Episode 19: Visiting with Angela Shelton and her story “Use Your Sword”

 

Angela appeared in the very first That's What She Said, back in 2013 and has been off and running influencing people with her films, her podcast and her mission to teach everyone that they can overcome their own trauma.  This hilarious look back to her performance reminds us all that you can "Use Your Sword."

This podcast is presented by Sterling Wealth Management, empowering women to live their best lives. Learn more at www.sterlingwealthmanagement.com.

The She Said Project Podcast is recorded in partnership with Illinois Public Media. All materials contained in this podcast are the exclusive property of The She Said Project and That's What She Said, LLC. Learn more at www.shesaidproject.com.  

The She Said Project Podcast - Season Two
Episode 19: Angela Shelton “Use Your Sword”
With Jenette Jurzcyk and Kerry Rossow
     
May 22, 2020

ANNOUNCER: (0:00) Raising women’s voices - One story at a time. 
        Welcome to The She Said Project Podcast.

[music]

JENETTE: (0:26) You are listening to The She Said Project Podcast, where we come together each week to share a story from the She Said Vault. I’m Jenette Jurczyk. Kerry Rossow, how you doing today?

KERRY: I’m good, but I got to tell you every time you say, “we come together.” I’m very sorry, but you know where my mind goes. I’m sorry, but I’m happy to be here. How about that?

JENETTE: (0:44) I’m so glad you’re here too. Should we start over?

KERRY: No, I say keep rolling.

ANGELA: [interjecting] No!

KERRY: Sorry. Sorry, and you know what? It’s fitting because Angela’s here, and there’s nobody…

ANGELA: [interjecting] Yes!

KERRY: ... that I enjoy dirty talking with more than Angela Shelton.

ANGELA: [interjecting] Please!

JENETTE: So should we just jump right in with the dirty talk?

KERRY: [laughing]

ANGELA: [interjecting] Yes!

JENETTE: It is such an honor to be here today because of our guest.

ANGELA: [Addled] Yay!

JENETTE: We should just dive right in. I know I can hear her like calling, calling out, “I’m here! I’m here!”

ANGELA: Hello!

JENETTE: (1:07) Angela Shelton, welcome to The She Said Project Podcast.

ANGELA: I love that I got to come today.

ANGELA & KERRY: Oh!!

KERRY: Together! [laughing]

JENETTE: What is this gaggle of 12-year-old boys in the studio? [low male voice:] That’s what she said! Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha.

KERRY: That is true, that when we started… we got the green light to do this show, and then I remember standing in the parking lot and thinking, ‘Holy crap, now we got to put a show together,’ [Angela laughs] and the very first person that came into my mind was Angela…

ANGELA: Yay!

KERRY: ...and so I say to her, “hey, so here’s the deal—I can pay you in booze and chocolate but I love you,” and she was so much a huge part of inspiring me to take this leap and do it, like, You got to come!” (ha ha) “You have to come.” (I’m sorry, Jenette!) ”But you have to come to Illinois and be on my first show!” which, at that point, I thought would be my only show.

And she kicked it off and no questions asked, she was on a plane and lickety-split. She was here. [Angela laughs!]

KERRY: Haaa Sorry! Thank you for laughing, Angela! 

JENETTE: (2:03) And I have to say.. That’s the origin right there—the name of the show came from you and your friends    

[KERRY: Yeah.]  friends making [KERRY: Yeah.] silly..

KERRY: Yeah, we were twelve.

JENETTE: ...silly 12-year-old boy jokes
                                                                                                                                   
KERRY: (sotto voce) That’s what she said…

ANGELA: I love that…

JENETTE: So Angela, you were in the first show, first show—2013, in Champaign-Urbana…

ANGELA: Yes. Pregnant!

JENETTE: Pregnant! You were in the show and pregnant. What was that experience like for you?

ANGELA: It was the best. I’m so… First of all, I’m so proud of Kerry ‘cause she amazes me and I love her so much and I miss her so much and I love you so much, Kerry,

KERRY and ANGELA: I love you!

