The Power of NPR Radio and the Power of Denial

Sometimes hearing someone’s voice without seeing their image feels more intimate than seeing that someone in person or watching that someone on television.

Hearing Amity Bitzel on NPR describe the terror of surviving her father’s drunken rages and physical, mental, and emotional abuse…

…and then hearing him calmly deny her accounting of her childhood and mention horseback riding lessons and other privileges bestowed upon her startled me.  I wasn’t there, and there is no tangible way for her to prove her case.

  • I doubt he made up the horseback riding lessons.
  • I doubt she made up the drunken rages.

Healing from the psychic wounds of child abuse is a theme I explored in my novel and a theme that Nancy Werlin nailed in her novel Rules of Survival and Dave Pelzer depicted in his brutal memoir The Lost Boy.

Denial Mined as a Theme

David L. Ulin’s Jan 31, 2013 LA Times review of Christa Wolf’s novel A City of Angels includes a conversation Wolf had with a psychologist about her own experience forgetting wartime events and quotes the psychologist as saying, “A person can forget anything.  They need to, in fact.  Don’t you know this line from Freud:  We cannot live without forgetting,”

Radio is more a part of my life than TV or social media.  I listen to the radio when I drive, when I cook, when I write, when I’m relaxing with my children, and sometimes when I write.  National Public Radio, NPR, has become my connection to national and international events and more.


Filed under Mental Health and Addiction, Writing and Social Media

3 responses to “The Power of NPR Radio and the Power of Denial

  1. I agree fully with your point about the power of the intimacy of the voice–and couldn’t endorse NPR and the important pieces it does fully. Glad to find a fellow listener.

    • TV interviews seem so much more rehearsed and cautious on the part of the person being interviewed than some interviews over the radio–generally do seem more intimate. And denial is a theme that one could explore over several lifetimes.

  2. Pingback: Will effective treatment for addiction ever become the norm? | Making Time

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