Uyen Nguyen is a social worker and therapist. She’s also Vietnamese American. And those things can feel at odds with each other.
“The mentality is that you keep things within your family,” Uyen says. ‘I remember trying to find a Vietnamese word to translate what I do for a living, and that’s difficult because it’s not a common thing.”
This instinct toward secrecy is familiar to host Charlene Buckles, and they try to unpack it together on this episode.
For Uyen’s family, the secrecy surrounds the time her dad spent in a prison camp after serving in the South Vietnamese Air Force. “I realize now that I think my parents, in their attempt to protect us, did not share a lot about the hardship of what they went through,” Uyen says.
For Charlene, it’s a family member’s disappearance at the hands of either rebels, or the government. “With my mom and my aunt’s generation, they have suppressed a lot of what happened to them,” she says. “It’s very hush hush, no one really talks about it. They don’t want to talk about it.”
Uyen and Charlene share some of their own family stories and talk about trying to heal from generational trauma and break through the stigma of seeking mental health care — and in Uyen’s case, providing it.
Listen to the episode:
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“Where Y’all Really From” is part of the Louisville Public Media Podcast Incubator. We get support from the Community Foundation of Louisville, Podchaser, Rankings.io and the Eye Care Institute’s Butchertown Clinical Trials.