Permission to Heal

Permission to Heal Episode #85 - A Conversation with Pamela Harris - Learning to Heal from PTSD and Thrive

September 07, 2022 Marci Brockmann Season 2 Episode 85
Permission to Heal Episode #85 - A Conversation with Pamela Harris - Learning to Heal from PTSD and Thrive
Permission to Heal
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Permission to Heal
Permission to Heal Episode #85 - A Conversation with Pamela Harris - Learning to Heal from PTSD and Thrive
Sep 07, 2022 Season 2 Episode 85
Marci Brockmann

If you are sensitive to retelling traumatic experiences, please be aware.

Pamela Harris
High Functioning Women and PTSD

Pamela has more than a decade in performing arts, almost three decades as an advocate for people with little voice involved in Criminal Justice and Mental Health Systems, and twenty-plus years advocating for women with PTSD. She is currently writing a book of essays about high-functioning women with PTSD and is the organizer and head of a support group for women with PTSD cocreating unsourced fashion and art businesses.

The book she is currently writing is a collection of short essays about high-functioning women with PTSD. It includes several essays about her journey as well as essays about several other women. She is searching for other women to interview to ensure a broad spectrum of women and stories. It will include art photographs in black and white of each woman in the book. This is an effort to help women with PTSD feel more at ease in sharing and living their truth and help others in their battles with living with PTSD and dispel the idea that women with PTSD are broken, even crazy, and completely unstable.

Interested in sharing your story in the book?
 Email her at

Connect with Pamela
Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Connect with Marci

·       Website, Patreon, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Facebook Group.

·       Permission to Heal on YouTube.

·       Permission to Land  (memoir) - Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook 

-      Permission to Land: Personal Transformation Through Writing

Permission to Heal Bookshop - Buy books from the episodes & support independent bookstores. 

Permission to Heal is a passion of mine.  I need your help to bring more inspirational episodes to the world; please consider becoming a patron through PATREON. 


Support the Show.

Show Notes Transcript

If you are sensitive to retelling traumatic experiences, please be aware.

Pamela Harris
High Functioning Women and PTSD

Pamela has more than a decade in performing arts, almost three decades as an advocate for people with little voice involved in Criminal Justice and Mental Health Systems, and twenty-plus years advocating for women with PTSD. She is currently writing a book of essays about high-functioning women with PTSD and is the organizer and head of a support group for women with PTSD cocreating unsourced fashion and art businesses.

The book she is currently writing is a collection of short essays about high-functioning women with PTSD. It includes several essays about her journey as well as essays about several other women. She is searching for other women to interview to ensure a broad spectrum of women and stories. It will include art photographs in black and white of each woman in the book. This is an effort to help women with PTSD feel more at ease in sharing and living their truth and help others in their battles with living with PTSD and dispel the idea that women with PTSD are broken, even crazy, and completely unstable.

Interested in sharing your story in the book?
 Email her at

Connect with Pamela
Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Connect with Marci

·       Website, Patreon, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Facebook Group.

·       Permission to Heal on YouTube.

·       Permission to Land  (memoir) - Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook 

-      Permission to Land: Personal Transformation Through Writing

Permission to Heal Bookshop - Buy books from the episodes & support independent bookstores. 

Permission to Heal is a passion of mine.  I need your help to bring more inspirational episodes to the world; please consider becoming a patron through PATREON. 


Support the Show.

PTH 85 Pamela Harris Episode 

[00:00:00] I'm different. I went back to work for a little bit and I, I found myself like if a client yelled at me, I cried. I mean, I never cried in. Do you know what I mean? I was, I was too emotional. I was too weak. I was coming home really drained and, and I had been so good at like com compartmentalizing my professional life, my personal life. And I just couldn't do that. I couldn't do that. So then what happens is your PTSD kicks into very high gear because now you've lost your identity.

Hello everyone. And welcome to permission to heal. I am MARCI Brockmann and I am really glad that you are here today. Um, really glad that you're here every week. And you are the reason that I do this podcast. I want to inspire all of listeners with true stories of healing and inspirational advice and guides and modalities of mental health, wellness, and healing from my guests out to the world. Who's listening. This is the, the reason why I do all of this. And my guest today is Pamela Harris. Pamela Harris is a survivor of multiple trauma and has suffered through and is healing herself through PTSD and is writing a book to destigmatize. PTSD and tell the story of high functioning women who have faced trauma and are recovering. 

So for those of you who, for all of us, really to get a better understanding of post traumatic stress disorder, it is an anxiety disorder that can develop from witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. PTSD is most often associated with events experienced during war time. But any number of traumatic events can trigger PTSD for anybody, men, women, children, any ages from birth to 150, and mastering PTSD involves dealing with the mood and anxiety issues over a long period of time. PTSD symptoms don't generally show up right away. For example, a veteran who has witnessed horrific wartime events is unlikely to wake up the next day, displaying, symptoms of PTSD, or have sudden fear of going out into the battlefield, such as an, an ordinary regular person. Maybe you, maybe me, maybe Pamela, maybe your friend next door might have lived through a horrific event. 

[00:02:12] Traumatic event in their life. And the symptoms don't show up for weeks or months or years until afterwards a sudden onset of symptoms may lead them feeling shocked and confused. But the symptoms are gradual and maybe missed all together and might worsen and begin to affect the person's life in all of their relationships. 

[00:02:32] So, you know, it isn't something to dismiss or scoff. Pamela spent more than three decades as a criminal defense attorney, as an advocate for people with little voice involved in the criminal justice and mental health systems she. Did this after studying and performing as a dancer actress and a model and then went back to school for criminal justice, became a lawyer, was a sole practitioner a practicing attorney for 30 years. 

[00:03:02] And she is currently writing a book of essays on the subject of high functioning women with PTSD. And she's the organizer and head of a support group for women with PTSD co-creating unsourced fashion. And as in the art business a little bit. . So if you are interested in sharing your story with your real name or a made up name, that's fine. 

[00:03:24] Either way you can contact Pamela and she will interview you for potential inclusion in her new book. I will include her email and her phone number and all of her. social media links so that you can get in touch with her and begin the process.  

[00:03:44] Thank you so very much for being here. Thank you so very much for being here every week and for listening and following along with the podcast and for recommending it to your friends. And if you have show ideas or you have a response to any particular episode and you would like to say, so. Please contact me at MARCIBROCKMANN@GMAIL.COM. My email link is also in the show notes. I would love to hear from you. Thank you so much. Enjoy the episode.
 Good morning, Pamela. How are you this morning? 

[00:00:03] I'm feeling pretty good, actually. Technically I think it's afternoon now, but okay. So Pamela, tell us, tell us about you. Tell us, introduce yourself, tell us how you came to do the things that you do. I'm sort of a Jack of all trades. So that's actually not an easy question to answer. I, I started off in life, as a dancer, an actress, a model, wow. Like a writer. I left home at 17 with, $800, a gas card driving an AMC pacer, which I'm dating myself. You remember Pacers my best friend and televis had one. It was, you know, this, this deep. 

