[0:00] Hello, Stefan.

Introduction and Apology for Delay

[0:01] Hey, how's it going?

[0:03] Ah, it's going pretty well. How about yourself?

[0:05] Good, good. Sorry again for the delay. It's a dull story, but I apologize.
So I'm all yours. I'm all yours. So lay it on me, brother. How can I best help?

[0:19] Okay, well, it was a while ago I submitted a question to you that you answered.
And I'll read it back to you for context.
This is it. So, hey, Steph, I'm married, but sometimes I think I could have done better, and then I overthink it.
I question my choices, wonder if I've made a mistake getting married, and then feel guilt and shame as a result.
I'm constantly rehashing these questions, and it's torture.
And I ask, can you shed some light on the path out of this cycle?
Cycle, and you answered it, you gave some pretty good answers that I was very happy with and they did help settle my nerves and put my gut to some sort of semblance of rest. But there was other questions that remained.
I think there's a lot more to it, it was more of a very highly distilled version of the question.
But yeah you did provide a good answer and it was something along the lines of well you know we've been together this long already and as I said we have a one year old son, so she was good enough to have a child with that's a very good point.

[1:44] But yeah it troubled me for a long time and I had lots of issues with it like I spend a lot of of time working by myself.
I do 12 and a half hour shifts and I'm away from home for long periods of time.
So there's a lot of time to think.
But yeah, it gave me some issues, and you helped a little bit, but there's other things, I think, that kind of contributed towards that.
Do you have any thoughts, or just on that?

[2:17] No, no, just keep going. I remember the question, and I did review it before the call, so yeah, just keep going.

[2:24] Okay. Wait.

[2:25] No, I lie. Sorry, I lie. So you 12 and a half hour shifts, and you travel a lot, and you don't have to give me any specifics, but just in what field or area do you work?

[2:37] Uh so i work in mining um so i am on the two and two roster so i fly away i live in australia and i fly away to where the ore is and i'll work for two weeks i'll do a week of days and a week at nights and then i'll fly back home for two weeks and that's okay yeah i've done.

[2:58] Geological work so So I have some knowledge about that. Okay, so go ahead.

[3:05] But yeah, it gives you a lot of time to think.
But at the same time, like being home and not doing anything else, just being home full-time, it's sometimes after a while you kind of look forward to going back to work.
Sometimes what I do is like a break from my real job, which is taking care of my family.

Job as a Break from Family Responsibilities

[3:29] Um but at the same time is providing so it's kind of a weird mix and i guess there's a little bit of humor in them that people make to kind of try and deal with being away from their families for so long um yeah you know it's hard but we make it work i've been doing it for a long time, but it was so i've been doing mine a couple years now and i was really interesting i was thinking about what you said you mentioned the point of superiority like how perhaps I think that I am of higher value than what she is and I've got me thinking okay well before I started in this job it's quite a high-paying job I'm very grateful for it before it does that I I had no direction I didn't know what to to do.
I came out of university, it was sort of a worthless degree.

[4:28] And that was and that was rough and i didn't know what to do and then i got put on so maybe she did my names all right so i worked away so i was working in utilities so you're just doing like camp management stuff um just like you know like dealing with trash or in the kitchen and just things like that working in the bar that sort of thing um and i did that for two years and And that was rough. So that was a two-in-one roster.
So I was away for two-thirds of the year.
And the pay wasn't even that good. But it got me through the door.
Then I got onto a two-in-two roster, and it basically doubled my income.
So I'd say it paid off in that respect.
However, what I think happened is when I had this doubling of income coming in, as i was kind of thinking about it logically now in retrospect like i kind of imagined my sexual market value going up along with it so i'd gone from very low you know not having any real direction not having a real job just working in bars and stuff like that then getting a little step up and then getting a high paying full-time job and just the prospect of that kind of spurred that thought in the back of my mind.

[5:56] And I asked myself that question a lot and I just kept asking and asking.
But I think there was other things that were working in the background that had not been addressed. And then they kind of just coalesced, kind of broke things down because it all came to a head a couple of years ago.
And it was really, really rough before I started, working up here.
Yeah, it was a really rough time for me.
But yeah, it's the constant...

Constant Questioning and Gut Feelings

[6:38] But in what way? I'm not sure what you mean.

[6:41] Okay, I apologise. So basically, I was having these gut feelings, I was constantly questioning myself and I was just running through it and I couldn't quite figure out.

[7:00] It kind of meant you have a kind of a gut feeling or just this thought and it kind of possesses you with something.
And the thought was, is I had I made the right decision? Did I meet the right person or am I just settling?
And it just kind of snowballed out of control.
Role and there was there's other things that were happening in the home that i was not addressing that kind of spurred that on as well so i have i'm quite agreeable in nature, and i have this issue which i think is more or less core to my problem and that's i just have this is inability to stand up for myself sometimes.
So something small will happen. It doesn't have to be anything big.
Maybe she will snap at me about something small and trivial, and all it would take is just to say something like, hey, look, I don't appreciate the way you're talking to me.
When you do that, can you refrain from doing that in the future?
Something simple like that, which seems fine, like an imaginary scenario, but when it happens, I get this freeze response and It's really really debilitating.

[8:28] And it doesn't have to be anything big either But unless you just snap at me and then I just kind of freeze and then I can't think can't talk I just kind of just know my head and just going about my business.
I kind of imagine it.

[8:46] Kind of like coal mines underground catch fire.
Like they burn underground, but you don't really notice it by their signs.
And then I guess there's a kind of anger that sits under there, but I can't express it.
And then it gets awkward because it's been too long.
Do I say something? Do I not say something? me and eventually i just i just end up saying it like days later and it just turns into a big mess she doesn't know what she's apologizing for and it's it can get really really messy, and in retrospect i spent a lot of time thinking today i was in my truck and i was in there all day and I'll thank you about this cause or what I'm going to say or what I'm going to talk about and I just started writing, and then I think that issue actually stems from my relationship with my dad and how he treated me growing up.

Relationship Issues Linked to Relationship with Father

[10:00] Anytime I had an issue with something, he would just shut me down most of the time, even if it's something simple.
So, for example, I'm a teenage boy.
I don't really particularly make my room very clean.
And I'll have my computer down in the living room. And I don't clean up after myself very well. and.

[10:28] What he would do he would complain to me about these things which is fair enough however he didn't really care about those things either, so he would his room was a mess and he didn't clean it up for himself and he expected other people to do it but when I didn't do it, he would have a go at me and obviously point out Well, you didn't do any of this stuff either.
And then he would just continue to escalate.
So I thought I made a pretty good argument, like what I just said, basically. And he would just continue to escalate.
And it got to the point where if I keep pushing it, he's just going to snap and I'm going to get hurt. And that continued.
For a very long time.
When I was a kid.

[11:35] And did he snap to the point where you did get hurt, or did you pull back before that?

[11:41] I tended to pull back for it, because I remember when I was very young.

[11:44] Tended? What do you mean? Did he hit you at some point, based on this stuff? Or even once?

[11:52] Oh, he threatened me when I was very young, so when I was, I'd do something wrong in his mind and he'd threaten me with a belt or a wooden spear or something like that.
After that, I just didn't push it after that.

[12:07] No, no, no, I'm not criticizing, but you didn't actually push it to the point where he might physically hit you, right?

[12:16] That's correct. Okay.

[12:17] Got it. And do you think looking back in hindsight, do you think he would have?

[12:23] I think he would have. He is generally a very cool and calm guy, but But I could push him in that sense.
I don't know if he would just get so angry.
And yeah, I was afraid that if I kept pushing, or like Stan, if I kept that, even if I was in the right, he would potentially let me settle.

[12:50] Maybe especially if you were in the right.

[12:52] Yeah, exactly. So I didn't want to poke the bear too much.

[12:58] Yeah, violence often happens when we can't disprove people. But we have the absolute need to be right, but we can't make a good argument, which is why his hypocrisy regarding living conditions may have led to the violence.

[13:11] Yeah, that's a very good point. I agree.
Yeah, absolutely.

Father's Age and Sister's Treatment

[13:22] Where was your mother in all of this?

[13:26] She was home. She...
So, my parents were together the whole time I was a kid and they're still together today.
But for the most part, she didn't really intervene. She just kind of just let it happen.
She didn't approve of it. She just kind of let us have our spat and then she just kind of stayed out of it all.
She wasn't present, but for the most part, she just kind of stayed out of it.

[13:59] And how did she discipline you if that happened.

