The Changes In Our Lives Uncategorized Episode 5: Shannon: It Does Get Better

Episode 5: Shannon: It Does Get Better

Join me as I sit down with my long time friend, Shannon, and discuss how life really does get better when you do the work to process and transform your trauma – even if that seems impossible!


Stacie Crawford 00:00  Hi, Shannon. Thank you I’m so excited for us to have this conversation because we have so many great conversations about all the different changes that have gone on in both of our lives. And even though we’ve had things completely different. We’ve also had some places where our lives have matched up and different changes that we’ve experienced. And I really enjoy speaking with you. So thank you for coming today. Thank you for having me. Excellent. Excellent. So one of the things that I really wanted to do by having this podcast is to give people a space to voice their stories. Because I think there is a real healing piece of telling the story, but also being a place where people can hear the stories, not just to witness but also to find hope, and to see pieces of themselves and other people’s stories and understand that, you know, we’re not the first person that has gone through this, we’re not going to be the last and other people have made it through and are AOK. And so that’s kind of my goal of having this podcast. And so I know that we talked about how we’re going to talk about change, but I’m really interested in something from you. And it just kind of came off the top of my head here. For you, I know that you have been kind of on a mission recently to share pieces of your story. And I’m really wondering what impact that sharing your story has actually had on you.  Shannon 01:54  Sure. So I mean, I kind of, I usually start from the, from the beginning work, but forward, but I almost feel like this, I’m just gonna flip it and start from, like, the place that I’m in right now. I have never been in before. And it’s, it’s an amazing place to be of just growth and change. And really recognizing, you know, I heard the phrase a lot when I was younger, like, oh, just hang on, it gets better, we’ll get through this, it’ll get better and it’s just like, Okay, well, it’s not getting better right now in this. And I’ve just had so many moments recently of just realizing it really does get better. And I went through a lot of crap and muddling through it. And in the middle of it just being like, I don’t know how I’m gonna get out of it and just, you know, working my way through and then like a mate, suddenly you just turn a point on, you’re just like, oh, there’s this beautiful view in front of me like I’ve I’ve made it how did I get here, but just, you know, looking behind you, you can see all of the stuff all of the work that you’ve put through and so just just really recognizing that it gets better and that has actually fueled me to be likeokay, well I’m in a really good place now. I’ve worked my 38 years old and I’ve I’ve come through you know starting trauma trauma started at about five so like working through all of those years it’s almost kind of pushed me to be like Okay, so this is better. What’s next? Yes, Miss Pat. What What goals do I have what what things have I buried down of like? Just dreams I have or just aspirations Can I actually attain them because I thought that I could not attain being happy and fulfilled every eight and like, this is exciting. Wow, this is like retraining my brain that like no just because shit happens to me doesn’t mean I give up and walk away but like push through it and yeah, okay, this is great. 

Stacie Crawford 04:07 

Yeah, I love it. I love it and you know as as a friend like I of course really love seeing the exciting part of the journey when when it’s really feeling like hey, there’s sunshine shine in here you know, as opposed to like I am muddling through. But I also sit there and I think were there times where like when people were telling you just wait it gets better that you thought that they were like totally full of poor shit and you wanted to kick them in the shins. It was just like, you don’t understand what what this is like your you got better great good for you. Good for you. You didn’t have it how I had you don’t understand. You don’t understand and like, I feel like we as we as humans, and I feel especially almost as Americans, we can kind of get into this place of like, no, no, no, you don’t know my journey. You don’t know my story, and it’s mine to tell. So then we box ourselves in this box of no one has experienced this before, because it’s mine. And it’s like, well, yes, it is yours. And yes, everyone’s processes and things that they go through are different. We all have very similar situations to we all go through very similar things, right? losing loved ones, a lot of us have experienced divorce, you know, things like that. We can we can grow and change and be better. So just kind of recognizing, you know, that I am able to make whatever I want out of my life and not have it. Hold me back or limit me or define me, because like, you know, yes, your past does affect you and impact you. And it can change your perspective of thing. But it doesn’t have to define how you view the world moving forward, like you can still work through that, and change something where you’re just like, Oh, I’m so different from how I used to be. That’s great. Next year, you say the same thing. But if you’re just like, that’s how I am now. And I’m just going to be like, like, what is just a stagnant life, and I don’t want to live that. So just moving forward and changing and like working through it, and recognizing that I can and that it’s better and like, retraining my brain? Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, we’ve had a lot of talks over the years about just playing on mindset. And, you know, I think that, in all the time that I have known you, you have never been somebody who has had a stagnant mindset, you’ve always been a growth mindset person. And whether that’s because of your personality and your excitement to learn and grow as a person, or because of, frankly, your years and years of being in therapy. I don’t know where it comes from, you know, but the fact that you have this mindset of, of, why is this happening for me? Instead of why is this happening to make, I assume that you did go through a time where you did say, Why is this happening to me, but it seems like now, now, meaning as an adult, not even now, as the 38 year old, like now, in the long term now, you really have looked at the trauma that you’ve had in your life as a way to grow yourself. But also, you’ve done a lot to help other people grow. Sure. I mean, yeah, when I was younger, it was like, why, why me? Why did this have to happen to me? Why did I have to go through this? It’s not fair. It’s not right, you know, railing at just universe and just why. And then, when I finally voiced it, and talk to other people in there, you know, I hear me too. And me too. And we do, too. And yes, it’s kind of like, okay, so this isn’t just like, poor little me, I’m this, you know, subset group, like, no, there’s so many of us, and we just don’t talk about it. And so the more I talked about it, the more the group of friends that I had kind of came together and we were like, Let’s let’s talk about our experiences and what we went through and how we can sometimes it was just like, let’s just get it out of our bodies. And then other times, it was like, how can we use this for better how can we turn this around? How can we change it so that it’s, you know, I was raised very religious. So I do have a lot of foundation and spiritual and religious world, but it’s, it’s evolved and it’s changed over time into you know, now I, I call, you know, the universe, because I just feel like that’s just what it is. I’m not really sure. What, yeah, figured out that whole God thing yet. The universe because how I feel is like, that I was put on this planet for a purpose. I have no idea what that was. But I know a lot more now than I did when I started on this journey. And so just kind of realizing that like, my experiences, when I talk about them, they can help other people who are going through similar experiences. And I’ve learned from people who are like, Hey, I was just there a few years ago, can I share my gift? Share your story with me so that I can grow and change and like, we’re developing this community almost, but it’s like a universal community of just people who are tapping into like, just because you have had shit happen to you does not mean that it has to define who you are. At the same time, who what happened to me is a very much a part of who I am. And I use it as Yeah, look what I came from. Now, you know, so I can tell I have a lot of younger niece and nephews, and it’s like, Hey, I know, I know you don’t believe me, because I didn’t believe anybody that told me it got better. But like, I’m telling you, I promise you, like, I will help you get there. And it will get better, you know, and like, is trying to trying to speak it out and talk about it. Because when I’ve held it in for so long, because I thought that that would do. And then you talk about it in therapy, and you let a little bit of it out to this trusted person, you know, and then you pull it back in, you don’t tell your friends that, you know, I’m going to therapy, but like, you don’t really open up that part of you. And so as I’ve really opened up about my story, and sharing it and just kind of broadcasting to whoever will listen, I realized that it’s not, it’s not weighing on me. And that, like, I’m not carrying it around, you know, we all have baggage from past relationships and whatnot. Like, we have baggage from our past too. And so discarding it is not an option, right? You can’t just like let go of it. But late talking about it and an opening it up. It’s like it’s airing it out. And all that musty smell, and all of that mildewy just gross is kind of lifting and it’s fading, and then you bring in a therapist lifestyle. And then it’s like, oh, kind of clearing out and this isn’t so bad, we still have the same stuff to work with. You know, it just just realizing like, Okay, I was having this in your I didn’t realize that it was kind of a little bit of poison, and it wasn’t killing me. But it didn’t make me feel great. And so as I’ve gotten it out, it’s just like, I’m just feeling lighter and lighter, who’s like, I guess I just don’t keep passing this off and casting the top. And it’s like, I’ve got my story out, I don’t really have anything to cast off now. So so what I’m feeling this compulsion to do something, what what? And it’s like, speak out your story of hope and of help and of how you how you have sought and fought for your, your mental health and your physical health, and how can we help other people get to this place so that they’re not living in that misery like you were and like, that’s, like, Okay, I’ve cast this off, and I feel lighter. Now, I’m just gonna, like, spread my wings and take off and fly and get up there and just be like, Hey, let’s get you know, you can come to write. And I think that, you know, for people that don’t know, you, they don’t really understand exactly what you’re saying and where it comes from, because you’re saying all of these words of hope and feeling in a really good place. And the truth is, like, there was a time where you you kind of had an age limit for yourself to reach you, you really, you did not believe you are going to live past 21. Right? Yeah, it was, yep. I, the religion that I was raised in, I had a dream when I was 15. And God told me that you’re gonna die when you’re 21. And I was, I just kind of accepted that as my reality and was like, Okay, I’m gonna live six years, the next six years to the fullest. And then when 21 came, I, I did not know what to do. I was absolutely terrified. I didn’t, I didn’t even know how to make the step into like, the day after my 21st birthday. So I, I tried to take matters into my own hands. And I’m very grateful that I had a moment of, do I really want to do this. And I chose like, to put it off, you know? And it was a very scary time. My, my 21st year was very, very hard for me because I didn’t expect to live 

