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The Overwhelmed Brain


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Dec 30, 2018

Lots more to explore in part two of the self-help variety show. What you are upset about has an origin from the past, exploring that can heal the present. Do you stand up to your family for your significant other? Is it a good idea? How do you handle apologies and forgiveness? Should you ask for forgiveness? What happens when you partner's child doesn't accept you in their life? What do you do with the feelings of shame and anger around someone's death? Lots to explore in this New Year's edition of TOB.

TRANSCRIPT:

(This transcript is raw and has not been checked for accuracy or grammar. If you need clarification, please reach out to me at theoverwhelmedbrain.com/contact/)

If you're in a relationship and you see a much different, darker side of your partner than your family and friends, maybe it's time to assess exactly what you're dealing with. Visit Love and abuse.com and download the mean workbook today. Are you annoyed by affirmations? Are you tired of that same old rehashed personal growth advice that all seems to boil down to think positively and all your problems will go away. If affirmations feel like lies, and positive thinking feels like denial, and I want you to get ready, The Overwhelmed Brain is here to help you create the life you want. Now.

 

Hello, and welcome to The Overwhelmed Brain. My name is Paul Colaianni. And this is the show where I help you tackle life's toughest challenges. I want to help you increase your emotional intelligence, strengthen your self worth and self esteem, and empower you so that you can make decisions that are right for you. Everything I talked about on the show is my personal opinion, and is meant for informational and educational purposes only. Always consult a medical or psychological professional before making any changes that could affect your physical or mental health. All right, last week, we had a variety show this week is going to be the same thing. It's the holidays, I'm doing things a little differently, I don't have an entire show dedicated to one subject or two subjects. I'm just gonna go through some emails really quick, read you portions of those emails, and talk about subject matter that people have been waiting to hear about some of the stuff I've talked about, I probably all of this stuff. I've talked about almost everything on this show. But sometimes I have a different perspective over the years after working with clients, some of the things that worked for them, and my own introspection, my own meditation on these things, where subject matter comes up, that might be a challenge to deal with. And I've addressed it in a certain way. For example, last week, I talked about jealousy, and I addressed jealousy in a little bit different way than I have addressed it before. I have a similar approach. But I decided to take a different angle on it because you never know, you never know what episode is going to be the one that helps you through what you're going through. So this is why I like to sometimes readdress certain topics, because sometimes I'll have a different perspective on it. After stewing on it for a while, or getting feedback from people that say, you know, I listened to this episode on jealousy or whatever. And this is what I got from it. However, I'm still obsessively compulsory, jealous about this person and what they're doing and what do I do about this. So there's all kinds of facets and angles, to everything to every emotion to every experience in life. Let's try to hit them all. So this is why this show contains us. I mean, besides all the patrons support, and the donations and things that absolutely have to happen in order for it to continue. But there's so many facets of everyday things that we do. Just because you listen to one episode on depression, doesn't mean Hey, now I'm not depressed anymore. It means there's one component of depression that may have been addressed and one component that still needs addressing. And what about I'm depressed about this particular thing. I'm depressed about my mom dying, or my partner cheating, or my dad treats me this way. Or my brother did this to me, all of these facets of it, that have extra variables, because now it's family or because it's a friend or because it's a partner. What about those variables? How does that affect me? And how does that affect my future?

 

So I could go on and on, you know what I mean? The idea behind how many particular directions we could go with something, is why a lot of people continue listening to shows like this and reading more and I mean, I talked to when not when I had a hypnosis practice in Texas back in 2009. I talked to a woman who said I've read every self help book, I've gotten every self help video. I've done everything under the sun to make myself better ever since my child died. And when I had her in my office, I you know, all this compassion came out of me and I really wanted to help her. And, you know, I think I did to a certain extent, but what else is in there? What else is underneath? These are the layers of the emotional onion, that we keep peeling back until we get to the one thing that matters. What is the one thing that makes the difference where everything originates, I believe there's almost always When you're feeling something today, it almost always, if not always originates with something simple. I don't say simple, but something basic, I should say something Elementary, where it could be, you know, a life changing thing if you were to address it and heal from it. But something like for example, your to, and your mom or dad takes your bottle away, that one little basic thing could have had a massive impact on you. It all depends on how the brain encodes and stores it and what it does with it. And is having something taken away from you? Does that cause like a lack mentality? in the future? Does it cause you to feel like you're going to lose something, so you want to stay attached to it very clingy to it. And then you become possessive. And then you become jealous. It could be one simple thing. This is why I love to find out the answer to the question. When did you first experience