[00:00:46] Yeah. And the screening is this big, right? Right. It weighs 200 pounds and my clothes in the backseat. And I moved to New York city from where? From Boston? Yep. Yeah. Okay. And, I lived in house kitchen before it was trendy right before it was when it was really hell's kitchen mm-hmm and I went to the American academy of dramatic arts. 

[00:01:12] Oh, cool. And I worked in the last Playboy club as a Playboy bunny on Lexington with the ears and the tail, the whole thing, the whole thing. Wow. So I say this jokingly because I did I'm jumping ahead, but at some point I become a criminal defense attorney and I say, I think I'm probably the only person on earth that's been a bunny and won a murder trial. I don't think there's other ones you're probably right. That's brilliant. and it's it's it's that's that's so Oxy, moron. I, I can't always wrap my head around that. Wow. You are a Jane of all trades. Yes. Unfortunately when I was living there in hell's kitchen, before it was trendy and it was a mess, you know, a crack filled jungle in the crazy eighties. I was raped there. Oh no. I came home from class one day and I had all this, um, we were doing, uh, a period piece and I had all these like corsets and Cris and, and things in my backpack. And I lived in a brownstone. They're actually beautiful brownstones there. Um, and I put on my stuff down and I bent down and my front door was one of those, you know, the wooden doors like this, but it's cut down the middle and it has two knobs. 

[00:02:38] Yeah. In the middle of each door. Right. Uhhuh . And I put my stuff down to get my key. And when I came up, uh, there was a man behind me, his, his name, ultimately. Andre Franklin. Um, he pushed me my face through the door, um, and forced me to open up my apartment, which was the first floor on the left Uhhuh and, um, he brutalized me for more than 24 hours. 

[00:03:16] Oh my God. Um, at some point, um, I don't know if anyone's ever been in that position and I, I hope there aren't a lot of people that's been that have been in that position. Yeah. I sort of felt like I was gonna die anyways. Mm-hmm and, um, I I'm the only child. Of a guy who wanted a son. So he, he made me kind of tough and I just heard his boys say, you know, if you're gonna go down, go down swing. 

[00:03:55] Yeah. Um, and at some point I heard my neighbor across the hall out and I just started screaming, screaming, screaming, screaming, screaming and this somehow freaked the guy out because my neighbor started banging on my door. Oh good. And, um, Mr. Franklin opened my door, fled out the front door and was gone. 

[00:04:23] Wow. Um, that was not my first experience with trauma. However, Um, I hope that was the worst um, but it's the one that I think I've healed the best from. Okay. It's the, it's the trauma that I think I've healed the best from.  

[00:04:56] Why do you think that is? Well, one that trauma as a child, somehow that gets in your DNA you're you're not mentally developed enough. Sure. To be able to be introspective or to be able to know yourself. 

[00:05:21] to get to the point where you don't blame yourself. Right. Okay. When, when trauma happens to a child, I mean, I, I still have abandonment issues and I'm 56. They started when I was three. Um, and I've been to lots of therapy. , I'm sure you have. Right. So, but this trauma that happened in New York it put me in a really dark place there. 

[00:05:49] I lived there for several years after I sort of felt like I wasn't gonna leave New York because I wasn't gonna let that event steer me off my track. Yeah. Without understanding I was being, I steered off my track, whether I wanted to or not. I mean, emotionally, I was not in a good place. I was not making healthy choices. 

[00:06:14] Right. I had a friend die in front of me. Oh. And I called a, a guy that I had been dating for a little bit, who was a cop actually. And I didn't know what to do. And he said, uh, well just come home, give me the address and I'll take care of it. Was it a, like a medical sort of thing? Or was it a violent death? Drugs? 

[00:06:43] Okay. Drugs. And I came home and he met me there and he said, you, you have to go home. You have to go back to Boston. It doesn't mean you can't come back, but you have to go home. You're not okay. Clear your head heal. You're not okay. Deal with it. Yeah. And I said, well, you don't understand. There's a lot of it that's expected of me in my family. 

[00:07:11] I'm, I'm sort of the, the gypsy one, you know, when my mom sits with my aunts and they have a discussion about, oh, well, Tracy's becoming a psychologist and Lori's becoming a nurse, you know? Well, Pam's in New York city being an actress and a poet and a dancer. You know what I mean? Um, that wasn't respectable enough for your family. 

[00:07:37] Yes, I, and some of that's me, some of that's me. Um, did you feel like you were put in a position of being in competition with cousins or siblings? Well, you said you were an only child, but, but I just think that perhaps my family did not value the arts the way I did. I think that's that they didn't value creativity as much as a, a degree, like in science or something. 

[00:08:14] Sure. Um, so I came home from New York and, um, my mom told me that I couldn't come home unless I had something to do that I wasn't going to sit on the couch and eat bond bonds. So you didn't tell them about either altercation? I, I did. I did. Oh, she still insisted on productivity and not just healing. Yes. 

[00:08:38] Okay. Um, and, and my mom was a wonderful woman, um, but my mom was very disciplined and very goal oriented, very Scandinavian okay. um, 

[00:09:01] So she asked me what I was gonna do. And I literally looked across the room at the guy and said, I don't know, maybe I'll go into criminal justice. Maybe I'll study criminal justice. I, I made that up. on the spot. Just add something to say on the spot. I made it up. Okay. And she said, oh, well, Northeastern has a criminal justice program. 

[00:09:23] I'll send you all the stuff. I'll get the application, I'll send you all the stuff. And so I applied to Northeastern and I got accepted. unaware. Okay. The college of criminal justice, did it turn out that it was something that you liked, even though it was sort of a fluke? Well, it turned out to be something I really liked. 

[00:09:43] Okay, good. I, I, I didn't think it would end up in me going to law school. I had worked with a theater company in the village called the Vietnam veterans ensemble theater company. And I thought maybe I might use my criminal justice degree to work with veterans. Okay. In a, more of a social work mm-hmm way. 

[00:10:11] I've also been through enough therapy to know that wanting to work with people who commit crime was a way for me to feel in control. Yeah. Of people who inflict violence. Yeah. They relied on me. It was probably a way to, to heal yourself. And that took me a long time to figure out that that's one of the reasons I liked the field. 

[00:10:45] Sure. I. We're talking maybe less than a decade that I, that, that kind of snapped in me. Okay. I figured that out. Were you in therapy at all while you were going to school? Easter? I was in therapy. I was in therapy, you know, regularly. I still was. Were you sleeping? Were you taking better care of yourself? 

[00:11:12] Were you making better choices during this point? I was making better choices, but not fantastic choices. Okay. Right. It's sort of easier to make better choices in your home. Sure. Right. There's other people to look up who are checking in on you. Mm-hmm right in New York. you're you were one and how many million? 

[00:11:37] No, one's checking in exactly. You were your own support system in New York, but in Boston you had more. Yes. Yeah. so I ended up graduating from the college of criminal justice and, um, unfortunately the summer after I graduated I was diagnosed with a cervical cancerous mass. Oh no. Um, and I had to deal with that. 

[00:12:06] Yes. And as summer turned to fall, I started to look for jobs and I was realizing that in back then, and this was 1991, you know, making $27,000 a year. I was definitely not gonna be able to pay my student loan back. I paid for school myself. I don't come from a family of means. Right. And sort of serendipitously, I took my mother for hot dogs at this diner place in Nadick that's great hot dogs. 

