We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez

02-13-2022 Emotional Safety 
In this episode of We Need To Talk With Kris Godinez, Kris discusses how to feel and have emotional safety. Spoiler alert! It doesn’t come from another person!!

Kris Godinez  00:02

Hello and welcome to We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez podcast. I’m your host Kris Godinez, licensed professional counselor. I help people get out of, and stay out of, toxic relationships. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only the views and opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the ACA, the APA or any other therapist for that matter.

I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

Okay, so, somebody was asking me, Can you talk more about emotional safety and that they feel like they’re safe when they’re with their ex who’s a crutch kind of thing. So, the ex, I guess, is not abusive. So emotional safety, everybody. Oh, okay. Everybody take a deep breath. Here’s the thing. Here’s the come to Jesus meeting, we’re going to have. Emotional safety is not about another person. Now, when you get into a healthy relationship, yes, it will involve another person. But to get to that healthy relationship, you have to establish emotional safety with you, first! It is an inside job. Listen to me now. Believe me later.

And every time I tell people this, they’re like, I want to be in a relationship. I need another person I need outside I need outside I need outside. No, no, no, no, no, no, take a deep breath. You do not need outside support. Well, you need outside support, but you do not need outside approval, you don’t need outside, whatever. That’s other esteem. So that is what gets us into trouble is that we start looking outside of ourselves going, Oh, no, I need that. Instead of I need this. You know what I’m saying? So, which is why I’m wearing this t shirt? I’m fine. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.

So when, when a client comes in and sits down, and I say, How are you doing? And of course, I’m asking them like sincerely not like the, you know, stereotypical societal accepted. Oh, how are you doing? Oh, I’m fine. No, no, no, no, I really want to know, how are you doing? So, when a client says, Oh, I’m fine. I’m like, oh, effed up, insecure, neurotic and emotional. Does that about cover it? And they’re like, yes. So, that’s what fine means to a counselor. So if I ever asked you how you’re doing, and you tell me, you’re fine, I’m gonna look at you and go is that a counselor fine? Or is that a socially acceptable fine, so you know, what’s the deal?

So, okay, emotional safety means being open, honest, authentic, vulnerable, and trusting and trust worthy. I don’t know too many people coming out of a relationship that can get there like that. Okay. So basically, emotional safety means getting back into relationship with yourself. So that at a point in time, when your self-esteem is rock solid sun comes up in the East sets in the West, rock solid, you’re trusting of your gut, you’re listening to your gut, not your head, not your heart, your gut, you’re listening to your gut. And you are honest with yourself, you’re open with yourself, you are vulnerable with yourself, you’re allowing the emotions. So that is what emotional safety really is all about. It’s about having the emotions, feeling the feelings, allowing yourself to feel the feelings, like I can’t tell you how many times I’m working with clients, and we’re going through all of this heavy stuff, because you know, abuse is heavy stuff. And they’re starting to get in touch with the emotions and they’re starting to get in touch with what they’re feeling. And you know, what’s happening in the betrayal and the sadness and the hurt and the anger and all of it. And they stop and they go, I don’t want to feel it.

Kris Godinez  04:30

Okay, here’s the problem. If you don’t allow yourself to feel it, if you do not allow yourself to be able to have the emotion, to let it play through, work through it, recognize that you did not deserve any of this. You didn’t deserve the betrayal, the anger, the hurt, the sadness, you didn’t deserve any of that. The guilt, emotional baggage, any of that, that stuff that belongs to your abuser, but you have to be able to confront it head on work through it. The only way out is through, okay? And then recognize what your emotions are. It’s so incredibly difficult to recognize what is your emotion versus what is their emotion that they have shoved into your head and into your heart and into your gut trying to shut you up.

Think about it. So, abusers don’t want us to feel, they don’t! They don’t want us to feel, they don’t want us to acknowledge, they don’t want us to recognize. They definitely don’t want us to see the pink elephant taking a doodoo in the corner. Okay. So, when, especially scapegoats when they are able to see that… that is when the abuser starts shutting them down, shutting them down. Nope, you don’t see that! Nope, that’s not true! No, you don’t feel that! You don’t feel that! How many times? How many times have abusers told you don’t cry? Or I’ll give you something to cry about? Or don’t you be angry at me, I’ll give you something to be angry about. And then they abuse. It’s intentional. So then pretty soon we’re unable to figure out what are we feeling. Feeling. Feeling. What is our feeling? What is our wants? What is our needs? Not theirs? Ours,ours?

Because remember, abusers have no boundaries. So part of emotional safety is creating really good rock solid boundaries, especially with abusers. And sometimes that boundary is a no no contact. Okay. So emotional safety starts. emotional safety starts at home. Really, it does. emotional safety starts with you. So, you have to get yourself rock solid self-esteem, good boundaries like that. Does that make sense? And then once you’ve established those, and you are in a good relationship with yourself, I saw a wonderful meme today. I should have posted it. I saw a wonderful meme that said, Oh, thank you Sherry. It said, No, it didn’t say thank you, Sherry. But thank you, Sherry. I saw a wonderful meme that said, it was like the Facebook thing where it says in a relationship with and said in a relationship with myself. And no, it’s not complicated. And I was like, Oh, I like that. That’s awesome, because that’s where we all need to get.

So, when we come out of a parental abusive relationship, they are the first people to kind of mirror you know, to us, and if they’re disordered, the mirror that they mirror back to us is a funhouse mirror. It is warped in so many different ways. So, it’s worse so that when we see ourselves, we’re getting a warped version of who we are, because they hate us. Remember that the abuser hates anybody who doesn’t tow the line. Who does it fall in line, who doesn’t mirror them back to them? Who doesn’t turn into a mini me and boy, Howdy, I’m gonna talk about that in a few weeks, when we come out of an abusive relationship with a parental unit or two that are cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Okay, they have presented this warped mirror funhouse mirror of who we are. And so, we come out of it with all of these mistaken thoughts. mistaken beliefs, you know, it’s me, I’m the problem I’m, I’m the reason a family’s falling apart. No, sweetheart, you’re not, you’re not the problem. That’s not the reason the family’s falling apart. Your, your parents are crazy. You know, I mean, do you see where I’m going with that? So yeah, so they present this warped view, or we get all these mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs. We stop being authentic because it’s not safe, right? Because if we’re authentic around an abuser, what happens? They abuse the living crap out of us because they don’t play authentic. They can’t stand anything that reminds them that there are not perfect and they’re not they’re the least, farthest thing from perfect.

