Nobody Should Believe Me S02

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SEASON 04 | EPISODE 02

“I Brought You Into This World I Can Take You Out”

While visiting their hometown, Jo reconnects with their older sister, Crystal, to have the deeply honest and heart-wrenching conversation their mother never wanted them to have: one where they share the hard truths about the abuse they both suffered at her hand. Crystal and Jo reach a new level of understanding of their shared experiences and their love for each other. We also speak to Munchausen by proxy expert Bea Yorker to talk about the process of discovery and recovery for survivors.

Listen on: Apple | Spotify

Show Notes

Host Andrea Dunlop:

https://www.andreadunlop.net

For behind-the-scenes photos:
https://www.instagram.com/andreadunlop/

Support the show and get exclusive bonus content:
https://patreon.com/NobodyShouldBelieveMe

For information and resources:
https://www.munchausensupport.com

The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children’s MBP Practice Guidelines can be downloaded here.

More about Dr. Marc Feldman:
https://munchausen.com

Transcript

[00:00:00] Andrea: Before we begin a quick warning that in this show we discuss child abuse and this content may be difficult for some listeners. If you or anyone you know is a victim or survivor of medical child abuse, please go to munchhausen support.com to connect with professionals who can help.

[00:00:21] So, as many of you may know if you’ve listened to the previous seasons of this show, I come to all of this with a really deep personal connection, which is that I strongly believe that my niece and nephew are victims of Munchhouse and by proxy abuse. My sister has been investigated twice for medical child abuse, and though she has not been charged with a crime.

[00:00:45] Um, one of the investigations involved a two year long police investigation that I was able to obtain a lot of information from. And so I know that the evidence against her was incredibly strong. In particular that they [00:01:00] had video footage of her tampering with medications. So after my sister was investigated for the second time for medical child abuse, this time of her youngest child, my niece.

[00:01:13] I was really hopeful during that investigation that something was going to come of it because I knew the police were involved. They had a lot to go on, and they seemed really serious about it. And when I got the news in the summer of 2019. Bizarrely, right before my book came out that she’d gotten her kids back.

[00:01:36] It was just so crushing because even though it feels naive to say this now, I really thought, okay, I. They’ve got her like, this is the second time no one could possibly look at this situation and just think that there’s nothing wrong here. I know these kids are not safe, and no one is doing anything to intervene.

[00:01:58] No one is gonna help [00:02:00] them. No one is, you know, kind of like no one cares, right? I mean, that’s, that’s how it fell. And so I remember, you know, I told my parents, I said, if there’s information that comes in about Megan, don’t tell me unless something changes, unless something about this situation changes, I don’t wanna know.

[00:02:20] Because whenever I find out something new has happened, it just sends me back into a spiral and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it. So when the authorities have failed, and those systems that are supposed to protect them have failed. And the family members around them that are allowed to be in their lives are failing them.

[00:02:37] In my opinion. Then like what is even my role? I think it wasn’t until I started the show and I sort of learned about how to report on these cases and how to sort of like. Legally talk about cases where there wasn’t a conviction, which there is not in my sister’s case, and there’s not even, you know, there was never any charges filed by the prosecutor’s [00:03:00] office.

[00:03:01] And then I realized, okay, the only thing I can do, the only thing I can do, I. Is be as public as possible with the information that I do have, because hopefully that will alert the people who are in those kids’ lives to watch out for them, right? And just like more eyes on the kids. We’ll give them a better chance of coming out alive of surviving to adulthood.

[00:03:33] So I think as I was getting like into learning more about this abuse. It’s like the more you learn about it, it does not make you feel better about the possible outcome for those kids. And it’s really devastating to see what this does to people’s like Psyche and their emotional wellbeing. But meeting Joe who’s obviously, you know, Joe is an incredible person and very resilient and [00:04:00] they gave me the chance to connect with like the real possibility of what my niece and nephew.

[00:04:06] Might be dealing with when they reach adulthood, if they’re able to get some distance from my sister and like how to potentially be able to help them in a time that like is coming up kind of fast now. I mean, my nephew is. 14 and it’s not so many years away. Like when I think about four years ago, I’m like, that sounds, that feels like five minutes ago.

[00:04:31] You know? And so I think getting to know Joe has really helped me feel like, okay, I. There’s nothing I can do other than share what I know for now. Right? I can’t, like just, I can’t get them out of there. There isn’t gonna be anything that I’m gonna be able to do or anyone else is gonna be able to do. I’m convinced that we’ll successfully, like be a successful intervention, but it’s given me something to hold onto [00:05:00] for when they come out the other side.

[00:05:10] People believe their eyes. That’s something that actually is so central to this whole issue and to people that experience this, is that we do believe the people that we love when they’re telling us something. If you had questioned everything that everyone told you, you couldn’t make it through your day. 

[00:05:31] I am Andrea Dunlop. Welcome to season four of Nobody Should Believe Me. This season we will be following Jordan Hope as they unravel the many mysteries of their childhood.

[00:05:46] How and when did you first discover that you had been a victim of Much House by proxy?

[00:05:53] Jo: I first discovered that I was a victim in 2018. I was [00:06:00] sitting in a class at the community college I was attending in St. Louis, and my professor in my psychology class happened to be talking about Munchausen’s and Munchausen’s by proxy, and as she talked about it.

[00:06:16] I suddenly just got flooded with memory after memory, and I took out my phone and I wrote it all down in my notes and immediately emailed my therapy team. Kind of panicked because I had never heard of this, and my whole life just kind of suddenly felt like it was over.

[00:06:37] Andrea: What was your understanding of your life story up until that point before you heard that term?

[00:06:46] Jo: Up until that point, I thought that I was sick. I thought that I had asthma. I thought I had a severe blood disorder called neutropenia that made it so I got sick easier than others. [00:07:00] I thought I had so many different illnesses and issues and that I had just grown up really sick and on the verge of death my whole life.

[00:07:10] Andrea: The level of manipulation in cases like Joe’s means that the survivor is not only dealing with the trauma and betrayal of the abuse that they endured, but that they have a life story that suddenly when this abuse is revealed, makes absolutely no sense. But as Joe listened to their professor explain Munchausen by proxy, something fell into place and suddenly Joe’s entire life since birth became a question mark.

[00:07:39] So today we’re taking a closer look at the process of trying to reassemble their life story and untangle the morass of lies their mother left them with. Who even was Donna?

