Second Stories Podcast
We think of each person's life as having a "first story," and a "second story." Your first story is marked by the setting you were born into: your parents, your community, your level of opportunity, mostly things you can't change. Your "second story," on the other hand, is the new chapter you get to write yourself: your career, your own family, your goals, and your dreams.
Second Stories is dedicated to telling stories of people who had first stories full of hardship and hopelessness, yet were able to change the narrative and write a new one. They're stories of resilience and hope, but also tributes to the people and experiences and organizations that made it possible for them to start again.
Find each episode here, plus some more information and photos about each of our guests.
Renée has a law degree, a masters degree, and a PhD. She also was born into poverty. She was a single parent. She was abused. She was a college dropout. We see in her a world changer as much as we see her early disadvantages, and in that we are hopeful.
Topical Episode: Family Trauma
Tina Seeley, Program Manager for Second Story for Teens in Crisis, Lucy, from our last episode, and Lucy’s mom, Penny, join us today to talk about family trauma -- what it can mean for young people, and the ways that families can work to create supportive and understanding places to thrive together.
Lucy’s story is remarkably normal. In many ways, she gives voice to our collective experience. She relives something that is familiar for many of us, and forces us not to write off our pain even if it’s “normalized.” She reminds us that pain doesn’t have to be unique or unusual or diagnosable to be valid.
Topical Episode: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Cathy Benn, Second Story’s senior therapist, joins us to tell us about PTSD – its causes, symptoms, and the way it affects victims. Chrystel will tell us about her experience and together they will continue to process working through, and healing from, trauma.
Today's story looks at something major, what came and went as a huge news story for most of us, and zooms all the way in at one person's experience. Because even when we talk about issues and epidemics, they are, at their core, a collection of stories and experiences, and they're completely more personal than we often make them seem.
Topical Episode: Domestic Violence
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 10 million people a year are physically abused by an intimate partner, and young women, between the ages of 18 and 24, are the most common victims. In this episode Angel, Program Manager for Second Story for Young Mothers, shares some more information about how abuse affects specifically young women while Bree reflects on how some of the broader stats and facts feel personal for her.
At a young age Bree saw most of the things she thought could count on fall away. But rather than focusing on the present that betrayed her, Bree was brave enough to look to the future that she dreamt of. This is a story of how a young woman, in the midst of hardship, chose to keep going, full of tenacity and hope.
Second Stories Season Two
Announcing Second Stories season two! We produced season one with high hopes and the conviction that each story was worth telling, and we were so thankful for your responses. We always hoped to tell more stories, and we’re really excited to do that in this new season. This season we're sharing a handful more inspirational, vulnerable stories and also digging further into some of the specific challenges each person faced. Our first episode will be available for streaming two weeks from today, October 22nd, with a new episode released each Tuesday.
Amanda's family dynamic might sound familiar to many of us: things looked lovely on the outside but were actually challenging and dysfunctional. Years later, now a wife and mom, Amanda is pulling her family's experience from the shadows with the belief that her story isn't shameful, but rather a way to show others that hope and healing are possible.
Bonnie’s home was safe in the literal sense of the word. She had a roof over her head, food to eat everyday, and parents who cared about her. But she was lacking something important: a sense of belonging, and a sense that her feelings mattered.
When Merrill was 14 she started acting out. She wasn’t sure why, she just knew whatever she was doing made her feel better for a moment. The drinking, the drugs, the partying, all of it was covering up a darkness she was trying to shove away. Then a few years later she decided she’d had enough. She realized it wasn’t working. The darkness was still there. She reached out to someone she knew would keep her safe, her dad, and he knew exactly how to help
Johnny visited Second Story’s teen shelter as a young person when he felt he had nowhere to go. It made a profound impact in his life then, but maybe even more so decades later when his daughter was struggling like he was. He remembered his experience and knew exactly where to take her -- back to the place that made him feel safest when he felt most vulnerable.
Carla's home situation was volatile, and as she grew up, she took her mind off the issues in risky ways. Then things got worse at home, and she was coerced into an experience that knocked her to the ground. She stopped caring about herself. She got involved with dangerous people. She stuck around in an abusive relationship. She drank too much, mostly all alone in her bedroom. She thought a lot about killing herself. When she found out she was pregnant she knew something had to change.
Manny and Chauncy
Manny and Chauncy are brothers, with stories reflecting each others’ in many ways. Both Liberian, both called Northern Virginia home for a time, and both with dreams that inspire them and keep them up at night. Chauncy had something unique, though: someone telling him he could do it. Someone reminding him that his dreams had value. Someone telling him to never give up. And this person changed everything for him.
When Simron moved to the U.S. she started dreaming about her future, but her family didn't see things the same way. Simron wanted to go to college and pursue her dreams, while her family wanted to arrange the sort of marriage that Simron had seen lead to abuse and injustice. So she made a choice.