woman so you can get your life and be supported by her as well. And a quick note before we start, even though we're not getting into any graphic details, this episode does touch on themes of sexual assault, rape and trauma and if you're in a tender place please feel free to come back to this at another time. That said, this conversation is really, really restorative it's really, really healing and I want for you to know that even if you are in a tender place this is a conversation that is for your healing. It is meant to get you to a place of support and encouragement to begin this process of healing to have these really important conversations with your partner, with your friends, on your own terms in a really gentle way.
Okay, enjoy our conversation.
[ INTERVIEW WITH JIMANEKIA ]
Ev'Yan: Jimanekia, I'm so excited to have you on my podcast! Welcome to The Sexually Liberated Woman.
Jimanekia: Yeah I’m very sexually liberated.
Ev'Yan: Yeah that’s why I had you on because I mean, you are sexually liberated. You’re sexual liberated goals.
Jimanekia: You know, not this month, maybe last few months, yes she was out here doing fun things.
Ev'Yan: Yeah, I've been kind of feeling that way too, regarding my own sexual energy. I'm like, yeah I'm not to the best degree but yeah she’s still here she is but she's just like lying dormant a little bit.
Jimanekia: She's kind of tired and I'm very much just like I'm gonna just lay in bed and if I need support I have a cordless Hitachi to my right.
Ev'Yan: Yes I love that I love so much. Okay so you are a trauma specialist. I have mad respect for people who do anything regarding sexuality, education, trauma resolution but I have so much respect for someone like you, who does both education and also the trauma resolution. So tell me a little bit about what it was that made you choose this work as your life's work because like you know it's hard shit.
Jimanekia: Yep, yep and every time I told someone that I do this, they get like this sad transition phase and I’m like stop it! But like for me it's been an interesting journey. So sometimes I say I'm a child of trauma, my mother was murdered when I was a baby they found me with her body and like I think for me knowing that, like my grandparents raised me, her parents, and they were always very open and sharing and also they were very open it to allow you to figure out my path which I know some people's parents aren’t. So I’m thankful and growing up basically an only child, had like my aunts who were really like my sisters. Only child, with older grandparents, I didn't have nothing to do so my nosy skills in researching, if you ever need something I can find it out.
Ev'Yan: Good to know.
Jimanekia: Any signs or the times that my friends, like I think this is happening, and I’m like do you have a name, whatever, office? And so I like learn how to read very early and research and like figuring things out documents and growing up like that I wanted to do some type of detective work and also help women. And so of course, Law and Order SVU got mama and I was like well clearly this is what I need to do. I need to be Olivia and then I went to school for criminal justice because again that's one of the paths thought I had to do. And I got kicked out because a part of the path is going to class and I did not.
Ev'Yan: That would be me, I feel like I like the idea of going to school and sitting down but in practice, nah.
Jimanekia: Dropping it low, spreading it wide, every other day, so I felt fine but then I would go to class. And right before I got kicked out, I was living with some friends and woo, that went left. But I was sexually assaulted in my apartment and so I felt like after that, it just kind of change the course of my work and what I got expelled from school I became a rape crisis counselor and open a vintage clothing store. And everyone was like “how?” and I'm like I don't know, I’m a Gemini and it just came out way.
Ev'Yan: Ah okay okay okay Gemini, I see you.
Jimanekia: Yeah with the Cancer stellium, I have a lot of Cancer in my chart.
Ev'Yan: Oh that's why we're such good friends because I'd I don't typically like Geminis.
Jimanekia: Yeah so I did that and it was the most humbling and amazing thing I ever did. So I went back school for psychology and while I was in school I just continue to work in different mental health facilities. I was that every two years I need a new place, a new place. So I work with juvenile sex offenders, which blew my entire mind. It was crazy. And then I worked with juvenile mental health facility, from the youngest we had was ten to eighteen and they had all types of diagnoses and that was the best training I ever got. I learned how to navigate myself and other people. And I just kept going, eating disorders, working with adult women, working in a high trauma facility.
