MY DAD STABBED ME WITH NEEDLES! Freedomain Call In - Transcript

Chapters

0:00 - Childhood in China
11:58 - Violence with Needles
13:47 - Cultural Comparison
41:40 - Living Arrangements and Host Family Selection
44:06 - Arrival in the USA and Language Barrier
48:11 - Challenges in School with Language Barrier
51:17 - Escalation of Pornography Use
57:20 - Influence of Father on Body Image
1:01:46 - Self-Sabotaging Behaviors and Lies
1:05:26 - Therapist's Approach to Self-Esteem Issues
1:08:46 - Impact of Childhood Abuse on Self-Esteem
1:15:00 - Realization of Unhappiness in Final University Year
1:18:53 - Deep Dive into Childhood with Girlfriend
1:20:20 - Importance of Discussing Childhood for Healing
1:20:52 - The Shame and Guilt of Inaction
1:31:25 - Confronting Moral Cowardice
1:41:36 - Reflecting on Relationship Dynamics
1:49:18 - Setting Boundaries with Abusive Parents
2:00:41 - Confronting the Past
2:07:30 - Unveiling Motives
2:14:14 - The Benefit Analysis

Long Summary

Stefan bravely opens up about his tumultuous upbringing, recounting instances of abuse and emotional manipulation at the hands of his parents. He shares harrowing stories of physical violence and emotional trauma, reflecting on the deep scars it left on him. Despite his attempts to seek closure and understanding from his parents as an adult, he is met with a lack of remorse or accountability on their part, leading to a complex maze of resentment and guilt as he contemplates reconnecting with them.

The conversation takes a poignant turn as Stefan engages with a caller who shares similar struggles of growing up with abusive parents. They compare notes on the paradoxical behavior of their parents, who exhibited pride in their children while subjecting them to abuse. Stefan's shock peaks when he learns of the caller's forced education abroad at a young age, sparking questions about the parents' questionable decisions and motives.

Delving deeper into his personal journey, Stefan recounts his challenges during a foreign exchange program and his battles with addiction and self-image issues. The influence of his father on his perception of attractiveness and struggles with forming meaningful relationships come to light, shedding a raw and vulnerable light on his past experiences and their impact on his present mindset.

As Stefan and I navigate through his tumultuous university years, he bravely confronts his self-sabotaging behaviors and unpacks his struggles with self-esteem and secrets. Therapy emerges as a crucial tool in his healing process, helping him differentiate between his own faults and the consequences of parental abuse, leading to a journey of self-discovery and validation.

We pivot towards a broader discussion on the societal silence around childhood trauma and the importance of breaking this cycle through open conversations and interventions. Stefan's personal narrative serves as a rallying cry for listeners to confront their roles in addressing child abuse and its long-lasting effects, underscoring the power of taking action and seeking growth from past pain.

The conversation transitions to Stefan's intimate struggles with relationships, detailing the breakdown of past romances and the complexities of his interactions with family members. His decision to sever ties with his mother and navigate a tenuous relationship with his father lay bare the emotional toll of grappling with strained family dynamics and making tough life-altering decisions.

Stefan's introspection into his parents' sudden interest in reconnecting prompts a profound discussion on the nature of relationships based on mutual benefit and self-worth. The dialogue delves into the significance of setting healthy boundaries in toxic relationships and prioritizing one's well-being for personal growth and fulfillment. It culminates with a powerful message of empowerment, urging individuals to champion their own happiness and well-being in all their relational interactions.

Transcript

[0:00] Childhood in China

[0:00] Yeah, so long story short, I was born and I grew up in China. And so when I was growing up, my parents were, they were always very, I would say like focused.

[0:18] It's probably not the right word.

[0:19] Given their behaviors. years um and they really like throughout all my childhood they compared me to you know all the other kids growing up and then my grades were always the worst and then they used that as an excuse to like always you know beat the fuck out of me actually and after that um i mean i'm giving like a summary so if you need any elaboration give me give me as much information as you feel as necessary i've i more is usually better sounds good sounds good so uh long story short um they felt like i so my grades were always terrible because i never really as a kid i never really saw any, purpose in studying, in learning, especially the stuff that they were teaching at the time. And then they sent me to the US at the age of 13, 14-ish.

[1:32] So I finished high school here in the the US, went to college here, got a job, and then I taught myself how to code. And, you know, over the years, I have been.

[1:52] I got a lot of, you know, I distanced myself a lot from my family because it just, you know, it's always been feeling like they wanted to, like they wanted to control me instead of, oh, you know, here's what's best for my kid. And i would you know and then i focus i focus on myself a lot over the years um that i've been in the u.s and um yeah so when i first got here i i didn't speak any english so i you know had problems making you know friends i had you know extreme difficulty in you know to socialize with people um so i actually locked myself in isolation for seven years so seven years i didn't have any.

[2:58] Meaningful friendships so like i actually one of my best friends right now i met in high school but then our friendship didn't really take off until i got a job um after school and And, yeah, so I struggled a lot with self-esteem. During the first few years, I was on my own.

[3:23] And, as you can probably guess, developed a huge porn addiction in those years. years. I also had a lying disorder because my self-esteem was so low, and then I always felt like I had to lie to make myself better, seem better to my peers. And then I just had I had a lot of problems that I was dealing with. And then my family was not around for any of that. And then now, I taught myself how to code. I...

[4:18] Worked on a lot of these problems i you know may i i i am capable to socialize now um i'm in a relationship so i i i have worked on a lot of these problems over the years so and i'm not like reliant on my family anymore uh and and now you know they are working their way back you know They want to be a part of my life, and now they're pulling a lot of, I would say, excuses to be like, oh, we look after you, we pay for your education, we spent all that money on you, and now you're turning your back on us, and how dare you, these things. I actually just had a, I actually just, so I have been in the U.S. On my own for 10 plus years now. And my mom just visited me for the very first time in December.

[5:28] And, yeah, we, so I thought it was a good idea to rent a cabin in, you know, in the mountains so then I could have some deep conversations with her. And my mom was nothing was nothing but slippery all the abuse we put you through wasn't so bad, you deserved it I mean I can get into the stories of what I'm talking about too and, everything that you said never happened it didn't happen the way that you remember you remember it wrong so she was like extremely slippery.

[6:11] So she just wasn't taking any accountability for what she did. And then my dad, I actually had a recent conversation with my dad. And I have been talking to my partner a lot about having a kid, right? And I told my dad, because my dad didn't have any problems spanking me. He beat the fuck out of me, from what I remember. And then he never had any problems yelling at me, yelling at my mom.

[6:58] So I told my dad in a phone call. All i was like if like as long as you still don't think that spanking and yelling at your kid is wrong you'll never see your grandchildren and then his like first reaction was his first reaction wasn't you know he didn't approach it with curiosity it was like are you threatening me like that was his first reaction and then immediately like he he didn't um he didn't approach what i said with um anything but hostility and yeah so essentially that's the position where um i'm at now well that's a lot and i of course sympathize with what happened to you as a child and i just want to make sure i know where to focus what's the most important thing or a couple of things you could get out of this conversation this evening um so the So if I should obtain a relationship with my parents, that's definitely one of them. And if so, what kind of relationship should I have with them?

[8:15] And I feel like that's the main focus I want to, or that's the main thing I want to get out of the call. And um yes because because right now um there's well i feel that there's some kind of a, um i feel like i feel like they are guilting me into you know into things and then on one hand i I feel like I should include them in certain aspects of my life. But then on the other hand, I feel a lot of resentment from what I went through as a kid. Well, I mean, not really what you went through, what they put you through, what they inflicted on you, right? Exactly. Okay. So your major issues are your father's, I mean, significant violence against you as a child. As you said, he beat the fuck out of you, right? Now, how did he beat you? Was it hand, fist, implements? What was it? So I can give you three stories that I, you know, or two stories right now that I can just remember.

[9:29] Remember um there was one time he so when i was i i think i was like eight or nine i um came home i learned a phrase in you know in chinese obviously um but the exact word for word translation was suck a dick so i didn't know what it meant you know as a kid you learned a phrase You know.

[9:53] Your peers said it. And it felt pretty cool. So I went home, said it to my mom, said good day. And my mom didn't react. Like, I remember very clearly, she didn't react. She just shut down. I assume she told my dad. My dad came home from work, just walked in, and then he slapped me. He kept slapping me until my face got so swollen The day after I went to school The teachers thought I got into a fight, And they didn't explain why They didn't explain why, period Sorry, how old were you? I would say around 8 or 9 Okay, and this was in a school that your parents had put you in, right? Yes Okay, so your parents sent you to school Where there were kids who taught you this phrase, right? Yep Okay, got it. So, I mean, they're causal in this, right? I mean, if they put you in an environment where, and they haven't told you or warned you about these sorts of dangers, they would be causal. They would be responsible for you having that phrase, right? Oh, totally. Okay, got it. So go ahead.

[11:04] Totally.

[11:05] I also confronted my mom about this exact thing this past December when she was here. And then she said, you know, at first she was like, oh, I don't remember what happened. And then she was like, oh, I don't, you know, it wasn't so bad. Like once I walked her through what happened, she was like, it wasn't so bad. And then she was like spanking was wrong but you cursed like that was the first that was the you know the last thing that you said i understand that spanking is wrong but you're cursed what does that mean like but but you cursed it like she oh but you curse sorry i thought it was your cursed okay you cursed got it she was like you know you um spanking was wrong but you cursed So that was the excuse that we used.

[11:58] Violence with Needles

[11:59] You know, that was the excuse enough for us to spank you. Okay, so in her moral standard, her moral hierarchy, using a curse word if you're eight or nine that you don't understand is really, really bad, but beating a child's face black and blue is good and the right response for that.

[12:22] Yes, yes. Yes, what in her mind it was. Like she was doing everything to get out of the situation. She was not wanting... Right, so you're 100% responsible for repeating a phrase that you don't understand, that you learned in an environment your parents sent you to. You're 100% responsible for that. But she and your father are not at all responsible for beating you up. Yeah, yeah, that's what she was saying. Like I said, it's true story. That's a very tasty moral relativism. Yeah, you know, eight-year-olds totally 100% responsible. Actual adults, yeah, eight-year-olds totally responsible for words they don't understand. Absolute adults totally not responsible for violence they inflate. Okay, got it. Yeah, and then the second incident, well, you asked me how my dad beat me, right? And then the second incident was that I am scared of needles more than people, especially as a kid, more than I would say anyone else that I knew because my dad used to scare me with needles. Sorry, what do you mean your dad used to scare you with needles? What does that mean? so so so okay uh they.

[13:47] Cultural Comparison

[13:48] When I was growing up, grades mattered a lot in all the families where I was from, where I'm from. And my dad, my parents really wanted me to study hard, get good grades, so then they could be proud. So, you know, they weren't thinking that, okay, what I could teach my kids, what I could, you know, what, what can I teach my kid, what useful skills I can, you know, teach my kid, you know, to, to what they can learn to be met, you know, to be a man. And then my dad, he always wanted me to just like not do anything, you know, extracurriculum. And then he just wanted me to like stay home to study. And then I hated studying. So I would always hide in my room and I would like, you know, save a few games on my device.

[14:56] And on my phone and then i would you know just play games when they when they weren't watching me but then you know the the result of that was my my grades were shit and then i was always like the last one in the entire class and then i was always the you know um uh uh so essentially Essentially, they felt, I think they felt humiliated by that. And then my dad would always, after seeing my grades at the end of the quarters or at the end of the semester, at the end of the semesters, my dad would call me to the living room. And then he would grab needles to sew. and then like sewing needles. And then he would like, I think he actually did poke me a few times where, you know, he drew blood. And then he, but like, he scared, you know, if I don't, I don't even know if I remember the whole situation, right? But he definitely scared me with needles. And where did he threaten to stick the needles? Your arm or your hand? Or I have this vision of some guy over your eyes, but I'm sure it wasn't that. But I mean, where did he threaten to stab you?

[16:22] Yeah my fingers it wasn't you know he was threatening pain so he didn't want to you know really damage you know my me um physically but then well he didn't want to you know he didn't want any permanent damage uh he wanted to um he wanted to register you know feared me i remember I remember growing up.

[16:49] He would always get mad when I said I wasn't scared of him.

