Sympathy for Immorality?!? Freedomain Call In Show - Transcript

[0:00] All right. So, I'm all ears. How did it go? What's happening?

Gratitude for Positive Impact

[0:06] Well, first, I wanted to say thank you for making the time again to speak to me today.
Since our call, I've been trying to, as you say, judge myself according to ethics and morality and not according to the abusive language of my parents and that voice in my head.
Um i've been feeling a lot more um confident and inspired and more in touch with reality since our um conversation and i want to thank you for that oh my pleasure glad to help i did listen to your podcast last night and i wanted to say that um um it's obviously up to you but i did want to let you know that um even though it was personal i do i do feel i'm comfortable with you um sharing sharing that call.
Um, if you feel like it would help others, I, if I like to think that if it would help others, I'm, I'm, I'm comfortable with, um, opening myself up to that as well. So I just wanted to let you know.

[1:03] Oh, that's very kind. Um, maybe it'll go out to donors or something like that, but, uh, um, yeah, I appreciate that. It's very generous of you. So yeah.
Do you want to get me up to speed on how things are going now?

[1:14] Yeah. So I guess I'll start kind of with my husband.
So during this process, I was kind of telling you the last call that it's been opening up certain things for the both of us, unlocking some memories of his.
He was comfortable with me sharing that.
He realized that during when he was a baby and memory, like while changing our girls, our twin girls, he realized that he was molested by his mom as a baby.
Baby um and so for him this was you know a deep a deep pain that he had been carrying along with him his entire life and didn't really didn't remember it until until now like the situation that we're in being with our girls really kind of opened him up to that and kind of is letting him heal from that and um i'm not saying that i'm that i have some deep-rooted thing necessarily that's going to be like a light switch of course i mean my husband has been into philosophy for years now So it's not like, you know, it was an easy fix for him and not that it's an easy thing now.
Um, but I guess I am very curious, um, and interested to talk to you and maybe more so and go in depth with my childhood and kind of see if there is something that I'm missing.
I know that there's certain things that I have blocks on.
Um, so that's kind of what I was curious and interested in if you are.

[2:37] It's your call. I mean, wherever you want to take it is fine with me.
If you want to tell me about your childhood, we can see if we can pull apart some threads and find some patterns, I'm sure.

[2:50] Okay. Where should I start? Should I just start at the beginning?

[2:54] I can't tell you. That's the thing. I can't tell you where to start with your childhood. Whatever comes to mind first, whatever you think would be the most helpful, I'm certainly happy to hear.

Tragic Loss: Sister's Death and Abusive Marriage

[3:01] Okay. Well, I guess I'll start with the fact that, again, I'm one of three daughters to my parents.
Just to kind of summarize where they are, my oldest sister was 10 years older than me, but she's dead now.
Five years ago, six years. Wow, that's quite a beginning to the chat.
Yeah, I thought I just... Yeah, yeah, gosh, what happened?
Happened um so she married an abusive man um who was an alcoholic um and we found out after the fact that he was abusive throughout the relationship and he he shot her and killed her my gosh my gosh that's that's appalling i'm i'm so sorry how how awful and this was five years ago this was six Six years ago now. Six years ago. Okay.

[3:53] Wow. What was this guy like? You said you didn't know he was abusive, but he was abusing alcohol.
And, you know, people who abuse themselves will abuse others.
I mean, that's sort of the way that addiction goes. I mean, what was this guy like beforehand?

[4:09] So I was, like I said, there was a huge age difference. When they got married, I was in like ninth grade, I think, when they got married.
Um he wasn't he he always striked me as odd kind of a little bit aggressive kind just very eccentric but my sister was also very eccentric she was very um at least outwardly strong-willed and an angry person what you mean by centric um he had maybe just um not in touch with reality like he he had he had an obsession with guns he um was really obsessed with like german culture for some reason, I think just because his ancestry, he was German, but he would just talk about it a lot.
He had like, like, um, what's it called? Like, um, like with those packs of like food like powdered packs like in like a bunker person almost but he didn't have the means to be a bunker person he he just had um he was just you know kind of insane he reminded me a lot of my dad I kind of always thought he was like my dad when they were together, um me and my sister were never ever close um she kind of always treated me like I was her annoying little sister and didn't really want to be around me but I do remember there were times I asked her like he do why do you like him like he's really strange um should give me her reasons for why i remember a couple times asking is he abusive to you she would say no, um but to be honest like i wasn't as curious enough as i should have been.

[5:39] Um um let's say right when i graduated um so like four years later um him me um her husband And my father got into a physical altercation.
Cops were called. Her husband was arrested.
My sister and her husband cut us off for a period of time.
There wasn't really a conversation involved, but I just remember thinking like, you know, I'm glad she got out, but I don't know why she's not talking to me.

Sister's Husband Arrested, Breaks Contact with Family

[6:09] Like, I've always kind of tried to talk to her, but, you know, if this is what she needed to break free, then, you know, okay, then she did it, I guess.
It's kind of the most of the thought that I put into it at the time.

[6:22] So, sorry, they were married. He was arrested. Did he go to jail?
Is that why they broke up? What happened?

[6:27] Happened oh they were together so he he went to jail one night because my dad and her husband got in a physical altercation my dad called the cops um her husband went to jail for a night um it's just a domestic thing that was kind of waved off um and then i'm sorry just because you said that she got out and i'm not sure what that means in my perspective at the time when i was in i was in high school i thought she got out of our family dynamic like she oh okay sorry I thought she got out of the marriage.

[6:58] That's what I was with her husband. Okay. So, sorry. So she got out of a family down there, but I'm not sure what that means.

[7:05] Um, at the time I thought, you know, she's out of, you know, my parents grasp, like she didn't want to talk to us anymore.
And my parents didn't really seem like they cared. They didn't really put any effort in to try to find her either.
Um, kind of seemed unbothered by it.

[7:23] Um, sorry, try to find her. Was she, was she missing?

[7:27] No, they just they didn't try to reach out to her.
They didn't try to kind of like I was telling you with me how how my parents have been trying to communicate with me regularly since I cut them off last year.
They didn't try to do that with my sister. They kind of just let it be. Um, In my opinion, when I would try to talk to them about it, they didn't seem very bothered. They just didn't seem very bothered with the fact that she had cut herself off from them.
I never really thought that. My dad, like my sister, actually, the day we found out that she died, my dad literally said the words, what else could go wrong this year?

[8:08] He said what?

[8:10] He said what else could go wrong this year. And he didn't even cry.
Oh, yeah, like it's tough for him, right, right.
Yeah, he didn't say anything else. um like at the funeral it seemed like it was more of a social gathering for him than like a bad memorial um it was just very very odd um.

[8:31] But fast forward a few years um my sister we went into like a depressive episode of some sort she but then she was an alcoholic too at this point um she asked me you know can i come live with you me and we're not doing well sorry if you could just remember to stay off the names but no problem go ahead me and my husband are not doing well um i need somewhere to go i was still living at my parents house at the time and i said you know let me talk to my parents uh my mom told me no, um and it was just i was like a middleman like back and forth um but then my sister decided to she was suicidal at this point she decided to call the cops on herself get herself involuntary involuntarily um baker acted um and then at that point my my mom kind of was like well, okay i guess she'll have to come stay with us so she came and stayed with us for about six months um she got on psychiatric medication at this time kind of tamped all that down you know she, was emotional about it at this time i try to ask her again like how what's with is he abusive to you like she would let me know if you could just remember to stay off the names just so i don't have to edit it afterwards i'd appreciate that just her husband yeah god yeah her husband um, and and.

Sister's Depressive Episode and Return to Abusive Husband

[10:00] He kept telling me no. Again, at this time, I had such a parallel of events.
At this time, I had had my brush with suicidality.
So I was trying, I was on antidepressants at this point as well.
I just got on antidepressants as well, kind of at the same time.
I was in nursing school at the time, too. I met my now husband shortly after that.
So I just wasn't as curious with her as I should have been at this point.
And then fast forward six months later, her and her husband tried to work it out.
And we found they were at their own house.
I'm sorry. So when your sister was living with you and your parents, her husband wasn't there, right?
No they were separated for that time um and then towards the end of the six months they were starting to talk again hang out um spending some time together and then they spent the night at their house or she spent the night at their house and then the next day we found out actually found out from the news first before we found out from the police that they were dead um he he killed her he shot her in the head and then he killed so it was a murder suicide, wow wow wow okay.

[11:27] There's a lot there but um and my other sister she's five years older than me, um she has been probably last 15 years or so has been off and on lithium she's been diagnosed bipolar um i know for a fact she's been raped by multiple men in her adulthood um i'm pretty positive i don't know for sure but i'm pretty positive when she was young um my parents had this um weird older friend well their age in his 40s um hanging around and i feel and i i feel like he was a predator um my my mom would let this man take my sister out to baseball games alone, um i think in my sister's point of view this was the first man that ever showed her attention and affection and um i think something had happened to her because she became very hyper sexualized in middle school um i heard some gossip from one of my cousins once that he she tried to have sex with him he played it off denied it i don't know if that was true or not um but, And since then, she's just been with abusive men.
Not physically abusive, but mostly felons that she's dated.
They've had drug issues, verbal abuse.
She's still single now. She's mid-30s.
I've tried to have many, many problems. Where would you even go to meet felons?

