Confidence from the Ground Up

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94: Getting Real about Abuse with Rebecca Kay

by Karleigh Saunders
March 19th 2021
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Hey boo and welcome to another episode of the confidence in the ground of podcast. I'm your host Carly Saunders and I'm your confidence and abuse recovery coach. I specialize in helping women heal from a piece of relationships by breaking trauma bonds, ending the self gaslighting cycle and building the skill of confidence. You can finally step into the life of independence that you deserve. Welcome and I am so excited that you are here. I am so pumped to introduce you to today's guest. I connected with Rebecca at some point on instagram within the last year or so. I don't really know when it happened. I personally at the time her wasn't very social on social media, I kind of posted and disappeared, but we connected and after hearing her story and getting to know her more and more. I just, our stories are so similar and I knew I needed her on the podcast. Rebecca K is a motivational speaker and she works with women on a daily basis, both for her day job and for her business.

So you know, this is a woman after my own heart, she is so unapologetic. She has no issue talking about the hard things and we talked about some really important things that just that aren't discussed enough, especially in the abuse recovery community. So without further ado no more of my blogging, let's get into it. I would love to welcome the wonderful Rebecca to the podcast. Thank you so much for coming. Oh, thank you so much for having me so good to be here Carly. I'm so flipping stoked, we hooked up on instagram bad way to put it, you know what I mean? Um and I realized so early on that we have a very similar story and very similar passion. So I would just love to have you just tell everyone who you are what you do and why we connected. Yeah, you bet. So I've been working with women for about 10 years um ever since my first divorce, because I'm one of those that it's got the double divorce, but working with women to help them take the next steps in rebuilding their life after divorce, um, particularly after traumatic divorce or after traumatic marriages.

Um, so I've spent about, Gosh, more than 10 years now, it's been 13 years, um, 13 years helping women take those next steps and really identifying what it is that they want to do. Um there now, newly free they have this ability to choose the world is wide open and often they have zero ideas to what the heck that even means. And so where does that lead? Right back into the next toxic relationship. Right, right here, that's what I did. I thought I was so healed up. I took four years in between major relationships and ended up repeating exactly the same thing. Um so I've kind of parlayed those, that decade plus of experience into a new platform of helping to break those patterns. So that instead of just rebuilding your life, you're building a better life where you're not going to keep repeating those patterns and you get to build what you actually want in the world. I won, I freaking I love that into I so actually I say I totally could have used you like when I got, because I'm married and divorced.

Yeah, yeah, been there, done that. Um but I honestly probably would have been so awful, I was so closed off and so angry and so bitter and convinced that it was everyone else's fault. So actually this is totally off the cuff and if you don't want to go here, that's totally fine. But how, but I have noticed like for me, I was incredibly angry, bitter, super toxic, I was a victim, the whole world was out to get me, How do you do you just kind of, oh, that's such a bad way to put it, but like, do you wait for women to like be ready to come to you, or do you start like how does that, how do you work with women? Like prior healing Carly. Right. So in a multitude of ways, right? So, so first off, I totally relate after my first divorce, that's exactly where I was, I was the victim, he was the problem, it couldn't have been me right? Like I was doing all of the things, right? And so when I found myself in the second situation that was like identical, I'm like maybe it's me and like not in that victim me away because of course I went there first two of like, well maybe it is me and like I'm the problem and all of these crazy things, which is what started me on that road of self development, right?

Because I wanted to fix me, I was like if I'm the problem, I don't want to be toxic, I don't want to be manipulative, I don't want to be all these crazy things that I'm being accused of being uh functional psychopath, that's my favorite. I did not want to be those things. And so I got to dive right into like learning about things like co dependency and gas lighting and triangulation and all of these things and I'm like, oh that's what I was living, I didn't even know there were words for that or explanations for that or anything. So um so that's where my passion it is lies not in doing that education because folks like you are fabulous at it. Um and so I refer refer refer if you want to learn about narcissism and gaslighting, I got you girl. Um but in really helping to break those patterns within ourselves, like if we want to learn about who we are and what does that look like to be a co dependent, what does that look like to break those patterns of looking for validation from somebody else and then being broken when they stop giving it to us and when it turns into abuse because that's the cycle, we know that right?

They, it's just what happens. Um, so I find women in lots of ways now with this new platform. I I um I find people through my website, they just find me somehow through the miracles of google. I don't know how that works. Um, I find people through talking with them on instagram or rather they find me, I haven't done a whole lot of marketing. Um, I do want on one private coaching, but also in my regular career that I started right after my first divorce was right with a displaced homemaker program. And so that's where I learned the passion if I want to help people, I want to help people like me because I found that program by pure luck. Um I was in the wrong place at the right time and walked out with just amazing resources that could only be divinely aligned um and have led me to where I'm at now, but I got to spend those 10 years really just helping women take those next steps and identifying doing that. Um it's called motivational interviewing in my, in my career world, uh, you know, helping them figure out what it is that they want to do and supporting rather than telling them what to do.

