My Sister Almost Got Buried! Transcript

Starting the Conversation

[0:00] Hello.

[0:01] Hey, how's it going?

[0:02] Good.

[0:04] I was thinking, like, oh, maybe she should just call me to keep it quieter, but I think we're all right.

[0:11] Yeah, we're good. He's a pretty heavy sleeper when he's actually asleep.

[0:14] All right. It just takes a while to get down. We're trying not to make you sob too loudly then or something like that.

[0:17] Oh, gosh, I know. I'm a crier, too. I've got to warn you.

[0:20] You know, emotions are very welcome in this conference. Do you want to just tell me what's going on, how I can best help?

[0:29] So yeah, I'm struggling. I guess I've always struggled with it, but I guess I'm realizing how bad it is now with just being able to speak my mind, like open up to people.
Gosh, I'm already losing it.

[0:49] And how does that manifest in your life?

[0:54] I just, I kind of feel like I'm just in my own bubble.
It's kind of weird like just I had a recent, exchange I was out somewhere with a friend and she was, just talking to a guy neither of us knew him but they had they're both farmers so they had a lot in common they were just talking about it and then he like he turned to me and was asking me questions and I was almost like, oh yeah I'm here too like, I don't exist Oh, gosh.

[1:29] Yeah, you kind of space out in social stuff in your own world.
Now, when you do this kind of thing.

[1:33] No, I feel like I'm a very good listener, but I don't expect people to notice me.

[1:40] Right, okay.
I don't talk about this a lot. Who did not notice you first in your life?

[1:55] There's the million dollar question probably be my parents, I love it when people start hedging right away.

[2:04] You know, probably my parents, maybe. You know, 60, 40, 70, 30, something like that.
But yeah, so tell me what was happening when you were a kid.

[2:13] Just the, I mean, stereotypical middle child syndrome where you get ignored.
I have, where do I start?
My mom is my dad's second wife. So I have an older half-brother that I didn't really see a lot.
He's quite a few years older than me, but I have an older sister and then a younger brother.
Both from my parents' marriage, and they're still together.
But my mom, I feel like my dad was just kind of in the background of my life, just not really there.
My mom was just the controller of everything. thing we uh we moved around a lot mainly just financial reasons, but uh my older sister what were the financial reasons they're bad with money oh so carelessness reasons not financial reasons right they they live above their means and then go through bankruptcy and then start over and they did that multiple times in my life, but uh were they.

[3:25] Like entrepreneurs or salary people who.

[3:27] Just went bankrupt just i mean my uh dad my mom is mainly a stay-at-home mom she would take part-time jobs here and there when they needed extra money um my dad was in one career for a long time he worked with his family it's like a family-owned uh car auto repair shop but uh when his dad My dad retired.
Him and his brother took it over. And then he found out that his brother was stealing money from the business.
And he basically just bought out my dad's side. My dad left.
Up until that point, I feel like our life was pretty stable.
It was still kind of chaotic. Like my parents would fight a lot, just a lot of yelling.
But when they did that, it was, I'm trying to think how old I was.
I was maybe around 10 or 11.
And at that point is kind of when it just got really weird.
Uh we moved out of my our home state and well before that gosh i'm so sorry i just want to i just want.

[4:46] To make sure i understand the financial side of things so your dad.

[4:49] Had this.

[4:49] Business your sorry your grandfather had this business your dad and his brother worked there when your grandfather left the.

[4:57] Business your father.

[4:59] Found out that his brother had been stealing from the business and what happened and.

[5:04] Um my mom convinced him to just leave the business and my uncle bought him out like yeah just wrote him a check like here's your half of the business like sold it or he sold his half of the business to him okay.

[5:21] Got it i'm sorry and then if you can remember where you were i just wanted to make sure i understood that cash out bit.

[5:25] So i assume you got a fair.

[5:27] Amount of money out of that.

[5:28] Yeah he yeah he got like a hundred thousand dollars from it it was a very very profitable little mechanic shop in our small town but um, Gosh. So I feel like I should go back to our childhood.

[5:44] Then you said things got weird. Is that because you started moving around then?

[5:48] Right. Well, when that happened, we had been at one house for like six years.
I've probably moved 15 times before I was an adult.

[6:00] Oh my gosh.

[6:02] Yeah. Because the first, I honestly don't know why they moved the first time, like from the house where I was born.
But they'd gone through bankruptcy when I was very young and I don't even know if I'd been was born yet at that point actually my mom says it was because they were trying to get custody of my half-brother and they went through bankruptcy because of lawyer fees but knowing them that wasn't probably not not true.
So when we, we just moved around a lot and my older sister is two years older than me.
And I, I feel like she kind of raised me. I almost have no memories of like doing anything with my mom.
I have them with my dad. Like he'd take us out camping and fishing and stuff, off but i i don't it's like my mom wasn't there other than to yell at us to go back outside.

[7:02] You're gonna try and lure me into this it's funny stuff i'm sorry no that's fine that's fine i'm just pointing it out i mean i know what the i know what the laughter covers up i understand i understand okay so your father was a little bit more involved and so what was your mom doing she She said she was a stay-at-home mom, but she wasn't doing much momming.

[7:24] She watched a lot of TV and talked on the phone a lot.
She'd go in and out of depressive episodes. She'd just be in bed all day.
And then when she did work, she would just leave us home alone, like my sister would watch us.
But when I was in third grade, she pulled us out of school to homeschool us.
She had gone through, she'd found a church and decided that, oh, yeah, sorry.
Just ridiculousness. she uh she got really into Jesus and the whole like 6,000 year old earth stuff and I remember I'd come home from school one day uh talking about something I learned in like science class about evolution I was like excited about it and she got upset about that because she didn't want us being taught evolution so she pulled us all out of school, and quote unquote homeschooled us but it was mainly just reading the bible and i don't know if you've ever heard the the left behind series i've.

[8:46] Heard of it um that's yeah.

[8:48] There's going to be a rapture and everyone.

[8:51] Vanishes who's virtuous and everyone who's left behind goes through hell right.

[8:55] Right yeah so she well there was like an adult version and then like a teen version of it and she read us the teen one and that was also traumatizing.

[9:08] Oh, I could imagine.

[9:10] I'd have nightmares about being raptured and then all my animals would starve to death because nobody would be there to feed them.

[9:20] Why do you think what was she like religiously before this?

[9:24] She wasn't at all.

[9:26] And what do you think changed?

[9:28] She was a partier.
I honestly don't know. She says that she started going to church because when she was a kid, she would go to Bible school and she wanted us to learn about Bible stories or something.
And then when she went to the church, she sat in the back and wanted to make like she sat there.
It was weird. She said she wanted us to learn Bible stories, but then she didn't actually put us in the kids class. She had a sitting there in the adult, like the grown-up sermon.
And yeah, but the church that she picked was very much like revelation, like Jesus is coming back tomorrow church.

[10:21] Did she take any mental health treatment for her depression?
Did she on meds or did she do therapy?

[10:28] I don't know. She's like 100% against therapy. She thinks it's evil.
I don't think she was on any medication. My sister, she did put my sister on medication because when she, it was the same time she pulled me out of school.
She pulled us both out because also my sister wasn't doing well.
And she was on ADHD medicine and my sister, she's got her own issues she lies a lot and I don't know what to believe but she did tell me that my mom would take her medicine.

[11:05] Oh okay got it, and where was your dad in all this.

[11:12] Just hanging out watching TV working Working.

[11:20] And you said, I mean, you moved that many times, some of it, was it just dodging creditors or?

Opening Up about Struggles

[11:27] No.
So the first couple of moves, the house that I remember is the earliest house we lived in.
They had bought like a fixture upper and they remodeled it and sold it.
And then they moved into a rental.
I don't know why they moved from that rental. they moved to the second rental but when uh just a couple months after we'd moved in the people decided to sell it so we had to move again and that's when they bought a house another house and that's where we lived for the six years where most of my memories are from and.

[12:03] How old were you.

[12:05] Um i was six when we moved in and then i was 12 when we moved when we moved when my dad got that that lump sum of money.
I moved to a different state because my mom had a friend in another state.
And that's like, it was a friend.
It was a friend from church that she had moved like a year earlier because she was moving closer to her children.
And my mom decided they wanted to move here too.

[12:38] Okay.

