Clapp with Jane with Jane Clapp

NDE Survivor and Refugee Lawyer Riding the Waves of Recovery - Kathy Ramsey

April 05, 2020 janetheclapp Season 1 Episode 5
Clapp with Jane with Jane Clapp
NDE Survivor and Refugee Lawyer Riding the Waves of Recovery - Kathy Ramsey
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Clapp with Jane with Jane Clapp
NDE Survivor and Refugee Lawyer Riding the Waves of Recovery - Kathy Ramsey
Apr 05, 2020 Season 1 Episode 5
janetheclapp

Brace your hearts and buckle up for a conversation with Kathy Ramsey, a human who shares honestly about the complexity of both physical and emotional trauma recovery.  

Kathy was run over by a truck 2.5 years ago which broke her back, pelvis, all her ribs, her left leg and shoulder and had a stroke due to massive internal blood loss. By the time she arrived at the hospital via ambulance, they were unable to get a blood pressure reading as she had so little blood left in her body. 

Kathy Ramsey has lived many lives: reporter, refugee lawyer, mother, trauma survivor. 

As a journalist, she covered intrepid subjects such as the Yukon Quest, a 1,000 mile dog-sled race from Dawson City, Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska. She then decided to go to law school at McGill University during which time she became involved in a volunteer coalition that helped get 100s of Palestinians in Montreal legal immigration status. A few years after law school, she moved to Toronto for love, opened her own immigration and refugee law practice, had 2 children, and was thrilled to get a position at the Refugee Law Office of Legal Aid Ontario. And then on August 31, 2017, after a long day at work, she was riding her bike to meet her husband and children at Christie Pitts pool when she was run over by a dump truck in downtown Toronto. She spent nearly 5 months in hospital, and has spent the last 2 years navigating the peaks and valleys of recovery, finding community in a group of fellow women trauma survivors who have helped her to feel not so alone in the crushing isolation of trauma recovery.

While in law school, she lived and worked in Bourj el Barajneh and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and interned at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She's been involved in migrant justice work in Canada, with Solidarity Across Borders and the Immigration Legal Committee.

Thank you Kathy. I'm so glad you're here.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=21191833&fan_landing=true)

Show Notes Transcript

Brace your hearts and buckle up for a conversation with Kathy Ramsey, a human who shares honestly about the complexity of both physical and emotional trauma recovery.  

Kathy was run over by a truck 2.5 years ago which broke her back, pelvis, all her ribs, her left leg and shoulder and had a stroke due to massive internal blood loss. By the time she arrived at the hospital via ambulance, they were unable to get a blood pressure reading as she had so little blood left in her body. 

Kathy Ramsey has lived many lives: reporter, refugee lawyer, mother, trauma survivor. 

As a journalist, she covered intrepid subjects such as the Yukon Quest, a 1,000 mile dog-sled race from Dawson City, Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska. She then decided to go to law school at McGill University during which time she became involved in a volunteer coalition that helped get 100s of Palestinians in Montreal legal immigration status. A few years after law school, she moved to Toronto for love, opened her own immigration and refugee law practice, had 2 children, and was thrilled to get a position at the Refugee Law Office of Legal Aid Ontario. And then on August 31, 2017, after a long day at work, she was riding her bike to meet her husband and children at Christie Pitts pool when she was run over by a dump truck in downtown Toronto. She spent nearly 5 months in hospital, and has spent the last 2 years navigating the peaks and valleys of recovery, finding community in a group of fellow women trauma survivors who have helped her to feel not so alone in the crushing isolation of trauma recovery.

While in law school, she lived and worked in Bourj el Barajneh and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and interned at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She's been involved in migrant justice work in Canada, with Solidarity Across Borders and the Immigration Legal Committee.

