For many of us, this time of year is filled with joyful celebrations and creating wonderful memories with friends and family. And for many of us, this time of year can actually be a difficult and stressful time.
Maybe it’s the first holiday season after the loss of someone you love,
or maybe you simply feel stressed about the hectic pace that often surrounds the holidays or the pressure of meeting others’ expectations of what our families or celebrations “should” look like in order to make it the most perfect holiday ever.
This week’s guest on the Cracking Open podcast has every reason to feel stressed around the holidays and yet she has made the conscious choice to no longer live her life according to the “shoulds”. Instead, she has bravely decided that speaking the truth and following her own heart is how she is going to heal and live the life that is right for her.
Casey Hammer is the granddaughter of Dr. Armand Hammer, renowned industrialist and philanthropist, and the aunt of the famous actor Armie Hammer, known for his role in critically acclaimed and blockbuster movies such as Call Me By Your Name and The Social Network.
Casey blew the lid off of multi-generational shocking family secrets when she released her tell-all autobiography, Surviving My Birthright, in 2015. After remaining silent for much of her life about the abuse and unimaginable trauma that she endured at the hands of her own family, she knew that the only path to healing was through speaking up and speaking out.
Since the release of her book, Casey’s story has also been featured in Vanity Fair’s May 2021 issue, The Rise and Fall of the House of Hammer, as well as the 2022 Discovery+ and HBO MAX docuseries The House of Hammer.
Throughout her life, Casey witnessed her wealthy and famous family thrive on being “perfect on the outside and twisted on the inside”, as she writes in her book.
She is with us today to courageously share her story with the hope that it will help other abuse victims heal and know that they are not alone. Casey believes her purpose is to empower other survivors of abuse by bringing awareness around consent, accountability, and speaking your truth no matter how hard or messy it might be. She has continued her own healing journey by becoming an advocate for abuse survivors to help empower others in their own healing process.
Casey is proof that the advantages of wealth and privilege do not protect someone from being subjected to a minefield of trauma and strife. And yet, she is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and our ability to rise like a phoenix from the ashes and gift the world with the wisdom of our experiences.
A true case for the wounded healer, Casey has turned her pain into power, her trauma into healing, and her secrets into truth. May Casey’s story inspire you to do the same in your own life.
Trigger Warning: this episode contains conversations about abuse, domestic violence, suicide, and drug use.
If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing domestic violence, you can contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website here.