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Common on Mental Health and Trauma

Rapper and actor Common survived being molested as a child. It took years for him to cope with the trauma – and now he's using his platform to end the stigma about getting help.

Rapper, actor and activist recently published a book and album where he opens up about his past.

Humiliation can sometimes succeed in silence. With every word spoken, every narrative repossessed, sexual abuse victims and survivors have found a transformed power. In his new memoir, Let Love Have the Last Word, Common spoke about a topic that is often buried in silence amongst black men in the community — experiencing sexual assault. The resurgence of his traumatic memories came from a workshopping session with fellow actor and colleague Laura Dern. On a particular night, young Common had to share a bed with an anonymous family member. While in bed, he felt the man’s hand on him, an action which the boy rejected.

“Being molested as a child was something that i hid away from myself. It was like it didn’t exist. After the incident, I literally didn’t think about it and that was just my way of dealing with trauma, I guess. This memory really just showed up, it showed itself when I was working on a film and this film was dealing with child sexual abuse and during rehearsal for a scene, I was like you know, wait this happened to me. And as I started to come to grips with those memories, I felt it was something that I was going to have to deal with, but I still didn’t immediately the next day go to my therapist and talk about it. So, it has been a process of me actually coming to grips with it. I’ve decided I wanted to talk about it publicly because I have come across a lot of individuals who have been molested and abused and I saw how their lives were painful, I saw how much hurt they were carrying with them and I wanted to make it ok for people who experience that specific trauma, any trauma to be like “it’s ok that this happened to me”. I can be ok, I can work through this, I can work through the pain and not dodge it and go around it or forget about it but I can work through it and be a better person on the other side, be even a greater human being,” multi-talented artist Common tells Brut.

Common hasn’t seen his accused assaulter in 25 years and did note that he has forgiven him. Much like many people who cope with sexual trauma, Common initially disassociated from the experience. Since then, he has found solace in processing his traumas in therapy.

Brut.

03/10/2019 10:19
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30 comments

  • Pinky P.
    01/11/2019 00:06

    I love you

  • Hilary L.
    28/10/2019 18:53

    I salute you Common, this just justifies why you are one of my favorite people 😘😘

  • Yuri G.
    28/10/2019 17:26

    Respect!...

  • Katarina R.
    26/10/2019 17:38

    I love😍😘❤💖💖❤💖

  • Rosita F.
    26/10/2019 05:41

    Good night 😘

  • Sekou K.
    24/10/2019 22:39

    Je fan mon frère

  • Sharon O.
    24/10/2019 06:43

    ♥️♥️♥️💖💖

  • Joycelyn C.
    22/10/2019 02:19

    I love you my brother.You are strong.Blessings.

  • Gail C.
    22/10/2019 01:49

    Ever since I saw JUST WRIGHT, you became one of my favorite actors! You are really cool.much respect.

  • Saulio S.
    21/10/2019 19:00

    One of my favorite rapper common

  • Annalesa C.
    21/10/2019 15:02

    Wow thank u for sharing your life with us do mean a lot God bless stay strong u r so cool keep it that way blessings

  • Kellyann H.
    21/10/2019 14:32

    If i luv u 1 more time all wht u speak bout it me right dy am form Grenada common up too now I hide it but list in to u make a big difference now

  • Sherilee G.
    21/10/2019 14:21

    You are great! Your personality is so unbelievable. I listened and heard every word you spoke. You are truly my inspiration. I hope 2 meet you in person one day🙂

  • Yvette B.
    21/10/2019 11:41

    awesome

  • Sem-Elie P.
    20/10/2019 03:45

    Cool

  • Paulette B.
    19/10/2019 20:24

    I love you so much may God continue to bless you

  • Ada H.
    19/10/2019 00:23

    Brut i love you

  • Lamin P.
    17/10/2019 20:15

    That’s my brother!

  • Cinth D.
    16/10/2019 16:39

    I love you may the good Lord continue to bless you

  • Menena S.
    16/10/2019 16:33

    I'm not gonna lie, his voice made me watch till the end, it's so emotional I'm glad u had the courage