Breaking Generational Cycles with Kay Hillman

Generation after generation, we see the same behaviors—primarily because they’re what we’re taught. Thankfully, you have the opportunity to break generational cycles through your own healing journey and hard work. In this episode, Kay Hillman joins us to share her own journey to healing, forgiveness, and breaking generational cycles.

This is Season 3 Episode 1 of Here’s the Tea with Akua

Here’s the Tea with Akua is a safe space to learn about hot topics, gain a new perspective and have a greater understanding of the people around us. You’ll hear amazing stories of everyday people like you and me. They’ll be spilling the tea and giving us an honest look into their lives. As we discuss topics such as race, relationships, mental health, and how to just figure out the thing called life, we’d love to have you subscribe on Apple PodcastSpotify, or your favorite podcast player!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Ama and Akua, a mother-daughter brand specializing in gift boxes filled with talented BIPOC and LGBTQ+ creators. No matter the occasion, we have a box for you. Use the code AKUA10 for 10% off your first order!

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Important Parts of the Conversation:

Meet Kay (3:05)

Moments that Shaped Kay (3:51)

Acknowledging Your Triggers and Setting Boundaries (8:45)

Healing and Identity (16:06)

Family & Triggers (18:14)

Therapy & Support Groups (25:37)

Yoga & Breath-work (26:55)

Writing Letters to Your Triggers (27:55)

Setting Boundaries (29:01)

Safety for You (30:45)

Giving Grace without Taking the Blame (32:05)

Healing Isn’t a Linear Journey (36:17)

Kay’s Ideal Legacy (39:05)

Words of Encouragement (42:49)

 

Connect with Kay:

mrskayh.com

instagram.com/mrskayhillman

 

Mentioned in this Episode:

The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read

 

Subscribe to the Podcast:

Apple Podcast

Spotify

 

 

Review the Transcript:

Akua Konadu
Welcome to here’s the tea with a kua. That’s me. And this is a place where we have candid conversations about various hot topics. Each week, you’ll be hearing some amazing stories of everyday people like you and me, there’ll be spilling the tea and giving us an honest look into their lives. I believe that our stories are powerful. And when shared, they can change not only our perspectives, but also our lives. No topic is off limits. So have a seat and get ready because we are going to be making uncomfortable conversations comfortable. Welcome back, everyone to another episode of here’s a tea with Akua. And I, as every single topic, am excited, looking forward to this conversation, because I think it’s so needed. I feel like it’s something that’s not talked a lot about. Today, we are talking about breaking generational cycles. And I think all of us in life, we walk through certain things that really do shape us and mold us and at times can really hold us back in life. So I am really looking forward to today’s guests. I’m looking forward to hearing more about her story. And I know you’ll be just as inspired as I am after you hear it. So we have today on the podcast, Kay Hillman, and she is amazing and amazing photographer, amazing coach, mom of two kids who are just a ball. I see them all the time on their Instagram stories. And it’s a trip you have your hands full. But we’re gonna be talking about all the things today. So Kate, welcome. How are you?

Kay Hillman
Thank you for having me. And I’m so excited to be here, girl, just thinking about my hands being full. I hear my toddler like screaming in the background. I’m like, Oh my gosh, how’s it gonna go? But we’re going to be okay, we’re going to just rock with it. Right?

Akua Konadu
We’re gonna run with it, period. Girl, we got it, we got it. So let’s just hop right on in just talking about breaking generational cycles, again, because it’s something that we all everybody in life, we’ve experienced some type of trauma, right? It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, like, you know what I mean, we all have experienced something that has truly changed our perspective, how we operate how we think. And like I said, sometimes it can really hinder us in moving forward in our life. So I just want to ask you you like, what did life look like for you growing up? Like, are there specific things in your life that you can think of that have really shaped you? Yes, yes. So

Kay Hillman
when I first saw this topic, I was like, wow, like, I’m currently on a journey of, you know, healing and just, you know, really self discovery, because I grew up as the oldest of girl, I don’t even know how many siblings I have at this point. Because my, you know, they were just doing what they was doing. So there’s a lot of kids, but I am the oldest. And, and, you know, I found myself from a very young age playing the role of mom, not to say that my mom, you know, isn’t a good mom. But you know, I definitely had to pitch in a lot more than a normal older sister. But and it’s actually interesting, because as an adult, a lot of my siblings call me mom, like, I have my kids, but like, I also have, like a first set of kids, which are my siblings that I raised. And so they call me mom, and even my mom now will be like, you know, okay, like, call your sister and tell her, you know, do XY and Z because it’s like, they won’t listen to her. And so, you know, I grew up in a home and in a situation where I really had to be responsible, like, I didn’t get to be a kid. And I’m realizing that now as an adult, like going through therapy and stuff, just like, wow, like, I really never experienced a true childhood. Like, there were some things that I experienced, obviously, but for the most part, I really did play a role of being a caregiver. And it’s honestly made it to where I show up as you know, a people pleaser, you know, I’m always, you know, going above and beyond and nurturing, or I will volunteer myself to do things, even when I know, I don’t want to do it. But, you know, the the mom, you know, quote, unquote, mom and me just can’t help but like, kind of mother and play that role. And it does affect, you know, different relationships that I have. And also now on the other side of things, as a mom, it’s just made me like, you know, just, I’m not gonna say super burned out, but uh, super aware of like, how I’m engaging with my own kids, because of, you know, having to grow up too early as a child. And when we talk about, you know, generational cycles, there were a lot of, you know, traumatic things that I experienced, at the expense or not at the expense, but like, at the, at the hands of people that were supposed to take care of me. And, you know, even that, as I’ve grown up, and as I’ve, you know, set boundaries and decided, you know, who am I going to allow into my life as an adult? Who am I going to allow into my kid’s life? Like, I feel like a lot of times, you know, our parents, maybe they didn’t think about those things. Like, I know, my parents didn’t think about, you know, how certain decisions they would make, or certain things they would do would, you know, affect us later in life. But it’s just so interesting to me to see, like, wow, you know, they did to us what their parents said to them and what their parents did to them, right. And so it just continues this cycle, and it’s like, at what point are we going to stop doing this? and someone has to decide which it happens to be me. Yeah, me. But somebody has to decide to no longer allow, you know, continued abuse or continued, you know, mismanagement of funds or mismanagement of you know, people’s boundaries and feelings and stuff like that. And it’s hard, right? It’s really hard to do that person to be like, Yeah, I’m not gonna allow this anymore. Like, this is not a life we’re gonna live. But here we are.

