The Shanny Pants Show
Life gets Better after Devastating Loss
I turned to writing after George, my partner of 32 years, died of cancer in April 2013, and I found myself living alone for the first time at age 50.
I needed to know I still existed after a year of being his caregiver, watching him disintegrate, feeling deep in my bones that somehow I was failing him. He was in denial so he thought he was going to recover even as his body abandoned him.
I couldn’t fix his illness, not could I jolt him into reality, nor get him to agree to palliative care, nor to involve his parents who were going to lose their only child. I thought I was crawling out of my skin. Through grief therapy, I found out I had post-traumatic stress disorder.
Over the next few years, I sort of got better, in dribs and drabs, but the loneliness enveloped me. For 32 years, George and I had eaten dinner together almost every night, then curled up in bed to wake up beside each other each morning. I still wonder, where does all that love go? Is it transmuted into protective energy or is it just gone?
I was a practicing attorney for over ten years which lends my writing an acrid tone of bitterness and irony. In an effort to work on that, I also earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Saint Mary’s College of California in May of 2020.
My essays have been published in The New York Times’ “Modern Love” column, HuffPost, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, Elle Decor, and Reader’s Digest, among other publications. My award-winning blog, debbieweissauthor.com dispenses empathy and advice on grief and dating after loss.
I’ve been in the California Bay Area since I was six, and currently live in Benicia, CA. I can usually be found walking by the water, on a hiking trail, in a yoga class, or discussing the virtues of cheese with my second life partner, Randal.
Find Debbie here
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6. Rebekah Drumsta01:03:13For over two decades, Rebekah has held a global presence through devoting her efforts to various nonprofits and organizations. Her background is diverse, including educational and mental health content development, international relations, and public speaking.Currently, Rebekah is the Interim Chief Executive Officer of NPE Friends Fellowship, an international non-profit organization which assists individuals, and their families, who have received unexpected results from an at-home DNA test.Rebekah is also a consultant, writer, and advocate at RebekahDrumsta.com with the mission of supporting survivors of spiritual abuse and religious trauma by providing resources to educate and equip not only survivors, but the public as well. Sharing her own story to help others who have had similar life experiences is at the heart of Rebekah’s purpose. She is a board member with two non-profit organizations The Vashti Initiative and the Attachment and Trauma Network. Rebekah’s hobbies include binge watching riveting shows, thrifting with her family, international travel, and dabbling in all things creative and artistic. Rebekah and her family reside in Texas. Rebekah holds undergraduate and advanced degrees in: Urban Ministry and Family Crisis, Counseling, and Religious Education and is also a Certified Professional Life Coach. She has made appearances on and consulted with sources including BBC, NBC and ABC, and a variety of other platforms such as podcasts and film projects. Rebekah’s book, When Family Hurts: 30 Days to Finding Healing and Clarity, was released in December of 2021. She is a co-author of the research paper, Percentage of U.S. Adults Suffering from Religious Trauma: A Sociological Study, as well as an author in the 2023 collaborative book, Hope in the 2020s: Encouragement for our time.Credit: www.rebekahdrumsta.com/aboutInstagram: rebekahdrumstaFacebook: DrumstaRebekahTwitter: DrumstaRebekahWebsite: rebekahdrumsta.com
5. Session with A Sister01:16:01My sister Carrie and I laugh so much during this episode. We talk about the ridiculous rules that we put up with growing up in a cult. 〰️〰️Shanny 👖〰️〰️LinkTreeInstagram TikTokYouTube Facebook www.ShannyPantsShow.com
4. Elisa Flores01:03:21🎙️ Join us on the Shanny Pants Show Podcast as we sit down with the incredible Elisa Flores! Formerly devoted to La Luz del Mundo, Elisa courageously opens up about her journey of breaking free from the manipulative clutches of the cult. In this gripping episode, Elisa shares the challenges she faced after escaping the isolating grip of the sect. Step by step, she reclaimed her freedom, bringing vibrant colors back into her life. Tune in for a powerful conversation that sheds light on resilience, strength, and the indomitable human spirit. 🎧✨ Don't miss this inspiring episode of triumph over manipulation! 💪 #ShannyPantsShow #BreakFree #Resilience #Survivor #Inspiration ✨Elisa on Instagram