[00:12:45] And I ran into a professor of mine from Northeastern and he said, what are you doing? And I said, well, I had this cancer thing, but I'm doing great now I've been looking for a job, but I, I can't find one that I can afford to take. Sure. And he said, well, I always thought you'd be a great defense attorney. 

[00:13:11] Okay. I said, I don't even know how to begin to do that. I don't even know what the process is. He says, well, you have to take this thing called the LSAT well, does that cost money? He said, just come to my office next week and you'll take it at Northeastern and you'll take the class at Northeastern and we'll figure it out and okay, nice job. 

[00:13:36] We figured it out. And in 1995 I graduated from law school, mazel tov!. Wow. And I had been working for a sole practitioner, criminal defense attorney and loved criminal work. It, it sort of allowed me to use my acting skills. Right. So instead of an audience, you've got a judge and jury. Right, right. 

[00:14:05] And depending on who your jury is, depends on your demeanor, your dress. Mm-hmm, how you layer questions. Right? Right. How I wear my hair, whether I wear my, a wedding ring or not. whether I wear my star of David or not. Right. So I liked that part and I liked the helping people part mm-hmm and I started my own practice and I had my own practice for 30 years. 

[00:14:40] Wow. I am one of the only people to win three, not guilties by reason of insanity, huh. Here in the state of Massachusetts. And at the time I was the youngest woman to ever win a straight first degree murder to a straight, not guilty in Norfolk county here. Wow. I was fortunate enough to do, I don't know if you know who Reggie Lewis is. 

[00:15:12] So Reggie Lewis was a Celtics basketball player. He actually went to Northeastern. Okay. And his wife's last name is Harris like mine, Shauna Harris. So that's, that's sort of like a weird six degrees of separation. Right. But he died. And he had a congenital heart defect and his estate sued this doctor, Dr. Mudge the estate settled with some other doctors at another hospital, but not with Dr. Mudge. And the first trial was a mistrial and the second trial she lost. Okay. And I was fortunate enough to be asked to do the. I had never on her behalf. Yes. Okay. On the estate's behalf. Okay. I had never done an appeal of that magnitude. 

[00:16:19] I mean, Reggie Lewis dying was a national thing. It was on 60 minutes. I mean, well, if he was an NBA player yeah. I'm sure. Right. I mean, it was a big thing, not just here in Massachusetts. Yeah. And I don't know, I, my son was just born and he's 24. So this was a week ago. So you're talking like 23 years ago. 

[00:16:43] Mm-hmm um, I was much younger. and I had, yes. And I had a woman working with me who was just out of law school. And we were up against this team of maybe seven men that were between the ages of 65 and 80. our collective age didn't make 60 . Right. And it was a little intimidating, you know, they had all gone to Harvard. 

[00:17:14] We had gone to Northeastern and Suffolk law and we felt a little like imposter sure. A little out, uh, outgunned, so to speak. Yes. Um, uh, but we won back the right to have an appeal that she had lost with a prior counsel. So that was a victory. Sure. Um, and ultimately my theory on appeal was correct, but because the attorney in the second trial didn't move for a mistrial and only allowed for a curative instruction. Right. He let the jury, the jury heard something they weren't supposed to hear. Okay. And he should have sent, went to sidebar and said, that's enough for the mistrial. The jury is never gonna forget that they can't wipe that out. 

[00:18:12] There's no instruction that that's gonna fix that. Instead. He allowed the judge to give an instruction, not to pay attention to that, but we're not talking about like the local hair dresser. We're talking about an MBA star and millions of dollars and right. It it's titillating. So it was nice that the appeals court said I was right. 

[00:18:38] But unfortunately the lower attorney didn't do what he was supposed to. Right. So we were not successful on appeal. Um, but it did give me some notoriety. Um, and, and it pushed me forward as a sole practitioner. That's cool. You never know where those things are gonna turn up? Yes. The best thing about those 30 years, however, was I, I, myself personally was a clinic, so I would take law students and they would come work for me for the summer for $11 an hour lunch and parking and get to go to court and get to go to prisons. 

[00:19:23] Okay. right. And get to go into lockup. And that wouldn't be exciting for me, but the, the court part might be, but, but kids who wanna be criminal attorneys, it's very, it's very exciting for, um, and ultimately the majority of them stayed and I hired them on as associates or of council, these young kids. Um, and we became really a family. 

[00:19:57] They were like, my kids. That's nice. You know, I was like a work mom. Mm-hmm in fact. Two of them said, I don't think we can work anywhere else. It's the only place when you come to work, your boss tells you, she loves you. And when you leave work, she tells you, she talk about job security. We don't think we can work anywhere else because you know, we're gonna be telling people we love them. 

[00:20:23] And right. So, um, that I don't miss anything else really about my law career. Mm-hmm I miss those kids. Sure. Have you kept in touch with them? Oh, yes. And they call me all the time for advice. And, um, are you still practicing as an attorney now? I am not. Um, but to answer your, your sort of question, those 30 years of practice, 

[00:21:01] Helped me feel good about myself. And so the weight of being a rape victim was easy to shed because when I walked in the courtroom, people paid attention. Right. Right. People were asking me for my advice. Right. You were the one that was in control. You were the experts. And I was strong. Right. I didn't feel like a victim. 

[00:21:32] You, you can't feel like a victim and do criminal trials? No, no. And so on top of just whatever, cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy that I was constantly in that business, that career. Mm. Helped me heal in a lot of ways. Makes lot, I mean, if I could sit next to a rapist or a murderer 

[00:22:03] and advocate for them, I wasn't afraid of them. Right. Right. So I had triumphed over Andre. Franklin. Did he ever get brought to justice? He did. He did. Um, maybe a month later. Okay. He did. I identified him in a, a liner. He went to a grand jury. He got indicted and he pled, so there had been a string of rapes in hell's kitchen, but I was the only American that was a victim. 

[00:22:44] And the. The others didn't wanna come forward in, in legals. Yeah, that makes sense. So, um, it's sad, but it makes sense. Yes. So 

[00:23:03] at some point, um, about seven years ago, seven years ago, um, um, I got accused of being mean to another female attorney. Really? It was an argument that if we were two men, nothing would've happened. Okay. She called me names in front of my client. Like Barbie, she's not a real lo you know, you don't ha hire or you don't have a real lawyer. She's just a Barbie. She plays one on TV. She pay as much attention to her argument as she does her outfit. 

[00:23:57] Like not nice obnoxious. She wouldn't say that to a male attorney, for sure. Not nice. Um, and I don't, you probably might edit this out, but I'm just gonna be honest. Yeah. I just looked across the table and said, you know, I've been dealing with bitches like you, my whole life, that my little skirt was cuter than your little skirt when we ran around the punch ball in kindergarten. 

[00:24:22] Right. I don't know if you don't have a cute skirt, if you ate too much, Ben, and Jerry's, you don't like yourself. I don't know what it is, but now I insulted you. You insulted me now. We're even, can we talk about the case? Okay. I think that was a good way to handle. I was accused of fact shaming. Well, maybe she was trying to knock you off. 