[16:59] And so what's interesting was there was one time that the... So every time when my dad got extremely violent with me, extremely abusive with me, my mom was either in the kitchen or in her room or in the study room. She would not be there for the abuse and then there was one time the abuse got so bad I just ran away I felt like I had to take that anymore how old were you here? I would say 12 around there 11, 12-ish.

[17:40] And I ran away I actually did a few times but then the last The last time that I remember, I think it was around 11, 12. And then I ran away. And then my mom went to look for me. She found me at a friend's house. And then she brought me back to my dad. And I, you know, I also talked to her about that in December. And then she, and her reasoning was that she felt like, you know, I said to her, I was like, you were supposed to be the one, you know, to protect me, right? You were supposed to be the one that, you know, you knew what dad put me through.

[18:31] Do you were supposed to be the one you know you were supposed to belong that looked after me but you didn't you failed well I didn't say you failed but then you know I I said I said she was supposed to belong to look after me and, she she said she felt like she couldn't she wasn't gonna be okay just raising me me on her own.

[19:00] She said, has she left? I wouldn't... I'm sorry, is this stuff she said when you were an adult or when you were a kid? December. Sorry, December. December. Okay, got it. When you rented the cabin. Okay, got it. Exactly. When she was over here in the US. So, at that point, she was like, okay, had I left, you wouldn't have gotten the opportunities that you had. that you had, had I left, I wouldn't have been able to raise you. But this is all, oh my god, this is all such nonsense. Sorry, it's all false. Yeah, totally. Sorry, the reason I know it's false is that she's claiming to be some helpless victim of a violent guy. Obviously she chose him and all of that, but she told your father about the swearing, the curse words, right?

[19:53] She did.

[19:54] She didn't have to tell him, right? No. I assume that there were a significant number of times that your mother told your father about something you did or didn't do knowing, without a doubt, that he would assault you. Yes. I guess the needle thing was to do with the grades, so it's not like your mother could particularly deal with that, maybe, But so the idea that she's like, oh, gosh, well, your father is violent. But but boy, I had to stay because it's like, no, she she used his violence to attack you because she told him things that would cause the assault. So she's very much. Part of that machinery of abuse. Sorry, I just wanted to mention that. Yeah, yeah.

[20:45] No, that's a very good point.

[20:47] That's a very good point. And then, since we are here, the interesting thing is that my dad, I mean, obviously, I wasn't the only one that my dad assaulted in the family. I remember my dad beat my mom in 2016. So you know it's it's interesting that my mom still felt like you know well still said what she said uh back in december that and then and then and then my my my mom just never really, just wasn't able to you know stand up for herself and to leave and whatnot um i'm sorry is that your mother's story that she wasn't able to stand up for herself Yes. That's her narrative. Okay. Now, just to give me a sense of, it's not like I know a huge amount about Chinese child raising. How was the violence in your house relative to other kids around? Was it more, less about the same? So here's the interesting thing, right?

[21:59] I think less.

[22:04] I mean, I don't talk to my you know, the people that I know back home anymore. I mean, you know, I've been in the U.S. for a while and haven't gone back for a while. But, you know, growing up, it never felt like, you know, other kids went through what, you know, my parents put me through. But my parents, even in a call that I just had with my dad, my dad said, you know, other families would do the same things to their kids, if not more severe. So what I was experiencing growing up, what I was seeing growing up, and what my parents' narrative is right now are two very different realities.

[23:03] Sorry, so you got less beatings than the other kids around? Like your parents were less violent than the other kids around? Is that right?

[23:14] That's what they told me. No, no. I mean, I'm not going to believe your parents. They're child abusers. So what was your sense? Did anyone else, any of your kids ever talk about getting beaten or threatened with needles or anything like that? No my experience uh was that it was the other way around okay so listen just just for the record i don't care about your parents lies i'm just going to assume that everything they say is a lie, right because if you're willing to beat a child to the point where it looks like you got into a fistfight you're waiting to threaten and prick a child with needles for bad grades uh there's there's nothing you won't do morally right so yeah just just for the future like if i'm asking your question i i i i'm just going to assume everything about your parents is they're lying and i just want to know what what you think got it no i appreciate it no fine okay so yeah that was two two stories did i get the third um the third was was the belt my my dad always used to use his belt on me and every time, when he felt like he couldn't communicate so it didn't need to be anything.

[24:35] Specific, whenever he couldn't regulate his feelings he would use the belt and then he didn't drink he didn't do drugs it was just him No, it was just him. And how often would you get assaulted in this way? Um...

[25:00] I would say once a month and give or take, uh, yelling was a lot more, I would say yelling was, every close every day, but, um, but beating the bell was more so once a month. And when you were yelled at, was it mostly just raised voice, general frustration, or was it specific calling you names or that sort of verbal abuse names he called me a lot of names, and um yeah yeah he called me uh, i think i i think the worst thing he said to me was that i wish um you know i i I wish for someone, you know, smarter. You are, you know, just dumb. Yeah, like I wish you weren't my son and I had a better son, right? Exactly. Right, right. And of course, I'm sure in your head, it's like, well, I wish I had a better father, but here we are, right? Yeah.

[26:10] Okay.

[26:11] Okay, so verbal abuse kind of every day, physical abuse once a month, and does that include the needles? Uh, no, it doesn't. So. But the needles were when the grades came home. Was that a couple of times a year? Yeah, exactly.

[26:30] Okay.

[26:31] Now, why, I know this sounds like accusatory. I don't mean it that way. Why did you not study as a whole? Did you make the fatal mistake of asking why you were studying? Like, what was the point of anything that you were studying? Or why do you think that you didn't study? I didn't like it. I didn't like, I didn't like studying. And it no I get that I mean but kids don't like studying right that's in general kids don't like studying so and I'm not saying you should have studied I'm just genuinely curious why you didn't because obviously you're an intelligent fellow and, if you had studied you would have possibly reduced the violence at home gained your father's approval and you know of course I don't mean to over characterize the East Asian experience but you know the Tiger Mom stuff a lot of, A lot of Asian kids do end up studying to appease their parents, to please their parents. What do you think the difference was with you?

[27:30] I think, that's a very good question. I think I thought my parents would beat me either way. No, but you're a smart kid. You would have experimented with that. You would have tried to figure it out, right? right? You would have said, okay, well, what if I get really good grades for a month or two or three or whatever the grade sort of system is? Let's see if that happens, right? So that probably was something else, but I'm certainly happy to explore. Sure, sure, sure. Yeah, that's a very good question. Well, I think I did try very hard for like a few months and it just wasn't easy. I think.

[28:18] I'm sorry, you said you tried hard for a few months and didn't quite catch that, but it wasn't what? You know, the studying just wasn't in me. I just didn't have it in me. Sorry, you mean that you studied hard, but you couldn't learn what you needed to learn? Or you just couldn't maintain the studying? So I learned what I needed to learn.

[28:42] And then I got the results that my parents wanted. The abuse did decrease.

[28:53] Sorry, the abuse did decrease? It decreased, yeah. I'm so sorry to keep, it's not your accent, it's just that the audio is not great, so I just want to make sure I get the important words. Yeah, yeah, no, I appreciate it. Okay, so the abuse did decrease when you studied? Yes. So then why are you telling me three minutes ago that you figured that the abuse wouldn't decrease even if you did well? When you did well and it did decrease, I'm trying to sort of figure out what journey you're taking me on here. Sure, sure, sure. The severity didn't decrease. So whenever my dad couldn't regulate his emotions, he would still beat me. And then the frequency, though, would decrease because my parents… Okay, sorry. So yeah, they would beat you in part for getting bad grades, but that's not the only reason they beat you. But if you did well, then the beatings for the bad grades went away, right? Yes. That's right. Was that half the beatings or a third?

[30:05] How much did it go down? I would say a third to a fourth. A third to a quarter. Okay. Yeah. Okay. So then you went back to not studying, right? Yes. Okay. Okay. I mean, I have a theory as to why you didn't study.

[30:29] Go for it.

[30:30] You hated your parents. And you didn't want to give them the satisfaction of having a kid they could brag about. They're cruel to you. Screw it. I'll be cruel to them back and give them shame. I don't know if that's true. I mean, it's what popped into my head. Doesn't mean that I'm right. But that would be my first thought. That was my first thought. Yeah, that's... And they're such terrible parents that you don't want to give them the satisfaction of having a functional child. Like, when I was 13 or so, I took an adult computer science course and was doing really, really well. And I hated telling my mother I was doing well because she went and bragged to everyone about it. And, you know, this made her look like a good parent. And I knew that she was a terrible parent, So I didn't want to give her that satisfaction or that bragging. Yeah. I just dropped the course after a while because my mother was getting so much glorious pleasure out of it that I was like, no, forget it. I'm not doing this.

[31:50] I'm not making her look good when she's so bad. That's a very interesting and I think accurate idea because I didn't really start working on myself, until I was on my own here in the US. And then my relatives would tell my parents and then they would say to my parents, oh, how come your kid is doing well on his own when he wasn't, when he was living with you guys? Oh, yeah, so you get the one-two punch. One is I'll humiliate you when I'm with you and of course, particularly for Chinese parents, right? Their kids being last in class is like the worst thing known to man, right? Right. And so, and then you said that when you got to the States, you started to teach you what you taught yourself successfully, computer programming, which is, that's a big thing. That's a big thing to do. And again, I put everyone who listens to the top 1% of intelligence. So you're a very smart fellow. So you get the one-two punch. Number one, I'll humiliate you by doing badly when I'm with you. And number two, I'll do really well when I'm away from you. and that way I'll expose what bad parents you are.

[33:18] Yeah, yeah.

[33:23] The interesting thing is, though, it's their narrative that they did pay for my education when I was here in the U.S.

[33:32] And then they have been using, like, they have been holding it. I'm sorry, but you taught yourself coding. What was your education in? I was educating in a non-coding science major. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, so, and I went through school, graduated, and I was like, okay, you know, coding just makes more sense combining. I mean, I'm still, you know, in a field that I chose and just, you know, combining coding to study stats and, you know, analytics. Now, your father, though, while you were growing up, I assume repeatedly said that he wished for a smarter or better son, that you were dumb and this and that and the other, right? Yes. I assume you're taking a science course at, I assume, a fairly good or very good American university, and you're learning English too, right?

[34:37] Yeah. Yeah. So did they ever say, well, sorry we called you dumb because now we're pouring tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars into your education, which requires that you be incredibly intelligent so you can learn a challenging foreign language like English, as well as study at a good American university in a very tough field of the sciences. So we withdraw the insult that you're done because we're now giving you money based on the fact that you're very intelligent.

[35:11] No, they actually spun it around. They said, it's because we have been so proud of you. So we have been spending, you know, hundreds and thousands of dollars on your education. And then that's... I'm sorry, it's because I didn't get that. Because we're so proud of you? I don't understand. Yeah, yeah. They said, because you're our son, we have been so proud of you. No, but they weren't proud of you. I mean, they were insulting you and they were beating you and they were pricking you with needles because you got bad grades and calling you stupid and wishing that you weren't their son or your father said that. So what does that mean? We've been so proud of you. Didn't they insult you for most of your childhood? They did. Yeah. The interesting thing is that they just have been dangling the education they pay, my education they pay for, you know, over my head. And then they keep using it as leverage to say, OK. Sorry, before we get to that, help me understand, if you could, why did you leave China and come to the United States? I assume that the education in China would be a lot cheaper and there would be, well, no language barrier, right? So why did you go to the States for this very expensive education where you had to learn English?

[36:35] Personally, I didn't think much about it. I thought it was somewhere far from home, somewhere new. I thought it was somewhere to start. you know uh so maybe maybe this aligns with what you just said that i hated my parents and i just i genuinely just felt like, a strange a different you know culturally linguistically um no but you could have i mean china's a big place bigger than america right so there's places you could have got in china, that you would have gotten that distance. Sorry, go ahead. My parents would always keep me close and then they were really controlling. No, no, they're not keeping you close if you go into the States.