[12:56] I mean, I don't mean to make light of it, but I'm just genuinely curious.
Like, if some woman wants to date a felon, where does she even go to meet these people?
Or is it just part of the substance abuse world? Or does she have substance abuse issues?

[13:13] She doesn't have substance abuse issues. Well, actually, she did have a dipping problem for a lot of years.
I don't know what that is. Dipping is, how would you call it?
It's like tobacco, like those packs that you stick in your mouth.
It's kind of redneck-y.
I don't know what else to call it. I just wasn't sure what the term meant.
Yeah, chewing tobacco. Sorry, go ahead.
Um but anyway so she meet these felons um she should go to line dancing bars really that was her thing um she had this fantasy about line like about being a country girl even though we lived in the suburbs um no i'm not sure where that came from but she yeah most of these men she's met from line dancing bars and just friends and circles from there um most of them have had drug issues, alcohol issues, verbally abuses.
I think every boyfriend she's ever had has cheated on her.
Her last boyfriend, when we used to talk, we don't talk anymore, gave her a sexual STD.

[14:26] So yeah, just kind of during this process, because since I cut my parents off

Sister's Dependence on Parents and Mental Health Struggles

[14:30] last year, I've been trying to bring that sister into this.
Me and my husband both, we've tried to set her up with a life coach that we know um it just did of course it didn't go well she took she took the side of my parents um and i want to say right i want to say earlier this year like like almost a year now actually probably february or so um march um i kind of told her like if you want to have a relationship with me like things are the things that i require i have higher standards now if you don't want to you know let me know if you want to be a part of this and of course she took offense to that and cut me off she took the side of my parents um she's very dependent financially and emotionally on my parents she's mid-30s still lives at the house with them doesn't um she kind of works part-time um it's hard for her stress when she's under high stress she just becomes she goes into episodes she goes into like three to six month long manic depressive episodes um, just given her background ground. Um, So that's kind of where my sisters are.

[15:39] Wow, I'm sorry to hear that. And it's always a curious thing to me just how people with, I don't know, mental health challenges or however you'd want to phrase it.
I mean, I was always sort of limited in my ability to be nutty because I had to get up and go to work.
You know, it's one of these things where I'm always sort of fascinated by the finances of dysfunctional people.
And I guess the answer there is that she lives off your parents, right? and, I guess, occasional work and so on.
But, yeah, I think that there's a great sanity thing about running out of money and, you know, the degree to which maybe this kind of behavior is self-indulgent.
And, again, I'm not trying to say it's all fake or anything like that, but, you know, if you give crazy people a million dollars to be sane for a week, could they do it?
You know, I think a lot of them could. Obviously not psychotics or schizophrenics and so on, but I think a lot of people can pull it together other to some degree if they have the right incentives but as long as you know for pretty women and and for uh people living with their parents or you know maybe you win the lottery or whatever it is they just can they don't have to kind of whip themselves into shape so to speak because they can get by without that oh yeah yeah my my mom um kind of how i told you she She always enabled my dad.

[16:59] She's definitely always enabled us for sure. And kind of took, took the bill, I guess. I'm not going to say she took it all, but ultimately it was our choice as adults too, but she kind of deflated us in a way, made us kind of dependent on her.
I think she likes being, she complains about it in the moment, but I think she likes feeling needed for sure. And she likes it.

[17:25] I think it's a slightly bit more of a female thing.

[17:29] Which is to not allow consequences for bad behavior to a crew right so yeah i mean there's a the sort of standard thing of the woman doesn't want to let the kid ride the bicycle to to you know too fast and and the dad's like ah you know if they fall off they'll learn that so there's a certain amount of i think because i think as moms deal with as you know like you can't you can't say to a six-month-old baby well if you tumble down the stairs you'll learn your lesson right you have to really shield infants and toddlers from the consequences of their behavior but there's usually a bit of a shift that's supposed to happen i think as the kids get older where maybe the dads step in a little bit more and say well you know they'll they'll learn from consequences right and so maybe that just went way too far i guess in in your family yeah definitely um whenever my dad would have an episode um depressive episode where he he had to be um baker acted or when my sister would the one that would be baker acted she would always you know apply for fmla and take like a month or two off work and um in her mind take care of take care of us or take care of them while they are remedicated and dissociate back into just like a sedated date again um that was kind of you know always the cycle with my parents relationship and.

[18:58] Then definitely um she tried to.

Parental Influence and the Cycle of Dysfunction

[19:01] Do that with us as well right right right yeah i mean so i mean even the government stuff and all of that where.

[19:09] You can just sort of get money for these dysfunctions uh i understand you know like the the sort of the sympathy behind it but boy is it ever easy to use that as an excuse to not have to improve Yeah, definitely.

[19:24] Definitely.
I guess I just wanted to start with what happened to my sisters to give you a little better understanding of where I'm coming from.

[19:41] Well, okay, so that's your sisters in adulthood, but what about you as a child?

[19:46] Yes. um so my um first the first memory i've ever had or the first memory i could think of um i'm pretty positive i was four and i was in pre-k four i remember the teacher's class that i was in, um specifically i had this friend i remember um we would talk a lot about running away together from our families um i remember i had this little pink like toy suitcase that every so So often I'd be upset at home and pack up and I'd have like a night of clothes in it and two pieces of gum for my friend and me.
And whenever I'd get upset, I'd pack that bag and I'd act like I was going to run away.
And that's the first thing I can really remember. The first memory I have, and it had to have been four then.

[20:39] I guess the second memory I have before kind of chunks go missing.
Missing um i think i was five we used we used to have a timeshare at the beach um this predator friend of my parents i was telling you about um me and him and my dad were in the pool um he thought it was funny to just continuously like push my head under the water as i would try to come up and gasp for air i couldn't breathe he just kept pushing down um took me a while to get the sense to like swim backwards um as I did I remember I was like in you know choking inhaling water I was crying I remember thinking that was the first time I remember that was the first time but not the last time thinking like I'm gonna die and as I got out of the water they were both just like laughing at at me ran to my mom crying she liked it like it wasn't a big deal.

[21:39] After that there's kind of like chunks missing but other than that I don't know why I don't know what stopped I feel like around the time I was probably looking at pictures in like the the yearbook I probably was like third fourth grade I kind of just stopped doing that I started dressing more feminine I wasn't like feminine but it was um I wasn't dressing like a boy anymore I didn't I don't think I identified with a boy at that point as a boy at that point um all the pictures all the pictures that I looked at me when I was a kid they were I was just either making a a stank face, like I was unhappy or I was just very sad.

Unhappy Childhood and Confusion about Father's Behavior

[22:18] Um, I just can't remember the timeline of that. Um, elementary school.
Okay. Elementary school, my, um.

[22:27] I was telling you, my mom made me do a million activities. My time wasn't my own. I had to have straight A's in school.
She enrolled me in karate. I had that three nights a week, Saturday mornings.
I was in piano. I had that two nights a week. um she throughout you know different seasons she had me in different sports she had me um i had flu at one point like i i just i didn't get a choice in any of these things she just made me do them she enrolled me in all of them um i always had something to do i always had this pressure on me if i wasn't doing well enough um from my mom there was the yelling there was the.

[23:08] Screaming the you're not good enough the intense pressure and i was able to relax, um all the while from my dad he was um he was a perverted man um he was i'm kind of crossing over but um he was always screaming at me every day he screamed at me every day him and my mom screamed uh threats um there wasn't many physical issues physical altercations when i was young a couple pushing up against pushing me up against the wall like putting a fist to me threatening to hit me threatening to hurt me if i didn't eat my oatmeal or like if i whatever it was just a random thing, um so where he was a pervert he would just he was very obsessed with like sex he he would walk around naked um he would uh just have like really scandalous movies playing on the tv he would like listen to porn on his phone or on um i guess not at that point he didn't have we didn't have phones But on his computer in the room and it would just be like audible my mom all the while, you know turn that off nag nag nag, but it was just a really, Uncomfortable stressful environment.
I don't feel like my dad sexually assaulted me um.

[24:25] I don't feel like that's accurate.
I just remember thinking, you know, very small age, like, why is my dad not like other dads? You know, I went to a Christian school.
I saw what I thought was, you know, good relationships between fathers and their daughters.
And I just was really confused and I didn't understand why my dad wasn't normal like that, why he would be hospitalized for times on end.
And when he wasn't, he was either angry or he was depressed.
And I just didn't understand.
Very young age, I stopped calling him by dad. I started calling him by his name.
Probably elementary school, I started calling him just by his name to his face and to other people.
Um let's see i think that's elementary school that i can remember um, i wasn't very interested in boys middle elementary or middle school i remember my friends they were they were very like like oh crushes and things and i wasn't interested in girls either i was just like i don't get it i don't like that like not if my you know this is is what a relationship is like my with my parents like i don't want that i'm not interested in that i also didn't have time to think about that because i was always doing something um.

