Joanna Gaines Is Flooded With Support After She Breaks Down During Emotional Podcast

Joanna Gaines Is Flooded With Support After She Breaks Down During Emotional Podcast

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Joanna Gaines has been a mainstay on television for a decade, but the Fixer Upper star has recently opened up to share her own story, and the message is a powerful one.

As a reality TV star, Joanna has given fans a glimpse into her relationship with her husband, Chip, her family life with their five children, and her home renovation secrets. But with her new memoir, The Stories We Tell, Joanna is showing a more vulnerable side like never before.

Joanna paired her new memoir with a four-episode companion podcast by the same name. The episodes feature conversations with Chip, her sisters, Mikey and Teresa, and her mom, Nan Stevens. The episode with her mom became particularly emotional as the mother and daughter discussed Nan's past and their shared Korean heritage.

Nan tells the emotional story of growing up in Korea, where, as a bold and boisterous child, she suffered verbal and physical abuse from her parents. She says that she always felt "less" and like an outsider. She grew up rebellious and loved American culture, and at the age of 18 she met and fell in love with Joanna's father, Jerry. She describes Jerry, who was in the military, as a" hippy" with long hair and John Lennon glasses, and when he asked for her hand in marriage, her parents initially refused. Nan's mother later stole her father's stamp and essentially forged her father's signature to allow them to marry.

Nan then moved to the U.S., where she once again felt like an outsider. She developed perfectionist tendencies and tried to look and act like American women. Over the years, Nan raised her three daughters and came to love her heritage. She says that anytime her mind goes to a negative place, "God always helps me…God has blessed me with my beautiful family, and this is it. I am full, my heart is satisfied."

Joanna explained that she struggled growing up and was often teased because she was half-Korean, but she never told her mother about it because she was trying to protect her. Joanna explained, "I never sensed you were not strong enough to carry it, but I just felt like we could have two people hurt here or one, which is why I opted to silence my pain."

Joanna then talks about the months she lived in New York City after graduating from college. She visited Koreatown and began to appreciate her culture. Through tears, Joanna tells her mom, "I always wanted to say I was sorry, for living in halfness, and not fully embracing the most beautiful thing about myself which was you, the culture that was half of me as a Korean little girl, as a Korean teenager, as a Korean woman. That I felt that guilt and that regret."

She made a conscious decision moving forward to embrace her culture and her history. "That’s the richest part of who I am. And walking in the fullness of that really changed the narrative for me."

Joanna posted a photo of her mother and sisters and wrote, "Chatting with my sisters about shared experiences growing up on last week's podcast was sweet and somehow therapeutic. And on today's final episode, my mom is joining me to share her incredible story. A story that I’m honored to be a part of. You can listen to The Stories We Tell on your favorite podcast platform! #TheStoriesWeTell" Fans flooded Joanna with supportive messages:

  • "Just got to listen....oh my heart! I felt that, for both of you! Teared up several times but so good!"

  • "I just finished the podcast. You all make me feel whole. Thank you for sharing your stories. Now off to read your book!♥️"

  • "I am Korean American and last week’s episode definitely made me cry. Thank you for sharing…so vulnerable ❤️"

  • "You definitely saved the best for last. I cried along with you both! Being a first gen American as well, her story hit very close to home. ❤️"

  • "I just listened to your momma’s story and hearing the both of you sharing your vulnerability and sacred moment with the world was just so inspiring."

The Stories We Tell is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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