Bring Your Own Baggage (BYOB) is a safe space in the form of a podcast to have constructive conversations about the personal baggage we all carry, the cultural and social issues that affect us, and the things most important to us through storytelling and discussion.
This episode was recorded on June 18th, 2020, shortly after my grandmother passed away in her sleep. She was 90 years old and she had been battling lung and pancreatic cancer for many months prior. This mini-bite episode is an attempt at a goodbye and to acknowledge the nationwide and worldwide grief and vulnerabilities we're all experiencing right now.
Resilience from Trauma
Our guest, Kelly joins us on today’s episode to share her story of how she was repeatedly sexually abused by her paternal grandfather between the ages of 4 and 8 years old.
Sexual abuse has been a common and very heavy topic on the podcast recently but it’s important to continue talking about it to raise awareness and give a voice to those whose stories aren’t believed by greater society. Personally, I came away deeply moved and in awe of Kelly’s resilience and how she has managed to take care of herself through all of this. Not only has she used her experience to write a memoir about taking her grandfather to trial and how childhood sexual abuse affected her throughout her life, but as you’ll hear, she has an incredible entrepreneurial spirit and genuine desire to help people that was born of some really traumatic childhood experiences.
Tales from Teaching
Our guest, "T," joins us on the podcast today. He currently works as a history teacher here at a local high school in Michigan, and he brought this idea to me about sharing tales from his time teaching sprinkled with a few thoughts from his own school days. He shares some really great stories and insight throughout the episode, and his genuine love of teaching and working with his students really radiates from this conversation so I hope you enjoy it!
Sibling Sexual Abuse
Brad Watts joins us on the podcast to talk about his work as a licensed therapist with a specialty in sexual offenses and sibling sexual abuse at a residential center called Hallmark Youth in Virginia.
Though our conversation centers more around Brad’s work as a counselor and infusing hope that healing from any kind of trauma is possible, I understand that this is a very sensitive topic so I just wanted to give you an upfront warning because I know it may be triggering to some people. If that’s the case, I completely understand if you need to shelf this episode for the time being.
Rising Voices of Asian American Families
Laura Misumi, Fatema Haque, and Fiana Arbab, three incredibly bright women who serve on the board of a group called Rising Voices of Asian American Families, join us today on the podcast. In this conversation, you’ll hear about how they're working on the ground floor to not only provide resources for people within their own communities but help to bridge connections between different groups to help bring us all to a better understanding of one another. We'll learn about the group's initiatives, systematic suppression and so much more.
Carley Gordon joins us on the podcast today to revisit the topic of chronic illness. Carley has been living with a chronic condition known as Hyperadrenergic POTS which she will talk more in-depth about, and through her 7-year long journey to get to that diagnosis, she has come to know her condition and her body’s needs very well.