[14:03] Um she didn't um you know she might ask from time to time and i'd be a lot more inclined to do something when she asked because she was asking me she wasn't ordering me to do something, especially because she was the one who did most of the work around the house.

[14:25] All right. And what's your age range now? Are you in your 20s, 30s?

[14:31] Early 30s.

[14:32] Early 30s. Okay. And when was the last time you got into some kind of conflict, significant conflict with your father?

[14:42] It's been a very long time. Well before since I moved out when I was about 20 or so. there and.

[14:51] How has your father aged into his life you know a lot of times people who are more aggressive they kind of age out of it over time has that happened with him.

[15:00] Um not really like he's very active he surfed all the time and he goes on trips and he's generally a very upbeat friendly kind of guy he makes lots of jokes and he doesn't take things too seriously um so he has this kind of persona on the surface um of being that guy you know the surf to do panel ban and all that sort of stuff but like when you push these buttons and you point out his hypocrisy though he gets he gets very mad this most of all i've never seen him get angry at anyone other than other than me so i was the only one that i he's a hypocritical.

[15:40] And bullying this way right.

[15:41] Yeah okay.

[15:44] Um do you you have siblings?

[15:47] I have a younger sister.

[15:49] Okay. And how did they get along?

[15:53] They got along okay. She was even worse than I was when it came to just cleanliness and cleaning up after myself. I would do it every so often.
And sometimes if I asked, she would hardly ever do it at all.
But he did not give her the same treatment as he did me.
That could just be because i just resisted and she kind of rolled her eyes have.

[16:21] You and i don't have a preference obviously as to whether you did or didn't i'm just curious uh have you tried having a conversation with your father about the things he did that to you were harmful when you you were a child i.

[16:35] Have not no and it was sorry.

[16:39] Go ahead i.

[16:41] Was saying it was one time my um my sister brought up something so there was a few you know she had like i don't know who described it's like a little family meeting sort of things and she brought up a point and And then I brought up something that was quite significant to my childhood, to something that he had done, at least to me.
And that was about the only time we discussed something that he did that was relevant to when I was a kid.

[17:17] And what was it that you brought up?

[17:22] So, we were, I'm sorry, it was myself, my sister, and him.
We went to this park that we used to go to, and so it was by lake, and we have a, it's Australia, there's deadly animals everywhere, but tiger snakes are very common in this area.

[17:48] Why don't you take a moment or two and just really clear your voice?
Because I know you've got something going on there. I can cut that bit out.
So, yeah, just you want, because you're doing that every couple of seconds.
It's kind of distracting.
So, you want to grab a glass of water and totally clear your throat.
That's fine. I mean, hey, man, I was late to the call. Whatever you need to do to be comfortable is fine with me.

[18:07] All right. Okay. I'm ready to.

[18:09] Go for it. So, you were saying tiger snakes.

[18:13] Yes. So, we were walking along. They were, my sister and my father were pulling ahead and I was trailing behind.
And i almost stepped on one um so i was standing there it was sitting right in front of me staring at me and i called out to him as i hey dad there's a snake help and then he turned around for a moment and said something out of earshot i didn't quite get it but he heard me and then And he just kind of just walked away.
So there I was just by myself with this deadly snake. Thankfully, I knew what to do.
And I was able to get out of that situation. I just took a few steps back and gave the wide berth and just let it be.

[19:03] And how old were you?

[19:04] I suppose I was 10, 12, something like that.

[19:13] Right. Okay, sorry, finish the story.

[19:16] And yeah, he just walked away. And I guess for me personally, that was kind of the way he, in a sense, he walked away from me as well.
It was like, you know, I thought that if he cared, he would have came and gave me a hand or told me what to do or something instead of just walking away. way.
I suppose that for me, that was the day he kind of abandoned me.

[19:47] I'm sorry, you just faded out at the end there. The day he what?

[19:52] The day he abandoned me, is how I saw it. Sorry.

[19:57] The day he abandoned you, like just that day, or the day he abandoned you as a father for all time? I just want to make sure I understand what you mean.

[20:06] Yes, so I felt for him that was the day he left me behind.
He just didn't care or it didn't matter or he didn't play with it or whatever.
I felt like he just left. I didn't matter. He just left and he left me in a dangerous situation and just walked away and just kind of left me to my own devices.

Father's indifference: Leaving children in dangerous situations

[20:29] Well, I don't want to go too harsh on it, but the first word that pops into my head is murderous.
I mean, if your child is calling out for help with a, I mean, let's say one of these things bites a kid who's 10 or 12 years old, I mean, what happens?
You get the full venom. I mean, is it fatal? Is it paralytic?
Is it uncomfortable? What happens?

[20:57] Untreated, it can be fatal. It does require hospitalization. Well.

[21:02] Then you were on a hike, right? So you could have been killed by the snake. Right.
And so if a father walks away from a son or a child who is facing death, that's murderous.
There's a murderousness to that.
I mean, I remember hiking with my daughter and a dog came kind of bounding out of nowhere and she was, you know, scared.
Of course, right? And, you know, I had to pick her up and try and calm the dog down.
Am but the idea like the idea that a dog would have been charging at my daughter and i would have just walked away is i can't even tell you how beyond incomprehensible that is to me, and a dog is far less dangerous than a tiger snake i mean it's literally in the two words only in australia right snakes dangerous tigers dangerous tiger snakes now that's an australian an animal right i mean this is a deadly animal it's a deadly animal and he walked away and left you to deal with it when you were fairly young yeah that's right so when you brought this up, what did he what did he say when you brought this up i guess as an adult.

[22:20] Uh it was a while ago now, Vaguely apologize, but I don't think he fully understood the gravity of the situation.

[22:32] Wait, wait, hang on. What do you mean he didn't understand the gravity of the situation? Did he know that tiger snakes are dangerous?

[22:39] Yes.

[22:40] Did he warn you and say tiger snakes are here and they're dangerous?

[22:45] He never told me that explicitly.

[22:47] Wait, so he took you walking in a place with deadly animals and never warned you about the deadly animals? animals?

[22:53] Like, he never sat us down and told us explicitly in that sense, like, look, be careful when walking around here, there's dangerous things here.
It just, it was very nonchalant and far too casual.

[23:06] So he was more bothered by, ah, this is so incomprehensible to me, sorry, I'm just trying to align my thinking to this bizarre planet that your father lives on.
So he's more bothered by your messy room than you staring down an animal that could could kill you in a tenth of a second.

[23:26] Something like that, yeah.

[23:27] Well, no, no, tell me where that's not accurate. I don't mean you would die in a tenth of a second, but in a tenth of a second, it could bite you.

[23:35] Yes, in that respect.

[23:36] Okay, so you staring down a deadly animal, he just shrugs and walks away, but God forbid you have a messy room, then you've got to be threatened.

[23:47] Yeah, that's right.

[23:49] So what the hell, man? man like i can i mean i can vaguely understand though not agree with the consistency of not caring about your kids but when you are putting infinitely more effort into, dealing with your child over a messy room than you are when your child is facing a deadly animal that is incomprehensible like i can't figure out the pattern there.

[24:16] Yeah, I don't understand it either.

[24:19] No, you do. You do. You do. We just don't know what it is yet.
No, because I mean, you've known the guy for over three decades, right?

[24:29] Yes.

[24:29] So if there's someone you understand, it's your dad, right? Now, we don't necessarily know the motives, and we probably never will.
But as far as the patterns go, there's got to be some pattern here.
People don't act completely randomly unless they're being tasered or they've gone psychotic.

Father's negligence at the beach: Leaving children unattended

[24:47] That's true, if you like I have another example in mind go for it, so he liked to surf a lot and when we were very young what he would do is he'd take us to the beach and then he would just go and he would leave us there for hours, I can't even remember how long he would leave us out there sometimes Sometimes three, four hours at a time, sometimes at the most, I think.

[25:18] You mean like on the beach?

[25:20] On the beach. Just on the beach, and then he would just be off.
And he would just leave us there. We were like six. My sister was a couple of years younger than me.
And yeah he was seven or eight or whatever but very young and yeah he was a big old girl doing his own thing and yeah and mum caught wind of that and then, she gave him hell for it.

[25:58] And how long did this last you were sort of six and your your sister was younger, how long how long did this last I mean you say hours at a time but But did this happen for years or months?
How long did it take before your mom figured it out?

[26:14] I don't think that lasted very long. It might have done it a couple of times, and then mom figured it out and raked him over the coals for it because she was terrified about us getting picked up by a stranger or something like that.

