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 revisit one of the first episodes of Safe Space Radio, a conversation with Canadian broadcaster Neil McKenty about his struggles with depression and alcohol. He describes his depression as the result of a collision between his negative ideas about himself and the smooth front of success he had constructed for the world to see. We talk about how sharing his vulnerability was the pivotal step that helped him gain a new feeling of freedom.
This week’s show is part two of my interview with Kate Weber. Last week she told the story of being sexually assaulted on her army base overseas, and the lack of support and safety she felt when she reported the crime. This week we talk about the years since her discharge, including her struggle to feel safe in the culture of the VA, her battle with PTSD, and the ways that being in the Oscar-nominated documentary The Invisible War has empowered her to change the system.
This week I talk with George, whose biological parents are Passamaquoddy, but who was adopted at birth and raised by white parents in southern Maine. George describes how it felt to visit the reservation for the first time and meet his biological relatives. He talks about how he has grappled throughout his life with the question of whether he really is Native American.
We continue our series on hidden feelings this week with two stories about guilt, the kind we feel when we believe we didn’t do enough at the end of a parent’s life. We’ll hear from people who were troubled by the way they failed to show up for their parents, and discuss the process of finding relief from that guilt.