So. Okay, so we get these mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs, we stopped trusting our gut, we stopped believing the evidence right in front of us, right. You remember the Maya Angelou quote, you know, when somebody shows you who they are, believe them the first time, we stopped doing that, and we start going, Oh, well, maybe they’re not as bad. You know, they had a hard life. Well, you know, there’s reasons why they abused No, no, there’s not. I don’t care what their BS reasons are, there is never a reason to abuse a child, or anyone, for that matter. Thank you for playing. So you’ve been voted off the island by abuser, boy. So the point being is we get all of these maladaptive ways of thinking maladaptive ways of being and then we leave either the parental relationship or we get into an abusive relationship, romantic relationship, a boss relationship, a friend relationship. And then we’re sitting there going, oh my gosh, why am I replaying what’s happening, what’s going on. And we don’t feel safe. Because it’s a replay of our original abuse family of origin. Okay?

So, we tend to look outside of ourselves instead of looking inside because nobody’s ever taught us how to turn inwards. We’re always looking outwards, we got to stop doing that, guys stop doing that you’re not, you’re not going to find it out here in the ether. You’re not. It’s within here. This is where you’re going to find it and doing the work. Okay. But it’s so funny to me how many clients are like, no, no, no, no, no, I need to I need to be in a relationship. No, no, no, no, no, no, I have to be with somebody. 24/7 Well, that says to me, you don’t like what you’re hearing up here. That’s what we got to work on. Because that’s what’s really messing you up. So okay, so in an emotionally safe relationship with yourself, that’s, that’s, I would love to see that as a Facebook meme. I’m in an emotionally safe relationship with myself. And no, it’s not complicated. That would be perfect. So, the way to get from not in an emotionally safe relationship with yourself to emotionally safe relationship with yourself is spoiler alert…. Self-esteem work. I know, I know. I know. You guys are all like Boo. Hiss self-esteem. You say that every week. Yeah. And I’m gonna say it until the cows come home. Or the fat lady sings or I run out of breath. I don’t know. I’m just gonna keep saying it is literally self-esteem. It is. And I get people trying to argue with me with this about this all the time. No, no, no, no, no, you know, other people, other people, other people stop, take a deep breath. You cannot hope to have a healthy relationship with other people. If you are not in a healthy relationship that’s emotionally safe with yourself, though, there it is.

So, self-esteem. So, the way to start working on this is the self-esteem workbook, Schiraldi or you are a badass by Jen Sincero. Mirror work like a boss. So, what you’re gonna do is you’re going to sit down and you’re going to write out where you don’t feel emotionally safe. What is the dialogue going on? Up here? Okay, now here’s the other thing. Now, let’s say that okay, you’re working on the self-esteem workbook you’re doing the disease to please or codependent no more or PM Melody codependence books, those are great books, too. So you’re working all of that, okay. And you’re getting your boundaries going. And now you’re kind of going, Okay, I think I think I trust myself, I’m listening to my gut. Remember listening to the gut, that’s a huge part of it. I’ve been doing the mirror work, hi, good to see you have a great day, I give you permission to like yourself, and to trust yourself. And then you walk out, right. So you’re doing all of that now you’re getting ready to have a relationship, and you’re not going to do it until you get to that point. This is the this is where everybody goes south on this.

So, in working with survivors of abuse, what ends up happening is the fear of confronting the original wound. Mom, dad, grandparents who ever did, the damage is so great to that inner child that they immediately go, No, I need a relationship. And they stop work on themselves. And they run into another relationship. And about a month or two later, sometimes three, sometimes four, they come back, and lo and behold, they’re with another abuser. And now they have to get out of that relationship. And then they have to start working on themselves. And now it’s like a compounded thing. So, it’s like one abusive relationship with another abusive relationship with another abusive relationship. You don’t need to do that. You get out of the abusive relationship. Get into a safe, emotionally safe relationship with yourself, first and foremost, trusting your gut, being authentic, being able to speak your emotions.

So, here’s how we’re going to decide if somebody is not safe. Once you get into an emotionally safe relationship with yourself, write out how you don’t feel safe with them seriously, it’s like I don’t feel safe when so for example, let’s say that you’re sharing something, you know, important or something that’s, you know, that gives you great pride or something that you you know, you you’re sharing because you’re excited, right? And they show no excitement. None and they flip it back to them. Enough about you. Let’s talk about me seriously. That’s what they do. That is not emotionally safe. That is somebody who’s not listening. That is probably somebody who is a narcissist. So, they don’t listen. You’re not being heard that is not emotionally safe. Anybody who is not willing to do the give and the take, the give and the take so it’s like you give you take you give you take, you gave you take, and it’s equal.

So in a healthy relationship, whether that is a marriage, a friendship, a coworker, whatever a family, there’s healthy, give and take. So, in an unhealthy, unsafe relationship, there is no give and take. It’s like you share something exciting. And you’re wanting to share this because you’re excited about it. You know, hey, I just did this great thing. And I’m so excited. And I can’t wait to you know, ba, ba, ba, ba, bah. And then this person goes, Uh huh. Yeah. Well, let me tell you about my work week. I’m sorry, what? Can we celebrate here? Please? Can we, can we acknowledge this person for having done something really cool? You know, so there’s no letting you have the spotlight. There’s no listening. They’re not hearing you. So, if you’re having to repeat yourself over and over and over and over, that’s a disrespect that is not an emotionally safe relationship.

