126. Living the Beige Life with Sonia Graham

FINE is a 4-Letter Word

Feb 8 2024 • 43 mins

When your life story is dominated by trauma resulting from one fucked-up thing after another, it plays a nasty trick on your definition of what’s “fine”.

After surviving being killed almost three times before she was two years old, Sonia Graham was adopted into a strict Puerto Rican / Irish Catholic family. Her father was in the Air Force, so while she developed resilience to deal with ever-changing situations, she did NOT learn how to create lasting relationships because she knew whatever friends she made, she would not have for very long.

Because of her extensive behavioral issues, her parents eventually put her into Boys Town. The bigger issue was that she had PTSD from her childhood traumas, and in the 80s, PTSD was misunderstood. As a result, Sonia was treated with psychiatric drugs rather than the proper treatment.

So, as an adult, she hesitated to seek the therapy she needed, which prolonged her suffering.

All this instilled one of Sonia’s core values – at the end of the day, the only person you really have is you, so you have to be true to you.

After she got out of Boys Town, she graduated high school early, then had her first child at age 18. Six years later she was pregnant again. Then at age 27, she married, divorced, and remarried – all in one year.

Sonia’s husbands, like her father, were in the military, so she went back to the pattern of moving around. After the family moved to Maryland, she became a Realtor. Then she got divorced again. She discovered her passion for teaching and found a unique niche helping Maryland Realtors learn the business side of real estate, beyond simply getting a license.

All in all, everything seemed fine.

Until her teenage son tried to murder her.

Indeed, Fine is a 4-Letter Word.

In a moment, when you meet Sonia, you’ll discover her quest for what she calls “living in beige”. When your life is dominated by trauma and violence, with occasional good things such as finding your niche in your career and excelling at it, you just don’t see the middle.

Sonia's hype song is “The Greatest” by Sia.

Resources:


The movie mentioned in the episode is called "Inside Out".

Invitation from Lori:

Like Sonia, it’s possible you’re not “fine” because trauma is the only thing you really understand – as a result, trauma itself becomes your “fine”.

If you want to start changing the coding in your brain so you can see past the trauma and find the beige, the 5 Easy Ways to Start Living The Sabbatical Life guide is for you.

Once you read it, you’ll

✅ Discover a counter-intuitive approach to making intentional changes in mindset and lifestyle.

✅ Learn how to own your...

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