[00:08:00] Another person who works very closely with Joe and I at Cheen Support who will also be familiar to longtime listeners of the show is B Yorker. B has been a frequent guest and is a very well-known expert on Munchen by proxy. She has been a mentor to me since my very first meeting with the American Professional Society on the abuse of Children’s Munchausen by proxy committee.

[00:08:21] Way back in 2020 when Joe joined the AppSec committee, be recognized right away that they were a very special person.

[00:08:28] Bea Yorker: So most of the survivors of Munchen by proxy are fairly chaotic when they tell their story. And then here comes Joe and their story. Is linear and then they were able to link it to all the higher theories.

[00:08:49] So for example, Joe was talking about the body keeps the score and advanced trauma theory right in that meeting. [00:09:00] And how they were making sense of their experience through that book.

[00:09:06] Andrea: For the last several years, B and Joe have worked with me, ed Munchausen Support, which is the nonprofit that I founded to help families and survivors of this abuse.

[00:09:15] I. One of the things we offer there is peer support groups for survivors, and we have all been stunned by the commonalities of their experiences, and we’ve learned that there are many reasons why survivors struggle to make sense of what’s happened to them.

[00:09:29] Bea Yorker: One of the reasons it’s chaotic to in the first few sessions for people to tell their story.

[00:09:36] Is because they second guess everything that they think they might have a visual or an auditory or a physical memory of. They just question it. They just, I’m not sure that’s real. I’m not sure that was real. So they all question their reality. Then they all also have so much shame, and that’s another reason that having [00:10:00] peers to talk about this with who can say, yeah, shame is a big part of this.

[00:10:05] You’re ashamed with your peers that your family would have such a dark secret

[00:10:12] Andrea: for survivors and family members. We’re not only dealing with the isolation of going through something that. It’s not relatable to most of the people in our lives, and the loss of a really important relationship, whether that’s with a parent or a sibling, or whoever the offender is in your family, but it’s just a really heavy thing to live with.

[00:10:41] I remember for many years after becoming estranged from my sister, when I would see people that I hadn’t seen in a long time, I. And they would ask me about her. I mean, what do you say? That’s not something you can [00:11:00] explain in a casual interaction at a grocery store. It just isn’t. And on the rare occasions when I did try and explain it to someone, they would get so upset.

[00:11:10] So I had two choices. I could sort of try and explain what happened. Or I could minimize it. And then often that person would say something like, well, you know, you guys should really get back in touch. Like family’s so important. And it just makes you feel so isolated and like you have this huge sort of dark monster under the bed in your family history that nobody else can even relate to.

[00:11:38] And being able to talk to other people. Who’ve been through that same thing and aren’t shocked by it, like just who understand who have language for it is really profound. B brings decades of experience to this work, so she knows that the road to healing is not gonna be straightforward.

[00:11:58] Bea Yorker: One step forward, [00:12:00] two steps back, or two steps forward, one step back.

[00:12:05] There’s discouragement when you do peel back another layer and another sort of. Remembering with eyes that understand munchhausen by proxy abuse and perpetrators, and then there’s regression because the progress you felt that you were making to tackle your life, to go to school, to get your next degree, to have a relationship to, you know, maybe move in with a, with a partner.

[00:12:39] There’s setbacks each time those layers peel back. I do come back and visit usually six months and then a year or however long I come back and visit the grooves and I’m. Astounded at at the growth that we see [00:13:00] after they do this work of unpeeling.

[00:13:06] Andrea: Step one for survivors is to try to put the pieces of their life story back together. As they begin to separate from the insular world that their abuser can find them to reality begins to seep back in. Sometimes this happens via medical records. They’re able to collect or just from outside voices of people that they’re now actually allowed to communicate with.

[00:13:26] The veil begins to lift and suddenly nothing makes sense anymore. Joe knows objectively that their mother did horrific things to them as a child, but these aren’t memories that they can always access.

[00:13:39] Jo: Yeah, I. I can’t really remember too many bad moments with my mom when I was really little. Um, I really, when I picture mom then it’s like just good mom.

[00:13:54] Um, that’s kind of how I, I always have like good mom. And then there was bad mom, but I [00:14:00] can’t really remember many instances of bad mom when I was really little. Um, I remember like one time. Getting yelled at for something. I don’t remember what, I remember feeling scared, but that’s like one memory that I have.

[00:14:17] Or, um, I had like broken this shovel and I was really scared she was gonna be mad at me, so I like hid it and then she found it. And I remember her not being mad and I remember being really surprised by that. But I don’t have other memories of her. Being mad or angry, which is interesting ’cause one of my biggest fears now is getting in trouble.

[00:14:39] Like I break a salt shaker and I just like have a full blown panic attack thinking like I’m gonna get in trouble or go to jail or something bad’s gonna happen. So I know like that fear had to have come from somewhere. But those memories I have zero access to. I really.

[00:14:58] Andrea: Everyone dissociates to a [00:15:00] degree.

[00:15:00] This can be anything from, you know, the feeling of daydreaming or when you blink and suddenly you’ve driven home and you can’t remember your commute. But dissociation can be really extreme for survivors of abuse and trauma. And Joe often found that they didn’t have an explanation for these intense physical and emotional after effects that they were suffering.

[00:15:21] Jo: I remember going to Sunday school with my mom, ’cause she taught Sunday school at my church for a long time, and. Been the baking. Like I would sit there with my Legos, baking a Lego cake while my mom baked whatever she was making. Um, and then I can just remember cuddling a lot, which I think when I was younger I liked a lot more.

[00:15:45] I think as I got older, I started to feel more trapped within that. But as a little kid, I think it, there was some comfort that I found. Like, all I could remember was, like I said, [00:16:00] being like kind of happy and fun and having like a decent childhood. And I, but then I struggled with dissociation and whenever I would dissociate, I’d be hiding in closets or like really, really fearful or unable to talk.

[00:16:15] And so I was like. Why when I’m having this dissociation and appearing younger, am I so scared, but my only memories are of being happy and carefree and having fun and like this does not add up at all. And so I reached out. That’s when I reached out to. Family members and teachers and people from my past

[00:16:41] Andrea: we’re back in Hutchinson and we are driving around in search of some of this lost time and trying to find the people who saw all of this go down.