It's helping them find what they want to do themselves. So now just taking it that next step level of just going further and deeper and building a life they love. So y'all didn't see it off camera, but I definitely had a moment where I got way to excited when she mentioned motivational interviewing because this is a skill that I am actively working on applying because so my mom was going to school to be a social worker and she got all these really cool books and she got this book that was titled motivational interviewing and I started going through it and I was having lightbulb moment after lightbulb moment and I was like, oh my gosh, the whole concept of change talk, by the way, I've done a podcast episode on it, only get in the show notes, wait, I don't get on a rant here, but it was so mind blowing to me and it just is like an overview and Rebecca please correct me if I'm wrong because I'm a total newbie at this. But motivational interviewing in a sense, is getting to the rule of just like sort of what they want to do when they're ready versus being like, no, you need to do this, I enjoy my tough love approach.

But I also realized I need I need some more, I need some more of that. So the thing that blew my mind when it comes to motivational interviewing is how it ties excuse me so closely into abuse recovery and just kind of the base, like some of the things we talk about because if you're not ready and you're not open to it, there's nothing really that can be done if you can lead a horse to water all you want or even yourself. Like for me, I didn't realize I wasn't ready for about a year, like after I started working on it or I wasn't ready and I worked in a not ready space right here, I said that really weird. But the whole concept of leaning into and encouraging the readiness is something that I get a lot of questions about. So actually we totally didn't even talk about taking it this way. But what are the things that you look for foreign someone? Because I get, like I said, I get questions all the time.

It's okay. I think I want you but I feel a lot of resistance. Like I don't know if I'm ready. What are the things that you look for to see that someone is ready for the next step? They're ready for the next goal for the next whatever anyway, Take it away. Yeah, you bet. So I totally let them drive the show right? Um I ask a lot of, well what do you think the next best stuff there is to take? Right, what's the next the next step in the direction that you want to go? Um I do a lot of visualizing exercises where I have people just going to kind of that meditative heart space and visualize what they want their life to look like in five years and um, and more than what they wanted to look like, but what they wanted to feel like and so to really sit into those deep feelings because many women have never allowed themselves to feel that with right? Like, oh, I want to feel like true love, I want to feel true peace. I want to, I want to feel valued, I want to feel worthy. And usually when they're at the spot where they're talking with one of you and I, they're not feeling those things yet.

Maybe they want to and maybe they're doing all the things right. Like they rental the checklists on instagram, they're doing all the self love, but they're not feeling it within themselves. And I think that that's because we jump right? So we take that visualization exercise and instead of cutting it way back into like chunks of what is the next thing that I can do right this second, we want to be there tomorrow. And so, and then we get disappointed and we're like, oh well I did the things I did that list. I mean I watched Carly's video, it was great. I did that and then nothing's changed. I feel the same. Like we aren't going to notice the difference on a day to day level. We just aren't right. Like sometimes we have those aha moments, but if we're not putting into play the work that it takes to get to the next step, We noticed that gradual change over time. Not like, Oh, all of a sudden today I'm different. It's more like all of a sudden you wake up and realize I'm different. Like that months of work have gone into that feeling. Um, it's kind of like, you know, that line about overnight success takes 3 to 12 years.

It's kind of the same idea right? Of like we want it to be an overnight change. We want it to be this thing. Like if I start doing this, I will never be, you know, in a situation where I let some guy call me a name again. I'll never be gas related again. I'm not true, not true at all. Right. Like we have to keep taking those baby steps forward and then we realized over time we've changed. We've, you know, conquered the next tool. Um, I'm a big fan of goal setting, journaling, um, of making those like everyday questioning type things. Um, and setting a goal. So when I do like one on one coaching with somebody, we talk about the goal for the week and then, or maybe it's a goal for a month, just depending on where they're at and really let that be self lead. Um, I think oftentimes to, we try to rush like our friend that has no kids or grown kids or you know, they have plenty of time on their hands. They might grow faster than somebody like me that I was like into survival mode, right?

Like I was, it was easy to blame somebody else because I didn't even have time to do kind of self and you know, um looking inward, I got to have one of those situations right off the bat of the, like I'm going to run an errand and they never come home. So here I am with three babies essentially, one of them was a baby and stressed into survival mode and then wonder why nothing changed right over those four years. I thought I was so healed. How do I think I was so healed? I wasn't doing any healing work. I was just going to work and putting a roof over my kids head, which is good and admirable and I'm so grateful for the opportunities that I got to do that. But I didn't do any kind of self reflection. And so it really is all about self reflection of recognizing what is our role in the life that we've created because life is all about choices and we're all living the consequences of choices that we made, whether we made them consciously or not or whether we knew that this was the set of consequences and so we can start to change that and create a life that we do want by taking those teeny tiny little baby steps.

Okay, there is so much the first thing that I need, y'all, I need you to stop doing dishes if you're driving, don't don't stop in the middle of freeway, don't do that. But I need you just just listen for a second. She validated. The thing that I say all the time is it takes work. You can't buy the workout program and expect to have a six pack the next day. You have to put in the mother flipping work and it takes time. Dear God, it takes time and I people get so pissy with that, whether you're talking about weight loss or recovery or anything, people don't want to wait, they don't want to, they don't want to put in the work and they don't want to wait. They think that if they do one day of journaling or one day of affirmations or one day of something, then it's all fixed. This takes time. And the fact that it takes time means you have to give yourself grace because the more time it takes, the more time you have to slip up and that's okay because you're human, but you have to commit to the Dengue journey. Anyway. Little side note, it's just like, it's like when your mom says something to you over and over and over again and then two weeks later your best friend says it and there, it's like a mind blowing moment.

