This week’s show revisits my 2014 interview with Bobby Payzant, an inmate at the Maine State Prison. We discuss the crime for which he is serving time, and his work as a hospice volunteer, giving care to inmates dying in prison. Bobby’s insights about the power of presence and open-hearted caregiving upended my notions of what it would be like to talk to someone convicted of a violent crime, and challenge the stigma our society places upon those with criminal records.
This week we present my 2012 conversation with Meredith Hall about her pregnancy at age 16. Meredith describes being shunned by her family and school and forced to give the child up for adoption. The experience was never acknowledged, and this silence left her alone and afraid for many years. Her memoir Without a Map explores how silence can be such an impediment to healing.
This week I revisit my 2013 conversation with Episcopal Priest Carl Russell about the childhood sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his family’s priest. Carl talks about the way that the priest gradually built trust with his parents and used that trust to gain access. He tells the extraordinary story of how he began to heal after hearing a radio story about sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese. You’ll hear how, at 72 years old, Carl was finally able to see justice when he pressed charges, and broke the silence that had plagued him all his life.
Today’s show revisits my 2009 conversation with Leah Deragon of Birth Roots about her struggles with postpartum depression and anxiety. As a doula and a birth educator, it was hard for Leah when motherhood turned out to be so difficult. She discusses the pain of not feeling an instant emotional attachment to her baby, her anxiety over his breastfeeding difficulties, and her insomnia. We talk about the many unrealistic expectations new mothers face, and how normal it is to struggle in ways that aren’t often discussed.