Survivor Chronicles Ep 2: Transforming Trauma into Trust - A Journey from Abuse to Spiritual Awakening

Survivor Chronicles Ep 2: Transforming Trauma into Trust - A Journey from Abuse to Spiritual Awakening

In the second episode of the Survivor Chronicles, we delve deep into a heart-rending yet inspiring journey of transforming trauma into trust. This episode is more than just a story; it is a testament to the human spirit's resilience and the transformative power of spiritual awakening.


In this episode, we explore the harrowing experiences of abuse and the subsequent journey towards healing and spiritual awakening. Through candid discussions and personal anecdotes, we shed light on the path from victim to survivor, emphasizing the importance of trust, self-care, and spiritual growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding Trauma: A deep dive into the psychological impacts of abuse and the complex journey of healing.
  • Building Trust: Learn about the steps and strategies to rebuild trust, not just with others but more importantly, with oneself.
  • Spiritual Awakening: Discover how spiritual awakening can be a beacon of hope, guiding individuals to find peace and purpose in life.

Featured Quotes

"To heal, we must first confront our deepest fears." "Trust is not just given; it is earned, built over time through consistent actions and genuine care."

Transcript for the podcast: 

Nate (00:00.446)
Welcome back to another episode of Be Great With Nate in my series of survival chronicles. This episode right here is one that is pretty difficult for me to go over and share with you, but I think it's best if I do. So I say when I was about 15, 16 years old, I think this is the time where things with my mother who struggled with a bad addiction,

and multiple mental health issues. This was basically the turning point. When I was a kid, I was born on heroin and cocaine. And when my mother gave birth to me, I couldn't leave the hospital until about like seven, some say seven weeks, some say three, four months. I get different stories all the time, but I was going through a rehab program with the drugs that were in my system. And

My little brother had the same problem, but my youngest brother, believe it or not, was actually born in prison. So my mother was in prison and my mom was able to give birth and then she had to go right back into prison. None of my family members can get custody of my little brother. My father couldn't get him. My father's mother, who was raising us at that point of my life, couldn't get him. So my mother's sister was able to get custody of him and she basically raised him.

On the weekends, we will get my little brother. His name is Darren. We'll be able to see Darren on the weekends and as long as my mother was clean. Now, that wasn't always guaranteed. My mother was not always clean when Darren was visiting during the weekends. But when she wasn't clean, she had this kind of like pause moment if she wanted to have a crazy episode with us, if Darren was there, because she knew that if Darren...

saw one of these episodes, he could potentially go back and tell my aunt, which is my mother's sister about the episode, therefore not giving my mother the opportunity to have Darren come over on the weekends. So my mom can be going, she can break down the door, kick down the door, and she would come and she would be ready to come after me and my middle brother, Brandon, but as soon as she saw Darren, she'll freeze up and she'll stop.

Nate (02:28.822)
So Darren was kind of like a little savior for us when, you know, she'll go through these episodes. But it was when I was about 16 years old, that all changed. And this is where I knew things got really bad. So one day it was me and both of my little brothers and we were playing PlayStation and we were in a room. It was a really hot summer day and we didn't have air conditioning. So we had this fan.

on and we're playing a video game and we're having fun. And we hear my mother come home and we knew the way she was making noise that she wasn't doing well. And I say about after 30 minutes of her arriving, we were hearing things really, you'll hear things like TVs fall, stomping. You hear a lot of noise. And we...

heard my mother start screaming. So we were like, okay, she's going through this, but Darren is here and we should be fine. And she kicked down the door. For some reason, my mom, when she went through these episodes, she didn't just open doors. She either threw her shoulder through the door or she just kicked the door down. I know it sounds crazy, but it happened all the time. So this day we hear my mom scream like, shut up. And I

We knew anytime she, you know, lengthen a word, like instead of saying shut up, if she goes, shut up, you see how she just lengthen that word? We knew something was gonna go down. But as I said, Darren was there, so we were hoping, hold on, Darren is here. She's not gonna do nothing. And my mother comes in, she kicks the door down, and she sees us there, but then she didn't stop. She went ahead.

And she picked up this fan that we had and this fan was a standing fan. My mother grabbed the fan, picked it up, and went to go hit my little brother, the middle brother Brandon. So as she went to go basically knock him out with the fan, I caught the fan and it hit my shoulder and cut my shoulder. And I looked at her and I said, Darren is here. Darren is here. I was trying to snap her out of it. But she did not care.