ANGELA: And so I’ll do anything she tells me to… [Kerry laughing] (muffled) that’s really, able to be said out loud…

JENETTE: You know, there’s a number of women that have, who would fall into that category,  “Kerry Rossow [Kerry laughing] says ‘Jump,’ we say ‘How high?’” so… [laughing continues]

But look what it’s done. Look what her bravery has created!

ANGELA: I know!

JENETTE: (2:44) You know, these live events, called That’s What She Said, that started here in Champaign-Urbana and… we’re branching out, Angela! We’re getting into new communities—because every woman has a story.

So let’s talk about the story that you shared, live on stage—one fateful evening…

ANGELA: [laughing, funny voice] Pregnant!

JENETTE: Pregnant, but that’s important because, I mean, that was a huge piece of your journey and your piece was called…

KERRY: “Use Your Sword.”

JENETTE: “Use Your Sword.” And you had, you had a physical sword on stage with you, like you had a prop.

KERRY: How did you get that on the flight by the way? [Jenette laughing]

ANGELA: All comedy and it’s plastic. [Kerry laughing]
 
But in regards to the sword and what you just said this is the stories of sharing all stories of women. I mean, one woman’s story is the story of one million women so, you know, as you’re telling one, you’re telling them all…

JENETTE: Here, here.

ANGELA: ... in ways, you know, and so I talk about healing all that old past trauma, and I have like a theory and a workbook and a whole course and all stuff kind of,  that’s my service work, but I summed it up that like trauma and being traumatized—it’s like—insert word—it could be anything.. from rape, domestic violence, your parents are incarcerated, your best friend died a tragic death, like, anything…  ...insert trauma…  is like getting pierced by a sword, in your body and you can live like that for the rest of your life, it’s just uncomfortable and it’s hard to cuddle…

And so I have all these funny techniques to remove the sword. It hurts, and then you heal the wound, and then you have it. And your sword becomes, I mean, the sword is your show. It’s me making movies. It’s people writing their songs. It’s like, what, whatever you can take your trauma and your healing and transform it into doing better—by showing the real you.

JENETTE: (4:25) And you certainly showed it…

ANGELA: I did.

JENETTE: ...to the audience that night. I think this is perfect timing, before we go too deep.

Let’s listen to your recording from your performance that night, so we can bring our friends and our listeners in on the conversation. Okay?

So, Angela Shelton, “Use Your Sword,” live on stage, 2013: the very first That’s What She Said in Champaign-Urbana.

ANGELA: Wooo!


(recorded October 5, 2013)

ANGELA (4:48): Stories. We all have a story.  Every single one of you in here has a story. We’ve heard these amazing stories up here that make me… they slay me emotionally. Oh my God. I’m like crying. And I’m smiling so much my teeth are dry. [laughing] You ever have that? You’re like, “A-haha, my teeth are so dry now!”

So, all these stories, right? Now, now talk about something a little sad, and I’ll explain this in a minute. I know you’re like, “What the hell has she got that sword for?”

Now, stories. Sadly, some of them are pretty intense. And I’m talking: domestic violence, rape, incest, neglect. Ah.. Oh wait! That was my life. Sorry. what about you? No, we all have something traumatic that we’ve been through. We all know somebody who’s been through a traumatic experience, and I say “traumatic experience” because trauma is—there is no boundary for trauma—all of those sum up under the word trauma: domestic violence, rape, incest, you’re incarcerated, your parents are incarcerated, their addictions etc. death, etc. etc, etc. Trauma. Okay?

Now, trauma is like being pierced with a sword. Do you see that? Don’t get distracted! [laughter] So trauma is like getting pierced with a sword and, and it’s, you know, it affects your whole entire life, certainly affects your mental state. Can you see that? Right? You’re like, “Oh yeah, have I got one of those…” It affects your mental state. It affects all your relationships, makes it hard to breathe. Affects your health— certainly hard to cuddle and have a healthy relationship when you’re like, (whispers) “Don’t touch me! Aargh! I’m in pain!”  Now the reason I like this analogy so much is because you can remove it, heal the wound, and then you have it, because… let me just back up for a minute.

