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 we revisit a 2015 conversation with Sandy White Hawk, one of five commissioners of Maine’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Sandy is Sicangu Lakota and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, who was separated from her family and heritage and adopted at 18 months old by a white family. She talks about the trauma of adoption and racism, and about the healing she found by reclaiming her identity.
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.
Over the next two weeks we will conclude our series on PTSD among women veterans by talking with Navy veteran Meosha Thomas. This week, Meosha talks about the trauma of a helicopter crash that killed a close friend, and the PTSD symptoms that followed after she returned home. She also describes the impossible choices you must make when you are both a mother and a soldier.
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.