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.
This week I talk with high school senior Eman, who moved to the US less than a year ago. We talk about how she dealt with leaving her friends and family behind in Sudan and again in Egypt, where she lived for five years. She talks about the uncertainty of being at the mercy of resettlement organizations, and her desire not to be ‘otherized’ in her new home. Eman’s confidence and resilience, which led to her being elected class president only a few months after arriving in this country, are truly inspiring.
This week I speak with Anna, who escaped Syria while 8 months pregnant in 2013 and now lives in Maine. She talks about trading the daily threat of bombings and kidnappings for a life of uncertainty as she and her husband applied and waited for asylum. She offers insight about what it means to really feel safe, and helps us better understand the plight of millions of Syrian refugees who are desperate for a chance to live in peace.
This is a particularly intense interview about one woman’s narrow escape from Burundi, after she and her mother gave medical aid to an injured protester. She describes their arrest and interrogation prior to coming to the United States, and what it is like to be here, having never planned to leave her life and dreams behind.
(Please note that there are explicit references to sexual violence in this episode.)
Today we continue our series on hidden emotions with a show about guilt. We hear stories from two people who carried guilt for decades and then decided it was finally time to confess.