Welcome to the Affliction/Resilience podcast hosted by New York Times Bestselling author Judy L. Mandel. We’ve all had some kind of affliction. Whether it’s psychological, physical or situational. And we all deal with adversity in different ways. In each episode, we’ll talk to people who recognize and use their own affliction in their lives, as well as psychologists and other experts who counsel them. It may be addiction recovery, the trauma of disease and treatment, or in the case of the host, her role as a replacement child. Hopefully you will take away useful information for your own life.
This is a bit of a different kind of podcast for me. It's a very honest and personal talk with a friend about Asian hate in America, and really about all forms of racial hatred. Rachel Wong and I are friends through writing workshops and classes. We’ve talked recently about the rise of anti Asian violence in the country. I wanted to talk to Rachel about her up close experiences in NYC, what has changed in the last few years and through the pandemic, what’s basically the same and her thoughts about what we can do about it. I also want to ask her about her book, since it focuses on Anti-Asian hate.
Rachel Wong became a writer at 14 when she sold her first non-fiction short story to a magazine. She has worked for tech startups, agencies, even an international law firm. In her free time, she helps run monthly board game socials and collects rare plants. She has two degrees in Creative Writing (BA + MFA) and her current (and longstanding) project is a speculative fiction YA novel called Catalyst. She lives in New York City.
I asked Rachel what she recommends for action to combat Asian hate and she suggests the following:
Biden signed AAPI protections into law but we need more action on a state level. Please petition your local leaders to sign protections for these increased race-based hate crimes. California and New York, big cities in particular, have a spike in these crimes.
There are a few funds that I can recommend:
- Hate Is A Virus commUNITY Action fund
- #StopAsianHate: Support AAF (Asian American Federation) gofundme campaign
- AAPI Community Fund
If you don’t have money to spare but have time, volunteer groups like Compassion in Oakland and “Community Angels” in NYC chinatown chaperone Asian elders who go out on errands, so they won’t be alone
For education and resources.:
https://www.sendchinatownlove.com/ (great foundation that also does “gift a meal” funds for the needy)
An op-ed about Asian-Black Solidarity: https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/19/opinions/black-asian-american-solidarity-jones/index.html
More of “what we can do:” https://www.instagram.com/evachen212/guide/ways-to-help/17906750905739799/?utm_medium=copy_link
Melanie Lentz became a Secret Service special agent at twenty-two, one of the youngest female agents ever hired. She spent eight years in the Los Angeles Field Office where she worked financial crime investigations, investigated threats against the President, Vice President and others, and participated in countless protection assignments all over the country and abroad. Her last assignment was Former First Lady Nancy Reagan. At the same time that Mrs. Reagan passed away, Melanie's personal life had fallen apart, and she decided to leave the job she loved and start over in her thirties. She credits the Secret Service for giving her the tools to start protecting herself. She's the author of Agent Innocent: How the Secret Service Changed My Life and the upcoming Advance Work: A Personal Protection Assignment 7-Day Workbook.
Agent Innocent: How the Secret Service Changed My Life is available on Amazon and Smashwords.
In this episode I talked with Catherine Turner about something we don’t want to think about—our own death. I wanted to know how her new book, Create a Legacy of Love: Everything Your Loved Ones Need to Know (When you can no longer tell them), might give people some peace of mind as they think about the inevitable, even if it's far off. I also wanted to ask her about her own resilience after she lost her baby just days before his expected delivery date, and how she felt that experience actually made her a better mother for her two subsequent children. That is a story of growth and love and perspective that I didn't anticipate.
Her book serves as a guide and a workbook to organize oneself, so that when it is their turn to die, they aren’t leaving their loved ones battered with questions and decisions that can fracture families who are left to grapple amongst themselves at such a highly charged time emotionally. It frames the inevitability of death with fresh perspective: an opportunity to show your family how much you care by providing them with all the answers to their questions right when they need them the most. You can find the book on her website: LegacyofLoveBook.com
Keyonna Cox is an Entrepreneur, Conversationalist, Creative Director, and the Author of Unpacked Baggage: Getting To Know Keyonna Cox From A to Z, scheduled for June 2021 release. At the age of two, her mother was brutally murdered while Keyonna was present in the home. She obviously had some baggage to unpack herself. She’s become very successful despite some of that baggage, and I wanted to find out how.