[25:42] Um my you know veiled threats random times throughout the years um high school I guess where I start there um I remember just kind of being upset with my mom telling her like my you know I don't want to do any of this anymore she finally let me quit all these things um my time became my own at this point um but I didn't really know what to do with it um I kind of just did did stuff to make me feel better.
Um, I started dating probably 10th grade.
Um, I started, um, you know, being in random activities that started, um, random activities to take up my time.
Um, different coping mechanisms that weren't sustainable that I started dissociating into those.
Um, probably high school was more of the time where in high school and right after high high school was more of the time where my dad was physically violent with me, where he's tried to kill me.

Physical Violence from Father in High School

[26:40] He didn't want me to take the car one time. I think I was like 17. I was driving.

[26:47] He did something with the brakes on my car. So when I went to drive the car, I was with my friend.
I was coming up to a red light driving and the brakes weren't working.
Smoking um and i remember i was panicking and i just kept pumping the brakes and then somehow it just suddenly stopped peeled off on the side of the road my car was smoking it was like, um just there was like a fire under the hood um called my mom to come pick me up found out that that my dad fucked with the fuck with the i don't know exactly what he did but he clipped some some sort of cord because he didn't want me to um sorry how did you find that out, um he my mom he told my mom apparently, He told my mom that that's what he did, and my mom told me that.

[27:38] I certainly don't mean to doubt the dangers of your father, but is your mom, I mean, I can't imagine she's the most reliable witness in these kinds of things.

[27:47] That's true.
Yeah, I guess just given other issues that we've had, I just kind of believed it.

[27:56] It um he's throwing my head into the wall made a hole into the wall i had a concussion from that um he's tried to choke me out he's punched me in the face he's um so just given all of that information like i figured i just figured it was correct but i guess i don't know for sure with the the car um right again i'm not i'm not trying to doubt the danger of your dad but uh it it would be something i mean whatever your mom says i guess is somewhat suspect but again i mean your dad's dangerous and as you say he gave you a concussion and is uh yeah he's a very dangerous fellow so i certainly sympathize with all of that but i was just curious because i mean it could be, just something wrong with the car but that's, that was sort of my question about where you would find that out from or like if he confessed to you or something like that but like if you say he confessed to your mom and then she says okay so I'm sorry we got to your I think mid-teens.

[29:04] Okay. Now, with regards to the screaming, you said sort of daily screaming and so on, what happened with physical violence?
I mean, you say, of course, that your father was physically violent.
Did he use it as a rage thing, rage infliction, or did he use it as a, quote, a discipline tool, or how was the physical violence between your mom and your dad, and how did that play out?

[29:31] Yeah um my dad he it was more of a rage thing um he he would um something would piss him off and then he would react um so sometime you know i would see him hit my older my older sister sometimes, my middle sister was a little bit more timid she'd kind of run away and hide but me but um my older sister and me we would kind of give it back to him so we it would be um.

Childhood Discipline: Physical Punishment from Parents

[29:56] Just a random thing he would do hit us or something or push us or something along those lines he didn't really take a disciplinary role i mean he spanked me a couple times maybe with a belt my mom though would take the disciplinary role um she spanked me probably every day in my elementary years um she would use objects shoes paddles i remember she had like broke a wooden and paddle like a thick beach ball would and paddle like over over my ass once um she you know even in adulthood she'd make jokes about like um do you need you know oh i had to spank you every day i would ask you do you need to start the day with the spanking so you would act right, um she's pulled off the side of the road before with friends i've had friends in the car she's pulled off on the side of the road because i talked back to her to spank me on the side of the road, um it was kind of just an everyday at least i can't it's kind of a blur but like it felt like an everyday kind of thing um but she told me i needed it to act right that's what she would say um but so that's kind of where the disciplinary side came from from her.

[31:04] Right okay and were there any rules that were ever consistently enforced or was it just sort rage reaction stuff mostly rage reaction stuff um i think i like to piss her off too um i would say things because i would point out the contradictions and what she would say and what she would do and she really hated that um the um.

Inconsistently Enforced Rules: Navigating Violence without Predictability

[31:33] I'm sorry can you can you ask the question one more time well i mean were there any rules that that were ever consistently enforced, just sort of rage reaction stuff?

[31:41] Like, was there any way, I guess, of navigating the violence so that you had any sense of predictability?

[31:48] Oh, okay. No. There really wasn't.
I mean, I think if I, like, I think maybe if I...
Didn't talk back to her as much maybe i wouldn't have gotten i wouldn't have um had the brunt of her force as much but i don't think as a kid i don't think i cared as a kid i think it just really bothered me like i remember thinking like it really bothered me that she would be she wouldn't protect me from my father and i would always kind of call her out on that um.

Seeking Protection from Father: Calling Out Mother's Neglect

[32:26] And so no i don't i don't there wasn't really any predictability to it it kind of just seemed like if she was stressed, it would happen more.
She worked, of course. She had a caffeine addiction.
She was always hyper-stressed. She did all the child-rearing herself, essentially. My parents were married, but my mom was definitely a single mom.
My dad didn't help out other than him working when he could.
If he wasn't psychiatrically having issues, he would work. But other than that, he didn't do anything with us, didn't prepare.
He didn't even know what grade I was in most of of the time he'd call me by the wrong name most of the time um so um no i guess there was no predictability really in that right right um and i i suppose the finances kind of came and went right if your dad's working sometimes not working sometimes yeah i mean we were upper middle class i'd say um i remember my mom would always be stressed out about money especially because Cause my dad would work here and there, you know, sometimes he wouldn't.
Um, but you know, I went to a private school. It was expensive.
Um, we had a, you know, nice ish house.
I never, I don't know. I'm, I'm sure I know my mom was very stressed about it.
She was always, she always put herself in debt, um, different ways, doing different things, refinancing the house. Um.

[33:52] But yeah, I mean, we never really went without anything. My mom was a big manipulator.
Whenever my dad would do something, which was practically on a regular basis, my mom would kind of, if she started to feel sympathetic or not sympathetic, if she started to want to manipulate me, essentially, she would just buy us gifts.
That's kind of the way she would try to get me to sympathize with her.
When I told you she actually left here the other day, I found she left gifts.
For my girls. So it's just kind of the old trick that she's always had to get, to get me to empathize with her.

[34:31] Right, right. Okay. Okay. And then what happened after school?

[34:37] What kind of, after I graduated or what do you, yeah, after you graduated high school, what happened then?
After I graduated, I started doing some community college stuff.
I didn't really know what I wanted to do. kind of was directionless there mostly just started going out um partying drinking, um having boyfriends i always had a boyfriend um it was very it was very easy for me to get a boyfriend i didn't really have to try hard um let's see then i ended up going into nursing nursing school.
I had the stress of that.
It was just a five-day-a-week ruling program. I had the stress of that.
I had a breakup at the same time.
I was living at my parents' house at that time.
That's when all these intolerable feelings started coming out, and I went into kind of a depressive episode, I guess you could say.
And that's when I went through my suicidal suicidal episode.
Um, I keep on an episode, but I just had suicidal thoughts, um, and intentions. I had a plan. Um, Um, I had a plan to, to kill myself.

[35:54] Um, once I had the means though, in the moment, I kind of, I don't, I don't really know what it was. I don't know.
Um, I grew up a Christian, so I don't, I, at the time I thought it was my faith, but I don't, it was just something inside me that was just really telling me, no, this is not, this is not right.

Seeking Help: Medication and Mom's Accident

[36:10] This is not, you know, this is not what you need to do.
This is not, it's not the answer. um and so i decided to okay well if i you know i got to get better i have to feel better i have you know all that my coping mechanisms aren't working so i have to you know do something to feel better so i went on um psychiatric medication i went on zoloft i was on that for like five years um started to feel better.

[36:40] Kind of started pushing all these feelings down um at that time my mom took you know for during my my issue my mom took off that time off of work and take took care of me at my in that point I thought she was taking care of me I became very sympathetic to her during that for some reason um she it was the first time I ever felt like she was there for me it was the first time I ever thought that like she cared about me um and then on top of that maybe a month or so of me being on the meds it started to feel a bit better she was walking across the street on her way to work she She's also a nurse, worked at a busy hospital.
She got hit by a car crossing the street.
She was hospitalized for a few months later.

[37:26] Um, a lot of surgeries now she, she can walk now, but she's definitely has some issues.
Um, that made her a very sympathetic person to me and my mind at the time.
Um, I felt like I needed to take care of her.
Um, same time, my dad, my mom's episode, my mom's, um, incident triggered and catatonic episode in my dad, he became, um, just, you know, started start literally starving himself to death, um, would shit his own pants and wouldn't eat, would just sit in it and would would just not just stare at the wall and like at the same time i'm like taking care of my parents simultaneously and i use that word with somebody well i guess he um he lost his caregiver right and then it was required of him that he would take care of someone else and maybe that was a bit overwhelming yeah yeah he um he just he went into and he just couldn't talk just stare he just stare at you um i try to take him to the doctor a couple times i remember the doctor saying like Like he looks like a cancer patient.
Like his eyes were sunken into his head. His, just a little backstory, his mom actually starved herself to death in her old age. And that's how she died.