Thank you Kathy. I'm so glad you're here.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=21191833&fan_landing=true)

spk_0:   0:00
Welcome to Clap with Jane With Jane Clap. I know some of the most interesting and inspiring humans that are helping to keep humanity afloat in their own unique ways, even in the middle of a crisis. I want you to meet them, too. Hi, Welcome to clap with Jane with Jane Clap. I have uncredible human with me right now. Her name is Kathy Ramsey. Kathy Ramsey's lived many lives. She has been a reporter, refugee, lawyer, mother, and she's a trauma survivor. As a journalist, she covered intrepid subjects such as the Yukon Quest, 1000 mile dog sled race from Dawson City, Yukon, to Fairbanks, Alaska. She then decided to go to law school element McGill University, during which time she became involved in a volunteer coalition that helped get 100 Palestinians in Montreal legal immigration status. While in law school, Kathy lived and worked in Bordello Barrage in a and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and in turn to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Years after law school, she moved to Toronto for love, opened her own immigration and refugee law practice, had two Children and was it was thrilled to get a position at the Refugee Law office of Legal Age Ontario. She's been involved in migrant justice work in Canada with solidarity across borders and the immigration legal committee. And then, on August 31st 2017 after a long day at work, she was riding her bike to meet her husband and Children at Christie Pits Pool when she was run over by a dump truck in downtown Toronto. She spent nearly five months in hospital and has spent the last two years navigating the peaks and valleys of recovery, finding community and a group of fellow women trauma survivors who have helped her to feel not so alone in the crushing isolation of trauma recovery. Hi, Kathy, plating are you doing? It's It's a Sunday morning. Everybody is in the house. Your two kids were in the house. What's it? What's it been like?

spk_1:   2:16
Um, yeah, it's Ah, it's very quiet right now. So hopefully it stays like

spk_0:   2:20
that. It's been not bad.

spk_1:   2:24
I mean, obviously, by comparison, we are a privilege to have a nice, warm house and, ah, you know enough food and don't have a lot of the same insecurities that some folks we're having right now, So we're managing, okay? I mean, for me, being in a confined, tiny space, um, for long periods of time is nothing new after being in the hospital for so long, but it's the kids are bouncing off the walls bit, but they're they're managing. Okay?

spk_0:   2:52
Yeah. Wow. And you you were saying that when we connected. It's almost two weeks ago that things were getting pretty intense with your immigration work. Um, what's going on right now? What are you dealing with right now?

spk_1:   3:09
Yeah, well, I went back to work after almost 2.5 years off end of January, the refugee law office and the last couple of weeks have been really bad for people with precarious immigration status and refugees who really can no longer come to Canada and claim refugee status because the border with the U. S. Is closed to them almost exclusively. And people can't get on any flights from anywhere and get here and make a refugee claim. So, um, that has really that's obviously a huge fundamental change. And, you know, we're really concerned about people being turned back at the U. S. Border because at this point, We don't even have assurances that they're going to be held in the U. S. In any kind of even an immigration detention center there, which is not good anyways, or we're not really sure what's going to happen. Some of the U. S. Because it's possible that they might be also being deported back to their home countries from the U. S. Before even having any kind of a process. So that's a bit concerning. And then, while like on the ground here in Canada, we are trying to provide 100% representation to anyone who's in immigration detention right now because of the ability of covert to spread so rapidly in jails and detention centers. So we're quite busy with trying to represent people at their detention review hearings.

spk_0:   4:31
Wow, are those detention review hearings going online? Are they still in person?

spk_1:   4:36
They are over the phone, things happening in person anymore,

spk_0:   4:41
right? Right. And, um, have you had any success so far? And you know, you can't speak specifically, but do you feel like there's any headway that you're able to make right now to potentially save Lex?

spk_1:   4:57
You know what we are seeing that that the immigration division is pretty responsive, as is, um, you know some aspects of Canada Border Services Agency to the threat posed by Covitz, and we are getting people released Maur rapidly. Then we would have before this happened. Yes, there's still some resistance there for sure, depending, but that people are being released a bit more readily than they were before this happened.