Your mom is just like I just said that so I want to take this moment on your mama and your best friend just told you the same thing thing so do it and we know it too right. Like I burned it all down when I got ready to make changes. Like I burned it all to the ground and I started I started to look at that as like okay that was amazing for all of these seeds that I'm planting and then I got really pissy like I planted all the seeds, I'm doing all the watering of doing all the week. We're gonna heck are these plants? Why are they not popping up? And that's through like a major time potential about that. Honestly that was like six months long. It's like how dare it, how dare I put in all of this work and there's nothing to show for it. So like we're not immune, we're here talking to you about it because we're in it with you, we get it. Um and you know you give the time you take a break, he said on that park bench, you watch eventually those seats will pop up but you have to keep leading and watery. Like you can't just pretend like oh nothing's there. So I guess it didn't work.

No, no it's working. We just have to trust the process. I love I love that you mentioned your six months long temper tantrum because I feel like a lot of the times we get in this cycle and it's just guilt cycle where we beat ourselves up because we're not where we want to be, but then we know that we're not supposed to beat ourselves up, so we beat ourselves up for beating ourselves up because we don't want to be, but then we know that we're not supposed to end up in this loop. I mean honest, just last week I had a complete Breakdown, I was crying, I sent probably 45 minutes worth of Snapchat for my best friend and I was just losing it. I was bawling my eyes out on the floor, literally laying on my office floor. My son was in bed and I just lost it. I was pissed because it was like, why am I still hitting walls when I've come so far? But the thing to remember is like a lot of the times we get frustrated and we go, well now it's back to square one, but it's just like if you're running a marathon and you trip and fall at mile four, they're not sending you back at mile one, you have to get up, you dust yourself up, you put a few band aids on and you keep running and then you fall again at mile six and then again at mile 13, you don't have to start over and so it is totally okay to have those temper tantrums.

I would argue that it's totally healthy to have those temper tantrums because right after I have those moments like there's a breakthrough right on the other side of it and there's a whole level of process. I did a instagram live where I got to do, I got to get really geeky and I talked about leveling up and and beating the final boss to get to the next level and it was so much fun, but it's so accurate. Like we life is not, unfortunately, life is not a marathon with an end. There's no like this healing journey doesn't have a stopping point, it's just a continuous level up. We're still moving and the way to win is to not give up failing doesn't mean you fail, falling on your face doesn't mean you fail. The only time you fail is when you quit because you have no chance of winning at that point. And I think that's what I mean, especially for people like me, where I am so achievement milestone driven, not having a point where I can say, okay, in six months, I'm gonna be healthier in six months. This isn't gonna be an issue where two weeks from today, I'm going to be ready to date again.

Like there's no point to like put a timeline on it and that's the most infuriating piece for me. I love it. It's so true, right? Like there's not some box of like, oh sweet, I'm healed now, like, no, because life will throw something else at you that you'll get to like, oh maybe I wasn't quite so killed on that one, thank you for the lessons awesome, right? And like I, I had this, I mean, ok, I'm gonna be, I'm gonna be real. I am far too open on these free, as the kids say, I'm way too comfortable here. Um but like I am at this new place where I actually saying it a lot of hard, but I I want to actively date and get myself out there and by the way, this is a skill that I do not have. This has been dormant for years and I'm actually at a place where I've never dated and been 100% myself, I've never been at this place and so I have a date tonight and all day I'm snapping my friend going, talk me out of this, tell me not to go give me a reason to cancel because all of a sudden all of these like fears come up and it's frustrating because I can coach somebody this exact same situation.

But when it's me, it's just like, well, I don't know if I want to, I don't know if I can and we talk ourselves out of the leveling up because we know that it's going to be work and it ain't gonna be perfect, which is annoying, but it's life. So the whole reason that I share that is because I want to, I never want to come from this place of like, oh, I'm done. It's just like Rebecca said like, we're still on it with, you were still on this healing journey and even in our pretty podcast chat, like we were just riffing on all of these things that we've gone through and there's still a little bitterness there, like, there's still anger there. We've come a hell of a long way, but that doesn't mean we're done. That doesn't mean that, like, we've scaled the mountain and it's just hold on now, so, and that work doesn't have to be hard or like numbing, right? Like, I look at it as more like working a job that you love versus working a job that you hate, right? I love all of the changes that I'm making in my life. Like, do I always love the work that they take.

No, no, no, of course not, but I love it. I love sitting in the work for and I love Stepping back and like deciding, I mean, you mentioned dating, I think I went on like 51st dates. Um My kids may have made fun of me, I have teenage girls um for going on so many first dates, but like, you are like, I have no idea how to be my total true and authentic self on a first date and to be like, oh, you know what I'm not, I'm not interested in you, so I don't have to sit here and like try and pretend what I think you might want because I want you to pick me. I actually get to choose. Like, that was a novel concept, right? Like, I always think growing up on Disney and religion, like I realized that was the thing. I thought the guy picks me and I had to be in a girl that they wanted. And so, um, yeah, it was it was great. Two years. I had I had a blast. I'm in a relationship now. It's like, uh, and it's still learning right? Like it's several months in and he's amazing and wonderful and all the things, but I still have to like practice my old habits that will bubble up and I'll be like, Rebecca, you don't have to do that here.