[38:33] My dad was doing that. And so I'm trying to take care of my mom in the hospital, in rehab. I'm trying to take care of my dad.
I had to end up bringing him to a psych ward because he couldn't even keep down food.
Though i was simultaneously taking care of the two of them trying to um scrounge together what cash i could to pay the bills um i was just becoming on an anti like i just was like newly on anti um antidepressants at the time too so it was just a stressful time um.

[39:08] Not eventually my mom got better my dad quote got better um um became very sympathetic to my mom's situation after that literally a month or two later i met my now husband um don't at the time i just didn't understand what he saw in me but um um you know went back to nursing school finished nursing school um let's see finished nursing school um me and my boyfriend at the time lived to get moved in together um then we got engaged started planning this wedding wedding, had a big wedding planned.

Planning Wedding Amidst Emotional Turmoil

[39:47] Um, uh, my husband was always watching your shows into philosophy.
I think slowly over time, he was always trying to kind of bring me into that world. I think I was, I wasn't very receptive to it. I think I didn't really understand.
He had his own issues too. So he kind of, at the time I felt like he was being critical.

[40:05] Um, but I, you know, I understand he was who he was at that point. Um.

[40:11] But we were planning this wedding. All these intolerable feelings were coming up towards my parents.
I started seeing a life coach at this time, the same one my husband was seeing.
And he was helping talk some sense into me. And I thank him for that.

[40:31] And I had seen him probably for like a year off now, I want to say, coming up to this wedding.
Wedding um and so um you know i thought this wedding i was having this picture like oh it's going to be this wonderful event and it's going to be this magical time where my friends and family are going to come together i'm going to get married it's gonna be great and then i just was realizing like the more stress was coming on coming closer and closer to this wedding me and my husband were like this is not the case this is horrible this is stressful um so we decided to call it quits on on the wedding we eloped um at the same time i had been preparing for months at this point i had been preparing um a confrontation with my mom had wrote a like a 10 page paper for my mom um, you know invited her over to my apartment at the time um had this read the paper to her, um i felt at that point you know like i really stood up for myself i felt really proud of myself at that point.
You were talking about the last conversation about having hype music.
I've been listening to that recording of me just kind of going off on her as hype music lately.

[41:43] So she, um, of course it went horribly. She denied everything.
Um, it didn't go well. So at that point I decided to cut her and my dad out of my life.
Um, that's, that was about a year and a half ago. You know, haven't talked to them since, except when I kind of filled you in last time, she's been trying to communicate with me, trying to get me to sympathize with her, trying to blanket apologies, you know, not going anywhere.
Um, and then we're kind of where we are at, where she showed up at my door the other day.

[42:14] Um so i probably skipped over a lot of things but that's that's like the summary of it and, when she puts forward these sort of blanket apologies about what happened to you as a child what they did to you as a child and i guess as a as a young woman what sort of communication is going on there what is what is the sort of stuff that she's saying, um just like oh i'm sorry if i hurt you i'm sorry for what i could have done to upset you um just obviously not feeling like not having any empathy for me at all like just plain as day obvious like how can you not even like if you if you in your quote unquote you say you care about me you can't even fake for a minute that you like actually are listening to know what I'm saying and I'm showing any curiosity about what I'm saying like you're just kind of, just oh I'll say this thing and you should just accept me now I remember at one point she said well you have to accept me for how I am and and that wasn't that I'm not sure why I'm not sure I mean as a kid they they sure didn't accept you for who you were they could have beat you and yelled screamed at you and wanted you to change all the time so I don't know why they why on on earth would I have to accept people for who they are?

[43:32] That's...
I mean, and that's the kind of poisonous thinking that may have contributed to the death of your sister, right?
Which is, you know, I mean, her husband, well, you have to accept me for who I am. It's like, well, kind of a dangerous lunatic, a murder-suicide guy.
So she says, I'm sorry if you are upset by anything I did. Is that right?

[43:56] Yeah. Kind of just things like that.

[43:59] Right. Right, so that's a way of saying, well, anyone who would find offense in my behavior is incomprehensible, but if you're one of those incomprehensible crazy people, I guess I'm sorry.
It would be kind of like if I go to Japan and I don't know some local custom, and I don't do something or I do something that's against the local custom.
I don't take off my hat when passing in front of a shrine or something like that, right?
I mean, I would apologize, but I wouldn't feel like I was a bad person.
I'd be like, well, I'm really sorry that I didn't know this ritual.
I mean, I'm not going to get mad at myself for not knowing a particular ritual or thing and so on.
So it's kind of like saying, well, there's nothing objectively wrong with what I did.
But if you are so crazy and hypersensitive that you just happen to be offended by it, I guess I'm sorry for that.
Is it sort of like that?

[44:57] Oh, yeah, for sure.

[44:59] Right, right. And so, yeah, of course, there's no ownership.
And I assume, of course, that there's no, you know, I'm going to therapy.
I'm, you know, whatever, I'm reading all these books, Anger Management.
I'm reading about child abuse and its effects.
And is there anything to do with anything? I mean, I almost kind of know the answer, but I just wanted to double check. Is there anything that goes on like that?

[45:24] With my mom, you're asking?

[45:25] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Is your mom taking any steps to try and figure out what happened, like therapy or reading or something like that?

[45:33] No. In my first confrontation with her in my paper, I wrote all of those things.
At that point, I wasn't quite sure if I wanted her in my life or not.
I kind of knew how the conversation would go, but I kind of wanted to give her that opportunity.
So I said, if you wish to be in my life, I require you to go to therapy.
I require you to be curious about me. These things, of course, weren't going to happen.
Um, she made zero attempt at all at any of those.
Um, I told her actually also told her if she wanted to be in my life, she needed to leave my dad, um, didn't want to do that.
Um, so even though she financially is capable of taking care of herself, um, she didn't want to do that.
Um, and so she wrote me a letter back that was kind of nasty, just, um, putting the blame on me and just again, emphasizing how I'm the problem, how I was the difficult one.
Um and that kind of just set me off i wrote like another like 10 15 page paper just like going off on her this time like the first one i was being you know sticking it to her and being matter of fact but not as cruel the second one i was just kind of just letting my anger go at her um and i felt even i just felt like that paper was a banger and like just you know i i this entire experience i saved my papers i saved her paper i recorded the verbal conversation with her just because i I knew as time would pass.

[46:54] I would probably not be as in touch with reality as time would go on, and that's obviously the case, considering what we had talked about last time.
And so I've been listening to that and just kind of like, yeah, I am the hero in my own story. and.

[47:12] I just you know been trying again been trying to identify with, with ethics and morality and reality instead of those intrusive thoughts, I'm just kind of speaking truth to that and hope and you know like you said that's the cure so So, yeah.

[47:41] And how are you feeling about things now?

[47:46] I feel, when I feel good, I feel like I'm on top of the world.
It's great. I feel very hopeful.
But, like, of course, I'm just, like, it's, like, highs, highs, lows, lows.
And I think that also has to do, like, I've just been very sensitive to that.
Like, it's been coming up because of the lack of sleep with, you know, newborn twins.

[48:08] Um and i you know my life coach previously told me that like i have a lot a lot of tears that i have to cry and i've been like always trying to figure out like how to put that off like my entire life just how can i put that off and now like i just i'm very vulnerable especially considering like the lack of sleep and the situation i'm in now yeah and so you know i struggle with like good like good crying like i'm crying like okay this is the crying to do to heal and then sometimes it's like all the intrusive thoughts are are in my head and i'm just like i'm just like hopelessly crying and it's like it's it's pretty it's pretty good most days but like when i'm alone like when my husband goes to work and i'm just really alone for like he works he's also a nurse he works 12 hour shifts and he's asleep when he comes back so when i'm alone for those those extended periods of time and just really underslept.
It's like, I think that's just when I'm the most vulnerable.
And that's when it's really hard for myself to not feel sympathetic to my mom.
And not really as much to my dad, but to my mom.
And to not let those intrusive thoughts in. That's where I'm at.

Feeling Vulnerable and Sympathy for Mother

[49:25] So what's the case that defends your mom? And I'm not saying this cynically or in order to tear it down, But what is the case that you make to yourself that gives you sympathy for your mom?
I mean, I'd really like to hear that. And again, with all openness and, you know, maybe it's a good case, but what is that case?

[49:50] Intellectually there really honestly is none like i i don't have a desire to call my mom up i don't have a desire to have a relationship with her even in my lowest lows it's just um sometimes i feel sympathetic with her like we we spoke i didn't realize she left the gifts before she came by knocked on my door i didn't find out that she left the gifts until like after we got off of our call and then for some reason i just felt i realized in the moment i felt like sadness for her like Like, oh, she feels sad that, like, her daughter and her grandkids aren't in her life.
And I immediately was like, well, I don't, like, I don't want to call her.
Like, I don't intellectually, she doesn't, like, you know. Okay, sorry.
This is, I mean, I appreciate all of this information. But first of all, I mean, the gifts are just bribery, right? We're aware of that, right?
But no, what's the case, right?