[00:24:47] She was thin shaming. Okay. Why wasn't she skinny shaming or pretty shaming or body shaming, anybody forget fat fin square, toll short. What does that mean? Or because I'm because I'm blonde, right? I, I'm not smart. I'm a Barbie. I mean, I don't know, but anyways, she didn't feel that she had a solid case. So she was trying to throw you off. 

[00:25:09] That started a very, her boss was the head of the mass bar association shit . And that started a very difficult period for me, professionally, where I had, um, an important person in power holding me to a bar that no one else was held to. 

[00:25:38] During that time. I was also in a second marriage that was filled with domestic violence. Oh my God. You have had a Rocky road, Pamela. And, um, he also stole my life savings. Six figures, life savings. Yeah. Here in Massachusetts, we call it mattress money. So when you're a poor kid and your first job is 13 and you waitressing and you've waitressed and bartended your whole life, right. 

[00:26:06] You have what we commonly call mattress money. And so since I was 13 years old, I've been storing $10, $5, $3. Mm-hmm I was a single mom by the time my son was 18 months old. I had saved this money for his college. Okay. And your husband stole it wasn't you know, it wasn't, it wasn't to get cosmetic surgery or go on, on vacation. 

[00:26:30] Right? It was for my son. That's what I used all my savings for my putting my two kids through school. So, um, I had this professional pressure going on, you know, you can't really perform and advocate for people when you're looking over your shoulder, right? Yeah. That doesn't work well. Um, and the pressure at home with the domestic violence and my mother, um, lived with dementia for seven years and, and it was during that time that she died. And it was very devastating. Her death. Was she had it coming at you from all angles? Yes. So it's like operating on quicksand. Yes. So I, I took break from work. I went back to work and it was like August and in October I was in staples and I collapsed. Oh, and I got rushed to the hospital and they told me that the Mitra valve in my heart had literally broke. 

[00:27:46] I don't know if you know what a Mitra valve is, but Hey, yeah. It it's like a bridge. Right? Mm-hmm and it's supposed to open and close tight mm-hmm mine was like feathers, not like steel. Sure. And they fluttered up and then fluttered all the way down. So the blood from the bottom chamber would go up into the upper chamber, but then regurgitate back and hit the blood coming forward, which enlarged my heart. 

[00:28:14] And I had to have surgery, life saving surgery. So they replaced the mitral valve. They replaced the valve. Yes. They didn't give me open heart surgery. I didn't need like a pig valve. Right. They were able to repair the valve, which is like under your breast. I call it my Tyran boob. I mean if 56, no one really sees my boobs. 

[00:28:37] Yeah. But it's my tired boob. Um, but unfortunately during the surgery, um, they broke my bra plexi nerve and I was completely paralyzed in my right dominant arm with red bull pain. God Pamela, um, for 14 months, I now am permanently, partially disabled in this hand. Um, I can't lift the same. I have pain. Um, I have numbness, um, and it also created a mild brain injury in my executive functioning. 

[00:29:15] Oh gosh. Cuz I was on heart and lung bypass for 10 hours. So you probably don't think I have brain damage. I've probably seen you seem perfectly fine and normal and fine for you. Yeah. Um, but I know I'm different. Well sure. I know I'm different. um, and multi-tasking, I mean, that's what a criminal defense attorney does, right? 

[00:29:39] Multitask got 20 witnesses. You're talking to this one, you trying to, you have to manage, you've got someone's life in their name. And multitasking for me now is very difficult. It's very difficult, especially if I'm upset or stressed. Okay. So, um, between the personal and professional issues, health issues. 

[00:30:04] Yeah. That's that was it. Um, so I'm done after the surgery. 

[00:30:16] I was I'm different. I'm different. Mm-hmm um, I went back to work for a little bit and I, I found myself like if a client yelled at me, I cried. I mean, I never cried in. Right. Yeah, that doesn't work so well. right. Do you know what I mean? I was, I was too emotional. I was too weak. Well, too many things that went on simultaneously. 

[00:30:40] I was coming home space from, I was coming home really drained and, and I had been so good at like com compartmentalizing, Uhhuh. my professional life, my personal life. Um, and I just couldn't do that. I couldn't do that. Um, so then what happens is your PTSD kicks into very high gear because now you've lost your identity. 

[00:31:07] Right? I don't know who I am. 

[00:31:13] I have lost my financial security to my estranged, violent husband. You no longer have the identity as a, as an attorney. I have no income. Mm-hmm, , I'm not an attorney anymore. And when people, like, that's a question, a lot of people ask first when they need somebody, what do you do? Right? Yeah. Nothing. We all, we all shove our resumes out there to the world. 

[00:31:47] Right? So now I was saying nothing. What do I don't do anything right now? So I felt like nothing. I felt like a failure. I felt like a failure to, um, the, the people who worked in my office. I felt like a failure to my son. I felt like I couldn't offer my partner 

[00:32:12] anything. And believe it or not, that trauma trumped the rate in 1986, I could see. This has been the hardest thing. This surgery, the brain injury, the pain, the paralysis, the loss of not just a job. I mean, it wasn't a job. It was a career and I didn't work for it was the way you identified yourself. It was, it wasn't a big firm. 

[00:32:47] It was me, the law office of Pam Harris daily. I mean, it was me, right. Um, lots of people didn't know whether I left solely because of professional issues or did I leave solely because of health issues. It's a small community here in Boston, right. People gossip and talk, and they'll always be haters. Right. 

[00:33:14] What they think says only says things about them though. Nothing about you. And I know that and I know that. Yeah. Um, and. What it did teach me, however, was that there were lots and I mean, dozens of people that I helped out over those 30 years. Oh, I'm sure many money, hundreds of thousands of dollars of free legal help and aid, or because I made a very good living. 

[00:33:41] If they needed rent money or they needed oil, or they needed new tires on their car or their kid needed money for braces. Every, I never let anyone pick up a check. I paid for vacations. Right. Right. And now that I couldn't do that, 

[00:34:04] many, many of those people were gone. So they didn't step up and return the favor and, and hold your hand. They didn't even call. They didn't come. I was 21 days in ICU. They didn't even come. Wow. They didn't even come, that's a slap in the face right there. And that was devastating trauma. Like I sure the life I had been living was was a lie. 

[00:34:38] Yeah. Right. Fair weather friends. Um, it's hard to handle. And that, that was very hard for me. I'm I'm not a, because of my childhood, which was filled with a lot of trauma. Um, I, I'm not a trusting person. Mm-hmm, it, it takes a long time for me to trust. Yeah. Um, that part of me is not healed, you know, the way it should be. 

[00:35:09] So the last seven years I've had nothing but time to think. Right. I, I wasn't able to solve anybody else's problem with anything. Well, I needed help. You needed help. You needed to focus your energy on you and figure out how to put all of, all of your stuff in order. But when you slow down like that, when, when you are on a high speed railway for 30 years, right, right. 

[00:35:45] And then you slow down and now it's not just slowing down, you're at a stop you're you're off the track. Right. Um, while you have left, is the spiraling in your head and all the things that you're thinking about. And, yeah. Right. And at the time my son was, you know, um, in high school and getting ready to go to college and mm-hmm um, so I wasn't really like a mom mm-hmm anymore. 