spk_0:   5:28
Well, um, do you think the current policy refugee policy that has been a reaction to Kobe 19 is actually going to keep everyone in Canada safer?

spk_1:   5:42
I mean, I don't think so, because, you know, other people are allowed to come and go because they have status like a work workers. Um, other people are allowed to come across the border from the U. S S. So it's really feeling like it's just refugees who have been singled out or this policy not being able to process border. And for a long time, Africans have been saying that the U. S. Is in the safe country, safe third country for refugees and just definitely the case even more so now that we're hearing that maybe people are being also might be returned to the countries that came from rather than just staying in the U. S. All this is happening, so yeah, I don't really think we also have international obligations, right? So it's not just a matter of keeping us safe, but it's about keeping other people safe on refugees who need to come here and try and find safe haven.

spk_0:   6:38
It sounds like you're one of the people we don't hear about that are actually trying Thio. Keep some level of humanity and tax during all of what's happening right now.

spk_1:   6:53
I mean, we're doing what we can, but yeah, it's just it's just a hard time. I don't know what really is happening with respect to what's happening in the border, what we can even do about that. Right now. I'm not even aware of off efforts that can be made to try and change that the current environment, but with respect, immigration, detention, I mean, at least trying to get people out of detention centers on somewhere where there's a bit less chance of them contrite to an illness. It feels like a drop in the bucket, considering the magnitude of what's happening. But

spk_0:   7:30
yeah, every drop counts of rape.

spk_1:   7:33
Yes, it's better that it's certainly better than no drop, that's for sure.

spk_0:   7:36
Yeah. Yeah. You've had quite, um, a journey in your life. Um, because we you and I met. I know about a year ago. You think? Well, I can't remember now. I know. Um d'oh identifies having experienced while to have a someone who's experienced on, like, a near death, um, and your death experience in your life?

spk_1:   8:04
Yes, definitely. Definitely. That was, I think as close as one can come to death and still be here.

spk_0:   8:14
Yeah, your mom. I know you're someone who has is like tenacity. That is I don't know. I feel like if everybody could have access to that desire Thio, come back to life. It's just remarkable what you've been able to overcome. And I mean, you you actually, almost if you don't mind me saying and this is folks, if you're listening, just kind of brace yourself. You actually, um, almost didn't come back to being able to breathe when you were lying on the pavement after your accident. And I remember you telling me about these two doctors who happened to be on scene, who looked at you and made you feel a little bit more calm because they were there. No king with care and compassion, and they weren't panics. Right? And they said, Just breathe,

spk_1:   9:23
right? Yeah, Exactly. I mean, I remember one of them. Specifically, I laid a read that there's two of them, but his face is like, burned into my brain. And I would love to find him, whoever he is, but, yeah, he really got down on the ground and was just speaking to me so calmly because everyone else was screaming and then pulling out their phones and calling 911 which they needed to do here. But he is so calm. And, uh, I just I couldn't breathe, obviously, cause all my ribs were crushed amongst everything else. You just status reminding me just a to to breathe and that the nameless would be there soon on. The next thing I knew was being taken out of the back. Being lives.

spk_0:   10:07
It's too bad you haven't been able to find him. Um, I know, you know, Imagine having that conversation with him,

spk_1:   10:16
totally. Just even to see its face. And just to see if it is actually what is burned into brain You know what I remember from that time, right? Yeah. I just want to just thank him, because obviously, I felt very unsafe at that time. And there was no opportunity to, you know, flee. I couldn't move. So just to have him there just in that column presence, I think was was really, really helpful. I would love him to the time, but I don't know how I can find him.

spk_0:   10:48
Well, I'm sure he remembers you very, very clear. Clearly.

spk_1:   10:52
Yeah, I am sure. Yeah, for sure.

spk_0:   10:54
Yeah. After having a bike accident, I remember seeing you woo on a bike again with your bike for the first time you got back on your bank.