So okay, trust, where does trust come from? Trust comes from trusting ourselves, okay? And out of that, learning to see if we can trust other people. Now, as a survivor of abuse, I have very little trust in most people. I was like, okay, my dad was crazy. My mom wasn’t too far behind. I do trust myself. But I definitely pay attention to behavior. I look at the behavior do the words that’s coming out of their mouths match with their behavior, if they match, I can trust them. If they don’t match, I cannot trust them. Okay, now, that’s not saying that there aren’t going to be kerfuffles every once in a while, miscommunications, etc. But if there are kerfuffles, miscommunications, etc, and again, it’s worked on and they work on themselves, and they show you show you show, show me you’re trustworthy, and the words and the actions start matching, then you’re okay, but if they’re an abuser, and they never match, or they match for just a small amount enough time that you’re not going to leave them and then they start not matching, then Houston, you got a problem.

So okay, emotional safety involves openness, authenticness, meaning, you’re able to feel what you are feeling with no shame. No, no apologizing, no, you know, none of this stuff. And in a relationship, you’re able to say I feel and then you name the emotion, I feel angry, I feel hurt, I feel sad, I feel betrayed, I feel confused. I feel whatever it is, and then that person is able to go I hear you. Let’s work on this. You know if this is something that I’ve done, let’s work on this, you know, and they’re hearing you that is a healthy relationship.

Kris Godinez  18:01

So emotional safety so let me just read a couple of articles that I pulled up on this Hold on This is from Psychology Today. This is from James D. Houston. Um, okay, so June is National Safety Month did not know that. And this was written a few years ago. I’m, I’m enamored by this quote from author Anis Nin, we don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are. Truer words were never spoken when it comes to embracing our own emotional safety as our own caregivers. So basically, what he’s saying is, is that if we don’t have our gut in place where we can check in with it and go, okay, is this person trustworthy or not? We’re not going to feel safe. We’re just not. Um, most of us have known the feeling of being safe in the lap of a loved one. When we were children feel good places and the feelings that accompany them, maybe imprinted on our hearts and in our memories, sometimes the memories fade, but the feeling remains and then and then sometimes those feelings are betrayed. By life circumstances as we grow up, we may feel safe in the arms of a lover until they cheat, then all bets are off disappointments, being bullied divorce, unrequited love death, and even leaving the safety of a small-town America for the big city can have a negative effect on our sense of safety. And of course, the irony is that we may have felt very safe and coddled by the very person we are caring for today, that then abused us, right? Okay. Um, so, okay. All right. emotional safety comes from within us. It is knowing of what we are feeling and the ability to be able to identify our feelings and then take the ultimate risk of feeling them.

Now, when we’re in abusive relationship, there is no way in hell we’re going to do that because it’s not safe, right? Because if you’re with an abuser and you start crying, or you get angry, that’s the that’s the narcissistic supply to them, then they go, like cocaine to them. Yeah. Okay, and they will just eat that up. Okay, so that is part of the reason why when we come out of an abusive relationship, we’re lost. You know, we’re like, who am I, I feel like a ghost I used to, I used to be so confident I used to be so happy I used to be. Now I don’t feel any of that. And I don’t even know what I feel. And that is not being emotionally safe. Because we have started denying our feelings because they weren’t safe to feel we didn’t express them, we couldn’t express them. So, when we get out of an abusive relationship, and we are alone, that is the perfect time to start getting back in touch with and in a healthy, emotionally safe relationship with yourself. What are you feeling? What are the feelings? Allow them!

So, one of the things that I hear clients say a lot is, I’m going to start crying and I’m terrified, I’m never going to stop. You are you are going to stop crying. Eventually, you’ll dehydrate, you’ll stop crying. I know that sounds terrible, but it’s like, logically, you are going to stop crying. It’s going to be intense, though. So how do I explain this? The way I explained it to my clients is when we are finally, finally able to be authentic with ourselves and feel those feelings and allow ourselves to grieve and to be angry and to be hurt and betrayed and sad and everything else and we start crying. It is cathartic. Every single mammal on the face of the planet tears up when they feel pain. You are feeling pain, identify the pain was a betrayal, was it abuse, was it which is abuse but you know what was going on what caused the pain? And you have a right you have a God given right to be angry as hell at the abuser. You bet your sweet bippy so and that’s another thing that happens is that kids come out of these abusive relationships with parents and it’s not okay. They’re terrified to talk about the abuse because it’s been a we don’t talk about this we that’s airing dirty laundry. We don’t discuss this. We don’t do that. Does that make sense? So, emotions have suddenly become dangerous.

So, it’s really important to normalize having emotions and allowing ourselves to express them. You are the sky. Emotions are the weather. So, they’re gonna come blowing in and sometimes they’re an intense squall. Absolutely. Especially if we’re dealing with that intense grief, intense anger, intense betrayal, whatever, yes, it is going to be a typhoon, it’s going to be a frickin hurricane. It is going to be a tsunami. It is absolutely. But you know what? It will pass! It will. Isn’t necessarily fun while it’s going on. No, no, no, no, I wouldn’t say that would be fun, but necessary. So, it’s important to allow the emotions and to express the emotions.

So, getting back in touch with your emotions, get an emotion chart, start figuring out what you are feeling and allow yourself to feel it when you are writing the go pound sand letters. Allow yourself to feel it. Oh, boy, I’m feeling like I shouldn’t be talking about this. Well, guess what? I have a right. And boy, that makes me angry that you’re telling me, inner critic, that I can’t talk about you, see where I’m going with that?

