Welcome to the Find Your Voice, Change Your Life podcast. You will hear real-life stories from people who struggled to find their authentic voice.
I’m your host, Dr. Doreen Downing.
I interview people who share how they overcame their fears about stepping up and speaking out. They each offer tips and strategies that you can apply to your own journey to find your voice and change your life.
If you enjoy my podcast, be sure to subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcast or your favorite podcast platform.
Today, I interview Anna Ditchburn who grew up in Russia. Her father left when she was 4, abandoning their family to be with another woman. Anna was so young, she didn’t quite understand what was going on. She never processed her own feelings about it, but instead focused on her heartbroken mother and helped to keep up appearances, never revealing what was happening behind closed doors.
Today, I interview Laurie Seymour whose father was her best friend. Growing up with three brothers, she confided in her father and he was her sounding board and source of encouragement. When he died she was still quite young, and her mother was forced to pick up the pieces, struggling with overwhelming new emotional and financial stresses.
Today, I interview Erin Bogdan who grew up believing she truly did have the perfect family, with an easy childhood and parents who loved her. Now she says she’s realized it was a dynamic of “emotional codependent dysfunctionality”.
Today, I interview Mitra Manesh, the youngest of three children who grew up in Iran. Mitra learned to fend for herself and figure out her own way. She was intelligent and well-behaved, never getting into trouble and becoming a source of comfort and stability in the room. These things earned her the nickname, “the wise child” from a very young age. But was this a good thing or not?
Today, I interview Dr. John Gray. In John’s family there were lots of siblings, and there was lots of love. However, his mother clearly had a sweet spot for John and favored him a little. In turn, his siblings expressed their jealousy by picking on and torturing him. He learned to stay alert, but this meant he was always on edge and quite afraid.
Today, I interview Joey Chandler, a good friend for years. This story takes place in the middle of a transformative phase in his more current journey, rather than walking back through his childhood. Joey went through a very rough period over the past couple years where he was struggling with COVID, going through a separation, and dealing with shifts in his business. He was frustrated and feeling a little lost.
Today, I interview Melissa Reilly whose life began in rural upstate New York with her parents and two sisters. Then one of her sisters became severely ill, and she and the other sister were often dropped off with anyone who could take them, so that their parents could take their ill sister for treatments. Melissa was shy with new people and began keeping her voice to herself, learning to observe people and read situations by their behavior.
Today, I interview Ann Hince whose story certainly has a unique beginning. She was adopted as a newborn into a family who had just had to give up a foster daughter, so in some ways she started her life by filling in another one’s shoes.
Today, I interview Paul Hood who describes his childhood household as “quiet, non-controversial, and easy”. Maintaining privacy and avoiding conflict were the M.O. His father was a CPA and introduced him to a colleague who was both a CPA and a lawyer, and at age ten Paul decided that this was the combination he would strive for.
Today, I interview Lesley Evans, who as the youngest of three children and the only girl, received plenty of attention as a child. Her voice didn’t begin to fade until her teenage years. Her parents divorced and she focused on comforting her mother, and from there she naturally fell into a caretaker role, giving her friends advice and being the supporter for anyone who needed it.