[50:37] What's the case for sympathy for, I mean, it's certainly been my experience, and this This is not obviously a universal thing, but in my experience, if you have thoughts, like really make the case, make the steel man case, right?
Because if you just fight those thoughts, they don't tend to be resolved.
Right? So, I mean, I could make a case for my mom around, you know, obviously she was brutalized in the war and she saw the entire world blow up and her mother was killed and Lord knows what happened. And I mean, there was a lot of sexual assaults against all females from the invading Russians, and I'm sure she got caught up in that.
And so, I mean, there's a huge case that I could make for sympathy for my mother, right?
And I think it can be quite helpful to make that case, like put your entire mental muscles behind that case and get to the core of where that argument is within you.

[51:35] Okay, I understand where you come from So my mom, her mom, My mom was raped. I actually don't know the extent, but she was sexually assaulted, I think, repeatedly by her father as a child.
Her father was a wicked, angry man as well. According to my mom, he would beat the boys.
There were seven of them, seven siblings. and I and I think she she was the oldest daughter so I think she kind of took the brunt of that sexual assault this isn't something that my that my mom ever shared with me this is something I kind of found out um and then I confronted with her when I had that conversation I asked her I said did your dad sexually assault you she said yes so she admitted to it um but um yeah her dad her dad was an angry violent person a lot like my dad um but he actually assaulted her um, Her mom enabled it.
She, so, so yeah, I guess like, you know, I'll feel sympathy for her because I know that, you know, she didn't have it easy and that she is this way because of her childhood.
So I think that's probably the case, I guess, of why I sympathize with her sometimes.

Exploring Differences and Forks in the Road

[52:53] Yeah, I mean, without a doubt, I mean, she's somebody with that kind of personality structure, almost certainly went through some pretty deep violations and abuses as a child.
Ah, but she is who she is because of her childhood.
That's the sentence, right?
Well, then why aren't you the same way? Why aren't you who you are?
Because, like, why aren't you a terrible, violent, abusive whatever mom married to a violent, abusive guy?
Why aren't you the way you are because of your childhood?

[53:30] I'm just different than her.

[53:33] Always well that's not that's that's why are you different because i'm different that's called the tautology right i mean that's uh that's not that doesn't add a huge amount of knowledge to the situation right why are you why aren't you the way you are because of your childhood because of course if somebody looks back on your childhood and says well what's she going to be like Like, as a mom, right, it wouldn't be what you're doing, right?
Or you'd look at your parents' marriage, you'd look at your sister's, you'd look at all of that, and then you'd say, with regards to you, well, what kind of man is she going to marry?
And it wouldn't be the guy you married, right?
So, why is there such a difference between you and others in your family?

[54:27] Because I have a few maybe answers. Because my mom, you know, she let her pain corrupt her and make her an evil person.
And I've always tried my best anyway to, you know, I've hurt myself.
I don't think I've really hurt others. I have, I'm sure, but I've mostly just...
But you haven't consciously been cruel to others.

[54:52] I mean, there's the natural sort of rub and chafing of life as a whole where occasionally we'll upset people and so on.
But that's different from, you know, beating children in the backseat of a car, right?

[55:02] Yeah, exactly.

[55:03] Okay. Was there a fork in the road where you decided to go one direction, not the other?
Was there a fork in the road that you remember?
Maybe it was around your suicidality in your early 20s.
But was there a fork in the road where you said i'm not going to live like this or i'm gonna, start to take i mean i remember for me it was when i i was reading nathaniel brandon's the psychology of self-esteem and it's sort of friendliness towards your emotions and i was like i was disappointed by something and and i was like okay let's not just i just waved that away i was like i don't want to feel disappointed that's what is that what good does that do right and i was like no no let's let's let the emotion be let's let the emotion be in for inform me let let me have the emotion.
And that was sort of the beginning of the journey to just getting in touch with my emotions and not viewing them as dangerous or an enemy.
Because, you know, when you see people acting out in crazy ways, it's pretty easy to feel that emotions are the enemy, that they just make people insane.
And, you know, you've got to be like all Spock and no Kirk kind of thing, right?
So, I mean, I'm not trying to say yours has to be like mine.
Of course, it's different for everyone.
But was there a fork in the road where you remember like, I'm not doing this, I'm not, I'm not going down this road.

Husband's Influence and Introduction to Philosophy

[56:19] Um, for me, I think, you know, it was thanks to my husband. Um, um, Like, when he made the case to, like, have him talk to the life coach that we were talking to, the both of us, but separately.
And just kind of introducing philosophy to me because he, you know, he had started listening to your shows, like, a bit, I think not very long before we started dating.
And I'm just trying to have those conversations with me bit by bit.
It and um but yeah i think like once we you know decided that we were going to get married and we were like okay kids are obvious the next step because we would we want to have kids we want to bring kids into this world like we can't you know do this to them that would have happened to us um so i think that was definitely that fork in the road moment where i like consciously like Like, it was like, okay, I need to be different. I have to do something different.
But yeah, I would say it was definitely thanks to my husband.

[57:26] Was there something he said that you remember, or was it sort of a slow progression?
Like, was there something that really landed, or was it just erosion of avoidance or dissociation?

[57:39] It was a slow thing. I think my life coach would say that I had a wall thick as ice or an ice wall, like around, I don't want to be sitting around my heart or something, my soul or something.
And it just kind of slowly melted over time.
Not all the way, obviously, because it's still been struggling with some things now, but that I think it was a slow progression.

[58:06] Okay. And yeah. So why do you think that you had someone like your husband, I guess your then boyfriend or whatever, in your life?
Because I remember at the beginning, like a little while ago, you said you didn't understand what he was attracted to in you.
So why do you think you were able to even have someone?
I mean, your sisters weren't able to do that. Your mother wasn't able to do that. Why do you think that you were able to have someone like your husband in your life at all?

Discovering Virtuous Sides and the Power of Love

[58:39] Um because there was a side of me that he saw that um that he felt, so i'm trying my brain is so tired trying to connect the words um, always, I'm sorry. Okay, so he saw that...
He kind of taught me that love is an involuntary response to virtue.
And so he saw the virtuous sides of me. That's what he would say.
And recently, I'm starting to really feel like that is true. It was hard for me.
It's been hard for me to really accept that. But that is what it is.

[59:36] Okay. Okay. And what were the virtuous, I'm not obviously saying they weren't there, but I'm just curious, what were the virtuous sides that you think he saw at the beginning?

[59:47] Um i think he saw, that i had um kind of i mean it's kind of what you said on your podcast but like um the words that you used exactly here but um, i over empathize with like other people um it was to my detriment of course but um, he's kind of saw that like even though i went through like what i had gone through um i decided to not you know hurt other people in that same way i wanted to be different i wanted to you know not go down the same path that my sisters had and that um my parents had i think i think that's what those virtues were i didn't know how at the time how to go about it but but I just knew I wanted to be different.

[1:00:43] Right, right, okay, okay. And how difficult was it to respond to the kind of information or perspectives or argument that your, I guess, then boyfriend, later husband, was putting forward?
Was it tough for you two? Was there a lot of rebellion?
Was there a lot of pushback? Or was it relatively easy?

[1:01:02] Oh, it was difficult, I'd say. um he he i think he was very unsure of how to go about it because i had these walls up and he was going through his own issues at the same time like he was going he had drug, issues so that i like we both smoked a lot of marijuana at the time um we would both party and like drink a lot like so i think like there was a part of me that was like hard to see what he was was saying and it kind of like it's it felt a little hypocritical to me at the time um i kind of just wanted to be happy with him at first i was like well can you just be happy like you know we'll just do it like um and so when he was trying to introduce these things to me it just felt it was language i've never heard um concepts i've never heard anyone talk about so it felt strange i think i would always always use the word like autistic like it just felt a little too particular I don't know.
It was definitely a struggle.
It was a rebellion for sure for him. I know it's been hard, but he's more severe and he's helped me with that.

Taking Responsibility for Mental Health and Making Different Choices

[1:02:09] Right, okay, okay. So, do you have, I mean, we've sort of explored a little bit of the differences.
Do you have any sort of idea as to what might have been different between your parents, your sisters, and you? Was it just you happened to meet the guy?
But that's also to say, I mean, obviously, your husband's a great guy, listens to this show, one of a kind, fantastic beyond words.

[1:02:32] But do you think that your mother father sisters like never met any gentle or nice people or curious people or reasonable people in their life no they definitely had to have that points i mean all three of us i'm not going to say oh this is the answer but like all three of us had gone to a christian private school um my sisters didn't really i don't know they i don't my oldest sister it's hard to say because she was 10 years older than me i can't really say but my other sister her she kind of chose to just um you know hang out with kids that maybe some of the rougher kids some of the kids that she i don't know she just she didn't do the same things that like i wanted to do like i kind of i had some father figures in my life at the time that i thought were were good um and they were definitely better than my father but they were not good enough for like philosophical standards but like at the time like i thought i had um some male influences in my life that were We're good.
Um, I had some really good friends. I have a really good friend now that I've kept since I was a kid.
Um, and she's a very curious person. Um.

