How Can I Save My Brother? Freedomain Call In - Transcript

Chapters

0:00 - Introduction
1:20 - Concerns about Brother's Relationship
3:59 - Relationship with Father at Age 14
5:29 - Parents' Separation
7:33 - Cutting Off Contact with Father
11:41 - Mother's Parenting and Childhood
14:14 - Mother's Perception of Father's Actions
16:44 - Inadequate Mother's Response
18:27 - Mother's Response to Father's Temper
20:53 - Father's Filing for Divorce
25:00 - Corporal Punishment from Mother
26:00 - Father's Use of Corporal Punishment
28:45 - Mother's Inaction Against Father's Abuse
31:42 - Responsibility for Marital Choices
32:30 - Reasons for Father Filing for Divorce
36:18 - Mother's Reaction to Divorce
38:21 - Sleeping Arrangements
41:12 - Mother's Concern for Survival
45:25 - Responsibility and Victimhood
49:05 - Lack of Sincerity
56:47 - Emotional Manipulation
1:14:29 - Fear of Connection
1:24:01 - Family Dynamics
1:30:30 - Building Credibility
1:35:33 - Sharing Wisdom

Long Summary

I had a deep conversation with a caller who opened up about concerns regarding their brother's engagement, particularly due to the presence of abuse within his fiancée's family. The caller bravely shared details of their troubled relationship with their father, detailing instances of emotional abuse and manipulation. They described how their mother often excused the father's behavior, even recalling incidents of physical punishment from her. We delved into the caller's challenging upbringing, discussing the frequent outbursts of their father's temper and the rare instances of discipline from their mother. The caller expressed the difficulty of discussing these painful experiences but found solace in the support received to keep moving forward.

During our conversation, the topic shifted to the use of corporal punishment by the caller's father, who would often resort to using a belt on the caller and their brother for misbehavior, with the brother bearing the brunt of it. Insights were shared about the parents' marriage, the father's aggressive tendencies, the mother's awareness of the situation, and ultimately, their divorce. We explored the impact of these dynamics on the family, the aftermath of the divorce, and the caller's reflections on their parents' roles in their upbringing. Accountability, victimhood, responsibility, and the mother's actions amidst the family struggles were thoroughly discussed, prompting reflections on how individuals navigate such challenging family dynamics.

In a later part of our conversation, we delved into the caller's past experiences and the lasting effects of their mother's actions on their upbringing. We explored the concept of apologies and accountability, questioning the sincerity of past apologies and seeking genuine answers. Emotions ran high as we delved into why the caller's mother failed to protect them from their father's aggression despite being aware of the situation. We discussed the lack of responsibility and the burden it placed on the caller, as well as the present-day implications and the lessons learned from these challenging experiences. The segment concluded with reflections on the caller's mother's choices and how they impacted the family dynamics, prompting deep introspection.

Reflecting on the caller's family dynamics, I emphasized the importance of addressing past traumas and fostering open communication. We discussed the caller's hesitation to confront her brother about their shared history, highlighting the need to break free from parental influence in order to establish credibility and support each other in their healing journey. Encouraging the caller to have the courage to share her insights with her brother and prioritize their bond over appeasing their parents, we explored the potential of self-awareness and honesty to strengthen their relationship and move forward positively. I reassured the caller of ongoing support and encouraged her to keep me updated on her progress.

Transcript

[0:00] Introduction

[0:00] Hello, hello, can you hear me?

[0:01] Hello.

[0:02] Hey, how's it going?

[0:04] I'm good.

[0:05] Well, yeah, I'm all ears. Sounds like quite an exciting situation. Do you want to fill me in?

[0:13] Yes, let me find my notes. uh yeah um so the uh uh my brother is engaged currently engaged to uh uh someone who i have some serious concerns about just the way she um treats him and how she She's still involved in the side of my family who are kind of abusive. And I really don't think it's good for my brother to be around them. And she still tries to actively have them be a part of his life and her life. and I just see him kind of going down a bad path especially if he gets in a marriage with her.

[1:20] Concerns about Brother's Relationship

[1:20] Well I'm happy to hear more that's not much detail to go on so if you want to, maybe the initial tooth pulling part of the conversation but I'm all ears if you want to tell me, what's been going on with your family and that background of the people he's still in touch with. If you know anything about her family and, and all of that, uh, uh, I'm, I'm all ears.

[1:47] Uh, well, my parents just finalized their divorce this January. So that's the most recent thing that's happened. Uh, but.

[2:00] Uh, the, uh, the main issue with my dad is he, we never had a, like a paternal relationship. I never had a paternal relationship with him. And, um, he would often blame me for that. Like, I remember being really little and trying to, uh, show interest in his interests and and fishing and baseball and just trying to be the best at the sports I was in and try to get his attention and try to have a connection with him. And it never really happened. And then as I got older, he would start picking on me for the fact that i didn't hang out with him as much or i seemed to look to not like him and so i would try to go on errands with him and and be around him and it just never, uh nothing came from it so i finally just kind of gave up and that's when he started really um.

[3:24] I guess, uh, picking, like really picking on me and kind of pushing me around. And he, it was like, he was angry at me all the time and I just kind of hid from him and tried to stay away from him.

[3:50] And so how old were you when that sort of flip, were you trying to chase him to you, not chasing him anymore, and then him turning on you? How old were you there?

[3:59] Relationship with Father at Age 14

[3:59] I was around 14.

[4:02] Okay. Got it. Got it. All right. So sorry, go ahead.

[4:06] Yeah. So he would start, like, he would kind of get really angry and yell and throw things. and then he would try to like fake apologize. Like he would say, oh, I didn't mean to do that. I didn't mean to call you those names. I didn't mean to throw it. But you know, you can't, you know, I don't like it when you do, like when you disrespect me or when you ignore me. and he's like I'm trying to have a relationship with you but you're just cold and distant now I'm trying to have a relationship you're not opening up to me and, and uh he would just he would just blame me for the fact that um, we don't have a relationship and then he would kind of be okay to be around for a bit and then it would just get worse again and and that kind of repeated for i guess many years until uh, My parents finally separated, and I wasn't around him anymore that often.

[5:29] Parents' Separation

[5:30] And that's what's going on at the moment, is that right, the separation?

[5:35] Yes, they're finally divorced, and I've kind of cut all contact with him.

[5:42] Okay, I'm sorry to hear that, but what would he, I mean, he wasn't physically violent, if I understand this correctly, but he would say some pretty terrible things. And what were the things that he would say that would, you know, really hit your heart?

[5:58] Um, he would say that I was lazy and disrespectful. And he would, uh, he'd occasionally, occasionally like call me, uh, I think, well, I don't have a memory of this specifically, but my mom has said that he's called me a lazy B-word, essentially, and called me other cuss words like that. I don't think it was directly to my face, because I remember him apologizing for it, but not remember him calling me it.

[6:47] Oh, okay. Got it. I'm sorry about that. I mean, I have a daughter myself, and the idea of calling her names is, I mean, honestly, completely incomprehensible, but obviously it's quite common, and I'm really sorry for that, just as a whole. Okay, and your relationship with your father, when did you stop seeing him or them?

[7:14] Stop? Um. Um. I guess it would have been... Kind of around last year when I really, like that's when I finally blocked him on the phone.

[7:33] Cutting Off Contact with Father

[7:34] I blocked his phone number and stopped receiving texts and would try to avoid places that he was going to be.

[7:45] And was there something in particular that prompted that or was it more of an accumulation or how did that happen?

[7:54] Um, there was a specific, I just, there was a specific incident or I just got sick of him where he, I was still, I had just gotten married, but I was still on his insurance and I went to the dentist. and so the part of the bill wasn't covered and so they sent him a bill because he's on the insurance and he i remember getting a phone call from him and got it getting a really bad feeling, and usually when that when i get a phone call and there's a bad feeling around it i know he's gonna yell at me so i didn't answer and then it turns out that he called the dentist and yelled at the dentist lady about the insurance and that's when i decided to just i'm not gonna, like even he's even him contacting me through the phone is uh dangerous so i, decided to just cut them off from there completely okay.