[26:29] Or wondering, you lose attention with regards to your sister because you're only six and she wanders into the water or you get stung by jellyfish or you're bitten by a crab.
I mean, it could be any number of things, some of which would be dangerous, some of which could be fatal, some of which would just be inconvenient.
But, I mean, there's a whole mess of trouble for little kids on a beach, right?

[26:53] Oh, absolutely. There's all sorts of things, especially here in Australia.

[26:57] I mean, there are crocodiles in the ocean. Okay. All right.

[27:04] Both there are, yeah, for sure. Very dangerous.

[27:10] So, you've got the tiger snake, the tiger shark, or whatever might have happened at the beach, right?
Do you have any memory of people saying, like, hey, where are your parents?

[27:26] I cannot recall. I don't think so. Like, he would sometimes go to secluded beaches because he knows where all the good spots are.
And it was a long day. I can't remember anyone coming up and asking what our parents were or anything like that when he did it.

[27:44] You don't remember there being a lot of people. It wasn't like some big crowded beach, right?

[27:49] It was a handful of people. It's pretty close to that.

[27:53] Do you have memories of your father seeking out your company and enjoying your company and taking an interest in your preferences, hobbies, interests, and so on?

[28:07] I thought about that a lot and not really.
He was always more interested in doing his own thing. He just kind of left me to my devices.
And he didn't give me any real direction or guidance.
He didn't teach me anything.
I've learned more from you than I've learned from him.

[28:32] Well i appreciate that that doesn't sound like the highest bar in the known universe.

[28:36] Yeah so yeah.

[28:37] Yeah i mean i used to think about this with my own dad who had this kind of fundamental indifference you know he as i mentioned before he he went to play tennis and left me crawling around as a toddler and i drank weed killer uh just because you know he really really wanted to play his tennis and i remember even in my mid-teens visiting him in africa we'd go hiking and uh this is before i really got into exercise and he was of course he hiked for a living because he was a geologist and i just he would take me on these these giant climbs and hikes and he'd be like way up ahead and you know he'd just be yelling back if you're thirsty and suck on a stone or something like that i'm like oh suck on a pebble that's a, That's a good analogy for this relationship.
And I just remember thinking, like, he puts the R in father, right? Because he's father. He's father away.
He's far off in the distance. He's father out on the horizon.
He's putting the R in farther.

[29:36] That sounds about right. But I'm sorry you went through all that.
That's a very difficult point.

Distant Relationship with Father

[29:41] Well, thanks. But at least it wasn't in my face every day. Like, it was just every while that I would see him.
So, what is the status of your relationship with your father now?

[29:56] It's fine, I suppose. We're not particularly close.
He will come over every now and then, and we'll spend time together.
I have a shallow chit-chat, nothing too big, but we're not very close.
Yeah, because I spend all that time just doing his own thing.
I kind of just drifted away.

[30:19] So what's the plus of having him in your life?

[30:24] Oh, that's a good question.
He just kind of comes with the territory. So I, like, I love my mom.
I think she's a great woman. She made lots of sacrifices for us.

[30:37] I'm sorry. You just drifted out there for a sec. Or are you talking about your mom now?

[30:42] Oh yes. I'm sorry. Yeah.

[30:43] Sorry. Your mom's a great woman. Yeah.

[30:48] I think when we were young, she made lots of sacrifices for us and she worked very hard for us.

[30:54] Your mom's a great woman. Okay, well, that's fine. That's fine as a thesis.
So your thesis is that your father was bad, but your mother, your father was not great, but your mother was great.

[31:09] Yeah, I suppose. You know.

[31:11] They call that splitting, right?
Did your mother ever strongly encourage your father to get more involved with your life, to spend more time with you?
Did she make sure that he was a present and involved father?
And in particular for the son, it's very important. It's important for both.
It's slightly more important for the same-sex parent to have a good relationship.
So did she notice that your father was absent? Did she really insist that he try and find a way to connect with his children?

[31:47] Um, I think what she noticed more was my reaction to his, uh, indifference and his aggression.

[31:57] Okay. So she didn't notice that you, she didn't notice that he was aggressive and indifferent.

[32:03] I think she spoke to him a few times, but I honestly can't recall.
I don't really remember too much. Sorry.

[32:10] You said, so, so you, she noticed more your reaction to his hostility or his aggression and indifference, but she didn't notice as much his aggression and indifference?

[32:21] Yeah, I suppose so. I don't know if she talked to him, took him aside in private, or what has she ever said to him, but his behavior...

[32:28] Well, it didn't work, right?

[32:30] Yeah, that's true.

[32:31] Well, I guess I assume that after she raked him over the coals for his obsessive surfing stuff, I assume that that changed, like he didn't then take you to the beach and dump you by the seaside and go off for hours to surf?

[32:47] That's correct. He stopped it after that.

[32:49] Okay. So he takes some coaching and she has some effect on him or some authority over him, so to speak.
So did she ever indicate that she noticed that your father was distant and aggressive and threatened violence and so on?

[33:12] Um...
I suppose, not really. It was only the things I can think of when he threatened violence the most when I was very young, and then as I got a bit older and the smaller, I took on more responsibilities and all the messy shit.
He would just start yelling and we'd get into these arguments and she just kind of stayed out of it, as I mentioned before.
And I can't remember if she ever spoke to me about it or what, but I do remember one time after an extended period of time after this had been going on for a while, I, was very depressed at this point.

[33:59] And how old were you here?

[34:01] I was a teenager between say 15 and 17, 18.
Those are some very dark years. I mean, I was isolated and miserable, and I was dealing with all this shit at home.

[34:22] Ah, okay. So your mother, of course, as a good mother, or you say a wonderful mother, she would notice that you were very sad, and she would talk to you about it and try and get to the root of it and cast about to figure out the cause?
Or how did your mother handle your depression?

[34:39] Ah, yeah. Yeah, so they tried to talk to me. They'd sit me down and try to talk to me.

[34:44] Sorry, they or she?

[34:45] From time to time, both of them. So both of them would try.

[34:52] Okay, but would they try it one-on-one or two-on-one?

[34:57] Uh uh both sometimes two on one sometimes okay so.

[35:01] Let's talk about your mom and and so she would sit you down noticing of course that you were really depressed and she would sit you down and how would that go.

[35:09] I should kind of ask um you know what's going on i couldn't really articulate it, looks like we understand why at the time um because this is at the same time i was having those phrases just because after the way my dad treated me anytime someone asks that kind of question i don't know he couldn't formulate an answer to it so to them it was a mystery to me it was a mystery it was only really in retrospect when i started digging, um digging back and trying to figure it out that i kind of came to these conclusions but yeah i i couldn't articulate why i was feeling that way and i didn't really tell them either, I think I knew I was lonely I didn't have any money friends at school when I first moved to my new school I didn't know anyone connect with anything in common with a lot of people and did you sorry what.

[36:15] Effort did your parents make when you moved to a new school what what effort did your parents make to get to know other parents to get to know their kids did they throw dinner parties or any kind of gatherings did they try try and find ways to connect with the people in the neighborhood so that you could be vetted in a sense i mean what did your parents do when you moved to a new neighborhood and went to a new school what did they do to help you fit in.

[36:44] Very little in that regard actually I don't think I really did anything they just kind of sent me off and it's like you kind of own your own kiddo and.

[36:53] Did they did they know I assume they knew that you didn't have friends because people you know kids didn't come over and they weren't calling you to go out and do stuff so they knew that you were really struggling, socially right yeah Okay, so you've moved to a new place, your father's indifferent and hostile, and you're unable to make friends in this new environment.
So I'm just curious how dare they say, can you tell us what's going on, because we don't have a clue. I don't understand that.

[37:35] Yeah, when you put it like that, it seems... You know.

[37:38] Look, if I'm an ER doctor and some guy comes in with a railway spike through his leg, would it make any sense for me to sit back and say, oh, why don't you tell me what the problem is?
What's the matter? What's going on? How could I help?

[37:57] Yeah, it doesn't seem very obvious when you put it like that.

[38:00] Well, so that's why you didn't tell them. because they were telling you that there was no way for them to know what the problem was, which meant that the problem was entirely on you.
It was entirely your issue and they had no intention of helping you because they weren't putting even 1% of their brain matter into seeing the absolutely obvious problem.