[12:39] Yeah.

[12:40] And then the daisy chain of moves began from there?

[12:45] Yeah, another daisy chain. They moved into a rental, and then from there they bought a house.
And that house they lost through bankruptcy.
And then they just probably moved into four different rentals after that.
And then that's when I moved away. way well gosh that was, There's more to that. I don't know if you want to get into my adult life.

[13:17] I'm happy to hear it's your life.

[13:18] Yeah.
I met my husband when I was 18 or 19. I met him online.
Kind of a silly happening. I didn't have a lot of friends.
All my friends were online. line so there was a girl i knew that she was overweight and just not really a pleasant person but i didn't have to be with her in person so it was okay um she was just kind of lamenting that she couldn't find a boyfriend and all this stuff and i just suggested why don't you try an online dating site that way you know open up some more options for you and she had signed up to e-harmony me and she filled out all the form and everything and when she went to start her profile it said that she was unable to be matched and i was looking back on it now i think it's because she put in that she was an atheist and it was more of a christian website but i was just like what that doesn't make any sense so i started my own profile and that's how i met my husband.

[14:36] And was he close by no.

[14:39] He was about as far as you could be with without leaving the country which was wow a bonus in my eyes because at the time i was still living with my parents i it was, the year i was supposed to graduate high school but i wasn't actually doing any school work, i was basically just working and playing world of warcraft after that.
I had only gone to school up until third grade, and then I went to a small Christian school in, I think, fifth grade, and then I didn't go back until ninth grade.
So I'm just doing one year here and there.
So I feel like I basically have a ninth grade education because I didn't do anything past that.

[15:31] Did you have your own personal hobbies or research?

[15:37] Oh, yeah.
I started kind of getting into website coding, but I got bored of that.
And I got into a lot of art stuff, drawing, portrait type things, just cooking.
And uh we did have horses at one point wow i know i don't that was i think that was when some of the bankruptcies may have come from yeah exactly i know i look back and i'm just like why did you why did you buy these but that was because of my sister because she was, getting well she would hang out with my cousin and my cousin was a little bit older than her My cousin was really into horses and she was a bad influence on my sister.
She'd take her out to like nightclubs and stuff when she was 15.

[16:32] Oh God.

[16:33] Yeah.
And so my mom was like, I'm just going to get you your own horse so that you'll be here.
And then she got me one too, because I'm her, her built-in buddy so that she could ride with me.
Even though I never really liked horses. Yeah.

[16:51] Right. So then you moved out in your late teens?

[16:57] I moved out, oh gosh, this is the, this is like, I look back and it could have been really bad, like, I'm lucky that my husband is who he is and wasn't some psycho.
Go but i met my husband um after about four months of talking online he flew out to visit me and then two weeks he was there for a week and then i got back on the plane with him went back to his house like across the country wow yeah and i stayed there for a month, and um, I came back home. It was great. Like, I really loved his family, his friends. They were all really good people.
Like, I look back and, like, I was very dumb.

[17:51] Well, or you had very good instincts.

[17:55] I guess. I just can't imagine if I have, you know, a son, but especially a daughter.
Like, I never had a boyfriend.
It could have been so bad, and then I guess you.

[18:16] Guys got along well and how long till you got married.

[18:18] So I came back and he I guess I went back one more time I visited him for Christmas and then he enlisted in the Navy, so So he was in boot camp for however long it is, the four months or something.
And then, so yeah, it was one year when he got out and then he moved to the state for his training, his job training that was about five hours away from me.
And I was going to move down there, or get my own apartment so I could be closer to him.
And my mom decided that they're going to pick up and they'll move so that I can live with them and be close to them.

[19:17] Interesting.

[19:18] Yeah. So they did that.
And we lived there for a year while he was in his training.
He ended up not staying in the military.
He went through a crazy mental breakdown.
And they just had two guys in this program kill themselves.
So they were like, you can just leave. like they weren't gonna try to keep him in after that happened wow it was it was mainly just because it's like the hardest program in the navy like not like not the um navy seal or anything just like academically and it was a lot of like overnight shift stuff with just it was like i I couldn't do it.
I would break down crying at everyone being mean to me.
He was extremely sleep deprived. He just wasn't sleeping.
And he was starting to just, like, what if I just, like, put my hand in a propeller?
Like, I'll get out of school for six weeks. Like, just starting having those thoughts. Yeah.

[20:37] So, they'd offered him a couple of different rates, but they were, like, not worth staying in for those. So, he just got out.
And so, in the meantime, we eloped.
So that he because he wanted to get off get out of the barracks and i wanted to get out of my parents house so we we just signed papers and were able to move in together not.

[21:05] The first military man and his.

[21:07] Girlfriend to take that route but yeah he had a friend that was that did that too but they didn't uh tell anyone they just secretly signed the papers and then she stayed living with her parents just so he couldn't move out while he was there um, they're still married that was they were they're still good ah where was i so yeah he got out and we moved back in with my parents, he didn't know what he was like he was so depressed he didn't know what to do, and then they moved back to where they were living previously, not my home state but the state where the friend lives, we all moved back and that was just the worst time of my life living there as an adult with a depressed husband.

[22:11] Well, with your, you know, depressed husband, too.

[22:13] Yeah.
And that was my original email when the, The worst part of his porn addiction was for us.
Looking back, I'm just like, I took so much on myself.
Like, what's wrong with me? Like, it's my problem. It's my fault.
I ended up getting breast implants. Like, maybe if I look like a porn star. Wow.
I'm actually I still have them I'm actually getting them out in two months and I'm like finally I feel like I'm moving on with that part of my life and when when did you find.

[23:08] Out about his addiction.

[23:10] Um it was right after we moved in together after we got married I uh, he he had set up his um computer on our TV so he could have it like a huge screen for gaming and I just turned the computer on and was trying to look something up and it was just like, he didn't clear the history so the website it's pop up as you're typing, and it's just you know.

[23:38] All that That sounds like a wanting to get caught kind of thing.

[23:43] I don't know he's never like, been good about hiding it.

[23:55] He's all i mean i don't know because that was also the time when he was going through his no not sleeping stuff too so it could just be extremely forgetful, yeah that was that all happened, we i think we were with my parents for uh it's like six months like three to six month range, where he was just working as a pizza delivery driver and I was working at one of my old jobs, that I'd worked at before I met him, and while he was delivering pizza he got robbed at gunpoint and that night he's like I don't want to live here here and within a week we were moved we were back we both we packed up a u-haul trailer my dog and booked it to the other side of the country to where his family is.

[25:15] Uh sorry i wasn't sure if you were finished um.

[25:18] I guess i don't know what to talk about right now.

[25:22] I don't either okay.

[25:24] Um you want to just like go all the way up until today like.

[25:30] Well let's make sure you know given that we are sensitive to your your baby awakening uh that we um if you can uh finish up again i I don't want to rush you, it's your life, but I want to make sure we have enough time for the generic probing questions trademark.

[25:48] So we lived with his brother and sister for a couple of years, or sorry, his brother and his wife for a couple of years.
And I watched their daughter for them while we lived together.
My husband went back to school and we eventually got our own place.
Which was probably the happiest I was.
I mean, yeah, just living in our own house.
We were renting, but we was on a bunch of land and ladyless, have a garden and chickens and all this stuff.
So I worked while he was in school.
And when he graduated, he moved to the middle of the country.
We didn't know anyone, but it was like the best cost of living, salary ratio or we could buy a house for a hundred thousand dollars and uh we stayed there for, yes two or three yeah three years uh that's when covid hit and that's when i had my son and because he was it was a i don't know if it was technically a government job but it's kind kind of like a government adjacent, and that's when all the vaccine mandates were coming out.

[27:09] He basically had six months to decide whether he was going to get the shot or not, and he decided not to.
He looked around for jobs, and the best job, in his opinion, was right back where I was raised.
Not my home state, but where my parents lived.
My parents had actually moved down to Oklahoma because they were getting ready to retire.
At the time they'd already moved out so I'm like alright that's fine we can move back there it's just my brother and sister living here now I can deal with them and then a few months after we moved back my parents moved back up here.

[27:54] Yeah, I thought it was fine just seeing them twice a year for whatever Christmas and, Labor Day or whatever when they came up in the summer.
They're within 30 minutes of me now. And my mom is just always sounding me for like, when are you going to come visit? I want to see your son.
I want to hang out. It's like, I want to just tell her like, it's the first time in my life you've wanted to hang out with me. Why now?