 

that emotion? When did you first experience this feeling? That's a great question to ask yourself about what you're going through. Because what you think it's about usually isn't about, it usually is about something that happened in the past. So what you think it's about when you are mad at someone today? Ask yourself the question well, mad at this person today? When have I felt like this anger or this upset before? And then you can go back a year or 10 years or whatever. And you remember, oh, well, I was also this angry, this type of anger, this type of upset when so and so did this to me. Okay? Now, before that, when did you feel this way. And you can think even further in the past. And it's a good idea to go back as far as you can. Because one time, you're going to say, Well, I remember when I was six, and I was in kindergarten. And this kid came up to me and he ripped my, my paper in half and all my crayon drawing was destroyed. And so I felt this anger come over me. That's when you start asking yourself the question, okay, why am I angry about that? And so you might come up with an answer that reveals something about today about why you're angry about something. Or you may find that it just neutralizes today's anger. The anger from six years old neutralizes today's anger. Wouldn't that be nice? It is nice. It can happen. And it does. It often happens. When I do my own introspection when I do my own drilling down. When I take my clients through any type of drill down process, you can do this yourself. It does take some conscientiousness, it does take sometimes you becoming your own coach, your own therapist, for you stepping outside of yourself in saying, Paul, for example, me, Paul, when did you first feel this way? And then I can step into that emotion and remember back and think oh, you know, I felt this way when I was 16 when I was driving along and someone cut me off in traffic. Okay, can you think of anything else when you felt this way because, or any other time that you felt this way, because what's going to happen is that as you connect with the emotion, you're going to connect with the events that are associated with that emotion. And that is a huge benefit to self help to going through this stuff yourself. Trying to figure this this stuff out. It doesn't mean it's going to automatically resolve or you're going to automatically heal. But sometimes it does. Sometimes it does mean that you'll heal that it's sometimes you'll find that just by discovering it, it unlocks a good thing, it unlocks the mystery that you've been holding on to it unlocks the reason you get emotionally triggered. This is important stuff. This is the core or some of the core of how I coach and this is some of the core of exploring these things on your own. In case you've tried therapy, you've tried self help books, you've tried videos, you've tried everything. Well, what does it mean? When is the first time this stuff happened? Or when is the first time I felt this emotion? And then we connect further and further back in time. And then we finally find it. Now we might get to a point where we say okay, I found it. Now what? It's not neutralizing today's feelings. It's still there. Well, that's when you ask the question. Okay, it's still there. How is that a problem? Well, what do you mean? Well, let's just say that you were six and some other kid came over and ripped your paper in half. How is that a problem? Well It's a problem because you start asking yourself questions, and you see what you come up with? These are gonna be the important answers. How is that a problem? Well, if I were to try this on just this example, somebody ripped my paper. And I was really proud of that. I took a lot of time on that. And guess what I might start crying. Because what's going to happen is you're going to hit some primal fears, and primal concerns and primal worries that you have, when I say primal, I just mean like, kind of lizard brain stuff, like fight or flight type of stuff. And when you access that,

 

there might be a release of emotion, there might be a release of some sort of, and this is going to sound a little holistic, spiritual, but some sort of energetic thing that you've been storing some sort of ball that's been very tight in you for a long time. Imagine if you figure it out, the very first time that you felt the upset of today, that you could discover it from something you did in your past or something that happened in the past, then it became released, then it was let go, because you finally were able to address it, you're finally able to acknowledge that child's pain inside of you. That's pretty wild. I mean, that's very cool stuff. And you can do this, you can do this on your own, and what better time to do it than the holidays. Here we are hitting New Year's, all of the things that come together, that we celebrate that we have to talk to people that maybe we haven't talked to in a while, what better way to reignite these old emotional triggers, then to talk to the people that probably created those those triggers in the first place. Not that I want that for you. Not that I want that to happen. But at the same time, what better way to figure out what's going on inside of you than to connect with usually family that have been the CO creators of these emotional triggers in you. And when they trigger you, you can explore that when's the first time I felt that when's the first time this has ever happened to me, when's the first time that person has made me feel this way, you can look at it from all these angles. And when you are able to narrow it down and pinpoint a certain age a certain time period, then maybe you can open it up a little bit and let some feeling or emotion come out or be expressed or cry or scream. Hopefully you don't have any type of conflict with family. But sometimes that's what can happen. But when you are able to access the origin, the original emotion, what happens is that you are able to find the source, it's like taking the battery out of an electronic device, and the electronic device doesn't work anymore. Imagine that that electronic device was the device that activated your negative emotions. So every time somebody said something, the electronic device, sensed it and went beep, beep, now you can be angry. Now you can be upset, now you can become depressed, now you you can become anxious. What if we took the battery out? It can't do it anymore. Even just that metaphor could be helpful. You can think of your emotional trigger as an electronic device that senses some sort of stimulus out there, that causes an emotional reaction in you. But let's just take out the battery. Let's turn off the off switch, take out the battery, just for extra measure. And let's see what happens when we expose ourselves to this trigger. Now, it's a metaphor, it may or may not work for you. But it's a nice little picture that you can have a little visualization that might be helpful. Little things like that can be helpful, too. If you can't drill down into the very first time you felt that, that visualization can be a step in the right direction. Maybe it can be something you can use to help in the moment. Or maybe you'll be like, well, this doesn't help at all. So this is ridiculous. I'm not gonna do it. That's all right. There's a lot of tools out there and we'll discuss them until we're blue in the face until we can all figure out how to get out of our negative states when we're in them. And come into a place where we feel good about ourselves where we feel empowered, where we feel like we can make decisions that are right for us. I want you to be able to make those decisions that are right for you. So when you are connecting with friends and family during the holiday season, or you're in the shopping mall or anywhere you are where there's a lot of people and some tensions are getting, you know increasing. Some tempers are flaring. Some people are disagreeing some people are debating, some people are telling you how to live your life, what to do, what to do next, what you should have done on it. On and on, then you have an opportunity. At that point, you have an opportunity to learn about yourself. Use it as a self learning experience, hey, you're here, which means you're into self help. What better way to learn about yourself, than to expose yourself to the stimulus that created those triggers? That's a great way to learn about yourself. Not always fun. And sometimes, we want to avoid it. But sometimes we can't. So we might as well use that as an experiment. I hope this helps. We'll be right back. And we'll talk about the first email in this variety show number two.