spk_1:   11:09
Not not the same bite, because obviously, it was in pieces, but yet,

spk_0:   11:14
But you got back on you actually got that gonna bike. What was it? And though, like getting back on that bike there, you could have really, truly just never gone back on a bike again in your life. Um, but you did. What is that about? Like, where did that come from? Can you I mean, I don't know if you can put words to it, but was it just like fuck this. I'm not. I am gonna get back on a bike. I'm not gonna let what happened to me stop me from living my life like what was it?

spk_1:   11:51
It was partially that. And it was just a frustration about sir, how a little, I guess freedom I felt I had because after the accident, I also Washington column accents on Laxman. Um, it's one responsible for it, and it wasn't me. But after the collision, I had a stroke and I lost vision. Uh, when I lost my license, so I couldn't drive anywhere. And I'm so sick of taking uber and cabs everywhere and just I guess I wanted to serve, reclaim some of my freedom. Some of the person I I used to be, I guess, and I just decided, Like, I need thio for myself. Get a bike. I am not gonna let you know this sort of not not not to find me, but just I just want I just want to reclaim some of the freedom that I had lost. And so I I went out and bought a bike on very consciously wrote it on the bike path and back alleys and things like that with a little bit of panic rising in my body. But it sort of subsided. More road.

spk_0:   12:58
Yes. Funny to call something an accident that you had absolutely no responsibility for. Like it just came out of nowhere. And there's nothing you could have done to prevent that. You didn't know if you were gonna walk again, though. What you experienced was something that you didn't know that you were going to come through for sure or not, right?

spk_1:   13:23
Yes, for sure. For quite some time. Yeah,

spk_0:   13:28
And then you did. And then I mean, would you say that it's part just like annoyance that you don't want thio be limited by what happened to you? Look, I'm hearing that you want to get back on your bike because you're just, like, annoyed that you couldn't move more freely through the city.

spk_1:   13:48
Yeah, it is. And just was part of sort of, you know, anger at, you know, the driver who did this to me and wondering like how his life has impacted compared to how mine is impacted. And yeah, I just wanting to really just not not let it ruin my life and just try and reclaim as much as I can. I mean, I'll never be the person I waas and you know, saying, saying by the old Kathy was was was hard But once I kind of did that. And you could just be like, this is sort of who I am now and these are things I'm going to D'oh! Ah, it was a bit more liberating. I guess that makes any sense,

spk_0:   14:27
right? So instead of trying to get back Teoh who you were before, yeah,

spk_1:   14:35
I mean, I've always tried to clean parts of it and that that is part of it, but it's also just need to recognize that is sort of an unattainable goal. And so I had to grieve, You know, my old self for a while, and I still do sometimes for sure, but, um, it's just wanting to to find things that my new self could appreciate and do again it part of it also, Yes, part of it was anger at this, having happened to me and wanting to to do the things I used to do. But I love see, I can't do all of them. Also, part of it was anger her. It was determination. Part of it was just wanting some freedom.

spk_0:   15:16
Yeah. Yeah, that's amazing. You're You're not boastful about the accomplishments and the things you've done in your life. And I feel like there needs to be more recognition of. It's like digging deep down into a part of yourself that just wasn't going to give up.

spk_1:   15:42
Yeah, I mean, just being in it, the recovery, Like I just felt like, Well, I was just doing it and wouldn't know anyone. Just just do this, you know? But there are You know what I learned about recovery. It wasn't just like a gradual upwards trajectory. It was like peaks and valleys. I mean, doing, thinking I was doing so great. I'm so happy to be alive and then be in a valley and just really feel like, Why did I survive? I'm good for nothing. So, um, I lost my train of thought.

spk_0:   16:15
Well, look, that you're that feeling of, like, yes, I'm moving ahead and then feeling like another day, you wake up and it's unpredictable. You're You don't actually feel like you've gotten thio a new stage or level of recovery and questioning like on an existential level like, why am I here If I can't function at the level that you did before?