[28:38] Well, she's retired.

[28:40] No, she's not. She's still working.

[28:42] Oh, she's still working.

[28:42] It's my dad that's retired, yeah.
I just had a phone call with her the other day.
It was when all that cell phone, it's like AT&T went down or something.
I don't have AT&T, so I didn't even notice.
But she was calling me because she's really into conspiracy theories too.
And she's like, what's your plan? What's your plan if the grid goes down?
Where are we going to meet up as a family? All this stuff.
I was like, what are you talking about? about like my husband he's like he works like his job is maintaining the grid and i'm like i'm not worried about the grid going down and if it does it would literally be an entire the entire country would have to go down like the way it's all interconnected, and it's like at that point like there's nothing you could do anyway just don't worry about it.

Trauma, Religion, and Family Conflict

[29:47] But she went from that to then asking me where I am spiritually and I've been an atheist for about a decade and I never told her and I just I got so mad because like all this gloom and doom that the end is near stuff was it was so traumatizing to me and I was just like you know I haven't believed in God in a decade and I feel like I was mean but, I just couldn't stop and I said as an adult I can't believe in it it's not real to me and I said I honestly don't understand how you believe in it as an adult, to me it's such a childish belief you know.

[30:45] And she just got really quiet so she does anytime I confront her about anything she'll either hang up or just change the subject and that's what she did she just changed the subject and just rejects yeah, yeah I haven't it's so hard because like I want to just be honest and then it just sorry Sorry Turns into being mean, It's the last time. That was probably four years ago.
I don't actually... Sorry, my times are all weird.

[31:29] No, it's fine. We're looking for themes, not timelines.

[31:32] Yeah. So it was before I had my son. This was probably the last time I talked to her.
And then I cut her off for two years. I didn't tell her I was pregnant or I had my son.
But my sister had told my grandpa her dad that i had a baby and he's like if you don't tell her i will it's like fine i'll tell her but um that last conversation was them talking about trying to move back uh to where my brother and sister are after they'd moved because she wanted to buy a house on a lake and all this stuff.

[32:12] If you could just stay off the places, that would be great, but go ahead.

[32:15] Okay.
She wanted to buy a house on a lake and all this stuff.
I'm just like, you're not going to be able to buy a house on a lake.
You can't even get out of debt.
And she got really mad and hung up.

[32:32] Pattern.

[32:34] Yeah.
So I just stopped talking to her, and I didn't talk to her again until after my son was born, which I didn't want to. I was talking to my husband about this the other day.
It's like when I cut her off before, it was so easy, because they weren't there.
It was like nothing in my life changed other than just not having this guilt of, oh, I need to call her, oh, I haven't talked to her, all this stuff.
But now that I'm back where they live, and I want to interact with my siblings, but they still talk to them, and I don't want to be around them.
I don't want to be around my siblings. links, but they're, and they know, like if I go to my sister's house, they know I'm there. They're going to try to come too.
It's just, I feel like if I cut them off, I'm going to lose my siblings too.

[33:49] What's the value that, I'm not saying there isn't, I just want to make sure I understand. What's the value that your siblings bring to your life?

[33:58] I guess that part of the email is that I have a really hard time getting deep connections with people.
And they're kind of the only people that I have really good connections with right now that I can be open with.

[34:19] Oh, so they've dropped the habit of hanging up on you whenever you say something they don't like?

[34:24] No, they've never done that to me.

[34:26] Sorry, I thought your sister did when you said she couldn't buy a house on the lake.

[34:29] Oh, no, I'm sorry. That was my mom.

[34:31] Oh, your mom. Sorry about that.

[34:33] Yeah. No, my sister, no, she doesn't. Well, I can say whatever I want.
She won't ever take my advice, but she's not going to get mad and hang up on me.

[34:45] And what did your siblings think of you not seeing your parents for a couple of years?

[34:50] They didn't see anything wrong. They've both periodically cut them off.
They'll stop talking to them for a while and then bring them back in.
And my brother, my younger brother is, he's a baby brother, so I get emotional.
He had a similar situation where he married his first girlfriend.
Didn't work out between them and then he ended up coming out as gay and I feel like my mom, like she wasted so many years of his life because she was just pushing him to be like a married man like kind of all of us I should actually I don't want to get into there, I feel like that's not my story to share.

[36:01] Yeah that's fine.

[36:09] Yeah my, my brother is a lot easier to talk to but I feel like it's just because he has it worse than me of not ever speaking his mind.
So he's never gonna... He's never gonna fight me on anything.
He just agrees we'll change the subject or whatever.
Which I wish he wouldn't, but it's easy to talk to someone like that.

[36:49] Right.

Sibling Relationships and Past Trauma

[36:52] My sister, she had it worse than me.
I feel like I was just kind of in the shadows where she got all of the...
I probably was only spanked once in my childhood.
And it was by my dad but my sister was probably getting spanked by my mom multiple times a week, it was always like because we'd get into trouble together and because she's older so she should know better so she would get punished, that was my mom's reasoning anyway and she just really went off the rails from a young age.

[37:41] This is the girl whose horse friend took her to nightclubs at 15?

[37:44] Yes, yeah. Yeah, she ended up getting sexually assaulted when she was 15.

[37:51] Oh, gosh. At a club?

[37:52] Yeah. Yeah. Someone followed her into a bathroom.

[38:00] I'm sorry to hear that.
Did she get the guy legally, at least?

[38:06] No, because she didn't want to tell my mom that she was out at a nightclub.

[38:11] Oh, so he continues playing. Okay.

[38:13] Yeah.

[38:19] Wow. And so how's her life turned out overall?

[38:24] I mean, she's in an okay place right now.
She got pregnant when she was 17 to a very abusive boy who lived with us for a year.

[38:43] Sorry, what now?

[38:45] Sorry, I forgot about this part. And when we moved down to the southern state, she got into a really bad crowd of people.
And she would just always be sneaking out, just out drinking, partying all the time.
Time and um yeah she met this boy and she ended up getting pregnant and oh no no he actually moved in with us before she got pregnant because he told my mom that uh he lived with his grandmother and he said that his grandmother was abusive and she would hit him with a belt and just like a lot I mean, she would, it's not like he was making it up, but he was just trying to get out of the house, you know, and she let him move in with us. And then lo and behold.

[39:47] My sister gets pregnant. Hang on, did he know that she was his, her daughter's boyfriend?

[39:55] Yeah.

[39:57] Okay.

[39:58] I think my mom in some way thought that if they were, if he was living with us, it would keep her home instead of her always leaving to go hang out with him.

[40:14] Okay, so she gets pregnant at 17 with him?

[40:17] Yes. And then what? He was very abusive, and my mom ended up kicking him out, and my sister went with him.
Sorry.
Right after she had the baby they moved it out and oh he almost killed her what.

[40:47] Do you mean.

[40:47] He i don't know what he hit her with i can't remember it but he hit her in the head and knocked her out and he actually thought that she was dead and he was dragging her body out to the backyard.

[41:09] Was he going to bury her?

[41:11] I don't know.
But thankfully, I think my mom had my nephew at the time so he wasn't there for it.
But she ended up...
I think he left. left he left her out in the yard and left and she ended up ending up waking up and being able to get out of there and guessing she didn't press charges either.

[41:44] And then she was done with the guy?

[41:48] Yeah. Yeah, at that point, she was done.
Yeah, there was a lot between then and when he did that, but just, it was a mess.
And she was, honestly, can't remember if she was actually moved back home or if she was with friends, because she would leave and come back, leave and come back.
And my mom essentially raised my nephew for the first couple of years until my sister was stable enough to have her own place when she got him.

Sister's Troubles and Mother's Role

[42:29] What was she doing?

[42:32] Just illegal things.

[42:35] Oh, so she abandoned her child off and on?

[42:41] Okay.

[42:44] And this is the person you want to stay close to?

[42:50] Yeah.

[42:53] Can you help me know why?

[42:57] I mean, she has, I mean, when she got, away from all those people, she's just been working legally now and she's married and she's gotten back on her feet and she's got her kids with her.

[43:27] And what's her marriage like.