Just last year in Malibu, like the place was t-rash, but I learned a lot too. And like I said, I went to school for psychology and while I was doing all this work, like burnout rate is real. Like I kept burning out and each summer I would be like okay, I need to do something fun so I would help design weddings or work with babies. I was like how do I just keep sanity and keep doing the work I loved. And then I just got so tired again and I was like I don’t know if I can do this. And then I was like what is a job that is always evolving, always fun and it like fits into who I am and I was like “oh sex!” and my mom was like “I'm sorry, what now?”. Like that let me figure it out and they were like okay girl whatever. And I was like, oh well clearly have to be a sex therapist because that's the only new thing I knew. So I started grad school to be a marriage and family therapist. And I got halfway through, so I had like five classes and some hours left. But I was like I don't want to do this. I don't like all the laws and restrictions and all of these things and I was like I'm just gonna do sex ed because that's when I finally figured out there so many conferences and there are specific trainings. And I was like what the hell, I could have saved some money! But I dove into it and I found a way to do what I love to do, and helping survivors. Because even in sex most people are talking about the toys and the party and things but they don't talk about trauma which affects most of us.
Jimanekia: I don't know most educators that haven't been not touched by something, some type of something, like a trauma.
Ev'Yan: Why do you think that is? Like why do you think it is that like obviously sexual, sexual trauma, sexual assault, rape, is like honestly in the most fucked up way, the norm for so many of us? Like why is it that folks, like sex educators are not centering trauma?
Jimanekia: It's not fun.
Jimanekia: Right? Like it's not fun. Like what I said. When people find out I do trauma work, they’re like “oh my god…” and I’m like, “what's wrong with you?” Like but again that's why I do what I do because my whole thing is to normalize it. Like I don't want to ever walk up to a survivor and be like “oh no!”. No, I’m like that shit was hard, wasn’t it? But now okay let's talk about it, if you want, you don't have to, you can do something else. And people are like “wait, what you're not gonna ‘woe is me’” and I'm like, “you do you want me to?” and they're like “no, thank god”. Because it's not fun, right? Like I want to talk about the hard things and face them. But like for me, we can work on the hard thing so we can face the fun stuff. Like we got to get to the fun stuff because shit comes up. Like I have had things, and I’m like oh wait didn't know this was a trigger, hold on let's bring it back, you know? Like and sometimes you don't realize it until you're doing the fun stuff. So like doing this work it prepares survivors for when something comes up how to handle it.
Jimanekia: So you can keep doing it. How to talk to your partner, how your partner can make themselves a better partner or a better ally or accomplice.
Ev'Yan: I'm so glad that you mentioned the fact that, like it is through the fun stuff that our traumas and our triggers can come through and your mind is that like “oh hey this is still a thing.” And I work with survivors in my work a lot too. And I tell people all the time who ask me like, you know, what sort of, what's your background with trauma work and things like that, like every single one of my clients has been actually violated in some capacity. And so I'm the same belief as you, that like we need to do the hard stuff, we need to get to the challenging stuff, we need to get to the root of that stuff before we can really allow ourselves and give ourselves permission to be the sexually liberated people that we want to be because otherwise we're just putting band-aids over or just putting like fun, like icing that's like sparkly and glitters and like it's wonderful, it feels good but you're not like addressing the root of that.
Jimanekia: No and it's going to come back.
Ev'Yan: Right! Yes, yes it's just gonna keep coming back and it's going to keep reminding you that like, oh hey remember that thing that you've been ignoring, I'm back again.
Jimanekia: No surprise there, you thought you just can ignore me.
Ev'Yan: Yes, so my question was like, you know, you're talking about how triggers come up within those fun experiences and I know that this is a thing that has happened to me, it's happened to you my clients. Like what do you think is the best way for a survivor who is being reminded through those fun experiences that like, yeah you've been sexually traumatized and this needs to be addressed, like what's the best way to begin that work?