[38:28] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

[38:31] You know there's that that sort of cliche in movies where some guy beats up another guy and then throws a towel at him says clean yourself up you look disgusting, yeah it's like so they moved you they didn't do anything to help you integrate they didn't talk to you about i mean did they talk to you about hey you mean you're going to a new school, it's a real challenge you know we want to really keep track on this uh you know here's a plan to to help you integrate or, you know, you've got to keep us posted about how things are going because social life is super important to mid-teens and I have a mid-teen, so I'm aware of all of this.
And so, or they just basically throw you and not look back. Like, you're facing the school in the same way you face the tiger snake.

Sent to an Expensive Private School Against Will

[39:20] Yeah, I suppose so. They sent me off and they didn't really care or put any attention to what I thought or what I wanted or anything that I wanted to go with all my friends away to another school.
But they wanted to send me to a private school, an expensive private school instead.
And so it was an all-boys school as well.

[39:42] I'm sorry. You wanted to go with your friends to the public school, but they wanted to send you to an expensive private school?
And it was all boys and all boys all boys in your mid-teens good lord what the hell it.

[39:59] Was it was very rough so i fell behind on the um the whole.

[40:04] And i assume they didn't ask you what you wanted or what might be best for you.

[40:11] No not really.

[40:12] So why would they want to send you you why would they want to send you it wasn't it wasn't overnight like it wasn't a boarding school right no.

[40:23] No no i was home so.

[40:24] Let's try and puzzle this one out why would they want to spend so much money to send you to a school and then take you away from your friends and then never track whether you had new friends and that that's that's not an accident again whether it's conscious or not I don't know and I don't care, but what's the idea behind it?
Why are they paying all this money to separate you from your friends?

[40:52] I suppose for them, they probably thought that I would get a better education there than I would going to the public school.

[41:02] Well, that's a theory. But then when you went there, you did worse, right?

[41:09] I did. I did very poorly.

[41:10] You were depressed. So you weren't getting the good. So, you know, if I say, well, you know, you should go to this school because you're getting a good education to my kid, and then you get a worse education or you're not succeeding in that education, I would have to change it, right?

[41:23] Yeah. That's right.

[41:26] Okay, so that's not accurate. Because you weren't getting a good education there or you weren't doing well there, right?

[41:35] You know, I was barely skating by.

[41:37] Yeah, I get it. So no, it's not for a good education.
So what's it about?

[41:49] It's the only explanation that I really thought about as to why they sent me there.

[41:57] Okay, let me ask you this. So when you were in the public school and you had your friends, Did your friends come over to your house a lot?

[42:06] Yeah, so I had one best friend in particular, and we spent a lot of time together.
And he went that way, and I was only one year behind, and I kind of wanted to follow him there.

[42:22] Sorry, there being to the private school?

[42:25] To the public school.

[42:26] Okay.

[42:28] But I didn't have too many friends in primary school.

[42:33] Sorry, in primary school?

[42:35] Primary school, so yeah, primary and then senior. So one through seven and then three.

[42:40] Okay, so did your parents recognize this ever as an issue that you didn't have many friends and that you might need some help socializing? Yeah.

[42:52] Um, I mean, they should have noticed and they should have put more effort into it.
I was, I don't think they did. I had a couple of friends, but it wasn't too big.

[43:04] Okay. So did, did you have friends who would come over to your house much?

[43:09] Uh, yes, I did. Every night I'd have a couple.

[43:12] So, uh, so you said every night you'd have a couple of friends over?

[43:15] Uh, no, every now and then. Oh.

[43:17] Every now and then. Okay. Got it. Got it. so a lot of times when parents don't want their kids to socialize, it's because they don't want kids over at the house they don't want other kids over at the house, they don't want your friends over at the house or they don't want you maybe talking about the family with your friends or i mean are your parents quite private people they play their cards very close to their chest they don't open up much to people people?

[43:49] They're very social. They're very social people.

[43:51] Oh, they're very social. So they know how to socialize and they know how important socializing is, right?

[43:59] Yes.

[44:00] So that robs them of all excuses, right?

[44:06] Yeah, it does.

[44:07] Sorry, you're kind of swallowing your voice. I'm having trouble, following what you're saying.

[44:14] I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I do apologize. Apologize, yes.

[44:17] No problem. Just, yeah, speak up and out.
Okay, so your parents socialized, and they didn't notice or care.
They must have noticed, but they didn't care that you weren't socializing.
How was your sister with socializing?

[44:34] She probably did better than I did. She had solid groups of friends all throughout her education. education.
Yeah, me and my sister were not very close.

[44:49] Right. Okay. Okay.
So, your parents are asking you, gee, what's the matter? We have no idea.
We couldn't possibly puzzle it out. Did they ever give you any theories as to why they thought you might be depressed?

[45:10] Um...
No, I think they would just ask. I didn't know, but I couldn't answer.

[45:23] Well, of course you couldn't answer because they're telling you that your unhappiness is incomprehensible and that there's no cause that people twice your age could possibly figure out as to why you might be unhappy.
You see, it's a form of rejection.
It's a form of rejection. like hey as your parents it's completely incomprehensible i mean obviously we've thought about this six different ways from sunday we're vastly more experienced than you are, we have absolutely no idea why you're unhappy is telling you don't ever tell us why you're unhappy, we don't want to know we don't want to fix it, because we're rejecting you because we're not saying, okay, listen, like we noticed that you got kind of unhappy when we moved to the new area.
You went to the new school, so tell us how that's going.
We also have noticed that you don't, you know, have a lot of friends coming over or you're not spending time with a lot of friends. Like, how's all that? Like, these are blindingly obvious things, right?

[46:33] Yes.

[46:35] Also, you know, You're a young man full of hormones and girl-crazy joy juice, and you're at an all-boys school.
Did they make any arrangements for you to meet any girls or dances or co-ed sports or anything?

[46:53] They did have dances every so often, but that was about it.

[46:56] Okay. So did they make any arrangements for you to have any regular contact with members of the fairer sex?

[47:07] No um my mom did sign me up for like after class dancing stuff and that was like once a week, um but other than that no and it was always very awkward because i didn't know the girls it was very weird okay.

[47:23] So your parents move you to a new school you not making any friends it's an all-boys school you have no access to girls really and and they're like we have no idea why you could possibly be sad. This is a puzzle for the ages.
This is like hieroglyphics before the Rosetta Stone. There's no possible way for us to conceivably figure out what might be the problem.
Tell us to break this mystery open to us.

[47:54] Yeah, that's it. I mean.

[47:56] That's really sad, and that's really pathetic. Honestly, I just have massive amounts of contempt for that.
Massive amounts of contempt for that.
Because either they're, like, literally brain dead, which they're not, right? They're intelligent people, right?

[48:13] Yes.

Parents' Unwillingness to Address School Issues

[48:15] Or they're such absolutely crap parents that after parenting you for 15 years, moving you to a new school with no girls and no friends, they just can't conceivably possibly figure out what the problem is, now they don't want to know what the problem is and you oblige them and you knew this and you oblige them of course maybe unconsciously but you oblige them by not telling them what the problem was because if you'd have said listen mom dad this is crazy I hate the school I hate being in an old boy's school I don't have any friends there. I miss my friends.
Just put me back in public school. Like, for God's sakes, this is terrible, right?
Like, if you'd have said that to them, what would they have said?

[49:02] They probably would have said no.

[49:04] Right. So they didn't want to know the answer to the problem because they damn well knew the answer to the problem, but they didn't want to do it for reasons I don't exactly know.
But they weren't going to put you back? I mean, are they very status-oriented people?

[49:20] Um status oriented did they care about looking.

[49:24] Good or or being, high.

[49:28] Status i wouldn't no we were very much a blue-collar working-class family and they didn't really care too much like they like put on like parties and stuff like that on but other than that okay so.

[49:40] Why why would they want to keep you in an expensive private school that you hated, why would they want to do that?

[49:52] I suppose maybe that was after the first few years were very rough and then I picked up a few friends. No.

[50:00] That's not an answer. I mean, there's no kid alive who's going to say, well, you know, for a couple of years things are rough.
That's like 20% of your entire life.
That's half your life as a teenager. age you're like fuck that so they keep like why do they put you in and keep you in a place where you're miserable that's expensive.

[50:28] Put me in a place that's expensive.
Maybe because they thought it would be worth it in the long run in terms of education, but that didn't work.