[9:02] I get that and what's your relationship with your mother like or was throughout your childhood and and now.

[9:08] Um it's okay i've been kind of angry at her in the recent years because of how long she stayed with him and, Just like how she's, I mean, she is kind of learning not to, like she's coming to grips with what had happened and she's recognizing that she probably shouldn't stay as long with him. um so i'm still kind of healing from that but i'm not i still speak with her and i still let her see my daughter and.

[9:56] Sorry so her first of all congratulations on the marriage and congratulations on the parenthood i just wanted to be clear about that that's wonderful and i i don't know if you how are you feeling over the course of starting this this conversation how's your heart, um shaky yeah because the communication is a little tense on your side and i understand that i mean this is difficult stuff to talk about is there anything that that you know like shake it out or relax a little bit because it it's uh i feel like you haven't blinked since we started talking yeah.

[10:35] I just need to uh i guess uh chip away at it if that makes sense.

[10:44] Yeah it's a safe space okay i don't know i hate that phrase but it kind of is okay so i'm trying to sort of figure out so with your mom when you said that that her faults and i know this is not obviously the whole relationship but it's what what i got you said her fault was that she stayed with your dad for too long is that right yeah.

[11:05] But that's kind of my issue with her or i mean it's not i'm not as angry as her with her as i was like last year but.

[11:18] Okay well last year what would you have said and you know maybe right maybe wrong but last year what would you have said her faults are.

[11:25] Um she, She, and it involves a lot with my brother, she doesn't work.

[11:38] Are you okay? Do you need some water? I'm just curious.

[11:41] Mother's Parenting and Childhood

[11:41] Yeah, sorry. She.

[11:47] A couple of times over the course of doing these shows, I've had a coughing fit. So it does happen, but that's all right.

[11:53] She doesn't recognize the fact that one of the reasons why my brother isn't really communicating with us anymore is because um um, that he might be angry at her.

[12:12] Okay, but I was asking what you would have said about your mother last year when you were more angry with her, not what your brother might say now.

[12:21] That's one of the, is she will often talk about how my brother isn't speaking with her anymore and how he's becoming distant. And I get angry at her because she's complaining to me about this. And the obvious reason is because she stayed with my dad for so long and she would play the victim sometimes. Sometimes, and kind of fall into becoming a victim, like not ignore the signs of danger and fall into becoming a victim and then complain how she's a victim, and that would irritate me.

[13:25] So what does she say that is the victim statement, or gives you the sense that she's portraying herself as a victim? him i'm not saying you're wrong i just want to know what she's saying.

[13:34] Um she would she would uh, talk about how you know where my brothers become so distant and how how she doesn't understand, like she always reaches out to him and all this stuff and she'll start crying. And, and like, I, I'm trying to remember exactly.

[14:14] Mother's Perception of Father's Actions

[14:15] Okay. I mean, does she acknowledge that your father said some pretty terrible things and did some pretty terrible things over the course of you and your brother's childhoods?

[14:26] Um not not really i mean she would recognize that he wasn't the best but she wouldn't really recall specific instances well.

[14:38] She claimed not to recall who knows right right we don't have the window into other people's thought processes so she doesn't think that i mean obviously there was room for improvement she would say but you know she wouldn't get into any specifics is that right Yeah.

[14:56] It was.

[14:57] And what about your mother's parenting? How was that?

[15:02] Um. Her mom, well, her mom died when I was in middle school, so I wasn't around her a lot because I lived so far away. We would only occasionally meet her. But from what my mom, my mom's stories of her childhood and from what I saw of her mom, she was very controlling and mean. and like she my mom my mom would recall instances of like when she would talk about how she, she would come home like she would have like a favorite pair of shoes or favorite dress and she would come home and it'd be gone just missing and she doesn't know where it where it would go and And that would also happen with homework. She would write a full paper, and it'd be due tomorrow, and she'd come back home from being with friends, and the paper would be gone, and she'd have to turn in nothing the next day. And just how her mom would just control her portion sizes.

[16:20] Sorry, but why would her mother throw out her homework?

[16:26] Well, we don't, she doesn't really, she didn't really know at the time where it went. She just thought it disappeared. And then she kind of figured out that it was her mom.

[16:37] Okay. That doesn't explain why her mom would throw out her homework.

[16:41] I, I'm not really sure why her mom would throw out her homework either.

[16:44] Inadequate Mother's Response

[16:45] Okay. I wasn't sure if your mom had a theory. Okay. Now, you know, you're manipulating me, right? I don't know if you know that. I'm sure you do, right?

[16:54] No. Yeah.

[16:55] I mean, you're really taking me on a ride here. And I appreciate it. I don't mind a good ride. I can do a roller coaster or two. But do you remember what my question was?

[17:08] How were my mom's parents?

[17:11] No. I said, how was your mom when you were a kid?

[17:14] Oh.

[17:15] And you give me the sob story about your grandmother.

[17:18] Sorry.

[17:19] No, no. Don't apologize. This is like, you know, I'm saying the speech is kind of halted. That's because your mom doesn't want this part of the conversation. Your inner mom, right? So I'm asking you how your mother was with you because your father did some pretty bad things, right? And how was your mother with you? And the first thing you start is, well, my mother had a very bad childhood. Right.

[17:42] Yeah.

[17:43] I don't care. I don't care. And the reason I don't care is it's no excuse. I mean, did I, I had a bad childhood. Does that give me an excuse to be a bad parent?

[17:56] No.

[17:58] Completely opposite, right?

[18:00] Yeah.

[18:01] Because I know how bad it is to have a bad childhood. So I'm extra responsible to be a good parent, right?

[18:09] Yeah.

[18:10] Okay. Okay, so I don't care what happened to your mother when she was a child because I'm not on the phone with her. I'm on the phone with you. So what matters to me is what happened to you as a child. And the fact that you start with your mother's sob story about her childhood is really important, right?

[18:25] Uh-huh.

[18:27] Mother's Response to Father's Temper

[18:27] So what happened with you and your mom and your brother and your mom as far as you saw when you were a kid?

[18:37] Um... She was okay to be around by herself, but she would excuse my dad's actions. she by like um my dad would get mad because we're making too much noise or, um we broke something and she instead of recognizing my my dad is kind of going too far she would kind of.

[19:33] Wrangle us up and kind of like shush us like don't do that because dad dad would be angry like don't do that and then sometimes she would even she would punish us like we'd be in the back of the car and making too much noise and dad would get angry, and so she would take you know a wooden spoon that she would have in her bag and like smack her hands oh god and then, That would shut us up and then She would Then later apologize, Saying that she shouldn't have done that.

[20:14] Sorry, what do you mean, like, later that day, or?

[20:17] Yeah, when Dad wasn't around.

[20:19] Okay, so she hit you so that your dad wouldn't get angry, and I assume it hurt, right? I mean, that wooden spoon stuff on the back of a hand can, you know, really hit the knuckles and, right?

[20:30] Yeah.

[20:33] And then later that day, she'd say, I'm sorry, but, like, you know how your dad is, that kind of thing?

[20:39] Yeah it was it's usually like i'm sorry but you know tad you don't want him to get angry.

[20:48] Okay well clearly you didn't mind it too much because you were making the noise right.

[20:53] Father's Filing for Divorce

[20:54] Yeah but i mean he would get angry over very small things so we would just be humming along to the music and he'd get angry right Right.

[21:07] Now, how often would your father, we'll get back to your mother in a sec, how often would your father lose his temper or be alarming to be around or make you nervous?