Or I can be like, okay, what is not trying to teach me? Is there something here that I need to use my voice on? Or is it something that's like an old habit tapping on my shoulder that isn't, that isn't needed anymore? And I can think it, you served me well, but I don't need that level of anxiety right here anymore. So it's it's constant, it's constant. And it's something that you said is so powerful because it's one of the main reasons that I am so scared to get out there. If you said that you're allowed to not be interested. Like, that's your choice. You're allowed to say no, it's not all about, oh, I think he's hot. It's I hope I find him attractive, like I hope that it's a good day because if not I have the right to say no and there is this fear in general, not just in dating, it's just a really good example that we are allowed to say that we are uncomfortable, that we don't want to do something, that we can say, we want something and then be like, you know what, The more I learn about it, the more I want it, or getting in the middle of getting jiggy with it and you decide that you don't want it, that's 100% within your right and I for the longest time and I thought well anyway, that was a really weird way it was instead of but like I thought for the longest time that I was the only one who felt that way and that I wasn't allowed to have that thought other people could, I would get so upset with my friends and they had that mindset, but for me, I had to take what I could get, which is why I was that word, situation ship is the most horrid thing dating in your twenties right now is just not fun.

But I got stuck in this situation ship because I was so convinced that this was my only chance that I was never going to get another one and that is something that we as survivors have to learn and is one of the foundational things to grab onto that we're allowed to say no whether it's in relationships, whether it's at work, whether it's with family, oh my God, setting boundaries with family. That's a whole another issue. That's a whole other podcast, right? Like being able to communicate these things and say these things and feeling like it's your right, which it is, it's not a privilege, it's your right. Like you were born into this world, given the right to say no and that you don't want something. And we've been taught with through our cycle of abusive relationships that we don't matter, that we're not allowed to have boundaries that we that if we do have boundaries, we're just gonna be talked right out of them. So we end up not trusting ourselves and it ends up being this decline which leads us right into the next one because we've devalued ourselves to the point where it's like, well, I have to take what I can get because I just don't want to be alone.

And you hit the nail on the head to right of like devaluing art, we don't trust ourselves. So like, oh, he's into us. So maybe I should trust that. Like he says, oh, I feel something special, like I'm over something mel I don't, but he does. So maybe maybe I'm wrong because we're so used to thinking, oh maybe I'm wrong, and so giving yourself permission to trust whatever the heck that is, that feeling is to leave a date if it's uncomfortable, like I did that three times last year. It was glorious. I'm like alright, I did it um you know, or to just cut it short, right? Like there's no reason to be rude. Um and when I left I was never usually never rude about it. Um and so like giving yourself that that type of permission and also letting yourself follow through on the, on the questions right? Of what if this is my only chance? What if I never find the one? Okay. Yeah. I mean like what if some people never do right? Like some people do say single and is that worse than being in a crappy relationship or an abusive relationship or stuck with a narcissist or any of those other things.

It is not worse. We are here to tell you, it is not worse. So embrace your single self and build a life you love that. You can attract somebody in that goes with that if that's your journey and also let yourself feel the fields that you feel about that of like what if what if I never and then that opens yourself up I think to putting yourself out there in ways that you can just be curious and truly show up as yourself right? Of like okay, I, you know, I asked the questions I'm interested in asking another one. I'm interested in another date. Um Just taking it line by line. I saw something the other day of I can't remember what she was talking about. Like a beautiful vase or something. And she said in my mind, it's already broken, right? Like somebody's already knocked it off the table. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to enjoy it today. Right? Like that. I can still fill it with beautiful flowers. I can still love the way the light catches it. I can do all of those things, even knowing that it might break down the road. And I think that's the same thing with dating.

Like one day, two day 386 months. It doesn't matter, right? Like nothing is promised. We are not promised anything. So enjoying in the moment and allowing ourselves to keep living with that curiosity and joy and fun. And when it gets to feel like that job you hate. Maybe you do some more self expression of figuring out what needs to change, right? I didn't well, okay, I didn't come here to be called out like that. But here we are. Just like you like I honest to God just had a light bulb moment when you said, okay, just finish it. What if you never find somebody? Like I say all the time. Like I would so much rather be single than to be back in that situation. And it's terrifying. The idea of dating right now because my standards are so high and maybe I will end up being alone forever, or maybe I won't find my person until I'm 40 50 years old. All of these things are important, but I say that, but it's just like the fact that like you say to just finish it, like what if what if you don't what then?

Oh because my biggest my biggest frustration is wasting time. Like that's my thing. Like, you could never get this time back, like the minute that just passed, we're never going to get that back. That's one minute that like I've spent on life and I have always had this thought of, well I don't want to date dating is work, dating takes effort, dating is a part time job, you cannot convince me otherwise. And so it's like I don't want to spend all of this time only to have it not work out again, only to have my heart broken, only to waste a week, a month, a year or two years, five years and just, I don't know the way you said, that was so, so profound and pulling out a coaching session, but you just gave me like a light bulb moment and I had to acknowledge that um yeah, I'm gonna be real honest with you all, having these guests on selfishly is away from me to continue to grow. Like I say it's for you really, it's for me to anyway. So yeah, that's, that's every part of the teaching right? Like I grow so much with the women that I coach, right?