[43:31] Um I mean, They don't seem to like each other that much.
But, yeah, I don't really...
Yeah, their marriage is not very great. They fight a lot, but they're, I don't know, they just want to stay together.

[44:11] And do they fight in front of their children?

[44:15] In front of their children? Yeah.

[44:19] Sorry, were there other children around?

[44:21] No, I thought you meant like with my son, like they've never fought in front of me.

[44:25] No, no, do they fight in front of their children?

[44:26] Yeah.

[44:29] And is it just like yelling matches or is there anything physical?

[44:33] No, just yelling.

[44:35] And how often do they fight?

[44:39] Maybe a couple times a year. It's like every few months something will happen and they'll just kind of have a blow up.

[44:48] Okay. And what about just general conflicts or them not getting along or not liking each other?
Or is it like love-hate or is it like indifference?

[44:57] No, it's like love-hate where they're the best person ever. and then I can't stand you get away from me, like just back and forth like that.

[45:08] I mean, I assume that your sister did a lot of drugs, a lot of alcohol and had significant brain injury.

[45:13] Yeah, she's actually had multiple concussions just as a kid falling off bikes and horses and car accidents.

[45:22] Backed out to the backyard after being brained by the father of your child.
So she may not be working.

[45:31] On full circuitry yeah, I'd never even expected her to settle down and get married.

[45:44] Okay, so this is someone you want to, you've got your brother and you've got your sister, and these are the people that you want to stay close to.
As far as I understand it, I'm not agreeing or disagreeing, I just want to make sure I understand the lay of the land.

[46:01] Yeah, the thing with my sister, though, is that she just seems like she's on an upward trajectory, like she's getting better every year.

[46:10] Right.

[46:12] Like there is positive, like, her action like she's nicer to her children she's she's actually holding a job like i do see positive things happening in her life how.

[46:28] Has she dealt with the guilt of abandoning her child.

[46:32] I know she's apologized to him like a lot because he's he's almost 18 now and like she's sat him down then like i was a bad mom like i'm so sorry and i think she holds a lot of guilt still because she babies him now like she oh dear he can do more wrong yeah.

[46:54] And how's he doing i.

[46:57] Mean he's a nice kid but he's not doing anything with his life he's just He's playing video games, and he helps a lot because they have horses still.
He's very helpful around their farm.
He'll pick up jobs here and there.

[47:19] Yeah, no future, no dating, no plan.

[47:23] I think he has a girlfriend, but no long-term goals.

[47:29] All right, so how can I best help you?

[47:32] I need to figure out how to not rely on these people or my social interaction but, I'm just so closed off.

[47:45] But what problem are you trying to solve? Like, you're either in search of a positive or avoiding a negative.
And what problem are you trying to solve by being less dependent on your siblings?

[48:00] Well, I just, I don't have friends here. Like, we're out in the country.
I'm, you know, stay-at-home mom. I'm just trying to...
I feel like there's a lot of people i could be friend with but i, every time i like try to talk to people it's just surface level stuff and.

[48:22] Well of course it is i mean how could it not be i mean does that make sense of course it is i mean because the stuff that you would talk about that would be meaningful to you would, you know, I assume be fairly horrifying to other people.
I mean, if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Or maybe you think that. Or maybe I'm totally wrong about that.

[48:44] No, I think you're right because the people that I, when I have had friends, it's always other damaged people.

[48:52] Well, no, not the damage. The damage is not the problem.
I mean, you as a child were damaged decades ago, right? Right.
So it's not being damaged. That's the problem. I mean, I was damaged as a child.
So you, I assume you want, you know, obviously functional and healthy and happy and productive and positive people, right?

[49:23] Yeah. Yes.

[49:25] Okay. So don't you have to choose? I mean, can you have have messed up people and healthy people in your life?
I mean, maybe I'm wrong about that, but that would be my first question.
And I'm not sort of saying what is objectively true, I don't know, but what you may think, right?
That if you want sort of high-functioning quality people in your life, they probably won't want to get involved in the drama of your family or hear much about it or you think anything can be done or do you know what I mean?

[50:05] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
So it's you.

[50:16] Got that fork in the road right.

[50:17] Right, i also don't know how because when i've cut my parents off before i never like i didn't say anything to them i basically just blocked them no notice and i've, i feel like i need to tell them why.

[50:41] Why do you.

[50:42] Feel that need?

[50:42] Do you think, again, not agreeing or disagreeing, but why do you think you feel that need?

[50:48] Because I don't want them to just wonder. I don't know.

[50:55] Wait, you want to be thoughtful and considerate?

[50:58] Yeah.
I just have a lot of like...

[51:04] To these people who took half a wrecking ball to a couple of kids, who terrified you with stories of imminent doom and depersonalization and vanishing into the heavens and watching your pets die from, like, I mean, sorry, is this a big consideration thing for you?

[51:29] I guess I've always thought, like, they didn't, like, actually abuse me. Like, I don't know.
Like, it wasn't actually that bad. Like, I don't have that big of a reason to cut them off. I don't know.

[51:45] Well, I mean, what's... And I'm happy to hear the case for that, right? So what's the case that they were not bad, particularly, or not too bad?

[51:55] I mean, they...
Because we had a fairly, we didn't have a stable, I can't say that.

[52:08] All right, try again.

[52:09] No.

[52:11] I mean, moving kids around is really destructive because kids thrive on social bonds, right?

[52:16] Yeah.

[52:17] I mean, sometimes it's necessary, you're in a war zone or something, right?

[52:20] No.

[52:21] But I mean, didn't you just kind of give up making new friends?

[52:25] I did.

[52:26] Yeah, of course. What's the point, right? right? So, of course, you fall into yourself and you have to be your own social circle.
You have to be your own tribe. You have to be your own friend group, right?

[52:38] I also just feel guilt because it was so much easier when it was just me, but, it's not like they are owed visits with my son, but it breaks my heart that he can't have a relationship with his grandparents even though i don't want i don't want them around him it's just like this conflicting okay hang on i know i need you to check your.

[53:02] Head a little bit here it seems like.

[53:03] We've got a cobweb corner right so do you mean.

[53:07] If if like the fantasy grandparents.

[53:09] Yeah because i had grandparents the nice grandparents like you wish.

[53:14] That he had imaginary grandparents that he had a.

[53:18] Relationship with.

[53:19] Invisible grandparents i.

[53:20] Know i just i had I have so many happy memories of my grandparents, and it makes me sad that he won't have that.

[53:29] Sorry, the grandparents who raised your parents?

[53:31] Yeah.

[53:33] What?
They raised your parents? Did your grandparents intervene when your parents were terrifying you with apocalyptic tales of leaving your body?

[53:44] My grandmother did try. eye she uh when my my mom took us out of school my grandmother she really laid into hers saying don't like don't just keep your kids home they need friends they need like they need to socialize all this stuff and i think my mom my mom might have cut her off for a while and didn't talk to him for a long time and that happened okay so so your son's.

[54:15] Grandparents are not your grandparents right okay so projecting yourself into your son and skipping a generation doesn't make any sense right.

[54:25] Yeah.

[54:33] So what's going on with this sentimentality thing?

[54:39] I don't know. I just... I feel so much guilt.

[54:44] For what?

[54:48] I don't want them to be sad.

[54:51] You don't want your parents to be sad?

[54:54] Yeah.

[54:55] Do you have any... I mean... Okay, look, that's a fair question.
I understand that. and I'm, you know, I get where you're coming from. No, no criticism here.
But why would you think you have any control over that?
I mean, if my father smoked unfiltered cigarettes, like two packs a day for, I don't know, 30 years or whatever, right?
Would I have any control over whether he did or did not get cancer?
No if my mother refused to exercise and ate really poorly would i have any control over her health no, and these are conditions that you can do something about like you can quit smoking you can and exercise or whatever, right?
So when it comes to immorality, and it seems fairly clear to me, I'm happy to be corrected, that your parents have for many decades engaged in some significant immorality, and it doesn't sound to me like they've taken ownership, they have apologized, worked to make restitution, and given you a reason to believe it's never going to happen again.
Again, I mean, have they acknowledged their wrong? Have they apologized?
Have they made restitution?

[56:25] Oh, I haven't brought anything up to them.