[00:16:51] There’s nothing like a bunch of time in the car to get to know someone though. Joe and I have known each other for years. This is only the second time we’ve ever gotten to hang out in person, [00:17:00] so it was so great to have all of this uninterrupted time together. Mariah, my new producer and I had spoken exactly twice before this trip, but bless her, she fit right in and was singing along with us to the rent soundtrack.

[00:17:12] In no time

[00:17:13] Myrriah: do you think, um, rent was your exhibit A of queerness?

[00:17:17] Jo: Oh my gosh. It’s so weird ’cause like in my head, like, I’m like, nah, but like, probably, probably. It’s so interesting to think back to all that. It’s like, oh my gosh. When I was, I don’t even know, I was probably four. 14 or 15, I started calling surgeons asking if they would like do top surgery.

[00:17:39] Um, but even then it was like, I was not aware of like being trans or anything like that. I just knew that I felt uncomfortable in my body and that that would make me feel better. Um, but had, like, yeah, at that point I was still, I feel like overly feminine because I felt [00:18:00] like, I just felt like that’s what I was like supposed to do or.

[00:18:03] Had to do. Um, and I couldn’t understand like why I didn’t fit in or things like that. Which obviously there were so many reasons, but

[00:18:12] Myrriah: When did you, like,

[00:18:14] Andrea: was it earlier than that, that you sort of, like when did you first start to feel like the way that people saw your

[00:18:24] Myrriah: gender was not how you were experiencing it internally?

[00:18:27] Jo: I think that was kind of like off and on probably my whole life in ways, um, like my. Mom kind of raised me to be like a girly girl, wear dresses, do pageants, like all a cheerleader, you know, whatever. And my sister was very much like a tomboy. And so it was very much, I had like, depending on which one of them I was with, it was very different.

[00:18:52] But I remember like. There were times, like, as a kid, like I was so afraid that people were gonna call me, or like, [00:19:00] if people added an E on my name, I’d get really upset. Or if people, like, I would get scared at times that because my name was Joe, that people were gonna like, think I was a boy. Um, and I was like so afraid of that.

[00:19:14] Um, yeah. And like,

[00:19:17] Andrea: and do you think that fear was like you were. Afraid they were. ’cause like I, like I cut my hair really short when I was in like fourth grade and people would occasionally think I was a boy. But that, that I was afraid people would think I was a boy because I was a girl. Do you think it was more, was it that, or was it like, oh, you were afraid people were gonna see who you really were or like what do you think?

[00:19:40] I don’t know. Like what do you think that fear was about?

[00:19:43] Jo: I really do not know. I know it was like pretty intense. Um, which makes me feel like it was probably more like being that I was like afraid of being like found out or like seen, um, even though I like didn’t really know at [00:20:00] that point. Um,

[00:20:02] Andrea: and how did your mom react to your sister’s, like sort of less feminine presentation?

[00:20:07] Jo: Um. You know, I was like, mom’s mini me. So I think it was like kind of okay for my sister. I don’t know how it was like, ’cause my sister was already that way, like when I was born and stuff. So I don’t know like how she got to that point or if she was ever like the mini me. Um, but I don’t remember too much.

[00:20:34] Like, I think it was just kind of like she is who she is.

[00:20:37] Andrea: I had heard bits and pieces about Joe’s sister Crystal over the years, and I knew that their relationship had been challenging. They are 12 years apart and they were close growing up, but they’ve really struggled at various points in their adult lives to maintain a connection.

[00:20:50] And that was especially true in the wake of Joe becoming more public about the abuse they suffered as a child. So originally I thought Crystal was going to be off limits for an [00:21:00] interview, but once we were there, Joe decided that they really wanted to talk to her. And she agreed, well, I’m glad this is happening.

[00:21:08] Mm-Hmm.

[00:21:09] Myrriah: Uhhuh,

[00:21:13] I think since you felt like you wanted to send that message, it’s, that’s the right thing. That’s right. To pull that intuition, you know, find out. Well,

[00:21:23] Jo: yeah. I think this will be the biggest like wild card.

[00:21:27] Andrea: Crystal is as Joe described, tomboy-ish in a tropical button down and long loose blue shorts. Her sandy hair is styled in a killer mohawk.

[00:21:37] She’s polite but a bit guarded as she shows us around her apartment.

[00:21:42] Crystal: I mean, if your guys’ shoes aren’t too bad, I don’t really care too much. These are just my indoor shoes

[00:21:46] Andrea: Also, crystal was almost a teenager when Joe was born, so she has her own very distinct memories of life with Donna, and it was a turbulent way to grow up.

[00:21:54] Crystal: I moved at least once a year growing up. Like my mom would just get a wild hair

[00:21:59] away. We would [00:22:00] go.

[00:22:01] So we lived all over Hutch or like, not Hutch or all over Minnesota. Lived in South Dakota once we lived in Florida for a while. Moved back to Hutch. Yeah. And then kind of been in this town from like sixth grade until I went off to college.

[00:22:16] Eden Prairie Prior Lake. Yeah. We lived in Eden Prairie after that. Well, shock Bee prior Lake Eden Prairie. And then back here, just ’cause we thought we’d be able to save more money in a small town and that has not been the case. This town is sucking the life out of everything.

[00:22:33] Andrea: Crystal was constantly bouncing around from place to place.

[00:22:35] And even within Hutch, she was forever being shuffled to various family members and friends.

[00:22:40] Crystal: I grew up mostly with like, um, my mom’s friend, so Jamie Mm-Hmm. She was always at her house, so like, I kind of grew up with like a sibling, or if I wasn’t home for whatever reason, I had to say with my aunts and uncles who also had kids.

[00:22:53] So like, I, I, I don’t, I guess I consider myself, I guess I was an only child. I just. Never felt that way. Mm-Hmm. [00:23:00]

[00:23:00] Andrea: So just a heads up, there were a lot of different guys coming in and out of their lives during this time, so it can be very hard to track. Donna appears to have been married to Crystal’s stepfather Dale throughout this period, but Dale stayed back in Minnesota when Crystal and Donna moved around Florida.

[00:23:16] Then at some point, Donna decided no more Florida and moved back to Hutchinson, but this time to be with a guy named Reza before, eventually they moved back in with Dale, right before Joe was born. I.

[00:23:28] So your mom and Dale separated at that time?

[00:23:34] Crystal: I, I didn’t know what was going on ’cause they just, they fought a lot. They, there was a pretty volatile relationship. Like Dale has a, a really high temper, like sometimes he put it off like he isn’t, but he was, he was pretty violent as well. Mom is also violent, so like between the two of them it was really hard.

