We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez

03-06-2022 You Know You’re Growing When…
In This episode of We Need To Talk With Kris Godinez, Kris discusses the signs that therapy is working and that you are growing.

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.

Let’s start with today’s topic, shall we? Alright, so, how do you know that you’re growing? It is different for every person, let me just say that because growth is different for every person. So, um, therapy is different for every person. But let me just say that in the first year of leaving the abuse, it’s hard. It’s really, it’s hard. Because it’s like, it feels like when you leave the abuser, whether it’s a family abuse, whether it’s a boss, whether it’s a romantic relationship, it feels like sometimes that you take two steps forward and 20 steps back. And then sometimes it feels like you’re taking 20 steps forward, and then you go two steps back. So it is not a linear progression. It’s kind of circular is the way I kind of explained it just like going up a spring. You know, it’s like you may revisit some issues, but you’re revisiting it on a different level, which is one way to think about it. So. So yeah, the first year is the hardest. So let me just be clear with that. So you’re trying to find yourself the first year out. And it’s really hard to see your progression until you can get up on that bluff and look down and see the progress and find the path because when you’re in the middle of the forest, you can’t see anything. But if you can get up on a bluff and look down, then you’re like, Oh, there’s the path. Oh, that’s where I came from.

Okay, so journaling is a really good way to see your progression. Now, what I recommend with journaling, is that thanks, you guys, I really appreciate it. It’s been a really awful week. Um, with journaling, I really recommend that you do journal, toss the stuff that makes you feel awful, the bad stuff. So, like the angry letters that  Go screw yourself letters, those ones burn, but do keep a journal of like, okay, well, what are you working on? And how far how is that going? And how is the mirror work going? And how is the self-esteem work going? And how is the trusting your gut going, you know, that kind of thing. Keep a journal of what your progress is, because that helps you also go back through and read that. And then you have some sort of concrete thing to look at.

So I want to go through, um, let’s see, let’s get how do you know this is on psych com, And this is written by Jennifer Nelson. How do you know if therapy is working? So again, she points out that therapy is different for everyone. And that progress is different for everyone. It’s good to set expectations for therapy. So this is gonna sound silly, but I’m gonna say it anyway, you know, if you ever watched ghost hunters, because I love all the paranormal stuff. If you ever watched ghost hunters, Jay always asks, you know, what do you… what do you want out of this? And that’s kind of what therapists should do, too. It’s like, well…What do you want? What are the goals so that we have something concrete to work forward to? And a lot of times people will say, Well, I just want to feel better. Okay, well, what does that look like to you? Does that mean, happier? Does that mean you like yourself? Does that mean the inner critic is shutting down? Does that mean the outer critic is not as bad? Does that mean you know, so it’s really good to get some concrete goals, you know, what are you working towards? So we can kind of monitor this, that’s a good way to do it. Um, okay, so having concrete goals is a good idea. Um, all right.

And it also depends on how dedicated you are. So some people will say they want change and say they want to work on themselves, and then they don’t do the work. Or they come once every blue moon, which doesn’t do anything. You’ve got to have that consistent momentum got to keep working on it’s just like anything else, guys. The magic does not happen in the therapy session. The magic happens when the therapist hands you all the tools, teaches you how to use them, and then you go out and start practicing with them. That’s where the magic happens because Nothing makes me happier than when clients come back in and go, Oh my god, I did the mirror work, and I feel so much better. And I’m like, Yes, this is why I teach this because it actually works, you know. So that’s where the magic happens is taking those tools and using them out in the real world. You know, it’s great to sit in a session and do all of that stuff. But it’s taking the tools and then going out and, and working the whole lot. Okay, um, okay, how to track your progress in therapy. So, okay.

Are you experiencing change? Are you getting what you’re looking for? Do you feel more hopeful? That’s the most important part. So when you’re looking for a therapist, and when you’re with a therapist, there should be a rapport there. There should be that sense of safety. There should be that sense of being heard. There should be that sense of safety. Yeah, really? And are you feeling hopeful? Now, not every therapy session is going to be sunshine and roses, it’s not because we’re dealing with trauma. So some of it is going to be very challenging, some of it is going to be very heart-wrenching. Some of it is going to be remembering things that you’ve never allowed yourself to remember before. And sometimes clients freak out. And that’s normal. Because, you know, it’s like, oh, feelings. Wow, I don’t want to feel these feelings. Well, guess what? You got to feel the feelings, you got to feel it to heal it. So um, it’s, it’s are you… are you feeling more hopeful? So I do try to send my clients out on a high note, even when we’re dealing with the really rough stuff. It’s like, I’ll keep an eye on the clock. And I’ll make sure that I have enough time to remind them of how far they’ve come what they’ve been working on, you know, what, what is good about them. What is wonderful about them, and that there is hope. And that is the big thing, because when we get out of an abusive relationship, we have been, what’s the word