Keyonna has been featured as a business leader in Business Innovators Magazine, has been a guest on BET, and featured as a fashion expert in First for Women. She has been a speaker at numerous colleges, seminars, workshops, conferences, and other educational institutions.
Her hope is to encourage people to eradicate any excess baggage that weighs them down, and prevents them from living a free life. She wants people to know they are not alone in their afflictions.
Her book is available for pre-order at http://www.unpackedbaggage.com/
“I used to be a life corrupter, but now I am a life-changer,” says weight loss surgeon Dr. Franchell Hamilton.
I wanted to know how someone who was in gangs as a teenager found her own resilience and motivation be become a surgeon. Dr. Franchell Hamilton first reminded me that only 2% of all physicians are Black, and an even smaller percentage of surgeons are Black and female, and she’s proud to be among that group.
Dr. Franchell Hamilton, is a weight loss surgeon, health and wellness visionary and author of Transformation is a Mindset, the journey to changing your input and your world.
We talk about her troubled life as a teen and how she found her path to becoming a doctor.
Dr. Hamilton founded A Better Weigh Center – a place for her patients to receive treatments ranging from bariatric surgery and medical weight loss to hormone therapy. As her practice grew, she began seeing more and more patients, but many had the same recurring issue – weight regain with return of their other medical conditions. She wanted to provide results with longevity. Thus, the 4 Pillars of Transformation was founded – Dr. Hamilton’s weight loss and wellness system. She uses her book as a guide to help thousands struggling with unhealthy strongholds in their life find the root of the problem.
If you are interested in contacting Dr. Hamiliton, or learning more, you can visit her website at
Louisa Pateman is the Australian author of: Single, Again, and Again, and Again… What do you do when life doesn’t go to plan? Louisa has had a successful career as a civil engineer, working all around the world. She is a dedicated traveler and has ventured to over 70 countries, while also building a substantial individual property portfolio.
For 20 years, Louisa tried very hard to fulfill her life plan; the path set by society: to find her soulmate, get married and have children. But after a dozen failed relationships and a biological clock that was about to expire, she conceded defeat and gave up her dreams of finding ‘the one’. In order to salvage her last chance of motherhood, at 37 she embarked on a journey to become a single mother by choice. She says it turned out to be the best decision of her life.
Louisa offers a window for women considering this option, and some concrete ideas for making this important, life changing decision. Not to mention being a lovely person to chat with long distance!
Heather Girardi is an actor. She has some great stories about working as an actor through the pandemic, but today we are going to focus on how she has worked through, and still recovers, as a child of alcoholics, growing up in an alcoholic family. It’s a story that many many people can relate to, and her hope is that some of her ways of coping can help others who are in similar situations in their lives. Giving voice to these stories of resilience is another way of building a virtual supportive community. I’m so grateful to Heather to be willing to share this most personal journey.
If you want to send a message, or comment on any of these podcasts, write to me at email@example.com.
I hope you'll hit the SUBSCRIBE or FOLLOW button to join me next time.
Emily Rapp Black is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir, and The Still Point of the Turning World, and most recently, Sanctuary – a memoir.
A onetime Fulbright Scholar, she was educated at Harvard University, Trinity College in Dublin, Saint Olaf College and the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener fellow. She has received many many awards and fellowships, most recently a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Her work has appeared in Vogue, The New York Times, Salon, Slate, Time, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, O:The Oprah Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and many others. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review and frequently publishes scholarly work in the fields of disability studies, bioethics, and theological studies. She is currently associate professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, where she also teaches medical narratives in the School of Medicine.
She talks candidly with me about writing this book about the death of her son Ronan just before he turned three, of Tay Sachs, and then having a subsequent, and healthy, daughter. Her book is beautiful, gripping and thought provoking and I think you’ll find our conversation insightful.
Estee Gubbay is a top travel adviser and writer on world travel. She is the author of the bestselling book Your Travel Bucket List: The Ultimate Guide to Enrich Your Life with Great Adventures and Unforgettable Memories. She is the owner of Luxurist Travel Agency. With more than twenty years of facilitating workshops on goal setting, self-care, and pursuing a life of balance and fulfillment, she uses her expertise to guide her Clients through the process of creating their ideal travel bucket list.
Estee has a unique story of overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Ethlos Danlos Syndrome to build a successful travel business in a very challenging time. All of which we talk about on this episode of Affliction & Resilience.