You just get it out appropriately, inappropriately would be like screaming at other people and doing all this. And that is where the breakdown in emotional safety happens in couples because couples get together and they trigger the heck out of each other if they haven’t done their own work. So if you get two people that have both come out of abusive relationships, either parental abusive relationships or romantic abusive relationship, and they have not done their own work, they are going to trigger each other and it’s going to be awful. It’s going to be terrible. This is something that John Gottman talks about a lot in his work with emotional safety. So in an emotionally safe relationship, if one person gets triggered, the person who’s getting triggered will have done enough of their own work to be able to go I’m getting triggered, I gotta… I gotta back off, I gotta, I gotta walk away. Or, you know, if the person is triggering them, they might see that the person is getting triggered and instead of getting defensive and angry, and this and that in the way that their family of origin did. They’re able to go ooh, this feels really familiar. I’m gonna back off. I… let’s take a break. Oh, let’s come back together in 10 or 15 minutes, and we’ll try again because I can see you’re triggered. So, does that make sense? So, um, so Okay, so here’s let me finish this article. Okay, so um

Kris Godinez  25:12

Okay, sometimes people react very differently to trauma. Have you ever heard of sibling speak of their home life and wonder how they could have grown up in the same house? Yes. Some of us shut down and trust no one and live in the illusion that self-reliance is safety personified. So that is a trauma response guys, not being able to reach out is a trauma response. So, in this line of thinking, John and I just watched Encanto last night, you know, I’m a Disney fan like nobody’s business. So, um, so Encanto we watched Encanto and in the story, I realized while there was… because I hadn’t read anything about it or anything, that all of the special gifts that the family got were all trauma responses, so Luisa with the incredible strength, you know, and then feeling not enough because she couldn’t carry enough… trauma response. The one that was perfect in every way the golden child… trauma response having to be perfect. Having to being everything lovely, and perfect. The golden child, perfect… trauma response. Um, what was one of the other gifts? Oh, the one who could hear everything hyper vigilance, listening, listening, listening. What am I listening for? What? What’s going on? Where’s the danger? What’s going on? Trauma response. Um, Bruno, we don’t talk about Bruno. But him being the seer of the family, he got excommunicated, because he could see. And then he was afraid of seeing… trauma response. I frickin love Disney. It’s like, every single movie they have put out recently has had some deep psychological thing along with it. And it was all born from the original trauma of the family. And Encanto, the, you know, the thing that happened in the very beginning. So anyway, watch it. It’s a great movie, I really enjoyed it,  the music’s fantastic! So anyway, trauma responses.

And so if we’re in a relationship with both people getting triggered, and neither one has done the work, there is no emotional safety, there’s no trust, because they don’t trust themselves, they start projecting the family stuff onto each other, and then they both get damaged and the relationship ends, or it turns toxic, or it, you know, whatever. So emotional safety really does begin at home, how am I doing on time? Oh, of course, I’m going over. Um, so it does begin at home. And it means that you have to be emotionally safe with your self, you must be open, honest, authentic, willing to feel the feels, not being afraid of the emotions, or if you’re afraid of the emotions, just say I’m really afraid of this, but I’m gonna do it anyway. You know, and I do that a lot when with the more vulnerable emotions, like cry, you know, most of us are terrified, especially females of crying, because we were abused. Because if we cried, we got hit, or if we cried, we were told, I’ll give you something to cry about, or, you know, something awful like that.

So, getting in touch with your emotions, feeling the emotions, trusting your gut. And out of that, trusting what you see. And trusting what you feel, not the head, not the heart, what you feel, what is the gut saying to you? Is this person trustworthy or not? And then, in a relationship, both parties will have worked on themselves, worked on the self-esteem worked on the boundaries. And if one gets triggered, either the person getting triggered goes, Hey, I’m triggered, we need to take a break, take timeout, or if the person recognizes that the other one is triggered, instead of getting defensive, they’re able to go, Oh, crap, okay, you’re getting triggered. I need to figure out what I’m thinking and feeling you need to figure out what you’re thinking feeling. Let’s, let’s take a timeout and come back and talk about it. That’s what healthy couples do. Unhealthy couples sit there and scream at each other. Trying to be right, trying to be right, trying to be right trying to be right. It’s not about the win, guys, if you’re in an argument, or disagreement to win, you’ve already lost, you’ve already lost because a relationship is not about win lose. It’s about understanding. So Okay, one more article, and then we’re going to get to the questions.

So, the next one is from vitality collective. Says what does it mean to create emotional safety in your life? It means being true to you. And in a relationship it means being able to be true to you in a relationship. Um, so John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth refer to this in their theory on emotional safety in the context of a relationship between a child and a primary caregiver, and how it unfolds on in life as the child grows into an adult and experiences adult relationships and this affects every single one of us because if we had family of origin that was You know disorderwd, this is no bueno. In describing this secure attachment or sense of emotional safety Bowlby and Ainsworth note how a child chat shows an affinity towards their primary caregiver exhibits distress when separated and then receives releasing relief and comfort when they are reunited again. So basically, it’s talking about if you didn’t have that, it’s really important to figure out how you didn’t have that writing it out. How did you not feel safe with your primary caregiver? I mean, if you had one or two parents that were disordered, you probably didn’t feel safe a lot of the time. So, working through that inner child workbook, Katherine Taylor, The Self-esteem Workbook Glen Schiraldi. Disease to Please Harry Braiker. Codependent no more by Melanie Beatty Beyond codependent no more also, Melanie Beatty. PM Melody, her books on codependency. So, working through that and figuring out how we didn’t feel safe, comforting that inner child and learning to trust ourselves, re parenting ourselves, hi, good to see you have a great day, I give you permission to trust your gut, and then walk out and then start trusting your gut. And then when you’re with somebody else, hopefully, they will have done all of that hard work. And you’ll be able to stick to I statements and speak to them about hey, I’m not feeling safe right now. And here’s why. And hopefully, if they’re not abusive, if they’re abusive, they’re gonna ignore it. If they’re not abusive, they’re gonna go oh, crap, I didn’t realize I was doing that. Let’s work on this. So there that is, okay. Um, let’s see, what else did I get out of that article?