Nate (04:54.978)
She took my TV, she slammed the TV, she took the PlayStation, she slammed the PlayStation, and then she just started to continue to swing at us. So as I'm trying to hold her back, I take my little brothers, I'm like, go, go on to the next room. She's just swinging, so I'm kind of bleeding out of my nose. She connected a couple punches to my face. My mother's a strong woman. My mother's a white woman, green eyes, very strong woman. This is a woman that grew up in a public housing.

what we call the projects. She fought men her whole life. She was in prison. So she's a very aggressive woman. So, you know, this is not a little woman we're talking about. This is a very strong woman. She had really strong hands. And if she connected with a punch, you felt it. So I'm bleeding through my nose. I'm bleeding, you know, all over my arms, all the scratches that I have from her and also with the fan, the fan, when that fan connected, even when I try to stop it.

It kind of gave me a nice little cut on my arm. So I'm kind of trying to hold her back a little bit. And as I'm holding her back, I just got, it was on my birthday, I got this new Blackberry. It was my first real phone. All my friends had like the sidekicks and all that kind of stuff. And I always had this flip phone, the Verizon, I think it's Verizon Razr, the Razr phones that you flip open. And I just got this Blackberry.

And I was on AIM, for those that know about AIM, A-O-L, AIM, I was on AIM and I had all these cool things that I finally was able to enjoy. Because I was a freshman in high school and I went to go call my father. And as I'm trying to call my dad, I'm trying to hold my mom back and she's just in there. She continues to pick up the PlayStation and continues to slam it until it was completely done.

And my little brothers are shocked and they don't know what to do, so I made them go in the hallway. I'm like, go in the hallway, go in the hallway, because we lived in this apartment building. And my mom and I have my dad on the phone. I'm like, yo, dad, she's going crazy. Usually we always will call dad, right? So I'm like, dad, she's going crazy. She hit us in front of Darren. She's hitting us in front of Darren. And he's like, put your mother on the phone, put your mother on the phone. I'm like, dad, you can't talk to her right now. She's out of it. She's 100% out of it right now.

Nate (07:21.77)
My mother comes towards me, she goes, "'Is that your father?' And I said, yes, it's my father. She goes, give me the phone, give me the phone, I'll talk to him, give me the phone. She takes my phone. She basically raises her hand all the way up towards the ceiling and she slams my phone right on its face. The little blackberry buttons just popped out everywhere, just went everywhere, the screen shattered and she broke my phone. And...

So she broke my TV, she broke the PlayStation we got for Christmas, and she broke my phone. And then as I look up, I see another fist come in, she connected, and then she kicked me out. She said, get out, get out my house, get out my house. Now I'm saying all these things without the cursing and the names that she called us, which was very bad. It was an everyday thing. She called us these crazy names. And when she kicked me out...

I had my brothers in the hallway, so she literally dragged me out, threw me out the apartment, slammed the door, and locked the door. I was in complete shock because I can't believe this happened and I can't believe it happened in front of Darren. But this was bad. Usually you'll get the TV broke or she'll take the bat and she'll start swinging on me. But today, that day was really bad because she...

She went above and beyond. And that was a day I think that when I was standing in the hallway, I was kind of lost for words. I had like $2.75 in my pocket. Me and my brothers go downstairs and I had no shoes on. I had no shoes. So I said, wait here, I go back up and I'm not going to do it. I said, mom, let me get my shoes. I have no shoes. She did not let me back in the house. So

We went to a payphone and we called the cops. And when the cops came, I said, listen, I'm bleeding, I have all these things going on. And I said, I need to get my shoes. She's not letting me get my shoes. And she kicked us out and we're on section eight. We're on the lease. She can't kick us out. I'm 16, my brother's 13, and my youngest brother's like 10. And I said, well, me and my middle brother we're on the lease and she can't kick us out. We're on section eight.

Nate (09:44.874)
So the cops kind of didn't know what to say, didn't know what to do. The cops were really young, young guys that came to my house. And I'm sitting there and I'm like, hey, listen, we have nowhere to go. We have nothing to do. We need to get back in the house. And so the cops went upstairs and knocked on the door. My mom didn't open the door. And the cops are like, well, we can't do nothing. We don't have a warrant. I was like, well, she just...

abused the hell out of me like and she kicked me out of the house. Well, you know, I have nowhere to go. He goes, you guys don't have no other family members to call. And after talking to him for like 30 minutes trying to figure something out, nothing was getting resolved. Literally nothing was getting resolved. It was like I was talking to a wall. So I said, you know what? Thank you for coming. Right. So they left and I looked at my brothers and went in my pocket and had that $2.75 and I said, listen, go to dad's house.

take the eight, so there's a bus called the 87. It'll take you from Jersey City Heights and onto the other side of Jersey City called Greenville. Now, it starts out in the town called Hoboken, comes up to Jersey City Heights, and then it takes Palisade all the way down, goes through Journal Square, and then goes into Greenville. So Greenville was predominantly African American. Jersey City Heights, when I was a kid, was predominantly Hispanic, and downtown Jersey City.

was a mixture of Hispanic, black, but in certain parts you can get a lot of Puerto Rican. Jersey Heights was a lot of Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans too, but predominantly Dominicans where I grew up at. So I wanted to give you that demographic so you can understand. Being biracial, I kind of blended in with the Hispanics, even though I'm not Hispanic, but I blended very well in with the Hispanics. But...