spk_1:   16:40
Yeah, exactly. And just Yeah, how How did I keep going? I don't know. I just I just kind of did. And I mean, wanting to be a present parent and wanting to be semi functional for my kids was also a motivator, because I, you know, I just I couldn't But he doesn't want it to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. And I really kind of drag myself out of bed to just be the semi president for my kids because I missed such a huge part of their lives when they were super, super young. So that was also just part of it was also Mom guilt. It's still through everything, but it could be a powerful motivating force.

spk_0:   17:20
Mom go.

spk_1:   17:21
So that was that was part of it. And it was just Yeah, I just I just kind of felt like I had to, and some days he was just get up and put one foot in front the other, which was actually pretty hard on the circumstances, considering I was in a wheelchair than a Well, then, Walker, that a cane. But yeah, it was really just, I guess. Yeah, I guess there's a somewhat dogged determination. Somewhat, Mum. Guilt and somewhat Just okay. I mean, if I survive for a reason, it's not to have completely miserable existence. And I am gonna have days where I am just miserable. But for the most part, I'm just gonna try and keep going on and doing the things I need to do to at least have sparely enjoyable existence.

spk_0:   18:02
Well, underneath a better go under. Yeah, underneath that, Mum, go though. What I hear is like love.

spk_1:   18:11
Yes. Oh, for sure,

spk_0:   18:13
right. Like, yeah, sure, it's Mom. Go. But it's actually that you really D'oh. I love your kids. And you want to be able thio love wth, um, as fully as you can, um, given, uh, given what's happened to you. Um, so I hear. But that's what I hear kind of in that I feel like Victor Frankel's book. Do you know, man, search for meeting? Yes. I feel like everybody is probably the sales of increased, but like he basically would say, like a cz, long as you have. Ah, like a meeting or reason to survive. You can survive almost anything. And I guess that's what I'm hearing right there. There was a big sense of your kids Helped pull you through a lot of those days. Even those days, you felt like you were not showing up in the way that you wanted to. Am I, right?

spk_1:   19:05
Yes, that is 100% true. And, you know, I also had a lot of support through it, and I mean I mean, I'll see privilege inserts itself into everything. I mean, I'm not trying to diminish what I went through, but I also, you know, given that I was a lawyer, I had a great personal injury lawyer. I had, um a great, you know, insurance, the jester. Um, because there's a whole sort of accident benefits regime you need to go through. So I really had support and basically a lot of the care that I needed I was able to get I mean, I guess it's because my injuries were so massive. It was little debate as to whether I needed certain things. But I also, you know, I believe that I was in a sense of believed by the insurance company and given what I needed, just partly based on on also who I was. And I mean the injuries I sustained. But, um, just I had what I needed, and it was still awful. But by comparison, I was really given what I needed to recover and really barely did. You know?

spk_0:   20:12
Well, I mean, like, recovery is so often determined Not by just strength of will is what you're saying, which you have in shapes like massive amounts of that inner strength, but also out of resources are such a strong determinant of how people recover from physical or psychological injuries. And I hear you saying that and I hear you're, um you are aware of your privileged. You also have a self advocacy kind of capacity that some people might not. Because of your background in law, I'm learning how to navigate those complex systems for sure. Um and then you also had some people that you met in hospital E I remember you telling me the story off someone that you met who was in his Bridgepoint you're in right now. The same at the same time is you that, um, was probably at the time one of the only people who could truly have a depth of understanding of what you're going through, right?

spk_1:   21:15
Yes. Yeah. I mean, connecting with fellow trauma survivors who had really been through at least somewhat similar experiences in one case, almost eerily identical experience. But who is much further along in their recovery that than me was just crucial. Crucial, um, to just understanding that what I was going through when I was feeling was was normal and just gave me a bit of a trajectory to know you know, where I might be in a few a few years. You know, um and I just happened to connect with she wasn't staying at Bridge point at the same time as Misha had actually started a trauma support group in hospitals for people, because when she was recovering, there was nothing. Oh, player for her. And so she has her started these this this trauma support group and I met her a Bridgepoint through that, and it was just it was really a lifeline for me. I was totally lost. I'm sure helped really break for the isolation.

