The Mother Flipping Awesome Podcast
Season 3, Episode 2:
On Reinventing Ourselves, with Guest Stephanie Thornton Plymale
On this episode, Abigail interviews...
Stephanie Thornton Plymale
Stephanie Plymale’s life as a child was full of hardship: neglect, hunger, poverty, homelessness, sexual abuse, and a perpetually absent, mentally ill mother who was in and out of jails and psych wards. At one point, Stephanie embarks on a series of ‘interviews’ to get her mother to take personal responsibility for the past. The two embark on a journey of discovery in AMERICAN DAUGHTER (HarperOne) as a series of shocking revelations forces Stephanie to see every aspect of her painful childhood and her mother with fresh eyes. For 50 years, Stephanie Thornton Plymale kept her past a fiercely guarded secret. Today she shares that secret with us.
In this episode Abigail speaks with Stephanie Thornton Plymale, author of American Daughter, about her deeply troubled relationship with her mentally ill mother, her family history which dates back to the American Revolution, and how she rose above it all to become the incredibly successful head of a family of her own, a business, and a charity. Listen in as we talk about how to reinvent our past and make our dreams come true.
2.00 Stephanie’s troubled childhood, and the impetus for her book.
4:30 Abusive foster homes, and estrangement from her mentally ill mother.
6:00 Stephanie learns that she is indeed a direct descendant of George Washington!
7:00 What made Stephanie come clean with her story and reconnect with her mother.
8:50 What was it like for Stephanie when she found out what had happened to her mother at 11 years old.
10:00 Stephanie explains how her newfound compassion and empathy replaced her anger.
10:50 All of us have a story - and the power to choose how we let that story define us.
12:00 Abigail asks about a seminal moment in the book where, as a child, Stephanie glimpses into a warm and comfortable home and decides she wants that for herself one day. Stephanie shares what that moment meant for her, and how it spurred her on.
Where to find Stephanie's book:
Visit american-daughter.com. Originally self published and now picked up by HarperOne, this is a book you want to go out and get! Additionally, you may wish to support Stephanie's Heritage Home Foundation, a nonprofit serving families transitioning from homelessness.