Jimanekia: I mean, it would be nice for us just know our triggers and that would set the mood for everything. But honestly things will pop up that didn’t even know was a trigger so I think also as a survivor being mindful that anything that can affect the five senses can be a trigger. Like it may be a smell from that night, something you see, something you ate that day. Like just being aware like that something may come up and that you may not possibly know it or be able to control it. So allowing yourself that grace because I think survivors can be extremely hard on themselves and even in that moment of. Say you're having sex with a partner and something comes up and like all my god I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Like you'll have to apologize, this is a natural safety reaction that you don't even realize. So I think, like for me, when I talk about things like a trigger comes up and you freak out and however your body reacts, know that's how your body is trying to keep you safe. Verses like, “oh my god and then I just got up!”, that's because that's what your body thought was safe for you at that moment. So I think giving yourself grace and patience is really important as a survivor. And my thing is also like if you're able to talk to your partners. Like I know sometimes were out here you have hook ups and everything, and it's not always easy to say, I was assaulted one time this may come up. But for me like when I talk about things, the way I try to do it is kinda included it would like, “Hey what are things you're into?”, like when I have sex with someone I’m like “so what are you into so we can both enjoy the situation?”. You can also include that in like “hey so I'm not into this position, or I'm not into you know this type of sensation”. Like you don't necessarily have to share the reason why. But do it for your own safety. So like, for me like I always tell people and this is my jam, you have to take care of your star player, you are your own star player every day, every hour, every second so you have to make sure you were good so you can function. And it's great to have support, it's great to have - and I've been working on changing the verbiage from an ally to an accomplice. Yeah, it's great to have accomplices in your life but also figure out how to navigate as an advocate for yourself.
Ev'Yan: I love that! Can you talk a little bit more about why you are switching from ally to accomplice? Because I hear that a lot, like people are reframing that word and I'm always like really interested in hearing about why that is.
Jimanekia: Yeah, so for me I think they're two different people in this fight. For me an ally is someone that, you know, we need you because you like to repost things and you like to be like “oh my god so this thing” and share a story, right? Which is great, we need the stories to be shared, we need people to see things. But an accomplice is that person - that okay, so this is the vision that just came to me. You were riding in the car with your mother and there's like something comes up and you have to stop abruptly. I don't know about you but my mom would always throw her arm around my body and block it.
Ev'Yan: Yeah the soccer mom save!
Jimanekia: Yes so that's like what an accomplice does. It’s that, they're like I got you, let me take control of this, let me save you. So an accomplice is someone that shows up and, shows out like they're like, oh my god you don't need to worry about this stay home I'll go to that rally, I will stand in the way of whatever it is, like I don't even want you to be in harms way, so let me handle this. So that's what an accomplice is. Someone that shows up and actually does work verses just lip service. So again, I think both are needed but in this crazy world that we're living in I need the accomplices versus the ally. I can repost things all day, I can share information. I need people to show up for me physically. And so for me that's what an accomplice is. So I wrote a class about like, how to beat transition and like how to support survivors from an ally to an accomplice, like how do you actually do the work.
Ev'Yan: Yeah, so what is doing the work from a - well I have this question in two parts but I don't know if they're different answers. So I'm thinking about what it looks like to be an accomplice as a friend or someone who is like, you know your sister or your friends, your bestie, your cousin has been sexually assaulted, has been sexually violated and then also that question of your lover your sexual partner has been sexually assaulted, like does being an accomplice to, in those different ways, do they look the same, are the outcomes the same? Does that make sense?
Jimanekia: Yeah, so there's a lot of crossover in that, right? So your besties aren’t going to be fornicating with you - Ooh my god, fornicating is one of my favorite words.
Ev'Yan: I can’t believe you just said “fornicate”!
Jimanekia: It’s just one of those words.
Ev'Yan: I love it.
Jimanekia: My friends will be like, did you just say, and yes I did, you’re welcome.
Ev'Yan: I love it! Let’s bring it back.