[00:36:11] Right. He didn't need me the way a little kid needs. You sure. The relationships change as the kids grow older. Right. Um, my son's 24 too. I think we were both probably pregnant at the same time. So I get it. Yeah. Um, so the first few years, I mean, I regular, I regularly thought about not living for the first two or three years. 

[00:36:47] There were days that if I got out of bed to pee, it was a big thing. That's hard. Um, it aggravated my abandonment issues, which created friction in my relationship. Mm-hmm um, 

[00:37:13] it ripped me of self-esteem. I mean, I was very self loath. right. Sure. I was in physical pain and I, I often thought so now everybody has to take care of me. So if I'm not here, no one has to take care of me and I won't be in mental or physical pain anymore. It'll just be done. Okay. Um, 

[00:37:46] and through therapy, Medi I learned to meditate. I started off doing guided sleep meditation because I couldn't sleep because of my injury and the pain. Sure. That helps a lot. I do that too sometimes. Um, and I've long suffered within insomnia. Um, but that really helped me. Um, I, I have. a small group, two women friends that I trust completely mm-hmm that they themselves have suffered trauma. 

[00:38:28] So they get it. Sure. They themselves have PTSD. They get it. They themselves have been single mothers. They get it. Mm-hmm um, they themselves are high functioning women with PTSD. Right? I mean, I think you asked my colleagues in court. Hey, did you know Pam has PTSD? No one would know. Sure. You've covered over it. 

[00:38:56] And people would think what, which this is what I really wanted to, to maybe explore with you sure today. So during this having to figure out my life, um, I did realize that despite the fact I had been. A criminal defense attorney for 30 years. I had also during that time owned and ran a restaurant with my son's dad. 

[00:39:24] Wow. And I resigned it and I did all the books and we were on television. We got an award for gourmet greatness. Wow. Um, and I had been a working actress and dancer and model. Right, right. So lawyering was something I did and I did it very well and I had great success. It allowed me to live in a lifestyle and provide a lifestyle for my son that I never had. 

[00:39:56] Okay. I didn't need anybody. I didn't need a husband. Mm-hmm you were self-sufficient and independent. I was completely self-sufficient. Yeah. And in that way, my abandonment issues were, were quelled. because I knew I could always be okay. That that's really been my Mo as well. I I'm remarried. I have a second husband and we are very happy, but, and I want to be with him, but I don't need him not, not to sustain my life. 

[00:40:30] I would be heartbroken if the relationship ended, but I would ultimately still be okay. You know, so now for the first time in my, in my life, I have a partner who supports me financially. Good. You deserve that. Um, is that hard for you to reconcile? Well, be careful for be careful for what you wish for, because I would run into like these girlfriends from high school or girlfriends from college, you know? 

[00:41:04] Um, and they lived in, you know, big mansions west of Boston. Didn't work and belonged to country clubs. And I thought, how did I screw up? Do you know what I mean? Mm-hmm, , I'm working 80 hours. I was working 80 hours a week. How did I screw up? You didn't screw up. You just have a different, but that's what I, but that's what I was thinking. 

[00:41:31] You know, like they have such, they have such, their lives are so much easier than mine. I think we all do that. I see people who I went to high school with or college with, and they've got much different, you know, their lifestyles look different and they're going on trips and their houses are beautiful, but you don't know much debt. 

[00:41:46] They have. You don't know, you don't know any, we don't know anything of, of course. Right. But what I didn't know then when I was completely self-sufficient that I know now is that the control in an intimate relationship is different. Mm-hmm . When one person holds the purse strings. Yeah. So with all my other relationships, I made the most money. 

[00:42:20] Okay. So I held the purse strings. Right. Um, 

[00:42:31] so the relationship dynamics between your, your that's that's different relationship, that's a different place for me to be, it's a nervous place for me to be, I'm grateful for it. Mm-hmm good. But I, I had to do more than just have therapy. Oh, right, right. I had to do more than just stop wanting to kill. Although that's a very big step, but yeah. But, but there had to take it a step further. Sure. There had to be more than that. Right. Right. So, so what did you discover when I just started thinking that I had had all these other evolutions, all these other lives, all these other talents that if I thought about what skills I had, mm-hmm as opposed to what careers I had, that's a good distinction. 

[00:43:29] That, that was really helpful to feel some self worth. Yes. Right. Yeah. And during this time I came up with the idea about writing a book about high functioning women with PTSD. I hear that. And, um, it's not a clinical book, like scientific clinical book, right? It's it's going to be essays of trauma events okay. Of healing events. My, uh, my boyfriend is a photographer and I'm hoping to do some great black and white photographs of these women. 

[00:44:31] Sounds lovely. Not glamor shots, but shots that photos that embody them and their story, real sense of who they are. Yeah. And their journey. Right. Makes sense. and once I started developing this idea, and started writing. 

[00:45:00] I worked out so much trauma mm-hmm and dug so deep into stuff that I had ignored for years that I didn't even realize had impacted me because I was so busy fixing everybody else. Absolutely. Right. When you finally sit still, it all comes up. That's the importance of the value of meditation. It allows all of that to surface so that we can process and deal with it. 

[00:45:31] So for me, writing, yeah. Has been incredibly therapeutic. Yeah, it's a proven healing modality. Absolutely. I've been journaling since 1983. And I didn't realize that what I was doing was giving myself therapy and it was my only way. I was an only child in a, in a very dysfunctional household growing up. And it was my only way of sort of feeling like I could express what I was, what I was thinking. 

[00:46:03] And, uh, I didn't realize what I was doing was giving myself a healing avenue. I I've also begun and maybe this doesn't work for other people, but it works for me. My girlfriend, Renee, who's more like a, a sister. Sure. You know, to me gotta love friends like that when I'm working on a chapter, it's about me. 

[00:46:27] Mm-hmm , you know, a, a, a short story. That's about me. As I get it sort of near the finishing touches. I read them to her. 

[00:46:41] I trust her the stories she's not judging me. Mm-hmm right. And it has helped me be more honest in my writing and more honest with myself, which has helped me heal better. Cause she doesn't let you get away with anything. And she knows sure. A lot of, a lot of it. So she knows whether I'm sugar coding or not going deep enough. 

[00:47:13] Yeah. Right. Yeah. We need friends like that in our lives. So that's been really helpful. So I mean, that's something I would recommend to. To anyone, men or women. Absolutely. Whether you're planning on publishing it or not, even if you're not gonna share it with anybody, getting it all out of you getting it out of your head, whether it's on paper or you're typing, it doesn't matter. 

[00:47:39] Just get it out is absolutely helpful. So then I serendipitously, I, I watched a Ted talk and I, I can't remember the woman's name, but she's the CEO of the company that owns absolute vodka and, and a bunch of other libations. Okay. Great word. And my boyfriend makes fun of me. It's just how I talk. right. I love it. 