Kris Godinez 07:01

I’m looking for? It’s like surviving a black hole, like we’ve come out the other side of a black hole, and we don’t know who we are. We don’t know what we like, hope. What is this hope you speak of? Seriously, like we’ve lost that joie di vive we’ve lost that. Trust, we’ve lost that hope we’ve lost that joy. We’ve lost that. Everything. So do you feel hopeful? Do you feel not necessarily good every single time you leave therapy? But do you feel hopeful? Overall? Are you starting to regain that sense of that? Okay, the world, although the world does feel really dangerous right now, the world is generally filled with good people. And that’s important, because we tend to lose that when we’re with an abuser. Or when we see an abuser abusing, it tends to make us very, what’s the word I’m looking for? pessimistic? So you know, are you able to see that there are good people? Are you able to trust your gut? Are you feeling hopeful? That’s one way to know that you’ve been growing. Do you hear your therapist’s voice between sessions? Do you find yourself asking, What would my therapist do? Or say here? And you already know the answer, that means that the sessions are memorable? And that’s fantastic. When that first started happening? I was kind of like, really? You hear my voice? Oh, okay. But, you know, obviously, as I grew as a therapist, I was like, Yeah, this is this is a good thing, because it means that the therapy sessions are memorable. And then when something happens, the client is able to go, Okay, what would my therapist say, Oh, they would say this, and then act accordingly. And that’s what you want. So if you’re hearing your therapist’s voice, good, that means that your, your learning the sessions are memorable, you’re, you know, what your therapist would say, and you’re able to take the correct course of action, as opposed to being stuck in the inner child, the inner child is running the show, and you’re listening to the inner child, as opposed to the person that’s helping you guide yourself to independence. And this is the way to guide yourself to independence. Look at you, you’re listening to what your therapist would say, like, what would they say, Okay, this is what they would say, Okay, this is what I’m going to do. And then you do it. So congratulations. That’s awesome. You’re growing?

Alright. Um, you are are you thinking new thoughts? Are you thinking in new ways? You’re learning tools and coping mechanisms? So are you starting to do the thought-stopping so let’s say the inner critic starts going to town are you able to go? Oh, I see you. I hear you. We are not playing Have a nice day. Go pound sand. Goodbye. Why? Because I say so. You need to go bye. Bye now. Bye. Bye. Have fun. Bye. Go play traffic, you know. So are you doing that? Are you taking those tools and thinking in a new way? Are you looking at yourself in the mirror or catching your reflection and suddenly saying something nice to yourself as opposed to you know, Mia culpa, Mia culpa, mea Maximum culpa, you know, are you changing the way you think? So when a codependent thought pops up Oh, well, I need to do this first and wait, stop, stop. Do I really need to do this? No, I don’t. Do you see where I’m going with that? So it’s a new way of thinking. Or say, for example, you suddenly decide to do something just for you. I can’t tell you the number of times, clients coming out of abusive relationships feel guilty like nobody’s business when they finally do something just for themselves. For example, go get a massage, get a mani-pedi take a vacation, buy new clothes, get new shoes, you know, just something that, you know, healthy people that haven’t been in an abusive relationship wouldn’t even think twice about. But because we’ve been always made wrong for getting ourselves things or doing things for ourselves. Because they told us we were selfish because we obviously weren’t spending it on them. So guess who’s selfish production? Do you see where I’m going with that? So that you know doing things for yourself? You wouldn’t have done for yourself before. That’s huge. Bless you. Okay, John just sneezed. That’s why I said that. Are you taking new risks?

Kris Godinez 11:12

Are you taking? Are you doing new ways of being so one of the biggest risks, I think, for us is learning to trust our gut, and not allowing the abuse and the abuser to make our world small. You know, it’s like our world goes from Infinite to minuscule, because that’s what they want. So you know, you’re growing when you take the risk, like when you decide to go join a hiking group, or when you decide to go out to lunch with friends, or when you decide to go do something and not have to text the ex you know, that kind of thing. Because remember, abusers are always like, tell me where you are. Tell me who are you with? What are you doing baba, baba, you’re out of the relationship, you can go out with friends, you don’t need to tell anybody. You’re an adult. You don’t need to tell anybody. You can go have fun and not let anybody know. So the only caveat would be is if you’re traveling, and you need to make sure somebody knows where you are. But that’s a different, you know, thing. Anyway.

Um, okay. Uh, are your is your relationship with yourself getting better? Are you liking? Or at least tolerating who you are? Are you accepting who you are? Are you able to go? Yep, I was groomed by mom and dad, grandparents, whatever. This is how this happened. This is what I’ve been working on. And you know, I forgive myself for not knowing, because that’s the big thing. It’s like, are you able to forgive yourself? Are you able to accept yourself? Are you able to look at younger you, or the you that was in the abusive relationship and go, let’s have some grace here. You know, let’s have some grace here. You didn’t know what you didn’t know. You know, now, you know, now you can do a list of deal-breakers. Now you know what you don’t want. Good, good on you. Forgive yourself. Can you accept yourself? Can you start maybe possibly even maybe sort of liking yourself? That’s huge.

Is your relationships? Or are your relationships not just with yourself, but with other people getting healthier? Are you kicking out the toxic people? Are you noticing when somebody is toxic? Do you like I was… John and I were watching a movie yesterday. And then they were doing interviews with the actors. And we were watching it. And one of the actresses totally would not let one of the actors talk. It was so from my perspective, very interesting to watch. And I turned it I looked at John and he mouthed narcissist. And I went, Oh, yeah. Because there was no allowing the other actor to shine. And I was just like, oh, isn’t that interesting? And you know, in the past, you know, like, 20/30 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have noticed that. But it’s like, now I’m just like, Mm-hmm. It’s just like, with the waitress that walked out and said, it’s all about me, I’m a narcissist. And I went, Oh, please don’t spit in my food. Anyway.