[37:32] Um so so so you're talk you're talking about you know my parents narrative now so their narrative was that if their narrative was that uh the western education was better than the eastern education and then they wanted they wanted to send me uh away for a few years to better my resume, uh to work on my education and then they and then they actually expected me to come home and then And, you know, the whole time. Hang on, hang on, hang on. So they sent you to America to learn science in English so that you could go back to China and speak, what, Mandarin or Chinese or whatever, right? So I don't quite understand that. Well, I mean, the language wasn't the goal. The language was just something that came with it. So science was, you know, was what they were aiming for, was what they were hoping you to achieve. you know, get out of. Why? Sorry, why like this very expensive big language barrier, other side of the world, why America and English and hundreds of thousands of dollars? I mean, there's science in China, science and education and so on.

[38:51] Sure. In my parents' narrative.

[38:54] I just couldn't get into schools in China because my grades were so bad. And they felt like I was going to fall through.

[39:06] And then I wouldn't have any fun.

[39:09] Okay, so they said that education in America was better than in China, but that the Chinese universities wouldn't take you because your grades were so bad, but I guess if they shoveled enough money at an American university, the American university would take you. Is that right? That's right. Right. Well, they actually sent me here when I was in high school. I was 14 at the time. I finished high school here. You were 14? Yeah. When you were sent to America to do high school without speaking English. That's right. Hang on, what on earth is going on? I mean, my daughter's 15. The idea that I would send her to China without her speaking Mandarin or whatever, for her to go to high school is completely incomprehensible. And I get they're not the best parents in the world, to put it mildly, but 14? Tell me, who did you live with? How did you survive? How did you pay bills? What happened? Yeah, so my parents pay all the bills, obviously, and that's what they have been holding it you know.

[40:19] Holding it on my head.

[40:22] And then I had a host family. No, no, no, just because you keep saying this, and I just want to be clear, they're holding nothing over you. You're holding it. They're holding nothing over you. You're holding it because they have no power over you. Right? They don't have any force power over you. I assume they're not paying all your bills right now. And even if they were, you could get a job. So they don't have any power over you. So they're not holding anything over you. And I just wanted to point that out. Because you keep saying that like it's a real thing. It's like saying, oh, my mother, she's guilting me. or she's making me feel guilty. It's like, no, she's not. You're choosing to believe her narrative and maybe that makes you feel guilty, but your mother can't do anything. Your parents can't hold shit over you. That's your job. Like if you holding something up and saying my parents are making me do it from the other side of the world looks silly, right?

[41:24] Yeah, yeah. So I just really want to be clear on that because you, I mean, maybe you're using that from their standpoint, but you know, you keep talking about but how your parents are holding the money that they spent on your education over you. No, no, you're doing that. They don't have the power to do that. You have to do that.

[41:40] Living Arrangements and Host Family Selection

[41:41] But, okay. So, so who did you, who did you live with? I had a host family and that came, that came with a school. So the program that I went to had, you know, some kind of a foreign studies, you know, um program where where you know foreign kids foreign exchange kids would go to and then they would have a host family then they would stay with a host family while you know doing their classes.

[42:17] And, yeah, that's just where I learned English, really, and where I lived. And how was the host family chosen? Were they a Chinese host family or white? How does that – I don't really know. Is this an exchange thing? Did someone go to your family? Oh, so the family chosen – I think how the program worked, was that they would put out flyers at the school, and then students that went to that school, and then they would bring the news to their parents, and then their parents would decide whether or not they want to accept a foreign exchange kid.

[43:04] And then they would sign up to host a foreign exchange student.

[43:13] Student, um, and, and, and, and, and all the families, you know, all the host families from that program were, uh, would be like, you know, the families of the students that went there. So I guess like they chose the families, you know, locally at a school. And what benefit did the family get for putting you up from 14 to 18?

[43:39] I guess just, you know, money, just rent. Oh, okay. So it wasn't really a host. I mean, they were landlords in a way, right? So they would get paid for your room and board. Exactly, exactly. And to answer a previous question, my host family was American. So I didn't know why. So your host family, I assume, didn't speak your language? No. So how were you... I mean, I guess you studied English before you came over, or...? No, I didn't.

[44:06] Arrival in the USA and Language Barrier

[44:06] So you came off the plane not speaking a lick of English and your host family didn't speak your language at all? That's right. Okay, this is all completely crazy to me, but, you know, just what do I know, right? Okay. All right, so you stay with this family. Now, did you go home for the summers or did you stay in America? The summer, the first two I did. The second, the third one I didn't. Every time when I went back home my dad and I would fight I mean not at that point not physically anymore just verbally and then, it got so bad to the point where I just didn't want to head back anymore.

[44:58] Do you have siblings? No. Only child. Was that a policy thing? You don't have to tell me how old you are. Was that like a one-child policy thing, or was that after that? No, it was during. So I think it was a policy thing, yeah. Okay. Okay, got it.

[45:17] And how was your socializing from 14 to 18 or 17 in the American high school? Zero. No, I locked myself in isolation. I can't, I mean. But this was part of the seven year thing, was it? Or was that part of the seven year thing? It was part of the seven year thing. So the seven year thing was like 14 to 20, 21? That's right. That's right. Okay. So, but you had a host family, didn't they encourage you to get out and chat with people or at least with them? Uh so the so i had two host families the first one i felt you know i just didn't feel um it was somewhere it was somewhere i belonged and then on top of the language barrier i think They were very, um, they didn't, they didn't help me at all. And on top of that, they made a lot of comments, um, that I, that I understood at the time about me. Um, and.

[46:35] I think comments about, you know, oh, you know, this damn kid speaking, you know, Chinese all the time, even though I was like working really hard to, you know, learn the culture and the language. And then I took, at that point, I already took studying very seriously. And then they were like, oh, you know, this damn kid always like, you know, he was always in his room. He didn't talk to anyone. They weren't encouraging me to socialize. They were criticizing me not to socialize. And then every time when I did, I felt like I was just less than my peers because of the language barrier. Barrier because everyone just had guidance in terms of what they wanted to do with their lives, especially in high school. Some kids wanted to go to great universities. Some kids wanted to play sports. I had nothing. So I felt like I was less, but then they were criticizing me not to. and I felt like the criticisms made me, stay in isolation more.

[47:57] So, no, they weren't helpful at all.

[48:02] So, was it just for the money for them? Yeah, it was just the money. And this was paid for by your parents? Yeah.

[48:11] Challenges in School with Language Barrier

[48:12] How on earth did you survive in school with such a language barrier? I wasn't. So the first year, I had to translate everything using a translator, and I was still failing. Some of the teachers were really nice. They understood what I was going through. I went to a Catholic high school, and then I had to take theology. And I remember specifically the theology teacher was really nice, and he was like, don't worry about it. And then he just passed me. And with other classes, I mean, I was always good with science classes, and that's how I made it through. Yeah.

[49:15] Okay, but no dating, no dances, no hanging out with friends, you just hid in your room. Is this when the pornography addiction started, or was that later? It was later. Pornography started in, I would say right after high school. I would watch when I was in high school, but it wasn't severe compared to how I was in college. I don't know what severe means. I'm sorry to be asking these questions, and you don't have to talk about anything you're not comfortable with, but I don't know what severe means. Uh severe okay that's a very good question because severe means to me that the porn at that point was something that i used to escape um negative feelings from so anytime when i felt rejected anytime when i felt um defeated especially you know feeling defeated um Every time when I felt hopeless, I would turn to porn for a cheap shot of dopamine. And in high school, I guess I didn't really have a...

[50:42] Plan when it comes under, you know, the future just wasn't that stressful to me at that point. I'm sorry, the future wasn't what? Wasn't as, wasn't that stressful to me at that point. Okay, got it. So in university, it became more a drug, like emotional self-regulation? Exactly, exactly. Okay. And so how many hours a week would you estimate you were doing this?

[51:13] I used to every day, sometimes three times a day.

[51:17] Escalation of Pornography Use

[51:18] I don't know. I can't give you an exact number in terms of how many hours a week, but it was like an everyday thing. It was just like something that I needed to escape my feelings of worthlessness from and and my feelings of, you know, of defeat from. Well, okay, so, and sorry, the addiction, I assume it's resolved to a large degree, if not entirely, and how long did that last? Was that part of, no, it wasn't when you were in high school, it was later, right? College and after? Yeah, I started in high school, but then it wasn't, it became more like it became worse like you know three times a day in college and did it turn dark or did it remain somewhat vanilla.

[52:17] Define dark well you know I don't know I mean bondage or torture or I don't know whatever grim stuff is out there, well I would say I would say you know if we had to put a scale on it right let's say let's say vanilla is like one and dark is like 10 I would say I was around four to five.

[52:41] Okay, got it. And what about dating or girls, or I assume that didn't happen much in high school, but what about after or in college? Uh no so i so uh there were you know there were there were girls that i would, talk to um and then i always i would always end it i would always end up feeling um that i was you know less right and then i would and then and then there was a series of, and then and then came a series of self um you know sabotaging behaviors like you know, being too anxious and you know those those things and um and what was your perception of your physical attractiveness over this time period we're talking about late teens early 20s or another time period? Yeah, late teens, early 20s. Yeah, so did you feel attractive, or were you overweight, or was there something about your appearance or more than one thing that you disliked, or how did you feel in terms of attractiveness? Yeah, so how I felt and how I was were two very different images.

[54:03] How I felt, I felt like, I mean, I was really skinny at one point, and I put on some weight. Uh how i i i started at 145 and then i worked out one summer i started working out my freshman year in college and then i put on some weight got to like 155 and then at some point i got to like 160 um i didn't it's like i didn't look bad but i felt bad i felt like you compared to other kids, I was not attractive at all. And what did you feel was unattractive about you?

[54:49] I compared a lot. So I would always compare myself to people that were bulkier, I guess, people that were bigger. And I would feel like, oh, shit, my abs don't look like that. You know my arms don't look like that and then my triceps aren't as defined so so so these things and then and then these things would slowly like uh weigh in on me and then they and then and then yeah so and then and at the end of the day i would just feel very bad and then it just felt like i worked really hard to put on weight and then i was still not attractive, and attractive to you would be like abs and triceps and biceps and chest muscles and stuff like that at that point yes and why do you think the body aspect of attractiveness was so strong for you what was there someone who influenced you in that way or like when i was a kid the, i think it was the movie rocky uh was was sort of very big on and muscles, and that sort of was a big influence. Was there something that drew you into that world of abs and muscles? Um...

[56:15] I actually, yeah, I actually thought about that. And I think it was because of my dad would comment on, like when he beat me, he would say things like, well, when he beat me, I would resist.

[56:37] Resist and then i would and then when i resisted he would say oh you know if you want you know if you want to like you know overthrow me or if you want to you know defend yourself you need to like, put some weight on you and then you need you know you're still too weak at this point, um i think that was why and uh i remember there was one year i was i was in college um at that point there was one year i went back i wanted to work out and then my dad i i still stay with my dad that year i think i think it was like the last time that i went back home actually um Um.

[57:20] Influence of Father on Body Image

[57:20] My dad would, would, would, would try everything he could to not get, like, to not let me work out, like to just, we're talking about finding a gym membership. And then he tried everything in his power to just, you know, not let me do it. Okay. So, and I guess because you felt physically vulnerable and you were beaten up by your father maybe muscles were like a protection against yeah potential physical risk or whatever and were you bullied at all in in high school oh you just saved your room right so yeah yeah right okay and what happened in terms of girls in university um Um, so, uh, I'm trying to come, I'm trying to think of us, you know, an example right now, I think girls, uh, would, there were a few girls that would show me, you know, signs of interest. And then I would have like a, I would feel, I would, you know, it was a moment of refreshment.

[58:48] I guess, like, oh.

[58:50] There are people actually, you know, would appreciate me. me, and then I would really want to talk to them. And then the more I wanted to talk to them, the more they pulled away.

[59:07] And this is sort of the awkwardness that you were talking about before? Yeah. Okay, so you didn't know how to talk to girls. And was there a girl that you found attractive from a personality standpoint or anything like that? Or was it mostly physical attraction? Or what was it going on for you at that time? I think it was having someone, you know, we're not talking about personality or even, you know, appearance. I think it was just having someone to listen, to talk to, and then I didn't have anyone. But I assume also with the girls, you couldn't exactly talk to them about your childhood very much, right? No, no. But this is the thing, when you've been brutalized as a child, you have this great and terrible secret that you got to hold on tight to, and that secret keeps you distant from everyone else, right? You can't be yourself. You can't talk about what you really think and feel. You can't talk about your history. You can't talk about your parents. You can't talk about your life. Everything's awkward. It's not like you've got some awkward thing.

