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Tonight with Lester Kiewit
Lisa Joshua Sonn on Trauma

Lisa Joshua Sonn on Trauma

Guest : Lisa Joshua Sonn |

 You are not what happened to you :

I believe we underestimate the impact on trauma on our lives. Trauma is not about
language. It is about feelings, memories, messages, fears, doubts, anxiety, vulnerability
and so many common triggers.
Mostly triggers are everyday things: a banging door, a setting sun, footsteps towards
your bedroom, quick walking behind you, the sound of thuds behind a closed door,
someone shouting, a stare, a look, the sound of a belt or zip being undone, the rustle of
leaves in a bush as you walk by, the list of triggers is endless.
They talk about the fight or flight response to trauma, but what about freeze? When we
are traumatised we choose one of these options, some people take the risk and the
courage to fight back and others take the personal safety option of fleeing the situation.
There are countless examples in our lives where people flee, there are children who
choose to live in the streets, there are adult children who choose to move to other
countries, or there are those who as soon as they have the means will terminate toxic
relationships which cause them trauma.
There is no wrong way to deal with trauma as in my opinion, we are individuals born to
connect with other people and have relationships. Babies yearn for a parents’ touch,
toddlers are always seeking attention and acknowledgement. No man or woman is an
island and can possibly operate in isolation from the rest of the world. Many try, even
though it is unnatural. We need human contact, support, acknowledgement and love.
As people we have become so accustomed to masking hurt, pain and trauma. We have
put on pretences to ensure we navigate through the challenges, drawing as little
attention to ourselves as possible. The other options include people living in the misery
of the trauma and not really knowing what their options are. They become their trauma
as opposed to counting the trauma as something or many things that happened to them.
They are not what happened to them, it is part of their lives and their history. There are
various processes we can embark on to not take our trauma into our futures. We must
be willing to take a look and to change how we see it. Trauma is part of life. Some get
more than others; few escape this life without trauma.
Eventually we all have choices to make and it is the quality of our relationships that
inform the actions we take. When we feel supported and heard, it is easier to share life
challenges with professional therapists, close friends or members of your family. I have
discovered that sharing with people I trusted helped me to heal and to move on from
the events. It isn’t an easy process and it is a lot more complex and difficult until you
choose to acknowledge that you have been hurt by someone or others whom you loved,
trusted or had an unfortunate traumatic engagement.
A reality for me is that the world is moving so fast, everyone has a “get on with it! get
over it!" attitude. These approaches have not worked ever. Until you work on healing
and being in recovery from trauma, it will not leave your thoughts, your actions and
reactions in the world.
We need to know our traumas, we will do ourselves a service acknowledging what
happened and what we made it mean. Sometimes, what happened is so traumatic that
we make it mean something about ourselves: I am weak, I am not enough, I am not
worthy, I won’t amount to anything, it is me not them. The other outcomes of trauma are
that the person who is traumatised has no other role model but to cause trauma
through the way they show up in the world. There is a truth which teaches us that hurt
people hurt people. Nobody is born to be a bully or to cause pain and problems with
their being. We are all formed by our experiences and what we witness as normal.
For me, trauma always goes with violence physical or silent violence, every type of
abuse where one person or group dominates another. It is always interesting for me to
hear the stories of some people who appear to have the most successful, enviable lives
or jobs and when we actually listen to where they come from, many made a decision
when they were young to leave a legacy, to prove their worth or to never be poor or
vulnerable again.
Sometimes the trauma we experience runs our lives, we become like machines. We lose
our empathy, we are defensive, we are doubtful or suspicious. It really is such a waste
that more of us don’t take the time to show each other love, empathy and
understanding. A problem halved is a problem shared. Not everyone who wants to know
our stories are comforters, some are just curious busy bodies but we get to choose how
and whom we trust. It is such a personal process; it takes small steps or big audacious
ones. We get to choose.
There is an inspirational story about two brothers who grew up in a violent, abusive
home. The one became a loving family man and the other became a violent abusive
adult. When asked how and why, both of their responses were: "When you come out of a
home like that, what are your choices!?"
As a society many live with wounds and traumas, we need to be kinder to ourselves and
to others. It is actually pretty hard to be kind to ourselves and being kind to others is a
lot more rewarding than living alongside, and not with, the groups you associate with.

More episodes from Tonight with Lester Podcast

Dodge ball SA

21 November 2019 10:03 PM

Guest : Nicholas Oebell

If you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.... thats according to Patches O
Hoolihan, from the hit comedy Dodge ball
The SA Dodge Ball team are in Stellenbosch taking part in a Dodgeball African Cup
2019 fixture.
Known as the Green Mamba's the team consists of men & women from Cape Town &
Johannesburg . Nicholas Oebell, Managing Director of DodgeBall SA joins us on the
line from Stellenbosch

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The History of Drag in South Africa

21 November 2019 9:40 PM

Guest : Barry Reid

An interesting article in The Conversation by TL McCormick explored the history of
Drag Queens in SA , The Western Cape has the oldest drag queen contest in the
country, Miss Gay Western Cape, which became official in 1996 which became official
in 1996 but was held underground since the 50's
To take us through this interesting history we are joined by Barry Reid , organisor of the
Miss Gay Western Cape