spk_0:   22:18
Um, do you mind saying her first name or you want to keep

spk_1:   22:22
our you know, Margaret.

spk_0:   22:24
Margaret. Hi, Margaret. Yeah.

spk_1:   22:31
So that's just been I mean, like anyone, Anything. When you when you survive something, it is nice to be surrounded by people who know exactly with us. Like, because no matter how much people try and understand, um, if they haven't been through it, it's difficult. And it's just Yeah, God said to have women who've gone through the exact same thing is me one of whom was actually across the hall from me at the hospital, not Margaret. Ah, a similar accident at ST Mike's Hospital. But me, I just used it to leave my room when we never met until after we're back in the community together. We're going to some of the promised

spk_0:   23:05
for groups. Well, and they're still your dignity

spk_1:   23:09
of many of us who have been run over by large industrial vehicles in Toronto.

spk_0:   23:19
Oh, you're killing me, e. There's still a big part of your life. They're still part of your life now, right?

spk_1:   23:25
Yeah. Yes, they are. They're very much so. Especially Margaret. No, no, There's always not friends

spk_0:   23:33
the way they're recovering. Everything

spk_1:   23:36
all right? Yeah. So we're still supporting each other, and we're still navigating all the peaks and valleys of recoveries. And some of us that have have had huge setbacks on DDE and others of us have yeah, like myself, going back to work and try to restore some normalcy. But we're still struggling for sure.

spk_0:   23:56
And what do you say? That one of the things you might have noticed in people who who don't understand the level of suffering and trauma that you went through would say things that we're trying to tie you up in a nice, tidy box of. Now she's now she's out good, cause she's alive. Like, were there things that you found? Well meaning? People would say that we're actually like the exact thing. You didn't need Thio here in the moment. I

spk_1:   24:26
mean, it's hard because, you know, on the one hand, like people struggle with knowing what to say to people in grief or in trauma. And I don't want to be too critical, because what I fear is that people then just don't say anything, which are as a society, we're very good at doing right. Um, so So I think it's coming from such a good place. But people would often say to me, You look so good,

spk_0:   24:55
huh? I mean,

spk_1:   24:56
it was a compliment. I mean, considering what I've been through, you know, they're trying to say, you know, you look well, you look healthy, but because I felt so terrible inside and because, you know, based on my entire body was shattered and put back together the much steel rods and are actually what is the titanium rods like you couldn't really see necessarily if I was just sitting or wasn't walking. And the strange way that I walk, Um, you couldn't tell that anything had really happened to me, and I know they were just trying to make me feel better, but I was because I was especially then when I was hearing it more, I was just so broken inside, it was a little bit hard to hear because it's like, great, What does that mean? And only I don't feel good and sure didn't. The only place that the dump truck did not run over was my face. So I I guess I do. You look the same, but so yeah, it was just it was hard, but I know that was coming from such a good place. So it's not a critique. It it's more just looks, can be as we know right when someone is feeling down, they might look fine. They might look totally functional, but it doesn't really tell us what's going on inside. So I guess that was a bit of a problem for me. I thought, I think for me, really, the real work of healing come started when I left the hospital, and for a lot of people, that's kind of when they thought it ended. I mean, not completely, but that's where the really hard work started. And there's many times that I actually wish I was still in the hospital because people then realized I was still sick and still recovering. Um, so it was really hard for me on his back, the community just trying to I'm gonna pretend that things were fine or that I was better. Well, it seemed to people like I was better on it really wasn't

spk_0:   26:41
sort of like that and best foot forward thing, right, like you're putting your best foot forward in public spaces. But people, my, the disability that you were living with, was was less visible at a certain point because you're so able to go into that more best foot forward place that the what you were feeling, the chronic pain, like people who live with chronic pain that's just less visible to people when they look atyou. Um, and they might not be aware of the amount of effort that it takes to move through the world when you're in that type of pain, right?