 

All right, you know, it's the end of the year, it's the holiday season. And you I mean, depending on where you are and what you celebrate. But you're going to run into people that are celebrating the holidays, you're also going to run into large crowds. Maybe by the time you hear this episode, it's after Christmas. So you probably won't run into as many large crowds, but I don't know people returning things into the year sales, all kinds of things going on out there. So you're going to run into people that aren't necessarily in alignment with you. And when that happens, like I was saying in the first segment, you really do have an opportunity to challenge yourself, to understand yourself to learn about yourself, because what you're going to find out is what your reactions are to everyday people. Family is usually the bigger triggers. romantic relationships are usually big triggers. All of these triggers that we have out there really cause us to evaluate where we are in life, and maybe assess what kind of people come into our life. Is this person really right for me? Should I allow this person into my life? Are they too toxic? This is what I mentioned at the beginning of the episode today, which is the mean workbook. The mean workbook allows you to assess a relationship to find out if it's too toxic to find out, if it's more difficult than it needs to be. Because sometimes you're in a relationship and you were happy going into it. But you're not happy anymore. In fact, you're questioning yourself, you're starting to not believe in yourself, you're starting to become indecisive, you're starting to think that maybe you're going crazy. Or maybe you're just not as smart as you used to be. All of these incremental changes in you can be because of a toxic relationship, because you're made to believe that you are somehow losing it, you're somehow losing brain cells, you're somehow not thinking clearly, suddenly, you're not well, for some reason. And you're made to think this, you're made to believe it. That right there is emotional abuse. This is why I created the mean workbook over at Love and abuse.com. I don't want you to not know what you're in what kind of situation you're in. I've heard from many people that have ordered the mean workbook and just thanked me for creating it because it finally helped them pinpoint what was going on in their relationship. I'm not going crazy. Now I understand what's happening. Now I understand what he or she is doing, and how I'm responding, that's creating this mess, I need to get out of this mess, I need to figure out how to become empowered again. Go to Love and abuse.com if you are in a relationship that just seems a little bit too difficult than it should be. It shouldn't be relationships should not be difficult. They should be some sort of balance, give and take mutually beneficial, where you support each other, instead of one person seems to be dominating and always right and always making you feel bad about yourself or wrong. shouldn't work that way. It should be a synergistic system that you can work together and figure things out. And you probably know this deep down. So I want you to realize that maybe you're not going crazy. Maybe there's something else going on. And maybe you just need to figure out what that is. Go to Love and abuse.com and download the mean workbook and assessment and healing guide for difficult relationships today.

 

Welcome back to this special variety episode of The Overwhelmed Brain. I'm going to read you a few lines from this email that I received. Let's see where we go with it. Hey, Paul, a few years ago I called my brother in law, a bad name. My husband was mad at me and wanted me to apologize. I told him that I would on my own time, not when he wanted me to. So one day I saw my brother in law, and I approached him and I asked if we could talk. I told him, I was truly sorry for calling him a name. And I had no business saying it. His response to me was, I'm not going to accept your apology, since your husband's not here to witness. How do I go on as his family always makes me feel uncomfortable? I have addressed him. I think she's talking about her husband, I have addressed him about me not feeling comfortable. But he seems to have a sheet over his face. All right, well, so two things going on here. One, you called your brother in law, a bad name. And then you did what I would say was a noble good thing, which is to apologize, I called you a bad name was the heat of the moment. And I'm sorry, and what your brother in law did, he is not ready to accept your apology, because he wants someone else there, your husband for some reason to be there to witness it. I don't know why that is. But that doesn't even matter. What matters is that you apologized. And now you're done with it. As I look at apologies as something that don't require forgiveness. Now, it's nice to get it. And it feels like closure. But what you're apologizing for is something that you did. And when you do that, when you apologize for it, your part is done. You have handed the ball over or the baton to the other side. And now it is up to them what they do with it. So when you apologize to someone, that is like saying I've done my part. Now if you'd like to, you can do your part or not. But the ball is not in my court anymore. This is what I love about apologies and why you don't necessarily have to require someone to forgive you. You just have to mean it, you just have to be real, when you say it, you just have to know it in your heart that you are truly sorry, and apologize. And once you do that, there's your release, there's your closure, that should be how it goes. Because you may not always get someone that says I forgive you. But now they have the burden of doing so or not. I say it's a burden. It could be may not be, but some people might see it that way. like okay, that person's apologized. But I'm not ready to forgive. So now they have to hold on to their on readiness, their inability to forgive you, which may last indefinitely, they may never want to forgive you. But it's still on them. You've done your part. So I want you to remember that when you apologize to someone, I've done my part, just remember that you have to mean it. This isn't like a manipulation or some sneaky tactic that you're going to do. This is something that you mean when you really mean it. This is why I say when you apologize, you apologize once and mean it. And that's all you have to do. You don't have to go back and apologize again and again. And again. You just apologize once and mean it and then you're off. Now, if you've listened to my episodes on infidelity, and betrayal, that's different. You may have to apologize lots of times. But I'm talking about other times, when you really feel bad and you mean it, you apologize and you move on. You don't wait for forgiveness, you don't ask for forgiveness, you just move on. This is my opinion, some people may not agree. But I fully believe that, when you really mean it, and you say it, there's no need to get anything out of it. Because you've done your part. Because when you really mean it, you don't have to say it again. And when you really mean it, you really have done your part because there's nothing left to say. Now again, if they want to forgive you great that can open up the floor to conversation, and now you can talk about it and see where it goes. So this is part one, this is what I want to share with you the person who wrote the email. The second part of this is you asked how do I go on as his family always makes me feel uncomfortable. I have addressed him about me not feeling comfortable. But he seems to have a sheet over his face. So here's something else about your situation and what you are creating for yourself. This may sound a little tough to hear. But what you're saying to me is that when I tell my husband that I feel uncomfortable around his family, because they make me feel uncomfortable because of the situation. But my husband doesn't stand up for me or say anything. This is your choice to be with someone that doesn't stand up for you. This is harsh. I know. Because I know the implications. That means that Well, what does that mean? Do I have to

