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Pulling on the Strings of Our Internalized White Supremacy, Interrupting Our Epigenetic Trauma Patterns, and Healing Our Inner Child

Erin Monahan
5 min readJun 10, 2020

When I first started becoming aware of my attachment to whiteness I was furious, sad, confused, lost, stressed, sleepless, panicked, terrified, disgusted, my skin broke out in the most horrible acne break out of all time, I unknowingly went into a depression (didn’t realize this until my newly appointed therapist told me to fill out a questionnaire), and it makes sense because confronting our internalized white supremacy means recognizing how much we have been living a life of lies. And I was wondering why hadn’t my schools or parents prepared me for this?

Maybe you’re feeling resentment. I was. And I still am a little bit. I’m working on healing this resentment and fury because I know it’s partly my inner child feeling abandoned. The other parts are white-centered fragility. Are these things separate? Now, as a 30-year-old woman, it’s just in the last year that I have learned how crucial re-parenting and inner child work is to the ability to genuinely show up and practice anti-racism. It’s hard to show up for others’ pain if, as white people, we are constantly trying to center our own. This entitlement, this constant centering of ourselves, is a result of generations of divorcing ourselves from our humanity — something that should be worked out among white friends and/or a therapist.

I’m absolutely not advocating to center whiteness, or to center our white feelings. We should never burden our non-white friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. with our white guilt/shame/anger. White fragility and entitlement have no place in racial justice.

What I m saying is it’s possible to figure out how to care for ourselves in our own time, so we can avoid centering whiteness in our relationships and work. This means digging up our shadows, embracing them, and being accountable for what we find. This is CRUCIAL to being able to show up for the fight for racial justice in the most genuine, humble, and compassionate way possible.

Our white feelings and fragility can be addressed in therapy, but as conscious adults, we have to make sure we aren’t carrying this into our relationships and work. As white women, we are all Lana Del Ray, Amy…

Erin Monahan

Trauma-Informed Mindset Coach. Host of OFF THE DEEP END podcast. Founder of Terra Incognita Media. Guide at Vesta Business School. Writer + Speaker.