[56:27] Oh, no, that's not what I asked. See, now you're in control again, right?
Well, of course, my parents could never notice they did anything wrong because I haven't told them. But are they ignorant?
I mean, a rock doesn't paint itself, but I guess you could paint a rock.
So they have free will. They have moral instruction, right? Right?
I mean, your mother's religious, and I assume your father goes somewhat in that direction.

Impact of Parental Influence

[56:53] So, they have a conscience, they have a soul, they pray, they ask for guidance, right?
So, they have not acknowledged wrong or apologized or made any restitution, right?
Okay. So...
Are you in any control over the misery that unrepentant immorality does to human beings?

[57:21] No.

[57:22] Now, you, of course, want desperately to take ownership of your parents' souls and fix them, right?
To tell them, to get them to apologize, to make restitution, for them to grow that Grinch heart three sizes and become nice people, right?

[57:39] Mm-hmm.

[57:42] Sorry, I'm not sure what means.

[57:44] Oh, sorry, yes.

[57:46] I mean, I know what it means, but it's very, very, very distant from the conversation.
And again, I'm just, this is the thought, right? I can save my parents, right?

[58:00] Yeah.

[58:01] Okay. What evidence do you have that your parents have a conscience?
I'm sorry, I'm not sure if you said something Sorry.

[58:20] I've never even thought of that Well no.

[58:25] But isn't that what you're trying to appeal to?

[58:28] I guess, yeah I mean.

[58:30] If you're trying to appeal to someone's conscience shouldn't you first find out if they have a conscience?
Like if I want to buy an iPad from someone shouldn't I first find out if they have an iPad?

[58:40] Yeah.

[58:42] Okay, so what evidence do you have that your parents have a conscience?

[58:55] I'm seriously, I'm racking my brain.
I don't, I don't think I have any.

[59:07] Of course you don't of course you don't.

[59:11] I don't think I've ever even my mom has ever apologized about anything.

[59:17] Right I'm sure that what happened with your sister had nothing to do with them it was just the bad influences the problem is the girl with the horse the problem is the boyfriend the problem is the crowd the problem is the school it's all externalized right right, the problem is modern culture the problem is government the problem is the grid right so so they don't take any responsibility for anything they've done right okay, so there's no evidence they have a conscience, And I could understand the delusion of a conscience if you were Christian, but you're not, right?
Do you think it's possible for people, I don't know, what are they in their 60s or late 50s, is it possible in your mind for people to grow a conscience later in life after having shown no evidence of a conscience for more than half a century?

[1:00:19] No they're just they're getting more set.

[1:00:22] Yeah i'd be getting there yeah okay so, to me you're let's say that your father had lost a hand in some industrial accident or something like that right or both his hands right and you're wracked with guilt because you want to find a way for him to grow his hands and you think you can do it through emotion no honestly i mean you're into science right i mean evolution like you are twisting yourself into knots because you hope that you can sentimentalize new physical organs for your parents.

[1:01:16] Development of a conscience is pretty early on in life, and it's 13 parts of the brain working in accordance, and it's quite a complicated thing.
It's a fairly easy window to miss, and it doesn't mean you can never grow a conscience later on in your life, but you really have to go through the ringer.
And once people have done enough wrong, you know, it's like smoking, right? If you smoke a little bit, maybe you could run marathons later.
I mean, you think of the Beatles, like one of them died of smoking because he kept smoking.
The other one smoked in their 20s and I think quit in their 30s.
And, you know, I mean, certainly Ringo and Paul McCartney have made it to their old age.
But if you smoke too much, at some point you can't come back from it, right? You can never run a marathon. You can, like, whatever, right?
So your parents have no functional evidence of hands.
And you're wracked and tortured with guilt because you want your son to be able to play catch with people who have no hands.
And boy, and you know why they have no hands? That's on you.
Because you just haven't figured out the magic spell, to regrow their missing hands. And that makes you bad, right?
How dare you deny them their hands forever?

Guilt and Responsibility

[1:02:42] Yeah. Oh, God.

[1:02:49] You understand this is just more abuse, right? Your parents have put this on you.
So they have something to offer you.
If you accept your parents for who they are and say, I have no power to change them. They have no capacity for change.
And they're probably going to stay the same or maybe get a little worse.
Nothing is ever going to change.
And I have to look at them for who they are and not my imagination and not my guilt or whatever, right?
If you just look at your parents and say, this is who they are, do you want them in your life? No change.

[1:03:34] Oh, no.

[1:04:04] Because otherwise, if you say, okay, I've got another 15 years with these soulless, crazy people or whatever, right? Then you'd be like, you wouldn't get out of bed. Like, you wouldn't make it.

[1:04:19] It's like you're locked in a basement and you've got 2,000 keys in a box, right?
And you just keep trying the keys. You have to.
And if you go through all 2,000 and none of them fit, you're like, well, I must have missed one. You start again, right?

[1:04:38] Because what's your choice? Are you going to give up? You can't just say, well, okay, that's it. I guess I'm going to die in this basement.
Like you have to keep trying. And you're still trying.
All right there's a lock around your parents hearts and you think you can come up with some key and you can open them up and you can release their heart and restore their souls and you just keep trying keys and strategies and approaches and in your mind what did i miss did i check the back maybe there's some oil right you're just trapped in this basement with nobody around, and these locks that inside you think is your parents true selves their hearts their love their their higher selves, their better selves, or whatever, right?
Which, to me, is like a doctor saying, oh, no, if I speak the right words, I can summon your emergency backup imaginary lungs to replace the ones that you've half-killed with cigarettes.
Like, we have ghost lungs that we can just restore, I just have to figure out the right words or the right approach.

[1:05:50] So apparently it's your fault that your parents haven't manifested their humanity because you just haven't done the right thing, right?

[1:05:58] Yeah. Ridiculous.

[1:06:01] Well, it's grandiose, right? They are who they are, that they've made the choices they've made, and they're stuck, as we all are.
We're stuck in the consequences of our choices, right?
Now, if you're in a good place, yay, right?

[1:06:16] Right.

[1:06:17] Right, and if you're in a bad place, you know, I mean, I'm stuck at the consequences of my choices to marry well, to be a good father, to exercise, to, you know, eat reasonably well, to, you know, I'm stuck in the consequences of those choices.
I have, you know, robust health and I was able to survive a potentially fatal illness with little after effect.
And right, so, you know, these are the effects of my choices and the people who don't exercise and who eat badly and, you know, they get fat and their joints hurt and their back hurts and their, you know, blood pressure is through the roof and they, you know, get stabbing chest pains when they climb the stairs.
Okay, they're just stuck in the results of their choices. Now, your parents had choices when they were younger, but those choices were probably over long before you came along.
And they certainly have no functional choice now.

[1:07:05] Oh, my mom would say that if you're doing really well, that's usually a sign that you're not close enough to God.

[1:07:13] Well, she sounds like one of the most godly people I've ever heard of.

[1:07:17] She's, yeah, she's a martyr. martyr.

[1:07:20] Oh, but this is also probably either an explanation of the bankruptcies or the reason for the bankruptcies, that they would have an unconscious desire to get rid of wealth so that they could get right with God.
Okay, so you're bringing her closer to God by accepting her flaws.

Examining Parental Influence

[1:07:37] No, I mean, am I wrong?

[1:07:41] I guess, yeah. No, you're not wrong. Sorry.

[1:07:48] So your parents have made your choices why your parents choices would force your choices i don't understand you have choices they they made their choices they have the life that they have and it's not going to be undone right there's no time travel you can't go back and you can't unsmoke a billion cigarettes right right so they've made their choices choices.
And you have your choices to make. But the idea that your choices would be dominated by their choices is to pretend that you're still a child.
Because when we were kids, yes, our choices are dominated by our parents' choices.
You know, when my mother decided to move from England to Canada, I came along.
I had no choice. Nobody else was going to to take me in, so I had to come.
But now I can live where I want to live.
So when you say, my choices are dictated by my parents, you're saying, I'm still a child.
But you're not a child. You're a mother.
And as a mother, you have to make choices not according to your parents' choices, but according to what?

[1:09:04] What's best for my son.

[1:09:05] Your child's needs.

[1:09:07] Yeah.

[1:09:09] Now, you twisting yourself up in knots and feeling massive amounts of guilt because your parents made bad choices before you were born, which you can't possibly change now.
Is that good or bad for your son?