Akua Konadu
Yeah, yeah. 1,000%. I mean, there’s so much to unpack there with some of the things that you shared. Number one, I feel like that is very common with a lot of older siblings, where they fall into the either maternal or paternal role of having to take care of their siblings. I feel like that’s also, I think this all communities, but I definitely like, you guys already know this. i My family’s from Ghana, I’m African. That’s also very prominent in the African community as well, that a lot because the you know, just the saying it takes a village, it takes a community. So it’s not just the parents, right, like you are, it’s also the older kids that are taking care of the younger siblings. I definitely, I’m not the oldest, I’m the middle child. But I absolutely fell into some of that role, because I’m the oldest girl. So I can definitely relate

Kay Hillman
being the oldest girl why I tell you.

Akua Konadu
Yeah, exactly. So I can definitely relate to that in the same thing of like, as you’re getting older, you just kind of start to realize that some of these things just don’t feel right or feel normal. Like I guess I’m putting up quotes normal. But you, you just find yourself in a really, like, really awkward and hard place of like, This doesn’t feel right. But everybody my family is normalizing this specific thing. And I just, this just doesn’t say right with my spirit. And so when you kind of really first start to like, you know, make those steps towards breaking that cycle. However, that looks like for you, you definitely get like a lot of pushback. Right? So I guess, too, I’m kind of curious, like, what that looked like for you. I guess let’s backtrack a little bit. Like when you Was there any specific moments in your life where you just like, realize, okay, this specific thing is really like showing up in my life, and it’s really impacting me.

Kay Hillman
Oh, so I want to there was like one specific thing. But I definitely will say that. What, there were several things that kind of happened in my family that just made us just have this kind of break down. But finally, we got to a point and this was like something amongst my siblings and I that we just decided, you know, what? We’re at an age where we don’t have to, like, who’s gonna who’s gonna check me? Right? Who gonna check me? Like, that’s my philosophy on life right now. What are you gonna do? You can’t get me anymore. You can’t, you know, tell me to go to my room. Like, they’re, literally you can do nothing for me. So I think that for me, I just got to a point. And it this especially happened after I got married. I just got to a point where I was like, You know what, I get to decide how I want my life to look, you know, I can continue to, you know, allow people to get me out of character. Like I like, you probably wouldn’t believe this. Like, I used to be like the worst. Like, I would cuss like a sailor like, I just had like the word like, girl I used to be fighting like today, my husband, like was laughing at me because I was wearing all black today. And I had my hair in a ponytail. He was like girl who even fight that he knows he knows the Okay, that he knows who I was, you know, as a result of all the trauma, right? And I think something that people don’t realize or think about until you actually start that healing journey is that the person that you are when you’re experiencing trauma is a survivor, right? Like you are constantly in survival mode, you’re in that literally fight or flight mode. And so either you’re going to shut down or you’re going to fight. Well, I was the fighter. I’m the oldest, like, you know, so I’m protecting the kids. I’m like, doing all these things. So after a while, I just got to a point where I’m like, Okay, now, I’m a grown woman, you know, so like, now, I’m an adult. And that can be really hard. And I know that my, you know, like you, the first daughter, like, it’s so hard to decide to do something different, because everybody is going to be looking at you like, no, like, this is your role, but it’s like, that’s not my role. Like my role was to grow up and be a child, I should be like playing in the dirt somewhere. You know, I’m saying like, I know that like people say like, the whole village thing, but like, that makes me cringe so hard because the village should not include the children. Right? Like, we’re just in this situation, you know, I’m saying so it shouldn’t include me having to step up and be a parent to children that are not even mine, like I left my siblings, but like, this is not my responsibility. This is not my job. You know, and I had to come to that conclusion because there were just so many people they then it started to like, as I grew up, it started to be more than just my siblings, evening, right? It’s already being extended family members. And you know, just even my parents will be like, they need me and I’m like, yo, like, Y’all do know like, I’m a broke college student. There is not much that I can really do for you. You know until I had to like, just come to the conclusion of like, okay, I want I want something different, right? I want a different life. And it meant cutting people off it meant like really shutting down. And that was hard. Like, that was so hard because, you know, you grow up in this tight knit home, but it’s not even tight knit. It’s just a trauma bond. Right, like, and I That sounds so sad to say and like, even my siblings, and I will sit down and talk about this, like, you know, I always wonder like, this is like such a weird thing to wonder. But like someone that has experienced trauma, you’ll get it. But I always wonder, like, when I actually like my siblings, if we weren’t trauma bonded? I don’t know. Right? Like, I don’t know, like, it meant a weird question. But like,