[00:23:54] So like they just didn’t get along. Mom started drinking more, got into like a really big depression. [00:24:00] So her, she moved me with her up here and that was just a weird travel experience from Florida to Minnesota again and ’cause my mom man hops and. Like I got my first mountain bike I’ve ever owned because some dude that was driving a semi was on the CB radio for whatever reason.

[00:24:22] My mom had a CB radio in her old Ford Focus and like, uh, she was talking to him and we ended up at a truck stop where obviously mom goes and does her thing and leaves me in the car at this truck stop. And I have a brand new mountain bike,

[00:24:40] Jo: which as a kid you’re like, wow, come on.

[00:24:41] Crystal: No, it was weird then too.

[00:24:43] Oh, that, that’s fair.

[00:24:45] Andrea: So how, how old are you when you’re making this sort of trip from like 11? You drove all the way up. We

[00:24:49] Crystal: drove all the way. ’cause like, uh, I, I mean, we must have just packed up only what we had in like, we could fit in that little car, um, when we moved, because I don’t remember having a [00:25:00] whole lot.

[00:25:00] And then when Dale came up from Florida, he brought most of the stuff with him. Not all of, but most of the stuff that we own came back then.

[00:25:09] Andrea: So what did you understand about why you were moving from Florida back to Hutch when you were 11?

[00:25:16] Crystal: Um, it’s the same as it always had been. Mom just got tired of living where she was.

[00:25:21] Um, she would blame it on like my adoptive dad, like that we had to move. Um, but like you, you know, that’s not the truth even as a kid.

[00:25:31] Andrea: What’s your relationship, Dale?

[00:25:32] Crystal: Dale’s just a, was just a stepdad, like nothing more, nothing less. Most time I felt like he just didn’t care. Yeah. You know, I just kind of existed, um, maybe more of a nuisance at times.

[00:25:46] Andrea: Most of the conversations that we’ve had up until this point in our trip have felt like these really warm reunions, but this conversation with Crystal feels really different, and it feels like the stakes are really high. I expected [00:26:00] her to be really reticent with us after all. Here. Mariah and I are two people.

[00:26:04] She’s never met in her apartment with recording equipment, but she’s actually incredibly forthcoming and she talks mostly to me. I get the sense that maybe all of this is actually easier to say to a stranger, and as we talk, Joe is sitting next to her on the couch, and I get the sense that they’re hearing most of this for the first time.

[00:26:25] Crystal: I think because I was so used to that growing up already with the way my mom did things that like, you don’t think it’s weird? Mm-Hmm. Yeah. You know, it’s not until somebody’s like, that’s weird that you even consider it to be something off. You know, like I get to my aunt’s all the time, I’m like, yeah, this guy, Doug gave me this bike.

[00:26:41] And she’s like, who’s Doug? And I’m like, my mom’s friend from, from on the, in, on the road. And she’s like, how did you meet Doug? We met him at a, a truck stop and we ate breakfast. You know, like, like it was just like saying, you know, you, you had a hamburger for lunch. You know, it just wasn’t. Wasn’t dramatic or [00:27:00] traumatizing or anything.

[00:27:00] It just, it just was

[00:27:03] Andrea: whatever you grew up with as a kid Yeah. Is your normal, you don’t think

[00:27:06] Crystal: about it. Yeah. And

[00:27:07] Andrea: it’s not until later when you’re like, oh

[00:27:09] Crystal: yeah, that was fucked. That’s weird. That’s problematic, you know? And, and it wasn’t like, it wasn’t, it was weird too, ’cause Mom saw him again after that.

[00:27:19] He drove to Hutch and we were staying with Terry and Jamie and, sorry, Doug.

[00:27:24] Andrea: Doug from the truck.

[00:27:25] Crystal: Doug was the truck guy. The truck driver. I knew his name was Doug. I don’t know his last name. But he did come and he showed up in Hutch and parked outside of Terry’s place over on California Street for like a day or two.

[00:27:38] So it’s not like with like

[00:27:39] Andrea: his big semi Yeah,

[00:27:40] Crystal: like the, it didn’t have a trailer, but it was the full semi, like with a full, full cab.

[00:27:45] Jo: Whoa.

[00:27:45] Myrriah: So did she, did she have the CB radio, like in the car all the time? Was it like in the house, like the, it was always in the car.

[00:27:54] Jo: Yeah. What’s a CV radio? It’s like what truckers use to communicate with each other.

[00:27:58] Oh, I don’t,

[00:27:59] Crystal: I think [00:28:00] because we travel a lot from, she explained it. ’cause we traveled from Minnesota to Florida quite often to see family, which, whatever state we were living in, that it was just a fun thing. So like everybody had their call tags and stuff, you know, and you know, so she would just like chat with truck drivers on, on the road each way.

[00:28:17] Oh, whoa.

[00:28:29] Andrea: The picture Crystal Paints of life with Donna is a chaotic one. Different men and their trucks coming in and out and Donna’s alcoholism in various stages of bad and worse, and then into all this mess comes. Joe,

[00:28:41] Myrriah: what can you tell us that you remember is like, you know, when Joe was, you know, more like a child you could interact with and like what memories do you have?

[00:28:51] Crystal: I, I, I probably interacted with her most forever. Mm-Hmm. I took care of her so much that. I would, I’d be [00:29:00] asked by random strangers if she was my kid. And I’m like, no, that’d be a gross. ’cause I’m Simon, leave it. You know, that’s only a 12 year difference. You know, like that. That wasn’t something that like, I even considered a thing, but people would ask me that.

[00:29:13] Mm-Hmm. And so. You know, it was just, I if, if she was sick and, you know, couldn’t, couldn’t go to school or daycare growing up or whatever, it was like I had to stay home and I, I watched, you know, like incredibly parentified Mm-hmm. Immediately. Yeah. Um, which wasn’t too different from growing up because, you know, my aunt and uncles, like if I was there, you know, my husband always would be talking about it like as if I was like a Cinderella.

[00:29:43] Andrea: It’s clear that no one ever let Crystal just be a kid at her aunt and uncle’s house. She remembers being expected to do chores even though her cousins weren’t. Everything came with conditions. By the way, as Crystal tells us more of her story here, you’ll hear her dog chiming in with some words of support.[00:30:00]

[00:30:00] Crystal: I took care of Joe more than my mom did, and then as soon as I hit 16, like, well, 15, I started babysitting a lot more and like doing odd jobs. And I was the one that paid for school supplies. I was the one that paid for clothing so that she, you know, had stuff to wear when she was in school. Um, Simon, leave it when I was 16.