[1:03:43] I think for me, like I consciously, like I didn't want to be home.
So like even when I had that free time when I was in middle school, high school, like I was able to do certain things. I decided to use that time to not be home.
I kind of used boyfriends so I would just could be at their house and I didn't have to be at my house.
I would always kind of make it a priority to just not be around my family as much as possible.
It's not really what my sisters did. um i wanted to go to nursing school so i could take care of myself and i wouldn't be dependent on my parents financially like my other sister was um so yeah i think that that's kind of like at least consciously the things that i did i chose to do differently when i was young, right okay so i mean you took responsibility for your own mental health you recognized the trauma and you started to, I think, do the important stuff to help process that.

[1:04:35] Is that a fair way to put it? Okay.
Right. So, given that you took ownership, self-responsibility, and that you didn't act out, even as a child, and you made not just different choices, but completely opposing choices, then it seems to me, with regards to your mother, I mean, the challenging thing that happens with our parents is by the time we meet them, they don't usually have much functional free will.
I mean, if they're really dysfunctional, right? They don't have much functional free will because if you act badly for long enough, you can't choose to act well.
I mean, for me, it's always been kind of confusing. Like, well, just take responsibility and apologize, you know? Just take responsibility and apologize.

[1:05:27] But, because for me, that's not the end of the world, right?
I mean, it's not a super fun process or anything like that, but, you know, it's an okay process. Just take responsibility and apologize.
But that's different for me because I don't have a bad conscience.
I'm absolutely not a perfect person by any means, but I don't have a really bad conscience.
So for me to take ownership and apologize is not that huge a deal.
But it seems to me that what's kind of incomprehensible about these people, the double downers, like they just double down, like no matter what happens, they just escalate and double down or avoid or like there's no functional free will.
They're like NPCs of avoidance and they don't seem to have any capacity to choose anything different.

Understanding the Incomprehensibility of Double Downers and Lack of Choice

[1:06:08] And that, of course, can give us some sympathy.
Well, gee, if they don't seem to have the ability to change their mind or apologize or take responsibility, you know, they're clearly so broken that, you know what I mean?
Like that sort of sympathy thing but you know that's sort of like saying to your grandfather who's been smoking for 40 years come and join me on a run, and it's like no he can't join you on a run he's been smoking for 40 years like you can't do that but at one point right like every smoker starts off by trying a cigarette which is a choice.

[1:06:46] And then having another cigarette which is a choice and having another like every smoker starts off with a bunch of choices.
And then after decades of those choices, they don't have other choices. They can't do running.
They can't be healthy. Whatever, like their lungs can't be healthy.

[1:07:02] And so when we look at them when they're older and we say, gosh, you know, they're just these people who don't seem to have any choice and all they do is react and we have some sympathy for that, but that's because we forget or we weren't around round four, the times when they had choices.
Like, I remember talking to someone who was cruel to me as a child, and this person said, you know, like, every day I woke up, I wanted to be nicer, and it was like a really, they really knew that it was bad, they really wanted to do better, they promised themselves, but they just indulged in this sort of cruelty or coldness or hostility or whatever right manipulation so looking at your mother now i mean does she have any particular choice to take responsibility i mean i wouldn't put any money on it i mean who knows in the magical ether of free will whether there's something that's but i wouldn't put any money on it whatsoever i wouldn't put like one penny i wouldn't put one satoshi on on your mom, developing free will a conscience moral responsibility empathy like any of these these things, right?
That is like asking a guy who's been smoking for 40 years to run a marathon.

[1:08:18] So, looking at how different you are.

[1:08:24] Comes back to usually a choice, a fork in the road.
And every person I know, and this is not any kind of infinite sampling, of course, but every person I know who's taken a bad path had a choice at some point.

[1:08:41] Had a choice, had an attack of conscience, had a choice at some point.
I mean, even my mom. I know my mom regretted beating me up and stuff like that That because, you know, she'd come into my room and hold my hand and sniff and like afterwards.
And so I pretend to sleep because I just didn't want to talk about it.
But I know my mom felt bad about it. I know my dad had had his attacks of conscience.
So when you see her now, she's kind of like a machine.
And you look and you say, well, gee, maybe she never really had any choice.
And maybe she's just was victimized and so on. But she was brutalized.
And of course, we can all have sympathy for that, for sure.

Sympathy for the harmed, anger at the perpetrators

[1:09:22] Absolutely. But my sympathy ends when people harm others.
My sympathy for people being harmed is virtually bottomless.
My sympathy for those who harm others, and in particular children, that's not something that I feel to any particular degree.
That's not something that I experienced, in fact. I mean, because you have to.
Because if we have sympathy for them being harmed, then we have anger towards those who harmed them, right?
I mean, that's the flip side of sympathy is anger, right? Like real sympathy for, you know, what happened to your mother as a child with her father.
Great sympathy for that.
Which means I have to be angry at her father who violated her in such a horrendous and evil manner.
Okay, so if I have sympathy for people who are harmed, I'm going to have anger at the people who harmed them.

[1:10:11] And so given that your mother harmed you and your father harmed you i would have anger towards them, because otherwise what's the point of sympathy right sympathy means i'm very sorry that you were hurt which means that you're angry at the people who hurt right which is why you know if somebody is harmed by some natural phenomenon you know they i don't know something falls on them when they're hiking or some tree branch or something we have we have sympathy but we don't and have anger at the tree because the tree didn't choose to harm them. It was just sort of bad luck.

[1:10:44] So, the sympathy for people who are harmed has to have, as its clear line and demarcation, anger at the people who harmed them.
And the anger at the people who harmed them is that they had some choice in the matter.
They had some choice in the matter. Like the tree branch that falls on you when you're hiking doesn't have any choice, it's just physics and biology, and there's no free will, there's no morality involved in that. that.
So the question is, of course, did your parents have any free will when they were harming you?
Now, if they didn't have any free will when they were harming you, then it would be sort of like a mother who accidentally smacks a kid because she has her first epileptic seizure.
Like, we don't blame the mom. It's like, well, that's really unfortunate.
There was no warning. It's not a moral thing. Or Tourette's, you know, the people who swear with Tourette's.

[1:11:38] That's not a moral choice to be verbally harsh or abusive so did they have, free will when they were harming you and I guess that's the end of my speech at the beginning of the question which is do you think that they had free will and moral responsibility when they were harming you, they made the choice repeatedly, and what makes you think that, um well for one that i would tell them why are you treating me this way why aren't you treating me differently and then they would as you say make the choice to double down and do it anyway they could have they could have at least had a little bit of humility and you know apologize started to attempt to make changes but they didn't they chose not to they just kept choosing to do it it again.

[1:12:37] Yes, but how do you know it was a choice?

Questioning the concept of free will

[1:12:44] Because they have free will?

[1:12:47] That's kind of, how do you know they had free will? Because they had free will.
Again, that's a bit of a circular argument, right?

[1:12:52] Yeah, I'm not sure. I'm not sure.

[1:12:57] Well, when they harmed you, when they would yell at you, right?
Did they yell at you with the goal of changing your behavior?
Or did they at least say that?

[1:13:06] Yeah, they said that.

[1:13:08] So give me an example of what either one of your parents would say with regards to getting you to change your behavior based upon their punishment or yelling.

[1:13:21] I guess I've started bringing this up earlier, so I'll go with that one.
I remember in the mornings, I wouldn't want to eat my oatmeal.
And so my dad would yell at me that I need to eat my oatmeal.
And if I don't, then there really wasn't much of an argument.
Just you need to eat it or I'm angry, essentially.
Sorry, go ahead. I spent money on this. You can't waste it.

[1:13:50] You need to eat it kind of thing right okay got it got it now your father's practice would indicate that he believed that the application of negative stimuli could change your behavior, right i mean if i if i yell at you that's negative stimuli if i say you're ungrateful how you didn't, i'm sorry i don't want to imitate your father it's gross but you know like like i i paid good good money for this and and how dare you waste it and you know you think I made a mind like all of that so he would provide rational at least to him he would provide arguments let's say arguments and negative stimuli in order to get you to eat your oatmeal right, Sorry, I didn't quite catch that.

[1:14:38] Yes, that's what he said.

[1:14:39] Yeah, so that's right. So he accepted that there was a free will in you, right?
He accepted that you have free will because he didn't say to himself, well, there's no chance to change her behavior because she doesn't have free will.
Right? I mean, if he was yelling at, I don't know, if he had a doll propped up at the table and was yelling at the doll that the doll was mean and selfish because the doll didn't eat the porridge, then that would be crazy.
Because the doll is an inanimate object that has no free will and can't change its mind.
That would be the indication of a severe break with reality.
Right so he's applying reason at least his he's he's applying arguments and negative stimuli in order to get you to change your behavior which means he accepts that you have free will as a child right so he accepts the existence of free will in in children right so why can't he have of that as well well no i mean so he he knows that human beings possess the capacity for free will, right because he wanted to change your mind and change your behavior by bringing you arguments and yelling or whatever right, Does that make sense?

[1:16:06] Yeah.

Mother's use of gifts as bribes

[1:16:08] Now, did your, and your mother, of course, by leaving you gifts.
Now, these aren't gifts. The reason I call them bribes is you already told your mother what a gift would be.
You already told your mother what a gift would be.
And you did that in the letter you wrote to her where you said well the present that you could give to me the gift you could give to me would be what?