[21:22] It kind of followed a cycle. So usually, you know, he'd be in a good mood and then that's when you knew he was about to blow up. and so it was kind of it was more often he was angry and you just hide but the occasional good mood pop up and that's when you knew the bad was about to he was about to lose it essentially.

[21:54] Oh would it be because like you you you damn kids are spoiling my mood you're ruining my great day or.

[22:03] No it was it was more just a flip of the switch he was just mad.

[22:11] Yeah it reminds me of what i think christopher hitch said this about saddam hussein that he was the most dangerous when he was in a good mood like all tyrants right so how how often though would your father, father be was it daily weekly monthly how often would your father be nervous like you'd be nervous to be around him or be tense um um.

[22:41] I guess when I was younger, I think it was more week by week or occasionally month by month. But especially when I got around 14 to adulthood, it seemed almost daily he was angry at something.

[23:04] Oh, okay. So I just want to make sure I understand this correctly. So when you were younger, he might only lose his temper like once a month, like for one day, but the rest of like 29, 30 days of the month, he'd be in a decent mood or a good mood or not be angry. Do I have that right?

[23:24] I'm not questioning you.

[23:28] I just want to make sure I understand the parameters.

[23:34] Yeah, it might have been more like twice a month.

[23:38] Okay, but still relatively rare compared to what happened in your mid-teens, right?

[23:44] Yeah, he kind of got worse as time went on.

[23:51] But you can remember decent, like two weeks at a time where he wouldn't lose his temper, right? Or I know it's tough to get exact when you're a kid, but something like that.

[23:59] Yeah, yeah. I think he was more, yeah.

[24:03] And how often would your mom end up smacking you and your brother in that way?

[24:16] Not super often. It would be a few months between. Between, we typically, that's when she would kind of smack us like that. It was kind of like a last resort for her, it seemed. Because we were just not listening to her to stop. And we kept on pushing it and she just kind of stopped, like, do that to stop us. because he was about to, my dad was about to really blow up.

[25:00] Corporal Punishment from Mother

[25:00] Well, you were just being kids, making noise and having fun.

[25:03] Yeah. Yeah.

[25:04] So, I mean, this pushing it stuff or we weren't listening, it's like, I don't know. That's sort of victim blaming, if that makes sense.

[25:12] Yeah.

[25:13] We weren't listening. We were pushing. It's like, no, no, you were just being kids, right?

[25:18] Yeah.

[25:21] And how are you feeling talking about this stuff?

[25:25] Um, I, It's kind of hard to open up sometimes about certain things, but, um, I can, I'm just, I'm still a little shaky about certain topics.

[25:47] And is there anything that I could do to make it easier for you or do we just keep plowing on?

[25:58] Um, you just plow on.

[26:00] Father's Use of Corporal Punishment

[26:01] All right, plowing away. Now, did your father use any, your mother would hit you every couple of months, you and your brother, and did your father use any corporal punishment?

[26:16] Yeah he would use the belt and that's when that's usually when we were being i guess really bad according to his terms like we did something that he really didn't like, that's when he would break out the belt wow.

[26:34] And how often would that happen.

[26:42] To me it didn't happen very often but to my brother it would happen quite a bit.

[26:50] How often i.

[26:51] Know roughly um, there was um i there was a period of time where my brother really he would get it maybe every couple months or every month, because he was my brother was just really angry and he would always try to push things.

[27:26] So that's still a little victim blaming there, right?

[27:29] Yeah. He would.

[27:32] Well, you fight back, right? He was angry at your dad and he was disgusted at being humiliated and he would fight back, if I understand this correctly. And maybe I don't, but that would be my thought.

[27:41] Yeah, that sounds about right from what I remember.

[27:46] And were the beatings on clothing or bare skin? skin um.

[27:51] We would just be um sometimes it was on our underwear but sometimes it wasn't it was just normal clothes it i don't remember any bare skin.

[28:04] Okay got it got it and so uh not very often for you every month or a couple of months for your brother at times is that right yeah and i assume that your mother knew that your father was hitting you and your brother with belts, right? Or with a belt?

[28:23] Yes.

[28:25] And did she have any thoughts about that? Or did she ever try to intervene? Or did she get him a book on parenting? Or I don't know, like something? Anger management courses? Anything, right?

[28:37] I don't... From what I remember, I don't think she really did anything.

[28:45] Mother's Inaction Against Father's Abuse

[28:46] I think she maybe once or twice tried to calm him down, but it led nowhere, so it still happened. Most of the time, she wouldn't really step in or anything.

[29:01] Right. And did your—you don't have to tell me what your father did or does, but was he able to translate this aggressive side of him into financial success over the course of his working life?

[29:17] Um, I'm, I'm not really sure. I mean, he was a salesman, so he had to kind of.

[29:26] Well, I mean, did you have a bunch of cars? Did you live in a really nice house? I mean, was he, uh, successful materially in this way?

[29:36] Um, uh, I mean, we lived in a pretty big house. We were just, we weren't like, uh, We didn't spend a lot of money. He liked to save money more than anything, but we were living well. We had a pretty decent-sized house and a big backyard and lots of toys and stuff to play with. But he didn't really buy anything extravagant or anything like that.

[30:12] And did your mother work or stay home?

[30:14] My mother stayed home.

[30:17] Okay. And do you know much about your parents' dating or courtship?

[30:23] No. I just know that they met at a hospital because my mom was an x-ray tech, and that's where she met my dad.

[30:33] Okay.

[30:34] I'm not sure what he's doing.

[30:38] And do you know how long they dated before they got married?

[30:44] I do not.

[30:46] Okay. And, Was your mother good-looking when she was younger? I'm not saying she isn't now, but in particular when she was younger.

[30:57] I would think so, yes.

[31:00] Your father, was he handsome?

[31:03] Yeah.

[31:04] Okay.

[31:05] Yeah, from what I've seen.

[31:08] Do you think or do you have any indication of whether your mother knew that your father had a temper before she had kids?

[31:16] Uh yes she he she did know he had a temper before we were um because of stories about, uh when they were first married and stuff with his siblings just how he has to temper would always be lost on them and.

[31:35] I assume then that she also knew about this to some degree before Before she got married, right?

[31:41] Most likely, yeah. Okay.

[31:42] Responsibility for Marital Choices

[31:42] So she's 100% responsible for marrying a guy with a violent temper, right? And giving him, like, dating, getting engaged, getting married, giving him kids, keeping the kids around him. I mean, unless I miss my mark, she's 100% responsible for that, right?

[32:00] Yeah.

[32:02] But it seems like you hold, like, when I asked about your father, you're like, well, he said these mean words. He was violent. He, you know, aggressive and, you know, distant and right. You know, the dad. Right. And then when I ask about your mom, you're like, oh, but her childhood was so terrible. You know what I mean? Like, I'm trying to I'm trying to figure out the disparity here.

[32:30] Reasons for Father Filing for Divorce

[32:30] I mean, let me ask you this. Why has she divorced him or why is she divorcing him now?

[32:36] Well, he was the one who, uh, filed for divorce.

[32:41] Ah, okay. And why did he do that? Do you know?

[32:45] Um, I think, well, um, he claimed that she was cheating on him and stole his money was was what he said, yeah, was what he was talking, like really yelling about around when he filed.

[33:03] Okay, and what does your mom say to this?

[33:10] Well, she wasn't cheating, and the part where she stole his money was her taking some money out of the joint account account just in case he he uh closed her off from it why.

[33:28] Would she be concerned that he would close her off financially.

[33:31] Um yeah uh i think he was i don't remember exactly but i think he was talking about uh leaving her around like he would constantly bring up going like leaving and going going away, possible divorce.

[33:52] And when did he start bringing that stuff up?

[34:03] I think it was around 2021 is like that year is kind of when everything blew up. But I don't remember. I don't have a lot of memories from then.