I come from a story… I had a home—I grew up in a home of incest, domestic violence, insanity. I was removed from that home and put into foster care where we were then starved and the lady did not succeed in killing us, thank God. And you know, that was my life. That was my ‘trauma.’ Okay, and it literally affected my whole entire life. It showed up in everything I did. In all of my [accentuating syllables] relation-ship choi-ces. Like, for example, [laughter] you could bring me, you could bring me to a stadium full of the most amazing gentlemen in the world, like all the good guys to bring home to your mom. I am going to find the asshole, [laughter] and I am going to marry him. [more laughter] “Where is he?” I’m like a homing pigeon. “Bring him to me!” Right? You know it, the women are like, [whispers] “Oh my God, me too.”

(7:47) Now, I wanted to get better. I wanted this removed from my body. I wanted, you know, and I actually came up with this concept after I went on a journey—a very long journey—to discover every single healing technique known to man. I tried everything, because I was like, I want to live happily ever after! [stomp, stomp] I don’t want to buy into the fact that I came from like that poor white girl. From the, you know, with barefoot, from the trailer. She like her, her life is laid out for her. I don’t want—I don’t buy it. I’m not buying that. I want the happily-ever-ending story. Guess what? I totally have it now: Happy Ending! [Exclamation] Wooo! [applause] Bonus!

(8:30) So in order to get there I had to get better and I had to remove this. So I tried every healing technique ever and I was living in L.A. at the time and I am my mother’s daughter so there were crystals involved [laughter] and I tried like, uh, Light and Sound Therapy. It’s a box that you stand in and like you to get light and sound therapy. I tried EMDR, NMT, EFT, TFT—every single possible, like, talk therapy. There’s even a gong—a big giant gong—that they put over your vagina [laughter] to reclaim and heal your sexuality. [singing bell-tone] GONG! [laughter and applause]  Oh! That’s in Los Angeles. 

All of these things, all of these things, are very expensive and, believe me, I spent a lot of money trying every possible thing and, I discovered that during this process…I discovered this, or I was gifted with it, from the, from the gods, from the muses. I was like given                                                 because I’m an artist and I had this vision one day. I’m like, Oh my God, All of This is Like Being Pierced with a Sword and then I have to remove the sword and then I have it and I started sharing that concept and people are like, “Oh my God, that’s so cool” because then it has an end point, I’m like right?. It’s like it’s not going to last forever because the scary part is addressing the core issue. Right? Because we all have something, agreed? That you everybody I’ve been doing, traveling for so long, like everybody has something traumatic that is affecting your whole entire life, but we’ll spend all kinds of time like talking about the migraine, right? [whispering] We’re going to talk about the migraine. Infections? Yeah, talk about the infections—yeah, talk about like fibromyalgia or talk about all my mental problems or all the stuff that now let’s just talk about this. We’re talking about this. Oh this? It’s nothing. It’s nothing! [hissss!] (10:32) Don’t cuddle with me. Right? we’ll spend all this time. Now the scary part is: what if. What if I actually address this and really like, oh my God, I have to remove that? I have to, which means, I have to go back and like really get to the root of stuff and purge it? Yeah, yeah you do. And the beauty of this, is it has an end point. And I’m just gonna share with you a simple little thing to do in your head.