Um, okay it is an irony in a sense of emotional safety is that as much as people in our lives can contribute to that sense of safety, they can threaten it as well. So, for example, you get involved with somebody and they start abusing you, well, then your sense of safety and trust, goes right out the window. In my work with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, working to understand emotional insecurity, forms the foundational work of trauma treatment and the basis of emotional recovery. So again, it’s working on the trauma. So CPTSD from surviving to thriving by Pete Walker. When I ask clients to describe or express their sense of emotional fears and insecurity, there’s an overwhelming response that revolves around and early childhood memories.

Kris Godinez  32:20

So it’s really important to work on the original wound, you are never… not on this planet, or any other planet in this solar system, or galaxy, or universe, going to fix the original wound, by finding somebody outside of yourself to make you feel safe. That’s never going to work. Because if you do that, that’s half of a doodoo, sandwich, half of a doodoo sandwich, total doodoo sandwich, and you don’t want that. So, hold on, and then we’re going to get to the questions. So, it’s important to go through and figure out what were the negative and dark aspects of the original caregiver? What happened to cause the safety to go away and putting it back on the abuser. So, take inventory of the relationships around you the degree to which you feel emotionally safe from each… trust your gut, list and understand your own triggers. Especially with people you interact and spend the most time with, or evaluate learning tools to manage or regulate your own emotions when triggered.

So something that happens with survivors of abuse is that inner child takes over and we want mommy or daddy… safe mommy or daddy, to comfort us or to take responsibility for our emotions. Ah, that doesn’t work, guys, that doesn’t work. You’ve got to emotionally regulate yourself. You’ve got to forgive yourself, love yourself, be with yourself. Because here’s the thing, we come into this world alone, we go out of this world alone. And in the meantime, guess who we spend 100% of our time with. It’s not Gerard Butler, it’s us. Okay, we spend 100% of our time with us up here. So, you might as well start liking yourself, and you might as well do the self-care and the self-care doesn’t mean a spa. The self-care means you start working on the trauma. You start working on the insecure connection, the insecure attachment you start working on allowing yourself to feel the feelings. You start working on trusting your own gut, you start working on comforting and loving yourself because that’s where emotional safety lives. And then you can go out and have a healthy relationship with another whole person.

It drives me crazy when I hear especially movies that are like you make me whole Oh honey, you got a problem. If somebody else is making you whole you are in danger. So, it’s got to be a whole person with a whole person coming together and they enjoy each other’s company. They we will wobble if they separate. They’re fine. They might weeble wobble a little bit but they’re okay. If you’re looking outside of yourself trying to get emotional safety from somebody else. That’s this. And if they go away, you’re going to go to ka-thunk! And that’s going to be no good that is codependency. So okay, hold on, let me let me finish this up, and we’ll get to the questions.

Um, it’s good to have a role model. Basically, they talk about having an anchor or a role model for emotional safety. So that is something that is a good thing. If you have a good friend, a good therapist, a good family member, you know, whatever, that you can use that as the role model for emotional safety, and that’s what you’re going to do. So, okay. Alright, I think that’s it. Let’s get to the questions because it sounds to me like we’ve got a lot of them.

Alright, uh, my medications, softened my emotions and feelings. I think. I also saw from the effectiveness of my long term, expensive therapies, what should I do? To have more patience and will therapies work. Okay. So when we’re raised by an abuser, okay, first of all, I am not a huge fan of psycho pharmaceuticals. Psycho pharmaceuticals, I can never say that word, psycho pharmaceuticals. Not a huge fan of that, um, and I really only recommend people get psycho pharmaceuticals as a last line of defense. So, in other words, if talk therapy is not working, different modalities are not working, there’s emotional dysregulation, mood swings, etc, depression, clinical depression, not situational depression, then I say, Okay, now it’s time to go get some medicinal help, because obviously, it’s not just behavior, it is now something probably clinical. And the thing that bothers me is that a lot of lot of psychiatrists, a lot of Family Physicians, when confronted with emotional issues that the patients are going through, just immediately want to throw drugs at it. And I’m just like, like, Okay, here’s a great example. My mother in law when her husband died, they’ve been married for like, Good God, 45…50 years, and he died. And she was lost without him. And she was crying and she was grieving, which is normal. Well, within the first two weeks, her family physician was like, oh, we need to put you on a on an antidepressant. And I looked at her and I said, Hell, no, you’re not going to do that you’re grieving. You’re going to allow yourself to feel the emotions, you’re going to vent. To us family members, you’re going to allow yourself to grieve, this is normal. If you were completely not crying and not grieving that your husband of 50 years just died, I’d be really worried. So you know, especially because Rogelio was just an awesome guy. So, so a lot of physicians want to pathologize normal feelings, and you don’t want that! You want to see if it’s clinical or not.

Now, the difference between clinical depression and situational depression, clinical depression is where the brain is simply unable to produce any of the feel good chemicals, like you don’t want to eat, you don’t want to get out of bed, you’re not bathing, you’re not taking care of yourself, you have suicidal thoughts, ideations, etc. So, um, that’s clinical, that’s clinical, you know, it’s like you’ve lost joy and things you used to like to do, there’s no joy at all, nothing tastes good, nothing feels good. You don’t want to go anywhere, you don’t want to see anything you can’t, like I said, you can’t take care of yourself. That’s clinical depression, situational depression is a death, a divorce, a loss of some sort, something sets you back, but you still have those moments of coming kind of up out of it and being able to be happy, and maybe going back down into it, and then coming back up out of it, do you see where I’m going with that? So, and though if that’s a pattern of down and, and sort of up to normal, and that’s been lifelong, that could be a form of bipolar. So, you know, there’s, you want to get with a good physician is basically what I’m saying not one that’s just gonna throw drugs at you. Okay. So sorry, I got off on a tangent.

So patience is something that we do not learn from our abusers. We don’t. It has to be learned from ourselves and I still on occasion, struggle with that so especially if I’m dealing with technical logical stuff I just literally after like five minutes, throw my hands up in the air and go, John! I just don’t have the patience! Patience is a learned behavior it is and it’s really important to start cultivating that now I’m probably never going to have patience with technology ever. Technology is my, my foe. But like with other things, the more important things having patience with other people, having patience with ourselves. It’s more of a grace kind of thing. It’s more of a forgive yourself kind of thing. Be patient with you. And out of that be patient with other people, but not to the point where they’re abusing you. Does that make sense?