Therapy and the Power of Positive Stimuli

[1:16:40] Yeah, going to therapy, self-knowledge, self-ownership, responsibility, whatever, I go to therapy.
So you already told her the gift that you want, right?
I mean, if my wife wants, I don't know, X, Y, Z for breakfast, sorry, for Christmas, she wants some particular gift for Christmas and she's told me repeatedly, and I buy her a vacuum cleaner, I mean, do I then get to say, you know, how come you're so ungrateful at the gift I gave you, right?
So, I mean, that comes from a meme I saw some months ago about this woman.
Hey, I saw this guy lining up to buy his wife a vacuum cleaner for Christmas.
It feels strange to be standing next to someone who only has days left to live.
It's kind of funny. but so you already told her what you wanted and she gave you something you didn't want it but, she's saying that positive stimuli is important right i'm going to give you gifts because positive stimuli is important right and i don't know if your parents applied any positive like reward because they gave you the negative stimuli like the attacks and the violence and so on or cutting the brakes or whatever he did, right?
So they gave you the negative stimuli and mountains of it.
Did they ever provide positive stimuli like rewards or benefits or cuddles or praise or anything like that?

[1:18:05] Not my dad, but my mom. My mom would. Like when I was young, she would want to cuddle.
She, I don't remember there being a specific reason for it. Just sometimes she would want to, she would always buy me gifts.
I think if she was feeling guilty for something, she'd just buy me stuff.
Maybe it was something I wanted maybe it wasn't but yeah I guess that was the positive but that was for her right?

[1:18:34] So was there ever anything like, you know, get an A and you can get a present or if you do, like, was there any, I'm not saying there should or shouldn't have been, I'm just curious if there was any positive incentives that your parents, like when my mom would read my writing, if she liked a particular passage, she'd give me good praise for it and so on.
So there was some positive, I'm not saying she was, I think she was being honest about it, but there was positive stuff as well as the negative.

[1:19:02] Um i mean she would tell me she was proud of me i guess for certain when i would accomplish certain things or when i would work hard on hard on something that i felt good about or um, no i did did um something i did want to do i did wire at a young age so when i would do a performance or something she would provide that positive feedback for things like that okay got Got it.

[1:19:27] Okay, so your parents, at least your mother, operated on positive and negative feedback in order to get you to change your behavior.

[1:19:34] Yeah.

[1:19:35] Okay, so they accept free will, and they accept that positive and negative, that arguments and positive and negative incentives are what you do to get people to change their minds, right?

[1:19:53] Yeah.

[1:19:56] Right so and of course they debated with you they didn't debate with the furniture they didn't debate with the car they didn't debate with gravity right that they only debated with other human beings or only ever tried to change the minds of other human beings so they recognized that i mean this is real foundational philosophical and it sounds very abstract but to me it's very very deep psychologically, that your parents completely and totally accepted free will and that the way to change someone's behavior is arguments and positive and negative incentives.

[1:20:36] Okay.

[1:20:38] Now, you and I also have some positive and negative incentives, right?
I mean, I want to speak for you. Let me just speak for myself.
So, I have positive and negative incentives.
So, when it came to talking about some of the more controversial things I talked about, one of the positive incentives was, I really felt and still feel that it was important for the world to hear the truth about sort of controversial matters.
So that was the positive incentive, that I would feel a certain amount of, not happiness exactly, but I would feel content with my integrity if I talked about important things that needed to be said.
The negative stimuli was, of course, thinking about how would I feel if things went very badly in the world and I had to withheld essential topics.

[1:21:25] I would feel bad. Now, saying essential topics doesn't mean that the world isn't going to go bad. That's not up to me.
But as far as my conscience goes, there was negative stimuli, which was concern about regret or guilt or shame or cowardice or something like concern about something negative that would occur to me.
And then there was also, you know, the relative contentment that comes from reasonable amounts of courage and some pride in taking on difficult topics and so on.
So, I had my arguments, of course, and I also had my conscience to satisfy and my integrity to serve.
So, I had positive incentives of serving integrity and negative incentives to avoid a bad conscience, if that makes sense.

[1:22:09] Yeah.

[1:22:11] So in that you i almost hate to say this you and your parents and i and every other person who's not completely insane are following kind of the same pattern we have our arguments we have our positive incentives we have our negative incentives or our disincentives and we we follow that so your parents accepted that human beings have free will because you can't say children have free will but but adults don't.
That would make no sense at all. That's like saying children are tall, but adults are short. That wouldn't make any sense.
And also, of course, your father and your mother accepted that they have free will because they didn't say to you, don't take this personally.
This is just my determinism acting out.
They made the choice to make those arguments and apply those incentives and disincentives and so on.
So your parents fully accepted free will.

[1:23:11] And I don't know what the positive incentives are or the disincentives are for bad people.
That's sort of at the foggy edge of my knowledge, and maybe I'll try and figure it out one day.
But I assume it has something to do with they're happy if they control people, and they're unhappy if they're disobeyed.
Because it's about control and bullying, and they can't master themselves, so they try to control other people. They don't have any self-control, so they end up trying to control other people.
And I assume that they get a thrill of happiness and relief from negative emotions and so on.
If they control someone, if they successfully get you to eat your oatmeal, then there's a positive experience.
And if they don't, then there's a very negative experience.
So that's why they, I assume that's why they're doing what they're doing.

[1:24:00] Now, for you and I, the positive incentive is integrity or virtue or things like that.
And the negative incentive is, or the disincentive is, bad conscience and and regrets, and all these kinds of things.
But for your parents, I would assume it's something like, I want you to do what I want you to do, so I feel better.
And if you don't do what I want you to do, I'll feel worse.
So I'm going to just put pressure on you until you give me what I want and make me feel better. It's probably something like that.
So for you and I, I think the the incentive structure is around self-control.

[1:24:42] And virtue. And for your parents, probably the incentive structure is around, dominance and avoidance of a feeling of helplessness if they can't get other people to do what they want.
And that's very opposite, right? Self-control versus control of others.
Virtue versus bullying.
Integrity versus subjugation. These are two very opposite things.
And so your parents were operating in a free will environment but they had chosen entirely different.

The influence of authority figures on childhood behavior

[1:25:18] Incentive structures and they had chosen those and the other thing that i would say i assume that your parents maybe your dad was but doesn't sound like your mom was your parents weren't so crazy that they would abuse you in front of security guards policemen teachers authority clergy priests authority figures of any kind that they were able to or fully able to restrain, their aggressive impulses in the presence of external authority figures is that right, um my mom for sure my dad um not in front of and he would in front of other people but not not authority figures i he would he would keep it in check for authority figures yeah, Okay, so whenever he would suffer negative consequences, he was able to keep his temper in check, right?
Okay. So that's good to know. That means he wasn't crazy.

[1:26:13] Yeah.

[1:26:14] It makes sense. Wasn't crazy at all.
Those crazy people will do all of that stuff, regardless of who's around, right?

[1:26:23] He had more choice in the matter than he would like to let us think.

[1:26:28] What? Not more choice? He had total choice. Yeah, he had total choice.
I mean, it's kind of, to me, it's always kind of funny to see real bullies be sort of groveling, submissive people to external authority. already.

[1:26:48] I mean, I remember when my mom called the cops on me, and she was screaming at me for defying her, and then the cops said something she didn't like, and she was all kinds of, oh, yes, officer, I think you're, like, you know, just, it was gross, right? It was gross to see.
But almost inevitable, right? So, yeah, my mother had the perfect ability to, and of course, when she was interested in some guy, she'd be all sweetness and light and accommodation and, And, you know, all this kind of stuff, right?
So, yeah, my mom, harmed by her childhood? Absolutely. Absolutely.
But harmed by your childhood should, I mean, there's no reason it makes you cruel.
In fact, there's every reason to believe or that you could imagine or anticipate that somebody being harmed by their childhood would be much more gentle and kind and accommodating because you know exactly how much it hurts, right?
Like a guy who's been tortured doesn't mean he becomes a torturer.
A guy who's been tortured could very easily, and a lot of them do, become some internationally renowned spokesperson for let's never torture people.
I mean, Solzhenitsyn was tortured in the gulags under Stalin, but he didn't become a torturer.
He became somebody who wrote the Gulag Archipelago and helped people understand the nature of the brutality and the torture that he was going through.

[1:28:13] So the harm done to people as children, in no way, shape, or form, takes away their free will or programs them to become evil.

The absence of an answer to explain differences in behavior

[1:28:24] And there's no answer as to why you and your mother are different. There's no answer.
Because if there was an answer, there wouldn't be free will.
Otherwise, it's just dominoes.
I mean, there's an answer as to why a tree limb falls in the forest, right? I mean, there's an answer to that.
There's no free will involved. But the moment there's free will, there's no answer.
Because we're all like, why were they the way they were?
Why? Why? Why am I so different?
There's no answer to that. There's no answer, and there never will be.
It's a choice. Now, of course, they wanting to control us programs us to want the answer as to why they are the way they are.
Because the moment we start searching around for the answer as to why they are the way they are, we are taking away their free will. Does that make sense?