(10:57) All of this comes with: WHAT IF. What if I become a raging maniac and go to jail and end up on Orange is the New Black—Because I will. And, or what if I start crying and I never stop crying and I just cry for the rest of my life? Just for now, for… well, for the rest of your life, try this: replace all the WHAT IFS with EVEN IF. It accesses a different side of your brain. So if you go, even if I turn into a raging, totally Tasmanian Devil, I will look so hot in orange. [laughing]  Or like even if I cry for I will win an Emmy .. you know what I mean? Like, it changes the way you’re thinking about it. Right? And then it doesn’t become so hard because it has an end point. And yeah, it sucks. And you’re gonna cry. Yeah, okay. So? And you’re gonna get mad because this brings up all kinds of rage and anger. Yeah, okay. Yep, that’s right. But then you remove it and you have a really great wound. It’s awesome. And then you can heal the wound—which goes back to all of the—GONG!—there’s all kinds of things that you can heal! There’s every, all kinds of techniques. I’ve tried them. I can send you to some websites. Um, to heal the wound, right? But I discovered one—I’m just gonna lay this down for a minute because you got to address your wound, don’t pick your sword up yet—um, the Number One most powerful healing technique I discovered in all of my travels, was free—and it’s what you’re saying to yourself in your head. Honestly, because all this stuff, all of what somebody else did to you in your life created all of these neural pathways in your brain of, “I’m stupid.” “I’m ugly.” “I’m worthless.” “I’m damaged goods.” “I’ll never have a happy relationship.” “I’m never gonna…” “I’m never gonna have that…” “Never!”  I get it… “I’m never gonna ever…” you know, like all these negative thought patterns, right? And they literally exist in your head like little pathways in your brain. They’re called neuro pathways. And the way to get rid of all those negative ones is to create positive ones and it’s like this. They’re simple, yeah, it is actually and it’s free.!

(13:17) I’ll give you one example: for mine. Mine was like you stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. You’re ugly. You’re pathetic. You have hairs on your chin. Seriously, I’m like…shit. Tweezers, anybody? So like, ugly… Meanwhile I was on the cover of fashion magazines! Yes, I was. Shut up! I really wa… And I was paid to be pretty way back in the day and but yet my thought process was you stupid, stupid piece of crap you’re worthless, worthless.. so as I started to learn these techniques you got to choose something totally different—you gotta go polar opposite, and my polar opposite was… uh, pull it out of a hat, uh.. Uh..—I’m a goddess. And at first I went [laughing into mic] “No, you’re not. Goddesses do not have beards.” [laughter] “You am not a goddess, Grrrrl.” Now, this is Affirmation Technique 101. This is why it’s in bookstores now, you see literally like aisles and aisles and aisles of books you can buy for affirmations, because they work. But I’m saying, Don’t buy the book, change what you’re saying to yourself in your head. But, I’m gonna give you one—because I love you guys! And I’m just gonna give it to you guys so you have it the rest of your life and you’re welcome. Is, okay, I’m not that girl that’s going to put all those Post-it®s on my mirror and be like “You’re special!” “You’re pretty.” “You’re pretty today. I love you.” Because I have waaay too many parties… Could you imagine? Like somebody goes to the bathroom and they’re like.. [laughter] “I’m good! I’m good!” I was like.. Come on, let’s get the…

(15:09) So, here’s the technique that you will have for the… that you will have for the rest of your life. Literally, to grow all those neural pathways—Change the way you’re listening to music. You’re like, “What?” No, seriously—change the way you’re listening to music. I want you to pick the cheesiest, craziest, silliest love song you’ve ever heard in your life. It has to be like crazy, silly, love song and the next time you’re in your car or with your MP3 player at the gym or whatever or running naked down Healey Street, like… change the way—pick the cheesiest love song,  has to be a cheesy love song. I’m not talking about like [singing] “Back your booty up! Back your booty up.” No, it has to be cheesy love song. Sing it out loud, to yourself, as if your higher power is singing to you. The you you truly know you to be is singing to you, the you that’s the older you, like the old lady or the old man you, that is like, “You stupid!’ That’s looking back at you. Like, “You were beautiful. Why did you waste it?” You know that, that person singing to you.  Sing it out loud and it fires off all these neural pathways without you having to be like, [sotto voce] “I’m special.” And this is why they teach children new things with a, via song because it creates new neural pathways in your brain. That’s, you’re welcome. You have that, for the rest of your life—change the way you’re listening to love songs. [quietly singing] I Will Always Love You.

