This week we present my 2012 conversation with Meredith Hall about her pregnancy at age 16. Meredith describes being shunned by her family and school and forced to give the child up for adoption. The experience was never acknowledged, and this silence left her alone and afraid for many years. Her memoir Without a Map explores how silence can be such an impediment to healing.
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.
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 2013 conversation with Sheila Heen, faculty member at the Harvard Negotiation Project, was a fun one. Sheila and her husband, who are both experts at helping people talk through difficult disagreements, have opposing political beliefs. The interview is full of great advice on communicating respectfully and usefully when you disagree with someone, and explores the idea that when we listen receptively, we actually become more persuasive.