Jimanekia: So your family and friends aren’t gonna be fornicating with you, so that's a different level of intimacy. It has to be evaluated differently. But overall the accomplice needs to, you know, read information, like no don’t just repost it, read the information, you know, take some classes, learn about terminology. Also, take care of yourselves, like everyone needs to carry themselves. Like figure out like your emotional intellect, like I think that's really important. People just try to skim through. Figure out who you are. Also I think that's great to be a supporter and finding your own support. Things will come up when you're supporting people but continued education because there's always new things. I'm continuing to learn things, continued education is really good. And being honest in things you can support someone in. Like that's how an accomplice is, like “oh my god I would love to support you but I don't know enough about this right now but I want to be here for you, give me some time to like figure out how I can support you the best for me and you”. And be honest, I think it's good. And that's just like a few things. And as a partner, listening to your partner and be like “Hey have a safe word or something, like if something comes up you can just say red and I will stop and there be no questions,” like being able to communicate with that partner like what's going on. And again, continued education. Figure out what your partner likes physically I think that's really important. Again these are just a few things, by like a few things is a good place to start, instead of just like “oh my god yeah I know I'm an ally, I know all the things”. Well what do you know? “Well, um, I, um, I saw the story, I retweeted because of the title.”
Jimanekia: Yeah, okay yeah, it's just little things to start in just, you know? Once you start doing it you're like “oh!”, you'll continue learning and that's what we need to continue learning and supporting people because again everyone's story is different, no one trauma story is the same as anyone else's.
Ev'Yan: I'm also thinking about what this is like on the other side, for the survivor you know? Like I know how, I know how great it is to have these conversations with your partner but like sometimes you're just really freaked out about even having these conversations or you feel embarrassed. I’ll speak very personally, there have been many, many times in my relationship where I was feeling triggered or I felt really uncomfortable but, and I knew that I should speak up I knew that I should say something but I didn't feel comfortable in that moment either because I didn't feel like my partner would be able to hear me or because I felt embarrassed, like I don't want to ruin like this moment like obviously they're having a good time and if I were to speak up and say “Hey this isn't going for me I'm really uncomfortable or I need to stop”, I was feeling that shame and that guilt of having to speak up in that way. And I wonder if you have any like, I don't know, words of wisdom for someone like that who goes through that? Because I hear that a lot, even in my own work where my clients will say to me that like yeah I have been continuing to have sex even when my body is screaming at me not to you and it's my body is giving me these messages of no stop because you're being triggered and you need to like take a step back and we need to find a way to kind of stabilizing ground ourselves back into each other again like it feels it feels scary to do that, it feels really embarrassing to do that, you know? So like yeah what are your thoughts on that?
Jimanekia: Again I think for survivors we are so hard on ourselves.
Jimanekia: We’re like, well I should be able to do this and I'm gonna do it because I should be able to. But because you should be able to do something doesn't mean you should do and that's okay, right? Giving yourself that patience and grace to take care of yourself. And I keep saying it because it's so true. Because we're like well I should really do this, like I'm in my thirties, I'm in my prime, I'm fine, I should be able to you move and do these things. And yeah you should be able to, and I really hope that you find a space to do that but also being honest with yourself where you're at. It's like you have to - it's like getting back on a bike but you're like can I do this, let me get some training wheels. And it's okay to start over and rebuild because you may be rebuilding, you’re rebuilding new muscles. With trauma, shit gets fucked up, shit gets disheveled, your muscles may get weak or you may lose some, right? So we may be recreating these strength muscles or just restrengthening the ones that we have. And it’s like going to a gym, it takes time, it takes a process. You don't just walk in the gym and be like oh my god I have a six pack now I can lift everything with one toe. That's not how it works.
Ev'Yan: Right, right.
Jimanekia: It takes time to build this up. So giving yourself that time and grace. Now to answer your question in talking to partners it's really hard, right? Like having any type of hard conversation, if it’s about trauma, if it's about money, if it's just about life, like it's hard. And so facing that, like this is a hard thing I'm about to do. And even sometimes - I don't remember one of my friends said, like sometimes I like to just name it out loud, like this is a hard conversation I want to have with you and it's hard for me so I may pause and I may not be able to get through it but I need you to understand this is really important to me. So if I've already laid the groundwork and the boundaries of how this conversation may go. And it may take you, five, six, twenty times until you can get it all the way out and that's okay. Yeah it's just the patience and the grace for yourself. Like you are allowed to take up as much time and space as you need to and if you have a partner that's like well I need you to just hurry up and tell me like, check that person and be like so here check this out - if you need to change a tone because mama change her tone real quick - check this out, I'm doing something really hard and I want to share it with you because of X, Y, and Z, but if you can't be there for me. It's also okay to leave these people.