[1:00:11] You know like if if i'm running if i'm walking down the street and some anaconda drops on me and starts to wrap itself around me i'm going to do this weird dancing and people if they can't see the anaconda it's like is this guy having a seizure what what's going on why is he doing this weird break dancing shimmy jive right and because they can't see the snake right so you look weird to other people but it's not because you have some sort of weird anxiety thing it's just because Because you've got all these things that you can't talk about, but they're constantly on your mind. Sorry, can you repeat the question? Well-

[1:00:50] I wasn't really a question as much as a comment, which was that you said it was awkward or self-sabotaging behaviors. I wouldn't characterize it that way. I would say that you live with secrets in a world that doesn't want to hear them. I see. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I thought the last sentence got cut out for a little bit, so I thought it was… Yeah, that's what I was talking about. Yeah. So did you date any girls even briefly in university? No, no. I was struggling with porn and a lying disorder. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I assume that the pornography, I mean, could be, I don't know, something that that reminds you how important women are. I don't know. But tell me a little bit about the, did the lying stuff show up in dating or in attraction to girls?

[1:01:46] Self-Sabotaging Behaviors and Lies

[1:01:47] I guess you lied about your past, your history. Like, what were you lying about? Were you lying with regards to girls or in other ways?

[1:01:56] Other ways. I mean, girls too. So pretty much, it wasn't specific. It was the lies were there to make myself appear year as more, uh, attractive and interesting to other people. Um, sorry, what would you say? I would say my weekend was so interesting. We went, we went, you know, we went camping and then this like crazy thing happened and then I would, you know, and then, and then I would, um, and then Then we did X, Y, and Z to solve the problem while I stayed in my room all weekend. So things just completely changed.

[1:02:43] Random, actually. Right. And then, of course, anybody who's perceptive will figure out that you're lying pretty quickly. And, you know, if they don't have any particular stake in you, they would just avoid you, right? Oh, totally. Totally. Okay. Makes sense. All right. And then you graduate. And then what happens? And then I graduated. um actually let's talk about the last year uh or the last semester of my college uh of of my college you know career uh uh at that point i started looking for a job and i just realized you know i i realized how messed up my life was um it it was very Very interesting because I didn't know because I wasn't socializing, right? I didn't know what normalcy was. But then it just felt like something wasn't right. You know, it felt like I was in a lot of pain. It felt like I was just not happy. And sorry, when was it that you started listening to what I do?

[1:03:55] Just a few months ago.

[1:03:57] Actually, my partner introduced you to me. Ah, okay, got it. Okay, so you began to get a feeling that stuff was off in the last year of university, and what happened then? Ah, and then I... And then I started just reading and I had a therapist.

[1:04:24] Actually.

[1:04:25] Sorry, I forgot this detail. I had a therapist my first year of university and then she pointed out things about my lying. And then I noticed it about me but it didn't what did she point out? She pointed things out you know things that I would lie about and things, and things what usually people would lie about and then what I lied about and we discussed why I felt the need to lie, right so what did she actually point out about your lying she pointed out that you were lying and then the why but what did you get out of her conversation about the source of your lying sure uh that my self-esteem wasn't um.

[1:05:26] Therapist's Approach to Self-Esteem Issues

[1:05:27] That i had a lot of you know uh yeah yeah i get that you lied to make up for a lack of achievement and self-esteem and so on but did she talk about the source like why you would do that, or just that, you know, well, clearly you're lying because you're making up for something. Well, of course, right? That's pretty obvious. Sure. But what was the conversation about the source? And the reason I'm curious about this, of course, is that did you work with source family trauma? Did you work with what happened with you as a child in your therapy? Yeah, yeah. No, it wasn't. No? No, we didn't talk about the source of the trauma. But why?

[1:06:12] Good question. What happened was that? Because otherwise, why, like, what was her, what was the, why, sorry, I'm just rebooting it a little here. What was the story as to why you would have this low self-esteem and this lying, like, were you just, you just made bad choices? You were just a bad guy? Like, what was the source of all of this lying and so on in your therapist's eye or in the exploration with your therapist? Yeah, I mean, the source that we concluded at that point was just, I got a terrible self-esteem, and I had to lie to make it up. Yes, but why would you have a terrible self-esteem? That's the important question, isn't it? Well, that I didn't find out until, you know, at the end of my college career. Well, hang on. No, no, sorry. Okay, sorry. How long did you see the therapist for?

[1:07:07] A few months.

[1:07:07] A few months. Okay. So I'm sure the therapist would know that our self-esteem is generally forged in our parents' esteem of us, right? That's generally the place where we start, right? We did not talk about my parents. Didn't talk about your childhood.

[1:07:28] So okay. So you had these bad habits for no reason whatsoever, and you just needed to fix them? Was that the general therapy? Yeah, yeah. She gave me a solution, not lying. I mean, it's bad for you, right? The reason that we have to talk about childhood, in my view, I'm not a therapist, right? But the reason we would have to talk about childhood is so that you don't feel like there's just something wrong with you. Yeah, well, I constantly felt like there was something wrong with me. Right, and what's wrong with you is you're not placing the blame for your dysfunctions on your parents. So you have to take it on yourself. I don't understand how you help someone with low self-esteem by pretending that all their problems are just their fault or their choices. Doesn't that reinforce their low self-esteem? Whereas if you say, look, you were really brutalized by your parents, then you're a victim, and therefore you're not the author of your own dysfunction. I mean, you have to fix it as an adult, but you didn't cause it yourself.

[1:08:34] Like, if some guy gets stabbed in the back, right, and then he's walking along with his shoulders hunched over, do I just say to him, man, you've got really terrible posture, you should straighten up, man, that's bad for you?

[1:08:46] Impact of Childhood Abuse on Self-Esteem

[1:08:46] Like would it be important for me to notice the knife sticking out of his back and maybe deal with that i don't know i'm sorry just it's not the best analogy but i hope it makes some sense oh no no it makes a lot of sense uh no at that point uh at that point i still felt like you know i terrible self-esteem um and then i but accurate self-esteem in the eyes of your father.

[1:09:13] What you felt about yourself was what your father had told you for 20 years was the case.

[1:09:20] Yeah. Right. Okay. And the only counter to that is to really feel your anger against your father. That's how you repel or push back the invasive thoughts about stupid, dumb, wish you weren't my son, all of that terrible stuff. The only counter to that, the only anti-venom, the only resistance to that is anger, but anger towards the father is dangerous, right? Yeah, that's very interesting. That's a very interesting thing that you brought up because, you know, growing up, my parents would, and then that, you know, enforces what you said about me hating my parents. Uh growing up my parents would beat me and well they would yell at me first and then i would always talk back and then my parents would always use that as an excuse to escalate the conflict and then and then they would be like oh how dare you get angry because anger would get you beaten more that's the thing i always got angry so like the more you know they they would always beat me more and then every time when they yelled at me when they initiated the conflicts i would always talk back. I would always get angry with them. So the signs of me hating them were always there, actually.

[1:10:44] So I just wanted to bring that up because I figured it was a very interesting thing that you said, you know, something about my anger. Okay, but you're calling me, I believe, I don't want to jump to the end here, but you're calling me because you're not angry enough.

[1:11:05] I don't know what boundaries I should, or if there's any, I should keep it. Oh, no, you absolutely know. No, no, don't even try. Sorry, you haven't listened to many of these call-in shows, but no, you absolutely know. Like, there's no doubt. You're an intelligent fellow, and you have decades of experience with your family, with your parents. You absolutely know the boundaries. You know everything that needs to be known. You may not believe me right now, but you'll believe me by the end, I guarantee it. So, but that's fine. We can wait for that. But yeah, you absolutely know. You're not calling me because you don't know. You're calling me because you want confirmation and you want clarity. And this is true for just about everyone who calls me. They're not calling me because they genuinely don't know something. It's because deep down they know exactly the thing, but they need external confirmation and evidence, right? They need a hand from the outside because they're lost on the inside, right? And that's true of me when I talk to people as well. So it's a natural part of human life. So anyway, sorry, it's a little bit of a teaser. We'll get there over time. So what happened? You did the therapy and this was towards the end of your university?

[1:12:18] No, I did the therapy during the first year of my university. But then I didn't really work on my problems until my last year of my university. Did the therapy, I'm going to say I assume the therapy didn't work, but you can tell me if that's true or not. Did the therapy work or help you in this way? I don't think so. No, of course not. I felt listened to, and then honestly, that felt really good at that point to me. Sorry, what felt really good? Being listened to. Yes, yes. Yes, although you weren't being asked much. No. So you were talking, but you weren't being asked much, i.e. about your childhood. Okay, so that therapy didn't particularly work. And then I want to make sure we get roughly to the present. So you were going to say something to me about the last year of university? Yeah, yeah. So that's when I started realizing my problems. And that's when I found myself being unhappy, and that's when I didn't want to keep channeling. I constantly felt like, oh, if I work hard enough, people will recognize me. My problems. That's interesting. My problems.

[1:13:45] So you're still identifying the problems as you? Yes. Yeah. I mean, if someone stabs me, I have a stab wound. Right. But I clearly am the victim of an attack.

[1:14:01] So I wouldn't just say it's my problem. I got stabbed. I mean, I have to deal with the stabbing because some asshole stabbed me. But it's not just my problem. Like, it's self-contained. I didn't stab myself. I didn't go out and try to get stabbed. I didn't go yelling at people in biker bars. I didn't go and cheat a casino. I didn't try it. I mean, some guy just jumped out of the bushes to stab me. If you say that's just my problem, it's like, well, what about the guy who stabbed me? Isn't he the source of the problem? I mean, I have to deal with that, but it's not just my problem, if that makes sense.

[1:14:37] Are we talking about the narrative? I'm just talking about the language that you said around that you started to realize that you had to deal with your problems, like they're just isolated from your history or your parents or your environment or the fact that you were beaten around the face, that you were beaten with a belt, I assume, for at least 10 years straight. So that's 120 beatings with a belt.

[1:15:00] Realization of Unhappiness in Final University Year

[1:15:00] And maybe 30 or 40 threatening with needles and so on, and psychological torture and sadism and cruelty and screwed up psychotic shit of almost every description. Yeah, well, you know, if someone stabbed you and then you got a wound from it, and then that's still your wound, right? And then it's up to you. No, no, no, it's not. No, no, no, no, it's not my wound. No, no, no, no, no, no, it's the stab. He owns the wound. If I stab myself, it's my wound. It's the stabber's wound. He owns it. That's why he goes to jail, because he owns it. He did it. He owns the crime. He owns the hole in my body. That's why you get restitution. That's why you put people in jail, because they own it. Like, the issues when I was abused as a child, that's not me. I don't own that stuff. They're not mine. The wound from the guy who stabbed me, that's his wound. He owns that wound. It's true that I have to deal with it, but it's his wound. It's not me.

[1:16:03] Sure.

[1:16:04] Sure. So they're not your problems. They're scar tissue from massive amounts of psychological and physical assault and wounding. They're your parents' problems. Do you see what I'm saying? They're not your problems. They're your parents' problems inflicted on you as a helpless and dependent and totally trapped little boy.

[1:16:30] Yeah. Totally. your parents fucked up, and abused you. And yeah, you've got to deal with the after effects of that, but that's not just you. Like you are self-contained with these problems. And the reason I'm saying all of that is I don't want you to isolate yourself with the problems in the same way that you isolated yourself in that room or rooms for seven years. The low self-esteem is thinking that somehow this is you. No, this is just, you know, this is just the wounds that you have to deal with, but they're not your wounds. They're your parents' wounding. Because otherwise, who are you going to get angry at? Yourself? That's not going to help. And it's false. I mean, epistemologically, it's false. I'm going to get angry at the guy who stabs me randomly because he's an asshole who stabbed me. That wound belongs to him. I'll deal with it. I'll go and get the stitches and I'll go and get the rehab or whatever it is but I'm angry at the guy who stabbed me because it's his wound he owns it.