Growing up in Greenville was always a challenge for me because I used to always have to get in fights for being light skinned or being called Poppy and being the purple elephant. So anytime there was a fight or gangs were on the corner, I was an easy target. And I'll have stories about that. So I tell my little brother, which is I wanted to make that point because it's a pretty dangerous neighborhood. It's, in my opinion, the most dangerous part of Jersey City.

Nate (12:08.514)
So I said, listen, you guys are gonna have to take the bus. The last bus is coming. It should be there around 11 o'clock. It was like around 11 o'clock at night. And I said, you guys go to the bus stop, get on the bus. And then my little brother was like, Brandon, the middle one, he was like, what are you gonna do? I said, I'm gonna have to walk. And I said, listen, don't worry about me. Just go on the bus. So they went to the bus, which is probably like a half a mile to get to the bus stop. And I walked.

I walked, it was probably like an hour and 30, hour and 45 minute walk. And I walked from the apartment that we lived in at that time to my father. He had a roommate and he was living in this basement and he was living on a street called Reed Street. And a year prior to the situation, there was a shootout on Reed Street, which killed a couple of police officers. There was a man that was in his house with a shotgun.

He was killing a lot of people. It was in the same building my father was staying in. And it was a very small block in Jersey City, but it was very, very dangerous, very bad. And I told my brothers, I said, look, you go. And I decided to walk and I was walking. I walked an hour and 45 minutes in my socks. And I was just bleeding everywhere. And I was basically like just crying the whole time.

And I was like, yo, I can't, we can't go through this no more. Like this is a hit. You know, we went through a lot with this woman, but this was like a breaking point. And so I walked all the way to my father's house and I was crying and I was just kind of saying some affirmations to myself. And I said, this is the very reason why you need to outwork everybody in school. You need to outwork everybody in sports.

You gotta wake up earlier and you gotta grind because you gotta get out of this situation. This is terrible. And I was just using my imagination. I was like, the universe is bringing me through this to make me a stronger human being. The universe is doing this to me to build resilience and work ethic. Because you have two options in that situation. You can really let it take over or...

Nate (14:29.942)
You have to manipulate the energy you're going through. It has so much anger, so much sadness and frustration that if I allow those emotions to take over, I would not be where I am today. And I get to my father's house and by the time I got there, my brothers were sleeping. And I go in there and my father, so like I said, it was a small little basement. There was a lot of rats down there. That's one thing I really remember about that.

So you open up the basement door to get into the basement hallway and it just smelled like dirty sewer water and there were rats everywhere. I walked into the apartment and my dad's room was to the left and my brothers were sleeping like on the floor and one was sleeping on the couch. And I went to my father's room and I said, Dad, listen, man, today is the breaking point.

We can't do this no more because we went through this our whole life and we will just go check look for my dad. And so most of the time my dad was staying in hotels. So we will go and we'll find it. You know what hotel he's at and we'll try to figure it out. But at this moment he was staying in this one little apartment on Reed Street and we went in there and I was bleeding. I was like, Dad, look, she took it to the next level today. I think if we stay with this woman, she's going to kill us.

because she wanted to kill me today. And he just looked at me. And one thing about my dad, he always wanted us to be with him. But the simple fact that he had a warrant for his arrest and the simple fact that he had, and I'll tell that story on how that happened. The simple story that he had a warrant for his arrest and, you know, he didn't want us to, you know, when we were with him, we had to hide from the cops the whole time, right? And...

My dad had to do things to make money. He had a hustle. He was a drug dealer. So he didn't want to surround that stuff all day. And I totally understand that. And my mother, we had Section 8. So the apartment is really for the kids, right? Like yeah, you got an apartment, you're our mother, but at the end of the day, you got this apartment in this location because you have two children. So I went to my dad and I said, Dad, look, I was 16 years old. I looked him in his eyes and I said, listen, man.

Nate (16:50.778)
I fought my whole life dealing with this. Today was really, really bad. He can see me bleeding. He can see these things going down. He looked at me and said, Pa, you know what, man? You're right. We're going to have to figure something else out. That was the last day that I ever stood with my mother. That was the last day I've ever slept under the same roof as my mother.

That was 14 years ago. And we started to have to commute to school. So that bus ride was probably like 45 to 60 minutes. That's just on the bus itself. That's not including waiting for the bus. And you know, went to school and there's a lot of things I wanted to do with friends and stuff like that, but I really couldn't do it because I had to commute to the other part of town. And...