spk_1:   27:23
Exactly. Yeah, that is, That is there, however said. You're staying there. He seems like your normal, Um, but you know, I'd be at the playground after picking my kids up off the bus up just up the street after school and be there the group of moms and because I had such bad PTSD, I just every time my kids were playing on this play structure, I just imagine them falling and just being horribly injured in May, and so I'd be super hyper reactive playground, and I think some of mom's well, it can't be like is wrong with that girl, you know, I guess it's just freaking out and your kids are six and eight now, you know you don't need to like helicopter parent quite so much. But it just it was one that was not just the chronic pain standpoint, but, yeah, I was standing there being a lot of pain. So see, I'm not interacting with people. Normally, I'm expecting my kids to die any minute following off the monkey bars. So I just felt like I was just really a freak. You know, e I don't know how else I just felt like I just didn't have normal reactions to things I you know. But yet there I was, seemingly looking normal and people not understanding really what was going on inside and how could they write? But it just the way you move about in the world has a trauma survivor, especially in the early days when you're hyper reactive. Pain is just Elvis is hard for anyone to comprehend. But you're saying they're looking normal, and it also I think, people it's harder for people to understand. Then you walk away just feeling like I guess you're totally alone and misunderstood. And

spk_0:   28:56
it reminds me like PTSD post traumatic stress disorder. You did not have a disordered response to what happened to you. It's more post traumatic stress injury, um, which I think is often more appropriate. And if we look at it as an injury that needs a lot of support to recover from, there's nothing disordered about people's responses to the type of trauma that you experienced. And it also reminds me of how, like, again a mental health issues air so invisible, right?

spk_1:   29:31
I mean, most, most of the time, Yeah.

spk_0:   29:33
Yeah, a lot of the time they are. And so people people don't know howto live in a world when people were living with that type of psychological injury and physical injury that you you went through. But, I mean, you had enough. Enough supported enough people that understood, I guess. But you are. I mean, you have an ability, thio also whole compassion for people and not go into a really bitter place about what happened to you. And I think like what? What would you say? What you've been through changed like in terms of yourself identity who you see yourself as in the world. You talk about Cathy and knew Cathy. I mean, how do you But how do you see yourself in the world now, then, before the big question

spk_1:   30:34
we know it is. You know, it's a really hard question to answer because I just feel like it's still, you know, one of the most defining things about me, even though I am so much more than what happened to me on the collision is still so that kind of shapes and colors, like everything, really from the moment we got till I go to bed. So I don't know how it is changed me fundamentally in terms of not having become, you know, super bitter about it. I mean, I do think that a lot of the work that I do, you know, with refugees and migrants and really precarious situations, really give me some perspective, too. See that like I have suffered. But there is a lot of suffering out there, and mine isn't unique. And at least I am. You know, I could talk about post traumatic stress because I'm out of the traumatic stress, you know, like Palestinians in Gaza are people who are just bombarded all day every day and actually can't get to safety, even start talking about post traumatic still e. I mean, that's not really just describing, you know, explaining how I myself identity has changed, but it's some. I guess it's just time. What's helped me keep a little bit perspective with respect to my own only injuries. And I think that's why getting back to doing the work I was doing with such an important piece in my recovery, a purpose and meaning. And then I guess I'm hoping that I'm bringing a bit more understanding and compassion to the work I do now. Just having been through massive trauma myself, no, really pales in comparison to what some of the people like encounter have dealt with. But

spk_0:   32:45
I think you really I think what you're seeing is what happened to you, uh, opened you up more thio Deeper connection. When people because of what you've been through, would you

spk_1:   33:00
say Yeah, I hope. I hope that's that's true. Yeah, I mean, it's something I struggle with it. Some days you do feel isolated and closed off and you're no one can know what you've gone through or else I think, well, I could never know what that person is going through. But I'm hoping there that I almost also finding deeper of connections to people as Well, you know.