[1:17:44] I don't want you to be isolated in this and just view yourself like you're just in a hall of mirrors with your problems. Yeah, yeah. Sorry, I know this is kind of esoteric, but my problems was like, no, no, no. That's, you know, if you stab yourself, you own that stab wound, but if somebody else stabs you, that's their wound. Yeah, no, I appreciate that. It was just something that I had to struggle with a lot. So I guess intrinsically, I just processed it. You know, everything is, oh, it was something that I had to deal with. So then they were my problems. Well, because you're not getting help from outside, it's hard for you to see the hurt from outside. I mean, who has, you've got a partner, a girlfriend, I think you said you were thinking about, yeah, you were thinking of a baby. So who has, over the course of your life, you've been alive a couple decades now, Now, who in your life has asked you deeply about your childhood, where you came from?

[1:18:53] Deep Dive into Childhood with Girlfriend

[1:18:53] My girlfriend. And it was actually one of the first few things that we talked about.

[1:19:01] Right. Okay. And she was already a listener of mine. Is that right? Yeah. Okay. Okay. So, outside of your girlfriend, is there anyone who has ever asked you much about your childhood and what affected you growing up? No. Right. Do you know why the world doesn't do that? Because, I mean, it doesn't. It doesn't do that, right? No, it doesn't. And oftentimes, it's looked down upon, right? So why do you think the world doesn't do that? I mean, why do we talk about the weather and sports ball and politics and the price of things and television shows and all sorts of nonsense? Why do you think we don't have actual honest conversations about where we came from and what has affected us?

[1:20:03] Is it because we rely on our parents to survive and then suddenly it's like a safety net kind of thing? And then once that's gone, it's… Oh, no. It is absolutely dangerous to not talk about these things. It's not safer.

[1:20:20] Importance of Discussing Childhood for Healing

[1:20:21] Right. So to not talk about these things, to not have a frank and open discussion about what happened to us growing up, and it puts us usually in a situation of repetition. So if a woman was beaten up by her father and watched her mother get beaten up by her father, the odds of her ending up in a violent relationship, if she doesn't process that, if she doesn't deal with it and talk about it and feel it, it's much more dangerous to not talk about these things because we end up in the same situation so often, right? Sure.

[1:20:52] The Shame and Guilt of Inaction

[1:20:52] Then I don't know why, actually. That's a very good question. Well I don't know why either but in my experience and I've you know by this point had thousands of these kinds of conversations but each one is unique just so you know so it's not it's not repetitive to me but it's a shame and it's guilt, so the shame is everybody knows a kid who's being hurt, everybody everybody knows a kid who's being hurt or has known a kid who's being hurt Or they strongly suspect of being hurt and so on. And they don't do anything about it. So they don't want to talk about childhood pain.

[1:21:37] Because they didn't do anything to help a child who was being abused. Look, I'm sure when you grew up in China, there were neighbors, extended family, your friends, parents and so on who had some significant indication that you were being abused. So, for instance, you ran away at the age of 12 or so. I think 14 was more successful. And your father found you at your friend's house, right? Yeah. Well, my mother found me and then she brought me back. Right. So your mother found you and...

[1:22:12] So your friend's parents would have very clear indications that you were in deep shit, that you were in real trouble as a kid, right? Totally. Right. Did they do anything? No. No. Nothing. Right. So they don't. And I'm sure that there were probably dozens of people over the course of your childhood who had clear indications that you were being abused. Friends, teachers, family, extended family, parents of your friends, and so on, right? So there were dozens and dozens of people, all of whom knew you were being abused or had strong, or could just ask you, could just ask you the damn question, how are things with you at home? And you'd say, I mean, it might take a couple of times, it might take a couple of tries, but at some point you'd say things, it's hell, it's hell. Yeah. Right? So nobody asks, right? So they have a lot of shame and guilt about their failure to act. And they avoid that about themselves because everyone likes to think of themselves as a brave and moral and good and kind and decent person. And it's almost always a total lie because people let children be abused all around them all the time.

[1:23:32] Why do you think they don't, well, why do you think that my friend's family didn't stand up for me? Why do you think that people don't, you know, step in in these kind of situations?

[1:23:44] Well, because they're frightened and they also may be guilty themselves of mistreating their own children. Probably not to the same degree, but to some degree. But they're frightened of your father. Because your father might be able to make life difficult for them, right? He might spread negative rumors about them. He might, they don't know how crazy he could get. Maybe he would let the air out of their tires or cut their brake line. Or, you know, they're just, they're worried about blowback. They're worried about... What might happen if they talk, right? They sit down and say, look, what's going on in this household, man? This kid seems really terrified, and he ran away from home, and there must be something going on here that's not good. So there's usually a lot of shame.

[1:24:37] About all of that. And the problem isn't that people don't intervene. I mean, that's a big problem for the kid, but the fundamental problem is that that they lie to themselves about it. So people say, oh no, I'm a good person and I do the right thing and I'm competent to instruct my children about right and wrong and good and evil. But they're not because the big test of morality is what do you do.

[1:25:08] When you have reason to believe a child in your environment is being abused? What do you do? And if you do nothing then you're a coward and it's shameful and it should be shameful, and you have no moral right or competence to instruct your own children and people don't want to look in the mirror and say, well I guess I'm just someone who's an adult who's scared of child abusers and therefore, I'm going to let poor little you You, as a kid who's 12 or 13 or 8 or 5 or whatever, I'll let the kid deal with it. I'm not going to deal with it at all. You go home and deal with your insane father and your evil father. You go home and do that. I'm not going to lift a finger. Off you go, back to the abuser. Can you imagine if your friend's parents had said to you, you've run away, tell me what's going on?

[1:26:14] What what's happening and and if they had got the information out of you that your father was physically torturing you and beating you up and psychologically abusing you which is really some of the worst stuff i think i told them actually yeah i think i tell them well yeah i mean one of the logical questions you ask to someone sleeping over at your place you know why are you here yeah exactly exactly like like you know what's going on you know like are you just hanging out with my son, you know, what's going on? And I think I did tell them. So you told them that you were being physically tortured, psychologically abused, violently assaulted, right? Yeah, yeah.

[1:26:56] So they could, again, I don't know the laws in China, I assume that torturing your children with needles is not allowed, right? Yeah. Okay. So they could have called the police, they could have called whatever the equivalent is of Child Protective Services, or they could have just said to your mother, no, he's not going home with you. Yeah. Because you all need to get some help because there's this level of violence going on in the family and we can't let him come home with you because he's a child and is in need of protection. And if you bring him home, his father is going to beat him, right? And that is what happened, right? Yeah. So can you imagine such a thing? As the parents saying, no, we cannot send a child, an innocent child, home to a certain beating and more physical and psychological torture. Like, you understand, threatening children with needles and drawing blood and so on.

[1:27:59] It's fucked up, yeah.

[1:28:00] Well, it's completely sadistic and psychotic. I mean, it's about as evil a thing as you can think of. And can you imagine if your friend's parents or your extended family or I don't know aunts, uncles, cousins maybe not cousins because kids is tough they've got no power if they were to say no we can't send the kid home to a certain beating can't do it, because you told them and they sent you home and I'm sure they never brought it up again and they didn't call the police and they didn't call protective services and they didn't come over and talk to your parents and say, you know, what's going on? How can we help? This can't go on. This is really bad for the kid. This is not the right thing to do. Nothing happened, right? Nothing happened. So there's so many people who are complicit in child abuse, that they don't want to know what happened to you as a child.

[1:29:00] I mean, the family that you came and stayed with when you were 14, I think you said two years, right? You had two families that you stayed with in America and you're spending your entire time hiding in your room and they just scorn and mock you, right? Rather than say, gosh, you know, you really do seem to be really shy and I understand there's a language barrier, but let's talk about what's going on. Now, those people could have done it without fear of your father, I think, in particular, because he was in China, right? Yeah. Right. So those people could have asked you questions, but they didn't. They just further mocked and attacked you and put you down, right? That's right. So the reason why people don't want to ask you about your childhood is you represent probably one of about 20 children they've known over the course of their life that they are certain are being abused or have every reason to accept they're being abused. And they've done nothing about it and they won't be honest with themselves about that.

[1:30:03] Because they still think of themselves as good people, you know. I mean, I'm fighting against this bigotry and I'm fighting against this inequality. Yeah, that's all fucking well and good. Quick question. Have you done anything about the children being abused in your actual environment? Well, no. But I've marched about this cause or that cause or I've reposted this statement and I have these posters on my wall and I care about global warming. It's like, yeah, that's all fucking well and good. What have you done about actual children actually being abused in your environment? Well, nothing. It's like, then shut up about the rest of it. The rest of it is all there to cover up this one gaping void and wound and hole, which is like, so why can I talk about this stuff? Because in general, when I have seen a child being hurt, I've spoken up and done something.

[1:31:00] I mean, not just online, of course, but in my personal life as well. Not perfectly or not necessarily every time. You do have to judge these things to some degree, but in general, that's the case. So I don't have any problem asking people about their childhoods. In fact, I know how important it is because my conscience is clear. Most people's conscience is a shitstorm.

[1:31:25] Confronting Moral Cowardice

[1:31:25] Most people's conscience is hell itself because they will not be honest about their moral cowardice that has caused children to be repeatedly traumatized while in their environment and particularly within families right you got families who say oh we love our children we care about our children we really want to see our grandchildren we care about okay did you do anything about me being abused as a child no then shut up shut the fuck up why would i care what you talk about in terms of how much you care when you had the opportunity to help me as a child and you didn't say one fucking word. In fact, you sent me back to my abuser. That's the reality. So I'm not going to participate in your lie that you're in any way a good or decent person. You're a colluder and enabler of child abuse. And you send children back to be beaten. beaten and then you have the gall to claim that you're a decent person.

[1:32:26] So that's why people don't want to talk about it. Either the things they've done to their own kids or the abuses they've colluded with in general.

[1:32:41] And I'm sorry that we're all caught up and part of this, right? I mean, we got to break this somehow, right? We got to break it. Because if children aren't protected, the world will never be safe. Anyway, let's get back to you and away from the general theories. No, I love what you said. Yeah, post-university, you still haven't dated? No, I didn't start dating until I was 25. Okay. And I got a job as a technician in the science field I was in. And that's when I really started cutting out my family. That's when I started not talking to my dad.

[1:33:36] And...

[1:33:40] But then, you know, I was, you know, still struggling with porn, but then it became less and less, you know, that I watch. And then I started socializing a lot more and recognized that lying was actively distancing myself from people rather than bringing me closer to them. And then that's when I started. it but then and then and you know and then after that i i had a few jobs um started you know therapy.

[1:34:29] Again um and and here i am well i feel like i skip a lot of details uh so ask me you know questions you've got a partner and if you can tell me how that went um yeah so my so so so i had a first I had a my first girlfriend and then that's I I was in, Europe for a few months and then this and I met her there and then after that she you know we we started dating you know for I think a month, in Europe I mean this past few years just felt like a blur and after that I you know came back to the US, and soon and and we did long distance for a little bit soon after she followed, and I.

[1:35:35] And then it didn't work out because I felt, very avoidant with her. Sorry, what? Avoidant. Yeah, I felt very avoidant with her because there were a lot of.

[1:36:04] Accusations that were being thrown. I mean, they weren't big accusations like, Like, oh, they were things like, oh, how come you don't spend enough time with me while I... Oh, like complaints. Exactly, complaints. Okay, got it, got it. And then, you know, there were just a lot of that. And over time, well, we lived together for like close to a year. And then over time, you know... How did you, sorry to interrupt, how did you learn how to be in a relationship? I mean, you obviously didn't want your parents' relationship. I assume she wasn't too much like your mom. I mean, so how did you figure that out? She wasn't a lot like my mom. So you were just patterned. This is right. So you don't talk about it. So you end up, that's the pattern thing I was talking about before, right? Sure, sure, sure. Okay.

[1:37:04] How did I learn in a relationship I met her on an app and then we just started talking, did you figure out when did you figure out she was like your mom, after we started living together and how long was that after you started dating two months well, we dated for a month in Europe and then three months or five months long distance and then we lived together for two months and then it was then i realized she was like my mom so because of the complaining or because or blame because of the lack of accountability so a lot of things right a lot of things you know even little stuff right We could have sat down and then we could have been like, okay, here's what happened. And here's what I did that contributed to the outcome. And then here's what I could have done differently. And then here's what you could have done differently. But instead of that, she lied about...