(16:42) Right? And change, replace what if with even if and then you remove the sword, you heal the wound, and then you have it. Now this does not mean you’re going to go lopping off heads. This is a metaphor, right? You know, this is all of your…[laughing]  actually it’s five dollars at Target. It’s really fun. And it doesn’t mean just like your singing love songs in your head just doesn’t mean you’re like gonna literally walk around with a sword for the rest of your life. It’s a little awkward. They wouldn’t let me fly with this. I don’t think so… What’s the big deal? It’s you have it in your mind. You have your sword -it becomes your backbone, your strength, eventually you no longer even have to think about it anymore. It becomes: reclaiming play. Because you know what? How many times have you been - through something in your life. That was traumatic, that has stunted and halted your playtime? I’m not kidding here. I’m serious. Like that’s what happens in life with trauma. It halts your play time. I’m saying, bitches reclaim play.

Reclaim play.

JENETTE (18:00): Reclaim play.

ANGELA: Yeah.

JENETTE: Angela, those are some powerful words. And I know that there are some listeners who have joined us here on the podcast who really needed to hear your message in that story.

ANGELA: Yay.

JENETTE: I mean like you said, it covers all the traumas, but it really, it really digs deep and shows each and every woman that no matter what you come from and what’s happened to you, you can own it. Take your sword and use it and then you have it and you can own your story. Like, reclaim play. It doesn’t get more powerful than that.

ANGELA: It’s true. Take it back. It’s like also healing sex lives—like why should we be traumatized? Why can’t we have healthy sex lives?

KERRY: Well, that’s what you know, I’m so squeamish, but you know, I’m so shy—I’m a dainty flower. But the whole ‘gong’ and all of that but it was just part of the whole message of, I think the first time many, many moons ago when we talked about this, you know, I fully enjoy blaming others and really wallowing around in the low parts of things that have happened, and I think you were the first person that was out there using your sword and it was a big light bulb moment for me. Like, what am I going to just wallow around like, yeah, but he, but she, but my mama, but my papa, and then it was like well “shut up” like okay that you’ve dealt with all that you’ve said it. Now move on and what are you going to do with it?

ANGELA: Yes! Exactly…

JENETTE: Angela, share with us some of the incredible things you have done…
KERRY: Oh, jeez!

JENETTE: ...since owning play and claiming your sword and…

KERRY: (19:30) Pull up a chair. There’s a lot!

ANGELA: Pull up a chair. It is really true actually. I did do a lot. Well, first of all, I went and I practiced what I preach and I went and kind of left the trauma train totally and went back to making movies, which is what threw me into this in the first place is I made my documentary, “Searching for Angela Shelton,” and then I went and made two movies and they are actually because independent movie making is, um… I, you have to be a little crazy to get into that, and it takes forever and it’s so difficult. Oh my God, but I have two coming out this year.

JENETTE: Whoo.

ANGELA: Whoo!

JENNETTE: Wow.

ANGELA: One is called, “Eagle and the Albatross,” it’s a little golf comedy that I gained thirty pounds for just because of…fun.

KERRY: Ha! I gained 30 pounds for that movie too. I just wanted an act of solidarity—like, I’m here for you girl.

ANGELA: I just, you know, I wanted to do something funny.

KERRY: Every time I see you, this happens with your, your cute little belly hanging out. It just makes me chuckle.

ANGELA: So I made that film as a, as an homage, and a thank you note to mentors. My best mentor in my life passed away and it was kind of like, it’s my thank-you card to him and my mentor who’s alive is my golf partner, or my golf coach rather, and I kind of merge the two of them and made a little cute movie. It is very much about me and my mentor but I made myself an Asian girl. So it’s like “fictional” in air quotes, but you know me everything is based on some kind of reality.

KERRY: Yes. Okay tell about the other movie.