[1:09:23] It's not good. After I had my conversation with my mom, I've been on edge.
And I think my son can sense it because he's been extra clingy lately.

[1:09:35] Sorry but the conversation wasn't to do with atheism what was the more recent one.

[1:09:39] No that was that that one i'm.

[1:09:42] Sorry i thought that.

[1:09:43] Was a couple years ago no sorry that was a couple weeks ago couple.

[1:09:46] Of weeks ago okay so sorry okay so you're on edge because you think there's going to be blowback.

[1:09:54] I just i feel like there's just so much bubbling up in me that i want to tell her but i know it's going to be the end of our relationship Relationship.

[1:10:05] Relationship.

[1:10:06] Earth.

[1:10:08] No, no, tell me more about this relationship where you can't say anything.
Where you have to lie continually in order to be in the presence of others.
You have to misrepresent your history.
You have to misrepresent your feelings. You have to hide. You have to camouflage yourself.
You have to be the opposite of what you actually think and feel.
Tell me more about this relationship.

[1:10:32] Thank you.

Strained Anti-Relationship with Mother

[1:10:40] Yeah i guess there isn't one.

[1:10:42] Well it's an anti-relationship, right yeah a non-relationship is i don't know some guy in india he does his thing i do my thing we don't know each other has no effect that's a non-relationship an anti-relationship is where i have to actively betray everything i believe all my experience and everything i stand for in order to be in the presence of someone else.
I have to self-destroy to be in the proximity of someone.
That's an anti-relationship. That's the opposite of a relationship because not only do you not have a relationship with your mother, but she destroys your relationship with yourself.
And if you don't have a relationship with yourself that's positive and accepting and honest, you can't really have a relationship with your son.
So you understand, she's nuking the parent-child bond by putting you at war with yourself.
And the parent-child bond with you and your son.
You don't have the right as a mother to indulge in sentimentality that harms your bond with your son.
You don't have that right. It's not an option. It's not on the table.
I mean, if your husband says, you know, I think I'm going to take up motorcycle riding in the rain with no helmet, what would you say?

[1:12:04] No.

[1:12:08] But that's only potential harm. You indulging in sentimentality with your parents is actual harm.
This is a matter of self-discipline as well, right?
It's like no this is indulgent, magical, self-destructive fantastical thinking inflicted on me by my parents that interferes with my bond with my son I won't indulge in it, I won't indulge in it anymore than I'd want to get drunk while caring and breastfeeding for my son yeah.

Fixing the Past

[1:12:49] You do what's best for your son is is torturing yourself to fix your parents who won't even admit fault is that is that good for your son no so stop it, no it's it's stop it i mean i know that that sounds kind of ridiculous but i don't know that you have this relationship with like okay this is just a bad thought, it's just sentimental weirdness comes out of my trauma and it's harmful to my son and it's a reinfliction of my childhood right because when you're a kid you're always trying to fix your family and your parents are crazy you're trying to make them sane and your parents are cold and you're trying to make them warm and your parents are mean and you're trying to make them nice and your parents are angry and you're trying to make them calm and all you do is wrangle these, rabid beasts in your vicinity that's perfectly sensible everybody has to do that when you're You're a kid, but you're not a kid anymore.

[1:13:43] Really?

[1:13:44] You don't have to do any of this stuff. You don't have to fix them.
You don't have to make them better. You don't have to make them right.
And you can't anyway.

[1:13:55] It's hard. I score in the 95th percentile of neuroticism.

[1:14:03] Well, I would say that you had to maintain the illusion of fixing your parents in order to get through your childhood.
And so did I. And so did everyone who goes through this kind of stuff.
It is our most foundational and fundamental survival mechanism, because without that, we give up, and we don't get out of bed, and we don't make it.
So, I don't know what 95th percentile of neuroticism is like, well, no, you have to imagine you can fix broken people so that you could get through your childhood. Right.
And also, you may be confusing your parents with yourself and say, well, gee, if I can't fix them because they're so broken, maybe I can't fix myself because I'm so broken and all of this kind of stuff, right?

[1:14:49] Yeah, yeah.

[1:14:50] Which is putting yourself in the same category as your parents, which if you were, you wouldn't be calling me, I'll tell you that.

[1:14:58] No, definitely.

[1:15:00] Have you ever heard a call-in, like I've been doing this close on 20 years, right, thousands of call-ins.
Have you ever heard a call in which is a parent saying i really wrecked my children's childhood and i did all this terrible stuff and i'm just desperate to fix it all i.

[1:15:17] Think you might have had one actually i know i remember listening to a lady that called in about her teenage daughter but i don't know if she was taking on that much responsibility like.

[1:15:27] She was blaming the friend i don't know how it went right yeah it could have been somebody i mean i don't want to disrespect respect the woman because i don't know how it went but it could be somebody who just wanted attention oh.

[1:15:38] Yeah that honestly though that call.

[1:15:41] I do remember that she reminded.

[1:15:42] Me a lot she reminded me a lot of my mother.

[1:15:44] Right just.

[1:15:45] Like the trying to get in and have a relationship but it was already too late like the the bond was severed i remember just just absolutely hating my mother as a teenager i didn't want anything to do with her.

Breaking the Cycle

[1:16:05] Of course you care about your parents we can't erase that that survival bond so you care about your parents but you understand that you taking on the ownership of your parents conscience is doing them harm yeah, right my mother's only chance and my father's only chance at salvation was for me to stop supporting their delusions.

[1:16:28] Is it worth it to like write a letter of my grievances or is it i don't know.

[1:16:36] Well you know i can't tell you that right yeah.

[1:16:38] I know i.

[1:16:40] Can't tell you that i guess the question is not is it a good thing to do regarding you now that you're a mother what's the question it's.

[1:16:51] Good for my son.

[1:16:52] Is it good for your son, you getting engaged with some pretty cold-hearted, cruel people, it sounds to me, is that good for your son?

[1:17:06] Probably not.

[1:17:09] Well, I mean, who's better at manipulating, you or them?

[1:17:15] Them. Well, my mom. My dad doesn't really do that.

[1:17:19] You can't ever win a fight with people who don't have empathy.

[1:17:24] Oh, man. I was actually, that was something I was thinking about.
I was, I wanted to, like, get the skills to be able to, like, not, like, be combative, but, like, be able to talk to my mom, like.

[1:17:40] No, but you can't because.

[1:17:41] Not let her manipulate me.

[1:17:42] But. Empathy is nothing more or less than a set of rules that says, I won't do this.
Right? And so, when you have empathy, you say, well, I don't want to hurt someone because that would be like me being hurt and I empathize with the other person.
And I don't want to cause pain, right?
Empathy breeds trust because there's just a bunch of stuff that you won't do, right? I'll never raise my voice at my wife. I'll never call her a name.
I'll like, I just, because it would break my heart to do that. And I love her and right.
So empathy is just a bunch of rules that I'm not going to do, right?
I won't do that. Now, can you win a game of chess with someone who makes up their own rules?

[1:18:25] No.

[1:18:25] No, you can't. And people without empathy have no rules.
There's no limit on what they will or won't do.
They'll lie about you. They'll scream about you. They'll scream at you in public.
They'll manipulate you. They'll spread rumors. They'll undermine you.
There's nothing that they won't do.
I mean, you can't win a boxing match with a guy who's willing to shoot you.
Right?

[1:18:57] Right.

[1:18:58] Because that's outside the rules of boxing. You know, I remember this, was it Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding?
She was a fairly low-rent competitive skater, and she couldn't win against this woman, or thought she couldn't, so she got her boyfriend to whack her with a pipe in the leg.
Well, you can't, I mean, you can't win against people who have no rules, no restraint, no empathy.
You know, I tried debating with the world, and the world, not all of it, of course, I tried debating with the world about facts, reason, science, and evidence, and the world responded with, you're a Nazi.
You know what I mean? Like, there's no, they didn't respond with sort of reason or counter evidence or facts.

[1:19:43] You're just the bad man.

[1:19:44] Yeah, it's just like, they're just escalation threats, deplatforming insults, right?
So you can't win a fight because it's not a fight.
It's not a fight like chess or cards or boxing or hockey.
It's not a conflict. You can't win a conflict with people who have no restraint, who will do anything, right?

[1:20:12] Right.