[50:40] Okay, so let's say that they think that the education or the school is good for you in the long run, right? Let's say that they have that belief.
So they, of course, would know because they're social people too.
They would know that a social life is really, really important.
And so when you didn't, when you weren't making friends, they would intervene as much as possible to try and figure this out, right?
And they'd say, listen, of course you're upset. I mean, of course you're depressed.
You don't have any friends. And we put you in that situation, so we're now going to move heaven and earth to try and figure out how to change that.
So if they thought the school was good for you, then they'd want you to be happy at the school.

The Impact of Unhappiness on Academic Performance

[51:22] Right because if you're unhappy at the school the school can't be good for you because you won't work that and this showed up in your marks right your marks plummeted right yeah okay so saying this school is good for you the first thing that you know, if i think some gymnastics thing is really important for my daughter my first job is to make sure she's happy in the gymnastics thing, So, if they thought, I mean, again, they're not dumb people, so if they thought the school was good for you, they wouldn't just blankly stare at you and say, gee, I don't know what the problem is, kid, maybe you can tell us.
So that's not the answer either.

[52:07] No, it's not.
Um, I can't think of anything else, all of them before it could have been why the only way that they could have justified it.

[52:27] Sorry, I didn't quite get that thought.

[52:31] I'm sorry. Uh, I said that that's it.
Those are the only ways I thought that they could have justified it because it's not like because it wasn't obviously what didn't enjoy being there.

[52:45] Right. Right. So the purpose of any system, fundamentally, is whatever continues is what it's for.
Whatever continues is what it's for. Now, if people said, ah, but the welfare state is to eliminate poverty, well, the welfare state hasn't eliminated poverty, yet still it continues, so clearly the stated goal is not the real purpose of the system, right?

[53:15] Yes.

[53:17] I mean, the purpose of communism was to raise the living standards of the workers.
The fact that it destroyed the living standards of the workers and yet still continued means that that stated goal is not its real purpose, right?

[53:30] Yes, I thought that was it.

[53:31] All right. So, you're miserable in school. School continues. Yes.
Therefore, the purpose of putting you in the school is to make you miserable.
And part of that misery is saying, gee, kid, what's the matter? We have no idea.
It's incomprehensible that you could be unhappy. So you're going to have to crack this mystery for us because there's no way that we, as your parents for decades, could possibly figure this out. Or a decade and a half, right?
So if you are unhappy in the school, and the unhappiness continues and the school continues, then the purpose of the school is unhappiness.
Now why your parents wanted to make you unhappy I don't know, but that's what continued without their intervention and with it being like when something's completely obvious and people don't ask the question it's because they don't want to disturb the system, like why are the workers poorer under communism why is there now a permanent prominent underclass of people who've not had a job in three generations if the purpose of the welfare state is to eliminate poverty?
People don't want to ask those questions.

[54:58] Oh, I guess that makes good sense.

Lingering Effects of Conflict with Father

[55:04] Because the question to me, and this is all the way back to the beginning of our conversation, the question for me, so I said, you know, when did you last have significant conflict with your your father, I'm sure you remember me asking that, and you said, well, you know, I moved out more than 10 years ago, we really haven't had any conflict, right?

[55:24] That's right, yeah. Right.

[55:25] So if you haven't really had any conflict with your aggressive and distant bully of a dad, why are the effects still lingering?
Why are the effects still lingering? Because you still have a great hesitation in assertiveness, right?

[55:48] That's right. Yeah, I struggle.

[55:50] Right. So that means that something unidentified is continuing to have hold over you.
So we've got to figure out what that is.

[56:04] Okay. Do you think maybe that was the purpose of the school and that's what it's intended to do?

[56:10] Well let's look at your dad right and we'll look at your mom in a sec we'll look at your dad your dad threatens you with your belt not because he cares about tidiness because he himself is untidy right, so he threatens to beat you but it's not about tidiness so what is it about.

[56:36] Power perhaps he's bigger and smaller no.

[56:41] But that's obvious right i mean you already know that you already know he has power you already know he's big yes why would you threaten someone why would you threaten a little boy with violence over something you don't care about.

The Aggression: Breaking the Bond

[57:06] Because maybe it's an excuse. And not aggression.

[57:12] But that doesn't explain why you want to do that.

[57:15] No.

[57:16] Why would you want to threaten a little boy with a belt over something you don't care about?
Can I tell you?

[57:29] Please do.

[57:30] To break him!
To shatter the bond. to break him. You see, the hypocrisy was part of the aggression.
Because as you point out, hey, Dad, you don't even care about this.
Yeah, but I'm going to beat you anyway.
Right? That's to say, it's not about the principle. It's not about tidiness.
I don't give a shit about tidiness. But I do want to break you.
Dad, I need help with the tiger snake. He walks off. Why? You're unimportant. You don't matter.
I'm going to break you. you. There's no bond. You're worthless.
And then your dad goes to the beach.
Now, he could leave you home with your sister. He could leave you home with your mom, right?
He could say, listen, I really want to go surf on my own.
But he doesn't. He brings you and leaves you, abandons you, right? Why?
To break you. You're unimportant. You don't matter. I mean, this is psychological warfare 101.

[58:45] To make people dependent upon you and then prove to them that you don't care about them at all is to break them.

A Childhood of Unhappiness and Parental Deception

[59:03] Why were you put in a school you hated and then your parents pretended to not know why you were miserable? To break you.

Unaware of the Warfare Waged Against You

[59:20] And if this hypothesis, which of course is just a hypothesis, if this hypothesis is accurate, it would explain why, to some degree, you're still broken, because you don't recognize the degree of warfare waged against you.
You are unalert to the dangers and to the harm that was inflicted upon you as a purely innocent child who deserved love and interest and care and protection.

[59:52] Yeah, that would explain why it kind of flew under the radar for so long.

[59:57] I'm sorry, say again?

[1:00:01] I was just saying that would explain why it flew under the radar and it was hard to detect what was going on in my mind.

[1:00:12] Can you tell me of a time, and there could be, right?
It wouldn't fit the pattern, but it certainly could be. Can you tell me of a time where your parents proactively identified a problem and prevented it from manifesting?
They proactively said, like, so an example would be, you know, we're moving you to a new school. You're not going to know any kids.
We're going to have to really work hard to make sure you can make some friends and this, that, and the other, right?
So that's proactively identifying a problem and helping you avert it.
Can you think of a time when your parents in your life have proactively identified a problem and helped you avert it?

Lack of Proactive Planning in the past

[1:00:56] No, I can't.
They would just choose something and off you go.
Or there was... No, everything was always after the fact. There was hardly any proactive planning ahead.

[1:01:13] Hardly any? Listen, I'm happy to hear, right? So hardly any means...
And I'm not trying to be a nitpicker here, but I'm always on the listen for exceptions to the rule because they're important.
Because you said you can't think of any and then you say they hardly ever did right like if i if someone were to say to me um did your third cousin kill anyone and i said well hardly ever, well that would be a pretty important difference right then no of course not, not often details right.

Rare occurrences, but significant when they do happen

[1:01:55] Yeah, I can't think of any occasions where they did that.

[1:02:01] Right.
So why wouldn't they, I mean, this is basic parenting, right, is to identify issues your children are going to face and help them avoid and avert them, right?

[1:02:15] Yes.

[1:02:16] You know, it's the old thing that, you know, if your children are gaining a little bit of weight, you sit down and talk to them about it.
If your children are spending too much time on the screens, you sit down and talk to them about it.
If your children aren't making friends, you sit down and try and figure it out.

[1:02:30] Absolutely, yeah.

[1:02:32] So, I mean, one of the central goals of parenting is why your parents, right?
Why you don't just turn kids loose, I guess on a beach when they're six, right?
Why you don't just turn kids loose is that children can't see the problems that are coming, but parents can. Does that make sense?

[1:02:49] Absolutely. Okay. Okay.

[1:02:50] So, if your parents didn't help you identify problems and ameliorate or avoid them, they weren't really parenting.
So, what were they... I mean, obviously, they fed you, right?
And they gave you shelter and healthcare, right?

[1:03:14] Yes, all those things.

[1:03:15] Now, people do that with pets, right?
But we don't say you know like this this cliche like I'm a dog mom it's like no you're not you have a broken wolf as a pet, I'm a cat parent no you're not right so so those kinds of things you know we could imagine a man who wants to go surfing who has a dog with him would let the dog roam the beach while he went to surf right, it's like a pet, Yeah.

[1:03:50] You're right.

[1:03:51] But even a person will try and train a pet, and it doesn't sound like you were really trained at all.
You did not have parents who were intervening to help you out and help you solve, even identify problems that don't solve them.