[00:48:11] I love it. It's just how I, he says people listen to you. They don't know what you're talking. Yes, they do. Libations are I sent, I sent some word of words of the day, so he learns my new, new words from me. Nice. I watched her Ted talk and it began with, she had a whiteboard with a line down the middle and she had a, and then B and a said, um, molested as a child cut as a child, uh, struggled in school, ran away from home, got fired from the first five jobs, um, takes antidepressants, has insomnia been divorced twice. 

[00:49:09] And then the other side said, you know, Wharton grad, right. CEO of a multi company, CEO of company, a company, right. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And she asked the audience, which person would you hire? Of course, everybody says B, right. And she then informs the audience that she's both a and B that's very impactful. 

[00:49:36] And that the strength to B B comes from a yeah. Yeah. The trials, the tribulations, the traumas that we've all experienced teaches us strength and resilience. And I started to look at that in my own life and with the women that I do know that have been through trauma. Mm-hmm that they're all pretty rock they're rock stars. 

[00:50:06] They're pretty kick ass AB so fucking Ely. Yes. Um, the, the problem becomes is that, so if I was a veteran and I publicly said, I have PTSD. I would be thanked for my service. Sure. Right. And they should be, and it's an incredible sacrifice. I'm not taking any, anything away from. Absolutely. I agree with you from that. 

[00:50:31] I'm nothing away from that. But if you're not a veteran and you say of PTSD, people probably roll their eyes at you and you're a woman. They think you're crazy. Right. So on a, I started looking at job applications cause I thought I was gonna go back to work and do something else mm-hmm and they would ask, do you have a handicap? 

[00:50:55] And under that PTSD is always listed. And then the next question is, have you served in the military? Right. So if I checked off PTSD and I checked off, no military, do you know where my resume is going? Bottom of the pile, bottom of the pile. And I could have more experience than anyone. With PTSD in the workplace and men or veterans with PTSD. Yeah. I don't think that that society on the whole, including the medical establishment and, and corporate America take women's anything seriously. 

[00:51:38] I think that at every opportunity, if a woman is having trouble, she's disregarded in a way that men would never be. And, and so I started a patriarchy thing, you know, I, I started to think about the things that made me better as an advocate or a communicator or a teacher mm-hmm right. Skills that I, that I have negotiator. 

[00:52:11] The fact that I have PTSD actually makes me better at. Yeah. So in life in work, when there's a problem, can't make the rent this month. It's not the worst I've ever been through. Right. I'm not upset. We have to work all night to make a deadline by 6:00 AM tomorrow. I'm not mad, not the worst thing that ever happened to me. 

[00:52:40] Exactly. Right. Lose a CA to put things into perspective. Right. It, it, it has made me stronger and able to deal with chaos actually better. Absolutely. Right. Right. And so all of these ideas, I started to think about how the book would be formed. Like what would be its format? Sure. So visually I, I picture like. 

[00:53:17] like a coffee table book, you know, with these beautiful photographs and, and these writings. Right. But I thought how boring, nobody wants to hear about all my trauma stories. right. I have too many. Well, why you think it would be nice to mix it up and have a, yes. A lot of other people, I think it would be much more impactful as a, as a, a glimpse of society to, to have. 

[00:53:44] So I have begun different women. Yeah. I have begun to interview women. Okay. Um, who have volunteered, you know, that they know that their story will be shared. Mm-hmm um, they all sign releases. I tell everybody gets to read their essay before I would publish it, you know? Okay. So you're writing them all after the interviews. 

[00:54:13] Okay. Yes. um, I ask them to submit something and then based on that, I talk to them mm-hmm and then we expand that idea and then I can turn it into an essay. Okay. Um, 

[00:54:32] the problem I'm having is there's a lot of women who don't want the world to know they have PTSD, right. Or they've had trauma, and they're a bit embarrassed about letting people know they're not embarrassed to speak to me about it. Right. But the idea that it would be in a book. Right. So if you have some listeners yeah. 

[00:55:01] Who, have experienced trauma are working through it are in the middle of. Doing well, doing horrible, whatever it is, do they need to have had a PTSD diagnosis or just be working through their own life trauma? So 

[00:55:25] PTSD comes from many different kinds of trauma. I mean, you can have PTSD from emotional abuse. Yeah, of course. Right. Um, so lots of people don't get an official diagnosis. Mm-hmm I, I have one, but there's lots of people who, um, don't spend that enough time in therapy and take all kinds of clinical tests to meet the criteria. 

[00:55:58] Right. I mean, I've been in therapy for the last, you. Off and on for the last 20, 30 years and have lived through my own fair share of, or more than my fair share of emotional abuse and trauma and various there. I think lot there, lot of people who have PTSD, they just don't call it that. Right. But nobody's officially diagnosed me and said, this is and sot, you don't need an official diagnosis. 

[00:56:22] Right? If, if something traumatic has impacted you, it made a tattoo on your inside, right. That's the thing about PTSD. So, um, if I had a big birth mark on my face or a big scar on my face or burn you'd feel bad for, for me. And, but these are scars that are on the inside that no one. And you wouldn't think it's my fault, right? 

[00:56:49] Right. No, not at all, but my scars are on the inside and because I clean up well and I speak well, 

[00:57:01] and I, I'm not a screaming Mimi mm-hmm and I've been successful in many different roles in my life. Yeah. It, it doesn't mean I don't have PTSD, of course not. Right, right. And it doesn't mean that I'm more sensitive to certain things than someone who doesn't hasn't experienced doesn't rely any of that. It just means that shit's happened to you and you've dealt with it and you're dealing with it is really all that means. 

[00:57:38] So my hope for the book one is that if anybody's listening and anybody's interested, um, that they can email me. Um, the email is Harris, H a R R I S dot P J a Y E 2 1 0. Um, I will put that the link to, to that, and all different ways you can connect with Pamela Harris and the show, and they can also call, you can put my phone number on as well. 

[00:58:11] They can call me. Oh, okay. I have your phone number here. Okay. Um, and they can also find me on LinkedIn. Okay. Obviously LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram will all be listed in the show notes as well. Okay. , so I I'm really interested in a diverse group of women, old, young. Yeah. Okay. Uh, different nationalities, different races, different religions. 

[00:58:40] I mean, all those things impact how you process trauma. Of course, absolutely. Right. Right. They have an impact on, on how you're, how you're doing. Um, And how you think of your role in it and how you think of how it affects your life and, um, how your community supports or doesn't support it or support you. 

[00:59:04] I mean, there's a whole lot of variance in, in, in the way culture impacts, especially women, but then the way culture impacts trauma and, and our management of it, or experience of it or healing of it, you know? So my, my goal with the book is to help destigmatize women with PTSD, that we're all not screaming. 

[00:59:34] Mimis, we're not on a roof shooting people, right? We're not cutting and slitting our risk. Maybe we are, maybe we have. , but that does not the, the sole definition of us, of us. We go for, it doesn't mean we don't have good days. It doesn't mean we're not successful at things. It doesn't mean we're not smart or caring or giving, or, uh, stable enough to go through a problem or handle anything like anybody else. 

[01:00:02] Right. We just don't wanna be cast off and dismissed as hysterical females. And so I, I, I just thought if it was sort of a coffee table book with these great photos, mm-hmm and with short essays, as opposed to like long chapters. Sure. Um, and that you didn't have to read it in one sitting in one sitting, right. 

