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.
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 the second half of my conversation with Navy veteran Meosha Thomas. We talk about the injuries she suffered in Iraq when her convoy hit an IED, and about how she lost and regained her desire to live in the long recovery period that followed. We also talk more about the concept of moral injury, and how she wrestles with guilt over the choices she had to make as a soldier, and for surviving when others did not.
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, in the second half of my conversation with Colby College anthropology professor Catherine Besteman, we talk about the immense challenges that Somali refugees face upon their arrival, and how they are helped through the extraordinary volunteer efforts of their fellow immigrants. We also discuss what the data reveal about whether refugees are a financial burden on the state, and talk about how to address the problem of xenophobia.