[34:16] Were they like COVID trapped? and I mean I know a lot of couples were sort of staring at each other it's like well we don't have any distractions now um.

[34:31] I think, I'm not really sure what spurred it on, because they were already not sleeping in the same bed for a year. And then, well, the whole thing was weird because we moved, they bought a house together in 2020 when they were not sleeping in the same bed. and then he there was kind of that he was doing that false like everything's gonna be okay we can work things out and of course it didn't and it was around then when he really i guess because he was home all the time, um oh no my mom was working during covid now that i remember Remember, my dad was working from home and my mom was managing a farmer's store. And she started saving. She didn't put the money in the joint account. And my dad started getting angry at the fact that she wasn't cleaning the house and cooking dinner while she worked from 8 to 9 every day.

[35:52] You mean 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., not just one hour, right?

[35:55] Yeah.

[35:56] Yeah, yeah, okay.

[36:01] And that's when he started really, he would get, I mean, I stayed, well, I would either go help my mom at the store just to get away from him or stay in my room all day.

[36:13] And do you know if your mother's store made money?

[36:18] Mother's Reaction to Divorce

[36:19] Me um well she was she didn't own the store she was just working for the farmer oh so she'd get paid hourly right yeah okay.

[36:31] So, the marriage, I guess, began to break down. Has your father ever provided any evidence that she cheated?

[36:40] No.

[36:41] Did either of them ever try couples counseling or workshops or workbooks or anything like that?

[36:50] They've tried many times.

[36:53] Oh, they tried marital counseling over the course of your childhood?

[36:58] Yes, several times.

[37:02] I mean, I know it's tough to remember. You don't know what really happened, but do you have any sense why it didn't take?

[37:09] My dad would often complain about the counselor and stop going. That's usually what would, it would just fall apart because he's like, they don't know what they're doing. And he would just not go anymore.

[37:27] More and did your did your parents ever tell you or did you get any sense or indication of why they ended up in separate bedrooms um.

[37:43] Um uh i know my mom kind of would tell me why she she just, I'm trying to remember exactly what she said.

[37:57] Oh, it could be approximate. I don't need super exactitude.

[38:02] I think she just didn't like sleeping in the same bed.

[38:09] Well, no, that's kind of tautological, right? Why are they sleeping in separate beds? Well, they don't like sleeping in the same bed. Yeah, I get that, but why? I mean, they'd been doing it for decades, right? I don't mean doing it. I just mean sleeping in the same bed for decades.

[38:21] Sleeping Arrangements

[38:22] It i she was just kind of i think she was just kind of sick of him like he would he would toss and turn and i think one time he just like punched her in his sleep or something was i remember her talking about she would just not she couldn't go to sleep while in the same bed as him because he he would kind of roll on her and kind of shove her off. And so she started sleeping on the couch.

[38:53] Oh, the couch?

[38:55] Yeah.

[38:55] But you guys had a big house. Oh, they moved, right?

[38:57] Yeah, we moved.

[38:58] What were you sleeping on the couch for? Don't you have more than one room?

[39:01] Well, this was...

[39:03] It gets drier.

[39:03] This was after... That was... My dad lost his job, and then we downsized. We moved to a completely different state and downsized.

[39:14] That was.

[39:15] So that was later on that was in my teens but that's when they started not sleeping in the same bed.

[39:20] Oh okay okay and do you know why your dad lost his job was he just like was it just like uh layoffs in general or him in particular yeah.

[39:29] There was a bunch of layoffs and he got nixed.

[39:32] Okay got it got it so your dad filed divorce citing theft and infidelity right and your mom of of course denies all of this yes and do you know if your mom has tried to figure out if she can do any i'm not saying whether she should or shouldn't but has she tried to figure out if she can do anything to rescue the marriage or stay or do you think she's kind of like yeah okay if we're done And we're done.

[40:08] I think when he filed, she found out that he filed for divorce. She was just, it was more of like, how do I survive? And the kids is what, like, what do I need to do to survive with the kids was essentially what she was thinking. Um, I'm not sure what that means. Well, she started looking for a more stable job. And what does she need to do? Do we need to move out kind of situation? If he wants to leave the marriage, she's done with it. And how does she survive with us? Because he's not going to help.

[40:56] And you and your brother are both adults right uh yes you're a married woman and a mom and so what does that mean to survive with the children i'm trying to understand her thinking there because the kids are already were you guys both living at home still uh.

[41:12] Mother's Concern for Survival

[41:12] Yes uh my brother well there's there's also i also have a another younger brother so there's three there's.

[41:21] Three of us And I was.

[41:24] Yes, I was 18 at the time, but I was still living with my parents and my brother, my two younger brothers were both underage. I think he was 16 and the other one was like 14.

[41:39] Oh, okay. Okay, okay. I mean, so your mother had some pretty serious concerns about income, I don't know, alimony, child support, like however that was going to play out, right?

[41:54] Yeah.

[41:55] Okay, got it, got it. And is the divorce in process? Or is it, no, it must be done by now, right?

[42:02] Yeah, it was, they finally, it officially finalized in January of this year.

[42:10] Wow, that's a I don't need to know how old you are but that seems close on half a decade Yeah Um.

[42:20] Well, it was only a few years, yeah.

[42:26] And do you know, I mean, I assume you've had some idea as to why it was so contentious, or so, I shouldn't say contentious, so lengthy.

[42:35] Yeah oh part of the reason was my dad kept on switching lawyers so they had to be filled in and then the date for some kind of court mediation thing kept on being pushed back because he was complaining it was it was a lot of it was him being pushing back the dates, ah

[43:02] Okay got it got it and so you do it seems like you blame your mom less or hold her less accountable for your childhood than your dad is that right.

[43:16] Um yeah and i'm.

[43:20] Happy to hear the reasoning for that uh for me all adults are responsible responsible for everything. Right? There's no I get to tip things over to the other person, I'm the victim. Like, that's not a thing when you're an adult.

[43:35] Yeah.

[43:36] Because it's just sort of a logical thing. Like, if being a victim, means you don't have any responsibility and can't be held accountable, then children should never be punished. Right? Because children don't have freedom. I wouldn't say they're victims by definition, but they certainly don't control their environment, they don't control their parenting, they don't control their education, they don't have any legal or economic independence. So if being a victim means you're not responsible, or... If you can claim victimhood and therefore you're not responsible, then your mother should have never had you guys punished by anyone or anything. Because she can say, well, I'm not responsible for my environment. Okay, even if we accept that that's true, it's got to be almost infinitely more true for children, right?

[44:29] Yeah.

[44:30] So the fact that she supported and married into and gave children to an aggressive guy, to put it as nicely as possible, means that she did not believe in victimhood. And you as children, I assume, you and your brothers were held responsible for what you did, right? As you said, you got hit or punished when you were behaving, you know, quote, badly. and this happened to your younger brother a lot or a fair amount. So you as children were held 100% responsible and your mother agreed with that, right? Because she married the guy who inflicted that and she also inflicted it herself, right?

[45:11] Yeah.

[45:12] So how do you hold children 100% responsible to the point where you can hit them and then claim to be a victim as an adult who had all the choices in the world?

[45:25] Responsibility and Victimhood

[45:26] that's why i asked if your mother was pretty because you know an attractive woman i mean i'm sure you understand this right probably better than i'm sure better than i do but an attractive woman has all the choice in the world about who she marries right, yeah so how is it that you as children got punished because you were in control of your your own behavior but the woman who punished you and married into the punishment scenario and enabled it and kept you there is a victim i'm i'm i mean if you can help me sort that out i appreciate it.

[46:01] I'm i'm not really sure because she's just learned how to be like that, is from my understanding and she just never recognized recognized that that's a bad way to approach things.

[46:26] No, no. She supported you and your brothers getting punished, right?