 

leave him? What do I do? No, you have to ask him. Are you going to stand up for me? Or are you someone that won't stand up for the one you love? I mean, that's a good question, isn't it? If my girlfriend's family was saying things against me, I would want her to say hey, you know, lay off that's my boyfriend. What are you doing? I don't know if she would, and it's not happened yet, I hope it doesn't. But if that happened, I would like to know that I'm with someone that is so proud to be with me, that loves me that supports me, that wants me to be happy. I'm the person they go to bed with every night, I'm the person they are with every single day and hope to be with every single day for the rest of their life. And if they can't get to a point where they support me and stand up for me, and tell their family, hey, back off, that's my girlfriend, or that's my wife, or that's my husband, or that's my boyfriend. If they can't get into that space, then you have to have a conversation about it, and ask the question, do you love me enough to stand up for me? Do you want to be with me for the rest of your life? And if you do, doesn't it make you unhappy to see me unhappy? Because the answers are going to reveal a lot. Now I know I might be rubbing some salt and some wounds out there. And I don't mean to, because I know that there are people out there that maybe they can't stand up to their family or don't want to or don't know how. And I realized that I've been there. If my family did something to my girlfriend or said something about her. I wasn't the type of person that say hey, back off. That's, that's the person I'm with. I was too afraid I was conflict avoidant, I was a people pleaser, I didn't want to upset my family. But I've learned that the only way to have really healthy romantic relationships, is to be there for my romantic partner. And so this is something I had to step into this is something I had to not be afraid to be the person that I needed to be for my romantic partner. Does that mean that you have to do this? No. It just means that when you are with someone that you really love, and you want to spend the rest of your life with, or at least an indefinite period of time with, you have to know that they're going to feel isolated, alone, unloved, unsupported. If someone in your family makes them feel bad, and you're not there to stand up for the person you're with, you just have to know that it's going to cause a huge strain in the relationship. And it may end up causing a breakup, Separation, Divorce, whatever. Because it's very dangerous. When someone comes into your family, and your family is putting that person down, and they don't get your support, suddenly, they feel completely alone. And what's the point of being with you, if you can't even stand up for them? Again, it's a sensitive subject, a touchy subject, but that's how I feel about it. So the person who wrote this email, thank you for writing. And I hope this helps. I know, it's not much to go on. But I do want to say this, that when you speak to your brother in law, again, if he brings it up, or your, you know, your husband's family, if they bring it up, you can say, hey, look, I apologized, and I meant it. It's up to you now to either accept that apology or not. And I'm not saying you have to look for it. I'm just saying that you have handed the ball off to them. So if they say, Well, I'm still upset about it. You can say yes. And I did apologize for it. There's nothing else I can do about it. I was wrong, or I didn't mean it. And I'm ready to move on if you are and see what they say. I know this is a tough one. Good luck with that. All right, this next one says my wife and I are divorcing. She also met someone else. I found your latest post, should you leave your partner very relevant. And it's all much easier to accept and see with things being over. Good news is we're not fighting each other. And it's an amicable split. Thank you for your podcast. Okay, there were no questions there. There were no challenges that they had to get over. I'm sure there's some pain involved here. But the good news is like he said, we're not fighting anymore. And it's an amicable split. So yeah, divorce separation, breakups are tough. They're like one of the toughest things that we have to deal with, aside from, you know, other painful things like violence and losing someone we love to death or whatever. But it's huge, because we are so attached through love. And then when someone leaves us, especially when somebody else comes into their life, now we feel alone, and we see them happy. What does that mean for us? That's a huge topic. And I've talked about breaking up and separation and divorcing and things like that and other episodes. But I just want to say this. First of all, thank you for writing this and sharing this. You're welcome for the podcast. I do hope it is continuing to help you through this. And reason I read this on the air is because I want to mention that I'm all about doing everything you can to hold your relationship together