[1:04:15] Yeah, there's no guidance, especially from my dad. I had a team of mom help me with that.
She didn't, she couldn't, one of the two.

[1:04:24] Okay, so let's say that in a couple of years, your dad says, I want to take my grandkids surfing.
I want to go with my five-year-old grandchild to a beach so I can go surfing. And what would you say?

[1:04:44] I would say no why not, because i know what he's going to do he's going to leave the kid on the beach and he's going to piss off and do what he wants to do right.

[1:05:00] So you wouldn't let your father have any particular authority over your child right right?

[1:05:07] No, I would not.

[1:05:08] So why is your child worthy of protection but you're not?

[1:05:19] Well, I am and I was.

[1:05:21] No, no, but now. Like, your father has authority over you now just because he's been your father for over 30 years, right?
So you won't let your father have any authority over your child, but you'll socialize with him, you won't confront him, You won't tell the truth about him.
You're talking to me, not him, which I'm not disagreeing with.
I'm just pointing it out, right?
So you're frightened of your father. Your father has the potential to do you harm, which is why, I mean, you can always tell the people who are frightened because they don't tell the truth, right?
And I'm not criticizing at all, but I'm just pointing out as a fact that you don't tell the truth to your father.
You don't tell the truth about your experience, your history, your loss, your sadness, your anger, your frustration, your isolation, your feelings of rejection and abandonment.
You don't now and never have told the truth to your father.
And again, this is not a criticism at all. I'm not saying you should or must, I'm just saying this is a fact, right?

[1:06:25] Yes, I understand.

[1:06:26] Which means you're terrified of your father. and I'm not disagreeing with that either, and neither is that a criticism. It's simply an observation, right?
You must be scared of your father, to bite your tongue about your experience with your father.
You must be scared of your father because you continually falsify your history and experience with him.
So your father scares you, but you won't do anything to protect yourself from your father who scares you.
But you sure would do something to protect your kid from being under the negative authority of your father.
But why are you under the negative authority of your father?

[1:07:17] I guess I'm still under his authority because I'm afraid of him and I haven't confronted him or stood up to him and told him the truth. Well.

[1:07:30] And the question then is, and again, I know this always sounds like a criticism.
I absolutely don't mean it that way at all.
So the question is, why don't you tell the truth to your father?
I mean, okay, let me ask you in a different way.
So if your child has an issue with you, you've disappointed or upset or hurt your child in some manner, would you want your child to tell you?

[1:07:57] Absolutely.

[1:07:57] Of course you would. I mean, you can't fix what you don't know, unless it's obvious, right?
So you would very much want your child to tell you if your child had a problem with you, right?
Okay. Okay. So why is it the opposite with your father?
Okay, we could try a roleplay here, if you like, where you play your dad and I play you, or we could just game it out in our heads, like what happens if you tell your dad.

[1:08:49] Okay.
If I do, I suppose what you would do, you would try and downplay it, and he will...
I'm going to be dismissive and try to avoid responsibility.

[1:09:10] Okay, and if you just continue to push it and say, well, no, you can't avoid responsibility.
You were the father, right? You liked to socialize. I didn't have any friends. You knew that.
You knew I was unhappy at the new school. You knew I was happier at the old school, right?
And yet you and mom would sit down and ask me with complete incomprehension as to why I was unhappy. happy.
You took me to the beach and abandoned me, which could have got us killed.
You walked off when I was facing down a tiger snake, which could have got me killed.
I got some issues, dad. I got some serious issues with your parenting.
And you can't evade responsibility because you inflicted responsibility on me as a little kid.
Watch your sister at the beach. Tidy up, clean up, don't make a mess.
So you can't say that when I was six or eight or ten, I have all this responsibility, responsibility but when you are 30 or 40 you have no responsibility at all that's kind of pathetic so what the hell's been going on dad.

Shifting Blame: Parenting vs Adult Responsibility

[1:10:11] Oh um, i would probably say, it's not my fault it's how i was raised um.

[1:10:26] Wait are you saying that your parenting is not your you have no responsibility as a parent, like say no so you you have no ownership you have no self-ownership and you have no responsibility as a parent so i had responsibility as a child to clean up my messes but you had no responsibility as an adult to behave better. Is that right?
Like why, if you say, well, listen, I, as an adult, I have no responsibility because of my childhood and how I was raised.
Well, then I should also, as a child, by your logic, have had no responsibility because of how I was raised.
And yet, and yet, you gave me full responsibility as a child.
So sorry, dad, that's just bullshit.
Like, that's just a lie. And it's a contemptible lie too, to say that children have full moral responsibility, but adults are completely off the hook.
Like, that's really pathetic.
And I I simply won't let you say that out of, I just don't want to hold you in total contempt for making such a cowardly and vicious lie.

The Hypothetical Response to Confrontation

[1:11:33] Yeah, I don't think there's anything. He wouldn't be able to respond to that.

[1:11:36] So what would he do? Would he just get up and walk out?

[1:11:43] I don't think he would.

[1:11:45] Would he just stare at you glassily? Would he turn into a wax replica of himself? What would he do?

[1:11:53] I think he would probably fold and apologize, I think.
If it was laid out like that, but rationally you wouldn't have a choice.
There's no alternatives.

[1:12:06] So he would just say, I'm sorry for doing all these terrible things as a child?
And then I would say, that's just another move. That's just another manipulation.
Like you can't go from, for 50 plus years, maybe he's pushing 60 or whatever, right so like you can't for 55 years you can't have this philosophy that you're completely not responsible for anything you do as a parent or you know because i assume you had this even as a kid this idea right but let's just say as a parent you've been my dad for 32 years so you're saying that for 32 years you've had a hundred percent belief that you are zero percent responsible.

[1:12:48] For your parenting because of how you were raised or whatever right so for for well over three three decades, you've had 100% belief that you're not responsible for what you did as a parent.
And then the moment I pointed out, you immediately apologize, like you do a complete 180 and now you have full responsibility.
Like that's just, your apology is just another manipulation.
I don't believe it. Nobody would, no sane person would believe this as an apology, right?
I'm 100% not responsible for anything I've ever done.
No, you are. Oh yeah, I'm totally sorry then. I mean, this just like you're like a weather vane just any way the wind blows right so this apology stuff, is even more contemptible than pretending you have no responsibility because now you're just trying to get me to shut up by apologizing to me you have no convictions or beliefs at all you can't just 180 your entire life you can't just turn on a dime your entire life all of your parenting your whole philosophy of how to be a parent and how to be an adult and what it means you can't just do a complete 180 because I'm calling you out on something like that's just another manipulation please God have a spine.

The escalating behavior of a manipulative parent

[1:14:06] Yeah, I don't know what he would do from that point.

[1:14:09] Well, you'd get to the rage. Because you're pointing out bottomless hypocrisy and manipulation, right?
And when you did that as a kid, when you pointed out, well, Dad, you're messy, what would he do? He'd escalate. You told me that at the beginning, right?

[1:14:24] Yeah, but he'd just continually escalate. Okay.

[1:14:26] So you're aware that if you are honest with him, he will escalate until he breaks you, right?
Because that's what he, and that's why I asked earlier, did he ever hit you?
And that wasn't like good or, it's obviously not good to hit, but it was, did he break you and cause you to stop calling out his hypocrisy?
Because that's a form, and listen, there's no shame in that.
It's not like being broken.
I mean, my mom broke me when she was beating me up against the wall when I was like three or four years old.
I'm like, yeah, I'm going limp. Yeah, you broke me. You broke me.
Of course, right? I mean, I've got to survive, and survival is kind of the imperative.
There's no point being not broken and having your head broken, right?
There's no point being not broken and having your spine broken. That's no good.

[1:15:16] It's better to be alive.

[1:15:17] Yeah yeah you gotta live right you gotta live that's just biological imperative it wasn't like i was making all these big abstract moral choices when i was three or four it was just like oh, dominant dang physical danger go limp right because i can't fight i'm like three or four years old right so you you don't tell the truth to him because he will manipulate lie prevaricate be sophist minimize and then if you continue to push it he will blow up, So, you have someone core in your life who takes away your tongue with the thread of his fists, who has you break integrity and honesty because he'll escalate.
In other words, the breaking has become, the breaking of you has become continuous.

[1:16:21] Yeah it's ongoing it's.

[1:16:22] Like why would I I mean for me I just I won't have people in my life I have to lie to, because there's no relationship that's more important to me than my relationship with the truth, and because I can't have a relationship with people I have to lie to.

