When I became an adult, it was really about being able to stand on my own two feet. I definitely saw any romantic relationship as a distraction. I became single-minded in my attempts to be financially independent. I'm the youngest of three. Both my older siblings are married. Both dated a lot. I did not.


I fell in love with him so hard. Bold Love sums up our entire experience. We've been together for eight months and we've already gone to Europe and spent three months there. Now we're on our way to Canada so I can introduce him to my father.


I would not be able to pull myself out of bed for two, three days at a time, cried constantly and had constant panic attacks. Then when I could get myself out of bed, I would need to be cleaning or dancing or having sex or masturbating or anything. I could not expel enough energy. I could not keep focused on one project. Then I would swing back down to where I couldn’t get out of bed again.

Paul - The Power of Storytelling

I almost froze to death in there—they shut off all the heat in the buildings. I was in a locked cell by myself with paper clothes on. All that was there was a mattress. The guards really beat the shit out of me; when I first got there I was having blackouts, and apparently I was talking a lot of shit to the guards.


It’s a terrible place to be. It really is. I remember once, my son was six years old. He came home from school and put his arms around me. I remember forcing myself to hug this kid and show some love, and I didn’t want to love him. I didn’t want to hug him. My son was my joy, my gosh. 


Growing up, I was bullied because I was upfront about my intentions to become a woman. My school chums just hated me. They were relentless. I was one of the biggest kids in school, but because I wouldn’t fight, they would . . . I was scared. I was just terrified. 


I am diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder is really all about an inability to manage emotions and mood instability. Very much black and white thinking, so you’re either all good or all bad. There is no gray; we are extremely impulsive.


I’m jumpy around people. And then when I get lots of people around me, it gets bad. I start getting a panic attack. She gives me comfort. She’ll come up here and put her head in my lap, and just sit there and stare at me. And then, I’ll pet her. To come out of a PTSD attack you just have to breathe. Just breathe. And then you have to have some kind of comfort to bring you out of that PTSD attack and she is my comfort.


The guy in the cell next to me told the guard to fuck off. He’s like, “Hey man, stop knocking on the glass, we’re trying to sleep. It became like torturous if you wanted to sleep. The guard took this guy out of the cell and beat the living crap out of him at three in the morning. I heard his flesh hitting the concrete and this man is pleading for his life, “Please God no. Please, I’m sorry. Please stop,” until . . . silence. He knocked him unconscious.

Yemoja Oshun - Healing through BDSM

I met Yemoja Oshun at an art market in New Orleans and I was immediately intrigued by her career path so I asked if she would share her story with me. Our conversation focuses largely on healing her own sexual abuse through BDSM and her role in helping others heal through sensual bodywork.


I remember being in a bar at noon drinking and having a ghost right beside me, which was the rage. I drank all day and all night. I drove to a bridge and took out an ax and started just chopping into a tree with it. Started throwing my pottery into the damn river. Then I got back in the car and just blew through a barricade, busted out the windshield. I don’t think I wanted to kill myself. I just had a damn rage.


This conversation took place on January 31st, 2017 at the neutral ground on St. Roch Ave. in New Orleans. Raskull had been hopping trains with her boyfriend Ian and her dog Spaghetti for quite a while by the time I met her. Here’s a brief glimpse into Raskull’s life.


The episode that you’re about to listen to touches on all three, addiction, mental health, and New Orleans. I’ve known David in passing for a few years. He was a barista at a coffee shop I often went to on Lower Decatur in the French Quarter. He was also roommates with a friend of mine, Corey, who died from a fentanyl overdose last year. 

Introducing Audio Stories

For years now I've considered how powerful it could be to share audio stories. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to really pursue that. I started a podcast by the same name, The Hidden South, and it's now available on most of the major podcast apps.

Mary Grace

I thank God. I still get depressed; I still have my anxiety; I have panic attacks on occasion in large crowds, but I’m learning so many new things. I learn so much from the people that I work with. I’m hoping and praying that they’re learning from me too. I just can’t see my life doing anything else.


God communicated to me that there were some children buried in a landfill in Cumming, Georgia. I was living on Lake Lanier, so I set out to try to go find them and swam across part of Lake Lanier. I had on nothing but sweatpants, and they came off during the swim so I was buck-naked when I went up and knocked on a door at this big beautiful lake home. The woman came to the door and just started screaming. I didn’t think I looked that bad naked…


When I was seventeen I moved back to Memphis and opened my own tattoo shop in the back of a Harley shop and built up from there. We now own seven stores in North Mississippi and Memphis.