Like they teach me so much and I get so much from those sessions and just like you said like none of the tweets the time. Like what if we only have one session with somebody that we're working with? And I think, oh well, I mean they gave up, no, we planted seeds that might bloom later on. Maybe that date didn't work out. But you ended up with a great story to tell your girlfriend. Maybe that relationship didn't work out, but the things that you learned along the way their life, their life lessons, right? None of it is wasted. And so when I talk about going into it with curiosity, I am like straight up up front with the guys that I would date. They're like, so what are you looking for him? Like this is an experiment. I'm curious to see, you know, like what happens, you know, with no investment whatsoever And like practicing putting the brakes on my like anxiety driven self there of no, you are not investing that. And so now, like I said, I'm in this relationship right? And a couple of months and I had to be like, I know you already told me these things, but I wasn't retaining that information because I didn't care, I wasn't, I wasn't ready to invest and that's totally okay right?

Like had to be up front and honest. Like I know you told me this before, I have no idea what you're talking about. Can you, can you remind me? And he was great about it. He's like mom makes total sense. Um, but yeah, that investment of just being curious, having fun, don't make it a job. You hate making a job. You love go to some fun restaurants look cute. This was so divinely all put together. Like I needed this before this date tonight. Like I was coming up with a million and 10 reasons to cancel this dang thing and now I'm just like, all right, let's go. Um No, we're in the same state now currently like restaurants are open. You gotta go, Yes, dear God, I need out. I need out of my house. My son's, his dad and I need, I need some adult time away from a computer. Um, I want to pivot slightly and go back to when we were talking about trusting yourself and trusting yourself when it doesn't feel right in your gut Before when we were doing our pre podcast talk, we had started talking about what people think of when they think of an abuser and the reality of it.

Like when we think of an abuser, we think of the old fat white dude who's wearing a wife beater that's covered in beer stains, sob bling around yelling, holding a beer bottle right? What a lot of the times we don't realize is that the abuser is the most charming kind looking sweet person in the room, But because like for me when I was 17 and that was my first physical abusive relationship, he was, I mean looking back on it, not all that hot, but my 17 year old self was so into him and all of the girls at school were like, oh my gosh, he is so attractive and I was so caught up on, well, I guess he must not be that bad because everyone else thinks he's hot and that is something that I got really aggressive there, but that's okay because this is really important. Like we have to get rid of this mindset that you're going to know an abuser by looking at him because it's not like it perpetuates like they're gonna do something right in front of you. They're not gonna look ski easy, they keep that behind closed doors well and if they did, we wouldn't be with them, right?

You know, we would have walked away at the beginning instead of getting invested and you know what, it's not just unique to 17 year olds, right? We think, oh well I was giving up, nope, I did the exact same thing at 33 you know, here's the great looking guy, everybody loves him. I am so lucky that he chose me right back to that again and and beat myself up and bent over backwards trying to be all of the things because you know what I think that's just this abusive right of like having this ever moving target of if you're this, then I love you again. If you're this then I wouldn't treat you this way if you are that well you get to there and then it's never there. It just keeps moving and that is what really messes with your head, right? You just go down this dark feet chain spiral in that in that shame spiral is the most dangerous place to be because the longer you are on that spiraling roller coaster, the less you see yourself and the more that they and people don't like it when I say this, but it's how I personally felt.

So it's the words that I use this is like the best way to say it is this because once they know that they've gotten you to that point, they own you because if you knew your worth, if you knew that you deserved more, if you knew, if you truly believe that there is better out there for you, you wouldn't stay. And that's what a lot of people who haven't experienced this, don't realize and when they run their mouth so bad. But anyway. Well and I think sometimes they do it and they don't even realize right, Like just like we accept behaviors in our lives that we don't realize we're doing. I think that the guys who abuse sometimes in the same way. Yes, there are the nasty ones that are out there just to control, but there's also the ones that like they've always got in their way. So like clearly the problem is not them. I'll just splash my samples and get whatever I want and you know, oh well I'm sorry that I say something when I was angry that I didn't mean, oops, you know, or hope so. I say something that was angry, but when I was angry and it for you, that's your problem. Like I'm this nice guy. Let me flash my dimples at you and and they just never learn that the way they're acting is totally not OK, totally not OK.

That is such an important, such an important point because and it was just like the way the moment you said flash my dimples, I had a whole scenario like pop in my head. One of my exes, that's what it was like. I truly don't think he realizes how horrible he is, but he has a mother who has enabled him his entire life brought him coffee in bed, didn't want him to get a job, was right there with him any single time, there was an issue Mommy was there to fix it. And so that carried over into our relationship and even though we made the conscious decision that we weren't gonna do that, he fell into those old habits. I fell into old habits and I started feeling that and he started to have that mindset of, well, my smiles and my dimples have gotten me out of it before. So why don't I just keep going? And the issue with that that I have found, and I actually talked to my friend about this the other day is that we think that because they're not out there trying to be assholes, they're not out there trying to hurt to manipulate people that we should allow it because they're not toxic.

