I built this brand out of my love and respect for the social science of psychology.
I'd like to share my why, so you can feel my connection with the importance of speaking openly about mental health...
I was born into trauma.
Two short months before I made my grand entrance into the world, my family suffered a heart wrenching loss.
My mom's only sibling, her 33 year old brother Sal, was in a fatal motorcycle accident on his way to work.
In many ways, my birth was looked upon as a "saving grace" for my family. As I grew, my role as a "healer" surely stemmed from these roots.
The trauma my Mom was experiencing through her grief set the scene for an abusive relationship to blossom.
Rather than having her spouse to lean on for comfort, support, and empathy, he instead manipulated her low points, and met her with greed, infidelity and crime.
His manipulation cut so deep, that she believed she deserved such a life. She didn't see a way out. She often told me, "learn from the mistakes I made, and do the opposite."
But I could not accept that. I saw, felt, and grew from the wonderful light that my mother was able to shine onto me, but had to stifle when my dad was around.
We were so good at hiding our misery from the world. We would get in trouble if we did not. Internally, we were living in a hell called home. My baby sister once took her crayons and drew a picture of my Mom. There were 2 of her, and it read, "super mom by day, miserable wife by night."
I didn't believe therapy could help me. I felt there was no amount of inner work that would be able to change my physical situation of my family system. But I needed to save my sister. The thought of leaving her home as I went to college terrified me. I needed to protect her once and for all.
So I became a psychology major.
After 1 year of a psychology major, I began learning the names of the phenomenon I experienced in my every day life.
When I was introduced to "Antisocial Personality Disorder" in an abnormal psychology class, I left the room in tears. All the abuse I've endured in my life had a name. A reason. A why.
But there is no treatment or cure, because the individual who suffers from it cannot see the fault in their ways. There has been times when my dad would justify something terrible that he has done by saying, "that's not the worst thing I've done."
I would ask him, "would you want a man to treat me the way you treat my Mom?" He would reply, "I see nothing wrong with it."
At this point in my life, the clock struck 18, and I was a legal adult. After (another) traumatic outburst from my dad where we had to get the police involved (again), I told my Mom enough was enough. I was old enough to be a legal guardian for my sister. Either I was taking her and we were leaving home, or my Mom would stand up once and for all, and file for a divorce.
That was the day our new life began.
Rafiki said to Simba, "The past can hurt, but you can either run from it or learn from it."
That's a mantra that I hold near and dear to my heart, now that I am over 10 years removed from the mentally abusive life I once lived.
Thinking back to the first 18 years of my life is painful. I will forever be grateful for the field of psychology for opening my eyes to what mental health is - allowing me to liberate my family. I am grateful for the field for opening the door for me to seek treatment, so I didn't have to cope alone.
I hold no anger towards my dad, although I do not have a relationship with him. I pray that he will one day awaken and realize his role in the life that he has created, rather than continuing to blame others, but am not highly optimistic of such a radical change.
My sister and I have legally changed our last name to honor my grandpa, our true father figure, and have a unifying family name with our Mom. I feel just as proud of writing "Serpico" when I write my name, as I am to write "Doctor."
I stand here proud as a survivor, and offer my heartfelt support to anyone who has read my story and can relate to it in any way.
You are worthy of peace, respect, love, and compassion.
You never know what they are going through.