 

until you can't. And what that means is sometimes you exhaust all of your resources, all of your effort in order to save what you have in order to try to fix or repair what you have. And sometimes it just doesn't work. I'm all about trying to do it. everything possible before calling it quits. The reason I say that is because sometimes I come across as, hey, if they're toxic, just leave them. I don't ever mean to sound like that. In fact, in the mean workbook I talked about, hey, if they're toxic, let's talk about it, let's communicate, let's see where we can get, I never want you to think that the best path is always just leave the person. Because it doesn't always mean that you're going to heal from what's going on. That doesn't always mean that you're going to get through the situation, so that you don't attract this situation into your life again, because if you just run away from the problems in your relationship, and you just run away from the person, without addressing everything that you can, that surrounds the problem in the first place, you're likely to get into a bad situation again. So if the situation is bad in your relationship today, and you decide just to leave, like I can't stand this, I can't stand the way he or she behaves, I'm going to leave them by not addressing it, you're likely to run into it again. Because what happens when you start addressing it and talking about it, whatever going to therapy, communicating in a way that's very expressive, very honest, very truthful. When you start communicating in a very honest, truthful way, you get to learn all the facets of the situation. And when you just leave someone without talking about it without knowing where they are, and where you are. Sometimes those facets stick around, and they don't become red flags for next time. So for example, you're in a relationship with someone who decides that they want to leave you for some reason, and they leave you. And then you're stuck with all these questions like why? Why did they leave me? And why did they maybe treat me so bad before they left? Or why did they call me this name? Why did they take all them all my money out of my bank account? I mean, there might be a billion questions when they leave, where you don't feel closure. And what will happen is if you don't get that closure, and you're not able to talk to the person, and figure out what's going on, and there's no honest expression with each other, then you're both most likely to end up with the same type of people next time. doesn't always happen. Sometimes you end up with better people, hopefully, always. But sometimes you don't. Sometimes you end up with the same type of person. And now you're stuck wondering, why do I keep doing this to myself. And it's almost always because we don't express the honest truths and exhaust every resource we can, trying to repair trying to heal, trying to get through the challenges with our partners with the relationships in our life, when we don't address these challenges, and we just gloss over them and said, Well, I'm just gonna leave, I don't want to deal with this person anymore, then suddenly, we are lost to know what's right, and what's wrong, what's a red flag, what's a green flag, and we get into the same situation. Some people you don't want to stay with some people indefinitely, you just want to get away from and that's perfectly fine. Because you know, clearly exactly what you don't like. It could be values, it could be boundaries, it could be all kinds of things betrayal. If you know exactly what you don't like and you know, you won't stand for it. Great. You take off, you don't want to deal with that anymore. But often, it's very helpful to talk with them at a deeper level so that you can know yourself well enough to understand what attracted you to them in the first place. What attracted me to that type of person? Why would I be attracted to that type of person? I didn't see these red flags at first. But when you think about all the red flags that you started to see at the beginning and ignored or were ignorant to, then you start to understand yourself better, so you don't get into a bad relationship? Well, I wouldn't want to call it bad, a learning relationship later. They can be bad, yes, but they're not all bad. Some are just learning relationships. Well, they're not compatible. We don't have the same likes, or we don't have the same thoughts. We're not the same religion. And so it's helpful when you still are on talking terms. If you're on talking terms, get into the deeper stuff, talk about these truths, talk about these things, even at the risk of losing the relationship forever. Because you need to know you need to know the deeper stuff you need to know as much as you can, doesn't always work. I know that some people just leave us and then we never get to talk to them again. Which is why it's so important to be infective, self reflective, introspective, so that we can look back when the relationship started and understand what attracted to us to that person in the first place. What the red flags or why we ignore those red flags.

 

And what we can do next time so that when the red flags come up, we actually say something instead of not saying anything. And of course there are people out there that are really good at explaining away the red flags. You always want to be careful of that one red flag. That's okay, one red flag. We'll talk about it and if they explain to the way Okay, I'll let it go. But two red flags, especially if it's the same one, the same type of one. Don't let it go. This is important This is your life. If it's two red flags that are completely different, don't let it go. One red flag is enough to red flags, don't let it go talk through it. Don't let them explain to the way tell them, this really affects me. And this is what's the problem is when you do this, when you say this, this is a problem, I will not stand for that. Stand up for yourself, because you have to live with you for the rest of your life. So you need to be there for you. So I want to thank this person who wrote this email and saying, you know, good luck with this. It's not easy when you go through a divorce. And it's not easy seeing your old partner with someone else, and all of that. But it is easier when you see the relationship ending as a death that you need to grieve. And that can be a help, even though it's a huge, huge hurt. We'll be right back. I'll read a couple more. And then we'll end the show, right after this.

 

All right, welcome back. A little bit more variety. Here. I've got an email from someone that said, right now I have an issue with my boyfriend's child, he is not settling with the fact that him and I kiss, I'm assuming your boyfriend and you kiss and the child doesn't like it. He doesn't like the idea of us being intimate. He's afraid that he will lose his dad because of me. His son even wrote us a note saying I think you guys should get in love. I took that as him accepting our relationship. But now I'm not sure please let me know what is a wise way to approach this conflict appropriately? Okay, that's a good question, I did have an episode on being a good step parent. And this would probably fall in line with that. What I said in that episode is when you show up in someone's life, and they have a child or children, that you are a complete stranger, and the children have no idea what romantic relationships are. And for them to accept you as their new mommy or daddy, which is what it seems like to them is, it's too much for most children is way too much. So the best thing to do is to show up as a friend, to them, to not try to be a parent to not even try to infringe on the relationship between his kid and him. Because what happens is the child sees it as a threat. And the more you show up as a threat, the more they'll be upset, the more they think that you're taking their mom or dad away from them. And so it's it's so vital that when you show up in a another family like that, that you are someone that needs to earn, trust, love and respect and all of the above, for as long as it takes the child, usually, because children don't understand they don't understand the dynamics of relationships and breaking up. And where's my Mom, where's my Dad, you're not my mom, you're not my dad. So in order for them to be comfortable with you around, you have to earn it. And it could take a long time. And the way to earn it is to be as kind and caring and supportive to the child as you can until they accept you in their life. Now, you did say he didn't accept me, I thought he accepted our relationship.