[00:30:20] I had, I was working two jobs, full-time, part-time, and I was in high school, you know, like, and that was like my life until,

[00:30:29] oh boy. I mean, I, I guess I’ve always had more than, more than two jobs or two or more jobs, so. Like it was just always was normal. Like my mom would be like, I don’t have money. Or mom would go and she got like a cell phone plan and she’s like, happy birthday, you know, your 16th birthday, here’s your cell phone.

[00:30:48] You have to pay for it, but you have to pay the bill. And then, then like, you know, maybe a couple months, then bye. And I was just paying my phone bill and she’d be like, well, I don’t have money for my phone bill. So you either have to pay the whole [00:31:00] thing. Or your phone is also gonna go away because you’re on our plan and you can’t, at 16 and 17 get your own phone plan.

[00:31:07] So like, it kind of started there where like, I was starting to pay her bills and then I was paying, you know, like it would, it just kept getting amped up more and more until like, until I basically had no money. For myself to do stuff.

[00:31:21] Jo: Yeah, you definitely like, were the only person that fed me. You were The only way I ever got clothes outside of like hand-me-downs from neighbors

[00:31:31] Crystal: and stuff.

[00:31:31] Or like Sam’s hand-me-Downs, who is like quite a bit older than you even then, you know, like, um, but I just felt like that’s what family does. You know, you, you look out for each other. You, you take it and you buy it. You know, you, you take less for yourself if you have to

[00:31:48] Andrea: Looking. Back on that now. Like

[00:31:53] Crystal: obviously it brings tears ’cause it’s,

[00:31:58] it was really [00:32:00] hard. Other than Jamie, I didn’t have friends. Sorry to break down. It’s just, it was so hard.

[00:32:08] Andrea: It was clear listening to Crystal that she loved Joe, and also that her mother had put her in a terrible position. And this wasn’t simply a function of Donna’s neglect, as B Yorker explains, this was entirely by design.

[00:32:22] Bea Yorker: The siblings of victims of Munch hasen by proxy abuse all say how they were divided and split by their abusive mother, the abusive mother. Did everything they could to pit the children against each other, to keep them hating each other because. Heaven forbid if the siblings got together and shared their experience, it’d be too against mom.

[00:32:51] Right? And so these mothers have like, uh, a driven instinct to keep one of [00:33:00] the kids from ever really hearing what’s going on that’s bad from the other. Um, so splitting, and we know splitting is a function of narcissists and people who abuse in other ways is keep them separated.

[00:33:17] Andrea: So even if a child in the house doesn’t experience medical child abuse at the hands of their parents, the experience of being raised by a perpetrator is deeply traumatizing

[00:33:27] Bea Yorker: because.

[00:33:29] Many of them didn’t know the term Munch has by proxy. At the time their siblings were being abused. They just thought that there was torture going on in the house, and they would also be abused by the torture. Like many of them will say. Yeah, I was locked in a, I was locked in my room. I was just kept in my room.

[00:33:46] I didn’t even realize what all was going on in that hospital room down the hall in our home. I was just locked out.

[00:33:55] Andrea: One of the ways that this abuse is so insidious is the secrecy and [00:34:00] shame that it creates within the entire family system. The children aren’t able to turn to their primary caregiver for the support that they need, and the dynamics created by that parent also often inhibit them from getting care anywhere else, leaving them completely isolated.

[00:34:16] We don’t know if Crystal was subjected to any of the medical abuse that Joe was, or even how much awareness she had of what was really going on with Joe’s Health. But it’s clear that she suffered neglect as well as emotional and financial abuse. ‘

[00:34:29] Crystal: cause I was kicked out at 17.

[00:34:34] You’re not able to get an apartment, you’re not able to do anything. Aw [00:34:37] me and I had to work every other weekend at Target, plus whatever other jobs I was working.

[00:34:44] Jo: Take care of that.

[00:34:45] Crystal: And I’d have Joe

[00:34:46] on other weekends. So like, even if I wasn’t the full-time parent, because I got kicked out ’cause mom got a wild hair up her ass

[00:34:53] again for whatever reason, probably ’cause I wasn’t giving her more money.

[00:34:58] Um, you know, I [00:35:00] still had those responsibilities and I made sure when I had Joe, we would go every weekend, we’d go to the same cloud or we’d go to the, the Mall of America. We’d just go do something just to get

[00:35:11] out, just to, to have some fun because. You know, it, it sucked for me too, just being on my own.

[00:35:17] Um, but like then after that, like I couldn’t afford that apartment anymore because layoffs happened.

[00:35:24] But then I ended up having to move back in at home with mom and that was just terrible. ’cause all of my paychecks once again, had to go back to her, you know? She was like, well, they’re raising my rent. They’re raising my rent. And then I find out after. I move out that mom’s rent was $20 a month. ’cause it’s income based.

[00:35:43] Yeah. And she was charging me like $500 a month. And I think a lot of places, and it’s, it’s like a common thing where if you’re down and out, people wanna keep you there so you can’t do better for yourself. Right. Like [00:36:00] places like, like apartments. Right. They’re gonna continue to raise your rent to offset any pay increases you get because then you can’t leave.

[00:36:08] Right. They just want to keep you here making your money. And that was the same thing with mom. She just wanted to keep the money so that I couldn’t leave and I couldn’t go and do things for myself. Um,

[00:36:23] Andrea: I understand that like, you know, addiction and that kind of thing have sort of exacerbated some of these things.

[00:36:28] Do you remember kind of a different version of your mom? Yeah, I mean, I, I don’t think

[00:36:31] Crystal: she was always this way. She was always aloof, right? Where she would just, you know. One day you think everything’s fine. The next day she’s moving, we’re, we’re moving right now. You know, by the end of the week we’ll be gone out of this town.

[00:36:46] And it’s like, well, and, and we would, we would be gone. Um, and so that was always her thing. Um, depending on which guy she was with, she could be more or less violent. It kind of just depended on who she was with and how [00:37:00] the relationship was going. Violent, violent intimacy. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. You know. Oh yeah.