[1:20:15] So you want to tell the truth to your parents, but your fear is that it will destabilize them, and they will come after you in some manner or they will hurt you in some manner or they will undermine you in some manner, and you'll be on the losing side of things again.

[1:20:33] Well, I think the biggest thing I'm afraid of is she's going to somehow convince me that I'm wrong. It wasn't actually like that.

[1:20:45] But you would only do that out of fear, right? Fear for escalation.

[1:20:50] Right.

[1:20:55] I mean i've said this before but maybe you hadn't heard it that when i was trying to talk to my mother about her all of her imaginary illnesses and ailments and said you know i fully accept they're all real i didn't get into whether the doctors had injected her with this stuff for reasons i can't even remember now 30 years later but i said to her i accept all of this but you know boy being being being ill in this kind of way is quite stressful maybe we can just nip over over to the library it's right across the street and we can get some books on stress and you know figure out because you know she was always kind of really tightly wound and afraid of things and slept with a knife under her pillow and all that kind of stuff right and and you know we were in a pizza hut and she you know picked up a pitcher of of diet coke and threw it at me and and was screaming at the top of her lungs and it's like okay so so there's nothing she won't do to win Yeah.
She will do anything to win.

[1:21:47] Yeah, that's, I mean, minus the violence, that's my mom. Hers is sneakier.

[1:21:52] There's nothing that she won't do to win. Okay, so there's no negotiation.
I mean, it's like a guy who wants your money and pulls out a gun.
Like he'll shoot you to get the money. So you can't negotiate with him, right?

[1:22:17] So people without conscience, you can't ever win a fight with them.
There's no negotiation that's possible.
Because they'll just make things up they don't live in reality they live in victory that's all they live in they live in victory I must win, and it doesn't matter how for them they're in a fight for their survival like if your son was menaced by some predator, you would do anything to save him right so that's the level of escalation that people experience without a conscience when they're simply questioned, it's total fight or flight it is a fight to the death and they will do anything to win, they will say any lie they will hurt anyone, they will pull any trick they will do anything it doesn't matter, they just have to win right, funny game, the only way to win is not to play Not to play. Not to play.
And you need to win with your son.

[1:23:41] Yeah.

[1:23:41] Not your parents. Your parents, it's a choice.
Your son, he has no choice, right? He's got you as his mother.
He's got his father as his father. And he's no choice, right?

[1:23:51] Right.

[1:23:52] And if your son, as he will, when he gets older, if he could give you advice about how to be the best mom you can be right now, what would he say?
Mom, you really need to what?

[1:24:11] Not care about how my actions are going to make them feel. Right.

[1:24:20] Because one of the worst things that you experienced was a kind of neglect particularly from your mother right so you being distracted by your parents causes you i'm sure to a much smaller degree of course but causes you to be less attentive to your son because you're in your own head and you're thinking about other things and you're worrying about other things and you're on other planets other worlds other histories right yeah so you're not there as much for your son, and that's how the cycle repeats.

Focus on the Present

[1:25:01] Yeah I can't have you.

[1:25:03] Are when you have and I'm sure you do have at times but when you have a consistently great connection with your son you're going to get angry at your parents for what was the guy to you I've.

[1:25:15] Not been as angry as I am since I've had a son like since I've had a child.

[1:25:21] I can't.

[1:25:25] I don't understand how they they just ignored us. Right.

[1:25:33] I mean, kids are so much fun, and they're so great.

[1:25:35] I know.

[1:25:36] They are. They're just the best.

[1:25:38] Right? My son's so sweet.

[1:25:39] They're sweet, they're thoughtful, they're, you know, considerate and funny.
And so, like, what kind of alien life form doesn't want to enjoy the company of their own children?

[1:25:55] Yeah. I don't, that's probably the hardest thing about having kids, realizing how bad your parents were.

[1:26:05] Well, and the only solution is to pour your heart and soul into your kids and let everything else just happen.

[1:26:11] Right.

[1:26:12] Don't let anything interfere between you and your connection with your son. Anything.
If intrusive thoughts about fixing your parents come in, you recommit to connecting with your son. and you put those thoughts aside and you say, let's play another game. Let's sing another song.
Let's read another book. Let's do another dance.

[1:26:34] Or in his case, go play in the dirt with his tractors.

[1:26:37] Absolutely. Yeah, I may be.

[1:26:41] You're a girl dad.

[1:26:43] Yeah, absolutely. Let's go play. Let's go get muddy.

[1:26:46] Go move some rocks.

[1:26:47] Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.
And if you have to claw through the ghosts of your parents to get to your son, then that's what you do.
Let me just, if we can, if we could do just a quick role play so I can sort of get a sense of your mom.

[1:27:14] I actually thought about this, like, doing one, and I, she just shuts down.
Like, there's literally nothing she would say. Like, I don't know.

[1:27:25] So she just goes completely.

[1:27:27] She goes, yeah, like. Right.
She'll just be like, sorry, I'm sorry you feel that way, and then change the subject.

[1:27:37] Right. Okay. So there's just no connecting with her?

[1:27:40] No.

[1:27:42] Okay. So help me, if you give them your letter of grievances, odds are they won't respond, right?

[1:27:55] I don't know.

[1:27:58] Well, you told your mother your grievances about, to some degree, about the religious upbringing, right?

[1:28:05] Right.

[1:28:07] And has she ever responded to that?

[1:28:09] No. She just, well, yeah, she said, thank you for being honest with me.
She sent me a text the next day.

[1:28:15] No, but there's no follow-up, right?

[1:28:16] No. And then she asked if we wanted to go hang out with them.

[1:28:23] Right.
Right.
So, apparently you just want to get rejected again and again and again and again.
You want to be ignored again and again?
And you say, well, what if I'm blisteringly honest? What if I'm really vulnerable?
What if this? Then I can regrow my parents' hands.
Like, at some point, don't you just want to cut your losses and stop being rejected?

[1:28:49] Yeah.

[1:28:50] I mean, it's just, at some point, it becomes masochistic.

[1:28:54] Yeah. Yeah, it was so nice living on the other side of the country.
I just didn't have to worry about them asking to visit.
It and could just ignore them, and now they're talking about moving to the town that I live like where I live like.

[1:29:14] Wow. It could be that they've not been your parents for decades.
They're still making you move.

[1:29:19] Yeah. No, I'm stuck here. I can't buy a house with the interest rate.
Well, gosh, sorry. I just had a thought, but I lost it.

[1:29:34] What about your husband's parents?

[1:29:37] Parents um they they still live back across the country they'll visit every once in a while but his mom has a lot of health problems so she can't she can't visit too much yes.

[1:29:49] No i don't mean the physical stuff i.

[1:29:52] Know how.

[1:29:53] How how are they as people.

[1:29:54] Um they have issues too um they're a lot more open with each other than my family, but he's mixed race.
His mom is an immigrant, so there's a language barrier.
He's always felt like he couldn't really connect with his mom because he doesn't speak her language, which always made me mad that she never taught caught him, but his dad's very, just not an emotional person.
Kind of a, gosh, almost like a Rush Limbaugh type, like just, opinionated, but, You can still have a conversation with him. You can disagree with him, and he's not going to shut down or yell at you. Right.
But yeah, he had a rough... My husband had a rough upbringing. He grew up very poor.
And his neglect was... Rough? Yeah, well, his neglect was physical. Mine was emotional.

[1:31:21] Where they wouldn't have enough money for school lunches and he went hungry a lot.

[1:31:31] Right, right.
So, yeah, I mean, the way you heal the cycle is you just focus on what's best for your kids. And I think we have good instincts about those things.
Is this particular thing good or bad for my kid?
And of course, if there are good people in your life and, you know, you enjoy their company and they have, you know, good kids, fun with your kids and, you know, all that kind of stuff.
I think we have good instincts for that kind of stuff. But we have to be pretty straight.
Relationships that are bad to me are roughly equivalent to as i sort of mentioned earlier substance abuse yeah.

[1:32:21] Yeah i get that and i'm connecting.

[1:32:23] You can't indulge in substance abuse with kids and you can't really indulge in relationships that separate you from your children or quote relationships like that harm your bond with children because the bond with to your children.
That's the job. That's the thing, right?