[46:31] Yeah.

[46:32] So holding people responsible for their actions and punishing them when they do wrong, she's totally down with that, right? I mean, that's... She married a punishing guy, right? Right. And she punished you and your brothers and sometimes violently. Right.

[46:50] Yeah.

[46:51] Okay. So she's fully on board that children are 100% responsible for their behavior. Right. uh yeah okay so how does she how does she i mean logically right i understand the strategy right play the victim and everyone forgives me and blah blah blah right nobody holds me accountable and it's really weasley right it's one thing to say to children well you're not responsible for any of your behavior so i'm never going to punish you and then as an adult you say well i'm not responsible for any of my behavior so you can't hold me accountable or get mad at me or punish me but what's really weaselly is to punish children for their 100 responsibility for their behaviors, and then when your children have questions when they grow up and they have questions and they say to you well you did this well you know but i didn't know and your father and blah blah blah i'm a victim woe is me right that the stuff that you might you were saying to me about your mother and her childhood and so on that's totally weaselly hold children 100 responsible when children grow grow up and try and hold you somewhat accountable you're suddenly the victim who was not responsible, yeah i mean are you responsible for what you do as a mother yeah i think so right so how is your mother not responsible she.

[48:14] Would be responsible.

[48:18] But what would she say if you were to point out that she's 100% responsible for you and your brothers having an angry father?

[48:33] Um... I guess she would say, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that to happen. I usually, I wouldn't really tell her that because I don't, she would get super emotional and I don't really want to be around her.

[49:05] Lack of Sincerity

[49:06] What do you mean? Hang on. on so first of all if she were to say i'm sorry for i guess virtually a quarter century of aggression against you from your father well first of all who cares like there's no point saying i'm sorry after a quarter century almost right and secondly were you allowed to say i'm sorry as a kid and therefore not get punished no no so the i'm sorry is just a ploy it's a maneuver right? There's nothing sincere about it, there's nothing real about it, and there's nothing loving about it, right? Because your mother is modeling to you, Weasley get-out-of-jail-free manipulative behavior. Well, that's not good for you, right?

[49:55] No.

[49:55] Because if your mother plays the victim, that's going to infect you, it's going to infect your daughter. Or try to, right?

[50:02] Yeah.

[50:04] Okay, so So if you try to hold your mother accountable, she'd get super emotional. And what would that look like? What would that mean?

[50:18] She would start apologizing and say she didn't really mean it and that, you know, she doesn't, She didn't know better at the time and all that stuff. And I, usually I.

[50:42] Uh, I'm sorry. She didn't know what at the time?

[50:45] Didn't know. Or she, she didn't know what to do at the time. It, I usually, uh, block her, like, stop listening at that point because it felt hollow.

[51:18] Sorry, what do you mean by hollow?

[51:20] It was her kind of ignoring her responsibility. That's what it felt like.

[51:36] Yeah, so she pretends she didn't know what to do at the time, right?

[51:40] Yeah. Right.

[51:41] But, okay, so let me try this. If you don't mind being your mom for a sec, I just want to make sure I understand the mindset. mindset. So if I'm you and I say, you know, mom, I got some real issues about how we were raised. And I, you know, I, every time I bring them up, you keep doing this like helpless act, right? And it really bothers me. So you chose to date, get engaged, to get married to and give children to and keep children around a pretty aggressive guy who was sometimes violent and you were was sometimes violent and now with that the divorce is is going on you seem to be like full of relief or like thank goodness that's over or put that in the past but we didn't have that choice as kids like i guess my question is why didn't you do really anything to protect us or certainly more.

[52:48] I'm not really sure what she would say Yes you are.

[52:52] I'm sure you would have an instinct as to what she would say.

[52:58] I mean all that comes to mind is I'm sorry, That's Well so.

[53:06] Then I would say mom Mom, did I ask you for an apology?

[53:12] No. No.

[53:14] Okay, so why don't you listen to what I'm asking for. Why didn't you do more or really anything to protect us? In fact, you hit us too. And you let a guy call me a lazy bitch hang around. And, you know, my brother got hit a lot more than I did. Like, I don't understand. Why didn't you do something to protect your children?

[53:40] And why did you marry him in the first place you knew he had a rage problem.

[53:47] Like how dare you marry a guy and let him yell at call names and hit your children and participate in that hitting you're not a victim here, you were a pretty young woman you could have dated and married just about anybody, like I don't understand how our family was what it was and that's your choice because as a pretty woman a young woman you had a lot of options men will ask anything out with a pulse and this is the guy you chose you chose an angry guy very angry guy, You gave him children, and you not only failed to protect those children, but you participated in the violence. I don't know. And I'm terrified. I'm scared, right? Because you make these bad decisions. You don't seem to take any responsibility. And that's in my system because of you, right? That's worked its way into my system. So I need to understand your thinking, both in the dating, in the marrying, in the, like, what the heck was going on that this was my childhood and the childhood of my brothers?

[55:11] I think she would say, I thought I could fix him. I've heard her say that before.

[55:24] So you're theorizing that she was dead?

[55:28] Yeah.

[55:30] Okay. That you needed to be a guy full of rage. Also, you did him, and you couldn't fix him, why get married to him? If you married him, but couldn't fix him, why give children to him? If you gave children to him and couldn't fix him, why did he? I mean, if I've got a car in the driveway, I've been spending 20 years trying to fix this car, does that sound sane?

[55:56] No. No.

[56:00] So I'd really appreciate it if you kind of dig deep and give me honest answers rather than whatever this is.

[56:47] Emotional Manipulation

[56:47] Yes.

[57:24] So if i understand she'd just get quiet and cry yeah okay i think so right so then i would say so mom shake it off stop making this about you this is about me, right this is not about your tears or your self-pity or your unhappiness focus on me, because you want a relationship with me which you're not getting from my brother you want a relationship with me based upon the fact that you're my mother, because you know I'll be honest man I want to be straight with you right look, if you were just some woman in my neighborhood or some woman I met at a dinner party, or some woman I I saw at the gym or at the mall or had some conversations with here and there. And I found out, oh, yeah, this woman, she has three kids. The kids were aggressed against pretty terribly. And the names were called and she didn't protect them and this and that and the other. Do you think I'd be friends with this person? No.

[58:33] No.

[58:34] Right. So you're saying, no, no, you have to give me special considerations because I'm your mother, right? Because if you were just some person, I mean, we probably wouldn't be friends, right? In fact, I'm certain we wouldn't, right? Okay. Okay, so you have a relationship with me, or you want a relationship with me, because you're my mother. It's a magical golden sticker that affixes to you so that I have to spend time with you, right?

[59:15] Uh-huh.

[59:17] Now, I would say that one of the mother's primary jobs, would you agree, is to protect her children?

[59:24] Yes. Okay.

[59:26] Did you succeed at that job or not so much?

[59:30] No.

[59:34] Okay. So you have to talk to me about this because otherwise, if you won't acknowledge that you failed in your primary duty as a mother, then you don't get the golden sticker called mother anymore. And I judge you as just another person, which is, I think, kind of what my brother's doing, to be honest. I think she's saying, okay, I mean, he's probably not saying consciously, but at some level he's saying, okay, so my mother wants special considerations as a mother, but won't fulfill or hasn't fulfilled the basic duties of motherhood, right? I mean, to take an extreme example, right? If some woman abandons her child when the child is three days old, And then lives a whole life apart from her child. And then when the mother, the biological mother, gets old, she contacts the child she abandoned at the age of three days and says, you have to take me in and you have to take care of me because I have dementia.

[1:00:38] Uh-huh.

[1:00:40] Would that be something that you think the child should do?

[1:00:43] No.

[1:00:44] But why not?

[1:00:48] Because she never raised the child she abandoned them she.