[1:38:17] Things you know it was just for example it was just us two living together and i had a set of like you know stainless pan uh stainless pans right and then i and then when she um like before she or when she moved in i told her not to use like silverware on my pants because you know it would mess up the uh the coating and then and then i came home one day and then i found one of if the pants were scratched. So why would you use silverware on your pants? Good question. I don't use a lot of forks on pants. Why would you use silverware on pants? Well, she did. And then I caught her. But why?

[1:39:02] That's a very good question. Okay. Maybe you don't know. It just seems odd to me. I can't answer. Yeah. I can understand wipe your feet when you come into the house or maybe you forget or whatever, but I don't understand why you'd want to spork a pen, but all right. Well, no, when she felt, when she needed to like get food out of the pen and then she would just use a fork and then she would just use a spoon and egg. Oh, pen. Sorry. I thought, my apologies. I misheard. I think you said pen. Okay. So she's scraping stuff up and scoring the bottom and kind of, okay, got it. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. I told her not to do it and then she did it. Well, I found a scratch mark on one of the pens and then, And then I told her, I was like, you know, what happened, right? Her first reaction was, I mean, I was like, you know, I wasn't even mad. I texted her and I was like, why is there a scratch mark on one of my hands? So she was also the victim of child abuse and I assume verbal abuse as well, right? She did. Yeah, she was. I assume that it was also unprocessed. She hadn't done therapy or dealt with it in any particular way. No.

[1:40:12] We actually never talked about our childhood. No, of course not. And that's why it didn't work, right? Yeah. And how long was the relationship? We lived together for about a year, and then it dissolved after that. And how did it end? Was there any particular thing, or you just woke up and like, ew?

[1:40:35] Over time I felt like it was I just, couldn't see a future with her I felt like conversations weren't being had, and we weren't understanding each other and then we just spent a lot of time conversations just weren't being had that's very interesting you didn't talk about stuff? I mean you, right? right? We did superficial stuff, and I talked about... No, no, real stuff. Of course, you talked about some things, but... Sure. No. Was she also Chinese, or was she European, or...? European. Okay. Yeah. Got it. All right, so then, did you break it off with her? I did. How did she take it? Terrible. Was it that she wanted to get married and have kids, or...? Yeah. Yeah. Right. Okay. Okay.

[1:41:36] Reflecting on Relationship Dynamics

[1:41:36] And did she, was she very unstable over the breakup or was that mostly just emotional or was she, I don't know, were you alarmed at any time? Well, she was, she was unstable in terms of, you know, she kept.

[1:41:54] She kept texting me for the first few days.

[1:41:57] And after that, it was just distance. Oh, Oh, that's not so bad. We call them a bunny boiler, you know, if someone goes really crazy on your breakup. Okay, so she texted for a couple of days, and then it kind of cooled off, right? Yeah, yeah. Okay. And after that, she wanted to try again, and I said no. And then I, and then that was it. You know, we just stopped. What did you, sorry, what did you say, if you did, what was the reason for the breakup? What did you say, why you were breaking up with her? Um i said it didn't feel like we were you know i didn't it didn't feel like we were you know seeing each other i didn't feel like you know we were hearing each other and i just felt like our relationship was just there for us to fight with each other and then i'm sorry so i I didn't hear much about the fighting other than the disagreement about the silverware on the pans, but were you fighting a lot?

[1:43:02] Uh, yeah, there were a lot of fighting about, um, I'm trying to recall. So there were a lot of, uh, It doesn't matter about what, but it wasn't about anything that was, um, super important. I assume it was all surface fighting. And how often would you guys fight? When she first moved in every, every day. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Isn't that wild? Yeah. Every day. No, I'm sorry. Isn't it wild? That a woman will move in with you, fight you tooth and nail about stuff that isn't really that important. You know, with the pan thing, right? If you were to text her and tell her what happened to my pan, she said, you know what? I know you reminded me. I'm so sorry. I completely forgot. I absentmindedly picked something up and scratched it. I'm really, really sorry. I'm sure, what would you have said? I would have been like, yeah, fine. Let's go get it. Yeah, just try to remember or whatever, right? So if people take responsibility, things tend to calm down. But when people fight to avoid responsibility, things tend to escalate if you don't have self-knowledge, right? Yeah. And it's just funny to me that women will make your life difficult and then be completely shocked when you leave them.

[1:44:31] I mean, it's wild when you think about it, right? You know, like if I get a job and I make my employer's life difficult and then I'm completely shocked when I get fired, that's bizarre, isn't it? You know, if I go in and I fight with my boss in front of other employees and I don't take responsibility for bad work, right? And I cost him money and I make his life unhappy and difficult and he really regrets hiring me and I just keep doing this. And then he says, yeah, you know, sorry, I'm going to have to let you go. And I'm like, what? It's so bizarre. Well, in her eye, it was all my fault, right? And then that's part of it, right? So then if I say to my boss says, I'm going to have to let you go because you're costing me time, money, and you're making me stressed. And I say, but it's all your fault, right? Would that mean he would say, oh, well, then, yeah, then you can stay. He'd be like yeah no this is exactly why i'm firing you because you won't take any ownership for anything you do yeah okay and so and then you were single for a while and then you met the woman you're with now i actually was single for a while uh took a month you know i feel i don't remember how long like i said these past few years just felt like a blur to me but but only only a few months and then i met my current girlfriend um.

[1:45:59] Uh and then you know it was actually the first few things that we talked about uh it was my parents ah okay and then it's a wise woman.

[1:46:12] Yeah. And then the first, so like she, it was our first phone call. And then I said something like, I was a bad kid. And she was like, hold up. Oh, you said you were a bad kid? And then she was like, hold up. What do you mean? Good for you, my listener. Yeah, because people avoid depth thinking that somehow that means depth will avoid them. And it's like, no, you avoid depth, it just swallows you whole. But sorry, go ahead. yeah yeah exactly i agree um and then it was interesting because yeah she asked me to elaborate on the i was a bad kid statement and we talked uh i repeated everything you know my my parents narrative and we talked all night pretty much the night and it was like when she When she recalls this phone call, she was like, your response was different than a lot of people because I wasn't defensive. The first reaction, when she told me about my parents fucking up, my first reaction was, that's interesting, tell me more. And then the whole in-depth conversation just started there. And we started dating soon after. And how long have you been together?

[1:47:37] About almost a year now. And you're talking about having kids, is that right? Yeah, we have had conversations on this topic. And what race is she? She is white. Right, okay. Yeah, just be aware if you have biracial kids, you just need to take particular care and attention because they can can have identity issues and so on. So just, you know, heads up, you might want to search up biracial kids and some of the challenges you might have with that. It's just something to remember. Now.

[1:48:13] What are her thoughts about your parents? We, she has been, so, so she, she doesn't, or she, she tries to not, uh, give me her narrative on, you know, my interactions with my parents. I'm sorry. Her, like her, her narrative. Her narrative. What do you mean narrative? So, So here's how we would interact with my parents. I'm sorry, let me ask, because I don't know whether this is a bit foggy here. Does she dislike your parents, or does she like your parents? She dislikes my parents. She dislikes your parents. Does she want your parents in your children's lives? No.

[1:49:02] Okay.

[1:49:06] And so what is the question that you have for me about your parents and your girlfriend of the mother of your children and your children?

[1:49:18] Setting Boundaries with Abusive Parents

[1:49:18] Is it about, you said, boundaries or something like that? Like whether you should or shouldn't have your parents in your life?

[1:49:29] Well, whether I should or shouldn't have my parents in my life, that's the main part. It's like how much of them should I have in my life? Well, do you want your parents in your life? As they are now, no change. change no change right no no fucking fantasy of they're going to sprout angel wings and completely transform into better people because there's no that's not going to happen right because they don't even admit there's a problem right yeah so you know dieting is really tough even if you're fat and you hate being fat and you really really want to be thin even then like 90 or 95 percent of people just gain all the weight back right your parents don't even think they need to diet So there's no way they're going to change, right? So as they are now, no change, no change. Do you want them in your life? No. Okay. So, you know, like you were saying to me, like, Steph, you know, I have these boundaries. And I was like, well, you already have the answer, right? You're not calling me because you don't know the answer. You know the answer, right?

[1:50:43] And why would you want them in your life i mean other than some historical nostalgia and social convention and all that sort of crap like why you know social convention was take experimental vaccines social convention is national debt is good right so i mean i it's a philosopher i you know especially as a moral philosopher social convention is usually the exact opposite of what is true and right and good. So, why would you? I mean, they brutalized you as a child. They're unapologetic. They won't admit faults. They don't, they will never provide restitution. They will never take on the ownership of the evils they've done. I mean, you get mad at your last girlfriend for not taking ownership on putting a little scratch on your pan. And these people took a flamethrower to your entire soul and they won't apologize, yeah sorry you were going to say something I interrupted go ahead, that's the thing my parents have been throwing a lot of softballs we are working on it sorry they've been throwing a lot of what? Like they would say they are.

[1:52:03] They work work you know they have been actively working on it you know they have been thinking about and then my mom sorry what your mom has never even admitted that there's a problem as far as i can tell i mean maybe i missed part of the conversation or maybe you haven't told me about something i don't mean that in a negative way i'm just maybe i'm missing something but didn't your mother say it wasn't that bad i don't even remember or move on right what what if they admit it what is your father admitted okay so so after I met and started dating my current girlfriend I also you know I slowly completely cut out interactions with my mom as well and, then my mom they're still together right they're still together okay so what What about your father? At that point, I already started talking to my dad for six years. So at this point, you had not talked to your father for six years? Yeah. Okay. Right. And was there an incident that had you not talked to your father, or was it a slow accumulation?

[1:53:15] It was a slow accumulation until an incident, which was the hair that broke the camel's back. Really, it was just something small. We started fighting and I stopped talking to him. But you stayed in touch with your mother? Yes. Why?

[1:53:38] I'm not saying whether you should or shouldn't, I don't know, but I'm just curious as to why. I mean, she married the guy, she supported him, and she delivered you unto him, bound and gagged to be beaten. So I'm trying to sort of figure out the why here. She appeared as one of the nicer of the both. And then throughout the entire time, obviously, she turned my dad into a villain. And then my dad did beat my mom as well. Well and then my mom used that to so you said your father beat your mom at least that you know of could have been many other times but your mother was beaten in 2016 is that right yes and then at that point i was already you know in the u.s no no i get that so it was 2016 that your father beat your mother and then it was 2018 give or take that you stopped talking to your father but you continued to talk to your mother yes and your mother sided with you in your anger and, contempt or hatred or whatever negative emotions you had towards your father she said yes he is a bad guy yes he abused you yes it was terrible or or what was her approach in this way let's not talk about it so every time when i expressed um.

[1:55:06] Anything negative about my dad her answer was always let's not talk about it, okay so she shut down the conversation that's right she dismissed your pain she dismissed your concerns she dismissed your historical hurt and she, wanted you to appease her desire to not talk about it by shutting the hell up and not causing her any discomfort right, yeah sorry this is her being nicer I don't quite understand she.

[1:55:47] Her being no this is not her being nicer this is what she was doing, yeah well her being nicer was me telling like talking to her about what i was going through and then she was there listening but then she wasn't you know giving me any, sorry what i mean obviously there's more than just your dad but what is it that you were going through that your mother listened well about no no she didn't listen well uh she listened, and it was how do you know so badly um.

[1:56:26] So, for example, my mom, so when I first, I was like struggling with finding a job after graduating college. Oh, so if you had problems that weren't directly causing, that she could give you decent advice in without feeling guilty. But if you'd have said to her, I'm struggling finding a job because you fairly terrible parents didn't give me any social skills growing up, and I have no confidence because you kept verbally abusing me and beating me, then she wouldn't want to talk about your job issues so much, would she? No. She would say... So as long as you didn't hold her responsible, she was okay to talk? Yeah. Okay. So that's not being nice, right? No. Okay. Okay. So why were you still in touch with your mother? I mean, and again, there could be good reasons, right? Maybe you were just lonely and needed someone to talk to, and this is prior girlfriend, right? So you had to have human contact with someone, right? Yeah, yeah. Was it something like that? It was something like that.