that year. And living through it kind of made me realize like, okay, maybe there is the possibility of something else. And, and then every year just kind of like stepping out and let me try something new. Let me try this or let me try that and getting into therapy was one of the best decisions I ever made myself. It was. It was about 10 years of really hard, very intense. Getting all of it out. Finding a therapist that I trusted, I went through a lot of really bad ones. Ones that just didn’t connect. You know you have the ones that are just not not Not a right fit, which is when you get when I found that person just being able to kind of like, trust the process. I kind of made it through to the other side. And like, there was never a defining moment of like, this is the moment that I am choosing to now live. It was just a kind of evolution that slowly happened where it was like, Well, I, there’s a possibility that I could live in the future, I don’t really want to, but I guess I’ll try. And then as I’m doing it, like, oh, it’s not as bad as I thought it was gonna be. Wow, this therapy is really hard. And it sucks that I’m crying every other week. And, but I’m feeling better even as I’m crying and like, just kind of going with that emotion and just realizing that every way, but it was a little bit better and a little bit easier and making it through. And then it’s like, Okay, I’m getting good at this. I understand. Now, this is the rhythm. And this is how it is it’s you know, two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward, one step back, two steps, three steps forward, okay, you know, and then it’s like, the dance and you make it through and you realize, okay, this, this is how it is. And like, when we’re adults, you know, when you turn 21, no one can tell you what to do. Right? You can quit your job. If they tell you what to do, when you don’t like it. You can tell them a call. Listen to it, you don’t have to change. We don’t have to, we hold ourselves back. Because we don’t we know everything. I mean, I knew I knew I was 23 I was I was you know, just, I knew everything. And you could tell me anything. And so I think that that’s a really scary place to be because I had no idea what I was doing. I just stuff that I did. And so when you’re when you’re young, and you don’t have to, you know, oh, you should go to therapy, because it’s the right thing to do to go to therapy, and it’s hard and it sucks. You’re paying them money to cry in front of the metrics of your past stuff, and it’s inflaming your body and like you’re just barely able to function at work the next day, but like, why am I paying for this? This is bullshit. You know, within like, the next month, you’re like, Oh, well, I don’t really need to talk about the stuff that I talked about last month, because it’s been talked out, and I’ve gotten it out of my body. And the more you talk about it, and there’s things I’ve talked about a million times, but we’re not every therapist and every friend. But there’s you know, as you do that, it’s like there’s there comes a moment where it’s like, it gets fully out of your body, and it gets past you and now. Now I’m in this place of like, so much my path is out in the open. And it’s not scary. It’s not inside of me. It’s not poisoning my body. It’s not causing me anxiety and stress. I’m not carrying it around. I’m kind of almost showcasing of like, hey, look, this is where I came from. This is my resume. This is my life resume of things, my life experiences. And anybody else who’s going through this, it sucks. And you probably are like me and don’t want to deal with it anymore. Don’t you don’t have to look, you don’t have to know here I am divorced, remarried. I was like, I’m never gonna get married. And now I’ve been married twice. Like, you know, change can be good. And it can change you in negative ways. But you can take those negative ways and cause it for good. It’s just about like, how you take the shit that gets thrown at you because it’s not fair. It’s just not. And it’s not about like, oh, well you deserve just because you deserve something does not mean that you’re gonna get it, right. And that’s just how life is and like, I can be a victim. Or I can say how can I use this to be a different or better person or fermion to a better? A better way? Yeah. And that’s a big deal. Because you know, when you are sitting in that place where you really do feel like you are a victim and I’m talking I’m not talking about being a victim of something. I’m talking about the mindset of being a victim, where you have no control. You really can’t do anything about anything. It’s a really heavy, heavy place to be and while it has its powerful side of allowing you to, you know, get into your turtle shell and hunker and a little bit and get you to a point where you can almost regroup and 

you know, move on. Not in a let’s bring Get about that kind of way, but start to grow forward, you know. And I think a lot of people don’t realize that, you know, we have victim mode. And then the next place that we logically and emotionally moved to is being pissed off. And people don’t want to be pissed off because it’s a, it’s a bad feeling, okay. But when you’re coming from that, I have no control, and you move into, I’m pissed off, now you feel like you can start taking action and start moving forward. And I would imagine that you spent a lot of time and kind of being a little pissed off. I spent a lot that, especially when the people who I was pissed off that are like, I don’t understand what your problem like it was. Yeah, so you weren’t even getting like a validation of like, you have the right to feel this way. You know, which, I mean, even