[00:37:08] And I, and I like, you know, when Joe came along, like I knew that, that it was my place to be that buffer too, so that it wouldn’t be her in that like, firing line of like, ’cause shit. Um, when I was like five, six, she was with Cliff. We were living in Bisky and uh, she, she would brag to people that she hit me so hard, my nose bleed.

[00:37:33] And I, I do remember it, I remember sitting in my bed with my nose just. Blood gushing everywhere, and she was proud of it. Um, you know, later on, oh gosh, I was in high school, it was probably maybe closer to senior year, and I decided I was gonna dump out her booze because I was just tired of it, and she pulled a knife, you know, so my mom always had this.

[00:37:57] I don’t, I don’t know that she necessarily would [00:38:00] have done it, or if it was just a threat. I wasn’t gonna take that, that. That chance, because mom’s favorite phrase growing up is, I brought you into this world. I can take you out. There’s nobody that can stop me. There’s no rules that say I can’t. And it’s like, well, no, that’s murder.

[00:38:13] And she’s like, well no, because you’re my kid. That doesn’t, it’s not murder, you know? So she, but she talked a lot more than acted a lot, especially as I got older and I stood up for myself. I stood up for everybody else like. I don’t, I don’t know that she actually would’ve acted on a lot of it because I think she tried to hit me once and I went back after her.

[00:38:36] And that was, I think the last time she tried to hit me, you know? And that was middle school. So like, she’s always been pretty violent, especially if she’s drinking. Uh, she could definitely be a lot more violent.

[00:38:51] Andrea: Did anyone try to

[00:38:53] Crystal: intervene with me? No. No. No. No, my family thought, because I wasn’t home [00:39:00] with mom all the time, that it wasn’t a big deal.

[00:39:04] Um, but nobody really took steps until, I think the first time CPS was even called Joe was maybe one or two. And that was the first time that anybody has ever stepped in, in our lives. And they just came in and then they, they left because Dale showed up and they were like, everything’s safe again. So like, and Mcle County is really bad about.

[00:39:27] Child like protective services here, like they’re really, really bad about it in this area. And I don’t know if it’s small town, like if they’re understaffed or what it is, but this town is really bad for protecting its youth.

[00:39:43] Andrea: It has always been clear to me that Joe loves Crystal. And I can tell sitting here that Crystal loves them too.

[00:39:50] Their relationship is complicated. And when Joe begins sharing their story publicly, first on social media and then later in a much more public fashion on national television, [00:40:00] it caused a rift between the siblings. So as much as Donna had been fine sharking off all the responsibilities of raising Joe to her older daughter, she’d also done plenty to poison the two against one another.

[00:40:12] This conversation is one that Donna never wanted to happen.

[00:40:16] Myrriah: Well,

[00:40:17] Andrea: crystal, one of the reasons that we really wanted to talk to you, and I’m glad we’re gonna have this conversation, so I’ve, I’ve known Joe for years and I’ve heard a lot about you, and Joe consistently mentions you as one of the people who protected them and really kept them alive through their childhood and.

[00:40:40] I just wonder like, what is it like for you to know that you, you played that role?

[00:40:45] Crystal: It’s

[00:40:45] Andrea: gonna make me cry again. ’cause like,

[00:40:47] Crystal: to be fair, I didn’t think, I didn’t think that she felt that way.

[00:40:54] Myrriah: Is that surprising to you to hear that she was,

[00:40:57] Crystal: it is. And [00:41:00] it’s not to make you feel bad. Um, not at all. But when we had that fallout back when we were living in Indian Prairie, a lot of things got said.

[00:41:10] And it Facebook posts were made and stuff that said family. I never had family, I never had this, I never had that, and I was never excluded from it. Um, so I, for the longest time, I’ve always thought that. What I did didn’t matter. And it, it has caused a lot of stress, anxiety, you know, some depression in a way be, not make you fault because that’s

[00:41:45] not what it is.

[00:41:46] Right. But like, ‘

[00:41:47] cause like my feelings are my own on that. Um, I did hurtful things, but like I, since that happened, I just, I felt like [00:42:00] I. Nothing I did mattered that, that I was blamed just as much as my mom or these other peoples that should have done it, even though I myself was a kid, but like I was a child raising a child that wasn’t mine.

[00:42:19] And I thought that I was doing the best I could. With, with the tools I had, which wasn’t much because I didn’t have that, that force in my

[00:42:32] life to

[00:42:35] even really know

[00:42:35] what being a parent zwas. 

This feels like

[00:42:39] Andrea: a huge moment. Being with these two in the room, there’s this sense of a wall finally coming down.

[00:42:47] And they go from talking mostly directly to me to finally talking to each other.

[00:42:55] Jo: Joe, do you wanna, I feel like we’ve heard some of the, the ways you’ve expressed how [00:43:00] much you know your sister means to you and, and to, you wanna share any of that?

[00:43:04] Yeah. Um,

[00:43:09] Crystal: it’s hard, it’s hard to talk about like that emotional thing like.

[00:43:13] It’s, yeah.

[00:43:15] Jo: Um, I mean it definitely, like, we had a falling out and like, um, I definitely said so many hurtful things and I think, you know, we both went through a lot of trauma and through a lot of shit and like, I didn’t know how to have

[00:43:30] a healthy relationship. I couldn’t at that point, like I couldn’t understand like how.

[00:43:36] You are literally the reason I’m alive. Like I couldn’t wrap my head around that or understand that. Like I still didn’t really understand what either of us had been through. And honestly, like I’ve learned more about what you’ve been through today than I ever have. You know, like you’ve obviously don’t usually talk about any of it for I’m sure a lot of reasons, but like.

[00:43:56] Just like missed you so much. And I [00:44:00] think as I’ve like really learned like how much the stuff with mom really strained all of my relationships with everyone and through adult eyes. And when I like look back, like you said, you were parentified and like all of that and like. You, you were a kid. Like you should have never, ever had to do all the things that you did for me.

[00:44:22] And I hate that you had to do all of that. And obviously I’m like forever grateful ’cause I wouldn’t be sitting here alive right now. Not to drop,

[00:44:28] Crystal: but like, like that’s, that’s why I never said anything. Yeah. That’s why I never talked about it because I didn’t, I didn’t take it as a burden, you know? Even if, even if it was difficult, I never took it as a burden, you know.

