A Uniquely American Soul Sickness Killed Off My Entire Family...But I Survived!

Hard Truths Served with Compassion and Empathy

This site shares knowledge and wisdom about breaking the cycle of trauma. Mixed Girl Survival School hosts :

    • my blog on the educational, racial, and gender norms in America's schools, families, and society at large: an empathic call to action
    • excerpts from my memoir: Mixed Girl, Trauma Oncologist: Curing the Soul Sickness that Ate My Family Alive
    • events: for people to come together for lectures, readings, and other nourishing activities

This space is for for anyone who has dealt with injustice. If you have struggled with the legacy of trauma: addiction, depression, racism, sexism, eating disorders, abuse, neglect, suicide…Mixed Girl Survival School delivers strategies and proof that it is possible to over-come these issues and end the trans-generation transmission of negative and hurtful behaviors. The site is an evolving presence that will continue to respond to those who visit. Welcome!

Real Talk
From this sharecropping field in Arkansas to Berkeley during the 60s, my memoir explains how I grew up with a White mother and brother, a Black father, a Black & White Brother, a Japanese & Black brother, and a Korean & Black sister. It explains how an admirable racial experiment went terribly wrong.

But Not All of It Was a Bummer

Little hippy Laurie with her big afro

A lot of funny, OMG moments occurred that are ultimately amazing and inspiring. From how the cast of Bonanza interacted with my hair, to "Boogie Nights" at the golf course I literally lived at, and the racial sorting on the playground that rivals anything in the Lord of the Flies. I have wisdom to share with today’s mixed families that may prevent teasing, awkward interactions, and boundary violations.



Advance Praise for the Memoir

Advance Praise for Mixed Girl, Trauma Oncologist
"WOW WOW!!! Incredible!!!"
Caitlin Flanagan

Caitlin Flanagan

author of Girl Land, and To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife, and contributing editor to The Atlantic
Laurie Panther’s loving story about being the last healthy survivor of her “rainbow family” of origin sheds light on the mechanics of neglect, reckoning, and resilience so prevalent in the American experience. Her light narrative touch lets the reader empathize without being traumatized, joining her hopeful personal journey through the center of a sad epic.
Kristen Caven

Kristen Caven

co-author of The Bullying Antidote & President of the California Writers Club, Berkeley Branch

Don't Miss My Blog

Dragon Free Zone

I’m part of a spiritual program that’s helps me abstain from destructive substances because “There Be Dragons” waiting off that edge of the map, and that dragon already ate my entire family, so I’m pretty sure he’s licking his chops waiting patiently to finish off the meal. And yet, even though I’ve been practicing...

She Is Not A Gift – Girl Scouts Dry-Up Holiday Brainwashing

She’s lovely, innocent, and deserves to enjoy a developmentally appropriate holiday free of un-wanted touch, and yet that human right is often undermined by “socially accepted” norms. In an article about brainwashing,  the writer Julia Layton states, In psychology, the study of brainwashing, often referred to as thought reform, falls into the sphere of “social...

Moth Story Slam: “Pussy Bushes”

In one of my first posts of the school year, I discussed how we as educators each find our tipping point for intolerable acts regarding children. At the end of the article I described the tensions of being mixed-race during the start of school integration, and a heinous situation that developed for me. Not...

Refuse the Shame, Break the Silence

If you’re a woman you’ve probably had your Harvey Weinstein moment, and you probably didn’t report your abuser. I get it. After my attempt to garner help from a perp-supporting yard teacher failed miserably, I gave up believing by seven years old, that I had any right to safety. In fact I came to...

About Me

I hold a master’s degree in Education Curriculum & Instruction, a minor degree in Early Childhood Education and earned a administrative credential in social justice. I recently (and joyfully) retired as a an administrator from a large school district in the San Francisco Bay Area—after thirty years as professional educator.

In my personal life, I've always provided for children and people who struggle. I created a summer camp for students whose conditions and behavior precluded them from more traditional camps. I also served in many capacities in both twelve-step recovery groups, as well as for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse.

I also write poetry, have completed a memoir, written and performed a one-woman show about my life in several venues.

Hi, I'm Laurie


Inspired by what I've shared? Or have your own survival story to share? I'd love to hear from you. I'll be featuring a reader contributed story every week, your story might be chosen.
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