 

Well, it's clear that he hasn't unfortunately. And that just means you have to work more on the relationship with the son. I know, he said that you guys should get in love. But obviously, his son got triggered by something that you were becoming more of a threat that you are doing the same thing that my mommy and him did. It's just too much for the kid to handle. So my advice and I'm saying this from the perspective of a pseudo stepfather because when I came into my girlfriend's life, she had a son or she has a son now. And I pretty much had to do the same thing I showed up as a friend to my girlfriend, and a friend to him, whatever he needed, I did. And I was just as nice as could be. And I didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable with my presence in their life. Because I'm walking in on their life. They have something established, they have a foundation, it's solid, they it's unbreakable. I cannot even begin to imagine what that's like. And I'm not here to impose anything of my values, my beliefs onto them, or the relationship they've developed. And quite frankly, the kid has to believe that they're number one all the time. And if you feel like kissing your boyfriend and the little boy comes in and he wants attention, that might mean Daddy has to give him attention and that makes his child feel comfortable knowing that you're not here to take time away from the child. So I think that's what it comes down to is that children want to know that you're not They are to take time away from their time with their parents. And if you walk into a relationship and you become that time stealer, they may have a problem with it. So I think the last point here is to make sure that you don't try to force anything on the child. And what I mean by that is, don't force the idea where his dad says, Hey, she's here to stay, you're just going to live with it, I wouldn't force that at all, they're not going to understand that either. I would just always approach it carefully, as if you're trying to handle nuclear material, or nitroglycerin, you're carrying it around, because the child needs to develop that trust on his own. And if he doesn't, and if it's forced upon him, like, you're just gonna have to live with it, this is the way it is, he might have that underlying resentment and underlying distrust of you. I mean, they eventually grow out of it, they eventually realize that you are a safe person, meaning if you are, you are a safe person to be with and be around and you are a safe person for their parent. But it's a lot easier when you just allow them to call the shots made, say it that way. But it sort of goes better when they call the shots, and then they start to trust you, they start to realize that you're not a threat. There's so much more to this. And I am saying this from a non parenting point of view, but from a pseudo stepfather point of view, where I had to go through the same thing. So I hope that helps it helped with me, it helped my girlfriend's kid to know that anytime he needs something, I was there for him. I mean, I I acted like a dad whenever he needed me to be a dad. But I did not impose anything on him. I didn't make him feel weird. I didn't go into hug him at all. I didn't do anything that he wasn't comfortable doing himself. And I'm still that way. He's about 17 now, and I'm still that way, I'm still there for him whenever he needs me. And at the same time, I stay on to this way. And at 17, you kind of have to do that. But you're probably in a different position there. So I hope that helps. Thank you so much for sharing that. I've got one more email to read. I'm gonna read it during the outro segment. So I'm gonna let this show go into the music transition as it's happening now. After the music increases and decreases again, I'll say my thank yous and my last words, and then we'll all start the new year. Be right back.

 