Akua Konadu
it’s, it’s not it’s real, though. Because that’s me and my siblings, like we truly have had these conversations as well of like, what we’ve walked through, especially me and my sister, we are like, we probably would not be friends. Not at all, not at all. 1,000%. And I

Kay Hillman
know like, you know, it’s like siblings, like fight and all that kind of stuff. But it’s like, I don’t know, if we would actually be like family, if we didn’t have a legitimate trauma bond. And we didn’t go through this experience. And we were so traumatized that we had to band together to survive, right. And like, we don’t talk about that. But like, I got to a point where it was like, so I was one of those people in the way that my family has kind of set up. Girls, usually you don’t leave the home until you know, they’re married, right? So a lot like a lot of the women in my family, they tend to stay home like so I was, I think 25 When I got married, so I literally stayed home until I was 25. Like, I didn’t even go off to college, I stayed home. You know, like, that’s something that commonly happens in my family. You know, even when you get married people kind of look at you side, I like oh my gosh, you’re leaving, like you’re gonna leave the city, you’re gonna leave the state. But like, bro, I’m getting full blown marry, like, Yes, I’m gonna, I’m gonna leave, you know, and it’s like, I hear you know, but it’s like, it’s little things like that, that you start to realize that, you know, this is not necessarily like a healthy family dynamic. Like this really is like us continuing on a cycle that is not actually allowing women to have any kind of autonomy, you know, I’m saying or for the girls to actually grow up and experience different parts like, right, like, the boys are praised. The boys are praised for having girlfriends and all these things. But the girls it’s like this weird, like, you can’t have a boyfriend who you’re married, bro, how am I gonna get married? If I got a boyfriend? Come on now, like,

Akua Konadu
hang on, hang on, pick the right partner, Honey,

Kay Hillman
how am I gonna make it make sense, you know, the weird energy of like, boyfriend. Like, it’s just, it’s just too, it was just too much. And so it was like a lot of different things that compound it that finally just got to meet me to a point that I was like, okay, you know, you got to cut people, like, you got to let certain things go. And I had to let go also of like, the actual, like, hurt that was done to me, whether it was physical or mental. I just had to say, You know what, I’m gonna let these things go. Because I know what my life could look like if I walk away from this. But if I stay here, if I stay in the middle of the mess, if I always try to jump in and be the peacemaker, then nothing is ever going to change for me the way that I want it to change. And that was hard to because especially as the oldest, you can look and see things happening. And you want to go in and save someone. But I had to like recognize, you know what, I can’t save everybody, right? I can’t save everybody. And it’s and that was probably the toughest pill for me to swallow once I started to be like, Okay, I am ready to make a change for the kids that come after me that my grandkids, my great grandkids, like I’m trying to make a change for them. So that meant that I would have to leave certain people and certain things and situations behind that was super hard. But I don’t regret that now. Like now I’m like, okay, you know, I’m okay, I’m safe, you know, and I told myself that every day, I’m okay, I’m safe. The kids are okay. Like, I have to tell myself those things. Because if not, I will spiral like, I’ll just be like, you know, even though no one can tell me what to do. Even though my husband is super loving and supportive, all those kind of things. It’s when you live in it, it’s so easy to kind of sink your thoughts into what you’ve experienced. And I’ve learned in my journey of healing, that it’s so important to remind yourself that you’re safe in your own body, if you’re in a safe space, right? If you’re not in a safe space, I encourage you to go get the help that you need, whether it’s through therapy, or if you can physically remove yourself, right, like I had to physically remove myself. And if you can do those things that’s going to really help you feel more safe in your body. But I mean, I feel like that’s like the first step I had to make in order to really break some of those cycles that we’re continuing to happen. Oh,

Akua Konadu
there’s so many good things that you have shared the whole time. I mean, it’s so so good. Number one I loved what you shared to just even in like in regards to identity, like you had said something earlier as you’re just like walking through your healing and because also to like I would internalize that like I literally felt like yes, like trauma, right. That’s where I’m going back to it now like yeah, what you said in work. arts to just trauma in our identity, like when we’re walking through things and how we act a certain type of way, that’s not who we actually are. So, I think that’s such a good reminder of having grace for ourselves, when we really try to go back and think about certain situations that have happened to us. It truly is a trauma response. And like you were just doing your best during the time to survive. And I think that is such a crucial, crucial piece, because I feel like even when I was walking through healing in my areas of life of were like cycles that I wanted to break, I would just be in my mind, constantly on this hamster wheel, replaying certain things of how I could have behaved better or change things. And I just remember, my therapist reminded me of that of like, that was how you were in a state of trauma, you’re not in that state now. And I feel like, it’s so easy to forget that when you’re like walking through healing, so I love that you shared that. But I also love to just how you highlighted that it really isn’t an easy thing to do. Because, and also to like, however, that looks like for you. I just remember with myself, when I was putting up boundaries, wherever I did, to keep myself safe, just in general, right? Like when you are kind of it doesn’t. When we’re even talking about these things, we’re not talking about, like, even some certain situations where it’s not like this major, you know, horrible thing happen. It’s whatever you need, even if it can be something that’s very miniscule, that still triggers you, removing yourself from that situation and the people that you need. So like, you can come back and be grounded. I think it’s such an important key because families trigger us in ways that you do not realize, right? No, for real, like my family triggers me in a very, very different way than when I’m triggered out in the public by, you know, Susie down the street. So I’m always like, I have to remind myself how to ground myself. It’s so funny you say that, because,