So do I feel the therapist is doing more than just yessing me or providing a compassionate ear? There’s, there’s, you know, or are they providing a compassionate ear, that makes it safe for you to start exploring things that scare you. So you know, you’re making progress, if you trust your therapist, and you’re starting to open up about things that scare you, or things that you have never shared before? Because it wasn’t frickin safe. So, it is a beautiful thing when clients trust me enough to tell me something that they were terrified because they were afraid of being judged and not because I would judge them but because they were afraid of being judged. So when they finally realize I’m not going to judge them, I kind of need the information to help them you know, and then they’re able to share. That’s a huge sign of growth. Huge because we don’t trust we don’t it’s takes a lot for us to trust. So if you’re finally able to get a compassionate ear and somebody that you’ve trust, and you’re starting to share things that you know, you have not shared before, and you’re starting to work on them, then that’s that.

Is my therapist giving me relevant resources and techniques to use outside of therapy? And am I using them? So are you investing in yourself? Are you taking those tools that the therapist is handing you like the mirror work, like the self-esteem, like the inner child, like CPTSD from surviving to thriving by Pete Walker? Like all of the books I recommend? Are you taking those nuggets of wisdom and putting them into practice? Are you using them? Are you catching those thoughts? Are you doing the work? Are you investing in who you are? So that’s the thing that drives me crazy is when people Oh, when I used to do couples therapy, because I don’t like doing couples therapy. That’s why I do individual now because I just like a no, thank you. But when I used to do couples therapy, inevitably, the one that was the problem in the relationship would say something along the lines of well, we can’t afford couples therapy, we can’t afford this. And I’m like, really? Can you afford a divorce? Because that’s where this is going? You know? So it’s like, are you invested? Are you willing to take care of yourself? Are you willing to do what’s needed? Are you willing to go get you know, physical help, as well as mental health? Are you working on you in all ways ecumenically? Are you doing the physical, the mental, the emotional, spiritual? Are you investing in becoming the person that you were meant to be? Basically, before the abuser came in and decided to completely mess up your world? So that’s, that’s another way to know that you’re growing isn’t it? You realize you’re worth it, you’re worth it. Hello, you are worth your own love your own time, and your own investment? You know, you’re, you’re worth it. You’re worth it. Are you starting to recognize that? Do you get that, that way of thinking that that abuser is completely ferklimped? Do you get that? Do you get that they’re cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs? Do you get that? Do you get that you deserve to be happy? Do you get that you deserve to work on yourself? Is it scary? Heck, yeah. Do we have to deal with emotions and feelings and things like that, that make us uncomfortable? Yes. Growth is not sunshine and roses all the time. Sometimes it is really, really, really uncomfortable. But once you start working with it, it’s not nearly as scary as you think it is. And it’s not nearly as horrible as you think it is. Is it uncomfortable? In the moment? Yes. But you start working with it, you grow through it, and you’re able to deal with it. So there is that? Okay, okay.

Do you have increased resilience and the ability to bounce back when facing challenging situations? So for example, for us, panic attacks are part of PTSD. You know, it’s like, are you able to recognize when you’re in a panic attack now for me, sometimes not always. But sometimes that panic attack just takes me and I’m already doing the hyperventilating before I go. I’m having a panic attack. You know, it’s so can you catch it, and realize that you’re having a panic attack, and then take the steps to self soothe to breathe? To calm the system down? You know, Can you do that? Do you have resilience? Or let’s say that the panic attack just takes us because sometimes Oh, man, with this last week? Yeah. Sometimes it just takes you and you just find yourself in the middle of a panic attack is like, okay, it’s I’m just gonna let it wash over me. Okay, there it is. Yeah, I know what it is. I know what’s going on. Okay. And then you come out of it. And you go, Okay. There it is. I had a panic attack. And you know what, I’m still lovable. I’m still worth self-love. I am still worth caring about myself. It doesn’t mean anything other than I had a panic attack. Oh, well, there it is. PTSD. Hello. CPTSD? Hello. You know, that’s probably always going to be with us even working on it years and years and years later, when you get triggered enough. Yeah, you’re gonna probably either have a full-blown or you’re going to start to go into one and then you’re going to be able to go up well, okay, you know, breathe. It’s okay. Everything’s fine. This is fine. I love that shirt that I have. It’s, I’m fine. This is fine. Everything’s like, you know, so just humor. Humor is a good way to know that you’re starting to get it. Okay. Um, okay, resilience, hugely important. Um, and remember when you are going through this healing from abusive childhood abusive, romantic relationship, abusive boss, whatever. It takes anywhere from, you know, a year to 18 months to start seeing consistent progress. And especially if you’re not hitting it, like weekly or even every other week, it takes a lot longer to get things rocking and rolling, which is why I suggest every other week because I do assign an awful lot of homework. Because it’s important to start working on this stuff. It’s important to start getting it going. It’s important to start dealing with it. It’s important to work on it daily, you know, so there is that article, so I want to do a couple of other ones. I’m okay, where’s the one I wanted to see signs that therapy is working for yourself? Oh, no, that’s not what I wanted. Hang on.