Ev'Yan: Yes, yes, what I'm hearing you say is that it's okay for us to be messy about it like we don't have to show up and be like okay very concise, very clear, like it's okay for us to be messy and it's important for us to give ourselves compassion as were learning these new tools of speaking up in this way.
Jimanekia: Yeah, you have to because you will burn yourself out and you will continue to struggle. And also being reminded that like there is no time period and there is no guarantee that something will come up. I was assaulted in college in my early twenties, I had a retriggering thing happened last November. And mama shut down, I was still working but I was working from home I was like I don't trust any man in my life I don't care how long I've known you. And I've had to rebuild those muscles. Now I’m okay, yeah now I can do these things but being like I'm human so being reminded that no matter what job you do. Sex educators, we do this work every day, you do this work every day, but something can come up and throw you off and that's what life is.
Jimanekia: You have to adapt and take it slow, for whatever you need to do. Figure out like what your resources are, how do I help myself get back. I have a therapist, I just came back from a silent retreat, I meditate, I read books, I sit with crystals, I have certain smells. Like you have to figure out what works for, you know? And it’s trial and error and that is also okay.
Ev'Yan: Ugh it’s so affirming to hear you say that, well it’s affirming and it's also shitty but I mean that's life right? That essentially, that you could be in your thirties, in your forties and have something that happened to you in your twenties still affect you. Like I go through this often where I have felt, and I know that there are other people out there who feel this way, where you’re like sweet, enough time has passed I'm good like I'm on a really great, a really great like track here, I haven't been triggered in a long time, it's done, it's over. And then I actually got retriggered, man a few months ago, when I was having sex and I’m like where the fuck is this coming from? I thought that this was done, like I thought that I was over this and then that started the cycle of like my god I'm still broken, oh my god I still have work to do and then feeling like all the shame and guilt. And so it's really, I mean obviously like I work through that but like it's really good to hear of that like it's kind of normal for that to be happening and to sort of like, sort of like create systems in your life to, both do yourself when and if that happens again because like trauma is weird the way that our bodies responds. Yes and it's like you know we, the best thing that we can do is to work with our bodies and to give our bodies permission to just be like okay body you're doing this thing I'm going to move out of the way let you do your thing and like give you lots of care and love in this process as you come back and find grounding into yourself.
Jimanekia: Yeah and it's okay to also if you're like I don't know if I want to deal with this right now, that's okay. But also know it’s not going anywhere and you can only run for things for so long.
[ AD BREAK ]
Ev'Yan: The Sexually Liberated Woman, celebrates sexual liberation and since you're listening to this podcast, I think safe for me to assume that you want to be about this life.
Maybe you're already on your sexual liberation journey and you're starting to explore your erotic self bit by bit, or maybe you're one of the many, many people out there who isn't at all comfortable with their sexuality but wants to be.
No matter where you are on your journey, I would love to help you step out of shame and into sexual empowerment via one on one mentoring, fierce guidance and resources that support your healing.
If you're ready to be sexually free, go to evyanwhitney.com/shop and start your sexual liberation journey today. I'll see you there.
[ INTERVIEW CONTINUES ]
Ev'Yan: My question is how, because as I was, you know, wrapping my brain around my own relationship with my trauma and how it resurfaces, it's kind of reassuring to know that like, yeah that's normal it shows up but also it's kind of shitty, like this idea that like trauma is with you for the rest of your life, like it is going to be with you forever. Like how do you reconcile that?
Jimanekia: I mean yes it's going to be with you but it doesn't have to be such an extreme factor in your life, right? Like you got bones and organs and things that you don't really, you know, ever visit but they're there.
Jimanekia: You can break your pinky toe, and not even know that bone existed, it’s a part of you. It doesn’t have to be that overwhelming, earth shaking thing. It's a part of your story, it's not your whole story. And I constantly remind people, that like yes trauma happened to me but it's not my whole story. Did it help, you know, navigate some things? Yeah, but that's not all of who I am. So be reminded of like it's a part of me but it's not all of me. I think is really, really important to like, yeah this happened, yeah okay. I think trauma survivors are extremely strong.