Kay Hillman
you know, there’s a lot of like things people say like when the holidays come around like about you know how to deal with your family, right? Because family is triggering family, like, your like family is just the first time that I realized you could have dinner with your family. And you can tell jokes. And the joke is not about you was when I was at dinner with my husband’s family. And I was like, wow, so you guys tell jokes. Like don’t talk about each other. Like, the joke is about something else. That’s like funny, but it’s not like laughing at me. And it’s just like, wow, like, you don’t realize just how toxic family can be until you like, remove yourself and see yourself in a different setting. And I just, sometimes I think about it, and I’m like, wow, like, why is it that way? And it’s because at some point, somebody decided that like, this is not what we do. So like when I talked to taste parents about it, you know, because I was like I was just so fascinated by and I literally sat at the table is like you guys don’t make jokes about each other. And like his dad was like, Yeah, we don’t do that. Because that’s what our parents did to us. And it wasn’t funny. And I’m like paying like. So this is what it means to break a cycle. Like that was the first time but I was able to see like, oh, that’s what it looks like to break a cycle. Like you have to decide that you’re not going to continue to do or continue to put yourself in the situation that has been done to you. And and my dad changed my whole worldview of like, what was possible for me. And like going back to that piece of just, you’re not the person that you that you are when you’re in a trauma like in a response or like you’re triggered. Like that also, is something that you should think about when you are in that situation again, right. So now I know if someone is able to get me to the point of cussing. Okay, this is my not self, right? This is not, this is not who I normally am, right? And so because of that I’m able to say to myself, Okay, I know that I’m feeling this way. So let me go ahead and remove myself, right? I can do what I want out, right? There’s no body, nobody on this earth that can hold me down to do anything, right. So when I am getting myself to that point, it’s just a great like, not great, because nobody wants to feel triggered at any point. But it’s like, at least I know, when I’m getting to that point. I know, I need to remove myself. And so it’s so interesting, because my family and I have this thing. And it’s actually not funny when you think about it. But it’s funny to us, I guess. But we have this thing where we say like we can’t spend more than 48 hours together. And it’s like we have a limit. Like we have a family time limit after 48 hours, it’s time to go and like it’s so true. Like after about two days, like we’re kind of done with each other. But that’s that’s also like, Well, it’s funny. It’s also good because we have that boundary, right? We had that boundary to say like, this is what works for us. And I recently had my sister visit me and she actually wasn’t me for longer than two days. The siblings, like our relationship with the siblings is different than like, you know, all the family so we can be around each other a lot longer. But my sibling was with me. And she mentioned that when she was spending time with another sibling, she started having night terrors again. And it made me like that it just it just made me like it just broke me like in that moment is like even just thinking about making me emotional because like it really broke me because I was like wow, like we have such a trauma bond that sometimes being around each other. We’re triggered by things that we experienced together. You know, I’m saying like we’ve experienced such horrific things together and that it’s almost like we can’t always be in the room together. Because it triggers our bodies to think like, oh my gosh, is the person coming? That was going to harm us. And like, it wasn’t, we didn’t harm each other. But there were people that were there that did do things. And so, yeah, it’s just like, it’s just like, wow, you know, like, I, you know, it’s just makes me sad, like, to think that those are the things that we have to work through and heal from. But it also like, makes me even more proactive now, as a mom myself, to pay attention, right to pay attention to what’s happening, pay attention to what’s happening with the kids, make sure that I know who was actually watching my kids and all the which, I mean, that’s a whole other conversation, because nobody watched my kids, but you know, there but it makes me you know, a lot more mindful of those things. But you know, really like breaking these these generational, you know, you can call them curses, you can call them cycles, whatever they are, it really is just so it’s such an emotional and taxing journey, to be honest. And it’s something that you honestly have to walk through every single day. Because like, yeah, I cook in the kitchen and smell something. And I’m triggered, like, and it’s just like, damn, like, and now there goes my day, like, I have to go back and figure out how to ground myself. And I got, like, sometimes I just have to, like, I’ll call Tay. And I’ll be like, listen, I just need you to like, I just need you to be here so that I know that I am safe. Because for what, like, for whatever reason, my body can’t even register that I’m in my home, and that it’s okay, like, I can’t even register, I need you to like, help me get there, you know, and it’s just like, Yeah, wow. You know, like, do we want that for the next generation? No,