when I talk to my kids, like, I’m like, Well, you could feel any way that you want to feelings aren’t a bad thing. It’s what you do with them how you act on them, that that is now let’s make choices, you know, but if you have people in your life, especially if these are people that are related to the situation that you’re pissed off about, and they’re like, What the hell is your problem? It it, it’s almost like a blessing in disguise, because it must, while you doubt yourself in moments, it must really feel that fire even more impish off even more and get you closer to taking some kind of action that makes you feel better. So yay, for you. Would you say that therapy was like that first step to action? Or were you doing other things before that, that made you feel like you were moving forward for yourself? When I went to therapy, I was 100% broken, I have exhausted all of my resources. I don’t know what to do. Like, I don’t know, through this, what I’m what I’m living with. And when I’m dealing with first therapist that I went to awful, just absolutely awful, told me it was my fault that I had experienced what I had experience. And I participated in it. It took a few therapists for me, you know, they say like, you know, it’s like a doctor, like you click with them. And then you go back, if you don’t click with them, don’t go back, you’re paying them for, right? You’re developing a relationship so that you can trust them enough to tell them. So they can be like, Oh, this is how you fix that. Or this is how you retrain your mind. You can’t do that with somebody you don’t connect with. And so it took a few. And I started my my therapy journey at 21. And I don’t think that I found the therapist that really ultimately got in there. And he was able to help me until I was about 25. So and I had some good therapists in the middle who helped kind of start building that foundation of, of what a healthy relationship with with myself in what the world looked like. But once I met that therapist, and we connected, I was going there I was I was seeing her every single week for two years, every single week. And it I’m gonna say it took about six months to really build the foundation of knowing that it was a safe space and knowing that I could trust her with what I was going to tell her. And then it was a year and a half of the first session I was just crying and just getting it out and it was just stirring up all of the stuff in me. And I believe they’re just so defeated, I would really feel defeated, like I had just brought all this up. And then the next week she would check in and be like how you doing and I’d be like I feel really light and I feel really good and I don’t understand why and this is a new feeling and I don’t understand what’s happening but this is nice. And it would be a great amazing like uplifting session and so then the next week it was like okay, I’m uplifted and I know that this is going to be hard but we dive in and you get defeated and then here we go again and I still have in there I thought I got it all out last session a year and a half of intense that you know and like you just feel lighter and better and just kind of recognizing like okay this is what being an adult is about doing something that I don’t want to do. Hey her to literally and talk about my shitty path. When hold space for me it just like I don’t know it was just one of the things versus like okay, this is what being an adult it If doing those hard things, because you recognize that the payoff is so great, you know, people who go to the gym every day, I can do it. More power to them. You know, and I know that it’s like after you get out of that gym and you’re finished with your workout, you just feel so amazing and just Bigarade that’s the feeling I would get from therapy just like, I’m going in. And it’s like, it’s a workout, it is a mental workout. But then at the end, it’s like, and I realized, like, all the little pieces I was giving to her. I wasn’t putting them back in my brain 

when I was leaving. They were they were they were gone. And they weren’t like in her. It was just like it just dissipated, just speaking it out kind of dissipated that, that weight, and that burden. And so that is what kind of fueled me to be like, Okay, remember how it helped you last week, just go and do it. You’re your big girl, you’re an adult, this is, this is how you take care of yourself. You know what, though, I think that when we are in any kind of mental stress, whether that is day to day life, stress, depression, anxiety, learning how to live after traumatic events, and dealing with the changes that have occurred in our brains because of these things. We want to be fixed, you know, air quotes fixed. We want to be fixed right now, we want to be fixed five minutes ago, we want to be fixed last week. And so when when you talk about, you know, people going to therapy and taking four years to find the right person, taking six months to create the foundation of the relationship with that right person taking a year and a half of being vulnerable. And learning how to express yourself, even though you may feel shame, whether it is warranted or not, okay, because we feel a we feel a lot of shame as humans, for things that like we, we really have no reason to feel shame for it. But when you are sitting there, and you’re doing this work, day in and day out, you know, people want a quick fix, and we can’t blame them. Like, if somebody could have said to you here, take this pill and all will be well, would you not have done that? Like, it’s not a matter of like, Yeah, I’m doing this for fun. You know. But what I hear you saying is that, even though it was so hard is that it’s been so worth it. Yes. In and like those six months, when I was when I was developing that relationship, I was getting so much out of those sessions. Because I was I would show and trapped with what I was dealing with. And so I I lived with it for so long that I thought that it was a part of me. And so it was like, this is just who I am. And so going to therapy and just being like, I would just, you know, be like, oh, you know, just this happened to me. And you know, just saying what the people my pastor said, it’s not that bad. And like people have had it much worse, like, get over it and your problem. And the therapist being like, stop what, what? I’ve never experienced that. Why are you discounting what you went through kind of holding space for me and advocating for me, and she discounted her rate for me because we had that connection because she was like, you know, because I was like I can’t afford you anymore. And she dropped her rate to what I could afford. Because she was like, I see that you need this, that it is helping you and she was willing to do that. That’s how we made that connection. Those six months though, I was