Episode 68: Instructions on Parting with Amy Jenkins

October 14, 2018

All In with Pauline Hawkins

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Amy Jenkins was part of the New Hampshire Film Festival 2018 and screened her documentary Instructions On Parting: Over  the  course  of  one  tumultuous  year,  Artist  and  Director  Amy  Jenkins  confronts  the  cancer   diagnoses  of  her  mother,  sister,  and  brother,  and  also  welcomes  her  first  child  to  life.  Crafted   in  a  unique  visual  style,  the  film  weaves  breathtaking  vignettes  of  nature  unfolding  with   cinéma  vérité  family  footage  to  lead  us  to  a  bold  and  daring  acceptance  our  own  mortality.  Contact Amy through her website at http://www.on-parting.com/

Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of her life: 1st song: “Fireflies” by Patti Smith; 2nd song: “The Vigil” by Jane Siberry; and “Silent Tango” by Noah Hoffeld and Philip Fraiser.

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Episode 67: Podcasting with Raef Granger and Reid Butler

October 7, 2018

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Raef and Reid

Raef Granger and Reid Butler join my podcast to talk about starting their own businesses. Raef helps entrepreneurs find and follow their passions and protect their businesses. Reid is a financial advisor who provides strategies to families and small businesses. Together they have a podcast called The Entrepreneurs Foundry.
Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of their lives: 1st song: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2; 2nd song: “Yellow Eyes” by Rayland Baxter; 3rd song: “Dance with Me Tonight” by The Wonders (That Thing That You Do Soundtrack)

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Truth and Consequence

If, like me, you are a sexual assault survivor, you are struggling right now. Dr. Ford’s testimony was more than one woman’s story; it was a testament to what so many women have experienced and hidden for most of their lives.

I have similar stories in my life—so many traumatic stories that when the movement started, all I could admit is #MeToo.

I knew all my abusers: I can see their faces, hear their words, smell their scents, and feel their hands and bodies on mine as if it were yesterday. I may not be able to recall the address of each of the locations or the first and last names of my abusers—but I’m pretty sure if I had to, I could research those things based on the details I do remember.

That’s how traumatic memories work—the things we wish we could forget burn themselves into our long-term memories. They become the very fabric of our lives and shape every decision and thought process afterwards. The nonessential details or the mundane experiences fade.

These sexual experiences have created relationship and self-worth issues for me that have taken countless therapy sessions and self-help books to correct. I’ve worked hard at denying the lies I believed about others: that men were justified in their abuse because I deserved it. I now know that I am not responsible for other people’s choices and behaviors. However, I still battle with the lies I believe about myself: that I am only valuable as a sexual object and that no one can ever truly love me for who I am. I am getting healthier but am still not completely healed yet.

After the assaults, the only things I could control were what I did with those memories. Mostly, I kept them to myself. Why?

  1. Because I fear that I wouldn’t be believed. I couldn’t imagine sharing the deepest pain of my life just to have people not believe me or accuse me of ulterior motives. Or even worse, to have my abusers deny what they did to me instead of apologizing for their behavior. The additional trauma I would suffer would be exponential.
  2. Because, to put it simply, I don’t want to share my stories. They are painful. They have been shoved so deep in my memory that it gives me physical and emotional pain to recall them.
  3. Because I’m ashamed. I know I can’t blame my 5, 10, 18 or even 23-year-old self for what teenage boys and men did to me, but my shame shield is immediately activated when I think about what these things may say about my self-worth.
  4. Because sharing sometimes has negative consequences. The few times I have shared a story or two, either I felt so much shame I ended the friendship, or I received sympathy—not empathy—from the person I entrusted; it somehow made me feel less than human. Sharing would also mean I’d have to open myself up to be scrutinized or ruin my or someone else’s life with my truth.
  5. Because most of my abusers were teenagers. As I age, I realize many of these boys were probably lost, confused, misinformed, or maybe even hurting. My hope is that these boys changed, that they realized the error of their ways and became better men as they matured and had families.