spk_0:   33:26
Yeah. And also, I wonder if you have a greater appreciation for the strengths. Better just innate Lian Yu. I might

spk_1:   33:39
get days. I do. I I think I mind my per self critical as well. So, you know, maybe I should have written a novel by now about my experience and a a motivational speaker like hella close us. You know, superhero trauma survivors who come out of it like, Oh, you know, this is this is transforming for the better. And, you know, it's not quite that, Rosie, but

spk_0:   34:04
but I love that about you. I love that you're not willing to go there,

spk_1:   34:08
e It's out there already enough as it is. And and, uh, I think we need the stories of of trauma survivors who kind of flounder, who you talk about the peaks and valleys more instead of just focusing on the amazing feats of recovery that they've managed to accomplish because usually to begin where they were, either Superhuman athletes are you are something of the like, and that's what they're what they're writing about. Insider said it could be helpful at least two to read those stories I read some of them when I was in the hospital because oh, well, at least maybe I can recover again, you know, But at the same time, exercise make you feel like a lazy trauma survivor. I mean, no one wants to read about the fable. It's someone who relies in bed watching Netflix a lot of the time, but e I've done a lot of but is also I have to be a happy medium for true stories about really, how how deep the valleys are now, how hard they are to get out of That's well,

spk_0:   35:08
that's that. That's how people that's what people need help with is navigating the shame of suffering and struggling instead of always going thio trying to look for the positive on dhe, always looking towards that overcoming kind of energy like you have an incredible, incredible capacity to be where you're at and to not chase your feelings away. But also thio dive into some tenacity when you need it, and I respect that so much about you because there's enough there's no false bone in your body, and that comes out so clearly here and you're is big and there's your just completely you and you Now in 2020 today On what, March 28th. This is who you are for 20 nights. Rather losing track of days Hate during this crisis. This is like, Yeah, it's a little bit disorienting, but I just really, uh I appreciate the the the moments you shared with me on the time that I've known you so honestly about the complexities of recovery. And it makes me really want to be more conscious of trying to be in that state of you can do it if you set your mind to it. Kind of bullshit that floats around. And you just It's like you keep remembering you keeps me in check with that and to make sure that the the complexities of recovery are always deeply respected. So unless there anything you want to share, I always ask people, What are you listening to right now? And is there anything else you want to share before we say good bye for now or

spk_1:   37:04
my lifting too? Right now? Um probably really bad dance music. Top 40 stuff And my kids loves were embarrassing.

spk_0:   37:12
There's a place for that. Oh, my goodness.

spk_1:   37:15
I can never get enough nineties hip hop, um, and podcasts I'm loving. Ah, radio lab did a great Thea other Omer Latif that story about someone detained at Guantanamo Bay and this American life

spk_0:   37:31
Uh huh.

spk_1:   37:32
And wrong about Oh, what's that? It's, um, tallies to fairly amusing, um, characters, characters, people in the states. They just They just discussed the big sort of events that happened, like from the O. J. Simpson Instant O J. Simpson trial to like the Challenger disaster. But like what we what was portrayed in the media is how things went down. But what actually happened? I amusing Bender. You love it. Yeah, that's what I'm. That's what I'm listening to. Nothing. Nothing truly groundbreaking but podcast. Tell me falsely a night, though. No. Yeah, yeah. Now I live in that. I mean, sure, this there saw there's there's so much to talk about. But, you know, nothing capped off on a lot of the A lot of them mean things.

spk_0:   38:24
I hope you if you feel like it's good for you, continue to share that message for other people who are like just living with the effects of trauma just to bring some frickin reality and real nous to the conversation because it's very grounding and sobering and important. So thank you, Cathy.

spk_1:   38:50
Thank you, Jean.

spk_0:   38:52
Okay, take care. Stay safe and well, if you feel inspired to support my podcast is that my Patriots age? The link is in the show notes or search me under patron. With Jane 30%. Your proceeds will be going to mess up Doctors without Borders.