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

How This Workshop Came To Be

This workshop for women blends my post graduate studies on human development, and experience facilitating Adult Survivors of Child Abuse meetings with my recent somatic training by Padma Gordon of the Responsive Body Movement. I look forward to leading us (I’m still on the journey with you) to the next level of loving ourselves...

Steps: From Soul-Sick to Soul-Healthy

(This is part 2 of a 2-Part article. Read Part 1 first ) I was soul-sick. No doubt about it. When I should have been bonding with my mother as an infant, she was nurturing her career and I was left with a babysitter & bottle. When I could have turned to her for...

“Soul Sickness Killed Off My Entire Family”…But What Is It ?

What is soul sickness? Let’s start by defining soul-health and work backwards. According to soul-guru —  and Oprah’s good friend — Gary Zukov, the soul is a nurturer, soother, and provider of life energy. And when one connects with this source, well-being and a direction in life will flow like a leaf falling into a stream....

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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