3. Pony Jean Parker49:56Pony Jean ParkerPony and I had such a great candid conversation about the similarities between our cults and the healing that we are both experiencing now. I am starting to read her book today!!! I can't wait.You should definitely read it too! HOAXHoax is the story of a woman born and raised in the Jehovah's Witness cult. Her journey from self-realization of the indoctrination she was born into to self-acceptance as she struggles to belong in a world where things are not as they seem. Finding the courage to leave, she loses her entire family and children in the process.A story of battling Alcohol Addiction, Mental Health Diagnoses, and the journey to becoming her true self in the wake of the loss she struggles with. A powerful story of strength, vulnerability, and redemption leaves readers with hope and conviction to embrace their truth as well. When you're raised in a cult it is hard to escape indoctrination but even harder to find yourself. Follow Pony Jean's journey of self-realization through loss, addiction, and mental health diagnoses as she allows herself to become vulnerable and worthy of becoming her true self. Instagram Hoax The Book Hoax
2. Gerette Buglion Part 254:01Part 2 of a 2 part episodeBorn a middle child of seven, it’s not surprising Gerette Buglion became a lifelong educator. From parent-child programs, to Special Ed and Primary School, she’s played many teacherly roles. She has found her sweet spot as a cult recovery educator and facilitator of her signature Writing to Reckon classes that support survivors to create coherent narratives out of the chaos of coercive control. Her memoir An Everyday Cult details her master’s-level training in undue influence. Her greatest professional achievement to date is being co-founder of igotout.org and co-managing the #igotout movement whose mission of education, healing and prevention makes her heart sing. Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: Gerettebuglion.comInstagram: gerette.buglionBook: An Everyday Cult
1. Gerette Buglion Part 143:31Part 1 of a 2 part episode Born a middle child of seven, it’s not surprising Gerette Buglion became a lifelong educator. From parent-child programs, to Special Ed and Primary School, she’s played many teacherly roles. She has found her sweet spot as a cult recovery educator and facilitator of her signature Writing to Reckon classes that support survivors to create coherent narratives out of the chaos of coercive control. Her memoir An Everyday Cult details her master’s-level training in undue influence. Her greatest professional achievement to date is being co-founder of igotout.org and co-managing the #igotout movement whose mission of education, healing and prevention makes her heart sing. Email: email@example.comWebsite: Gerettebuglion.comInstagram: gerette.buglionBook: An Everyday Cult
5. Andrew Pledger-Religious Abuse01:10:33Published March 22, 2022 from https://andrewpledger.mypixieset.com/my-story/(*Trigger Warning - Topics of depression, trauma, abuse and suicidal ideation) Hello, my name is Andrew Pledger, and this is my story of religious trauma. My story is long and complex which is why I’ve been working on a book. This entry will leave out many details and cover the general overview of my experiences, and help people understand how I got here. "Religious trauma is similar in symptoms to Complex-PTSD. Symptoms of RT Negative beliefs about others Low self-esteem Struggle with emotional regulation Depression, anxiety, grief, and anger NightmaresDisassociation, flashbacks Lack of pleasureFeeling isolated Feeling empty, lost, or directionless Reduced critical thinking Feeling out of place or like you don’t belong According to Restoration Counseling, Religious Trauma Syndrome is often caused for several reasons by different people. Many people experience RTS as a result of an authoritarian religion or faith community. Individuals suffering from RTS may be struggling with black-and-white thinking, irrational beliefs, difficulty trusting themselves, low self-esteem, or feeling indebted to a group of people. Skewed views of sex, discipline, emotional regulation, relationships, and self-expression are usually present in toxic religious environments" (Source: Restoration Counseling).- Andrew Pledger(Excerpt taken from https://andrewpledger.mypixieset.com/my-story/)Find AndrewFacebookWebsiteInstagram〰️〰️Shanny 👖〰️〰️YouTubeInstagramTikTokwww.ShannyPantsShow.com
4. Hospice Nurse Julie42:58I am editing this episode as I sit next to my Grandpa’s bedside. He was put on hospice a few days ago. I feel so incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to come be with him during his last days on earth. It is absolutely beautiful as I look at his wristband boasting "97 yrs" and think back on how much life he has experienced. It's been emotional but mostly comforting being here with him. He is ready to see Jesus and many loved ones who are waiting for him. When I interviewed Julie I had no idea that within a few months I would be experiencing so many things she talked about. Thank you Julie for preparing me with this podcast episode and your amazing videos without even knowing what you were doing.I love you Grandpa. You were the greatest example of love I have ever witnessed. You will be missed but I'm so happy you will be at peace soon.https://www.youtube.com/@hospicenursejuliehttps://www.tiktok.com/@hospicenursejulie?lang=enhttps://www.instagram.com/hospicenursejulie/?hl=en〰️〰️Shanny 👖〰️〰️YouTubeInstagramTikTokwww.ShannyPantsShow.com