Keith and Roxann Mascoll debut podcast about trauma and relationships
In July 2017, artist Keith Mascoll debuted a live rehearsal of his stage play “Triggered” at Boston’s Dudley branch Library. The show delved into the experiences of men of color who have survived abusive relationships and the challenges of dealing with that trauma. Now, Mascoll and his partner Roxann Mascoll have launched “Living a Triggered Life,” a podcast that explores how this trauma impacts relationships.
“Our trauma gets in the way. It was getting in the way of my career, my relationship, every facet of my life,” says Keith Mascoll. “Especially in the Black and brown community, mental health is important. The first step to effecting the kind of change we need, and the world needs, is self-care.”
So far, the podcast has published one episode, “The Why,” which can be streamed on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Google Play or on the project website. Keith Mascoll says they have a bank of recorded episodes ready to go and will begin publishing on a monthly basis soon. In “The Why,” both Keith and Roxann discuss their own traumas, their relationship and the point of view they’re approaching things from. Roxann Mascoll is a social worker at Boston Medical Center who specializes in trauma and grief counseling.
Part of the reason the Mascoll duo launched the podcast is because these conversations rarely occur in communities of color. They wanted to normalize discussing trauma and doing the internal work to deal with it.
“Not talking about it is making us sick. In brown and Black communities and families we are taught not to talk about it,” says Roxann Mascoll. The COVID-19 crisis isn’t helping. On top of the daily racial trauma experienced by people of color and the intergenerational trauma passed down from ancestors, there’s now the constant fear of the pandemic-ridden world.
“You don’t feel safe anywhere,” says Roxann Mascoll. “So you’re talking about people who generally don’t feel safe, but they’ve sort of figured out ways to feel safe in the world, and COVID-19 can be lurking anywhere. It’s just an added complexity of recognizing how much control I don’t have.”
In the coming episodes, the two say they will discuss body images, redefining masculinity, the components of therapy and the therapeutic process and how they’ve worked through certain issues as a couple. Despite the challenging subject matter, the podcast tone is welcoming and, where possible, laced with lightheartedness and humor. The Mascolls’ chemistry and vulnerability illustrate what a relationship can look like when trauma isn’t ignored.
Listeners who have specific questions or would like certain topics covered on the podcast can e-mail the pair via their website.
“It’s essential for us as a community to create spaces for us to be able to be vulnerable,” says Keith Mascoll. “I’m able to speak. And I think about all the other male survivors that haven’t been able to speak … and that motivates me.”