Thank you for listening to another episode of The Overwhelmed Brain. If you having relationship issues that seem a little more difficult than they should be, head over to Love and abuse.com and find out if you're in a manipulative or emotionally abusive relationship. The mean workbook is a 200 point assessment and healing guide for difficult relationships. Hopefully, it doesn't apply to you. But if it does download it today at Love and abuse.com. And I want to thank Bell and now iTunes handle, this person reviewed the shows that better than therapy and I'm just going to disclaim This is not a replacement for therapy. But thank you Bell and Nels that better than therapy. This podcast has been amazing. I've had a hard time finding a good therapist. I particularly love following his steps for properly pre processing emotions. I'm planning on joining as a patron. That's very kind of you. I hope to see you in there. Belen Nell, I appreciate that review. Thank you. And speaking of the patron program, I'd like to thank all Patreon members who have been supporting the show, we've been the backbone for continuing to show their support to keep this show going. And of course, I hope you are enjoying the private episodes and all the workbooks and worksheets that come along with being a Patreon member, as my Thank you back to you. So if you value the show, and you want to show your support, go to patreon dot The Overwhelmed brain.com. And let me remind you about the social anxiety audio program I'm creating called the safe empowerment system that stands for social anxiety, freedom and ease. I want you to be free of social anxiety. There's no reason you should walk around in that state all the time, or at least a lot of the time. And there are methods and ways to get out of it, or at least help you diminish it. And I want you to have that information. If you've gone to CBT you know cognitive behavioral therapy, which I hear is very good for social anxiety By the way, or you've seen other professionals and you still can't get it out of your social anxiety. Maybe this is this is it, maybe this is what you need. Visit The Overwhelmed brain.com forward slash safe. It's still a work in progress. But the deadline for me is January so those who have pre ordered as soon as it comes out you'll get that 30% discount and you can still preorder it today at The Overwhelmed brain.com forward slash safe si FP And finally, I'd like to thank Kevin MacLeod of incompetech.com for some of the music transitions in The Overwhelmed Brain. Alright, speaking of anxiety, someone wrote to me and said I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for Your work I am I was suffering from anxiety and panic attacks all throughout 2016 and 2017. And your podcast would help guide my mind off of it, and into a more rational and self loving place. I always mentioned you when I discuss how I overcame those attacks, because Truthfully, I had no support system. And the typical advice was only making me worse. The attack stopped earlier this year. A large reason for my anxiety was my relationship with my brother, who I realized had many symptoms of unhealthy controlling behavior that I wanted to keep away from. Despite loving him very much, I was torn. I'm writing because my brother passed away a few days ago, and we never reconciled. We weren't speaking for about two years. Given this context, I'm sure you understand where my mind is. Now. If you have any time at all, please send some guidance, my way, I feel so much shame and anger toward myself. Most of my family assumes that we were still on speaking terms. So they say things like at least you were there for him in life, and brought him joy. I'm too exhausted and ashamed to explain that. I wasn't there. I still love him. And I'm doing my best to cope with the situation. But I respect you tremendously for your work. And I hope you can share some advice with me, from one human to another, I want to thank you again, you're saving lives. Wow, thank you so much for that message. That means a lot to me. And I'm only half the formula. Here you are the other half, you are the person that actually has to do the work. And you know, I get emails all the time that say, you know, I listen to you. But I have trouble implementing the stuff that you talked about. And it's not that you're not giving me the right steps to implement it. It's just taking those steps is difficult. I get it, I totally get that. Where are you are now, there's a step I want you to take. And it's not easy. But first thing I want you to do is realize that when somebody tells you, I'm so glad that you were there for him and brought him joy, I want you to realize that you don't necessarily know what you brought him. I mean, even if he said things like you're you're so hard to deal with, and you're a bad person, whatever he said to you, doesn't matter. Because sometimes not speaking is better than speaking and can have a positive effect in someone's life. So let's just say that you did speak all the time, did that make him happy that that you always felt controlled and manipulated and stressed out and having panic attacks was that what brought him joy, because I'm willing to bet that he felt more joy by you not talking

 

to him than he did with you talking to him. Now, Joy might not be the right word. But you have to remember what you add to someone's life, by the way you show up in their life. And he may not have had joy in his life. And when you spoke to each other, it caused him strife and stress. I'm not saying that you were the cause of it. It sounds like he had other issues going on. But if he felt all of this strife and stress while you were communicating, then not communicating gives him a bit of a break. As a real stretch. I know it's a real, you're really reaching there. But I don't want you to think that all of the behavior and all the actions, and everything that happened between you and him was necessarily a bad thing. Because sometimes we have to show up in a way that benefits the other person. And it's not very beneficial to show up in a way that enables someone's stress. I know this is really an obtuse perception. But I want you to be up to score a little bit. I'm talking about like, let's just say that I didn't get along at all with my stepfather. I mean, I used to be a people pleaser around him. And now I just don't like being near him or around him. And let's just say that when he and I were together, the way I communicate with him, really ticked him off, really made him upset. Wouldn't it be better if I just stopped communicating with him? I mean, there are other things, let's just say we could go to family therapy, or I mean, there are other things that you could try and do. But sometimes you exhaust all these paths. And there's no other way to get along. So what you do is do the best thing that you think you can do. And that is just to stay away from that person. Because if I decided to approach him or communicate with him, and he gets stressed and ticked off and tries to manipulate me or emotionally abused me, then I'm creating a situation that makes his life worse. I know it's a weird perception, but I want you to start thinking outside the box here, because not everyone can be satisfied. And sometimes we can show up in someone's life in the best way possible. And they still don't want to talk to us. They still don't like us. They still don't want to be around us and they think we're jerks. Doesn't matter what we try doesn't matter what we do. It's just some people have a locked in framing of their reality around us. It's locked in. It may be nothing that we did wrong. There's probably nothing we can do, right? So what do we do we just do the best we can. And I believe that you show up in every situation, the best way you can. I believe we show up in every event in life the best that we can. And I know some people are out there right now saying, Yeah, but I could have done this. And I could have done that. And I can hear in the back of my head, there's always a better way. But if there was, why wouldn't you have chosen that way at the time, you can't, you can never choose a better way unless you have the resources to do so. Sometimes fear holds us back from showing up in a quote, better way. And sometimes what we thought was a bad way was the perfect way. Sometimes we show up for someone, let's just say that they are a toxic person like your brother, he sounds like he had some toxic characteristics. And if we showed up in a kind and generous way, it made him angry, it made him more manipulative, it made him more abusive towards you. Because I guarantee you, if that wasn't the case, if you tried to show up in a way that you thought was promoting a good relationship, then you will probably show up that way more. But you can only show up and the way that you get a response. In other words, the response that you get from him, dictates the way you show up next time. I mean, I'm talking about if you are trying to establish a good relationship, and it sounds like you did, it sounds like you tried, and there was nothing more you could do. And you then had to go into self protective mode. There's nothing wrong with self protective mode, I promote it all the time. And sometimes you just have to do it. I'm not saying this, the only way you live life, I'm not saying you walk around, protecting yourself and trying to repel other people all the time, you have to do it with certain people, so that the relationship doesn't get worse. Imagine if this was the best relationship that you could have ever had with your brother. Imagine if there was nothing more you could do in the type of communication that you had, before he passed was the best possible thing you could have done, because of the resources that you had available to you, because of the resources that he had available to him.