[00:44:43] Yeah. Yeah. We were best friends. You know, like it is just, it, it’s what I had to do. Just awesome. And that sucks. Like, I don’t, I don’t regret it. Like, even after the fallout, I don’t regret it. But I, I didn’t talk to you about it ’cause I just didn’t want you to feel heavy with that. [00:45:00] Yeah. And what it, what it did to, you know, everything else, like, I just didn’t want you to feel it.

[00:45:06] Yeah.

[00:45:06] Jo: I mean, I definitely feel heavy, not, I don’t. I mean, it hurts. Like I hate that you went through what you went through to take care of me. Um, and I see it more as like you were put in that position, not because of me, but because of like mom and like other people. Like it wasn’t, um, either of our doing, but it sucks, I think How much.

[00:45:35] I think it like really affected me like later on. And you, and I think, um, yeah, it’s just I talk about you all the time and how important you are in my life. I still only call you sister. Most people never know your name, um, because you’re just sister. Um, I like do art on your birthday every year [00:46:00] about how much I miss you.

[00:46:01] Like I all, I. I’ve ever like wanted this like a relationship with you and I know like it’s been so strained. One ’cause of our fallout. And then two, I think because of everything that we were put through and all of that and like I know like we’ve been talking like a little bit more here and there and it’s been like kind of weird, but like also really nice.

[00:46:21] Or when we got lunch more recently that was like. And that is like one of the like best memories that I like have in a really, really long time. ’cause it felt like I finally like have my family again.

[00:46:38] Crystal: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, when you left like a child leaving, you know, like you don’t know who you are without that person, you know, like

[00:46:49] Jo: we were attached at the hip.

[00:46:56] Andrea: AU and by proxy abuse doesn’t just endanger the lives and wellbeing of [00:47:00] the child victims. It really hollows out entire families. Perpetrators of this abuse split everyone in their children’s lives in order to maintain control. You’re with them or you’re against them. I’ve accepted at this point that I’m not going to get to see my niece and nephew until they’re adults, and that even if they’re willing to meet me, the work of dispelling whatever it is that they’ve been told about, not just me, but our entire side of the family is going to be a daunting task.

[00:47:32] But as I watched Joe and Crystal reach out to one another across the divide that their mother’s abuse created, I moved and inspired. Daunting. Yes, but maybe not impossible.

[00:47:47] Jo: Just that I love you so much and I’m so grateful that you did this. Um, more just like getting to hear, like talk more deeply than we [00:48:00] have in so many years.

[00:48:01] Been long time and I just. Yeah, I, I hope you know that, like that I love you so deeply and I’m forever grateful for, um, everything that you’ve done in my life and for raising me when you shouldn’t have ever had to. Um, and yeah, all those memories are there. Um, I

[00:48:27] Crystal: just, I just don’t want you to go forward thinking.

[00:48:31] Like, like it’s one thing to be grateful for it. Right? But I just don’t want you thinking that, like, I don’t want you thinking that it was that burden. I really don’t. No, that means a lot. So like, I just don’t like, yeah. Yeah. Like the way you talk about it, like, you know, makes it feel like. At that time, it wasn’t a big thing for me.

[00:48:49] Yeah. So like, um,

[00:48:53] Jo: no, I don’t feel like a burden.

[00:48:54] Crystal: Yeah. I just, I don’t want you to come, go away with any of those, those feelings that I thought it was like a [00:49:00] negative thing. ’cause I didn’t, it wasn’t until like that big fallout that it even started to feel like maybe like I had done a lot of wrong things or something like, so it, it took a long time to even get to that.

[00:49:12] Yeah. Um. Otherwise, you know, I, if, if we, if it had to be all done over again, I don’t know that I would’ve changed a whole lot. So luckily it doesn’t have to be done all over again. But,

[00:49:23] Jo: you know, trying to go back but.

[00:49:31] Andrea: This day has been a rollercoaster. This was a conversation Joe never really thought would happen, and now that it had, even though it had lifted a weight between the siblings, it was a lot to process. Later that night, after we decompressed and had dinner together, Joe recorded an audio diary from our hotel.

[00:49:50] Jo: I am really struggling tonight. Um, it’s really hard. It’s really hard. It’s one thing [00:50:00] to recognize, like I’ve done so much work to like hold my truth in all of that, but to have other people validated just makes it so much more real. Hearing all that my sister has also endured. Like there’s nothing that I could have done.

[00:50:23] I wasn’t even alive, but it just breaks my heart because.

[00:50:29] She really has always tried to be so tiring and, um, I just hate that she’s been so hurt. I hate all of it. I hate that it’s all real, that none of it was in my

[00:50:48] Andrea: head.

[00:50:53] It hits me really hard listening to this. Because I just relate to it so hard. [00:51:00] Joe’s describing this sort of decades long process of facing this horrible truth about someone that you love and like you know, you have to face it, and yet you still wish with all your heart. That it wasn’t true, and you’re always hoping that something’s gonna come to light, that makes you realize that maybe it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was, and the opposite keeps happening.

[00:51:25] It turns out to be worse. I feel really honored to be able to go on this journey with Joe because Joe is someone I care about a lot. I’m also doing it for myself. So that when I get there, if I get there, if I get the chance to be in a room with my niece and nephew, that I’ll know the way. And so just as I’m with them while they’re going through this, I know that they’ll be with me when I’m making these attempts to rebuild, to [00:52:00] build, to begin with, I guess a relationship with my niece and nephew.

[00:52:03] Hope about this situation with my sister is something that has been elusive over the years and every time I’ve felt hope about the situation, it’s been completely dashed. And that sort of going up and down that roller coaster of, okay, someone’s called, you know, there’s an investigation, they’re gonna do something.

[00:52:29] And then having that come to nothing. Has just been so grueling and made me feel so helpless. I’m watching Joe take control of their own destiny in a way and being really, you know, active in trying to rebuild the relationships that they actually want. It’s an incredible thing to witness and it just reinforces for me everything that I.

[00:52:59] [00:53:00] I had been trying to do with this show and with this project, which is so that none of us have to be alone. I think this is one of my core beliefs as someone who has spent my whole professional life being a storyteller, right? Like versus a novelist. And now with the show, telling our stories, listening to other people’s stories, empathizing with one another.

[00:53:24] It can help. It doesn’t fix things, but it does help. Watching Joe go through this, reassemble their life story. Rebuild some of these relationships. This is how you start to put a human being back together.

[00:53:46] Next time we unravel one of Joe’s biggest childhood mysteries.