Kris Godinez 20:36

Hang on. Okay, all right. All right, again, is your mood improving? Are you feeling better? Are you feeling happier? Are you feeling more secure? Are you feeling hopeful? Are you feeling whatever is your mood improving? So remember, when we leave an abusive relationship, the first year is super hard, because those jackwagons have basically taken an egg beater and gone in our heads, and so undoing the fog, the fear of the obligation, the guilt, undoing all of the societal stuff, especially if we leave an abusive family and we’ve got idiots, flying monkeys going, Oh, Honor thy mother and father even though the mother and father were completely toxic and completely damaging, and you should have absolutely nothing to do with them. You know, so you’re dealing with not only the, the abuser or the abusers, but you’re also having to deal with the toxic flying monkey. So that first year is really challenging. It’s not impossible, but it is challenging. So just realize it takes a while to get things going.

And, you know, look to see your moods, I like it when people keep a mood tracker, you know, how am I doing? What is, what is my mood and having the up and down moods, totally normal, totally normal one day, you’ll be fine. Next day, you won’t, you know, one minute you’ll be fine. Next thing, you know, next thing you won’t and it depends on what the triggers are. It depends on you know, how your brain is processing this. So oftentimes what happens is with an abusive partner, or even a family it’ll be the first thing we think of in the morning and the last thing we think of it at night and that’s when you have to start doing the thought-stopping that’s when you have to start doing the due to you’re not living in my head and free one more second Have a nice life and my Have a nice life. I didn’t go pound sand goodbye by now. But do you see where I’m going? So yeah, it’s, it’s that first year is really hard because you have to retrain your brain not to constantly be focused on the abuser because what did the abuser do? Fear, obligation guilt to keep us focused on them. So yeah, it’s a new way of thinking, okay, um, okay, moods, moods and emotions have improved, your thinking has shifted, your behaviors have changed.

So especially with the codependency, you’re no longer killing yourself, and saying yes to everything, you know, it’s like, you’re taking a step back, and you’re saying, No, thank you, and I mean it, you know? So yeah, that’s, that’s a behavior shift, you know, instead of, you know, and this is where flying monkeys and other abusers don’t like it is because once you start figuring out the codependency, and the fact that you’ve been putting yourself on the back burner, and you start saying, no, they don’t like it. So that’s how you start knowing who’s toxic is people who don’t respect your boundaries. So you start putting up boundaries. That’s a behavior change that is huge, huge saying no, and meaning it and not feeling guilty or maybe having a twinge of guilt but then being able to go thank you, buh bye complaint traffic, oh, by, you know, that’s a behavior change. So those are the things to be looking for.

Okay, um, your relationships with yourself and others are better you have a better life satisfaction. So when we’re with an abuser, that negative, negative, negative, negative, Nellies negative No, never good enough. Bla bla bla bla, you know, it’s like you’re always on eggshells, and you’re always trying to make it better and you’re always you know, and then it’s like when you get rid of the abusers whether it’s family or romantic. Not on eggshells anymore. I can go to the grocery store and not have to check in Oh my god. Wow. Yeah, new way of being so that’s kind of another sign of growth. Um, you’re happier about it. And here’s the other thing it says your diagnosis change. So with PTSD and CPTSD I don’t think that’s ever really going to go away. We’re gonna have flashbacks. We are I mean, because anything that reminds me of my dad, if it’s bad enough, I will have a flashback. If it’s you know, if it’s somebody that you know, reminds me of my dad and they’re in my face fight, flight, freeze or faun I’m the fighter and then, then my next option is to flee. So that is there as well. So, yeah, those things I think always stay and let’s say that they got depressed, you know, depression you got, you got diagnosed with depression, that diagnosis should change or you got diagnosed with anxiety that diagnosis should change as you’re able to use the tools that your therapist has handed you. And that is a conversation to have with your therapist. So yeah, and here’s the other thing. I hate it when therapists, bad therapists trying to make therapy this mystical thing that nobody should…bulltinky, you should be talking to your clients about what the treatment plan is what you’re doing, how are they doing? You give them reassurance you let them see what you see, you know, and I do that for my clients. It’s like, especially when a client is like, you know, kind of having a backsliding and I have to be like, Oh, well, let’s look at how far you’ve come. Let’s look at point A to point where you are now, which is like, P. You’re doing really good. And let’s look at all the little steps you’ve taken. You know, so that’s a really good way to do it. Talk to your therapist, and the therapist should be open and honest. And you know, not this mystical. I’m a guru on the I hate those kinds of therapists. I just, yeah, don’t get me started. All right. Um, okay. Okay, diagnosis changes. Okay, got that one.

