Author:Paul Gilmartin

Jill Morley

At 40, Jilll took up competitive boxing to work through the childhood PTSD caused by her mother’s physical abuse.  She shares about living with depression, aiding other female fighters and making her documentary Fight Like a Girl.

This episode is sponsored by Bulu Box.   To learn more and get a MIHH listener discount go to www.bulubox.com click on the microphone in the upper left hand corner and use the offer code “happyhour”.

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The Feelings of Power and Shame Being an Escort: by Ashley B.

Maybe what makes me the most connected to the rest of humankind is the feeling I constantly have that I’m so different and disconnected. I’m aware enough of the world around me to know most, if not all, of us feel this way at some point. Still, I feel more different. Or different in ways that are less acceptable. Or maybe it’s just that I’m more honest than most people. I don’t feel the need to hide much and as a rule I don’t shrink away from facing hard things head on. When you’ve experienced the things I have, you kind of lose that deep need to be socially appropriate and you learn to live with the knowledge that running is futile. My first memory of life involves being lured into the room as my father was nude, drying off after his shower. He casually stole my 3 year old innocence as he talked me in to touching his manhood. There were multiple deaths and births in that moment. Shame sprung forth fresh and new, and continued to grow in me well into adulthood. In fact it contributed significantly to many of the choices I made, which I’ll explain more a little later. My father continued to molest me as I grew, becoming progressively more invasive but always gentle. Sickeningly gentle. The gentleness haunts me still, as I try to develop a healthy intimate relationship. The gentleness harasses me more now than the terror that came from the other abuse I suffered, by a group of men my father gave me to at age 6. I hesitate to call this group a cult, as I have no real evidence of such and it makes me feel crazy and like no one will believe me. They did ritualistic types of things though, and wore the cliché black robes and lit candles in the shape of a pentagram, so I don’t know. What I do know is they were the opposite of gentle. Even now, at 35, I don’t think I have really delved very far into the events that took place in this group and I’m not sure when, if ever, I’ll be ready to go there. I mean I’ve jumped in and out of it in therapy, but I’ve never been able to sit in the feelings for long. My dad stopped molesting me (I guess it was rape by this time) when I was 14 and my parents finally divorced. That’s when I guess he passed the baton, and I began abusing myself. I became promiscuous, with boys my own age and one older man. I was a really “good” girl in most ways though. I was the valedictorian of my high school class. I drank occasionally, smoked weed a time or two, but that was the extent of my partying in high school. It was all about sex for me. I had a boyfriend but that wasn’t really enough for me. I wanted everyone to want me. However, I had terrible self-esteem so that held me back from all I really wanted to do.  I didn’t think boys liked me. In college, I discovered my attraction for women and basically wrote men off for those for years. I had a lot of fun but there was also a lot of drama and heart breaking emotions involved. Through it all, shame prevailed and called the shots. After college I went to ministry school, where I was constantly being reprimanded for same sex relationships. I turned back to men then because it seemed the lesser of the two evils. I ended up marrying a man I met there. I wasn’t exactly in love but, he was nice and a good Christian boy and he wanted me so that was enough, temporarily. As the honeymoon period ended and our incompatibility became obvious, I started flirting with other men. Lo and behold, I realized boys did indeed like me! I went crazy with this knowledge. I cheated on my husband several times, once with his own brother. I also lost a lot of weight during this time and my confidence in my appearance sky rocketed. I was acting like the slutty teenager I had always wanted to be. Shortly after I divorced my husband, I really went nuts. I was doing all kinds of crazy, totally risky things sexually. I had threesomes and gang bangs and met random men in random seedy hotels. I hooked up with people from Craigslist (I still shudder to admit that one for some reason).  One of these men drew me in. He was a bit of a thug and I knew it, and I liked it. As I got in deeper with him, he became my everything. I didn’t flinch when he introduced the idea of escorting. Why not make money doing what I loved and was apparently great at? I think he was blown away at how easily he persuaded and educated, a non drug addict, seemingly together girl to go for such a thing. But as I said earlier, shame had always called the shots for me. I wasn’t scared of the prospect of sleeping with men for money, I didn’t think it would make me a bad person. Honestly, how could I get any worse? I worked as an escort for close to 2 years. I had some scary, amazing, pitiful, fun crazy experiences during that time. My boyfriend/pimp became abusive quickly. I was never hurt by a client, but my boyfriend hit me, choked me, spit in my face, left me places, forced me to do things I never would have done otherwise. I borrowed thousands of dollars from my mom, shut out my friends and family, punched a girl in the face (this was so out of character for me that I went in my room and cried for hours afterwards). I shoplifted, stole, scammed. I lied a lot. Everything was a lie. I talked other girls into the business. I crossed state lines. I became someone I never thought I could be. Yet… There was a sick satisfaction in it all. I felt powerful. I used my sexuality as a tool, sometimes a weapon. I OWNED it. If a client did anything I didn’t like, I kicked them out. And kept their money. My confidence was at an all time high. I could do anything. I could handle any situation. I was a goddamn superthug escorting queen. And the beatings, well I deserved them. I had always know I was a bad girl, from the moment I put my hand on my daddy’s junk. It was cleansing fire to be dragged by the hair and humiliated. It was so hard to leave. Until he burnt my house down. Now that I’m removed from the situation, and thoroughly therapised, I of course see how turned around my thinking was. How there was a direct undeniable link between my childhood abuse and my adult mistakes. I’m back to being me now. I’m healing, little by little, one tiny step at a time. But I do sometimes miss being a badass.