Like, oh, they're not doing it on purpose. So I'm gonna be there, I'm gonna be the one to fix them and I'm gonna be the one to show him the light and I'm gonna be the one to mother him into the best human on the planet, because I don't want to be the one to break his heart, because he's not doing it on purpose and I'm uniquely uniquely appointed for that job, right? Like I'm the one that he needed to love him through this and then we can have the happy ending at the end. Like, I'm the one that he needed, Oh, that's so sweet. We're going to have such a beautiful love story when this is all over and when we're through it, except for if they're never willing to face it, or if it turns into manipulation, right? Of like you say, you know what, when you did this? I it made me feel like this. And somehow that turns into them talking about, like what a horrible person they are and me apologizing and saying like, oh I'm so sorry you feel that way here. What more can I do to make you feel better? Like wait, hold on, you were the one who hurt me and now I'm the one apologizing and doing 15 things to try and make amends and try and make things right because and convince you that you're not a horrible person.

Like no, you're most, most people are not horrible people. We make crappy choices and we often make them based off of our previous traumas, right? And like abusers are no different. But that doesn't mean that we have to put up with it. It doesn't mean that we have to accept that in our life. It doesn't mean that that undermining and gas lighting and name calling and abuse is okay just because they don't know better. Like they can learn, we learned, you know, we didn't know better we put up with it. But then eventually we learned and nobody's ever going to get better because we tell them to write like nobody is ever ever going to be like, oh, you know what bands you're right? I was a jerk and I'm so sorry. Like not when they come from that mentality where they don't even see it in the first place. I remember, oh my gosh, when you were talking about how like you're trying to um Communicate that they made you uncomfortable and then it somehow goes back on them and made me think of this time. I remember when I was 17 in that relationship and I can't remember what it was that had happened, but I was standing up for myself and I said, hey this isn't okay when you did this, this is fine.

And I don't know, I'm pretty sure he did something that made me feel like he cared which was probably made me feel guilty. But I remember afterwards not knowing what to do and I was just like, well is there anything I can do better? Is there anything I can change? And he was so confused. He was like no, like he didn't. I mean he is straight up, he was just a horrible person. The more I learned about him and stuff comes up now there's a warrant out for his arrest, we'll just leave it for that. He's a horrible person. But like even with him being so horrible, he was so confused as to why I was like, is there anything I can change? Like I want to contribute to like you're not the only one I want to fix it. We get into this mindset of that we are always the root of the problem and that is the root of the problem that we think it it's so heartbreaking and especially the man, the victimization gets me more than anything when you're trying to be like, hey when you screamed at me, it made me uncomfortable and then it's, well I'm just so horrible and I'm the worst boyfriend on the planet and I'm the worst husband or I'm the worst dad and I could just, you know, may as well just leave me because, and then all of a sudden you're feeling guilty just like you said, it's, it's, that's the one of the worst kind of manipulation that's like gaslighting to the extreme.

But something that has not talked about enough, which is gonna make a mental note to like talk about that more. But I actually, I would love to ask you what in your opinion is the best way to handle that. Like what do you because there's no real winning at that point. It's like from where I can see. So what's the best response? Um so a couple things come to mind, Like first off, I think we do have to talk about this stuff more, right? Because like the more we speak it out loud, the more we realize how terribly normal it all is, right? Like how common and let me be clear that normal does not equal healthy or good. It just is super common, super common and you hear other people's stories and you're like, oh my gosh, is there a playbook somewhere like this. Those were the same words, what the heck? Um so I will say I've handled it a couple of different ways on because I have started and stopped this healing journey a few times. Um so I in my first marriage um I realized that the man had a problem with the truth, like he was abusive.

Yes, but like the bigger issue in that one was that he could not tell the truth to save his life, like the sky is blue and he would tell you it was green and you somehow believe him, it was the craziest thing I have ever experience. And so at that point in my life I was 28, I had three kids, one of them was a new baby. I decided I'm going to accept this. Like the man is never going to tell me the truth about anything. So like how can I figure out how to be happy in this world anyways, and I was never going to leave that marriage. Um I wasn't in a place where I even thought that that was an option, like what a concept. Um and so I did like I spent like about six months living in that space of just understanding that he he was a liar. And um and part of that I think was self preservation because if I didn't call him out on the line that he wasn't abusive to me, right? So it's like that's not less abusive, it's quite effective. Um and then the second healing journey around, I think I I learned the technique of the great rock technique um of talking with narcissists where you just respond as if you're a great walk essentially.

And so whatever it is they say, you just say okay all right, Like I was so tired of arguing and I'm the type of person that I can see multiple perspectives, right? Like I see the whole freaking big picture, I can understand how if you're standing on the other side of that mountain, you see it differently than I do we have in Washington. We know that, right? These mountains all look different depending on what you're saying. And I totally get that, totally get that. But when you're talking with somebody who does not who refuses to acknowledge that it could look different from a different side. There's there's just nothing you can do. You can explain different perspectives all day long. But if they're just never willing to ever see anything other than their own view, there's really no other option than to just say okay and or oh because okay, sounds like agreement, right? So oh interesting. And and when I started doing that, oh my gosh, it puts them off so much.