Yet, I still fear that my silence has continued the cycle of abuse. What if my silence allowed the boys to continue assaulting others? What if these boys who took advantage of a lost, wounded, little girl — for I was always a lost, wounded, little girl even at 23 when I found myself in that small, dark place — grew up to be men who took advantage of lost, wounded, little girls? It’s too painful to think about, so instead I chose to believe my teenage abusers were driven by youth and curiosity, rather than evil intent. Perhaps that makes me naïve or a coward or just an optimist, but whatever the label, I did what I needed to do to survive and heal.

With healing, I have been able to use my painful experiences to become a better person, mother, and teacher. I can empathize and support those who have experienced similar pain. I can guide, advise, and correct those who need help understanding gender inequality and what it means to be a woman. I have already made my peace and continue to use my experiences to help others.

I guess the only other question I want to ask and try to answer is: What would it take to give actual details of the assaults?

It would require something of monumental importance for me to name my abusers and share the details—something that would require me to sacrifice my personal safety and health for the greater good. The decision would not be made lightly, but with soul searching, plenty of counsel, and the hope that it would make the world a better place.

Honestly, I still don’t know if that would be enough to dredge up the past, but a few things I know for sure: I would never relay the details of those nightmares to get attention or for a political agenda. I’m worth more than that.

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Episode 66: Digital Marketing with Sabrina Kizzie

September 30, 2018

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Sabrina Kizzie

Sabrina Kizzie is a nationally recognized consultant, marketing expert, author and motivational speaker. She is currently a professor at the City University of New York’s Baruch College, and the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute, where she teaches several courses including social media marketing, interactive marketing, media plan development and marketing communications. Sabrina shares about the importance of digital marketing, community service, and being a life-long learner.
Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of her life: 1st song: “Optimistic” by Sounds of Blackness; 2nd song: “Just Fine” by Mary J Blige; 3rd song: “Golden” by Jill Scott.
Follow Sabrina at http://www.socialmediaglamour.com and @sabrinaonmove on Twitter and Instagram. Connect with her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinakizzie/

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Episode 65: Accepting the Challenge with Christina McAlister

September 23, 2018

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Christina McAlister

Christina McAlister is a successful business owner, a dance mom to three beautiful girls, a former mechanic in the Army National Guard, and an educational associate for kindergarten where she puts her recently learned sign-language skills to use. She accepts every challenge that comes her way, with beautiful results. For more information on her photography, contact Christina at https://christinamcalister.com/
Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of her life: 1st song: “Free Your Mind” by En Vogue; 2nd song: “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore; and 3rd song: “Grown Woman” by Beyonce.

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Episode 64: Laborers, Craftsmen, and Artists with Adam Rivera

September 9, 2018

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Adam RiveraAdam Rivera is a true renaissance man with accomplishments in many fields: He’s an MMA fighter and trainer, coaching Devin Powell into the UFC; a combat medic; an FBI certified crisis negotiator; and an ordained minister—and that’s just a sampling. Not only does he have a list of accomplishments, but he shares some important life lessons along with what it takes to go all in.
Three songs that would be on the soundtrack of his life: 1st song: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem; 2nd song: “Let It Be” by Paul McCartney; and 3rd song: “Imagine” by John Lennon.

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Episode 63: Being a Creative with Alexandra Chan

August 19, 2018

All In with Pauline Hawkins

Alexandra Chan has an amazing array of accomplishments under her belt with even more on the horizon. Alexandra Chan Photography was awarded the Best Photographer of 2017 for the Portsmouth region; she has spoken all over the world about her work in archaeology; and she is currently working on her second book. Alexandra also shares her personal philosophy that is as inspiring as it is beautifully stated. Song selections: 1st song: “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone; 2nd song: “Love is Making its Way Back Home” by Josh Ritter; and 3rd song: “Change” by Tracy Chapman. Website: http://www.alexandrachan.com

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