[1:00:54] Wasn't she did not fulfill the duties of motherhood right i know that you were there i know that you were home i know that you care about my brothers and i so i'm just saying add an extreme example, that biological mother would not get the gold star called motherhood that guarantees a relationship relationship, right?

[1:01:15] Yes. Right.

[1:01:17] Now, you knew that we were unhappy. You knew that I was scared of dad, especially from the age of 14 or onwards. You knew that we weren't getting along. You knew that my dad had this distance thing and he'd get really angry if he was in a good mood and it was scary. Like you knew all of this, right?

[1:01:32] Yeah.

[1:01:35] And what did you do?

[1:01:38] Ignored it.

[1:01:39] Right. That's failing to protect your children Yes Right Why? I mean, you want me to love you, right, as a mother. But a mother also has to love her child, has to love her children. And one of the ways, one of the main ways that a mother shows her love for her children, and her father too, but we're talking to you, not dad, right? So one of the main ways that a mother shows love for her children is to protect them.

[1:02:19] Yeah.

[1:02:20] I mean, you have a granddaughter now. Yeah. If your husband, if my father somehow was in contact, was babysitting my granddaughter, like your granddaughter, my child, my daughter, and was calling her a lazy goddamn bitch, would you do anything about it? or if if dad was babysitting my daughter and my daughter was making too much noise for his majesty's comfort would you also hit my daughter with a wooden spoon to keep her quiet and not anger dad, Because I would never accept my father doing that to my daughter. You understand?

[1:03:25] Yeah.

[1:03:26] I would never allow that to happen. In fact, that's one of the reasons I'm not talking to him. I will not allow that to happen.

[1:03:33] Uh-huh.

[1:03:34] Would you? Thank you. Would you let your ex-husband call my daughter a lazy bitch?

[1:03:51] No.

[1:03:52] Oh, what about if he wanted to hit her with a belt? Would you be like, yep, sounds good to me. I'll hold her down.

[1:04:02] No.

[1:04:02] Why not? Why is my daughter so much more important than I am? Why is my daughter worthy of protection, but your daughter wasn't? Mom. Why is my daughter worthy of protection, and you wouldn't lift a finger to protect your own children? make it make sense make it make sense I'm happy to hear it.

[1:04:48] It doesn't make sense.

[1:04:49] Okay so, so

[1:04:59] You would protect my daughter but not me you didn't protect me and now I have no need of protection you understand I have no need of protection right yeah So what binds us? What binds us? Shared history? I mean, we could have had that if we were in a jail cell together, which I guess we kind of were in a way, except you chose it. So what bonds us? Is it virtue? Is it the fact that we are similar in our parenting styles? Nope. Is it that I respect you for your moral courage and integrity? Nope. Because it's not so much that you did bad things, Mom. We've all done bad things, right? It's not so much that you did bad things. It's that you won't take a shred of responsibility now. You just cry and self-pity and weasel and make excuses. This is the part that's really turning my stomach. Because we're not talking about what happened when I was 5 or 10 or 15. Dean, we're talking about what's happening right now, in the moment, as we speak.

[1:06:19] Because if you don't take responsibility for this, it harms me.

[1:06:25] Yes.

[1:06:26] I was explaining my childhood to someone the other day, and I said, well, we pushed the envelope, we went too far, we were, quote, bad, we provoked, you know, and I'm like, I get it. I still blame it on myself. Why was I hit as a child? Was that my fault? Nope. Was it dad's fault? Yep. Was it your fault? Yes. Yes, it was. Let's say the dad was out of control of his temper. Right? Okay. So what? And we go to some petting zoo and there's some pig that keeps chewing on my leg. and you're like, well, the pig's not in control of its behavior. I'm not going to bother doing anything. Let's say the dad has no functional control of his temper. Well, you chose to marry him, chose to give him children, chose to keep that children around him. What am I supposed to respect in this?

[1:07:29] And you, mom, you're like, well, dad rolled over and hit me in the sleep, So I'm moving to another bedroom. So you got hit once by accident. I got hit dozens of times on purpose. And you're like, it's unacceptable to be in the same room as your father and to sleep in the same room as your father if he rolls over and hits me by accident even once. My brothers and I got hit dozens of times on purpose, not just by father, but by you. So you see how precious this is? Oh, no, I got hit. This is terrible. I'm moving to another wing of the house. We didn't have that choice. And you were hit by accident. We were hit on purpose.

[1:08:16] Yeah.

[1:08:23] So you're just going to let me do all the talking? Is that your plan? Just until I tire out, and then you're going to pretend that I never said anything? I think that's your plan. Is that your plan?

[1:08:33] Yeah.

[1:08:34] Okay. Click. I just hang up on it there. Because I don't speak NPC.

[1:08:46] Yeah.

[1:08:47] So she'd just go rubber bones, right?

[1:08:50] Yeah, because she would. Yeah.

[1:08:52] Okay. Okay, well, that's fine. Then she's actively burdening you. She's not lifting you. She didn't say it never was your fault. It was 100% me. Or even it was 90% me, right? So she won't lift that burden off you. So she's still failing to protect you even now. See, it's not about the past. None of this stuff is really about the past. The question is, have any lessons been learned? not sure doesn't seem to be, now she's on the receiving end of your father's temper and has been for the past four years or so that the divorce has been going on he's been kind of raging at her right, and she finds this unbearable yeah, he's very sensitive you see As to how your father's temper affects her, her kids, well, he makes good money. It's a nice house.

[1:10:06] Yeah.

[1:10:08] I mean, I tell you this, and this sounds harsh. It could be unfair, but this is the way I view it in my gut, which doesn't mean I'm right.

[1:10:15] Uh-huh.

[1:10:16] If your mother took money from neighbors because they enjoyed the sight of their dogs biting you, that would be pretty horrible, right?

[1:10:26] Yeah.

[1:10:27] Hey, I'll give you 50 bucks. I just want to see my pit bull chew on your kid's legs for a few seconds. but how is that different from taking money from a man and a nice house and all he has to do is maul the kids from time to time.

[1:10:49] It's not that different.

[1:10:52] If she entered you into fight club for kids to make money that would be pretty repulsive right yeah but taking money from a man and, in a sense, in exchange, because if she'd said to your father, you cannot touch these kids and you certainly cannot call them names, that's absolutely unacceptable. You do that one more time, I'm leaving you, right? That might have actually helped. It might have, because as you said, when your father was younger, I was really struck by this, right? Sorry, I don't mean to say struck by things about your father. But when your father was younger, he was less angry. That's volatile, right? Less enraged?

[1:11:38] Yeah.

[1:11:38] Okay. So he might have been able, he might have gone to anger management. He might have, right, taken some therapy. He might have, like when he was younger, right?

[1:11:46] A little bit, yeah.

[1:11:48] Well, I mean, he got, as far as I understand it, Five to ten times more angry in terms of it went from once a month to sometimes daily, right?

[1:12:01] Yeah.

[1:12:04] So that could be five, ten, up to thirty times more angry, right?

[1:12:09] Yeah.

[1:12:12] Now, if you want to stop an addiction, it's a lot easier to start it, to stop it early, right?

[1:12:18] Yes.

[1:12:18] And so if your father has an addictive problem with anger, then if your mother had took a stand when you were younger, or if you'd have said to him, listen, you're a great guy, tall, handsome, whatever, but I can't marry you because of your temper. Like, you have to deal with your temper.

[1:12:41] Right? Yeah.

[1:12:44] What would have happened?

[1:12:47] Probably would have not been married.

[1:12:50] Maybe Or maybe Your father would have been like Oh gosh I really love this woman I'm going to have to go and Deal with my temper Yeah, But she didn't No, And the reason she would have done that, of course, is obviously she was attracted to your father. But she would have said that because she's like, listen, I can choose to marry a guy with rage problems, but I absolutely cannot bring children into that environment because they don't have a choice. I don't know. Maybe they have, I hate to sort of be, but maybe they have great makeup sex. Maybe she's really turned on by rage. I don't know, whatever weird stuff goes on in people's brains and loins. But you can't choose that for your children.