[1:29:20] Yeah.

[1:29:21] I mean, lots of people went through the war and didn't become my mom.
My mom became my mom, not because of the war, but because of her choice.
Now, did the war make that choice kind of more difficult or more? Yes, absolutely.
But it also made it easier because she knew how much suffering hurt for children.
So the fact that she chose to re-inflict it, it's her choice. It's her free will.
But of course, you look and you say, when your mother doesn't have control over you, and now she needs something from you.
So she's playing a different game now.
Right? Because in the past, when she had power over you, I mean, she was kind of a vicious bully, right?
But now that she needs something from you that she cannot enforce through violence, or abuse, now she's changed her game, right?
She's not screaming at you, right? She's making pseudo-apologies.
She's bringing you gifts, right? right?

[1:30:24] Yeah. I miss you. I love you.

[1:30:26] Yeah. Yeah. She's love bombing you. Of course. Yeah. I mean, you've seen this a million times in movies, right?
Where the bad guy has the gun and he's pouring contempt on the good guy, right?
And then the good guy grabs the gun from the bad guy. And what does the bad guy do?

[1:30:45] He changes his tune completely.

[1:30:48] Hey man, you know, I didn't mean to it was a misunderstanding uh let's work together like whatever it is right he'll just he'll just switch it up because he doesn't have the power anymore but you and i both know deep down i believe and tell me if i'm wrong i mean i remember like when i was free of my mom my mom changed right but i thought geez if i ended up a paraplegic under my mom's care it would be right back to square one like she's only nicer because she can't bully, right i mean the kid who's picking on the smaller kid and being all kinds of aggressive because the kid's half his size when some other kid twice his size starts picking on him he's not the same guy right he's totally different right so sorry go ahead i was hit by the car and is now like physically needs help, that's when my mom became sweet because she realized she needed help.

[1:31:49] She needed something from me for her survival or whatever.

[1:31:55] Well, come on. And you know, as a young, attractive woman, right, particularly from your single life, you know that guys can pretend to be all kinds of sweetness and affection until they get the sex they want and then they'll just ghost to you, right?

Manipulation tactics in relationships and the desire for sex

[1:32:10] That they're all kinds of nice and oh, you know, just so lovely and having such a great time.
And then if they get into your pants, they might just despawn.
They might just vaporize, right?

[1:32:20] Because they got what they wanted, right?
I mean, a con man who calls you up and is all kinds of happy, hey, how you doing? And, you know, just wanted to check in with you and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And if you say to him, listen, I've been recording all of our conversations and I've turned it over to the police and they're going to come and arrest you today.
He's going to change his demeanor completely, right? He's going to scream abuse at you and whatever it is, right?
So your mother is, and your mother of course knows, as all mothers do, that you have a deep hunger for her to be nice.
And so she's just pushing that button. So before she could push the compliance button through aggression, now she's just pushing the pity button through niceness.
But nothing has changed. other than she knows what you most desperately need and she's just pushing those buttons to get what she wants.
She's still bullying you because it's still all about her needs because you told her exactly what you need and she won't do it, right?
I mean, you told her, I need you to go to therapy, I need you to take responsibility, I need you to...
I need a real apology, and she won't do it, right?

Bullying with Sugar: The Manipulative Tactics of Abusive People

[1:33:36] So she's still bullying you. She's just, she's bullying you with sugar instead of screaming.
A bribe is another form of bullying.
And abusive people do this all the time. All the time.
I mean, it's sort of a well-known phenomenon about the honeymoon period after violence in a relationship, right?
The man beats up his girlfriend or his wife and then she threatens to leave or go to the cops. He's super sorry.
He becomes really nice. He buys her flowers.
And this goes on for a while. And who knows? Could be days, weeks, could even be months. And then it happens again, right?
So the only reason he's being nice to her is so she won't leave and call the cops.

[1:34:25] It's part of the abuse, is the being nice. And now, of course, I'm not saying every instance of being nice is abusive.
I'm just saying that In this particular pattern, nothing has changed from when she was screaming at you, as far as I can tell, because she's still pushing your buttons, manipulating you.
Now she's doing the reward mechanism, but it's a reward mechanism based on the need that she implanted in you, which is for her to be remotely nice or pretend to be thoughtful or something like that.
Like that's cheap. She kind of baked that need into you by being cruel and cold and nasty and abusive when you were a kid.
So you have a deep hunger for a nice mother and she's like, oh, okay, well, now that I've built this huge deep hunger for a nice mother, I can play this card now that I'm old.

Abusive Control through Addiction Manipulation

[1:35:24] You know, if you know someone who's a heroin addict and you dangle heroin in front of them, it's kind of abusive, right?
Especially if you're the one who turned them into a heroin addict.
And say, no, no, no, I'm giving that person what they want. It's like, no, you created an addiction and now you're controlling them by dangling that addiction, right?
And, you know, you grew up without a loving mother, so you have a deep ache and need in your heart for a loving mother.
And she's like, mmm, I can play that piano all up and down the keyboard.
I mean the way that we know if people are being nice to us is if they ask us what we want and they work their best to try and provide it I mean obviously what you want is perfectly reasonable and moral and right and just but yeah that's how we know if people are nice, and she's not doing that she's just throwing a bunch of fog around she's giving you gifts she's showing up uninvited she's not respecting your boundaries she's not respecting your requests It's just another form of bullying, in my opinion.
I don't want to tell you your experience, but that's how it looks to me. What do you think?

[1:36:30] Definitely. That's exactly what it is.

Manipulation as the Last Resort

[1:36:36] Again, in my experience, once people have a certain amount of manipulation under their belt, they have no other tool.
There's nothing else they can do.
You know, some cabbie who's 75 years old is not going to become an astrophysicist, and people who've spent decades manipulating others, particularly helpless children, under their care, custody, and control, there's a tipping point where people no longer have other options.
And if your mom has spent decades bullying and manipulating, then I would assume at this point in her life, like, there is no other option, there is no other choice.
Sorry, you were going to say something, and I just kind of talked over you, sorry about that.
That oh no it was just um i was just saying that's that is exactly what she's doing and it's been making me just really really angry but i think that's you know the healthy anger that i need to feel so right right um and is your dad in the picture at all i mean obviously in the show the shadowy background of your mom's actions but is there anything going on there that's, anything particular um he's tried to call me a couple times like literally maybe like once right around the time i cut him off oh actually no he's done a couple other things, he's trying to reach out to my husband's parents like he just kind of showed up at their business.

[1:38:02] Um and just kind of like can you believe what now my daughter's doing like the past is in the past like kind of thing um he did like a couple things like that but um it's been a long time since i've heard like that was more in the beginning from him oh yes the past is in the past that's a nice tautology too right unless the abusive behavior is still continuing in the present the other thing of course too is that if your parents say the past is in your past then i'm sure when you were a kid they never referenced any of your own past behavior everything was just fresh and new they never said you always or you never they never referenced anything in the past when you were a kid is that right yeah of course all right they they would say well you always are you never or i've told you once i've told you a thousand times or whatever so abusive parents are always bringing up things about prior behavior on the part of their child but then when the child brings up the parents prior behavior that hey man the past is in the past it shouldn't have any effect on today leave it behind move on right it's like they never did that when they had the power, So hopefully we've got some clarity with regards to that. Is there anything else that we could touch on today?

[1:39:18] Honestly, I think you've given me a lot to chew on, especially with the last call.
Like I said then in the beginning, I have been feeling a lot more hopeful, and I've been feeling more like the hero of my own story.
So I appreciate your words and your kindness.

[1:39:38] Oh, you're absolutely welcome. And I'm obviously incredibly sorry about what happened to your sister.

Apologies and Acknowledging Tragedies

[1:39:43] I hope that there's not any part of you that feels that's on you in any way, because that's on your parents.
And it's, of course, mostly on the guy who killed her and to some degree on her for choosing to be with and stay with and return back to that fellow.
But I'm incredibly sorry. And if you look, of course, at both of your sisters, this is why I gave you that speech.
I mean, even though I didn't know all these details, I think that's why I gave you that speech about your own heroism and where you've gotten to.
I mean, look at your whole family and your sisters and obviously your parents.
And I assume that there's a bunch of messes in the extended family as well.

[1:40:20] And man, where you've gotten to. I mean, it's testament to your own virtue, to your husband's integrity, hopefully a little bit to the power of philosophy.
But it really is uh what a what a hero's journey that is and and how incredibly lucky your your daughters are uh to to that you made these choices and had this journey it really is i'm, i'm i'm staggered with with admiration for for what you've done thank you and it really is a testament to um what you're doing in your work too because like i said before what really triggered triggered the curiosity in my husband into philosophy was free domain so um we really appreciate it well freedom is the domain thing free freedom is domain thing so okay well i appreciate that i i hope that you have a wonderful happy new year i hope that you get a chance to uh get some rest because you know i i mean those those early days with with one kid was exciting enough with two i can't even process so i hope that you get some rest and i really do appreciate your time today thank you as well all right thanks sister take care.

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