Ev'Yan: Yes, agreed.
Jimanekia: Like shit happens to us, and yes it does happen predominantly to ciswomen, right, but it happens to all women however you identify. It also happens to men, so it doesn't have to be your full story it's a part of who you are. And like I said I think trauma survivors are some of the strongest individuals that I know because you have to rebuild your body. And what happens when you break a bone? It comes back stronger.
Ev'Yan: Ugh that’s a really beautiful reframe.
Jimanekia: I try.
Ev'Yan: That's why I have you on this podcast because you’re amazing. Speaking of podcasts, I want to talk about Trauma Queen, which I am a huge fan of. I love this podcast. Tell me how it was that you wanted to highlight stories of survivors, you know, and why?
Jimanekia: Yeah so it’s real funny to me, it's funny. I was sitting with my manager, Dan, who I call my fanager, my friend, family and manager, so we just stuck with fanager.
Ev'Yan: Shoutout to Dan.
Jimanekia: Dan’s amazing. And one day we were like talking about like things I want to work on in one of our meetings and I was like, yeah I don't want to teach. And I’m there and Dan looks up at me like ripped up all the papers and thrown when in the air. And I was like first you're so dramatic, like what the hell. And then right after I was done laughing, I was like I want to teach and I want people to learn and be educated but I don't necessarily just wanna be sitting in front of a classroom, writing on a board. Like that's not who I am in the end, like when you're really good at like speaking and like talking and that's what you wanna do, what about podcasts? And I was like yes I love that! And we sat down and kind of just figured it, out like Trauma Queen because trauma’s what I'm talking about and queen because, blessed be, that's just who I am, you're welcome world.
Jimanekia: And we just put it together. And so, of course it started out as just being like focus on sexual assault survivors, which was the first season. And then I was like, but there's so much more but it doesn't just have to be focused here. So I kind of worked around like Trauma Queen and be like sexual assault survivors and other traumas. Because a lot of traumas have sexual assault connected to them. I recently, last year, I went back to school so I'm working on my masters in health psychology. I am learning that traumas can create trouble with our body, can create other illnesses and other mental illnesses, and physical illnesses, and just things like that. And people forget about that. So for me, Trauma Queen is a space for one, people that are constantly overlooked, so it's a lot of marginalized folks. Like you won’t be seeing on little, blonde muffies on my show. Like it’s just not cool. I don’t know why muffy came up, I have nineties brain. That’s not - like I want you to listen because I want you to learn, but you got enough podcasts. This is for people that are disabled, that are black, brown, however, different members of the LGBTQ community. Like I just did the stories and the trauma of black femmes and you may look at me, like with these people are femmes, like no they're non binary or is this person looks like a cismale, no they utilize feminine, like female, she/her and people are like what? Like my goal is for people to share their stories because as someone that is a black woman I have learned or healed through other people's stories.
Jimanekia: And I think that's a cultural thing for us to be like, oh yeah the stories passed down, you’re like the strength and everything. And that is why we have Trauma Queen. And so we did sexual assault and each episode is its own little story. And everyone story looks different, like we had a a cis gay male survivor, we had someone who was trying to get back into sex after trauma, someone that's never been in therapy who never talked about it until that day on the show. Like we do this, and then we went into gaslighting and like what that looks like because that’s a trauma and then how gaslighting affects like sexual things.
Jimanekia: There's so many things connected and that is why I created the show and this is why it's amazing and my favorite and we do the work and we're trying to raise the coin so keep everything going smoothly. But people heal through other people's stories and we make sure that, yes you hear their story but you also hear them coming out on the other side or how they're still trying to, what they've been doing and things that worked or happened.
Ev'Yan: Yeah one of the biggest reasons why I love Trauma Queen is, well there’s so many but like I love the story telling aspect of it, I think it's really important to you to highlight and uplift voices that haven't been heard, especially voices of survivors of trauma. But I also love that this is a really great resource for people like you, like fill every single episode with lots and lots of resources that people can use to help themselves, to help other people. And I think that that's what makes the work that you do you both like ally and also accomplice, it's like you know you're giving people this wonderful glimpse into other people's self healing journeys and their stories, and then you're also telling people okay that now it's time for you to do the work and here's how, which I love it's just, it's so good I recommend it to you all of my clients who are looking for more solidarity and affirmation about their own sexual trauma and just traumas across the board.
