Ari Lennox is one of R&B’s most talented songbirds but she’s also one of the most relatable celebrities. While she entranced us with her debut album Shea Butter Baby, her down-to-earth personality has made her everyone’s homegirl. But she has had many human moments that have played out on social media. From her modest response to LaKeith Stanfield seemingly shooting his shot at the “Pressure” songstress to some of the backlash she has received for tweeting her feelings on topics and experiences, Ari has endured it all on social media, which caused her to sometimes go on a deleting spree.
In an interview with The Breakfast Club, Ari explained how therapy has helped her deal with the trauma she experienced as a child that has played into her anxiety and her actions as well as her strained relationship with her father.
The Grammy-nominated artist shared that her father always told her that she was going to be a star. Unfortunately, they are not speaking at the moment. “I do feel like when you instill certain things like that, it really does go a long way,” she said before breaking into tears. “It goes a long way for sure cuz that is the one area in my life where I feel like I did really good.”
Ari explained that her dad’s trauma has fractured their relationship and while she’s trying to extend him grace, she also has to focus on her healing.
“It’s so much sh-t. I really think it’s important for people to be healed when they’re bringing kids into this world,” she said. “Because I just feel like that alone probably innately helped me in so many ways like always grinding and stuff. But I can see the other side of sh-t that I carry and I’m sure it has to do with the other sh-t that you go through; trauma.”
One of the ways she began her healing journey is by going to therapy. The 31-year-old has been open about her anxiety and going to therapy in the past but during her The Breakfast Club interview, she shared how she made the connection between her childhood trauma with her father and dating.
“I feel like there needs to be a lot of group therapy (with her father) and of course, I want to continue my therapy alone. But I think that would probably be best because I know these are things that I’m even carrying into my dating life and I don’t want to have that weight on me,” she said. “I do want to be more compassionate because he went through a lot with foster care and abandonment issues, all kinds of dark things so I do recognize why he is the way that he is.”
When asked what was the moment that prompted her to begin her therapy journey, she revealed that she finally reached her breaking point.
“This year I was just tired of just being a big ball of trauma like just being unaware of what was going on inside. A lot of times I could be so triggered and it’s like well why? And now I’m realizing now I see why somebody pretending that I don’t exist or not even looking at me or somebody having this arrogant nature can be so triggering,” she explained.
“Like where did I see that? Like earlier in my life or I experienced that,” she said. “I’m starting to realize it never stops. It’s like a cycle. If you don’t realize that you’re carrying all of this weight it comes out in different ways. People be like, ‘why she freak out? It wasn’t even that serious?’ It was a reminder. It was a flashback. A trigger without even realizing where it came from.
While it may be difficult to work out all her trauma, Ari said the experience has “been really beautiful and eye-opening for sure.”
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