[1:13:57] Maybe some people find it very sexually exciting to get beaten with a whip, but you can't choose that for your children. So she would say, listen, I can't get married to you because I care about kids, I want my kids to be happy, and my kids will be too terrorized by your temper. So you're going to have to go deal with this if you want to marry me.

[1:14:29] Fear of Connection

[1:14:30] Now I feel like you've gone kind of rubber boats on me. I'm not saying you have. I'm just saying that's my experience. Because it's your life. I don't want to do all the talking, but tell me, so tell me, let me sort of check in here. Tell me what you're thinking and feeling.

[1:14:56] I guess I didn't fully realize how much, like how much my mom screwed up well.

[1:15:12] If it's any consolation we rarely do yeah I mean this I've said this before you've probably heard it like there's always one parent who gets away right yeah, why did your brother cut contact with her.

[1:15:46] Because she never took responsibility for herself through the marriage. It allowed us, it allowed my dad to punish us and rag on us without stopping it.

[1:16:13] And you and the reason i'm asking all of this in fact the whole hour 20 that we've been talking the reason for this is because as far as i understand it you very desperately need to have credibility with your brother right yes because your brother's marrying the wrong girl all right yes right so all of this is me working feverishly to try and give you credibility with your brother yes so why don't you have credibility with your brother.

[1:16:58] I guess because we don't we don't really talk about what happened.

[1:17:04] Right why doesn't he talk about what happened because.

[1:17:09] We weren't really, we weren't really allowed to.

[1:17:18] No you're adults you can do it now right why doesn't your brother talk about you I mean he talked about it with your mother right.

[1:17:28] No.

[1:17:29] So he just cut off your mother?

[1:17:32] Yes.

[1:17:33] Without talking to her and without even establishing whether she was going to take any responsibility at all? That could be, but it seems unlikely.

[1:17:46] Well, he still talks to her. He'll have dinner with her and stuff, but he won't.

[1:17:58] Oh, I'm so sorry. I misunderstood. I thought that you'd broken with your father and he'd broken with your mother. I'm sure that was my misunderstanding. So I'm sorry for that. Okay. So he hasn't talked to your mother and he hasn't kind of contact with your mother.

[1:18:12] No, he just, he still occasionally talk.

[1:18:17] I'll get it. So then your mother doesn't know that there's, oh no, but your mother says that there's a problem, right?

[1:18:22] Yes, but he's grown a lot more distant, but he'll still, I guess, say hi or have dinner, but won't talk about anything in depth.

[1:18:37] Now, have you and your brother talked much about your childhood?

[1:18:43] No.

[1:18:44] Why not? I'm not accusing. I made that sound. Why not? I don't mean that in an accusatory way. I'm just, I'm curious.

[1:18:54] Um... uh it just most of the time it it never occurred to me to ask like how he feels about it, and we don't really we don't connect on that we don't connect super emotionally we just.

[1:19:18] Okay but why not i mean i know why don't you talk about your childhood it's an emotional topic we don't connect emotionally but why not uh.

[1:19:25] I've been scared i'm scared to do it.

[1:19:29] Okay so that's listen i appreciate that that's very that's very blunt it's very frank and that's true right you're scared to do it and i i appreciate that and i sympathize with that so uh you know my next annoying question right why are you scared to do it i mean how do you know that your brother's criticism is of your mother that she doesn't take responsibility. Has he said that to you, or?

[1:19:57] No.

[1:19:59] Well, how do you know?

[1:20:04] I don't really know. I'm just kind of assuming.

[1:20:09] Oh, okay. So that's an assumption. Okay, got it. Kind of important to know. Okay. Okay. So, has your brother talked to you about you not talking to your father?

[1:20:26] No. Well...

[1:20:28] Does he know?

[1:20:30] Yeah, he does know.

[1:20:31] So, you said, I'm not talking to dad?

[1:20:34] Yes.

[1:20:35] Okay. And what did he say?

[1:20:38] Well, at the time, I was pregnant, so he said, you should probably tell... Like, you don't have to tell my dad, but you should probably tell grandma that you're pregnant. And that's all he said.

[1:20:53] Okay. so your brother is still in contact with your father right i know we're talking about one of your brothers like he doesn't exist but i think we just have to go with with one right yeah.

[1:21:07] Yeah he's still.

[1:21:09] Okay so he's still he's still in contact with with your dad and has no particular issues that you know of with your childhood like he's not said to you childhood was bad because of x y and z like you have you haven't talked about your childhood is that right.

[1:21:25] No we no we don't we haven't.

[1:21:30] Okay so how on earth are you going to expect to have any credibility with your brother.

[1:21:38] That's what I'm trying to figure out.

[1:21:40] Well have we come to some kind of answer.

[1:21:44] I guess we should start we should talk about it.

[1:21:48] Well you've broken off contact with your father which is a very big deal and your brother has said nothing about it. Which means that your communication lines are closed to anything except the most inconsequential nonsense, if I understand this correctly.

[1:22:08] Yeah.

[1:22:09] News, weather, updates, gossip, whatever, right?

[1:22:12] Yeah. Okay.

[1:22:16] So why would you have any influence on your brother when as the older sister, You have a significant influence, and certainly when you were younger, your actions defined the relationship, right?

[1:22:34] Yeah.

[1:22:34] Okay. So why won't you talk to your brother? You say, scared, I get that, but scared of what? And I'm not saying your fears are unjustified or unreal. I'm just curious. Like, what are you scared of?

[1:22:55] I'm scared that he will close me off.

[1:23:05] Nope. You already closed off. Try again.

[1:23:08] I'm scared that he will ignore me.

[1:23:14] He's already ignoring you? Try again. Like, you're already closed off and ignoring each other's experience, right?

[1:23:22] Yeah.

[1:23:26] I mean, say, well, why don't you try turning on that tap? Well, I'm afraid I won't get any water. Well, you're already not getting any water, so... Gotta be something else. Can I ask it another way?

[1:23:41] Yeah.

[1:23:42] All right. Who in your family has the most to risk if you and your brother get close and talk about your childhoods? Whose interests are going to be the least served if that happens?

[1:23:56] My parents.

[1:23:58] Yes, that's correct. You win the prize. Yes, that's correct.

[1:24:01] Family Dynamics

[1:24:01] Right. So what happens if you and your brother get together and talk about your childhoods?

[1:24:17] We see that our parents, both did terrible things to us.

[1:24:28] Okay. And that means that you're probably going to go have conversations with your parents, right?

[1:24:33] Yeah.

[1:24:34] Now, do your parents want you to have those conversations with them?

[1:24:40] No. Right.

[1:24:41] Right. Right. Because then you'll see, if it does happen, as happened with your mother in the roleplay, you'll see this kind of weasliness and avoidance of responsibility and manipulation and selfishness.

[1:24:56] Yes.

[1:24:58] I mean, imagine this, just to picture, because I'm not sure if I've made this point clear, and that my deficiency, not yours, right? Right. So imagine. I lose my daughter's tablet, which she draws on and so on, cares a lot about the tablet. Right. I lose my daughter's tablet, but then I convince her that she lost it. And call her careless and lazy besides. That would be pretty terrible, right? Yes Right I would be blaming my daughter For something I lost, Yes Now whether I lose her tablet or my temper Does it matter? If I lose my temper And I blame her for my loss of temper That's even worse than blaming her for the tablet Right? At least the tablet is just a physical thing She probably got a backup You know what I mean? Yeah, So, if I blame my daughter when I know that I've lost the tablet, I am... Continuing to burden her, particularly if I make it a moral thing, oh, you never take care of your things, you're just so careless, I've told you once, I've told you a thousand, whatever, right?