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Hiking with Tim Lundy

21 November 2019 9:00 PM

Guest : Tim Lundy
             Davine Sanson

We are joined by Tim Lundy & snake catcher Davine Sanson to talk about snakes you
might encounter on hikes & what to do & who to call when you find a snake on your

Snakes on the mountain :

Tim's details:
FB: Cape Town Hiking with Tim Lundy
Twitter : @hikingcapetown
You Tube: Cape Town Hiking
Instagram : capetownhiking

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Multiple Hawks Arrests

21 November 2019 8:39 PM

Guest : Solly Moeng

Today was a busy day for the Hawks, they arrested ANC MP Bongani Bongo on charges
of corruption today, they also arrested 10 others in connection with the Amathole
municipality toilet corruption case.
have we turned a corner in State Capture or are the Hawks picking low hanging fruit?

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Lisa Joshua Sonn - Why our laaities are dying

20 November 2019 9:56 PM

Guests : Lisa Joshua Sonn
               Alex Tabisher|columnist with the Cape Argus

Tonight on our weekly slot with Lisa Sonn we have a guest, Alex Tabisher, a columnist
with the Cape Argus who wrote an thought provoking column" Dear coloured parent,
our laaities are dying..."

Dear coloured parent
Our laaities are dying...
Our laaities are dying because 5-year-old Joshua was never taught to respect his elders.
Our laaitjies are dying because it was cute when 2-year-old Chad learnt his first swear
They are dying because when teachers sent rude Kyle home, Mommy came to school to
defend her baby...
We are dying coz in Grade 4 daddy told me to go back and fight Keenan, “Don’t leave it
like that...” instead of just teaching me how to walk away
Our laaities are dying coz mommy buys 10-year-old Jade the most expensive takkies
just to make up for not always being around...
They are dying because Uncle Shaun couldn’t discipline Raldo...
“You are not his father, leave my child alone.”
Our laaities are dying because self-respect went out the window...
Our laaities are dying not because we are stupid, or have no ambition, or want to live
like that...
Coloured parent, our laaities are dying because we never had good role models to look
up to...
Most people will be quick to say it's the fault of government that we can no longer
discipline or kids but the issue runs much deeper than that, we have abdicated our
responsibility of raising & disciplining our kids.

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Eastern Cape drought

20 November 2019 9:24 PM

Guest : Kaylynn Palm| EWN Reporter

Drought conditions are causing headaches for schools situated in Makhanda as they
experience daily shortages.
The Eastern Cape was declared a drought disaster area last month.
Some schools in parts of the town are affected by the ongoing drought which are
causing sanitation problems.
At Archie Mbolekwa Primary School, after 10am almost every day, the taps run dry.
The toilets stop flushing, so learners can't use them and they are forced to use the
bushes instead.
A nearby school, Ntiska Secondary, faced closure not so long ago but principal
Madeleine Schoeman was determined not to let it come to that.
Schoeman's school was lucky though in that it got a Gift of the Givers' borehole on the

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Museums returning stolen artifacts

20 November 2019 9:04 PM

Guest : Ciraj Rassool

European museums are stuffed with artifacts looted all over the world or as they would
say "obtained" thru conquest or just plain theft but there is a growing movement
wanting these artifacts to be returned to their rightful owners . Museums argue that
they are the best place for these ancient and valuable items to stored and are holding it
for the benefit of future generations .
Ciraj Rasool directs UWC’s African Programme in Museum and Heritage Studies,
managed in partnership with Robben Island Museum. He is a trustee and of the District
Six Museum and the South African History Archive. He is also a Councillor of Iziko
Museums of Cape Town and previously served on the councils of the South African
Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA) and the National Heritage Council.

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Not interested in retirement

20 November 2019 8:44 PM

Guest : Johan van Straaten
             Roxy Dallas | Recruitment Specialist

Johan van Straaten is a 74 year retired resident engineer in road construction, his job is
his life & passion and he's not enjoying retirement.
He has approached recruitment agencies but no luck, what is a man passionate about
his work to do? Some might say he should stay at home, find a hobby and leave the
work to the younger folk but Johan feels he has so many years of expertise he can pass
on to the new breed of road engineers. 

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Simon's Town Ghost Tours

19 November 2019 10:01 PM

Guest : Andre Liebbrandt

Are you afraid of ghosts? then maybe the Simons Town ghost Walk is not for you.
Andre Liebbrandt has been giving guided tours in the town for a couple of years and
during the walk will keep you entertained with stories of mass murder the mysterious
Lavender Lady who haunts the museum, butchering barbers and even exhumed
At R100 a person the walks takes place Friday and Saturday evenings, kids are also

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Motoring with Melinda Ferguson

19 November 2019 9:32 PM

Guest : Melinda Ferguson

Our motoring correspondent Melinda Ferguson is in Johannesburg for the launch of the
new Renault Kwid

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