Okay, there’s one more four pillars of effective therapy. And this is by is on psychology today. Oh, here we go. Emma Newman, and Grant Brenner. So there’s four pillars of, of therapy. So the four horsemen of therapeutic success, self-acceptance, full self-acceptance occurs when people accept all versions of themselves, the good, the bad, the ugly, you know, how we were before how we are now, you know, in all of that, we’re able to see that we are lovable, and respected by the people in our lives, we understand that we are multifaceted beings and accept ourselves fully contingent on the extent of self-knowledge when effective therapy improves self-acceptance, self-knowledge, also known as self-understanding, this is realized in enjoying a robust, clearer view of themselves and their life circumstances, we are aware of the different perspectives and feelings in any given situation. And as well as understanding our own emotions, and actions. Expansion of accurate self-awareness grounded in self-acceptance is one hallmark of effective therapy. So a lot of times, clients will come out of abusive relationships, and I know I’m going over time, I will hit the questions, clients will come out of abusive relationships, and they will tell me that they are unlovable, and I’m like, oh, according to who you are infinitely love able, lovable, you are able to be loved, you are able to love and you are able to be loved. narcissists don’t love. They don’t have emotions the way you and I understand them. So when somebody comes out of that kind of relationship, they have the mistaken thought the mistaken belief that they are lovable, because, you know, the abuse or abuse, whether that was a parent or a romantic relationship, or whatever.

Kris Godinez 28:28

Whatever. So yeah, you are lovable, you are totally lovable. And so getting rid of that false narrative is hugely important. And that’s also a sign of growth is when you’re able to hear that false narrative and go, this is not even my thought. I’m sending you back to the sender, Return to sender address, unknown. Goodbye, bye-bye now. Bye-bye. You know, that kind of thing.

Relationship Quality, people who feel as though they’re understood and supported by the people in their lives experience a more fulfilling relationship during therapy and after it has ended we see improvements in our relationships and derive greater satisfaction within them a marker that therapy has been accepted, effective. So again, this means getting rid of the toxic people in your life, you are not going to get blood out of a turnip. So if you keep surrounding yourself with toxic people, if nothing changes, then nothing’s gonna change. But if you start getting rid of the toxic people in your life and you start getting healthier people in your life, your relationships will improve. As you improve your relationship with yourself. You get to improve the relationships with the people around you, which is pretty darn cool.

Okay. consideration of others. This includes empathy wherein patients are able to consider and understand other perspectives and feelings. As well as compassion the motivation to act on to relieve other suffering Prior research has identified mentalization as a key development accomplishment covering our capacity to sense our own inner reality while also showing understanding of the validity of others. Reality. So in other words, we get rid of that black and white thinking all or nothing good, bad black, white, that’s what we learn from abusive parents. And we kind of learn it too, from abusive romantic partners, because in their world, it’s all good, you know, it’s all, nothing, good, bad black white my way or the highway. So having the ability to go, I see your point, and I can still maintain mine is vital, you know, because in a healthy relationship, you’re with a partner, you need to be able to hear their opinions or their points of view, and yet still maintain what you know, to be right for you and then find some sort of mutually agreeable compromise. But with abusers, they don’t compromise, there is no compromise for them. It’s a win-lose situation, they have to win at all costs. So one of the, one of the articles I was reading was also on psychology today, and I will talk about this more when I talk about bad therapist, um, the client, clearly personality disorder, viewed the therapy session as a win-lose, and so he had to win the over the therapist. In other words, make sure that the therapist couldn’t help him, you know, Help me Help me Help me, but I’m not going to do anything that you suggest. And you’re a terrible therapist, that’s narcissists do that they go into therapy sessions to either make the therapist wrong and prove how smart they are. Or they go into therapy sessions with an untested, therapist that doesn’t really know much about personality disorder so that they can continue to manipulate so yeah, so I mean, that doesn’t, you can’t walk into a therapy session and be there to win. It’s not about winning, it’s about you growing, it’s about you growing, get the ego out of the way. That’s why That’s why narcissists don’t get better because that’s how they view therapy sessions is is a win-lose situation, if the therapist gets me to start thinking about emotions I’ve lost. That’s why they don’t get better, guys. That’s why they don’t get better. Okay. Um, okay.

So I think that pretty much talks about that is this one, what I want you to look out to, okay, moods are improving, thinking has shifted behaviors changed. Relationships are better, better life said again? Yeah, yep. Okay, I think we’ve covered it. Alright. So there are lots of ways to tell that you are growing, there are, I suggest keeping a journal, keep imager, keep a keep a thing about, you know, where you kind of where you started? And then journal, you know, what are you learning? Where are you going? What are you feeling? How are you feeling? How old do you feel? How is this relating to the family of origin, how you know, and all of the accomplishments.

So sometimes we forget even the little victories or victories. So in dealing with an abusive family, you’re able to get away with victory number one, hello, thank you. You’re able to get away from them. And then oh, look at that. You’ve got your own place. Victory. Number two, victory. Number three, you’ve got a job that your family didn’t get for you so that they couldn’t, you know, interfere and sabotage. Wow, that’s awesome. You’re, you’re starting to trust your gut, you’re starting to date again. You’re starting to you know, as you progress on, I would not recommend dating in the first year. Please don’t do that. So you know what I’m saying? It’s like, there’s ways to show that you are growing so little victories or victories you take them because we kind of do baby steps, guys, Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps. Okay. So I hope that helps you guys. kind of know how you’re growing and signs to look for. So yeah, anyway, there’s that. Alright, let’s get to the questions. All right.