ANGELA: The other movie is coming out, oh my God, May 5th. Pee, pee on myself right now. And, ready for this, Kerry? And it’s called “The Hammer“ because it’s about George “The Hammer” Martin.

KERRY: Yep.

ANGELA: It’s like the most beautiful story. I was like, I could cry talking about that. It’s a true story about a boxer in prison who was so good. He was undefeated. He’s still, to this day, is undefeated and they offered him freedom to fight in the 1984 Olympics and he said no and the reason he said no will literally blow your mind. You’re like No. No. No, no, no, no that’s not the reason.

JENETTE: Are you going to give it away, right here, right now?

ANGELA: Nuts, because you have to see it, and once you see it, and you realize you’re like, oh, of course Angela made that movie.

KERRY: Yep. Well, so I had to basically sign an ovary away to read the script and I went into my sun room and I was like, oh this will be nice. I’ll have a nice little lovely, you know, 20 minutes of morning reading this and, all by myself. I kept saying, “No! Shut up! No!” like I could not believe it, and I finished it in one sitting. It was the most beautiful story. It was, it was so beautiful.

ANGELA: Yay! Wait ‘til you see the movie. May 5th. May 5th.

KERRY: I can’t wait.

ANGELA: And so that is coming, and then I’m actually, I’m doing a little podcast—it’s going to probably be like an eight part series about how the story came to be because I was speaking. It’s like…

KERRY: Mm hmm.

ANGELA: You know, it just goes to show you, like every time you are out there speaking you are affecting people and finding people. I believe it’s divine, you know, intervention always but, you know, call me crazy.

And so I was out speaking and I met another speaker who was talking about prison reform and that is the real guy and we became really good friends and he told me the story about him and his best friend, who was the boxer, and he’s the corner man, and he told me this story and I just start bawling my face off—and I was like, oh my God, that’s a movie and—lo and behold—cut to five years later: [laugh] it is a movie. Now that’s exciting and then I’m going to take off and you know, Aly, my friend…

KERRY: Yeah.

ANGELA: She and I were looking at all the trauma stuff, and actually like what you’re doing, and like all the stuff like.. that we’ve been out there on the road for a long time. So I’m taking all of the healing techniques that I went and learned—to remove my sword essentially…

JENETTE: Like your gong—you’re taking your gong on the road… [sound] GONG!

ANGELA: My gong! That’ll be one of them. We literally have a podcast called,  “A Hundred and One Ways to Heal That Shit.”

KERRY: [laughing]
JENETTE: Awww!

ANGELA: [Laugh] Literally, there’s a hundred and one episodes. And it’s me and Aly talking and you’re gonna, and you’re gonna just die. You’re gonna die.

KERRY: But see, this is the other thing that really opened doors for me—is that you talked about really terrible, horrific things, but also you could do it in a way that made me belly laugh and maybe it’s my own sick sense of humor that, or my way of deflecting like, okay. I want to talk about something really hard, but I’m going to make a vagina joke first, [phone beep] that opened the door for me, you know, whether, you know, whatever the topic is that it’s okay to be funny about it, whatever puts people at ease and makes them comfortable to then be able to do the work afterward.

ANGELA: But well yeah, and then the first episode is we’re talking about that very thing of like how it’s funny but there’s funny when you’re hiding and then there’s funny after you’ve healed—two totally different things.

KERRY: Yep, yep, yep.

ANGELA: And in the show, it’s like funny, because it’s me and Ali and then, lo and behold, it punches you in the gut cause she’s like, “I have a question. Why don’t we just start with some questions on this just to introduce the two of us,” and she’s like, “you know, in your documentary you, like, confronted your dad. How was that? Like what, who opened the door?” I was like, oh well he did. And then she goes, “What happened?” that fact. Like that part is not in the movie. I was like you really want to know? And she’s like, “Well darling, that’s why I’m asking you.”

And I was like, um, he kissed me.