So, the difference between compassion, idiot compassion, okay. So patience is learned, and our abusers are always impatient. Have you ever noticed that? Have you ever noticed how they always rush their kids and are always screaming at their kids? Come on, get dressed, get your clothes, we got to go. Where are you Dawdling? Dilly dally, you know, why are they doing that? You know, kids are kids. Chill, you know, so but they do that. And they have no patience, because they’re literally the type that if they say jump, they expect you to ask how high and if you don’t, it makes them very, very, very, very angry. So, because to them, it’s a threat to them. It’s a threat that you didn’t immediately acquiesce to their demands, needs wants, whatever. So, if we don’t learn patience from our family of origin if we had abusers that raised us.

Kris Godinez  40:59

So learning Patience is a multi-pronged process. It’s forgiving yourself. It’s working on the self-esteem, it’s understanding, nobody’s perfect. Everybody makes mistakes, and do you really have to jump down their throat for that? No, you don’t, you don’t have to do what dad or mom, or grandma or grandpa did, you know have some grace, have some grace for yourself have some grace for other people. And that’s a really hard thing for survivors of abuse. A lot of us because we had abusers that had no patience, what so ever.

So things that help with patience, are meditation, exercise seriously, because then you get to be by yourself exercising, thinking things through working things through, you know what I’m saying? Journaling, writing, those are all things that help cultivate patience. And one of the main questions I get a lot is well, I want to be over this now. Well, yeah, don’t we all. You know, it takes time, guys, it takes time. And it takes practice, meaning, you can’t just go to therapy and expect the therapist to fix you, the therapist is there to hand you the tools. Here’s the hammer, here’s the nails, here’s how you use them. Let me show you, okay, great, you got it. Now go home and practice. And that helps you start doing it on your own, you know, so you got to practice in between each session, you got to practice whatever the therapist is teaching you. So, if we don’t practice, and if we just expect to go to a therapist and go, watch and not take in the tools and not learn the tools, and not go home and practice with them, we’re never going to get better, we’re going to get stuck in our story is what’s going to happen. So if you’re with a therapist, that’s just letting you get stuck in your story, and you’re telling your same story over and over and over and over. And there’s no interventions from the therapist, like we’ll have you tried this, let me show you that, you know, that kind of thing. And if you’re like doing the Yes, but you’re never gonna get better. You got to take the tools, you got to go out, you got to practice, it’s just like playing an instrument, you know, if you don’t practice, you’re not going to get better. If you’re only practicing while you’re in the room with Maestro, you’re never going to get better, you got to go practice on your own. So that’s where therapy is I think failing a lot of people is that there are therapists out there that are just you know, collecting a paycheck and letting the person get stuck in their story. So, know if you’re getting stuck in your story. Look for a different therapist, you need somebody who’s going to give you tools, teach you how to use them, and then send you on your way and tell you hey, I expect you to practice. That’s what I tell my clients, I expect you to practice this stuff, I assign homework assignments, I expect you to do it. And if they don’t, then I say you know what? We’ve been at this for six months now and you’re not doing anything for yourself what’s going on? I’ll ask them and then if they’re like, oh, I don’t have the time. I don’t want to do it. What are you worth it? Well, buh, buh, buhs Okay, well, here’s the deal. If I’m not helping you, then I’m not going to take your money. Because there’s no point because this is not what I’m in it for. So you need to do the work. You need to work on yourself, you need to practice otherwise, I’m going to need to refer you out to someone else because obviously I’m not helping and I don’t want to be an enabler. And usually at that point, they start working. So that’s, that’s really what a good therapist does. If you’ve got a therapist is not doing that. That’s just allowing you to get stuck in your story. Fire them! Get somebody else because you need tools. That’s really what it is all about.

Okay, after I escaped a couple of months ago, I’ve left some very emotional things and personal creations. Tons of my data on CDs Should I ask a familiar to get it? But I’m afraid they are monkeys. Oh, that is a sticky wicket indeed! So this is the thing that I hate about abusers is that they, if they know it’s important to you, they will either destroy it intentionally, lose it intentionally, use it against you intentionally, hold it over your head as a way to emotionally blackmail you, you know, like, oh, well, you know, I’ll let you come get it if you come over to the house, or if you agree to meet me for dinner, or, you know, that type of thing. So generally, what I tell people is, if you’ve left stuff over there, that’s important to you.

Kris Godinez  45:47

And if you weren’t married, I’m not quite sure how this could work, I suppose what you could do is you could ask them, if you can come get it, they’re probably going to say no, or they probably said they’ve destroyed it or whatever. If you’re asking a flying monkey, that too, is a dicey situation. Because if they’re a flying monkey, they’re they’re probably playing the game that the abuser is playing. Honestly, I tell people, let it go. Let it go. It’s just stuff, let it go. It’s just stuff I know it has emotional value. I know that means something to you. But ultimately, it means a connection to the abuser, let it go, it’s not safe. Because they look for ways to stay connected, they would rather have an effed up, dysfunctional, harmful, hurtful, toxic relationship with somebody than no relationship at all, because they love the drama, and they need the narcissistic supply. So, if these people are flying monkeys to this person, and you ask them to get your stuff, you’re probably going to create some sort of Drama Triangle, or you’re going to create some sort of continuing to harm situation. So, I would say let it go, let it go. Just I hate to say it and sucks. It does. So, um, you know, if and if there was anything important on there, like anything they could use against you. You could talk to an attorney and find out what your rights are. Because I’m not sure what your rights are. If it was not a marriage, and you’re breaking up, and they’ve still got your stuff, I think you can still call the police and ask them to come over and watch while you get your stuff out of there. But you would have to contact the person first and say, hey, I want my stuff back. And then they would have to say, No, you can’t have it, blah, blah, blah. And at that point, then you could contact the police and ask them to escort you over there. And guard you basically while you get your stuff. So, talk to an attorney, that would be more of a legal question, I think, Okay, hang on. But in general, I tell people leave it, it’s not worth it. It can be replaced and if it can’t be replaced. You’ve got it in your head, your heart, you know, let it go. Because that’s just another way that they can they can abuse you. Alright,

