Jeff Levy, LCSW
Mental Health, Relationships, Trauma, Identity
Jeff Levy, LCSW
(originally posted on Branching Out: The Live Oak Blog, March 2015, updated January 2019)
Almost 15 years ago, before ideas like intersectionality and microaggression were widely understood, and before Donald Trump assumed leadership in the Whitehouse, I was asked to write an article about my experience as a gay man in 2005 versus my experience as a gay man in 1995. The article was published and entitled: Talking Back to Heterosexism: A Decade of Lessons Learned. I shared some of my experiences of prejudice and isolation, and how these experiences shifted over the 10-year period covered in the article.
I didn’t know when I started writing the article that I was writing about microaggressions. When the editor of the magazine sent back my first version with her comments, she wrote a brief paragraph explaining to me that she thought I was really writing about my experience of insidious trauma; the accumulation of microaggressions over time which were having an impact on how I saw myself, my relationships and the world.
Jeff Levy, LCSW
(originally posted on Branching Out: The Live Oak Blog, August 2014)
Abby shot up from her seat and ran out of my office. I asked her to stop and tell me what was wrong, but she left without saying a word. I quickly called her cell phone but she didn’t pick up so I left a message. I tried to reach her later that evening and I still got her voice mail.
I had an urge to continue to reach her throughout the week, prior to her next regularly scheduled weekly appointment, but I also had an inkling that she’d only feel more pressured and anxious. She’d never left my office like that before and I was fairly sure I had unknowingly said or done something that triggered her response. I decided to wait until our next scheduled appointment, hoping she would attend as she had done in the past.
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