[01:00:29] It might be the kind of book that is really not meant to be read in one sitting. Each story is probably very emotional and impactful and should be digested slowly. So, um, In the back of the, my hope is the back of the book will have some blank pages for the reader to write their own story, write their own story. 

[01:00:52] Nice. I like that. And then a little space where they can, uh, put a picture of themselves. I like that in the back in the back. That's cool. Um, so anybody out there interested, um, in helping me destigmatize high functioning women with PTSD, please reach out, please reach out. No judgment, judgment, free zone. 

[01:01:16] Yeah, that's awesome. Um, and you know, however you need to process telling that story, whatever accommodations that that that person would need. I'm, I'm very sensitive. I'm very sensitive to that. Cool. So, but writing the book has helped. Me hearing about other people's trauma yeah. Has helped me. Yeah. It's, it's a, it's an amazing thing. 

[01:01:45] Um, I, I guess it was the fall of 2019. I suddenly felt that I was safe enough or in a decent enough place in my life to write the story of my own traumatic life, my own experience, my own memoir, whatever. And, uh, and I started writing and went through 30 years of journals and really dug deep into things that I hadn't really thought about or addressed to specifically in a very long time. 

[01:02:24] And that was the period of the most rapid growth for me and healing. So, Marc, are you gonna be in my book? I would love to be, I would love to be . I published my, my memoir called permission to land during the lockdown of the pandemic. And, uh, it, it, it was the most healing process of my entire life. You know, like even if, even if the book never sold, even if no one ever bought it and no one else ever read it, it was still worth doing because, because of how much I got out of it and the piece that I was able to make with myself and my past and my late mom and, um, fine forgiveness for her and for my, myself, having gone through all the things that I went through and I can't overstate how impactful that has been. And, and even if you're nobody wants to, you know, write a book for other people to read, or if you're listening to this and you don't really wanna be involved in something that's public, we get it. You know, not as, not, it's not for everybody, but even if all you're gonna do is sit of your own computer or buy a notebook from the dollar store and take a pen and start writing your story. 

[01:03:37] I can't overstate how impactful and healing and cathartic and therapeutic, the simple act of writing out your thoughts will have on you. Um, it's, it's amazing how much growth and healing takes place just by taking in your own, all those thoughts out of your head and putting them down external to your, to your brain. 

[01:04:05] Mm-hmm, amazing. So I, I also, um, Have been offering women something, you said triggered this. I remembered this. So if you wanna be anonymous and you don't want your name used or create a new name oh, you can create, or we can use initials or whatever, and your black and white photograph can hide your identity. 

[01:04:31] Right. So, um, you could do a quarter view of their face or, or from the back or a shadow or, right, right. So, um, if you think you might wanna do it, but you're afraid there are ways that yeah. Get in touch with Pamela and you'll discuss the parameters and what you feel comfortable with. Exactly. I think that's great. 

[01:04:57] Do you, do you have, um, a timeline for when you would like to have all of this sort of figured out or for when you think you might wanna have this published by or so I'd like to have. All the interviews done in the next, like six to eight months. Okay. That's realistic. Right. And then it'll probably be another six to eight months to refine that. 

[01:05:25] Sure. While I'm refining that though, uh, my partner David will be taking the photographs and we will travel to wherever you are okay. To take the photographs. So you're probably limited to the United States. I wouldn't imagine that you're gonna be travel. I am happy to get on a plane, have passport we'll travel. 

[01:05:50] Okay. Excellent. Make vacations out of it. Are there people in Greece? I just went to Greece last September and I loved it. I'm dying to go back. So if there's women in Greece. Awesome. Awesome. I don't know what our listenership is in Greece. we have no idea. It was a fantastic, I had a fantastic time. I recommend that for PTSD too. 

[01:06:14] It's just visually centering and calming. And there was a movie done in the eighties. Uh, a modernization of Shakespeare's the Tempest a movie with John Cassavettes called the Tempest and it was mm-hmm I know. Loved that movie. I, I think I probably, you know, it was, it was on the, the early incarnation of, you know, HBO and it was still called home box office, you know, and before we had wireless remotes, you know, it was thousand years and you had to get up and right. 

[01:06:50] We had to get up and change the channel. Or I had a, a, what we called a remote with like click buttons on it that was wired to the, to the cable box, you know? But I watched that movie a thousand times. Molly Ringwald was in it as a preteen. Yep. I remember that movie. I just loved that movie and it's, in's a great movie that has been like a fantasy vacation for me to get a little, so that was my bucket list. 

[01:07:14] Oh. And that was my bucket list. My whole life. I wanted to go to Greece. Um, I had two honeymoons and I got outvoted both times. Okay. So all my honeymoons have been in Hawaii. So if anyone wants to take me on a trip. Greece, not Hawaii. There you go. There you go. Um, but it was a bucket list trip for me and I can't wait to go back. 

[01:07:42] Wow. I can't wait to go back. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. But very soul cleansing place. So that's something else I recommend for women with PTSD, whether you go by yourself yeah. 

[01:07:57] With a significant other, with a bunch of friends, find things within your own regular life that allow you to feel that way as well. But I, I find when I change my scenery, right. That helps a lot when it's something new. Mm-hmm, , it's not someplace I've been before that. Uh, I have a hard time with stopping thoughts, you know? 

[01:08:28] Okay. Sure. They run in my head and I can't stop them, which meditation does help that. Yeah. But I find when I'm in a new place and learning about a new place and seeing a new place and experiencing a new place and new people that it's cognitively stimulating so that you're not. Running that same old tape in your head, that tape is, is way in the back. 

[01:08:52] Yeah. Right. I sleep better because there's something to think about besides that tape, right? Absolutely. About my day and all those other of things that are on your brain. Yeah. I recommend I recommend travel and it doesn't, I'm not, it doesn't have to be to Greece. I mean, um, the other day I went to, uh, a little town on the coast in Maine mm-hmm that I had never been to before and stayed overnight by myself. 

[01:09:21] Nice and had a fabulous, fabulous time. I rode, I got up when I wanted to. Right. My, my brother-in-law sent my sister. She's a, a doctor and they've got two small kids and she's busy and our parents have issues and she needed a 24 hour by herself. At least. So he, he found a place in upstate New York where she could go glamping and it was like this, oh, wow. 

[01:09:50] Like this tiny little house, kind of, we had electricity and wifi and a tiny little place where she could like microwave food or whatever. Um, you know, like, um, it was like a super tiny, like she stayed in a doll house basically in the middle of the woods and she was by herself and she had the most amazing time she read and she wrote, and she slept and she ate and she had some wine and she slept, there's some really beautiful places in upstate New York. 

[01:10:16] My son went to Hobart, so that's in Geneva. That's right. That's barn, some really beautiful areas up there with great wines and just visually very beautiful. Yeah. It was exactly what she needed and it was not that expensive and it was just one night and, but it was great. Yeah. Yep. I mean the, the hotel I stayed at was not, you know, some fancy. 

