I'm So Glad You're Here: Pamela Gay Takes On Family, Trauma, Mental Illness & Finding Joy
August 28, 2020
Hosted by Diane Dewey
I’m So Glad You’re Here is the story of a family disrupted by a father’s mental illness. The memoir opens with a riveting account of Gay, age eighteen, witnessing her father being bound in a straitjacket and carried out of the house on a stretcher. The trauma she experiences escalates when, after her father has had electroshock treatments at a state mental hospital, her parents leave her in a college dorm room and move from Massachusetts to Florida without her. Decades later, when Gay and her three much-older siblings show up for their father’s funeral, she witnesses her sundered family’s inability to gather together. Eventually, she is diagnosed with PTSD of abandonment and treated with EMDR therapy?and finally begins to heal. I’m So Glad You’re Here is Gay’s exploration of the wounds we carry from growing up in fractured families stay with us, they do not have to control us?a reflective journey that will inspire readers to think about their own relational lives. Drop In with us!
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At Dropping In we’ll explore diverse stories about identity. By listening to others talk about their own path, ours becomes less fearful. Where are we now and how do we meet the challenges? Dropping In is a place of discovery. We might believe that our life experiences are uniquely our own. Yet there’s a community of people that are here to bear witness, to relate to, link arms with and support us. They join us on Dropping In, tackling subjects like breaking into your dream business, cultural differences, child abuse, mental illness, shamanism, gender search, religious shunning, and fitting in as a marginalized outsider. These can feel like lonesome tasks. How do others find their power? Listening to their personal truths validates our own. Drop into the conversation to find the common threads, your uniqueness and our shared experience as humans.
My most pressing question has always been about identity: Who am I? Growing up near Philadelphia with my adoptive family, my genetic identity was hidden. Then, my Swiss biological father, Otto, contacted me when I was age forty-seven in 2002. I’d been told by my adoptive parents that my biological parents were dead, supposedly to protect me. Meeting Otto upended my life. Through him, I met my German biological mother’s family to discover that her story too, had been changed; that she’d not wanted to surrender me and she’d searched for me all her life. Finding my truth was essential.
Based on my experience I am excited to talk to people about their own search for identity. My education includes a BA from Villanova University, a certificate from the Art Institute of Philadelphia and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Capella University. I’ve worked for The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The SoHo Partnership and the National Academy of Design and have studied writing through New York University’s Continuing Education program. As an entrepreneur, I founded my art appraisal business, The Realization of Art in 2006. My non-fiction writing has been published in Shared Space, a monograph, and in Artes online magazine. Writing workshops worldwide have given me the chance to learn and hone my craft. My first book, “Fixing the Fates,” was awarded the National Non-Fiction Author’s Association Silver Medal and the Living Now Award.