Jimanekia: Yeah and we do. Each episode has three different resources at the end, like I go in and they're kind of cater to that conversation. So if you’re like I want to hear gaslighting in a polyamorous relationship, go to Lola’s episode and those resources will fit that type of relationship and that type of gas lighting.
Ev'Yan: I love that.
Jimanekia: It's a really important and I'm so glad I'm able to put this out there for people because, you know, you and you never know who's listening, you never know who needed to hear the thing and if you need to hear the thing I'm so glad you found it.
Ev'Yan: I'm so glad that you're doing this work like it is really, really important so thank you, thank you for that.
Jimanekia: Thank you. You know what else I was thinking, the reason we do it in this way is because it's these conversations that are so scary and again like I said I want to normalize it. Like there's laughter in every episode and I’ve had people be like but you're laughing and I was like because laughter is fun, like things are funny - laugh. And people like, oh yeah! Sometimes we have to be reminded that, yes things are shitty, but they don't have to always be shitty and you're still allowed to have happiness.
Ev'Yan: Ugh yes, beautiful. That actually brings me to a question I've been really wanting to ask you which is that one of the questions that drives your podcast, Trauma Queen is how can we collectively continue to heal and I'm wondering what the continuation of your healing looks like these days?
Jimanekia: Wow, good question. I have a black woman therapist, and that has been magical.
Ev'Yan: Ugh yes, praise the black woman therapist, lord have mercy! We've talked about this many times but to my black woman therapist who is queer, and radical, and feminist and womanist. I mean she has changed my life and she has snatched my edges multiple times.
Jimanekia: Because you were just a guest on Trauma Queen, yeah we needed someone that I didn't have to come in and explain everything. I like to walk and be like, okay girl let me tell you, and she would like, tell me then.
Ev'Yan: Right, right.
Jimanekia: That's what I needed and not to say that other therapists aren't great, I mean some people just don't know how to work with people of melanin in their skin or identifying different types relationships - do the work. But like this for me just made sense. I literally just, it's been literally a week that I came home from this silent retreat, which was the scariest thing I've ever done and for me that was a part of my healing. Like going and sitting, face value, with things I've been trying to like avoid. Again it's scary because it smacks you in the face but it was so healing because I learned how to navigate my body better. Like I have a chronic pain and I can sit with things a lot easier and be, like okay this is rising and falling, it's not going to stay forever but also like learning about my traumas and like how they deal with that. And also continued education, I think it's so important for myself and my continued education also comes through when I work with clients or if I'm just talking to my other friend that do sex ed or that are working with trauma. Like again we learned a lot from each other stories and each other's work.
Ev'Yan: Yeah like one of my favorite phrases about that is like you learn by teaching. And I say all the time that like every single client I've had has taught me so much about myself and my own healing journey and has like prompted me to continue to heal and to continue to challenge these old stories that I have about my sexuality, my body, my worth, everything. And so that's why I love educators and sexuality educators, in particular, so much because, you know, the best ones are the ones who don't count themselves as experts they're the ones that are like, yeah I know a thing or two but I'm also right in the trenches with you like I'm still learning, I'm still continuing to heal as well.
Jimanekia: Yeah and being honest about that. I think also for me, that has really worked, and sometimes I didn’t realized I was doing it, until someone mirrored it back to me, they’re like you're just so honest. Like you show up and be like I'm not doing well today but today this is what I I have to give you, like being honest about where you are as a provider has helped my work in my healing like it's a journey. Like I learned at the retreat, things have ups and downs, like some days you may be having a good day and some days you one just may stay in bed and that's okay. So knowing how my body navigates and how I navigate my body and work with it has been really helpful healing and be like you should be doing work right now and why aren’t you doing this thing. Like coming back from that silent retreat I haven't been able to work until - I didn't get anything done until Friday night. And it was like I need to get work done, like I have deadlines and things and my body was like that is so cute girl, so we won't be doing that but eventually. And so my healing is continued, as I learned, as I learned from people but it's great I'm excited for all of the things that keep showing up and showing out for myself.