A bonus is getting some great travel tips!
You can find her book on her website: www.luxuristtravel.com
Or call her for travel advice at 1-858-381-7713
Cindy Watson is on a mission to reframe "negotiation" -- how we think of it and how we do it, and to recognize the power of persuasion through a feminine lens. She is the founder of Women on Purpose, a founding partner of Watson Labour Lawyers and a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. She has 30 year’s experience as a respected social justice attorney. She is an international speaker and trainer in the corporate arena as well as an author and consultant. Her latest book is The Power of Feminine Negotiation—how to get what you want from the boardroom to the bedroom. When her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she found herself negotiating the most high stakes situation possible as an advocate for his care. She found that the same skills that helped her negotiate deals and power dynamics in business, were also the key to working through a challenging mental health system, made even more so by the pandemic. The tools she uses are truly transferrable to everyone's lives.
Her book and other information can be found at www.womenonpurpose.ca.
Dr. Erika Landau is our guest today on Affliction & Resilience. She is a second generation Holocaust survivor. Both of her parents lost their parents and siblings in the Holocaust. She was born in Romania, and came to the US to escape the Communist dictatorship of Ceausescu. Dr. Landau is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Columbia University Medical Center. In addition to her medical degree, she also holds a master’s degree in bioethics. In light of Holocaust Remembrance Day this past week, it seems fitting that we discuss how survivors were not only those who endured the horrors of the camps, but how the trauma is embedded through generations. Dr. Landau talks about the strength and responsibility of that legacy and how it has served her. She is an amazing example of resilience.
Entertainment publicist, author and public speaker, Patti Hawn has worked on over thirty major motion pictures including some of the most acclaimed films of the last decade. Her credits include Ghost, Glory, Overboard, and Bride Wars.
She made her debut literary effort with her memoir, GOOD GIRLS DON’T, that tells the story of the last generation of young women to experience life on the eve of the sexual revolution of the sixties and the passing of legislation legalizing abortion.
Most recently she appeared in the theater production BLANK, at the invitation of many adoption groups throughout the country.
She contributed a chapter to the book REPLACEMENT CHILDREN: THE UNCONSCIOUS SCRIPT, by Rita Battat and Dr. Abigail Brenner which explores the many stories of people who have found themselves a part of this circumstance…including herself.
Patti is the sister of the acclaimed actress Goldie Hawn. She resides in Manhattan Beach, California with her husband and travels to India, Nepal and Thailand where she works in humanitarian efforts.
Kristina Schellinski, M.A., is a supervising and teaching analyst with the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich, Kusnacht. She works with adults in private practice in Geneva and is a lecturer and consultant of the Geneva University Hospital Psychiatry Department. Kristina is also one of the co-founders of the Replacement Child Forum (replacementchildforum.com).
We had a fascinating discussion from the viewpoint of both a professional who treats replacement children, and as a replacement child herself. Kristina has a unique perspective for resilience in the face of affliction as well as for parents who have subsequent children after the death of a child.
Her book, Individuation for Adult Replacement Children: Ways of Coming into Being, is an exceptional guide to the replacement child condition.
Fran Dorf is a therapist (LCSW) and lifelong writer, most notably author of three acclaimed, internationally published novels, as well as plays, screenplays, articles, essays, and poetry. Fran’s novels include A Reasonable Madness (BirchLane 1990/Signet 1991), Flight (Dutton 1992/Signet 1993) and Saving Elijah (Putnam 2000). Fran’s first novel, a psychological thriller about a psychiatrist and his possibly delusional patient, became a longtime bestseller in Germany under the title “Die Totdenkerin” which means “The Death Thinker.” In 2018/19 Fran co-wrote a screenplay adapting that novel for a German film producer, and she is co-developing a limited series television drama based on her third novel, Saving Elijah. As a therapist, Fran has a general private practice in psychotherapy, but specializes in bereavement, a subject with which she became intimately acquainted after the 1994 death of her three-year-old son Michael. This loss changed her life in ways that are sweeping and profound.
Rita Battat answers the question of how being a replacement child affected her life and how writing her book has changed her feeling about it. We talk about commonalities for replacement children and discuss some famous replacement children like Elvis, Vincent Van Gogh, and Carl Jung. One way people deal with any kind of affliction is to find a community in order to understand more about themselves.