Mmm hmm. Okay. Could self-esteem be considered pride? No. Okay, here we go. Let me explain this again. You can be proud of yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re boastful and prideful, that’s ego. Okay. So, like, say for example, you do something that you were always afraid of, right? Like you broke out of that abusive bond that you had going like they said, Oh, you’ll never be able to graduate. You’ll never be able to do this. You’ll never do and you you do. You can enjoy the moment and have pride in yourself for having done something you were afraid of. Okay. pridefulness However, ego so pridefulness is when we go look at me. Look at me. Look at me. I’m so fabulous. tell you how fabulous my Am I but I’m the greatest. This is the greatest thing I’ve ever done. You know instead of just like, Hi, I’m really proud of myself. So, the difference between self-esteem and having pride for ourselves and ego, narcissism, prideful, boastful, is this… self-esteem is just that quiet voice inside of us that says, Hey, good job. Keep going. I’m proud of you. Good job. I love you. Have a great day. That’s self-esteem. Ego, boastfulness is looking at other esteem. I need to impress these people so that they can reflect back to me how great I am. Look at how great I am. Look at all these wonderful things I’ve done. Look how fabulous I am. Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba. Okay, I’m the greatest thing ever! You know? No, that’s, that’s ego. That’s narcissism. Okay. So that is the difference between the two. You can be proud of yourself. Absolutely.

Kris Godinez  50:21

So here’s the thing. Let me I’m gonna use myself as an example. My dad, bless his heart. If you’re from the south, you know what I’m saying. My dad constantly told me I was the cute one, not the smart one. And that I would never be able to graduate and I would never be successful and all of this stuff. So, I graduated with my master’s I run my own business, I have this show I tour. Eventually, when COVID goes away, it is, you know, it’s safe. So, you know what I mean, endemic instead of pandemic. So anyway, the point being is he constantly told me I couldn’t do any of this stuff. And so, when I was able to do all of this stuff, I was able to go, Wow. That I could do all this is pretty cool! You know, it wasn’t like screaming to the world. It wasn’t like, you know, tell me how great I am. It’s like, Hey, I did that! I overcame this mountain that my abuser put up for me this, this wall, this cliff, this nastiness saying no, you can’t No, you can’t. No, you can’t. And wow, I can! No, it’s pretty awesome. That’s pretty cool. You know? Whereas if you’re going to be prideful and boastful, you’d be like, Oh, look at me and so fabulous. Look at me, tell me how great it No, I don’t need that. I don’t need tell other people to tell me. I know what I’ve done. I know what I’ve overcome. And I’m proud of myself for that. And I’m proud of myself for being able to use that as a way to help other people. Do you see where I’m going with that? So it’s like, it’s the difference between proud of yourself and prideful, boasted. Okay. So yeah, so when you overcome something that an abuser has just slammed in your face, and it’s a wall, and you never thought you’d overcome it, and you do, it’s perfectly okay to be proud of yourself. Good job. You did good. Absolutely. Absolutely. And it’s okay to take that moment to stop at the top and look back and go, damn, look how far I’ve come. You know, it’s like, that’s a long way. I’m really proud of myself. Holy cow. And that’s okay. Because you’re telling yourself that you’re proud of you. That’s the difference. boastful, prideful, narcissists scream to the world, tell me, tell me, tell me tell me how great they are a black hole of a seething black abyss is the best way I can put it. And there is not enough praise in the world that is ever going to fill that abyss. And they wouldn’t accept it anyway. They basically want anybody dead that loves them, because they don’t feel love, and they get angry and jealous that other people love and they don’t. And that’s why they want their targets of abuse, dead. So, the difference between self-esteem, other esteem, self-esteem is just you being proud of yourself, and happy for you and joyful for you. Other esteem is tell me I’m great. Tell me I’m great. Tell me I’m great. That’s other esteem. That’s prideful. That’s dangerous. That’s no bueno. You see where I’m going with that? Okay, I hope that explains it. All right.

Um, how can we trust our own perceptions after a lifetime of gaslighting years of no contact and therapy, and I still feel like I’m a horrible daughter, oh, Okay. So, get with a good trauma therapist, because a good trauma therapist would start addressing the guilt. So, the way that abusers control us from beyond the grave, and this is going to be another topic that I’m gonna have a few weeks out is talking about, you know, aging, narcissist, aging, parents, you know, dealing with the toxic parents as they age, wills, inheritance, etc.

Kris Godinez  53:21

This is a way that they control from the grave is that they instill this fear, obligation and guilt. So, any relationship, especially a parental relationship that makes you feel fearful, obligated or guilty is a toxic relationship. And that is pointing at them, not at you. Okay? So, every single abusive parent out there loves to tell their kids that they’re the worst person ever on the face of the planet. And how dare you and you’re not good enough and you owe me I gave birth to you. I carried you for nine months. I, I put a roof over your head. What are the other things that I’ve heard? People say, you know, you owe me. You should feel guilty. I gave up my career as a whatever, in order to take care of you like it’s your fault. What the frick? Do you see where I’m going with that? So, any relationship fear, obligation guilt? You write a letter to the guilt, dear guilt, guess what, here’s how a good parent would act. A good parent is loving, kind, supportive. They’re physically, mentally, emotionally, there… they’re not checked out. They’re not drug addicts. They’re not alcoholics. They’re not off doing their own things. You know, they’re with the kids. They’re there for them. They create a safe, emotional environment like we were talking about. They help the child to become a complete and whole and safe human being so that they can go out into the world and enjoy the world and be safe. Okay, if they didn’t do any of that stuff, then guess who the problem is? It’s not you. That’s spoiler alert. It’s not you. It’s them. So, you want to definitely start working through that. So, if your therapist is not working on the guilt, if you’ve got to vocalize this to us, because we’re not mind reader’s, I mean, well, we can sense stuff but we’re not mind reader’s now, we don’t know specifics. So, it’s like, if you’re feeling guilty, you’ve got to speak up, man, I feel so guilty, because I keep hearing my critic in my head saying, Oh, you’re a terrible daughter. Oh, you’re the worst daughter ever. Well, that’s when the therapist should be going. Let’s address the inner critic. So, what you’re going to do is something called thought stopping thought stopping is where you go.