[1:32:43] You know, if you're at work, you can't do online gambling, right?
Because that's interfering with your job, right? That's kind of like stealing from the employer and so on, right?
And so you have a job and your job is connecting with your son.
Anything that advances that, wonderful. Anything which interferes with that, not wonderful.
For and you have to make you have to make the choices which is you know if your son could speak what would he want or i'm sure he can't right but if your son could really communicate, what would he want right and he would be like i would prefer like i don't like grandma and granddad so i would prefer spending time with you when we're really connected rather than you worrying about grandma and grandpa and me not getting either grandma and grandpa or you Like, it's just math, right?
When you're distracted by your parents, he's not getting the parents and he's not getting you.
It's just a net negative for him. And you just can't indulge in things that are net negatives for your kid.

[1:34:07] And that's living in the present, right? Rather than the past.
Is that reasonable advice.

[1:34:20] Yes this has been very helpful and i'm yeah just realizing that my, inability to speak up with new friendships is also just me being afraid they're gonna, get mad and shut down like my mom does but if they get mad shut down i don't want them to be friends. I don't want them as friends anyway.

[1:34:45] No, but if you don't allow people in your life who just get mad and shut down, you won't even be drawn to those people. It's a weird kind of thing.
It's a weird kind of alchemy.
I don't, like, since I don't have dysfunctional people in my life, I really don't meet dysfunctional people.
It sounds like kind of a weird thing, but it's true.
There's something, some aura I put off or something. I just don't meet dysfunctional people anymore.
I'm out of that world. I'm out of that trash planet that I sort of talked about in shows fairly recently.
I'm like, once you, you know, once you move to a really nice neighborhood, you just don't meet homeless people.

[1:35:25] Right.

[1:35:27] Like, once you don't have dysfunctional people in your life, you kind of don't meet dysfunctional people anymore.
I can't remember the last person I personally met who was just messed up.

[1:35:41] Now how i mean gosh i know we've already been talking for a while but like, because my husband doesn't listen to your shows he's not really a podcast guy, but like with his parents there is a lot of dysfunction and i like i don't want to just push him into i don't know i feel like but i mean it's the same thing for him as it would be for.

[1:36:05] You it's the same thing for him is what's best for your son what's best for.

[1:36:10] His son.

[1:36:15] You know, if, I don't know, I can't imagine, like, if my mom phoned me tomorrow and said, I really want to see my granddaughter, I'd be like, no, like, how's that a benefit? How's that a benefit to anyone here?
Oh, that's so selfish. It's like, well, first of all, this woman has no right to accuse anyone else of selfishness.
And secondly, it's like, it's not selfish if it's for the betterment of my child.
Like no one can accuse me of being selfish when i try to do what's best for my child and best for my family and and so on right or best for philosophy and so on right so if you say yeah i don't see how that benefits me or my family yeah i don't i don't see the plus, okay so if you don't see the plus why should you do it, You know, if somebody comes and tries to sell you, I don't know, you live 100 miles from any large body of water and someone comes to sell you a sailboat, you'd be like, no, I don't really, I don't really, I don't know, I don't live, I live in the desert, I don't need a sailboat.
Maybe sunscreen, but no sailboat, right? Now, is that selfish?
It's like, well, no. It's like, there's just, I don't, there's no, there's no benefit to be.

[1:37:41] Right.

[1:37:44] And why should you do things that are of no benefit to you?
And by you, I mean, of course, you, your family, your kid, your husband, you're like, why, why?

[1:37:59] I guess just the current bad feeling.

[1:38:02] If you go to Brad Pitt and you say, I want you to pay $5 million to me to be in this really crappy commercial, and Brad Pitt says no I'm not doing that and you say you're so selfish no it's like why would he I mean he already did something that didn't benefit himself by marrying that crazy woman, So, Angelina Jolie, right? So, I mean, just is it good for me and my family? That's all.

[1:38:37] Right.

[1:38:38] And if it's not good for you and your family, no. You didn't have that choice as a kid, but that's how you signal to your unconscious and your emotional system that you're not a kid anymore.
I don't do dysfunctional. I don't do dysfunctional.
I had to do it when I was a kid. I had to do it when I was a student.
I had to do it in the business world to some degree. I don't do dysfunctional.
I don't have to. Why should I have to do this? I mean, I work from home.

[1:39:06] Right?

[1:39:06] I am my own boss.

[1:39:08] Yeah.

[1:39:08] Why on earth would I want to do dysfunctional? I don't have to.
You know, I don't drive up and down the street picking up garbage from people's...
Like, I don't... That's not my job.
I don't have to do that. that so i i don't do dysfunctional and because i don't do dysfunctional dysfunctional doesn't like dysfunctional has a really great instinct for who's going to put up with that crap or not, yeah and i don't i don't i just i i don't do dysfunctional so dysfunctional doesn't approach me, in the same way that you know if you're selling on facebook you'll say you're selling your sale book on Facebook, you'll say, give me people with a certain amount of income who live on a large body of water, right?
You don't drive out to the desert in the middle of nowhere to try and sell a sailboat, and crazy people don't approach me, and haven't for years.

[1:40:13] I don't know how it happens exactly, other than it's some kind of instinct.
But people gravitate to their own levels, and dysfunctional people don't want to be around me because their tricks don't work, their nonsense doesn't work, it's boring and I'll cut them down, right?
Like I just, I don't do that stuff, you know?
If somebody knows, if some native Japanese speaker knows that I don't speak Japanese, they're not going to come and talk to me if they only speak Japanese, right? They wouldn't.
So when you leave that world behind it doesn't follow you in fact it actively avoids you, and you start moving among functional people and you start moving among happy people and you start moving among good natured people and you realize there's this whole other world, of people People who work well and do good.

[1:41:19] It just seems so hard to find right now.

[1:41:22] Well, sure. Because in the same way that dysfunctional people avoid you when you're functional, functional people avoid you when you're dysfunctional.
And then you feel like, well, I'm not going to have anyone if I don't have dysfunctional people. Isn't that kind of where we started, right?
Right. And I get that. That's the desert, right? That's the desert that you have to cross.
But the good news is you have a husband and a son to cross that desert with so you're not alone yeah i did that i did that crap alone which was not fun at all, i didn't even know there was anything on the other side fingers hope that ain't a mirage.

[1:42:12] Yeah it might be a little easier for me.

[1:42:14] Maybe yeah maybe but But, so yeah, with regards to your husband, you know, he's got to do what's right for his family. He's got to do what's right for his son.
If his parents are, I don't mean perfect or whatever, right?
But if his parents are a generally positive addition to his relationship with his son, fantastic. If not, well, he's going to have challenges.

[1:42:35] They're definitely, that was one of the biggest things that drew me to him is that I loved his family.
I loved his friends. They just seemed like so just normal.

[1:42:46] He's got to get you out.

[1:42:48] Right.

[1:42:48] Now, he should be standing between you and your parents if they're a negative impact on your relationship with his son.
So he's got to step up a little bit here as well. This is a bit of a male thing.
Like, protect your woman. This kind of a thing, right? Because, listen, love you ladies.
You're just, you're incredibly sensitive and empathetic and thoughtful. And that's wonderful.
That's wonderful.
So you've got to shield that from people who will exploit it.

[1:43:20] Yeah, he just says he'll go along with what I say.

[1:43:25] Yeah, that's not a thing. that men can generally do. No, that's not a thing. That's not a thing.
Delightfully incomprehensible. Women are delightfully incomprehensible.
And I love the fact that women are that empathetic and sensitive and thoughtful and want to fix everyone and everything. I think that's beautiful.
So point it at your children and don't have it exploited by others.
That's really foundational to being a father.
So maybe he'll listen to that part.

[1:43:58] Just playing the last five minutes.

[1:44:00] Yeah yeah that might be fine that might be fine all right listen i know you've got a kid who's probably waking up soon is that yeah is that enough uh to hold him back.

[1:44:09] For me yes.

[1:44:11] All right well listen keep me posted um massive sympathies for what you experienced as a child and listen massive kudos and my deep deep admiration for what you're doing as an adult it's a beautiful thing what you're doing to to break this cycle and i can't tell tell you how much I admire what you're doing with your family and with your son in particular. It's just amazing.
And it's going to serve you extremely well over the course of your life.
And congratulations for all of that.

[1:44:37] Thank you.

[1:44:39] You're very welcome. Keep me posted. And thanks for the conversation.

[1:44:42] Yes. Thank you for your time.

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