Uh you know, something's definitely did not get better in that in that regard and I ultimately left, but not not too long after that, but I definitely started that healing journey a couple of years before before I actually left the house, the house. Um But yeah, because that's really all you can do, it's just saying, oh there's there's there's no other response that works for them. There just isn't and that's unfortunate, right? Because they don't get to grow either. They don't get to learn like, oh, you know what if I stand on this part of the state, not ST helens looks different than if I'm standing over here, it's the same mountain, but boy does it look different and if you're not willing to take that little moment and and put that into practice is like let's climb this together, let's find some some medium ground here where we can meet up and do this together, we're on the same team. Like stop fighting me. Um There's there's nothing you can do except for build better boundaries and and walk away.

Like and that's unfortunate, but it's reality because we have to love ourselves enough to say we've done all we can or if it's early on in a relationship, you don't have to do all you can write like it's okay to just be like peace. This is not working for me, right? Like there is no obligation to another human. There just isn't three days in three months and I don't care. You can end things for whatever, whatever you want. Um You know, there's that mean that I see go around all the time, right? It's like previous relationships ignores all these red flags next time. I don't like the way you type it, right? It's totally true. And you know, I thought earlier and I went on like 51st dates, right? Like there was no like particular reason why I didn't go out with some of those guys again, they were all great. Most of them were great, great men. But I just looks like that. I'm not interested. I don't want to like, I don't want to as a valid reason because maybe you're inside, maybe you're, you're unconscious is telling you like this would be miserable.

Like don't even prolong it with a second date or a second drink or whatever the case might be. And if that's okay. Um, and then once you are in those relationships, Children's are involved, maybe you're married. Maybe it's yours and you know you have put in the effort to change things and you still, there's no movement like you do, you have to walk away because you deserve to bribe. You deserve to be out from under that kind of thumb. You deserve to be, to be free to be for you to be who you are right? If you're with somebody who is constantly putting you down for who you are. Well, hey, why are you with me? Like you don't even like me? So why why are you here? You know, and and I am never going to be all of these things that you want me to be like, I dried, I practically killed myself trying to be all those things right? And so to be able to be free and to thrive and to understand that like getting divorced is not the end of the world is not even getting divorced twice.

Like oh my gosh! Um it's okay. And the more I talk about it to the more I hear from other women who are like I've also been divorced twice or I've been divorced three times. Thank you for saying that out loud that you can still live a good life would be a good person and learn like maybe it was you the first couple of times but you can still learn and grow. You can still, you don't have to put all of that blame on another human either. Like it's not, you're not a victim. We can own our life choices and own where we find and still grow and flourish and thrive and be free. Not enough people are saying that that is so powerful the we have a choice. You're not a victim. Like you can take that if there is nothing else if there's no other message. If this is the only episode you listen to, I want you to take that away and if it pisses you off then you're on the right track. I remember like hitting that realization and I was so mad. I was, it was it was actually and I've shared this story before.

I'm not gonna go like too deep into it. But um I was reading the book, high performance habits by Brennan Bouchard and that's the book that completely changed my life. And the first chapter of that book is entitled Bring the Joy and he talks about how Joy is a choice. I was so mad. I was sitting in my car under a safeway light at like eight o'clock at night waiting for a grubhub order and I threw that book so hard it slammed against the side of my door, A lady putting her groceries away, snapper and over at like friend, I wonder what was going on. I was so pissed. So if you are pissed, you're on the right track. Don't turn it off. Don't stop listening. You're allowed to get mad. Get mad and then let it sink in because I didn't want it's not fun to hear that. It's your like that, that you have the choice. But the big reason, the reason why it makes you mad is because you thought for so long that life happened to you and you just had to take it because you were taught whether it was my family, whether it was by a ski easy babysitter, whether it was however, it happened, we were taught that we have to take what life gives us, which is generally not even scraps, it's just dirt and we take that as gospel and that's just not true and that Yeah, so we're stuck right?

Like, how many times have we been to William made your bed like, well that doesn't mean I have to lie. And it actually like I can get the heck up out of it. And that's why it pisses off. Like I can't tell you how many books I threw across the room. Carly. Oh my gosh! Where I'd be like, you know what? It's gonna take me a year to read because I can only do a paragraph at a time because oh my gosh, this is like calling me out in every paragraph and realizing like I'm not stuck. Like even though I'm married, even though kids are involved, like I'm not stuck, I have choices. I have different ways I can handle it and I am not telling anybody to leave like, right, like we're not here to tell you to leave your relationships, but like that's what you need to do. It's OK. It is OK and you can thrive and you are not doomed. You're not you're not doomed. And one of the and right, right along with that, one of the biggest realizations that I had and I've used this, I do really well with like visual visual thinking, but it's just like I thought for the longest time that my power was taken from me and I had to fight to get it back.

But what I didn't realize is that it wasn't taken from me, it was pushed over in the corner and I was then told it wasn't there? I was told it wasn't for me and I believed it and I continue to believe it and any time I saw it out of the corner of my eye and I began to look that way, it was, nope. It's not yours. No. Pure worthless. No. Do you believe that anyone else is gonna put up with you? Are you shortly? Seriously or you're gonna be alone for the rest of your life? No one else is gonna want you. Do you imagine how much work it is and every time you see that power, your pulls right back to go, No, it's not for me, I don't deserve that. But once you realize that the power was never taken from you, it's just sitting over there in the corner waiting for you to pick it up, everything changes and you're allowed to be pissed that you look over and see it there the whole time, Like you're allowed to be mad that it's there and that you are allowed to be upset with yourself. You're allowed to be upset with anyone. Like you're allowed to feel those things get mad, stay pissed for however long, but just make sure there's a point where you pick that power up and you start running with it and it's gonna take time and it's heavy and it's gonna feel awkward and you're not gonna want it sometimes and you're gonna put it back down, but again, you're not starting at mile one, Your fall at mile two, you're gonna pick that power back up and keep going.