Why does the narcissist My mother wants me dead? Who Lord and mercy are? The shorter answer is they’re evil. The long answer is they’re evil. And they do not feel they do not have that empathy called you and I can watch things about the Ukraine and be in tears. And a narcissist wouldn’t bat an eye. Their attitude is would doesn’t have anything to do with me. Why should I care? Okay, they don’t feel the way you and I feel you and I see somebody suffering and it’s devastating you and I see animals suffering and it’s devastating you and I see things happening. And it’s it affects us because we actually have, oh, I don’t know, a soul. You know, they don’t I mean, they do have a soul, but you know what I’m saying? They don’t have a conscience. They don’t have a conscience. They do not care. They don’t and we in our Pollyanna kind of thinking we keep projecting onto them. We keep hoping that they’re going to wake up. We keep hoping that they’re going to have a you know, V8 moment. It’s like, oh my god, I should have a conscience. I should. I should feel about this. I need to Holy Cow I treated this person this way I need to feel about it, but they don’t guys they don’t. And when they see somebody having something that they don’t have, if they can’t manipulate whatever it is they want out of that person. Okay? So a lot of times, abusers will not a lot of times all the time, abusers will get involved with somebody because of their qualities, because the person is caring because the person is loving, because they’re funny because they’re, they have Joie de vive, because of all that, and then they start just sucking it out of them, and sucking it out of them. Because some sick part of them thinks that they can get it by osmosis. And they think that by taking it away from us, that they’re going to become us, and they never do. Cuz they’re crazy. And they’re evil. Let’s just, they’re evil. Sorry, not playing they’re frickin evil, you know, dark triads, evil, period, they do not change. And they want us dead, because they somehow figured out they’re never going to be us. They can’t feel. So if they can’t have it, nobody can. It’s that whole crazy stalker thing of if I can’t have you, nobody can you see where I’m going with that? So yeah, that’s what they do. And that’s why the dark triads are stalkers. And that’s why the stalkers tend to say things like that. If I can’t have you, nobody can. If I can have the joie di vive, nobody can. If I can’t have the humor, nobody can if I can’t have the fill-in-the-blank. Nobody can. That’s why they want us dead guys. That’s why they want us dead. They want anybody who loves who feels, who doesn’t agree with them, who you know, has a different way of thinking they want them all dead, because they cannot stand not being the funniest, smartest, the brightest, the whatever, and the most feeling and if they can’t have those things they want you dead too and they do and they set about to soul kill you. There was a book I used to recommend called Soul killer or soul killers. It was French, written by a Frenchman, I’ll have to find it. I know got in the house somewhere. But anyway, they want us dead because they can’t have what we have. And so they don’t want anybody to have it. So, you know, God forbid, you should be able to leave them and go live your life. Why do you think they cyberstalk? Why do you think they stalk, stalk? You know, physically stalk? Why do you think they do all these things to try to stop us from being the person we were meant to be? Because they can’t stand it because it makes them angry as hell and jealous. And they want us dead because they can’t have what we’re having, which is a happy, normal life. So I hope that answered the question. I’m alright.

My trauma therapist asked me to invite my brother, who I love and he helps me but he has himself in constant contact and might be a flying monkey. Should I tell my trauma therapist? Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. A trauma therapist should, should have, coulda woulda, huh. They should understand that. So you just tell them point-blank. No, I don’t want my brother in therapy with me because they are in contact with my abusers. And I do not want this going back. I suspect he’s a flying monkey. You tell them that. And if they give you guff about that, but by but by trauma therapist, you go find one that knows they’re a hole from a hole in the ground. Okay, yeah, no, you should never… listen to me. Now, believe me later. Never do therapy with either a flying monkey or an abuser. Because all the flying monkey is going to do is in order to get approval from the abuser is run back to the abuser and tell them everything. And if you go with an abuser, the abuser is going to take whatever is said in therapy and twist it flip it around, and start screaming at you for bringing up stuff to the therapist. So don’t ever do that. Don’t ever go to therapy with those people. And yes, you absolutely bring it up to the therapist, you bring up your concerns and you say no, I don’t want my brother here. Thank you very much. And here’s the reason why. You know, and unless until the brother shows that they are trust worthy. You don’t do it. You don’t. start with your safety. It’s not worth your safety and a trauma therapist, above all people should frickin understand. If they don’t you fire their hind end and the rest of them, you know. So there it is. Okay. Um, okay.

How do you get over hyperventilating when learning your joys etc. Okay, so hyperventilating is going to occur just it’s just part of our it’s part of the panic attack. So when if you can catch the hyperventilating if you can realize that you’re hyperventilating because that’s usually the point when I finally go, having a panic attack. It takes me because sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it does. and hit me until I’m already at the stage. Okay, so as soon as I kind of find like clicks in my brain that I’m hyperventilating, that’s when I finally go, Can I hold my breath, and then I let it out really slowly, and I start reminding myself, I’m safe. I’m okay, everything’s fine. It’s alright that it helps also to have friends or family that are trustworthy, that can talk you through it. So if John is with me, when I’m having a panic attack, he’s usually able to say you’re having a panic attack, deep breath and hold it, you know, and then I know, crying at the same time, but you know, holding it and just, you know, that soothing, that soothing presence, it really does help to have friends. This is why oh, that’s the other thing. That’s the other way you know, you’re growing, is when you’re able to ask for help, because we have a bunch of trauma responses, and one of the trauma responses is not asking for help. So if you’re able to ask for help, that’s another sign you’re growing. You know, so that’s something to keep in mind. So yeah, so you just hold it and hopefully, you know, let people around you know, I’m prone to panic attacks, it happens. So if you see me having one just comfort, remind me to hold it. Let it out slowly and self soothe. So yeah, absolutely. So yeah, it’s gonna happen. It’s a sucky thing about PTSD and CPTSD.