Kris Godinez  55:49

Oh, here’s that horrible thought that I’m a terrible daughter. Wow, isn’t that interesting? Where’s this coming from? Who do you belong to? Because you’re not my thought. Who do you belong to? Oh, you belong to mom and dad. Fabulous. Well, guess what? Go play in traffic. Buh bye! I hear you, I see you, I’m not playing with you. Buy bye now! Go pound sand! Buh, bye now. But But seriously, you start working on that you write a goodbye letter to the guilt, you write a go pound sand letter to the guilt, you put it back on the abuser CPTSD from surviving to thriving by Pete Walker, put it back on the abuser. It’s not yours, don’t carry that don’t go to that luggage carousel and pick it up. It’s not your baggage, it’s theirs. So, remember, any relationship that causes fear, obligation, guilt, and tells you you’re a terrible person, and you’ve been working on yourself, you got to deal with this thought you got to deal with the trauma, you got to put it back onto the abuser, absolutely get with a different therapist, if they’re not, if they’re not helping you. If this is something that is circling around and circling around and circling around, and you don’t have the tools to deal with it, get with a different therapist, start working the CPTSD book, start working the inner child book, start working the self-esteem, but realize you’re worth what you’re worth, you got worth, you’re not a terrible daughter you have worth, you are worthy of your own love your own time and your own attention, regardless of what our abuser said, If we believed our abusers we’d all be dead, you know, because they want us dead. And they would tell us that we’re not worthy and that we don’t deserve our own time and love and attention, etc, etc, etc. So, anyway, there is that. Okay, couple more questions. And then I have time John we’re going we’re going over time. Okay. Um, okay, could self esteem Okay, no, I already answered that.

When can we trust your own perception? Okay, so unless we work on our own trauma, no, you cannot trust the inner critic. That’s the difference. So, perception and inner critic are two different things. The gut is our perception. The inner critic is up here in our head. Remember when I said the head lies, the heart lies the gut tells the truth. So, the inner critic is part of the head. The inner critic is going to be like, well, you’re this, that and the other thing you’re not good enough and you’re a bad daughter… thank you for your input go pound sand. Why? Because I say so. I am a good daughter. I am a good person. And I do deserve to be loved. And I deserve to love myself. Why? Because I say so. I am the boss of the inner critic. The inner critic is not the boss of me. So, work on that thought stopping. That’s another form of thought stopping you know, thank you for your input. Shut the bleep up. Why? Because I say so. I am a good person. Thanks for playing by. So, work on that. So, perception is the gut, inner critic is the head. So always remember that… never listen to your head. Listen to your gut. Okay, one more question.

Can a therapist cause an emotionally unsafe situation Absofreakinglutely!! Oh, good God! There are some bad therapists out there. Those are the ones that side with the abuser. Those are the ones who do not validate the client, make the client think they’re crazy. That… That pisses me off that really does because we’ve already gotten the whole you’re crazy from our abuser. The last thing we need is a therapist siding with the abuser and you know, harming the client. Does that make sense? So yeah, absolutely. There are narcissists and guys, listen to me. Now, believe me later. I know I’ve said this in other shows. There are narcissists in my profession. There are narcissists in the in the medical profession. There are nurses that are narcissists, there are narcissists that are judges. There are narcissists that are lawyers, they are attracted to positions of power. So anytime you’re dealing with a power differential, especially when you’re looking for a therapist, you’ve really got to be careful because yes, there are narcissistic therapists out there. And I talk about it in my book, which Andy, are you listening to me? I want it to come out this month.

Kris Godinez  59:52

So, in my book, I talk about a couple of people that I went through school with that have absolutely no business being therapists because they were in it for the power, they were in it to tell people, you know, they were great. And you let me tell you how great I am and what you need to do. And you’re this, that you’re the other thing, and I’m like no business being in my business. So yes, there are narcissists that are therapists and, and that’s what makes me angry, because it’s so difficult when you’re coming out of a relationship, you’re looking for help, and you get in with a bad therapist, that gives everybody a bad name, because that therapist ruins it for the person that’s trying to get help. So, I do I have done several videos in the past on what questions to ask your therapist, and don’t be afraid to fire them if they are not giving you what you need. If you don’t feel emotionally safe with them, fire them, fire them. And here’s the other thing. Once you have fired them, they should leave you the hell alone. I have heard stories, oh my god, from you guys out here from on my Facebook and from my practice, where when they fire the therapist, the therapist kept reaching out to them and trying to convince them that they needed to go back to them. When somebody fires me, which does not happen very often, but it does happen. Just doesn’t work. Whatever. I go, Okay, well, if you ever change your mind, I am right here. I am a phone call away. And that’s all I say. And it’s done. You know? So yeah, you want to trust your gut on picking a therapist. So go watch the videos I did on how to pick a therapist the questions you need to ask because you need to be interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you or me let you guys go. Have a wonderful week and I will see you in two weeks. Bye.

Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. You can always listen live on YouTube every week Sunday at noon, Arizona Mountain Standard Time. And if you want to find out more or listen to other episodes, you can go to Chris godinez.com and if you have a chance, subscribe to this show on whatever podcast app you use and let other people know about. I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

You’ve been listening to the podcast version of We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez.

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