How do you heal from racial trauma in the workplace and learn to trust again? I really want to stay at my company but am having a hard time 😭

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You can't trust them. Don't trust them. If you like your company try to see if you can go to a new department, it could be better. But don't go to work trying to trust anyone. I am sorry for the trauma you've been through. I was on meds and went to therapy for several months due to workplace trauma too. I eventually left that company and am at a company that truly values it's employees. I'm off meds and I think just being away from that organization has really helped, and also working with much nicer people.

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I'm at Infosys. What roles are you looking for?

If it’s ongoing, you need to leave or find a way to work with a different group of people that won’t continue to trigger you. It’s very unhealthy to stay - I’ve been there too.

If you’re trying to get over past trauma, seek therapy. Check and see if you have insurance benefits that will cover this. Also, check out the book “Right Within” by Minda Harts. It’s specifically tailored towards black women who have experienced trauma in the workplace. I haven’t yet read it but I’ve heard good things.

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Omg I’m gonna def buy this book thank you so much! I’ve been looking up articles about this because there is no one around me that I work with that validates what I’m saying and it feels like I am almost being gaslighted

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I relate. I left my company, but I think I have PTSD because I find myself being indirectly triggered at my company. I have to remind my self that those were two different groups and I’m safer in my current role. I hope you find relief and some more helpful answers.

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I still have some PTSD too. However it is getting better. Therapy helped me a great deal.

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A couple of questions, have you sought therapy? And also, what is the status of the source of your trauma at work? Was it a coworker who left or is it something that is ongoing and still happening there to this day? The way to approach things would be different depending on the circumstances. In either case, I see you. I hear you. You are not alone.

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I have been in therapy for about 3 years for personal reasons, but I did take an additional leave to seek treatment due to the stress from this but unfortunately could not finish due to financial reasons. A coworker said racist comments to me and I don’t work with this person directly anymore but I felt uncomfortable with how ER, the leaders I report to dealt with it. I was coming to my leader and others to talk about conversations that made me feel uncomfortable and looking for guidance on how to gain trust and I was met with gaslighting and just given no solutions really. Like the situation got brought up again and again because I would be asked to give pros and cons of the position for development reasons and my leader would always question why I had the culture or lack of racial awareness as some of my cons about the area… or ppl would meet with me and ask me how the role was going in general so I feel like these are situations where is had been brought up over and over. In addition to just the regular awkwardness I feel being 1 of the only black ppl on my team, in my temporary assignment team, and wishin my area under my VP

I can relate and honestly the only thing that has helped is talking it out. You can try therapy but I recommend going to a POC therapist. I’ve cried before saying to myself maybe if I was a white man maybe my life would be better… maybe people wouldn’t treat me poorly. But these are things I live with and I have to learn to love myself and others even if they hurt me :(

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I know what you mean! I only choose poc therapists. It’s hard for someone not poc to understand … like talking to a wall at times

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I cannot stress this enough, You cannot heal in the same place that made you sick. I know it's hard to leave a company but do yourself a favor and stay away from those kinds of people. Don't even think about trusting them again because they aren't your friends, friends shouldn't cause you trauma. Staying would cause you more harm than good.

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I had a very traumatic experience at my previous workplace. I’ve since left and am in therapy. I encourage you to seek a therapist. A therapist will give you the tools to navigate your current and future encounters.

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I so relate to experiencing trauma in the workplace and it can be tough to move on and heal. Therapy has helped a lot over the years, having a solid life outside of work, and leaving jobs where I have experienced racism that is not addressed properly. At this point in my career, I will not stay in a place that allows racism to persist.


Still, I don’t think we need to trust people at work. There are a lot of people out there who will literally throw their own mother under the bus for a dollar or for power. Work is work, not a family, not usually true friends especially in corporate spaces. It’s a place where we go to do a job and make money the best way we can. If my intuition is telling me not to trust someone, there is a reason for that. I don’t ignore that feeling/knowing.

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“There are a lot of people out there who will literally thrown their own mother under the bus for a dollar or for power” LISTEN!!! This is a WORD that I had to learn the hard way. I would add, especially when working in male-dominated environments, most of these guys show zero mercy in the name of prestige and advancement and you have no reason to believe they have your best interests in mind unless it is backed by action. I believe that especially these days, as overt displays of masculinity are less socially accepted, men in the workplace are even more savage because it’s one of the last arenas in life these which they can exhibit dominance and feel powerful. I advise all women, especially women of color, especially black women, to really tread lightly with their trust in workplace environments.

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Hey. I experienced the same thing when I was still starting out. I tried to get past it and live normally with the same people but it didn't get better. I had to change company because I was miserable on my last one. That's just me, we all have different ways to cope with things like this.

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Therapy for sure. Depending on the situation, it can feel very isolating and like being gaslit.

But also, look at the systems of the organization: hiring, promotions, meetings, acknowledgements and dismissals. Does the company/leadership evaluate through a lens of diversity? Could you offer confidential feedback or insight to HR that would help overall retention and employee satisfaction?

When you can’t or don’t have the opportunity to leave; sometimes giving yourself a voice in the interim can help.

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I’ve been speaking with other leaders about it outside my area and it has helped.

It is possible to heal from racial trauma in the workplace and learn to trust again. It requires time, patience, and self-awareness. It is also important to have a support system in place, whether that be friends, family, or a therapist.

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I would probably reevaluate your support system if they're invaliding your feelings. Everyone's experiences are different and of all people, your support system should make you feel comforted versus judging you for not getting over it.

If you have the receipts file a claim with the EEOC and get justice

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Yes me too. I hear you.

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I had a traumatic experience at the PGA of America. Couldn’t get over it and had to leave. It still haunts me. But looking at other comments I think I’ll bring this up in therapy.

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I've been experiencing the same. Especially getting the current job, I was very worried what is. I worked on it with my therapist and it's not entirely gone, but getting better.

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Forgiveness is hard, try anyway. Helps me.

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