like building the foundation and I didn’t think that I was doing a lot of therapy work right because I wasn’t getting into the nitty gritty stuff. I was still getting a lot of out of those sessions because I was getting that validation and I was getting that acceptance and I was getting that. This is a safe space that you have not had. You have a safe space to just hold your emotions and say this and it was not fair for you to get that. You did not have to deal with it. You should not have had to experience it. Like you’re just getting that reassurance. Not crazy, right? I went through with no not because of me, or because I was a bad person or I was just, you know, it was just like, it should not have happened, period. And yeah, like, just yeah, just because I wasn’t intense therapy in those first six months, I was still at the capacities that I was able to meeting her, you know, fully, it’s, when you first start working out, you know, you can’t jump on a treadmill and run 10 miles per se, I work up to it, and it’s stuck in his heart and your legs are really, really sore the first day after workout, you got to remember, like, and it’s just that thing of like, just retrain, like, this sucks, but it’s gonna get better. And this sucks, but it’s gonna get better we have a goal of health, we have a goal of a healthy mindset of a healthy, wanting to be alive wanting to continue in this realm. So yeah, it was it was worth it. And four years into that, you know, when I was when I was finished working with her at the very end of our two years, with my therapist, looking back, you know, it was I could see like, the slow progression of like, opening up to her, you know, like, really slowly opening up. And then I realized that it was faster and faster and more and, okay, I can do this. But the most intense work happened at the end, because I had built that trust, the first six months, though, I was still getting a lot out of it, it was just building that foundation, recognizing that, you know, it’s a relationship, because I’m 

trusting this person, a lot, a lot of deep secrets that I’ve hidden for a long time shamed about and I’m afraid to talk about because I’ve been told my whole life that we just don’t speak about behind closed doors. So yeah, it’s, I’m glad that I was able to go slow. And I think that
ultimately served me the best, just taking it at the speed that I needed. And not, people were just like, you need this and you need to do that. I need what I need. And I take advice, and I accept advice. But ultimately, we know what we need for ourselves. And so, you know, I had people telling me that therapy was stupid and dumb. Why was I going, you know, whatever. We’ve had people who are like, too expensive, can barely afford food. Yeah, but this is more this is what’s important to me and just kind of like going on your journey and realizing that you know, what’s best for you. And taking that step, because that was also a part of it, like, just being able to own my own decision, and own my own choice. It’s because I was 21. And a full fledged adult in the society’s eyes does not mean that my brain has accepted that, or that I really feel like I am in charge of my own life. And so kind of taking in harnessing that. There’s nothing magical about an age that grants independence. Absolutely, absolutely. There’s not, there’s nothing magical about a number that grants feeling that you’re an autonomous being. You know, it’s interesting, too, because I think that when we, when we’ve talked about different things, this whole idea of holding the space and having a place where you can say the things that you want to say and understand that the person there that is hearing it is not judging it. And they’re just still accepting you as who you are. And understanding that this is a component behind who you are, and how you show up is a really big deal. I know that whenever I talk to my clients, I have I have some clients that all the only thing I do is hold space for them and just let them get it out and just acknowledge that. Yeah, that’s not crazy. It’s, it’s a crazy experience that you’ve had, but how you feel isn’t crazy. It’s acceptable. You know, different from different from therapy, but there is that overlap of those times where you just the only thing that can help somebody move forward is for them to be heard. And for them to freely be validated that it’s okay to feel however you’re feeling. I was so afraid that therapy was going to be laid on the couch, get your medicine and let’s talk about you know, Oh, and I was just like, I don’t want any part of that. And I had a couple of therapists who did that. And that’s why I didn’t connect them. And the therapist that I really connected with, she wouldn’t ask me feeling questions, she would just be like, tell me about this. And she would, she would ask it in ways, oh, that was just really validating, like, so you feel crazy that somebody took advantage of you, when you were five years old? When you have no power to do anything about it? Yeah, I can understand you feeling crazy. But it’s because you were powerless over it. And they were taking advantage of you. And like, kind of, like rephrasing it and allowing it to kind of morphin my brain of like, she’s saying the same thing. She’s just moving a couple of words around. And like, not being able to accept that, because that’s not what I’ve been told my whole life. No, you don’t understand. And she’s like, and she would just let me sit, we would have stretches of silence, just, let’s just stick with that. Let’s just talk about that one part of it. A therapy session would be let’s talk about, you know, the, the past trauma that you dealt with, and, you know, whatever. And then another session would just be like, let’s talk about your day yesterday, and how yesterday stuck so bad. Let’s talk about why. And she would pick apart, me just talking and just be like, find a word sugar cookies, that that work is a very important word. And I think what’s happening is, and then she would, and it was never like, this is what you’re doing. She’s not a psychic, right? She’s like, this is what I’m hearing, I’m taking what you’re giving me. And I’m basically deconstructing it into my medical and my knowledge of what it is. And, like, let me ask you something, I’ve been meeting with you for about six months. Like, I feel like this is the pattern that you live in. You started when you were younger, you know, were abused by a family member. And, and so you learned that love was earned. And so now you are in a relationship with your partner. And you feel like you have to earn their love. And you’re at work and you feel like you have to earn your paycheck by blah, blah, blah. And do you see these patterns in your life, these cycles? She’s like, we call them like, it’s like a rut, where you just, you slowly get into 