 

You could have shown up with flowers and cash, and he may have used it against you, he may have been upset with you, he may have said that you're just trying to manipulate him. Sometimes you just can't satisfy anyone. And let me end with this. When you love someone, you do your best to support them and and want them to be happy. And you support their path to happiness no matter what that is. And it has to work in reverse as well. It has to be the same with them. If he loved you and he supported your happiness, then he would want you to protect yourself, even from himself. When I look at my marriage, I look back and think, you know, I was emotionally abusive to my wife, I needed her to protect herself from me, that actually makes me feel better. Even though I feel bad about the way I treated her. I still feel bad by the way I treated her because she didn't deserve it. But when she decided to take that step and protect herself, at first it scared me, I went into fear mode, I went into desperation, I wanted her back, I would do anything about when the divorce finally came and went. And I could look back on it and see that she had to do that for herself for us. If she didn't go into self protective mode, I wouldn't have gone into healing mode. And I had to make the choice to heal and your brother had to make that choice to yourself protective mode activates someone else's choice to heal. And if he chose not to. That's his choice. In his right. He could have done anything he wanted. And he had the opportunity. But keeping the relationship alive as it is if my wife decided to never step into self protection mode, I would never have healed, and I would have been the same jerk who had I was when we were married. So I want you to remember that the formula for toxicity and dysfunction almost always involves two people continuing to do the same thing that they've always done. And you know, the definition of insanity, getting the same results over and over again. So one of you has to step back, one of you has to step out, one of you has to say you know what, I've tried everything I need to protect myself now. And it always gives the other person the choice to make a different choice. I think you did the best that you can. Don't be too hard on yourself. I know that when someone dies, there's regrets and thoughts that come up, that we should have done things differently. But take advantage of this time to talk with him and don't be afraid to tell him how angry you were with him if you were angry. Don't be afraid to tell him if you couldn't stay Am Pam Are you hated him, all this stuff needs to come out of you to be processed. So if you need to scream into the air, how you feel about him what he did in your life, just to get it out of your system, so you can reach a new level of understanding in yourself, of loving connection with him for him, if you want it, that might be the path you have to take, you might have to get all of that negative energy out to get past this because you don't want to carry around shame. You know what, if you feel any shame, if you feel any regret, speak to him as if he's right in front of you. You know, I feel like this and I, and you made me feel this way. And I'm so angry at you. And this is why I'm angry. And why couldn't you do this? Why couldn't you show up, you might have to yell and scream, you might have to cry, just get it out of your system. And you'll get some kind of response. I don't know where it comes from, could come from your subconscious mind. It could come from another place in time, I don't know. But get it out of your system. So you can get past any negativity that you're carrying. So that you can finally reach a new place that you can show up for everyone else in the world that's alive today that wants to connect with you today, because of the good person that you are, I believe that I believe from your message that you're a good person. And yes, I know that a lot of the audience can say, you know, I feel like I'm a good person. And I tried and tried with this other person. And they just never saw me for who I was, they never treated me the way I think I deserved to be treated that they never treated me with respect. And sometimes that's just the way it goes. And there's nothing more we can do. So thank you for writing this message. Thank you for sharing this story, I appreciate you, you're going to be fine. You just need to allow yourself to feel all of these things that you might be resisting, get it out of your system. So you can reach a new level inside yourself. So that you can be the person that everybody else wants you to be so that you can have good feelings and move forward and live the life that you deserve that you want to have. Sometimes people show up in our life as a tough lesson

 

to improve ourselves. I see that when my stepfather, my stepfather showed up in my entire family's life, including me as a tough lesson to improve myself. And without him, you would not hear me here today, you would not get my stories, you would not get my teachings, you would not hear any of this. Not that you can find other sources for it. That's not the point. The point is, I feel like I am such a better human being. Because of him. I am so grateful he showed up in my life, even though I can't stand him. I'll just say, I am so grateful he showed up so that I could work on myself and become the best version of me. That was his gift to me. I want you to see that from your brother, you show up as the best version of you. And that will be his gift to you. And you showing up as the best version of you. You know, now that he's passed away, all that toxicity is gone. And I don't know what your beliefs are. I don't know if you believe in reincarnation afterlife. Or if we all just wink out. I like to think that a part of them still exists in us somehow, that when we don't resolve old stress old negativity, that they're still here in that toxic way, they're still showing up in our system in a way that affects our lives. So we can't move on. That's why it's so important to make peace with them even when they're gone. Because it is like making peace with a part of yourself. And believe me, I don't know where people go when they die. But I guarantee you they don't want to stay in the turmoil that they were in before. So you might need to let them go by getting through the negativity and allowing yourself to move on so that you can feel better, healthier and happier to let both of you go. I appreciate you. Thank you again. And remember to always keep your mind open so that you can step into your power. This will help you be firm in your decisions and actions so that you can create the life you want. Always take steps to grow and evolve. You are powerful beyond measure. And above all, and this is something I absolutely know to be true about you. You are amazing.