Akua Konadu
no, exactly. I think it just goes to the point of how deep these things run. And again, it’s like what you mentioned before, it’s what happened with your parents. And then it just keeps going forward. And when and that’s something even with my family, right? Like, they’re saying that my mom but and I will say like, I will even just with taste family, like how you mentioned like with his family and his parents, they were like, well, our parents did that. And we didn’t like it. And so it’s really interesting to how you I see my mom also breaking generational curses now with her grandkids. So I’m like, you know, you go mom, but I think and I think sometimes it takes those events for people to kind of realize, but I think again, just everything that you shared even with your sister, her body literally is responding to that the trauma, it just runs so, so deep. And it is a very, very taxing thing, especially something that we’re like these things that we didn’t ask for. But we are forced to have to navigate. It’s it’s a really, really, really tough burden to carry. But you also think about like what’s on the other side of the future that you’re building, especially you being a mom and your kids like you’re providing your kids with an amazing childhood where like they would never have to experience any of the things that you experience. Looking to make a lasting impact with a meaningful gift. Look no further than a bong Akua. As a mother daughter business, we specialize in providing gift boxes filled with products from talented bipoc and LGBTQ plus creators, whether it’s a birthday anniversary, or simply just because a Monica has the perfect gift for any occasion, visit our website Amana chua.com. And don’t forget to use the code Akua 10, at checkout for 10% off your first order, start creating your unforgettable gift experience today by exploring a mA and Akua at a mA and akua.com. That’s a MAANDAKU a.com. Now let’s get back to the episode. And so I’m sure that’s just such an a wonderful, amazing feeling of like, they get to have a happier childhood than I had, you know what I mean? Like you were providing them more than what you got. And so I think that’s also like such a beautiful thing that you see that that you see the problem and that you’re facing it head on. Like, I feel like it’s such a brave, brave thing to do. And I feel like it’s really going against the grain of what your family is doing is not an easy thing at all. And so you’ve already mentioned, like a few of things that you’ve already that you already do, like putting up boundaries, but what are some other steps that like you have taken to find healing in in trying to break these cycles.

Kay Hillman
The number one thing that has helped me and I know people talk about this all the time, but it really is going to therapy. And you know, I know that like you know, sometimes therapy isn’t as accessible and all that kind of stuff. And so what I have done is, at first I was going to therapy and there was a period of time where I couldn’t afford therapy. So I actually found support groups, support groups for different experiences that I had gone through. And a lot of support groups are free, you know, like they you can just find out when they are where they are. You can look on boards, if you’re in Facebook groups, you can now I love this about Facebook, but Facebook allows you to post anonymously inside of a group. So you can post anonymously and just ask like, hey, is there a support group for this and then people will gladly give you resources to get support that are free right and so now you have safe spaces to go to that are free if you need it to be free, right of course if you can pay you do that. But you have these resources, you have options to go get support. So for a while, I was going to like different support groups. And those were really helping me. And so I will say first and foremost, even though it wasn’t fun to talk about talking about it in therapy, or talking about it with a support group that really helped. And I will say that, I feel like I progressed so much quicker with just being able to, like find that safety, and myself by going to those things. Some other stuff that are like a little bit more out of the box, I would say is like doing things like yoga breath work, like really doing like somatic things. And like, I know that sometimes like those things can be considered Whoo. But really, they they’re scientific, right? Like, it’s, it’s you helping your body and your nervous system system regulate itself. And that’s what a lot of us need, when we’ve experienced traumatic experiences, or when we are just, you know, trying to change the reality that we want for ourselves, right, because our bodies are designed to protect us. So we have to figure out a way to get back grounded into our bodies. And so different somatic type of things will help like, you know, I did a lot of yoga, and I did a lot of what do you, I can’t even think of what it’s called right now. But breathwork, I did like a lot of breath work. And at first I was just like, This is so stupid. But then I would like be crying in the middle of it. And I was like, Oh my gosh, like this really does. I’m literally releasing traumas. And whenever I’m like having a trigger, those things will help. Right, something else that I also did that just was really it, I feel like that it just really kind of sealed. The deal for me is I actually wrote letters, I wrote letters to not my trauma, but I wrote letters like to my triggers. So I would write a letter. And I would basically, like take my power back from the moment. And I just found that to be so freeing, because I grew up knowing, like having a deep knowing that what I had to say and how I felt didn’t matter. And that is hard to break when you deal with that for 25 years, right? Or however many years you live with it right? That is a very hard, like mine thing to break. And so I just decided one day, I don’t even know what made me decide this. I think I just started drilling. And I was like, I don’t know what to write. And so I started like writing letters to like my triggers and writing letters to like, different people that it did things to me because I knew that, you know, maybe I’ll never say anything to them. And that’s fine, right? Like, nobody is saying you have to confront every single person that does something to you or confront. Like maybe that’s not what you wanted to do. It wasn’t it’s still not something that I really care to do. I just much rather not deal with you, like, I’m at that stage in my life. But like writing those letters really helped. And then, of course, like, I feel like all people say this, but really setting boundaries, right? So the two day boundary, it like it really is a boundary, like I don’t spend more than two days with a lot of people. Like, I’m like, this dinner was nice, I’m going home now. Like, I’m not even saying in town, I’m driving back home, like I’m trying to drive hours home, it’s fine. But like, you know, like, those are boundaries for me. But also even going going a step further with my kids, I have very hard boundaries around how people interact with them, right? There are some people that have zero contact with my kids. And I don’t feel bad about that. And it was scary to set the boundary. But once the boundary was set, that was it, and I enforce it, because your girl is always there. Okay, and I’m not even going to play the game of, you know, oh, that’s there, this, this, that and the third. So they should you know, no one should see anything, right, like, people that I say can see. And that’s taken, you know, me developing a bit of a backbone, right? And I feel like things like therapy and all the stuff that I just mentioned, like that helped me get to that point. But yeah, I feel like those are the key things that kind of helped me you know, and even to this day, I still do all these things to kind of help me stay grounded and especially now I know my kids are not a trigger but what you do to my kids can be a trigger for me. And so now I’m in a season of navigating okay, you know obviously I can’t just lock my kids in a closet and just be us forever you know navigating how I’m going to grow I want to but I know I’m like he will break out girl K will break out one so quick. Okay, it’s ridiculous and he will bust his brother out too. So I’m like I can’t let them away forever and let the one thing them so you know really learning how to just stand up for myself and also just I create safety for myself by doing things on my own terms. I know this can be like a little bit almost like okay, how do you like control everything but like for me I like to go to people so that I can leave because when they come to my house you know people are like people don’t know when to go like Oh, like you can’t tell you overstayed your welcome this is so weird so like I you know even though it’s a lot of work to pick up two kids girl I will pack them babies up and how come and see you and then when k is ready to go when k is feeling annoyed See you later goodbye girl Tiana, you love her like go give them a kiss if you want to. I don’t I don’t force my kids to do anything but like you know if you want to give them a DAP or something like let’s go you know because mom was ready like you know so yeah, I tried to like kind of control as much of the environment as possible, but also I set really hard boundaries of like, Hey, don’t have surprised people over and like now people like Dan Kay, like we can count on her to leave. Because listen, if someone comes over and I’m not expecting them, I leave, you know, I know that like, it’s at first people thought it was rude, like, Oh, she’s rubella? Oh, well, I don’t. Yeah, like I don’t, you know, and you kind of mentioned this about like, before about, you know, how, how we’re able to now like are how I’m able to now as a mom, you know, really navigate and like, create a better future for my kids. And one thing I want to say is, like, I recognize that everybody, like you said, you said, this is very beginning, everybody is, has experienced some form of trauma, right. And I hate to know this, but I know at some point, my kids are going to experience something, right? Whether it was, you know, an unintentionally by me or whatever, like, they’re going to experience something. And so I just like to also, like, remind myself that, you know, now that I’m on the other side of my healing journey, where as I’m moving through the other side of my healing journey, I can also give grace to people that have done things to me without taking the blame on myself, right? Like, it’s not my fault. But I can also recognize where they may have had limited tools, or resources to make a better decision, you know, and for some people, you know, I still, in my mind, and I say this all the time, like, as a, as a person, I understand. But as a mother, I don’t get it, you know, or, as a person, you know, like, you know, I’m always able to kind of separate the things. And so I just try to remind myself, even with my journey with my kids, there’s a book called the book you wish your parents read or like something like the story you wish your parents read. It’s a really phenomenal book, just teaching you about like child development, and like how you, you know, the psychology behind like, the parent child relationship. And it’s such a great book, because it really allowed me to just give my parents some grace. And while sometimes I’m like, dang, I really think that this is inexcusable. I’m also like, you know what, it’s fine, because I’m choosing to do something different and do something better. And it may not be perfect, right? My kids and 20 years may come back and say, Hey, mom, like I didn’t like when you did that. But guess what? I want my kids to come back and tell me that they didn’t like that. I don’t want them to feel like me, where I can’t go back and say these things where I gotta write it down on a piece of paper and burn it right. So that right there is already breaking one cycle, because now my kids know, they can always communicate, if Mommy does something, or his daddy does something that you don’t like, you can communicate that with me, right? And let’s work through it together. Right? So it’s not that things are going to be perfect. But I like knowing that we’ve broken the cycle that you feel silenced, right, like you feel like you can’t say that you because you’re a child, you know, you don’t have any say like, Nah, bro, that’s not how this works. Like, what’s going on here? So