[01:10:41] Resort. It's the kind you drive up to the door. Sure. Who cares as long as it's clean, right? What's the difference. Yeah, absolutely. You drive up to the door. Um, I got fried clams, which I'm not a, I try to eat healthy, but I was in Maine and they looked great. And so I indulged in some fried clams and, um, got myself a mojito and nice right. 

[01:11:08] And treated myself. And it was literally less than 24 hours. Yeah. And it was a little short drive from your house, but it was enough novelty and enough out of your comfort zone or out of your normal sphere to stimulate and recharge. And, and, and so not, not having that career anymore. Mm-hmm , I mean, I look back now. 

[01:11:37] I don't know how I didn't collapse with a hard problem sooner. Well, that's, that's a thing too. Yeah. I, I never stopped to hear myself think mm-hmm I never stopped to process my own emotions in a, in a situation because I was so focused on everybody else's emotions in, in the situation. Yeah. It's a wonderful, so really part of my healing in addition to writing is seeking out new adventures. 

[01:12:13] Absolutely. Absolutely. My next one is I wanna get a kayak. I live across the street from the beach. So you might as well. Exactly. I, I might go in a circle though, because my right arm is not as strong. Oh. So I might be, I might be going in a very funny circle, but I'm gonna try that's okay. So if you hear a woman drowns off the coast of Boston. 

[01:12:38] Oh my God. I'm joking. I'm joking wear a life vest just in, yes. I will wear a life vest just in case, just in case. Okay. So, um, at the end of each interview, I do the seven quick questions with my guests. Are you ready? I'm ready. Okay. What six words would you use to describe yourself? Empathic? Mm-hmm emotional. 

[01:13:08] Mm-hmm smart. Definitely funny. Yes. Big hearted. Creative. There you go. Good list. Excellent. Um, what's your favorite way to spend the day a new adventure, new adventure. Brilliant. Your favorite childhood memory. so my boyfriend now mm-hmm that I've had for the past seven, eight years. I knew when I was a child when I was three and he was 13. 

[01:13:43] Wow, cool. And when I was 14, he opened up a, a cafe in Boston and he loves elephants. And the Ringling brothers environment bar circus was in town mm-hmm and the elephants marched up Hanover street, which is the main street, like in the Italian section of Boston mm-hmm and, uh, David and his cafe Victoria. 

[01:14:10] They had set out all like bales of hay and food and things for the elephants. And so the elephants stopped and David asked if they would put me up on the elephant. I was like 14, I think, 13, 14 years old. So you wrote an elephant. And I wrote an announcement in the middle of Hanover street in Boston. 

[01:14:33] That's awesome. And that was really like, I loved that. Wow. I loved that. That's so cool. There was a short period of time where I was working in PR in Manhattan and I, I was, I would take a bus through Queens, into the city and we stopped in the middle of union turnpike and where I was the traffic everywhere. 

[01:14:58] And I looked out the side of the window of the bus. You know, I looked up from my book and I saw a long line of elephants. Holding onto each other trunk and tail trunk and tail walking across union turnpike, traffic stopped in every direction. This whole stream of elephants was coming out of this park where the circus had just arrived and they were walking the elephants across the street through a car wash and then back across the street to get into the park. 

[01:15:26] And I thought, logically that's thing, if you had 20 elephants in Queens, where would you bathe them? But a car wash brilliant. Right? Brilliant. That's that had to be an amazing site. It was incredible. Turn off the hot wax and you know, so it, it meant so much to me because when I was little mm-hmm I wanted to be the lady that rides the elephants in the surf. 

[01:15:53] I can remember in, in kindergarten, Ms. Johnson. She went around the room and she was like, Mike, what do you wanna be now? I mean, this is, this is 19 69, 19 70. Right. Right. Mike, what do you wanna be? Fireman. Ronnie. What do you wanna be? A doctor? Susie? What do you wanna be? A nurse? What do you wanna be? A mom? 

[01:16:11] Right? Little Pam. What do you wanna be? I wanna wear fancy costumes with all the spans on it and ride the elephant in the circus. And the teacher was actually mad at me. She was like, Hey, that was a serious question. I looked at her. I said, no, that's what, I didn't wanna a serious answer. Right. Really wanna do. 

[01:16:32] She's like, we'll get back to you. And then the next boy, his name was I I, to this day, I still remember his name was Earl. Earl. What do you wanna be? A garbage man. Oh, that's very good. Earl. And I went home so perplexed. I can't remember sitting, talking to my mom. Mom. Why? Why is he a garbage man? Better than riding the elephants in the circus. 

[01:16:52] Right. I don't have an answer for you. create the novel, um, um, water for elephants by Sarah grin. Yes. Ugh. Yes. Fabulous. I teach that every year, so great. So that's my sort of piece out to everyone who is listening and watching or whatever is, um, go find your elephant, go find your elephant. Exactly. All right. 

[01:17:18] Question number four. What is your favorite meal? My favorite meal would have to be 

[01:17:31] muscles in a saffron bra. Wow. Okay. I've never had muscles. Um, what is the one piece of advice you would like to give your younger self you're better than that? What is one thing you would most like to change about the world? 

[01:17:56] Kindness. Yeah. Kindness definitely matters. Um, people are not kind. People are just not kind. Some are not. That is true. I had a doctor once tell me you don't have an anger problem. Pam, you have an expectation problem. You think everybody is going to react and act the way you do. And when they don't and they're mean, you think your superpower is you're gonna find the right words to enlighten them and they're gonna see the error of their ways. 

[01:18:33] And all of a sudden they're gonna be nice. Now when they're just an asshole, I you're just a jerk. Right. And that, that really. I think of all the therapy I've ever had. That is the thing that has really, really stuck with me that, you know, not, not everyone's gonna respond the way you do with your, I don't have that superpower to change a jerk into a good person. 

[01:18:58] No one does. only responsible for your own actions and the only person you can control is yourself. So it took me a long time to not to be disappointed. Yeah. You know? Yeah. Yeah. I don't, I don't know how to fix that. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. Now completely changing to the very superficial, the last question has to do with TV shows or movies that you binge and enjoy Kiki blinders. 

[01:19:32] I've never heard of that. Never heard of it. No. So it's kind of. Um, it spans several decades. It's set in Ireland. Um, the Irish gypsies and it's about a family and I'm gonna call them organized crime, but not like organized crime, like bootlegging and as the generations change what they do changes. Right. 

[01:20:02] Okay. Um, but the character work by the actors in this show is movie worthy. Wow. Not, not like just TV worthy or, or Broadway worthy. I mean, the, the, the character study is phenomenal is coming from you. That's the compliment and the character develop. Is is amazing. It's amazing. It it's, um, it's very easy to binge because it, you, you want to know where they go next. 

[01:20:45] Oh, cool. I'll have to look for it. That's awesome. Well, thank you so much for this Pam. This was really wonderful. Thank you. And I enjoyed it. I hope that we'll, we'll get a lot of people for your book. That'll be really great. I am looking forward to hearing from everybody. Yay. And especially you, Marc. Yeah, absolutely. 

[01:21:07] Absolutely. All right. Don't forget. I won't, I won't, I will send you an email as soon as we're done here. okay. My friend. Okay. Thank you so much. Have a great rest of the day. You too. Bye bye.