69 minutes | Apr 14th 2020

Scapegoating, gaslighting, and breakthrough resilience with author Virginia Buckingham

In this episode, Dr. Judy sits down with Virginia Buckingham, the first female CEO of Massachusetts Transportation Authority (Massport) and the person in charge on September 11th, 2001. On that fateful day, two of the four planes that were hijacked then used as missiles to bring down the twin towers of the World Trade Center originated from Boston’s Logan International Airport, operated by Massport. What transpired that day was punctuated by horror, unbelievable images of destruction, and loss of life - forever etched into the American psyche. 


In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, when the country came together to mourn our losses and begin to rebuild, Ginny shares how she became the scapegoat of the media because of perceived lapses in the security protocol at Logan, which were ultimately unfounded. She reveals how her career was destroyed and how every day became excruciatingly painful to live through. Traumatized by the events of 9/11 and compounded by the blame and media scrutiny, Ginny suffered unbearable Posttraumatic Stress Disorder to the point of wanting to take her own life. 


In her riveting book, “On My Call: A Memoir” Ginny reveals her untold story of 9/11, her continued journey to recovery from PTSD nineteen years later, and how she finally found her voice and sense of self through meaning making. In this deep and intimate conversation, Dr. Judy and Ginny discuss her rise to leadership at an early age, how she became the scapegoat for the terrorist attacks, and her journey to finding herself again despite the immeasurable pain she suffered. She dispels myths about what a sufferer of PTSD looks like and talks about her remarkable journey to become her own hero and develop resilience. Ginny’s powerful story is filled with hope - it teaches people about courage and finding inner peace and profound purpose in the wake of seeming annihilation.


In this episode, we discuss: 

1. Our memories about 9/11 (8:00)

2. When the public turned on Ginny as the CEO of Massport (10:40)

3. Ginny’s dark secret in the aftermath of 9/11 (15:16)

4. Dissociation and the double-edged sword of this PTSD symptom (18:00)

5. The life-saving lesson Ginny learned from the mother of one of the 9/11 victims (19:45)

6. Ginny’s opportunity at Boston Herald and why it wasn’t the “fix” (25:00)

7. PTSD and the lack of a sense of self (28:35)

8. Ginny’s struggle with wanting to take her own life and how she came back from the brink (31:25)

9. Why “finding the words” helps heal the isolation of trauma (37:00)

10. Why everyone is dealing with grief during the COVID-19 pandemic (43:20)

11. Ginny’s advice on how to find real solutions in national and international crises (44:58)

12. What Ginny would have done differently if she had the chance (50:15)

13. SuperCharged Tips for Resilience: Misperceptions and what resilience really is (52:23)

14. Why meaning-making is crucial for true joy and how to do it (55:35)

15. How to have self-love when you don’t think you deserve it (59:35)

16. Why all human beings need hope for self-development (1:02:05)


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