Amanda Pagliarini Howard is co-founder of The Society Guide, a membership-based program that connects non-profit organizations to high net worth donors and their advisors. The Society Guide publishes The Giving Book, an annual catalog and dossier of non-profit organization members. Previously, Amanda was editor of Society Charlotte magazine and nFocus Magazine, and a freelance writer and editor. She has contributed dozens of articles and essays to publications, including The Washingtonian, Uptown Magazine, Charlotte Viewpoint and the Charlotte Observer. Amanda earned an M.F.A. in Creative Non-Fiction Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and a B.A. in Communications from George Mason University.
In this episode we explore a series of events: Amanda was sexually assaulted when she was 14 years old, she was committed to a psychiatric hospital and became suicidal, she was recruited into a cult-like group for seven years, when she left the group she lived very much on the edge, until finding her way to a new city where a process of healing began. We talk about her past and where she is now.
IN THIS EPISODE
- Amanda talks about where she grew up and how she was raised.
- She explains the pressures and expectations she felt growing up and why and how she rebelled as a teenager.
- She describes being sexually assaulted when she was 14 years old.
- She shares the aftermath of the assault and being committed to a psychiatric hospital.
- Amanda talks about the death of her best friend shortly after she was assaulted and how the compounded trauma led her to become suicidal.
- She describes becoming part of a cult-like group that would take control of her life.
- She discusses being brainwashed and groomed by older men into sexual relationships.
- She reflects on who she was during her time in the group.
- Amanda explains the phrase ‘one clear voice.’
- She talks about the difficulty of leaving the group and her life on the edge afterward.
- She shares how she found her way to Charlotte.
- She reveals how writing helped her heal.
- Amanda talks about renewing contact with her teenage boyfriend and forgiving him publicly for his role in her assault.
- She discusses the importance of her own ‘one clear voice.’
- She answers how she is doing today.
- Amanda reveals what she would tell her 14 year old self.