Akua Konadu
good. I love you. You’re amazing. I just want you to know that number one. Just everything even just the way of like, how the steps that you’re taking even to find healing I you just shared so many useful and impactful tools. And then even just the cycles that you’re breaking even as a parent, I feel like it’s, it’s so number one refreshing and I like just appreciate so much your transparency, because it’s truly such a gift. And it’s just this is what like these are these are literally Why do we have these conversations on the podcast because I feel like, you know, as business owners, we’re more than our business. Like there’s so many different aspects of our lives that just aren’t really fully shared. And so I’m just so appreciative that you were just sharing all of this, I loved what you shared, of just even just writing to yourself and burning it. I don’t burn I rip but I do write to myself.

Kay Hillman
I actually yeah, I’m so dramatic. But like ripping,

Akua Konadu
do whatever you want to do what works for you, that sounds like it is working for you. And I love everything you do even from like moving your body you know, anything therapy, honestly, like I’m in therapy that is such an important important aspect of really walking through and healing because it’s not an easy thing at all. But I love the at home things that you’re doing as well, just in your every day to be able to manage, and then what you’re doing for your kids. I think it’s just it’s phenomenal. And I love that. So I hope if you’re listening to like, you found some really useful things to try because again, healing is not it’s not a one size fits all like you have to really think about like know yourself, what works for you what doesn’t work for you. But it truly is like an ongoing journey. I feel like we’re never fully healed ever. So I love all of the things that you’re sharing because I’m like, these are that’s so useful. It’s so useful to how like you can show up and really change the way that you show up in your world. And so I loved all of that. So many good things. Feeling you feeling good because I’m feeling good, or we don’t keep going.