How do you go from knowing you are worth it To actually feeling and believing it? Oh, okay. And AA, we have this little thing called Fake it till you make it. And it’s true. So basically, the mirror work, the mirror work, when you start doing the mirror work, you’re gonna feel funky Dunky you are you’re gonna be like, why this is stupid. Why am I doing this? I feel dumb. Blah, blah, blah. Do it anyway. Do it anyway, make it a habit. Just like we’ve made the critic habits because it is. So you start making the good stuff a habit and eventually you do start believing it and you start feeling it. So the nice thing is, is that my clients what I tell them when to do mirror work is not just going to be every once in a while daily guys daily, I still do mirror work. I still do mirror work. I’m 57 years old, I still do mirror work. So get up in the morning, brush your teeth catch your reflection Hi, how you doing good to see ya. I really like your you’re a good person. You know, you’re beautiful. You’re smart. You’re funny. I like you and your way I’ll give you permission to say no. Okay, all right. You know, you go about your day, but you do it daily do it daily, do it daily, do it daily, do it daily, do it daily, daily, because that it becomes a habit. And then when you catch a reflection you say nice things to you and I do that it’s like if I happen to see my reflection in a window or something it’s like I like that person. That’s cool. And I keep walking or really good today you know something, something nice. So it does become reality because the beginning we’re not going to believe it because mistaken thoughts mistaken beliefs.

Kris Godinez 43:07

They lied to us Hello. They gaslit us. Oh, you’re not lovable. You’re not a good person. You’re not this you’re not who the hell are you? Huh, you know, it’s like thank you liar, not playing and of course their BS becomes our internal critic. So you’ve got to really work on catching that thought and going Mm Hmm This isn’t even mine Wow, Return to Sender book by go pound sand book like a play in traffic but but do you see where I’m going with that? So yeah, so you do it repetitively until you do believe it. And you do start feeling it and it does happen. It really does. And then work the self-esteem workbook by Glenn Schiraldi, or you are a badass by Jensen Sincero or any self-esteem workbook, inner child workbook, start working that stuff, get back in touch with your feelings start feeling, it’s okay to feel that’s something else you can say during their work. Hi, good to see you have a great day. I give you permission to feel it’s okay. It’s scary, but it’s okay. You know, so start working on all of that. So, alright.

Where are we, um, how to prevent stressful, busy work periods, from compromising self-care at those times, I’m often worrying about job security, and I think I can’t afford time for self-care. You cannot not afford it. You cannot pour from an empty pot. So even in the worst of the COVID thing when we were in lockdown, and I was seeing 40/44 clients a week, I would still take time, especially take care of myself, you know, exercising, trying to eat as healthy as possible. You know, watching funny shows, you know, that kind of thing. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It can be a little Fix, you know, going for walks in the neighborhood. And of course, you know, taking Scotty for a walk and all that sort of stuff. So, um, yeah, you know, doing that little fix little things, little things you got to pour back in your own pot. So yes, when things get busy, and things get crazy at work, we have this tendency, and that’s part of that all or nothing thinking, it’s like, oh, I have to be completely focused on what No, you know, they got you for 40 Or maybe 50 hours. And then after that, you get to work on you, you get to take care of you, you must take care of you. It’s not an option, guys, self-care is really not an option because y’all are gonna keel over if you don’t do it. So you got to put yourself on the front burner, and you got to replenish your tea pot, because you cannot pour from an empty pot. So it’s just reminding yourself it’s like, okay, I’m really busy. Where can I take time? How can I take it, go take a hot bath, go, you know, go for a jog, go for swim, go walk, go, volunteer, go, you know, do something to pour back in your own pot. So yeah, and it’s just a matter of giving yourself permission. It’s okay to take care of you. It is even when things get scary. And even when it’s like, oh my god, you know, security, security, etc, etc. well, okay, your job is not going to mean anything to you if you’re not healthy enough to be here. So take care of you. You are worthy, you are worthy. You are perfect. Oh my God, you are worthy. Okay, so don’t forget that.