[1:16:48] That's a very good point, yeah it's hard having people in your life who you have to lie to or not things you don't talk about.

[1:16:59] Well no you are you are frightened of being beaten up or aggressed against or screamed at or traumatized for telling the truth.
You can't be any more assertive with your wife than you are with your parents.
This is foundational to just being a man.
And you in particular, and me in particular, I can't be any more assertive with my wife than I am with my father.
And the price that I would pay for allowing my father's neglect and aggression to dictate my commitment to honesty is I can't be assertive with anyone.

Weak Relationships and the Fragility of Bridges

[1:17:49] That makes sense.

[1:17:53] I mean, a bridge is only as strong as its weakest strut, right?
And you can only be as strong as your weakest relationship.
And if you have a relationship wherein, by definition, you have to be weak and distant and dissociated and bullied and silent and falsify everything about you and your entire experience in history, then that's a central pillar in your bridge.
Of course, it's going to fall down, if that makes sense.

[1:18:26] It does. It makes a lot of sense. Yes.
I've considered doing it. I just didn't know how. It's weird.
I'm still feeling that scared little boy.

[1:18:45] Why is it weird? Sorry, hang on.
Why is it weird to feel scared of someone who has continually aggressed and neglected and continues to do so?
Why would it be, like, isn't, I'm sorry to be, like, it would be like, well, you know, my mother taught me English 50 years ago.
It's weird that I still speak English.
It's not weird. Please don't, don't, don't denigrate yourself that way.
It's not weird. It's perfectly natural.
And in fact, for most of our evolution, it was perfectly healthy because we didn't have the choice to be different from our parents, right?

[1:19:27] That's right.

[1:19:27] It wasn't like there was some guy born to the priesthood in the Incan childhood slaughter fest who was like, I'm into peaceful parenting.
That wasn't a thing. You just basically had to photocopy the assholery of your parents throughout most of history.
So, no, it's not weird at all. It's perfectly natural.
And for most of our evolution, it was perfectly healthy for our survival, absolutely necessary for our survival.
But you don't want to do to your kids what your father did to you and you don't want to continue to be cowed down and broken and the reason your father tried to break you is because your father was broken now it's not because like it's dominoes he still has choice and free will in the matter, but the reason that your father had to break you was because if he didn't break you the pain of him being broken would be very vivid to him and he didn't want to deal with that pain because he's He's kind of a coward.
So he broke you so he wouldn't have to feel the pain of himself being broken.
Now, you don't want to replicate that. Good for you, man. That makes you infinitely better than your father, in my opinion. Well, more than my opinion, but...

[1:20:37] I appreciate that.

[1:20:38] You're breaking the cycle. now as to whether you should or shouldn't confront your father this that or the other i don't know i mean i as you know i i not only won't but can't tell people what to do so the marching orders aren't you just go and confront your father it might not be physically safe for you to do so i don't know but there's a reason why you've had this level of caution and this level of fear and i respect your level of caution and i respect your level of fear i don't assume that there's is anything wrong with it, I assume that there's something very important in that.
So, I don't know whether you should or shouldn't do it. I don't know whether it's the right or wrong thing to do.
I don't know whether it's better or worse, safe or dangerous.
That's for you to evaluate.
Maybe you nibble a little bit around the edges. Ask him about his childhood.
You know, asking your parents about their own childhood can really help take the load off you.
Because once you realize how messed up their own childhood was and how little they've dealt with it, you then don't feel as bad for the crap that they acted out on you.
Because you know it really wasn't anything to do with you, right?

[1:21:46] Yeah I think so.

[1:21:48] But I think the one thing I would counsel against is living this falsified existence with your parents, and your mother is not morally separate from your father I assume your mother was attractive-ish or attractive when she was younger.

[1:22:07] Oh yes so.

[1:22:09] She had 20 guys to choose from probably more she had 20 guys to choose from, you know I mean it's not so much the case now but back in the day the women or the girls would make themselves pretty and the guys would ask them out and your mom probably had at least 20 guys, who wanted to ask her out or who expressed interest in her right, so she's 100% responsible for your father being in your life She's 100% responsible.
You say, well, she tried to talk to him. It's like, I don't care.
I don't care.
I mean, can you imagine your father's yelling at you about the mess you've made?
And you're like, well, dad, you know, I tried to talk to myself, but it just didn't work.
I really tried to convince myself to care about tidying.
It's kind of a funny story. It turns out I just don't care about tidying.
Like, I really tried to sit down and have a talk, but it just didn't work.
What would your father say?
What the hell are you talking about? Just play it up, right?

[1:23:20] It's still as I say. Yeah.

[1:23:21] Yeah.

[1:23:22] So.

[1:23:22] You know, if your mother says, well, I tried to talk to him, but it just didn't seem to work. What the hell does that mean?

[1:23:31] Yeah, you're right. That's a fallacy.

[1:23:33] You do it till it works. And your father, like your mother, is your dad, I guess he's off the athletic and all of that, surfer bro. Is he like a good looking guy?

[1:23:44] He was a handsome man, yes.

[1:23:46] Handsome man, okay. So it's entirely possible that your mother chose your father not because of his virtues, but because of his looks.
Or his, what do they call it, charisma?
So it's entirely possible that your mother chose your father because of his looks and his charisma, and she really didn't give two rats behinds about his moral qualities, right?
And then she dated him out of a fetish for beauty. She gave him children. He was a bad dad.
Really bad dad, in my opinion. She didn't fix it because he's good-looking.
So she's got, I don't know, I hate to say a sexual fetish for good looks, but that's kind of the way it played out, and she chose that fetish over a good father for her children.
So don't tell me about your mother's innocence and hard work and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Women are responsible for the men they choose to be the fathers of their children.
And unless she was in a wheelchair with John Merrick head, then she had a lot of choice.

Mother's Selfish Choice: Impact on Fatherhood

[1:24:48] And she's 100% responsible for that choice, and she's 100% responsible for the quality of your father's parenting.
Because if she chose better, you'd have had a better dad.
And the fact that she chose badly, at least his fatherhood, maybe he's good in bed, I don't know. But the fact that she chose badly, she chose selfishly.
Because she didn't choose a guy saying, who's the best father for my children to be?
That's my choice. Who's going to be the best father for my children?
Nope, it was selfish. Selfish.
Who's the guy who's the hottest? Who's the guy who turns, I'm sorry to talk about this like your mom, but like, who's the guy who turns me on the most?
Who's the guy who's the sexiest?
Who's the guy who really makes me tingle in the nether regions?
She chose selfishly.
She chose for herself and her loins and her lust.
Maybe her status. Maybe he was the guy that all the girls wanted to get and she got him and she just, that just made her feel great and glowy and I don't know what. But crap goes on in these kinds of decisions.
But she didn't choose for you, and she didn't choose for your sister. She chose for herself.
And she's been totally content with that choice for, what, pushing 40 years?

[1:26:02] Yeah, a long time.

[1:26:03] Yeah.

[1:26:04] A long time, yeah.

[1:26:04] And she's never sat you down and said, listen, you know, it's hard to say, but I've really been thinking about it. and I did not choose the right man to be the father for my children and you paid the price for that infinitely more than I did.
And I'm really sorry.
I should have listened to Jesus or God or someone that is the quality of the soul that matters, not the muscles of the body or the sweep of the manly jaw.
But I chose badly and you have paid the price.
And I, you know, I think about that every day, and it's kind of torturing me.
Your mother would never say that, right?

[1:26:52] No, I don't think the question would even occur to her.

[1:26:54] Right. Which means she has no capacity or willingness to even judge your father as a bad father, which means she's a bad mother.
If she can't possibly judge a good from a bad parent, she can't be a good parent.
Like if I can't possibly judge one note from another can I be a good singer no of course not.

[1:27:25] So, I think it's continually weakening you to be in a situation where you have to lie and falsify your entire existence.
And this isn't just in the presence of your parents, but in your own mind as well.
I mean, I tried confronting people. I did my best.
Some people I confronted, some people I didn't. It's not an absolute, right? Philosophy is about free will and choice.
Some people I confronted and some people I'm like, no, it's not.
I know it's not going to work. So, just it's not for me.