Kay Hillman
I know I’m feeling good too. And you know, I think just like with what you said, I think there’s something really key to just recognize is that it’s not a linear journey, like the healing path like when you’re on the journey of healing. It’s not just one size fits all. Like you said, and it’s also like, up and down. Like I said, there are times that I could be just in the kitchen, I could just like smell something or think of something, and boom, I’m triggered. And so it’s a matter of just like having an entire toolbox of things that you can use and tap into. But also recognizing that, like, you may go through a few therapists, you may go through review some work groups, right, you may have to, like, it may take some time. But stay the course, right? Like, it’s worth it to, like, keep trying to find your people. And they’re going to be moments and seasons of life, where you still feel because like, I still have these, I mean, just being fully transparent, I have these seasons, where I’m like, I gotta be the only person in the world like it, like can’t nobody understand this, and that those seasons happen. And that’s why it’s so valuable. And so important to have those tools to have, you know, some sort of community somewhere that you can go to when you are in that moment, because a lot of people can actually relate to that feeling. I used to think that like nobody else could could relate to like, oh, you know, the firstborn, the first daughter, you know, the first daughter experience, or, you know, a lot of times you feel like people can’t relate to your experience. But one thing that I have found is just by having, you know, different resources that you can tap into having a therapist having a support group, like, it may take some time for you to find your people, but it’s going to be so important to your healing journey, we are in the darker seasons, right? Because there are me, you know, I hate to say it, but like, there are a lot of, you know, not a lot, but there are, you know, ebbs and flows, right, there are ups and downs, right. And so when you’re in that down, it’s just so important to have people and resources and techniques and tools that you can tap into, to really support you so that you can lift yourself back up and kind of come back on the other side, and so that you can navigate the day to day, you know, experience of whatever your triggers have, you know, left you with?

Akua Konadu
Yes, I love that. And I forgot to mention earlier, yes, support groups, I used to do support groups as well. And I still do sometimes because even I think I’ve done it as well as an additional thing to therapy because yes, they are free. And it’s really nice. When you have other people from all parts of the world, especially now virtually, that has been really cool, that are going through the same struggle that you’re going through. And there’s just no judgement, it’s a safe space. And like, people just get it and you don’t have to explain yourself at all, which is what I love, love about support groups. So wanted to leave like, you know, add to that, like, Don’t sleep on support groups, y’all because they can be so life changing, honestly, and super, super healing. Okay, so I wanted to ask, this is a funny question. What kind of legacy do you hope to leave behind for your family?

Kay Hillman
Oh, a legacy? This is such a good question. So the biggest legacy that I want to leave behind, so it’s kind of two things, okay. One legacy actually directly, like, involves my kids, I want to leave a legacy, where my kids and my grandkids especially because I have boys, I really want to like raise empathetic, and kind men. That’s just a huge deal to me. And I want to raise men with integrity. Not saying that men don’t have those things. But I mean, a lot of things don’t got a lot of sense.

Akua Konadu
I feel like society, I mean, literally, I mean, it’s a patriarchal society that has really allowed, you know, just like, literally, the bar is low for war is a standard of women that women are upheld compared to men. I feel like it’s just very, very low. But yeah,

Kay Hillman
part of my legacy, no, but like, for real, though, like, I still I still agree with that. And part of my legacy really involves, like, I want my kids partners to be like, dang, thank you, you know, I’m saying like, I’m so glad that this person is not going to add to my trauma, right? That’s what I want. Like, I that’s what I want for them. And so you know, whatever, man, whoever they, you know, end up being like, that is like, the bar that I have, like that I’m setting for them. So that’s like one part of my legacy. But then the other part of my legacy, I think I really want to just, I just want to leave an impact on the people that are closest to me, I feel like that’s for me, you know, like, I feel like some people have this, like, legacy that like involves, you know, hundreds of people 1000s of people but like, for me, I am okay with the idea that my legacy is just making change in my circle. And that circle looks like my siblings. That circle looks like my parents. It looks like, you know, people that I go to church with like, That, for me is enough. And it’s kind of crazy to say this, because I’m also like building a business that’s doing like a lot of big things. So it’s like, you know, really, you want something small, but I really do because at the end of the day, what really matters is like, what someone can say about me based on their relationship with me, right? And so, if I’m not a good person to you, like intimately then it’s like, you know what, like, it almost looks like I’m being a fake. If I’m good to everybody else, you know, I’m saying sorry, the legacy that I want to leave is I want everyone to be able to say you know what she was in my life and she was in my life for the better now always See, there are a few people like some exes. Oh, sorry. So I’m really sorry about that we’re going through a dark time. Like, there’s probably we have to say much about me. But for the most part, no, I just gotta be honest, I gotta be honest. You know, the legacy I want to leave, I just want people to like, when they think of me, I want them to think like, dang. Like, she really impacted my life or changed my life for the better, even if it was something small, right? Like, a small conversation or, you know, someone said, like, someone remembers the girl that smiled at them on a bad day, right? Like, that is like, for me, that is legacy. And I know, that’s kind of like, not like a big thing. But I feel like it’s an important thing. And if everybody did that, imagine, like, what the world would be like, you know,

Akua Konadu
it is it’s a very impactful. World peace. No, I feel like that’s very impactful. Like, I think that’s a big thing. You know what I mean? I think that’s what matters most is how are you changing lives, the people closest to you, right? That’s where you make the most impact in your smaller spaces in those most intimate spaces. So I love that. So please don’t minimize that. I think that’s so valuable. So that is amazing. Yes, girl, do better be better. Okay, so any words of encouragement for those who are working on healing and breaking their own generational cycles?

