Ep203: Breaking the Chains of Trauma, with Miriam Njoku
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Have you ever been told you can’t do it, or you’re not good enough for something you really wanted? What if you got that message in your whole life starting from childhood? What if abuse or racism you’ve endured created trauma that affects your work or relationships? How do you heal wounds that you can’t see?
Miriam Njoku knows the struggle all too well. The abuse that she endured as a child and teenager and the racism she experienced at school and at work caused trauma that would cripple ten people, let alone one. Yet somehow, Miriam not only survived all this, but she also found resilience and strength in herself that allowed her to succeed in the world’s eyes. What we couldn’t see was the continued damage from internal wounds that were never healed and led to her shame and even workaholism. Thankfully, Miriam found the healing she needed to be a whole and healthy mom, writer, podcaster, and African woman.
Miriam left a flourishing career in banking and international development with organizations like the United Nations so she could become a trauma-informed coach, helping people free themselves from the burdens of childhood trauma. She’s also working to destigmatize mental health in black communities through activities like her podcast, Overcoming Your Story.
If you’re looking for ways to heal from your past traumas, or if you want to support someone who needs that healing, Miriam shares ways we can do that using her own personal story.
And if you speak French, finally, I have content for you in your language. Thanks to Miriam’s bilingualism, please stick around to the end because she has a special message for you.
Content Warning: This episode contains references to childhood abuse and trauma, sexual abuse, and racism. Though not graphic, some listeners may be disturbed by the painful stories. Miriam has endured so much that we had to break it up, and she’ll talk specifically about workplace racism in the next episode.
Full transcript available here.
Contact Rosie and find JEDI resources at: changinglenses.ca/
In this episode, we talk about:
[01:17] Miriam as a Black African in Cameroon.
[03:13] Miriam as a Black African in Switzerland.
[04:39] Systemic racism in Swiss schools.
[09:42] Miriam’s traumatic childhood, and what happened to her mother.
[16:28] Her desire for education as a reaction to abuse.
[21:06] Hiding shame beneath a veneer of perfection.
[25:50] How we can help – indications of possible trauma in others.
[28:24] Trauma’s impact on motherhood.
[30:49] Encouraging trauma victims to ask for help.
[33:43] A message of support in French.
Guest Bio and References/Links
Miriam is a Trauma Informed Coach, an African, a mom of three daughters, a blogger and writer. After graduating from the London School of Economics, she built her international career in the fields of banking and international development, working for organizations such as the World Economic Forum, Lombard Odier Private Bank, JP Morgan, the Mastercard Foundation and the United Nations. She now uses her passion for psychology and dedicates her time to coaching others to free themselves from the burden of childhood trauma through sharing the knowledge she acquired on her own healing journey and storytelling. Her wish is to destigmatize mental health and normalize conversations on mental health in black communities.
Find Miriam on: