For the final show of 2016 and this season of Safe Space Radio, we revisit my 2011 conversation with Matthew Sanford. Matthew is a yoga teacher focusing on trauma recovery. He was paralyzed from the chest down at age 13 in a car accident that killed his father and sister. As a teen, he was encouraged to overcome the silence of his paralyzed body, but he learned that he could listen to it instead. Over time, he began to experience his body’s silence as a source of strength and connection. He encourages all of us, as we age, to listen to the increasing silence of our bodies in new ways.
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’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 Kathy Russin, the Military Sexual Trauma Program Coordinator for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Maine. She talks about the prevalence of Military Sexual Trauma among veterans, and explains that it is not limited to rape, and affects both men and women. She explains how MST is different from combat PTSD in its impact, and talks about the many ways it can make leading a normal life very difficult.
This week’s show is the second half of my conversation with Ruth Moore, a survivor of Military Sexual Trauma, and the namesake of the Ruth Moore Act, a piece of pending legislation which would remove some of the current barriers to treatment and justice for survivors of MST. This part of the interview covers Ruth’s path to personal healing after returning from overseas duty, and her choice to share her story publicly and before congress in the hope of bringing change.