[00:53:50] Crystal: I thought I, I just thought that was common knowledge. I didn’t realize that nobody knew anybody ever thought that Dale was your dad. I mean, I’m not white. [00:54:00] Yeah.

[00:54:05] Andrea: Nobody should believe me is written, hosted, and produced by me. Andrea Dunlop. Our senior producer and editor is Mariah Gossett. Greta Strom Quist is our associate producer and administrative support. From Nola Kamus Music provided by Johnny Nicholson and Joel Chupa with additional music and sounds from Sounds Snapp, and thank you to Cadence three for additional recording support.

[00:54:29] If you’d like to support the show, the best way to do that is to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or on Patreon, where you can get all episodes early and ad free, along with extended cuts and deleted scenes from this season, as well as two exclusive bonus episodes every month. If monetary support is not an option, rating and reviewing the show wherever you listen helps a great deal.

[00:54:54] And if there’s someone you feel needs to hear this show, please do share it. Word of mouth is [00:55:00] so important for independent podcasts. For more, you can now find us on YouTube where we have all of our episodes as well as bonus video content.

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Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 01Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release) Warning: This content includes references to suicide and child abuse. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, help is available. Call or text...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 02

Shelter

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 02Shelter As the Maya Kowalski case heads to trial, we dig into the massive trove of documents about this case and begin to unpack what we know about what really happened during Maya Kowalski’s fateful stay at Johns...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 03

In a Heartbeat

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 03In a HeartbeatIn our third episode, we look at a central piece of the story that was left unfinished at the time of Beata Kowalski’s death: the police investigation into her for medical child abuse. Along with...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 04

Retaliation

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 04RetaliationNote: This episode contains sensitive content related to child abuse and suicide. Listener discretion is advised. Beata Kowalski’s tragic death by suicide in January of 2016 is at the center of the $220...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 05

The Women

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 05The WomenIn the flattened version of the Maya Kowalski story that has dominated the headlines, Beata Kowalski is a mother who fell prey to age-old biases against women. This story attaches itself to the well-documented...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 06

The Believers Part 1

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 06The Believers Part 1In today’s episode, Andrea seeks an outside perspective on the controversial Maya Kowalski case. Laura Richards, host of Crime Analyst and cohost of the Real Crime Profile podcast, joins Andrea to...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 07

The Believers Part 2

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 07The Believers Part 2As the Kowalski v Johns Hopkins All Childrens trial barrels forward, new information comes to light each day about what really happened to Maya Kowalski during her time in the hospital. In part 2 of...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 08

Trial of the Century

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 08Trial of the CenturyWith a verdict in the case days away, host Andrea Dunlop unpacks some of what’s happened so far in the Kowalski v Johns Hopkins All Childrens trial with lawyer and trial consultant Jonathan Leach....

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 09

The Verdict

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 09The VerdictAndrea and special guest Bex (aka our Florida pediatrcian friend) process the shocking verdict in the Maya Kowalski trial. After 9 weeks of testimony, the jury awarded the Kowalski family nearly $300 million...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 10

The Verdict Part 2

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 10The Verdict Part 2Andrea checks in with lawyer and trial consultant Jonathan Leach hours after the Kowalski verdict comes down. They talk about the judge’s decision to disallow testimony from the defense on medical...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 11

Star Witness

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 11Star WitnessAs we continue to process the far-reaching implications of the shocking verdict in the Kowalski case, we take a closer look at Maya Kowalski’s testimony and what we know about her. She’s emerged as a...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 12

System Override

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 12System OverrideWith the jury's stunning $242 million verdict in favor of the Kowalski family, host Andrea Dunlop looks at why this case has struck such a nerve on both sides of the political spectrum. She examines why...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 13

What Now?

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 13What Now?Just when we thought the endless saga of Kowalski v Johns Hopkins All Childrens was over...it turns out it might only be beginning. In this episode, lead attorney for the Johns Hopkins All Childrens defense...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 14

Media Circus

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 14Media CircusThis week Andrea examines how the harrowing and complex story of the Maya Kowalski case turned into a pop culture moment, and spread dangerous misinformation in the process. We continue our conversation...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 15

The Trials of Dr. Sally Smith (Season Finale: Part 1)

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 15The Trials of Dr. Sally Smith (Season Finale: Part 1)In an exclusive interview with Dr. Sally Smith, host Andrea Dunlop travels to Florida to speak to the embattled child abuse pediatrician about her life and work and...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 16

Bad Press (Season Finale: Part 2)

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 16Bad Press (Season Finale: Part 2)In the second part of our exclusive interview with Dr. Sally Smith, we discuss how the media coverage of her reached a fever pitch and turned her life and career upside down. We explore...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 17

Dangerous Women (Season Finale: Part 3)

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 17Dangerous Women (Season Finale: Part 3)In the third and final installment of our exclusive interview with Dr. Sally Smith, she shares her side of what happened in the Maya Kowalski case, revealing how perilous Maya’s...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
SEASON 03 | EPISODE 18

What Jack Knew

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 18What Jack KnewAs we prepare to launch Season Four next month, we’re revisiting the subject of Season Three—the landmark Kowalski v. Johns Hopkins All Children’s verdict, in which a jury awarded Jack Kowalski more than...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 19

What Happened to Beata?

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 19What Happened to Beata?This week's episode delves into the intricate details surrounding Beata Kowalski's death, which was central to the Kowalski's lawsuit against Johns Hopkins All Children's, as well as the...

Special Report: Watching Take Care of Maya (re-release)
Season 03 | Episode 20

Kowalski Case Update with Ethen Shapiro

Share this episodeSEASON 03 | EPISODE 20 Kowalski Case Update with Ethen Shapiro Join Andrea as she delves back into the ongoing legal battle of Kowalski v. Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, with Ethen Shapiro, the lead defense attorney for Johns...

Welcome to Hutchinson
Season 04 | Episode 01

Welcome to Hutchinson

Share this episodeSEASON 04 | EPISODE 01 Welcome to Hutchinson Welcome to Season 4 of Nobody Should Believe Me! This season we are following the story of Jordyn Hope as they unravel the secrets of their childhood. After revelations that they were abused as a...

Welcome to Hutchinson
Season 04 | Episode 03

Not Without My Daughter

Share this episodeSEASON 04 | EPISODE 03 Not Without My Daughter As we dig deeper into Jo’s history, we tackle one of the many confusing aspects of their childhood: their paternity. We navigate the many twists and turns around the father figures in Jo’s...

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