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The creation of "Well What Had Happened Was.." started off with a simple "you are not alone and never be silent again" conversation. At the time, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally isolated. I began to get the courage to speak up and start to tell my own stories and truth. And once people started actually listening and becoming more aware of what I was going through, they all demanded the exact same thing. My strength and resilience was unmatched but never suffer in silence again.

Now as an up and coming counselor in the Southern Region of the United States, I've truly learned "southern hospitality" isn't as sweet as it sounds. Behind the smiles of these Southern Belles, there is hidden secrets, stories, and traumas that people are afraid or ashamed to speak on. And growing up in the Midwest, we as a people, have the mindset of "crabs in a barrel": If I can't have it, then neither can you.

In retrospect, there is either no true uplifting or we are slow to help. The lack of connection and attachment as a people is what strains us today, especially in a mental health aspect. To not only ignore your neighbor, but to suppress your own needs, is a scary feeling. 

So while conducting sessions, I would always tell my clients that at a certain point, you must write a letter to your current self or your younger self. And this exercise not only pin points certain suppressed memories but triggers that have been ignored. We ALL have a story that we want to tell but second guess at times until we feel its "safe" enough to say.

So, think back to a time where you were surrounded by those close friends or a trustworthy crowd. You're having a great conversation, some laughs and jokes, and it's your turn to relate to everyone. And you instantly think of story.. what are the first words you say in between those chuckles to get everyone ready to listen and get them on the edge of their seat?

"Well, What Had Happened Was.."

Allow WWHHW to be that first step to not only acknowledge certain things but to say them OUT LOUD. WWHHW is a safe platform to not only tell your story but to connect to others, just like you. Race does not matter because we ALL have a story to tell. Whether its sad, traumatic, joyous, funny, or even just a prayer to spread to others: SHARE IT! And I'll share my stories with you too. Together, not only will we bring awareness, but build a community to help each other, laugh and love together. 

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Lawana McKissack is a mother of 3, a grandmother of 3, and the matriarch of her village. She is not only someone we can run to for advice, but also unconditional love.She has taught our village to not only believe in ourselves but do it in spite of how anyone feels or thinks of you. And no matter how much or hard we struggle, we must not quit.
She has taught us to never be silent, and for that, WWHHW chooses to preach to others. Every story deserves to be told and validated. And because of her, you can tell it here.

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