Ev'Yan: I love that you said that you're excited, I love that. Like thinking about healing as not this drudgery, boring, annoying task that you have to do but something that you're excited to keep coming back to.
Jimanekia: Yeah, work it. And being excited to just see also like how I arrived to the occasion, when something hard comes like how am I going to react to this? Old Jimanekia, in her twenties would react by just getting drunk, I think that was it. Oh this is a thing I can't deal with it, I'm gonna get drunk and then if you were a guy that interrupts that I might punch you. Like I went through and punching, violent phase with just men. Which I can look at now, be like damn bitch what was going on, okay let's talk about that. But like now, I'm like oh this comes up, let me get some grounding techniques, where are my feet, how is my breathing, oh it's kind of everywhere let's focus on that. Like let's step away from the situation and figure out. Like I have my safety people, like my person is my best friend who I met the first day of seventh grade who knows everything about my life and if something comes up I can just hit her which I'm like whoo. So finding those people has been great.
Ev'Yan: Okay Jimanekia, so tell us where people can find you, where people can work with you, I know that you work with other people to help them resolve and make space for healing regarding their trauma. So yeah tell us everything because you're fantastic.
Jimanekia: Thank you, so yeah I’m super everywhere with Jimanekia so if you can spell Jimanekia, that’s my Instagram, that’s my Twitter, that's how you can find my Facebook business page and my website is traumaqueen.love. Like that's the full website, people are like are you sure, yes I am. There you can even find like how to listen to Trauma Queen and has direct links for every different source you can listen to. You can figure out like who is she really, like all my, see my CV, I put it on my website. Like let me find out her business. You can see other things I've done, you can book sessions, you can buy merch, there's a kind of just like the direct pathways to me.
Ev'Yan: Fantastic and you were, I think, you were telling me before we hit record that you have some really cool stuff coming out soon.
Jimanekia: Yes, yes, yes, yes, so we just released like the merch part of Trauma Queen which is super exciting, so we will have our coloring book available which you can pre order it now. Yeah, I curated the coloring book and I had a non binary, beautiful human because I always feel we need to like to support the community, design like the pages and then I have pages of affirmations, I have journaling pages in it. So it's kind of like an all encompassing healing book. And I'm also doing a partner share with The Kink Kit which you'll be able to find on my website and thekinkkit.com directly and it's a healing box, there are tons of games and that I like how you can connect with your partner and it is not gender specific so it's a box for everybody and there's different games and at their sex toys there's going to be a discount for some online therapy sessions, there will be a discount for my online classes. It's kind of like a really amazing, just like a box you can pull out and utilize more than once, also the box in general is just beautiful.
Ev'Yan: Oh amazing!
Jimanekia: Yeah but you can like pull it out and do different games. Also like one of the games we include, we give you like a marker and you can do some body forgiveness things and write on yourself or have your partner right on you like different terminologies that feel good to you or allow them to affirm those parts of your body and that's just like one thing. I'm actually gonna probably send you one. Like they asked who do we want to send them to and I was like that she needs one.
Ev'Yan: Oh my god I would love that and I'll make sure to put it like all the links to where people can find this and this box in the show notes because yeah and I love the coloring book too, you’re doing such amazing work right now like always, not just right now, always.
Jimanekia: You know, sometimes when you're doing the thing you don't think about it, like all of my friends and my mom are like so you're not going to tell us you were in Cosmo, because well and I was, well I don't have time, so you did Playboy, yeah like so what, like I have things to do. So like I think you get so like meshed into the work that like when you pull back you’re like this why I'm tired.
Ev'Yan: Yes, yes I feel that, I feel that. Well thank you so much for the work that you do, thank you so much for showing up with your truth of your story and helping other people heal and find the truth of their own stories. I'm so honored and I love having you as a friend and thank you for coming on the podcast and sharing your magic and all of your wisdom with us.
Jimanekia: Thank you for having me and I hope everyone can find a little, a little gem in conversation. I believe they can, if not maybe they need to check their pulse they may not be breathing properly, I don't know.
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