Okay. Um, how do you deal with lowering hypervigilance when outside I still have overloaded senses. That’s, that’s, again, PTSD, CPTSD, that is something that we are going to deal with probably for the rest of our lives, it gets better hold on. I feel that way. And I felt this way even before the pandemic, anywhere that was crowded. I hate malls hate that, or any place where there’s a lot of people concerts, things like that mean, I like the concert itself. But being with that many people makes me nervous. So it’s, it’s really a matter of, again, fake it till you make it. You know, talking yourself through it, I’m safe. I’m okay. Everything’s fine. I’m aware of my surroundings. And it’s okay to be aware of myself. It’s okay to be aware of your surroundings, guys, you’re always gonna have that little bit of hyper-vigilance you are. Like if I go into a restaurant, me enhance and feel the same way that I’m front enhancing. He’s a police officer, and he never sits with his back to the door and I don’t blame them. You know, I totally do it. I’d like being able to see who’s coming and going. So you know, it’s just something we do when we’ve been in life-threatening situations, whether it’s emotionally life-threatening or physically life-threatening. So there’s going to be a lot of hyper-vigilance is gonna pop up. And you just kind of have to do an assessment. Okay, I’m outside. Am I safe? Let me do a quick. Okay, yeah, no dangers. I’m good. Right standing down, I’m fine. Everything’s fine. And sometimes I have to do that. You know, especially if I’m in a crowded environment. I have to kind of be like, okay, everything’s fine. It’s good. I don’t need to be on high alert. Yes, this is a crowded restaurant, but I’m good. I don’t need to worry. You see where I’m going with that. So it’s always gonna be there. It sucks. But yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So you just you just kind of deal with it. And you have to do self-soothing. I think that’s the most important thing is it’s kind of like, how do I explain this, we got to keep living. You know, with CPTSD, we got to keep living, we cannot allow the CPTSD, because that’s what our abuser wants, they want us to lay down and die. And I say to that meh, you know what I’m saying? So they want us to make our world small. And the CPTSD makes our world small, by the triggers, by the hyper-vigilance by the flashbacks and all of that. So you just kind of got to go, Okay, it’s calculated risk leaving the house every day, I may have a flashback, I may have a panic attack, I may have a trigger. Oh, well, watch me deal with it. You know, and you just kind of I take that attitude. To me, it’s very much a warrior kind of thing. It’s very much a bring it BEEYOTCH watch me deal with it. I may not enjoy it, but watch me, you know, and you kind of got to take that attitude because otherwise, all of those, you know, triggers flashbacks, hyper vigilance, they start making your world small and you don’t want that because that’s what the abuser wants and you don’t want the abuser to win. And the best way to win is to live well, and living well means living, living, going out and doing going out and seeing going out and being going out and trying going out and you know, experiencing That’s what it’s all about. So, yeah, you gotta you got to take a deep breath and just self soothe and just be like, Okay, let’s assess the risks. Okay, we’re good. It’s okay. Yeah, I’m in the little hypervigilant. You know what? So what? I’m gonna do it. And then you do it. Is it difficult? Yes. But it does get easier with practice it really honest to God, because now I’m pretty much able to go out into crowded places and not have a complete panic attack. These go down. But you know, it’s like, I’m able to go okay, let’s, let’s take a risk assessment here. How is it okay? Yeah, it’s fine. I’m not crazy about it, but it’s okay. You know, so talk yourself through it. You self soothe, self soothe that’s the best way to do it. Okay. Um, how are we doing? Oh, taco cheese. Uh, alright. I think this is probably going to be the last question.

For the first time in many years, I almost had a panic attack because of something he said. Then I was fixated all day on that comment because he assumed incorrectly seems you took a lot of medication. Okay, so our abusers are going to say and do the most heinous nasty, going for the jugular thing. That’s who they are. That’s what they do. So anytime somebody says something cutting nasty, insinuating, vicious, and you know, it’s a load of crap, you gotta consider the source, and then send it back. They’re gonna think, whatever they’re gonna think that is simply the way they are going to be because they are heinous human beings. So they’re gonna say and do whatever they’re gonna say and do. You don’t need to convince them of anything. Anyone who is dedicated to misunderstanding you, you’re not going to change their opinion of you. They’re going to have whatever nasty opinion they’re going to have. So you go low to no contact, and you just consider a source and laugh at it. How pathetic that they have to say something cutting, say something nasty, say something vicious, just so they can feel good. Wow, how pathetic is that? Because honestly, life is about experiencing and loving it. Love is the highest power. You know, love as many people as you can send out as much love as you can. Send out as much love to the animals as you can pet as many dogs as you can pet as many cats as you can, and how pathetic that they will never know that kind of joy. Just from petting a dog, or petting a cat or giving a shoulder to a friend who needs consoling you know, they’ll never know that. They’ll never understand that. They’re pathetic. They’re pathetic. They are consider the source. Bye bye now. Don’t let it bother you. And if you need to write it out, write out a go screw letter to them dear abuser. You know, you said this and bleep bleep bleep bleep out of bleeping BLEEP you I no longer need to believe everything you say you don’t get to live rent free in my head. One more second. Go have a nice life and by go have a nice life. I mean, go pound sand, but by but by now trot up the barbecue. Read it out loud once. Burn it, let it go. Let it go. Don’t let them rent don’t want to live rent free up here. They don’t they don’t deserve your space in your head. They don’t they are pathetic. They are evil. Let them go. Okay. All right. That’s all the brain capacity I have. I can no longer brain today. So you guys take care yourself. Drink plenty of water. Get some exercise, get some sunshine. Yeah. And make sure to do the mirror work daily RMLs I will talk to you.

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.

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