Episode 3: How does abuse become normalized? Hear Thamicha's gripping story where she discusses the various levels of abuse she has experienced including domestic and sexual abuse as well as being diagnosed as H.I.V. positive at the age of 19. She describes the impact of her H.I.V. diagnosis, how she received the news, how it made her feel and the feelings of anger, guilt and shame that she experienced. She also explains how she made it out from rock bottom, her process of healing and how she became the CEO and Founder of Openly Positive, an organization that strives to end the stigma around H.I.V. and provide support for those with H.I.V. and their families.
Thamicha Isaac is an activist, advocate, motivational speaker, coach, author and momtrepreneur. Be inspired and moved by her story which reminds us that no matter how dire things may seem, or the trauma that you may have experienced, there is hope on the other side. The tunnel does have a light.
To learn more about openly positive for resources related to H.I.V. and Thamicha's speaking engagements, please visit: www.openlypositive.com. You can also follow her on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/Openlypositive/ and on https://www.instagram.com/Miizmisha721/.
For resources on H.I.V. for those living in Ontario, please visit: http://www.hivresourcesontario.ca/about/
For resources on domestic violence and abuse, please visit: http://www.women.gov.on.ca/owd/english/ending-violence/help.shtml and https://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/community/helpingWomen/index.aspx
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Episode 2: Has religion played a role in shaping your identity? It has for our guest Terri Fry. Terri grew up in Pakistan with her dad's side of the family who was very conservative and would often use religion as a tool to control her and her actions. On the flip side, her mom's side of the family was also very religious but practiced religion in a much more accepting and open manner, consistent with how Terri feels Islam should be practiced.
Terri discusses several examples of how her extended family used religion as a tool, her chaotic upbringing, how it's affected how she views religion today and how it's shaped her in unexpected ways. She also discusses how she and her husband, who is Christian, are raising her two young boys with both Christianity and Islam and what that means to them.
Terri is the founder of the Mom Like That Podcast where she interviews moms and dads about their experiences related to parenting, starting a side hustle and the challenges they have faced. She is also the co-creator of the instagram community @therealmamasofinsta. I have been a guest on Terri's podcast in the following episodes, so if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out the following as well: Episode 4: Motherhood I Wasn't Prepared for This!, Episode 26: The Whole Brain Child Review and Episode 30: Interfaith Relationship: Past and Present.
To hear personal narratives from others surrounding religion and their identity, check out this interesting excerpt from FacingHistory.org:
Episode 1: In our intro episode, I explain how this podcast came to be, what it hopes to accomplish and provide an introductory look at a concept that has impacted my identity: loneliness.
What factors contribute to our identity? How do we become the people we are? What life experiences, concepts or themes shape us and affect how we view ourselves?
I believe that reflecting on what makes us who we are and sharing our story with others helps people feel less alone and creates a space where being vulnerable is celebrated instead of stigmatized. Sharing our stories with others also helps us make connections and have a better understanding of ourselves than we may have had when we kept it all inside.
Growing up with siblings either much older or much younger than me, I have struggled with loneliness for much of my life. Have you ever been surrounded by wonderful friends but still felt alone - unable to share your feelings without feeling like a burden? That was me and still is me some days.
Listen in to hear more about my experience and how it still affects my identity today.