Song: RISK! Theme by Wormburner and John Sondericker
Song: View Point by Teebs
Live Story: Home on the Range by Moses Storm
Radio Story: This Might Be Controversial by Sara Barron
Song: Unicorns Die When You Leave by Kishi Bashi
Live Story: Mommy Issues by Carolyn Castiglia
Song: Good Answer by We Are Scientists
This might be controversial, but I think this might be the funniest episode of RISK! ever.
The number of comedians, in particular female comedians, who have absolute nightmares for mothers is absolutely astonishing! [shaking my head] “Why like this?”
I get what Carolyn is saying because the father of my children is exactly like this. I get it.
I love this podcast and listen to it regularly. Normally my reaction is one of empathy but calm. This story was more lighthearted than many and yet at Carolyn’s closing statement I fell apart sobbing and hyperventilating in recognition. I’m now processing this epiphany; though I want the “cake” less these days I still find myself hoping sometimes. Thank you for your story.
I’m replaying old Risk! episodes, as I am wont to do, and I’m shocked that I didn’t comment on this episode the first time around, but I’ll remedy that right now. First of all, god, this is an amazing episode!!! Strong in every way! Second, as a teacher (instructor!), I found Sarah Barron’s story really useful — what a great exercise to do with a creative writing class. I’m going to try it with students who seem comfortable enough with each other to play with “controversy”. Third, Carolyn’s story freaked me the fuck out, because we apparently have THE EXACT SAME MOTHER. I mean, O M G THE SAME MOTHER. I’d known from doing years of research (to try to understand my own horrific, abusive childhood) that there was a really strong, predictable, classic behavior pattern for mothers with concurrent narcissism and borderline personality disorder, but her story drove it home . The unpredictable reactions, the constant feeling of a landmine waiting to explode, the shaming, the taking ownership of a child’s accomplishments, the lack of empathy, the intense emotional and psychological suffocation (in rotation with neglect), the gaslighting, lying, and radically skewed view of reality…all of this was my childhood too. It is agonizingly painful. It is utterly damaging. And I know that my mom will NEVER take responsibility for these behaviors, or even admit that they’re a part of her, or even see they’re THERE. And I get that they must have come out of some abuse she herself suffered, though she’d never ever confide in me what the hell that was. And I, unlike Carolyn, don’t forgive her. Can’t forgive her. But Carolyn, if you’re out there, I empathize with every cell of my being, and I’m so glad you told this story…it’s something I can hold onto in the dark moments to remind myself that I’m not alone, and also not crazy. Well, maybe a little crazy. But mostly not. <3