And once I had that realization, I was I was mad for a long time, but once it hit me, it was like I never lost it, it was just tucked over in the corner and I was convinced it wasn't there and that really it just, I don't know, I think I had the realization maybe early last year and it just shifted everything in such a powerful way. Absolutely like letting go of all of those layers that we put on ourselves of all the should, all the ways we should look, all of the, all of the things that you know, indirect, oh my gosh, I remember actually one time I wrote a list of all of the things that I have been called, I wrote it in my phone um all of those things you just mentioned right, like all of the, you know, you're, you're always gonna be alone, like you know what I put up with like your manipulated all of all of the words you can think of and I wrote them all down. All these words had been called and I wrote, I made a second column where I put the positive version of that, you know what I am manipulative, like damn me for trying to like manipulate you into seeing a different perspective so that we can put our family back together.

Like that was horrible. I mean I can see that was just really such a terrible thing because we all are right, like he all are busy sometimes. We all are manipulative sometimes and when we can own those words then they stop having power over us and more saying with the fear like we talked about earlier, maybe I will be alone, maybe, maybe no one else will ever love me again. That's okay because I love me and that's new. That that took me 38 years to learn to how to love myself and you can take that from me anymore, right? Like I know my work, I know that it is okay to be all the weird, crazy, wonderful things that are me and I'm okay with that. It's okay to not be everybody's flavor. I don't have to people please myself into making you comfortable because guess what? I might not, that just might not mean that I'm for you then like sorry, it's okay. I got chills. I honestly got got chills when you said, I love myself and you can take that from me anymore.

Like oh, I've that if that's not the best way to like round out a podcast, I don't know what is, that's just a mic drop moment, don't talk or make them um like, but that is everything you say and you have such an eloquent way of saying things and having it come out in a mind blowing, soul piercing way in such a good, in such a good way. I feel like, I mean it sounded like an insult. It definitely wasn't. It was no, that was beautiful actually. I was like, oh that's what you're amazed. Like such a beautiful compliment. Thank you. Well I think I'm all over the place like, oh you're, I feel like I just got a master class, like honest to God, like I'm just sitting here and I'm having a moment after, moment after moment, I'm gonna like take a journal with me and sit down with this dude at the table tonight and be like, here you go, here's your thing, let's go down the list because Justine like I am so ready but okay, before I end up going on a rant and bugging you more with how I can survive this mother loving date tonight.

Where can everyone find you on social media? How can they connect with you? How can they work with you because we all need you. Uh you're so sweet. So you can find me on instagram, wild radiant love because you all need to be wild and connected with your own inner self and love and basically radiant. Um so wild radiant love on instagram facebook um at Salta Wild radiant love dot com. Family messaged me happy to work with you. Um I'm just doing private clients right now, but I have some other group things and um salt based on the burner coming out soon. So follow me and then you can be first up when those lost. I do have a couple of spots open. If you are interested in private coaching a couple of spots right now that I can squeeze you on in, I'd be happy to totally passionate about helping you live the best life and currently on that day tonight just have fun. Don't talk about your trauma. You don't need any more trouble bombing. It's like something to do on first dates and like just knock that out.

Have fun. Yes, I am. My friend is gonna be so excited because she's been pushing me. She's been saying the same thing. She's gonna be really annoyed that like it took you saying it for me to have that moment. But uh, I am, I'm so grateful and I'm so excited. I'm so, I'm still terrified but I'm excited. I'm adding the excitement in there and that is 100 because of your time and I'm so, so grateful for that. I will make sure I have all the links in the show notes connected there. Check out the show notes. Check out the transcript on the blog. Everything is going to be there. You won't regret it. Go check her out. Thank you so much for hanging out with me. I am so grateful to you. Thank you so much Carly. This is amazing. Okay, but wasn't that awesome. I am just so obsessed with Rebecca and I can genuinely say that I now have a really good friend. We have totally geeked out, talking about obese recovery and we've talked about my dating statues, it's been great and I am so honored to have her on the show, have her in my life and I cannot wait to chat with her again.

So all of those things are going to be in the show notes. So go reach out to her, reach out to Rebecca, let her know what you thought of this episode and what I would love for you to do is take a screenshot. Take a screenshot of this episode posted to your I. G. Stories and tigers. Both me and carly dot lin Rebecca at wild dot radiant dot love so go to the screenshot, Tag us both if we want to reassure it, we want to shout you out and thank you for listening. All right, boo! Thank you so much for hanging out with me on the confidence of the ground up podcast. Never forget that you are strong. You are capable. You are intelligent and boo You are so freaking worthy. I love you so much and we'll talk soon.

94: Getting Real about Abuse with Rebecca Kay
94: Getting Real about Abuse with Rebecca Kay
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