The NY Times Bestselling author of “Shitty Mom”, tv writer (Conan), standup (finalist on Last Comic Standing) and single Mom talks to Paul about the painful event that derailed her swimming aspirations and defined much of her late teens and twenties, before she eventually sought help. They talk about EMDR (Eye Movement De-Sensitization and Reprocessing) and the difficulty in having a trauma that we’re afraid isn’t valid enough.
Paul’s friend opens up about being kidnapped by a motorcycle gang at 13, his success as a South Beach nightclub owner and the effect it had on his ego, the “animal” he says he became and the cocaine and heroin addiction that brought him to his knees. He also talks about working on repairing his relationships with his sons after losing custody of them as young boys because of his drug addiction.
The Singer/Songwriter opens up about her lifelong battles with body image, weight and food, as well as the complicated and overwhelming experience of being a part of the Twilight franchise (she wrote and performed the song “Satellite Heart” on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack, and hosted a red carpet event). Anya’s songs have also appeared on Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl. She ends the interview with a performance of her song “Miss Halfway”. Paul reads a response from the Shame and Secrets survey written by a mild-mannered housewife who shares about the abuse she suffered as a child and the endless murderous fantasies that play in her mind while politely chatting at parties.
Standup comedian, writer and actor Fred Stoller opens up about his childhood with a sensitive withdrawn father and a fear-filled overbearing mother who he describes as a “Rainman Savant of bad news stories”. He and Paul talk about the corrosive effect a joy-snuffing parent can have on a child’s ability to experience joy. People know Fred from appearances on Everybody Loves Raymond, Dumb and Dumber, orSeinfeld. Paul reads some polarizing emails about the Ted Lyde episode as well as a happy moment survey response from a German listener who recalls the moment her depression ran out of fuel.
Listener Katie was literally a red-headed stepchild. Though her blended family was large (7 kids), her stepfather was not Mr. Brady. He was, in her words Machiavelli. Attacked by a stranger at 15, something in her snapped. It would be years before she dealt with the pain, as she tried to numb herself with sex, drugs, shopping and men who treated her like, yep you guessed it, her stepfather. Topics include PTSD, Bipolar II, Attachment Disorder, divorce and mothering. Paul reads some listener emails that are critical of him and the show, as well as one from a girl who credits the Teresa Strasser episode as the beginning of her healing.
Some find actor / comedian / filmmaker Ted Lyde’s honesty about being a parent refreshing, some find it off-putting. Ted talks about the sacrafices and compromise as a father and husband, that lead him to state, “I don’t recommend it and I wouldn’t do it again.” He also opens up about his disabled son who was born with Muscular Ataxia. Paul reads an email from a listener who found last week’s episode anything but inspiring.
How do each of us cope with trauma? Brenda’s story is remarkable for many reasons. She is a former Div 1 softball player and hockey mom with two kids who endured a day most people only experience in their nightmares. She shares how she got through it, where she is at today and the role athletics played in honing her mental toughness. Paul also reads some very intense survey responses covering a variety of ways people cope with trauma. Not a light episode, but hopefully illuminating.
The author (The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep And Never Had To), comedian (DERRICK Comedy) and actor (“Mystery Team“) opens up about the loss of his mother to cancer when he was in junior high, overachieving, cynicism, and the terrifying prospect of intimacy. Paul also reads an email from a listener who sheds light on being an identical twin, and reads the survey responses of a college-educated professional who is addicted to huffing.