KERRY: [guttural gagging]

ANGELA: Like, way on the mouth with the tongue.

KERRY: Wow

ANGELA: And she was like…”What..the..Eff? She’s like you’ve never said that in twenty-something years. I was like, nobody ever asked. And then of course, we’re like, errrr, like it shifts to like, how do you deal with that?

KERRY: Right.

ANGELA: Oh, this is not funny anymore. Damn it. I always wanted it to be funny and that’s not funny anymore. Yeah, and it’s like yeah, he did that. And what did I do? I froze. Like froze, and I just can’t, I was like “whaaaa?” And then we continued on with the movie and then that then it became the interview that you’ve seen in the documentary, but nobody that we didn’t have that on film, you know, because I was walking up to get him to sign his release and be on the camera. But yeah, he full-on grabbed me and kissed me.

KERRY: But your face in what, the parts that did make it, like even before knowing that, I knew like it was so traumatic just looking at your face in that documentary.

ANGELA: Right? You’re just, well also because you just yeah, yeah, you’re shocked. It’s like denial, shock, and being like two feet out of your body all the same time, like, oh my God. So that’s what I think is so powerful about even talking about these stories is yeah, because especially, I mean, you and me, Kerry, we could sit around, like…

KERRY: Right.

ANGELA: You’re always going to get to the core…

KERRY: Right.

ANGELA: .. the heart of the matter. Like there’s many ways to heal our shit and why not, you know—Number one is talking about it and then talking truthfully about it. That’s what’s so beautiful. Because I’ve actually been listening to some of your shows on That’s What She Said and it’s great. And even the old shows. You’re reclaiming, re-sharing it. There’s no time stamp on it.

KERRY: Right.

ANGELA: You know, it’s like this is a great way to share and it’s another medium, you know, people are usually, what? Driving in your car working out or whatever—going on a hike. And you’re listening to this and you’re like, oh shoot, like one little nugget is gonna help change lives.

KERRY: And it’s a relief, like, I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve been sitting on something either ashamed of it or terrified of what the response will be. And once I just put it into the world. It’s like wow that, you know, the world’s still spinning and everything. It’s a relief instead of the great panic of ‘what’s going to happen.’ It just feels like relief.

ANGELA: So true. Well me, I was I don’t even know, I was like nobody’s ever, I never talked about that part. I was like, well, here we go: revealing our shit.

JENETTE: Well, sharing our stories—it just makes you realize that you’re not alone and that there are so many women out there who’ve been through something. They either needed to hear it from you or you needed to hear from them and then we connect and then we’re all a little bit stronger because of it.

ANGELA: The Hammer, which is the key song is “Heart, Baby” in it. That is a male survivor.

KERRY: Yep.

ANGELA: He had been abused as a male and that would mean, I know this is like a woman’s show, but I want to honor the fellas out there because they don’t have it easy either.

KERRY: Uh, they have some that we don’t. You know, there are issues that they have to deal with that are very different and specific to being abused as a male.

JENETTE: I think That’s What She Said thrives because it’s the women and the men in our community who have embraced the live shows and have supported us along the way, absolutely…

KERRY: Well, half the time, my husband is saying to me, you know, “Hey, do you know Tara Hurless?” and I believe that he actually was the one— you were on you were on the Oprah, and he came in and said, “Have you seen this?” and I sort of walked in and stopped in my tracks. Everybody’s got something to offer.

JENETTE: Now when we say we are “women supporting women,” it is on stage, but it’s also very much behind the scenes; from day one, there are no divas. We’re all in this together. We are all being brave and vulnerable and working through our stuff.

KERRY: Okay. Can I ask one more question?

JENETTE: One more—that’s all you’ve got time for.

KERRY: I’m sorry—just one more! So how has it been different now that you have a daughter? Like does…

ANGELA: Oh, right!

KERRY:  ..has there been a shift in all this or is it. Or is it, does it feel like same/same or is it different now?