that, and you can pull yourself out of it. But what ends up happening you get? So you got to how many times you have to pull yourself out enough times until you create another read over there of healthy, you know, yeah, and getting that validation, getting that seeing when she was able to kind of give me insight in my life where it wasn’t judgmental, and it was like, Oh, yeah. Whoa, okay. I use that now. Still today. Like, okay, I’m in a, I’m in a place where I feel like I’m stuck. Why am I stuck? What’s my rut? What am I stuck in? And it just, yes, I could go to a therapist and work it out. But like, I’ve gotten all these tools, and I’ve paid for all of these tools in my brain to allow me to get this place. So like, many therapists now will tell me, you’re very self aware. And you know, you’re suffering? Yes, I do. Yes, I do. It’s a part of the journey and part of the growth. But now, using a life coach is so helpful, because they can kind of keep me on track of like, you know, what, it’s like almost like an accountability partner. Right? Right. You know, what you need to do you know, what your thoughts are? You, your blinders are off, you see your weaknesses. So instead of being like, oh, no, it’s fine. It’s fine. Just recognize, okay, this is my weakness, this is my rut, and maybe they’re gonna get into it. Or I’m going to try and change it. Yeah. You don’t have to change every single time. Okay? Life is not about like, constantly, you have to be better. You have to know sometimes it’s like, you know what, I’m going to have a temper tantrum, because I want to, and I’m going to go order really bad, awful food and go off my diet, and I’m going to pick up tomorrow and start over again. You can do that. Don’t punish you Gaffigan F. Like, just, it’s okay. And just kind of like recognizing, like, I own my body, and I own my choices, and I can do whatever I want with my life. It’s I mean, it’s sad because I should have learned that when I was a kid, but my therapist helped me realize that like that and I’ve taken all of these life lessons that I’ve had, I’ve had so many therapists, I’ve had therapists in four different states. I’ve had a lot of different ones, and they all have different ways of doing things. But like I’ve taken things from each one of them, and it’s just, it’s been 100% life changing. So when you think about the past 38 years, I assume we all know what assuming does, but I assume that you really have gotten to a point where you know that you have learned lessons, you now have all these tools that you’re talking about, do you think that you are more capable of dealing with change and transition, because it’s not just about like, changing the situation, it’s that muddy crap between whatever was and whatever will be, and I mean, I feel like you spent a lot of time in the muddy crap. You know, like, even just thinking about your time in therapy as being defining the defining space, that’s a long time. And it’s also over times where we are forming really important parts of who we are, you know, our brain is not fully developed until we’re 25 years old. And even then, how mature are we, you know, how, what are our experiences lending to us? And so I’m just wondering, like, thinking as a whole? If, if there’s one person out there that can hear one thing, what is that one thing that you would share with people about your experience over the past? over your entire lifetime, really, um, I think I think the reason that it took me so long to actually get, get into therapy or get into help, or even just not even a therapist, but like, speaking out what happened to me. I was terrified, out of my mouth. And some I was sitting in a car late at night in a Pizza Hut. And I was just like, I have to tell somebody, I have to tell somebody, and like, being terrified of those words. And I remember there was a moment where my brain just kept saying, you can’t say it, you can’t say you can’t say can’t say can’t say can’t do it, just just over and over again. And just being so terrified, because I had to get it out. It was building. And I remember just like, fighting that fear, and I just blurted it out. And then I tried to take it back. Right. So I’m terrified of it getting out pretty, pretty good. And that person just being like, I believe I believe it happened to you. I believe what you’re telling me that moment of really wrestling with my brain on on, I don’t deserve therapy. I deserve what happened to me, you know, all of this negative talk is just fighting for, like, some little part of my brain or piece of my heart or my soul. It’s like what’s it going to hurt? What what is going to with, you know, like, just desperation. I don’t know what it was, but I just blurted it out and like say, it worked. And I’ve had people tell me that they don’t believe me for getting that out. It like it did something. It 