[1:28:00] So, it's not an absolute. But if, the dedication, I think, has to be, I'm 32 years old. I'm a father. I'm a provider.
If I don't get to live honestly now, when does it happen? I've been an adult for 14 years.
It's almost a decade and a half. if i'm not going to be honest now when's it going to happen if i'm not going to be authentic now if i still have to lie and what do i finally get to be honest at their funeral when i'm 50 or 60, it has to be i think a commitment to being honest now now being honest doesn't mean necessarily confronting people it just means not being dishonest so if i have a relationship where where I don't want to confront the person, but I have to be dishonest, I just won't have that relationship.
Because I won't put myself in situations where I have to be dishonest.

The impact of falsifying and bowing down in relationships

[1:29:08] Yeah, you're right. That's a lot more important.

[1:29:10] Because your child and your wife see you falsify and bow down all the time.
When your parents call, when your father's over. And I know it's not super common, but it's in your mind.
And she sees the shadow of your father's foot on your neck every time she snaps at you and you say nothing.
Now, she should be nicer about it and, you know, if she wants to call, I'm happy to talk, but do you not think that when she sees you unable to stand up for yourself, she doesn't occasionally think, I could have done better?
You're so concerned about judging her and her deficiencies, do you ever sit in her shoes and say, how do I look to her?
Do I look strong? Do I look worthy of respect? Do I look noble?
Do I look heroic? Or do I look a little fraidy-caddy?
Which I sympathize with, but it's still a fact, isn't it?

[1:30:17] Yeah, absolutely.

[1:30:20] Now, if you become someone who stops falsifying your existence, for which I have sympathy, and that's not a condemnation at all, and Lord knows I've done it, and longer than you, so this is with all humility.
But if you just stop falsifying your existence, see your question is how do I stand up to my wife my question is be the guy who doesn't have to stand up to his wife, be a guy who's authoritative be a guy who's not going to falsify his existence be a guy who doesn't have relationships where he has to lie be that guy I'd put good money on the fact that she never snaps at you again, she's probably snapping at you because she's annoyed by your subservience.

[1:31:15] Yeah I would understand that yeah.

[1:31:18] If you've been around somebody who's really nodding and ducking and swallowing and oh then it just gets annoying after a while right.

[1:31:27] Oh yeah absolutely yeah you're right I need to find my strength, but I don't know where to start.
I guess it starts with that confrontation.

[1:31:39] Well, no, see, I don't know. I don't know whether it starts with that confrontation or not, but it starts with a commitment to just stop lying.
And again, I'm not calling you a liar. Please understand that.
I'm not saying you have some big pathological lying thing, because we all have to do it to some degree or to survive, and there's nothing wrong with that as an ability, right?
But it's just a commitment to say, I'm not going to falsify my existence.
I'm not going to falsify. I'm going to be honest with the people in my life.
Now, I think it starts with the family.

Starting at the source: addressing issues with parents

[1:32:19] Because your wife didn't do this to you. Your parents did, right?
So I think you want to start at the source, right?

[1:32:28] Yeah. You're right. Start at the source.

[1:32:32] And I think a good conversation with parents could be helpful.
Or if you say it's too frightening, it's too stressful, you got to listen to your your caution right your caution is probably telling you something quite important so if you say listen i can't do it that's not oh that's cowardly you must do it like philosophy is not about programming you like a robot you have to do this you can't like that's not it's about choice so if you're like i really want to talk to my dad about all of the stuff but But every time I do it, like, my heart is pounding, my hands are shaking, I'm literally, like, having a panic attack or something. That's important.
And you can't just push through that because then you're just kind of bullying your own emotions and ignoring them the way your dad ignored you, right?

[1:33:21] Yes.

[1:33:22] So it could be, I mean, it certainly is the case that if it's too scary, you can listen to that fear.
Maybe just take a break and try again in a couple of months or whatever.
Like, there's choices, right?
Or if you're like it is so terrifying to tell this person the truth that we can never have a normal relationship like if it's so terrifying to just tell the truth about your experience with someone in other words if you do to your dad what you are desperate for your child to do with you which is to tell you the truth about problems and experiences in history how can you have a normal relationship if you feel like you're going to die just by opening your mouth and telling the the truth like you're that that it's an indication of having been so foundationally bullied that i don't know how that can be fixed i genuinely don't know how that can be fixed.

[1:34:18] No there has to be a way out do you mind if we just pause just for um five minutes.

[1:34:23] For how long oh.

[1:34:25] Just five minutes.

[1:34:26] Yeah yeah sure yeah thank you.

[1:34:30] Hello, are you still there?

[1:34:32] Yes, no problem at all. No problem at all. Yeah, so I just, yeah, so final point I want to make is just, I don't have people in my life who don't respect me and don't want to hear what I have to say and don't want to listen.
And of course, I don't want to have people in my life that I don't respect either.
And, you know, as a father, this is particularly important because your credibility with your children is going to have a lot to do with how they see you behave in the world.
And if they see you, you know, nervous and head ducking and not telling the truth and so on with the inevitable and accompany manipulations, then in particular, it's going to be tough when they hit their teenage years because they won't view you as a template of rational authority as you didn't view your parents as templates of rational authority.
And then you got into lots of fights and conflicts and it became, you know, I mean, difficult and unpleasant, right?
And so a lot of parenting is really just banking up stuff for the teenage years when your kids kids get sarcastic and skeptical and all of that.
And they do have to view you, if they view you as sort of self-attacking or kowtowing to others or not saying boo to a mouse or not speaking out for yourself, then they'll just have to abandon you in order to make their way in the world because they won't want a life like that.
And then they'll just end up opposing you. And that's not a lot of fun.

[1:35:48] No, absolutely not. And that's not something I want for my kids at all.
I don't want them to go through my experiences He says, I want to be, to bend the father that I did that.
And it's something that you've mentioned before, is that you should try to be the dad that, if they could choose anyone in the world, they would choose you.
So that's kind of the model that I have approached.

[1:36:15] Right, and I appreciate that. That's a great reminder.
Now, the price of that, though, the price of saying, I want to be the father that they would choose, if they could choose anyone, is you can't have people in your life.
Who want you to lie to them. You can't have people in your life who want you to misrepresent and falsify your experience.
You can't have people in your life who dismiss your genuine experiences or put you down.
That's the price. Yes, of course, we all want to be heroes to our children.
But then, if we want to be heroes to our children, we can't have villains in our life.

[1:36:49] Yeah, absolutely. It's a contradiction. That would say right through.

[1:36:52] Oh, yeah, yeah. Teenagers, like my daughter, has this lead-piercing x-ray vision that just turns you inside out. It's just like, it's great.
But you know that's and we all remember that and that's one of the reasons we had a lot of fights sometimes with dysfunctional parents oh.

[1:37:07] Yeah absolutely yes i've got a lot of thinking to do about one uh.

The importance of talk therapy in family confrontations

[1:37:14] And you know if you if you are going to go into family confrontation land talk therapy is a talk therapist is a good like somebody who's got some experience in this stuff uh can be very positive and and helpful and so on but yeah i mean so that's most of what i wanted to get across?
Is there anything else that you wanted to mention as we wind things down?

[1:37:34] I think that was the core of it. My stuff with my dad, is, that's what I thought, that my problems with my dad were, what were lying beneath my current problems, all kind of stemmed back.

[1:37:50] Don't, don't, no, and your mother. Because your primary problem here here is with your wife and so if you think it's just male to male well it's also male to female so don't uh don't don't step over the old mom because she's gonna want to get invisible in this conflict right well you and you and your father have an issue it's like no no no you chosen.

[1:38:11] Yes you're right and i need to remember that she has more than her fair share of responsibility for directions, All right.

[1:38:23] Well, will you, again, I know it's brutally late for you. Will you keep me posted about how it's going?

[1:38:29] I will. I would love to keep you posted. Yeah.

[1:38:32] Please do. And listen, massive sympathies for what you went through.
It's really, really tough.
I mean, massive sympathies and of course, massive congratulations for what you're doing yourself as a father and a husband.
And your kids and kids to come are very lucky for all of that so I just wanted to say just how much I, foundationally of course have massive sympathy for what happened to you as a child and massive admiration for what you're doing as an adult it really is magnificent.

[1:39:03] Oh thank you so much I really do appreciate that, I don't hear that sort of thing very often, I just wanted to thank you you um thank you so much for having me on and talking to me and sharing your wisdom with me means a lot well.

[1:39:21] It is my.

[1:39:21] Absolute honor.

[1:39:22] And and deep pleasure and i'm glad we've been helpful so all right i'll let you get some sleep and keep me posted and thanks a lot for the chat today it was really great.

[1:39:30] I will thank you so much to found take care bye.

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