[1:26:27] Yeah.

[1:26:27] If I make the loss of that tablet a defining element of her fundamental flaws as a human being, when I lost it, that would be about as terrible a thing as you could do, right?

[1:26:41] Yes.

[1:26:43] Do you know what a burden it would be off her shoulders. If I were to confess at some point, I'm so sorry. I went kind of crazy there. It's absolutely wrong. I lost your tablet. You didn't lose it. You're not careless. You do take care of your things. It's my fault completely. Do you get a sense of what would be lifted off her shoulders?

[1:27:10] Yes.

[1:27:12] Now, she'd be mad at me, and she should be, because that'd be a terrible thing to do. But if I care about my daughter at all, I will tell her the truth.

[1:27:25] Yeah.

[1:27:26] That I lost her tablet, not her.

[1:27:29] Yeah.

[1:27:33] So if your mother, literally, this is like an hourglass in my brain, every single minute that your mother is awake, that she doesn't pick up the phone and say, that was on me, not you. She's having you struggle under this burden that she put on you.

[1:27:56] Yeah.

[1:27:57] No, you're not there. It's not a yeah thing. This is more of a thunderclap.

[1:28:03] Yeah. Right? Yes.

[1:28:07] She's having you carry the burden of the violence and dysfunction function that was done to you as a child, rather than taking ownership of it herself. She would rather her children carry the burden than she accept responsibility. She'd rather hurt you than take ownership. And continue to do so. and your father also let's not let him off the hook right every single moment of every single, waking day that your father is not picking up the phone and saying you know what i have a real problem with my temper i can really see this over the course of this divorce i was wrong and i called you names i lost my temper you weren't bad you weren't wrong that's a hundred percent me i regret it more than i can possibly express what can i do to make it better i'm gonna i'm gonna go to anger management. You never have to talk to me again. I'm going to go there. I'd love it if we could. I'm going to pay for you to do some therapy. I'm going to whatever, right? That would be to lift a burden, right?

[1:29:14] Yes.

[1:29:17] My father died never telling me that. My father, took this, absolution to me to the grave with him. My father at any time, I mean, the guy was retired for 20 years. He could have at any time phoned me up and said, the mess that was on your childhood was entirely upon me and your mother. You were responsible for none of it. You were an innocent victim. I'm so sorry. but he wouldn't do that. He would rather me carry the burden than him accept responsibility.

[1:30:12] Yeah.

[1:30:14] And it seems to me that that's what your parents are doing as well.

[1:30:21] Yes.

[1:30:24] And that's going to have an effect on your relationship with your daughter.

[1:30:30] Building Credibility

[1:30:31] yeah because we can't live two opposite ways right if I say go north and south at the same time you'd say I can't right, yeah if I say you as a parent are 100% responsible for your actions but your parents are not that's asking you to go north and south at the same time it tears you in two well more than two but, yeah But if you want to help your brother, and I'm moved beyond words that you do, and I think it's wonderful that you do, if you want to help your brother... You don't want to be like the parents of those teenage kids, right? Who barely talk to their kids and just snap at them to clean up the room and take out the garbage and do the dishes and do your homework and this, that, and the other. And then the parents like, gee, we haven't talked in a while. They sit down and say, okay, let's talk.

[1:31:29] Yeah.

[1:31:30] I mean, I went for a nice long brunch with my daughter today because it's really, really important to stay in communication.

[1:31:38] Yeah.

[1:31:40] But you don't just try and jam communication in at the end without credibility ahead of time.

[1:31:46] Yes.

[1:31:49] Like if your doctor says, hey, she's been a great doctor for like 20 years. Your health is great. She's always helped you avoid illness. And she says, ooh, you know, I've got your blood work. You should do this or that or the other. You'll be like, okay, right?

[1:32:04] Yep.

[1:32:05] You've had a great dentist. They say you need to floss the back. I still have my wisdom teeth, so I've still got to floss the back like crazy, right? I'm like one of a thousand adults who still has their wisdom teeth. So my dentist says floss in the back more. I'm like, you bet. Get a water pick. Get like a water sprayer. And yes, I absolutely like it because it's a good dentist, right?

[1:32:24] Yep.

[1:32:25] But if some guy on the street stops me and says, you're eating too many oranges, I'm like, okay, crazy person. Back away slowly, please.

[1:32:33] Yeah.

[1:32:34] So if you want your brother to listen to you, you have to have credibility, and you can't have credibility by serving your parents and avoiding them. conversations with your brother to appease your mother fundamentally because i don't think you care that much about appeasing your father anymore because you're not in contact with him, but your mother doesn't want you like you're afraid of talking to your brother because your mother's afraid of you talking to your brother and you don't want to displease your mother for reasons of you know we all have that i don't want to anger my parents too much because they might abandon me and i'm gonna die right that's our evolution right yeah but your brother i guarantee you, I can't guarantee you, sorry, I'd like to guarantee you that your brother, deep down, he instinctively knows that you're aligned with your mother at his expense. Because you, being in possession of the truth about your family, are now responsible, now responsible, right? This is why whoever increases in knowledge increases in sorrow, because you have a responsibility to lift the burden from your brother, right?

[1:33:43] Yeah.

[1:33:43] Because you know the truth about your childhood. at least the painful part, so you now have an obligation. And your brother, deep down, he knows you're going through this process. You've split with your father. He knows that. You've become a mother yourself. I'm sure there have been hints and bits and bobs dropped around here and there, so he knows you're going through a personal re-evaluation and an evaluation of your parents, and you're coming to some moral conclusions. So are you helping him with all of your knowledge?

[1:34:12] No. No!

[1:34:13] Why not? aren't because it would upset your mother and your father yeah so he doesn't want to listen to you, because you're still sacrificing him to appease your parents and i bet you it's not the first time that's happened no.

[1:34:32] No it's not.

[1:34:33] So you want him to listen to you you've got to show the value of your courage because you want him to do something courageous not marry the wrong girl you've got to model courageousness, right? If you want to be a personal trainer you can't be 300 pounds Yeah, And he's not going to believe you care about him if he knows you've been on this personal journey to understand the past and you haven't shared any benefit with him that I know of. Don't withhold from those you care about the benefits of the wisdom you've accumulated, in my humble opinion.

[1:35:33] Sharing Wisdom

[1:35:33] You do that.

[1:36:10] Is that an approach that you think might help?

[1:36:18] I think so. Yeah. gotta tell him.

[1:36:34] Right, because then the power of self-knowledge will become evident to him and the fact that you would be aligned with him and not your parents would give you credibility I think.

[1:36:50] Yes that would work hopefully Absolutely.

[1:37:00] So what do you think.

[1:37:00] Um i think, uh i should i should talk to him about how both our parents, did horrible things and how, I'm not aligned with either of them and I'm here for him him only and, don't want him to go down a bad path and end up, trapped, essentially.

[1:38:08] I think so. And, how are you feeling?

[1:38:15] Better.

[1:38:19] Good. Yeah, because it is very... I mean, you obviously care for your brother enormously, to your great credit, and I definitely want him to be able to, for you to have your say and have him listen yeah, is there anything else you wanted to talk about I don't want to you know take up your day I know your parenting got all of that but is there anything else that, um

[1:39:09] I don't think so.

[1:39:10] Okay will you keep me posted about how things are going and i really do appreciate your your time today yeah.

[1:39:19] I'll keep you updated.

[1:39:20] Yeah if you of course if your brother that wants to talk, I'm happy to help if I can. So if that's something that would be of value to him, you can just let me know.

[1:39:30] Yeah.

[1:39:31] All right. Well, listen, thanks a mill for the talk and do keep me posted and have a great rest of your day.

[1:39:37] Yeah, you too.

[1:39:38] Bye.

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