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Tyler W.

The 26 year-old law student talks about his struggles with addiction especially bulimia, hallucinogens and nitrous oxide, having diabetes, being a perfectionist, assuming the role of caretaker for his alcoholic parents when he was a child, a jarring move to a racially intolerant “Christian” city, and what he did to find the peace he has today.

PillPack sponsors this show.  To check it out (and to help the podcast) go to Pillpack.com/happyhour. BrainHQ sponsors this show.  For 10% off a monthly or yearly subscription go to BrainHQ.com/happyhour

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Anna Akana

The performer / writer / director best known for her popular YouTube channel opens up about growing up with a Japanese father and Filipino mother where mistakes were not tolerated.  She also shares about her sister’s suicide, lying, drugs & sex.

Visit Anna’s Youtube Channel, her Facebook Page, her Twitter Feed or her website.

PillPack sponsors this show.  To check it out (and to help the podcast) go to Pillpack.com/happyhour.

BrainHQ sponsors this show.  For 10% off a monthly or yearly subscription go to BrainHQ.com/happyhour

 

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Michael H.

The 25 year-old Taiwanese American shares about his co-dependency, painful breakups and perfectionism as well as the irony that as a trained therapist he knows he should establish boundaries with his mother but cannot bring himself to do so.  He also shares insights into child abuse based on his work at a child advocacy center.

PillPack sponsors this show.  To check it out (and to help the podcast) go to Pillpack.com/happyhour.  Care.com sponsors this episode.  To get 25 percent off a premium membership go to Care.com/happyhour

The article referenced on the show on the differences between psychopaths and sociopaths is by Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. and is from Psychology Today.   Here is the link to read it.

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Bernadette

The 36 year-old mother shares about the middle-class version of Cops that was her childhood, her Borderline Personality Disorder, suicide attempts and the drinking problem she can’t bring herself to confront despite its effect on her children & boyfriend.

PillPack sponsors this show.  To check it out (and to help the podcast) go to Pillpack.com/happyhour.  Care.com sponsors this episode.  To get 25 percent off a premium membership go to Care.com/happyhour

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Mick Betancourt (voted #5 ep of 2014)

The comedian/ podcaster/ writer opens up about his incredibly chaotic childhood, alcoholism and fighting the feelings of worthlessness, especially that he often feels like a fraud in his role as a father and husband.  He also shares about the tools he discovered to cope with these feelings.

Mick hosts the podcast The Mick Betancourt Show.  Visit his website www.mickbetancourt.com

PillPack sponsors this show.  To check it out (and to help the podcast) go to Pillpack.com/happyhour.  Care.com sponsors this episode.  To get 25 percent off a premium membership go to Care.com/happyhour

To take our short survey to help prospective advertisers decide whether or not to sponsor the show  (your email will not be used for any marketing purposes or made public) go here.   www.podsurvey.com/mentalpod

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Andrea Schaeffer

The Canadian listener talks about the masks she feels she had to wear to deal with childhood sadness, being raped at 16, and experiencing postpartum depression.  She talks about the support groups & the health care system that saved her life  To read Andrea’s blog go to www.theandreaproject.com  PillPack sponsors this show.  For your first month free or to just help the podcast go to Pillpack.com/happyhour.  Care.com sponsors this episode.  To get 25 percent off a premium membership go to Care.com/happyhour

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Julian F

His childhood was a flurry of moving all over Europe and South America, his parents treated him like “Good Cop Bad Cop” and he has no idea why he felt like a “little pervert” as a kid.  They talk about manipulation, addiction, mania, shame, self-hatred and panic attacks.  To purchase, or pay what you want for Julian’s novel visit www.eventheredheron.com PillPack sponsors this show.  For your first month free or to just help the podcast go to Pillpack.com/happyhour.

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