Kay Hillman
Who, okay, the biggest thing that I’m going to say, and this is something that something I wish someone would have said to me, and I’m going to speak to the person that like, you’re in the middle of it, it gets better. Yeah, like, it gets better. Tomorrow, like, tomorrow will be better. And I know, it doesn’t feel like that right? Now. I know that, you know, you may be having to make a lot of decisions. And maybe you’re even doing some things that just feel full on scary. But like, it gets better. And the biggest thing is remembering that you have control of you. So you can remove yourself, you can choose not to engage anymore, right? Like these are decisions that you can actually make. And I encourage you to make them when it’s safe, right? Because I recognize that sometimes you can be in a situation that’s not safe. And so you know, I’m sending anybody that’s in that kind of situation, so much love, but if you’re really on like a healing journey, I just want you to remember that, like, you may be like in the thick of the feelings right? Now. They may feel uncomfortable. They may feel, you know, like, confused, like, I’ve gone through feelings. And I’m like, What the heck is going on? Like, what is this? I know it can feel like that. But it starts to make sense. Like as you continue to trust the process, like if you’re going with therapy, or you know, even if you’re just doing like, I used to think that like breathwork was so crazy, like, what are we doing here? But the more I did it, the more it started to make sense, right? And so I just encourage anybody on their healing journey to just not give up, right? It’s so easy to give up when it starts to feel hard, because you’re you’re used to your trauma, trauma feels comfortable. I hate that. I hate that. Trauma feels comfortable in that crazy. It’s so crazy. It feels uncomfortable. It feels scary. It feels hard to choose healing, but I promise you, if you stick to it, you will like who you are on the other side. I feel like that’s the other piece. At least that’s what I experienced. I experienced like, you know, am I going to become boring? Am I going to become this? You know, am I actually mean you know, like, what, like, you know, because people tell me Oh, you’re so rude. You’re this year that I’m not rude. You know, I’m saying that was a respect was a trauma response that I was acting out of. I like who I am on the other side. Right? So I’m encouraging you like you’re gonna like who you are on the other side. I promise you you’re a whole different and you’re who you were called to be on the other side.

Akua Konadu
You literally just spoke like literally I feel like I’m looking at my own life when just hearing some of the things that you said because it was those were some things that same things that were said about me literally how my family describes me that like you know, I was rude I was really mean and my sister you know she was my little sister but she eventually like as we got older defended me it was like You do realize like she behaved this way because of trauma. So anyways, yeah, I mean, it truly is. It’s It’s true like the trauma that you’ve walked through literally was show sides of you that just didn’t You didn’t even know was there and that’s how you can’t punish yourself for that. And I think just to add to what your you said too, is that you are worthy of healing right like you are loved regardless of what you walk through. Regardless of even how you reacted or what you did like you were still loved and you were still worthy of a good life you are worthy of having good things and being loved by the people closest to you. So however that looks like go find that and find joy and find peace and even if you don’t have that today, it’s on the other side like what Kay said so this conversation has been so good and I just appreciate you so much for just sharing pieces of who you are with us like I hope if you’re listening that you enjoyed it but thank you so much Kay for coming on anything else you want to add

Kay Hillman
No, there’s nothing else I want to add, I just want to say like, this is my first time actually having this kind of conversation, I usually don’t share this thing. Like in my Instagram Stories, maybe I’ll talk a little bit about Yeah, like, for real in my Instagram stories I’ll like mention my healing journey. But I’ve never said any of the stuff that I’m saying right now. So I just appreciate you asking me these questions, but also creating a space for these types of conversations. Because it really is important. And it really does, like, this trickles over into every aspect of your life. Like, it’s not just like, your own, you know, like, your yourself personally, or like your relationship with your kids or your spouse, your spouse or your business, right? Like, it really does, like trickle into every single area. And we don’t talk about it, right, like, we just kind of, you know, especially as millennials, we go out for hot and stuff, and not not even hiding, but like, depressing, it’s depressing. You know, cuz we’re like, like, come on now. Everything traumatic, you know, like, I mean, seriously, you know, there’s always something hitting us upside the head. So it’s like, you know, whatever. But it’s like, you know, also, we can also say, like, hey, this probably should not be normal, right? Like, it’s okay to say those things. And so I just love that this was like, a space to talk about it. And it just really encourages me to also continue to speak on this because I like, I know that this is not an isolated experience, right? Well, my experience is unique to me. The concept of breaking generational cycles and curses, like it’s not just a me thing, right? Something that we’re all walking through and trying to navigate. And so I just feel like it’s so important for us to continue talking about these things. And really being like, authentic about like, what the experience is like, because the messy middle of like, going through that healing journey. It’s so ghetto, like, it’s just so God, what are you doing here? What are you doing here?

Akua Konadu
This is stupid. This is dumb. I couldn’t agree more.

Kay Hillman
I couldn’t agree more. But I just really love that, like, you’ve created the space for us to like, have these kinds of conversations and just, you know, just being able to, like, bring this out without it being like, you know, oh, let’s deep dive into your trauma. Like, no, we’re not gonna do all that. But it’s just like, I really just love what you’ve created here. And so I just really appreciate being here today. And this was a great conversation.

Akua Konadu
Oh, my gosh, thank you so much for that. I mean, that’s, that’s why I wanted to do this podcast is I love being able to hear people’s stories. And let’s just dive in and talk about just everything about life. Because adulting is hard being I love being in my 30s way more than I love and then my 20s. But adulting is hard and life is hard and trying to navigate that, especially in this world that we’re in today. I think, you know, just hearing people’s journey just lets us know that we’re not together, that we’re not together that we’re not alone. And we are in this together. So I appreciate you. Thank you so much for coming on the show. And I hope that you enjoyed today’s episode. And until next time, everybody. Thanks for tuning in. Thank you so much for tuning into here’s the tea with a cooler. If you are loving the podcast, I’d be so honored if you go ahead and hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast player and leave me a review. This helps grow the podcast so more people can be impacted by the story shared by powerful guests like in today’s episode. Until next time, go make uncomfortable conversations a little more comfortable.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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