ANGELA: Well, you know, what’s crazy is that I was obviously pregnant with her, which is symbolic. It was like the ‘birth of the baby’ on so many levels. First episode, and, or the first show and then I went on to make movies, you know, with her. She was a toddler.

KERRY: I love that.

ANGELA: I just made one and she’s in it. And now the difference is I share with her healing techniques that come up with, you know, a little, a little breakdown, a little kid breakdown. And also it’s been very healing for me as a mom seeing her at the age that I was abused. And she’s so free with her body, you know, naked, running around, you know, showing it—and just I’m not going to ever shame that like she should love, you know, but it’s just amazing to watch that and be like, wow that there’s an opportunity right there for a disgusting perp.

KERRY: Right.

ANGELA: Take advantage of that, and so there’s a beauty of like, oh I feel, I feel so honored to be able to witness this because she’s so, I don’t know… I think she’s far more brilliant than I am. I love watching her grow up and being able to be a witness and just really just a guide, of like, when she’s freaking out over something like socks…

KERRY: Socks are important!

ANGELA: Good God! Um, like one little thread on a sock—it’s a mental breakdown. And so I can work with her on the healing techniques that I’ve learned and get her over, you know, socks. And I I’m so happy that it’s frikking socks, it’s not, you know, the stuff that many of us went through in the world. It’s like. I love that I’m… or washing your hair. You’re freaking the hell out. “Let’s work through this.” So it’s very fun.

JENETTE: I sense a children’s book or children’s therapy podcast coming on.

KERRY: Maybe…

ANGELA: Um, actually she just tells me what to do. I am… she wrote a movie, and I, that’s my next movie that I’m writing—and she chose, obviously didn’t write it down. She told it to me, in great, great, great detail and I have, um, I recorded her telling it and I took notes and now I am just starting the script with her guidance. Like it is 100% her story and I’m kind of like, I mean, I know she’s my kid, but I… this is really kind of brilliant. And I’m like, I want to… I called up one person I trust in the industry and I told them the story, they’re like, “Oh shit!” They’re like, “That’s going to get stolen! So write it” and then… so I recorded her telling me the story. I wrote it down. And I’ll copyright like, you know, the everything—it’s like, “Good luck stealing that from a five-year old!” She’s so clever! You know what I mean? I’m like, so I am of service to her. I know I’m her mom, but if there’s a way, that there’s a lot of it but, I’m like, just doing what you’re saying kid. That’s why I started a little Instagram, “What Aurelia Says.”

KERRY: She’s her mother’s daughter.

JENETTE: I was going to say, you keep celebrating her and you, you grow her into an amazing woman who can appear on That’s What She Said.

KERRY: [inhales] Yes!Yes!

ANGELA: See?

JENETTE: But.. So Angela, that’s all the time we have today. I can’t thank you enough for joining us, you know, reminiscing with us about, you know, the early beginnings of that’s what she said and where you are now and congratulations on where you are now—it’s inspiring for us and hopefully for a lot of the women who are listening here today.

KERRY: I need to just say thank you, because without our earlier friendship before I started the show, I would have never had the courage or the inspiration to shut up and go do it—it was sort of, you know, if you whittled down our conversations like then, girl put the diapers down, step away from the diapers and go do something!

ANGELA: Do it!

KERRY: Do it!

JENETTE: And, you know, Angela, you had an influence on Kerry; Kerry has had a huge influence on my and so many others, and you know, we just pay it forward.

So thank you for allowing us a moment of your time so that we can pay this forward to other women. We have more stories to share. So we want to thank everyone for joining us and listening to The She Said Project Podcast.

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ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the She Said Project Podcast, in partnership with Illinois Public Media. All materials contained in the podcast are the exclusive property of the She Said Project and That’s What She Said, LLC. For more information on our live shows, go to: http://shesaidproject.com.

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ANNOUNCER: This podcast was presented by Sterling Wealth Management—empowering women to live their best lives. Learn more at http://sterlingwealthmanagement.com.

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