broke that mindset of like, you can’t you can’t you can’t it was like what I just did, and nothing bad happened. So you need to shut up. And kind of like starting to separate the truth. You know, the what I’ve been told my whole life versus what I’m feeling and how they’re conflicting and realizing like okay, this what I was told, and it’s kind of hiding and shadowing what I actually am and how I feel. Speaking it out the first time. I felt like I was a foot taller, instantly, even though I was terrified. Because it was just like I just had to get it out. And when I got that message into my brain of like 16 Nothing bad happened. It kind of started that ball rolling of like, okay. We can, but that first moment of fear, absolute crippling fear. I mean, we’re talking about a secret that started before I was five years old, I was sexually abused by my older sister. I couldn’t tell anybody, I couldn’t talk about it. I couldn’t eat whatever, from the age of five to 21 long time to carry something. And as a child, you know, as someone who’s just developing brain, it’s just it’s, it’s instilling so many bad patterns and ruts of behavior. But when I refuted the first one, I was like, oh, okay, it’s all we have to do. We just have to say, nope, nope, we’re not going to do that. Nope, not gaslighting myself. I’m not going to be my narcissist, right? It Yeah, it just it changed something. And from then on, it was like, a little bit easier every single time a little bit easier every single time. You know, I didn’t speak to anybody outside of my family until I was 11. terrified to talk to anybody outside. Because I was just so crippled by everything. And so now the grocery store like I was letting my life hang out now. But it’s one of those things where it’s like, the first step is so hard. And I recognize it is absolutely terrifying it, it causes you to shake and to be physically, you know, the anxiety is real. I know it is it’s just my thing was, you have to lose. Or you have to lose. And at that point for me, I had already lost everything. And I was at my rock bottom mentally. I didn’t, I felt I could do. I was trying everything else. But I just felt like I was beating my head against the wall and not getting anywhere. And so it was just like, I’m just going to try this crazy thing, because some healthy person told me it was the right thing to do. And it doesn’t feel right. But I don’t know what else to do. And then it worked. There were so many other things I tried that didn’t work. Yeah, numb the pain numb numb the brain. If nothing was working, so it was like, well, give this a try, I guess. You know, and even when it’s like, I know I should give it a try. I’m still I don’t judge certain way they think of me. Believe me. I heard something really recently on Tik Tok, and it was this woman speaking and she said, Do you need the person who hurt you to say I’m sorry? I mean, it’s nice. It’s, it’s really nice to have. But like, do you need that validation? Because basically, they have established that they don’t validate you, or respect your boundaries. So why are you needing them to accept it? Like why are you giving them that power? To Oh, okay, so you’re apologizing? So now it’s all okay. Because it’s you don’t need it, like, they hurt you. They don’t respect you. And hearing that, just being like, oh, so is really okay to forgive and forget, not forgive and accept back in an act like everything’s fine. And we now have a wonderful relationship. No, sometimes it’s like, you know what, you did me wrong. It did me dirty. I don’t want to get ill. But I just wish you to be away from me. There’s nothing wrong with that. It took me a long time to get to there because many churches, you know, can’t, you can’t hold on to resentment. And also, I mean, let’s face it, you you learned at a very early age that love being given to you comes in very particular ways. So I would assume that yeah, forgive and forget. And the I accept you and yep, you have full access to me, just like you did before. That’s how you were raised. It was there were no boundaries. There were no cut off lines. There were there was no autonomy at all, at all. And, you know, you add that on to the fact that I think that most of the women that I know, are raised in a way that they are are taking care of other people, and other people come before them. So if you also have that, you know, caretaker gene, caretaker personality, of course, everybody else comes first. So of course, you’re going to forgive and accept them back in. And there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s what’s right for you. But there are other ways. And you know, I know you and I would love to do another show of the two of us just talking about forgiveness. And you know, what that means and how it shows up? Because I think that would be really interesting, as well. So let me ask 

you, I’m gonna wrap this up. Is there anything that you would like to share with people listening at this point that we don’t we haven’t covered that you think someone should know? Or is there like, one little pearl one nugget of wisdom that you’ve got, it sounds like, taking that first step
is the hard part, it’s worth it, sitting in the mud of the of the change, which may involve therapy, it’s worth it. Um, I think the biggest part is, um, for a long time, I thought, if I just like ignored it, or if I just didn’t talk about it, it would just kind of fade. It does not happen. I believe that, that trauma is trapped in the body. And so I know I experienced chronic issues now. I believe that they are related to just how I was, the trauma that I experienced, new victim simply makes me having gone through, like, you know, when you go through a car accident, your body suffers. It’s a part of life, I suffered a traumatic event, I’m going to have that. And so for anybody who’s like, Oh, I’m different, or, because that’s not me, it doesn’t work for me. You don’t have to go to therapists, there. Are there alternatives. There are life coaches who can help you on that journey. There are, you know, there are so many different ways in which you getting into a yoga class sometimes can speak to you, right, you just need that one. You were inundated with your body telling you that it’s wrong or bad, or just get over it or other people or the people who have wronged you or your past, and just what you were raised in in your environment, telling you all of these negative things all the time. And so you don’t want to go and pay to have somebody tell you the nice things. Or talk about the nasty things in your life, because you’re already trying to forget about it. And so like, I think just allowing somebody to be nice to you, if it can’t be yourself. A therapist is a great person, because if you find the right one, you’re, you know, that they’re not talking nice things to you, because my therapist was