[1:57:37] Okay, and you said you hadn't talked to your father for six years some time in the past. Have you talked to him since or how is that how are things with your father yes there was a phone call uh a few weeks ago okay a couple of weeks ago and what was his side of that call in general, he said he wanted to learn what he did wrong, really and he's saying he has no idea he has no idea yeah, and we talked does he does he, Does he remember threatening you with needles and drawing blood and poking you with needles? He did. Oh, he does remember that. Okay. Does he remember beating your face black and blue? No. He doesn't remember that. Okay. So he does remember torturing you with needles.

[1:58:42] He said, I never, I was just scaring you. Okay. So he does remember threatening you with needles. Yeah. Okay. But he has no idea what he did wrong. No. So he's lying. Okay, let me ask you this. Did he torture you or beat you or scream at you or whatever tone yelling he used and call you dumb and wish that you weren't his son or whatever? Did he do any of that in public? Did he do any of that at a mall? Or did he do any of that in front of other family members or anything like that? No. Okay, so he hid it from general consumption. But why if he's doing the right thing well because he because he knew that that was fucked up right okay so so he he knows that it's fucked up he knows that people are going to disapprove of it he knows that it's going to make him look kind of crazy and evil right so he knows exactly what he did wrong because he hit it right yeah i i even remember uh him being mad at me at a family is at a family gathering. And then he said, I am going to.

[1:59:53] Like, you will know when we are home. Wait till we get home, and then I'll beat you up. Okay. Exactly. So he knows exactly what he did wrong because he hid it. That's how, like, you understand from a criminal standpoint, if the murderer hides the body, he can't claim insanity. sanity. He can't claim that he didn't know he was doing anything wrong if he sneaks in, kills someone, and then hides the body.

[2:00:25] So he knew that what he was doing was wrong. And now he's claiming that he has no idea. And boy, if you could just find some way to instruct him on the great mystery of what he might have done wrong.

[2:00:41] Confronting the Past

[2:00:41] Now, why did you end up talking to him a couple of weeks ago? Again, I'm not judging. I'm just curious. is um because both of my parents just seemed uh like trying oh because now because we're family, um we are you know we we care about each other and but sorry when was the when was the last time you spent any regular time with them, wasn't it in your teens yeah in my teens and you don't have to tell me how old you are but i assume that's it's been 10 plus years yeah okay so it's been 10 plus years since you've really spent any time with them they sent you away at the age of 14 you've not spoken to your father much in In, what, eight, nine years or something like that? Yep. So, and how often were you in contact with your mother over this time period, like the last 10 years?

[2:01:48] In college every day. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah, yeah. In college every day. Like I said, just no socialization. And I really felt, if someone were there to just listen, then that was enough to me. But it didn't particularly help. No, it didn't. Okay, so what about over the last couple of years? It died down. I didn't talk to my dad at all. With my mom, it was just once a week. And last year, it was pretty much none after I started dating my current girlfriend. Right. So why do you think that your parents are trying to, I can't say reconnect, because you can't reconnect with people by lying to them. So why do you think that they're trying to get back in with you? I think because they're getting old and they need someone to look after them, that's certainly are they in ill health that you know of?

[2:03:08] No but my dad I think last year two years ago had a surgery, because he fell or something thing and are they in their 60s or 70s or 60s okay i mean i assume they probably got at least 15 20 years to go i mean statistically i don't know the details of course but, 10 to 10 to 20 is that outside the realm of possibility or do you think that might be a reasonable average yeah i think i think i think that number is pretty reasonable okay, So, it probably isn't that. I mean, if they were 75 and in ill health, then that would make more sense. I mean, do you think that they want to come and live with you, and let's just say your wife, I don't know if you're going to get married or not, but let's say she becomes the mother of your children. Do you think they want to come and live with you? Do you think, like, what is the plan there? I forgot a piece of information so there was one time, it was before it was after I graduated from college I started working and then I felt so I'm right now I'm in an advanced degree and then I found funding.

[2:04:28] I found funding to support this education and, I told my mom about it my mom told my dad about it my dad My dad took the phone when my mom was talking to me, and then he confronted me. He told me not to take the funding. He told me to go back. Sorry, go back where? To China. So don't take government funding, go back to China. Well, it wasn't government funding, but then it was funding from an institution to do an events degree. But yeah, he told me to not take an opportunity to further my career, to go back to China, to be with him. Okay. And when was this? 2020. Yeah, 2020. Oh, so you have talked to your father other than just a couple of weeks ago? Yes. I'm not trying to catch you out or anything. I'm just trying to, I want to make sure I understand. Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Got it. Okay, so they want you to come back. Do you not think that it, I mean, I assume that your mother knows about your successful relationship with the white woman, right? Yes.

[2:05:54] Yes.

[2:05:54] Okay. Have you talked to them at all about either you getting married or a permanent relationship or having kids, the conversations you've had with your girlfriend about that? Do your parents know about all that? Yes. Okay. So, I mean, I can tell you what's going on, almost certainly. I don't know for sure, but they smell grandchildren in the air, right?

[2:06:21] Yeah, definitely. Yeah, so they want to be part of that. See, they don't care that you're estranged. I mean, empirically, I can say that with complete certainty. They don't care that you're estranged because with your father, you've been mostly estranged for, what, eight, nine years? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So they haven't cared about that enough to do anything about it, right? You know, if they really loved you and cared about you, well, then you wouldn't be estranged. But also, if something did happen, then they would move heaven and earth to try and fix it, and they would never let it last for, like, close to a decade, right? So they don't care about—your father doesn't care about not talking to you, otherwise he would have done something about it, right? Yeah. Make sense? Well, but the question is why, you know, if they fucked up raising me, right, why do they want to, like, what's a grandchildren is, you know, to them? What's a grandchild? No, no, no, no. It's not about the kids either.

[2:07:30] Unveiling Motives

[2:07:30] It's not about the grandkids. It's about status.

[2:07:36] See, they can hide that you don't talk to them by lying, right? Yeah. But if you get married and they're not at the wedding, that's a little fucking difficult to lie about, right? If you have kids and they don't see them and they don't have pictures of holding their grandkids, then it's clear that you don't want to have anything to do with them. And then it will be clear, if the truth comes out, that they've been lying about this for 10 years.

[2:08:20] Yeah totally i mean tell me tell me if i'm wrong i'm wrong but i mean that seems to me the clear answer that they're like oh shit we we the gig is up like the lie is up because if he has he gets married and has kids and we're not part of their that life then, we are going to be revealed as completely terrible parents and well my dad right my dad dad has always been trying to reach out and I would just ignore him. So then at first, like he would send me texts, um, saying, Oh, how dare you do something to your dad? Yeah. How dare. And then, yeah, dad, I don't want to see you cause you're crazy aggressive. Oh yeah. How dare you? It's like, well, that's exactly why. Right. Yeah. And then, and then, and I would just ignore these messages. Um, did you block him or like, I didn't block him and I just ignored him. But why would you block him? Oh, you had the hope that maybe there'd be some change? Sure.

[2:09:23] That's a very good question. I didn't think about it. Come on. It never occurred to you, because I assume these messages would be upsetting, right? Yeah. So don't tell me it never occurred to you to blog.

[2:09:37] I never did. So I think it is because I hoped that they would change. And then my mom, yeah, and then when I stopped talking to my mom, my mom seemingly did make attempts to change. And and then to me when you stopped talking when you talked less to your mom the year you said was that a year you barely talked to her so then she tried to make efforts to change but then in December you rented the cabin and she was still gaslighting and lying about everything, yep okay so there's no change, there's no change okay so there's no change and what do you need parents for now, I mean you're pushing 30, You don't need anyone to change your diaper. You don't need anyone to teach you about life because it's too late now, right? You don't need anyone to teach you about girls because you got a good woman. You don't need anyone to teach you about education because that's mostly done unless you take this grad degree. You don't need anyone to teach you about how to get a job because you got a job. Like, you've taught yourself everything. What would you need? What would you need? Like, what would you need parents for now?

[2:11:00] Nothing. And the other question I have is, did they parent you? And I don't mean providing you food and shelter, because prisons do that. And I don't mean did they punish you, because concentration camps will do that. I mean, did they teach you and educate you and love you and nurture you and help you become successful in life? Or did they kind of cripple you and toss you out of the fucking nest when you were 14? I think they didn't they felt like they couldn't handle me and they just tossed me out they felt like they couldn't handle you my gosh the language see this is why I say you're not angry enough because the language it's like what do you mean they felt they couldn't handle you.

[2:11:47] Yeah they broke you I don't mean you're forever broken right and we can reform ourselves even stronger than before, but they beat you abused you neglected you didn't teach you didn't love you didn't train you didn't help you didn't give you instruction didn't give you a moral code that they were that you wanted to emulate i mean did they parent you no so they're not your parents they're your, i don't know i don't want to get too harsh here because your feelings not mine but they didn't parent you go ahead parent you and now it's way too late right like if if my mother starved me, when i was growing up like just consciously kept me from food and i ended up only five foot two right as an adult and then when i'm 30 she sends me a bunch of groceries the fuck good does that do, The time for food and height is long past.

[2:13:02] And if they did start to become good people to you now, let's say that they had some, I don't know, lightning strike of revelation or something like that, right? And they suddenly found it within themselves to be really great, wonderful, moral, nurturing, and empathetic people. You understand that would not make you feel better? Yeah. Do you know why? I don't know. So why didn't they do that when it would have done some good when you were a child, if they have the capability of doing that? Why wasn't them wanting to be good parents to you as a child enough of a motivation for them to become halfway decent people? If they suddenly do it now, why? Why? Why now? Well, we want to see our grandchildren. So, are you saying that if there's enough of a motive, you can be really good and nice and kind people? Well, why wasn't me as a child enough of a motive?

[2:14:14] The Benefit Analysis

[2:14:14] Yeah. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I'm sorry? No, that makes a lot of sense. Now, if they stay the same, which they will, right? If they stay the same, then you gain some genuine relief. And the genuine relief is, oh, there's nothing I could have done. I mean, even as an adult, even when I have all the power, the authority, the independence, I can't get them to change anything. So there was no way I could have done it as a child. Yeah. No, if people change for the better when it's too late to do any good...

[2:15:02] It doesn't help anything before. In fact, it makes it worse. You know, if you have some surgeon who kills someone's wife because he screwed up an easy procedure, like an appendectomy or something, right? And he does this for 20 years, right? And he kills thousands of people with botched up appendectomies. I know that couldn't really happen because, you know, whatever, he gets sued and stuff. But let's just say he did. And then after he retires, after he retires and he's 80, he's like, you know what? I'm going to study how to do a proper appendectomy. I mean, I'm never going to actually do one because I'm retired and I'm 80 and they wouldn't let me near an operating table. But I'm actually, you know what? I'm going to get really good at appendectomies. Does that bring anyone back to life? No. No. Why the fuck did you get better at appendectomies when you kept killing people with bad appendectomies, and if your wife had been killed by this doctor and he phoned you up and he said hey man I'm really good at appendectomies now what would you say, it's a little late for that brother it's not going to bring my wife back.

[2:16:30] So let's say somehow they become good people now, what's the point how does i mean that would almost be an that would be an insult to you, that we well we could have done it but your pain was not enough of a motivation for us the fact fact that I was threatening my son with needles and drawing blood and beating his face, beating his body and hitting him with belts dozens of times, a dozen times a year. Well, that, your agony, your pain, the fact that you locked yourself in a room that we kicked you out when you were 14, and you lived in solitary confinement pretty much for like seven years straight, none of that was enough for us to become better people. But now you know hey man i was walking down the street and a tree branch fell on my head and i'm like you know what i'm gonna be a great guy now that's not how it works right yeah yeah it's i mean expecting bad people to become good people would be like expecting me to speak fluent japanese without i just wake up tomorrow and i can speak japanese like no it's years of study right i mean You had to learn English. It's years of study, right? Yeah. So they're not even studying. They're not going to speak it.

[2:17:57] Because you have to ask the most foundational question. This I will recommend, right? The most foundational question. The most foundational questions for victims of significant child abuse is this. How does this benefit me? Because we're not used to that, right? We're not used to that. We're used to just serving other people.

