Every moment of our lives has led us to where we are right now – to the adult we have become. The friend, parent, spouse, partner, co-worker, the employee we are now. We've all experienced things in our childhood that created this person – – whether it be positive or negative.
Trauma, Religion, Healing
In this episode, we're focusing on trauma, religion, and healing. Heather Vickery is joined by Mary Rutt, co-host of the Latter Day Lesbian podcast. Mary discusses her past and the pieces of her childhood that shaped her, making her the woman she is today. This is a very raw and honest conversation. Some elements may be difficult for those who have suffered sexual or religious abuse.
Finding her Father
Maty’s father was not in the greatest health. He was an older father and, at 70 years old, was in poor health and had been pushing himself a bit too much psychically. When Mary was in 7th grade, she was on the bus home from school when she, suddenly, had this overwhelming feeling that her father may have passed. Sadly, when she arrived home from school, she found her father and he had, indeed, passed away. This is an experience no human ever wants finding, the deceased body of another, and to find a beloved parent is even more traumatic. After the shock of finding her father's lifeless body, she was then tasked with being the bearer of bad news to her family and neighbors.
Resilience is born
The loss of her father had a profound effect on Mary. First, she started becoming witty and defensive as a protection against the pain she felt at this loss. Eventually, however, she realized this traumatic event gave her the gift of problem-solving and selflessness. Mary has long been able to find the silver lining. This is something our host, Heather, truly admires about her.
As a young, heartbroken young girl who desperately missed her father, Mary all the sudden found herself the “favorite niece” of her uncle. He began giving her extra attention in the form of money, kind words, and (often unwanted) touch. She was confused and hurt by his actions. Her recovery from such betrayal and abuse has been profound.
Opposing views of Religion
Where do we go when we die? Who knows? Mary grew up with a radical Christian mother and an atheist father. Her views became even more muddled after her father’s death. Mary’s had a lot of questions throughout her life. Questions like “why would ‘God' hurt little girls?” But ultimately both religion and life are what you make of them. It's what you want to believe that gets you to the ‘good place' as long as you’re kind and generous with your time on this earth. And who knows … Perhaps this is “the good” place.
A Space for Healing A.K.A. Trauma Bonding
Mary met her partner, Shelly, a few years ago. At the time, Shelly was experiencing her own religious recovery as took her exit from the Mormon faith with seven kids in tow. After many incredible conversations, Mary suggested they start a podcast to share Shelly’s story.
With a background in video and audio production, Mary knew that she had the skills it took to help produce this podcast and thus, Latter-Day Lesbian was created.
The success of Latter-DayLesbian has been extraordinary. Mary and Shelley have created a safe space for others to share their stories and to feel a kinship with people who have had similar experiences as their own. The show has evolved from just telling Shelly's incredible story (listen to her episode of The Brave Files here) to sharing the stories of their followers.