not to me. She was she was supportive. But she was an adult, and she was like, You’re gonna own shit. So like, Guess you’re crying? And yes, you’re dealing with this, you know? And like, I would be like, in my current life, I’m dealing with this and I don’t understand. And it would be like, Okay, well, that’s a pattern that you’ve started back here. And it’s continued. So if we break that cycle, then you won’t have that pattern anymore. But otherwise, you’re just going to continue living in that cycle. So you know, you want to stay there you can otherwise we can work on getting it better. taking that step of like, what do I have to lose? Yeah, what do I have to lose? 100 bucks, 200 bucks per session, like, whatever it is, it’s a lot of money. And I totally get that. I know that it is very expensive to live in this world right now. But like, for me, I guess it was, I was at my bottom, and I chose to do it because I didn’t have anything to lose. And so that’s what I would say to people is like, what are you losing right now? And what could you gain? You’re going to therapy, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? You waste on dollars, I don’t think it’s a waste. You’ve spent $100 to learn that that wasn’t the right therapist for you or to get a tool from something that they said and work on that in your own life. Whatever it is, you can get books that are really cheap. But if we don’t read them, and apply them to our lives, then it’s not going to be helpful. And if your therapist is telling you to do something, you’re not doing it. Like I’ve been fired by therapists because I was just like, I’m not putting in the work today. I don’t care. I don’t want Do it is too hard. And so they’re just like, Okay, if you don’t want to do the work, what are we doing? Because I’m not just trying to get a paycheck, you know, right. And so just recognizing like, you don’t really have much to lose. It is absolutely terrifying. But no one needs to know that you’re going to therapy, if that is worth works best for you don’t tell anybody go to a therapist, that person has a confidentiality, holding them not letting anybody know that you’ve met them. So you have zero to lose, except for now, your past and stuff that your head is hanging on? Yeah, give it give it one shot. And if it doesn’t work, then you can call me and tell me it didn’t work. But I love it. I love it. If anything has changed your brain of I can do something that I didn’t want to do or didn’t think I could. Yeah, I mean, how often? How often do we text back and forth? And you know, we say we can do hard things, you know, just that affirmation of like, yeah, we can do hard things. Like we do hard things all the time. So what’s one more? What’s one more hard thing, and once you’ve done it, you can choose whether it works for you or not. And like you said, also, it may feel really hard 

in the moment, but the payoff can be so huge. And you know, why not look into every opportunity that you have, don’t continue to hold yourself back, because it’s scary. Because yeah, it may be scary. But like, something happens that oh, the payoff, the payoff happens. That’s the payoff isn’t scary that, you know, the payoff is, I feel lighter, I’m not carrying this, this isn’t making the decisions in my life, I’m making the decisions in my life. And then, you know, we feel that sense of control, which most people like to feel a sense of control, we could discuss how control is a total illusion. But when we are making conscious choices, instead of letting any traumas or any kind of situations. By default guide us, we get to a point where we really do feel like we’ve got things under control. And then we can decide if we want the control or not. But that’s another topic. I mean, for me, living in that fear of like, I don’t want to speak it out it. It was almost like it was the trauma, right? Because it was like, once it happened, it was like, Okay, we don’t talk about this. We don’t talk about this. So now, we don’t talk about this, they don’t. Because somebody said that. That did me wrong. You know, and if you have like a logical conversation about it, with yourself, it’s like this. Yeah. Why am I holding myself into this place of fear, because I mean, it is scary. But recognizing, like, what is scary about it, talking about it re traumatizing. It does, does when you’re in a safe space with your therapist, and you do not have to first time. Fifth time. It’s not a it’s not a science of like by the 10th session, it doesn’t matter whenever it is that you’re ready. That’s, that’s when you can open up. But like even just going to a therapist session for the first time. It’s like you were advocating for yourself and saying, I deserve to be happy, and to not have this way. And even if you go to that first session, I’ve had many sessions where it didn’t work out, and I left but I still felt better after it because it was like, I advocated for myself. And I knew that this was right. And I know because that wasn’t right. For me, I’m gonna go find something that is and so it’s like, it’s not a waste of money. It’s a learning experience of I am capable of finding the thing that’s right for you don’t go on a date and start dating that first person just because you went on one date with them. You have to have a connection with like, building that. And if it’s not right, you move on to somebody new doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. It just means that the connection was wrong. Oh, I love it. Well, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I know that we’ve got a whole bunch of things that we want to be talking about so people will be getting used to your voice over time. We’ll be coming back in a couple of weeks with another one of our conversations and you know, they’ll get to know you and they’re gonna love you. So, thank you. I appreciate it. You always bring pieces of learning to me. You allow me to grow as a person. So I really do appreciate you and the time that you’ve given and your willingness to be open and vulnerable and be here with us. So thank you for having me. I will talk to you soon. Have a good day. 

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