[2:18:20] Shutting up, swallowing, not talking, right? So let's say your parents want to come out and hang out. When you have kids and they want to move in with you, you say, okay, well, how does this benefit me? How does this benefit my marriage? How does this benefit my wife? How does this benefit my children? What's in it for us? And we're always told whenever we say what's in it for me, what are we always told? You're so selfish. Think of other people. It's not all about you. It's like, no, it kind of is. It kind of is. is so how does it benefit you to be in touch with your parents it doesn't well there may be good answers i don't know but that's the foundational question you have to ask what's in it for me.

[2:19:09] How does this benefit me and when you get married or you're in a deep relationship with your your girlfriend. How does this benefit us? And those are still optional though, because you're adults. When you have kids, you'll know this when you first find out you're going to be a father, when you go through the process of pregnancy, when you first hold your beautiful baby. It'll be, how does this benefit my child? How does having my parents in my life benefit my child? Does it make me a better person? Does it make me a stronger person? Does it make me a more moral person? Am I more devoted to my children? Is my heart bigger and more open? Am I more relaxed, more happy, more certain? Do I have more authority? Am I stronger? Am I a better person?

[2:19:55] I mean, I'm a better person for having my wife in my life. And like every single day, I tell her just how great my life is and how much better my life is because she's in it. I'm a better person for having my daughter in my life, though that's not her job, but it's just an effect of that. that. My friends, I had some friends come and stay with us this week, and two weeks ago I had other friends come and stay with us, and I'm better, my life is better because my friends are in it. And their life is better because I'm in it, and my daughter's life is better, and my wife's life is better because I'm in their lives.

[2:20:33] That's the foundational question. You're not here to serve selfish people's needs. You're not here to bow down before people who don't take responsibility and who brutalized you when they had power over you and continue to brutalize you, by the way, by denying and gaslighting and not taking responsibility. They're still harming you. Right? They could have gone to therapy. They could have read books. They could have done just about anything to figure out what they did wrong. But they're lazy. They're lazy. They're violent. They're brutal. And they're continuing to harm you by not taking any responsibility and putting all of the responsibility, blame, and onus on you. You tell me what I did wrong. I have no idea. It's like, it's just a lie. And it's saying, well, you have these weird, crazy standards that no sane human being can figure out, but I guess I'll comply with them if that's what you need. Right? That's just more abuse. You understand? Yeah. So what's the benefit?

[2:21:41] Maybe they've got a billion dollars you want to win. I don't know. I mean, I'm not saying that's completely irrelevant. But I'm happy to hear, and you don't have to tell me, but that's the question you have to ask yourself. Yeah. Well, the last thing I bought is more money for me. I'm sorry? The last thing I want is more money for them. Oh, yeah, right, right. And then they say, well, we paid for your education. It's like, yeah. So? Yeah. So? Does that mean you've bought me? You beat me. And now you're saying, but we gave you money? What am I, a whore? That my love is bought with fucking money? What is the matter with you? You don't buy your children.

[2:22:27] You don't give your money children and then demand love in return. Don't turn me into a spiritual prostitute. That's revolting. That's repulsive. And that, of course, is the mark of desperate people who have nothing of value to add and they're just trying to guilt, right? Again, more abuse. Yeah. I mean, if I were to say to my daughter, you have to come out for dinner with me because I bought you something yesterday. That would be disgusting and revolting and repulsive.

[2:23:11] Yeah. And that is prostitution, right? If you go to a woman and say, you have to sleep with me because I gave you money. Well, that's one thing if you make the deal ahead of time, but that wasn't the deal, right? If I buy a woman dinner and then I say, you now owe me sex because I bought you dinner, that would be repulsive and revolting, right? If I were to get really aggressive, you damn well owe me this, right? Because I bought you dinner. that would be seriously dangerous and scary behavior, right? Totally. That woman better get to a public place and quick. That woman better get away from that kind of person and quickly, right? Because that person is very dangerous. That person is a potential rapist. That she now owes him, sexual activity because he bought her dinner and you owe your parents love because they paid for your education. Oh my God, that's just so gross. I can't even tell you. And horrendous. Yeah. Yeah.

[2:24:39] Yeah, so far, our relationships, well, not so far, but even especially when I was home before I came to the U.S., our relationships were extremely transactional. Well, it's not a relationship. No, yeah. I mean, what's in it for me is an absolutely essential question for adults, right? Right. And the other is, okay, well, let's say I just met my parents at a party, right? I met some dinner party for whatever reason. My parents are sat right across from me and I am around them for the evening. Would I want to see them again?

[2:25:30] So would I be like, hey, you know, it's such a great time. Like it happens sometimes, right? Sometimes I'll meet people doing something and, you know, we'll hit it off. We'll have a lot of fun, great connection. And I'll say, yeah, let's exchange numbers and, you know, we'll meet up again. And that's happened, I don't know, I can't even tell you how many times over the course of my life. Sometimes you just meet people and it's just a lot of fun and you really get along and, you know, you go and play pickleball or you go for dinner or, you know, whatever, right? And it's really nice. It's really nice. And, I mean, for me, that wouldn't be, I mean, not anyone in my family of origin, I'd be like, whoa. Like, you know, if I sat across from my mother or my father when my father was alive over the course of dinner, I'd be like, wow, what a freak and a half. Like, wow, I'd pay good money to never have to go through that again, right? As opposed to, hey, let's swap numbers and let's go have a coffee sometime. Yeah. So if you wouldn't want them in your life, even if you had no history, why do you want them in your life if you have brutalized, negative, violent, destructive, and continuing to be abusive history and present?

[2:26:49] I wouldn't accept the social thing and the guilt that they have. The social thing is to get good grades. You dealt with that when you were six or seven or eight or nine or 10. So the social thing is not such a, and the other thing too, you do want your girlfriend to respect you, right? Now, is she going to respect you if she sees you bullied and pushed around and humiliated by your parents? That's a bit of a lady boner killer, right? To see your boyfriend, the father of your children, your husband or whatever, you know, biting his nails, nervous, stammering, pushed around by his mommy and daddy, right? Like he's still a tiny little kid. Like that's just, that's kind of gross. I mean, it's not great for men to see that, but at least we respond with more of a protective instinct. But I mean, you also want to have some kind of authority with your kids, right? So it's probably not great for your kid to see you kind of pushed around and bullied by your parents and see you lie and pretend to like them and pretend whatever, right, to be dutiful.

[2:27:56] Because the kids will know the truth, that you're just lying and faking it. So you probably don't want that either. So again, what's in it for you? What's the benefit? How does this benefit you, your wife, your kids-to-be, your life as a whole? Does it benefit your career to be you know pushed around a gas lit by your parents no i don't think so so it doesn't make you money it doesn't so i don't know what what you know what's the benefit and look i'm always open to a value proposition right somebody you know i mean if my when my father had been alive if he'd have called me and said you know hey i've really thought about this and you know here's what i have to offer and i'd really love to chat and And I've been to therapy and I realized all the ways in which I messed up. And I just would really like to, I think here's the value that I can provide. Here's the good things that I can offer you and all of that. Hey, I'm always open to a value proposition. I mean, I've had people who hated and trash talked me for years call me up with an apology. And it wasn't even too long ago, I did like almost a three-hour show with a guy who'd really trash talked me all across each end of the internet to the other and thought I was like one of the worst guys around. and we had a good conversation about it. I'm always open to a value proposition. It just has to add value. That's all. Yeah.

[2:29:20] No, you're right. Life as adults has to be about adding value. Sorry, go ahead. No, you're right. I mean, I've been trying to think, and then there's nothing. Well, and that's just a fact, right? And philosophy is all about just recognizing the truth, right? What are the facts? Well, the facts are, as far as I can see it, and if you find something, that's totally up to you. But it's like, if there's no logical, empirical, moral, financial, practical, or emotional benefit in having people around, why would you have them around? Well, to benefit them at your expense. But that's the attitude of a helpless and trapped child, not an independent, successful adult. Yeah. I mean, if you were really into self-sacrifice, you could have just stayed with your last girlfriend for her benefit at your expense, right? Right? But you're not into that, right? It's got to be mutual benefit. It's got to be win-win, right? That's right.

[2:30:25] So. That is... And these are all things that you know, right? I mean, you just needed some clarity and standards and an external view. Yeah. Yeah. I guess you're right. I guess you're right. Oh, you don't have to guess it. No, I'm guessing you're right. I know that you're right, not me, right? But yeah, and so these are the things, right? You look inside, somebody says, I want to do something, right? I want to take your time. I want to do something, right? I want to use your time, money, and energy in the short life that we have. It's like, hey, I'm always open to a value proposition. How does this benefit me?

[2:31:08] I mean, we already know it benefits the other person, right? So I, of course, as a business owner and an entrepreneur, I get endless emails of people who are like, hey, I want to provide you this, that, or the other service. And so I'm like, okay, how does this benefit me? I already know it's going to benefit them. That's why they're sending me the email. So you already know it's going to benefit your parents in some way. The fact that it comes at your expense doesn't seem to matter to them. It doesn't sound like it ever had. But so the fact that it benefits your parents, well, that's implicit because they're asking you for something. They want to get back in touch. They want to see you more. they want to what maybe you have you come back rather than do the education that's offered so, for for sure it benefits them the only question is does it benefit you now if every time somebody sent me an email saying i want to sell you some good service product or whatever right, and i said sure sounds great i mean i'd be broke and we'd be out of business and right there'd be no show so i have to say does this benefit me, and if it doesn't then it's not good it won't happen right and the same thing all relationships have to be like that in order to be relationships otherwise they're just exploitations and pillaging.

[2:32:20] Yeah. And honestly, I don't think that conversation can be had with my parents without turning it into a fight. Well, it doesn't have to be a fight if you don't fight, right? I mean, if you call them up and you say, you know, I just, I don't, I don't feel, I don't, I don't feel like I want to. I don't, I don't see the benefit for me. Right? What would they say? Well, they would try to kill me a little, you know, more. They try to what? It would just try to guilt me more and then there would be no but then you say well now i really don't enjoy the process of being guilted so i now i'm even less inclined to to move forward with the any kind of relationship because now you're making me feel even worse it's even more negative for me, so if i say i don't want to do this because it hurts and then you hurt me more that moves me, even further away so this is just confirmation right yeah yeah you're right, you know if you say i don't want to eat your soup because it tastes pretty bad and then he pees in it does that make you want to eat his soup more no it's like now now it's bad and it's got pee in it so it's like they start guilting and bullying and it's like okay well that's even more why i don't want to pursue this bring me something positive that makes up for all the negative and you can leave the ball in their court right i mean bring me something positive that makes up for all the negative, right?

[2:33:46] You know, if somebody, I don't know, cost me $10,000, and then they come back saying, here's $20,000 because of the 10 grand and all the trouble in time, okay, then they're bringing back something positive that can make up for the negative. Okay, maybe that's a break-even, maybe it's slightly positive or whatever, right? But if they come back and they start yelling at me, it's like, okay, so now you lost me 10 grand and now you're yelling at me. Like, why? Click, right? Why on earth would I want to have anything to do with that? That's just bizarre.

[2:34:17] And your parents have come, it seems to me from what you said, they come from a place of serious deficiency, right? Because they abused you for many years and continue to abuse you. So how are they going to dig themselves out of that hole? Oh, more abuse. Well, no, that's digging yourself further into the hole. So how are they going to get out of the hole it has to be something pretty spectacular and it seems like they're just digging it's like okay well i'm not gonna i'm not gonna watch you dig your way to well i guess from china to i don't know wherever china comes out if you dig through the earth right so yeah i mean that's sort of my general thoughts about things what do you think no i think i think you are totally totally totally right they can at this point you know i I don't need them in my life, and then they don't add any additional value.

[2:35:07] And there's a negative, right? Which is you've got to keep trying to establish reality while keep getting rejected and ghastly. Yep, yep. And then I, at this point, I have things to lose, keeping them in my life. And yeah, I think you're totally right there. Okay. So has it been a helpful conversation for you? You definitely definitely thanks so much again for having me on the call you're very very welcome and i hope you'll keep me in touch and uh congratulations on um finding love i i think that's a beautiful and a wonderful thing and i hope you'll you'll let me know how things go, definitely definitely thanks so much again you're welcome brother take care bye.

Join Stefan Molyneux's Freedomain Community

Become a part of the movement. Get exclusive content. Interact with Stefan Molyneux.
Become A Member
Already have an account? Log in
Let me view this content first