Yeah, I gave you that story that's pretty fast, the whole situation, but there was so much more that happened. There was so much more hitting. There was so much more abuse and damage done. There was a lot of damage done. And when she went to go after Brandon, my middle brother, my youngest brother was sitting right next to him. And he almost got caught in the fire as well, and it would have been bad. So I got in between all of it, and I was taking all the hits and stuff like that. So I was all bruised up.

And if there was a more deadly weapon that was available, my goal was always, especially when my mom was super high, my goal was to always corner myself in something, like corner myself in the room so that she's swinging and stuff. I can predict the next swing, catch a fist, or block it in a certain way, but it was always to bring her away from the kitchen. That was the goal.

never allow this to go down in the kitchen where there's a knife. Because one time when that did happen, she tried to stab me. I have a story for that. She almost killed me one day. So after that one day when I was about 12, where she was almost connected with that knife a couple of times, I always taught myself anytime she got in these situations to put myself in a position where I'm cornering myself in the room. And she's...

Nate (19:13.21)
her back is towards the kitchen so she doesn't have the mind of like or the thought of going in the kitchen and grabbing a knife. And we didn't have any guns in the house and nothing like that. And her house where she had that available to her, which I'm very grateful for. But we did have everything else, right? She had, I told, you know, we had this one Yankee bat, this one black Yankee bat. That bat was notoriously known as the bat and we'll

we'll hide that bat or we'll try to throw that bat away and she'll always figure away how to get that bat right back into her hands. So that was a, that was a day that was a huge breaking point for us. And, you know, some of these stories are really difficult to tell because, you know, they're not only, you know, this is my point of view from what happened from the story and what I went through, but you know, my two little brothers, you know, this is their story as well. Right. So I try to be very careful of certain dialogue within these stories, but

The goal is to make sure that I'm always 100% authentic and honest with you on these podcast episodes because I know a lot of you went through something that created some mental health issues as you've grown up or you went through some abuse or you went through some trauma and I know it can be very easy. It's extremely easy for these things to take over our life. It's 100% easy.

One thing that I always used was how to alchemize that energy that I was going through with the anger frustration Being scared and how can I turn that into something else and at the end of the day? these are emotions energy in motion and Anytime we go through emotions like anger frustration sadness We can transfer these emotions with our mind right with the imagination So when I was walking to my father's house that day

I was transferring these emotions into hope, into faith, into creating a dream for myself. So when I went to school, when I was going to school, like I said, I was just a freshman in high school. When I was going to school, oh, I was really, really doubling down on my work ethic. I went to school earlier. I worked harder.

Nate (21:29.462)
I was working with tutors. I studied my SATs as a sophomore. So when I got the opportunity to take the test as a senior, I knew that was not gonna stop me from getting a scholarship. I saw most of the players in the city not be able to take their scholarships that they received and be able to go to college because a lot of them was failing this one test called the SAT. And as a student athlete, you need to get a certain score.

to be able to qualify for your scholarship. And I was like, that is not happening to me. So I was taking SAT prep as a sophomore. I was going to the gym two times, three times a day. I walked to the gym, I walked back from the gym. I did so many things that I would continue to try to, my best to put in these stories for this little series here to alchemize this energy so I can get away, to create something new on my life.

Because I saw what happens when you allow those frustration, depression, anger, dominate the mind. And when you let it dominate the mind, it pulls you down. We can get into addictions, we can hold grudges, we can become huge procrastinators, we can create a negative subconscious mind, not thinking we're good enough in life, doubting ourselves.

The imagination is extremely powerful. So, I hope this story brings you some form of hope or faith or connection or relatability. And what I want to tell you the story to let you know doesn't matter what we go through in life. You can flip the coin. You can change that perspective. You can alchemize the energy into work ethic, desire, hope.


Nate (23:29.342)
and you can continue to push yourself to become the best version of yourself. And what you'll learn is the more trauma you go through and the more you overcome trauma, the more you'll be a hero for yourself and for the next generation, specifically the next seven generations. If you enjoyed this podcast, I would really appreciate if you can leave some form of review on

Apple if you're listening to some Apple, if you haven't left a rating or some type of review that really helps. If you're on Spotify, I have a section where you can let me know what you think about this episode. Tell me what you think. Is there anything you can connect to? Do you have any questions about the situation? I can do a podcast replying to some of the questions that you may have about these podcast episodes. And if you're on YouTube and watching this, make sure you subscribe, leave a comment below. Let me know your thoughts. Other than that.

Thank you for being here. You could have been anywhere else in the world, but you're here with me today and I appreciate that. Peace.

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