Meet Author Gretchen Cherington, who, after many years of silence, chose to share her story of abuse. Sexually molested by her father, Richard Eberhardt, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Gretchen broke decades of silence to share what life with him was really like. Her memoir, Poetic License, is an authentic, brave piece of work that details what it was like growing up around literary geniuses such as Robert Frost and Allen Ginsberg.
It wasn’t until Gretchen chose to share what happened that she could finally start to heal and discover the incredible freedom found in forgiveness: not for the forgiven, but for the person who makes the choice to forgive.
Gretchen worked as an executive management consultant for 35 years, gaining powerful insights into what makes powerful men tick. Poetic License has won multiple awards, and Gretchen’s essays appear in multiple literary publications. When she’s not writing, Gretchen loves being outdoors.
What You Hear/Learn/Discover
[0:26] Guest introduction
[3:01] Gretchen explains how she first started her memoir, Poetic License.
[11:18] Gretchen shares how her father sexually molested her when she was 17.
[12:18] Mag and Gretchen discuss how writing a memoir forces you to face your deepest traumas and finally deal with them once and for all.
[13:00] Mag and Gretchen talk about their grandmothers’ significant influence on their lives growing up.
[25:07] Gretchen shares details from her childhood and how her father left a “legacy of narcissism.”
[30:30] Her famous father dominated her home growing up, but Gretchen was also profoundly impacted by her mother’s severe epilepsy. Gretchen opens up about how she never felt safe sharing her molestation with her mother.
[44:00] Gretchen and Mag discuss how the pandemic gave writers and artists more time to focus on their work.
“Forgiveness is for the person who’s doing the forgiving. It is not for the person who has been forgiven.”
“I will say that there was great value placed on success in my family. It was literary success…money didn’t really matter. I mean, you know, he [my father] wanted enough to live on, but it didn’t really matter.”
“I’m hopeful that as a culture, we can stop mythologizing famous men and know them for who they actually are.”
Connect with Gretchen Cherington
You can download the transcript here.
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