We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez

09-04-2022 Adult Kids and Family Drama
In this episode of We Need To Talk With Kris Godinez, Kris discusses how to help your adult kids navigate family drama.


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. Ph.D. level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

Kris Godinez  01:01

Okay, so today, I wanted to again start with a current event thing and kind of talk about some current events. Hey, guys, so two women have gone missing recently that have made the news I’m sure there are more than just two women missing but two women in particular I wanted to talk about briefly before we dive into kids and family trauma and family drama. So the first one is Irene, and I’m probably going to say her name wrong Gakwa, Irene Gakwa was last seen in Gillette, Wyoming. The person of interest in this case is Nathan Hightman. Now, it’s suspicious because she has not been heard from since February. And this Nathan Heitmann has now got charges against him for fraudulently using her bank account, credit cards and one of the purchases made was boots and a shovel. So that’s not looking good. Family members have not heard from her since February. They’re desperate. They are in Kenya, they are wanting answers. So if anyone knows anything about this, please contact the Gillette Wyoming police department. It just… and she met them on Craigslist. She met him on Craigslist, and it was showing all of the signs of possible abuse. So, it’s just really scary to me.

Craigslist, internet dating. They’re not safe, guys. This is where the psychopaths live. That is seriously where the psychopaths will go to hunt. That is their hunting ground. So um, yeah, if you really, really be careful if you decide to start dating online, because this is their hunting ground. And of course, he went after somebody who didn’t have a firm grasp of the culture or the language or, you know, things like that. And yeah, so there’s that one.

(Unfortunattely, Eliza Fletcher was found dead two days after this recording) The other one is, let me get over here is Eliza Fletcher, she was the Memphis teacher that was kidnapped by Cleotha Abston. So, they have him in custody, but no sign of her. And that’s never a good sign. So, if anybody knows anything, please contact the authorities because the families are just in absolute agony right now. I can’t, I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose a family member to a predator and not know where they are or if they’re alive, or if they’re okay, so if anybody knows anything, please spread the word about those two missing women. Let’s see if we can get some information to the police departments and find them that would be great. And again, this was a kidnapping off the street.

So, the only people on the face of the planet that feel entitled to taking somebody is, are narcissists and psychopaths, dark triads, because they view us as objects like anybody as objects, not just women, they view men as objects, and that’s what they do. So, we need to find these two women and bring them home. So there that is so um, and I want to be very clear, psychopaths can be females, as well.

And if you were on my facebook page, I shared a story staying here in San Diego, out at the pool rescuing bees because bees fly into the pool. And so then I’d go and I’d rescue them and this woman came into the pool area and I said, oh, hey, be careful. You know, I’m rescuing bees and they’re on my shoes. So just you know, don’t step on them. So, what does she do? She kicks my shoes and smashes them on purpose. On purpose. She doesn’t know me from Adam. I don’t, I don’t live in San Diego. I don’t know these people. So, it just gleeful you know, on purpose smashed them like intentionally and I’m just like they weren’t hurting you, they were on my shoes. First of all, why do you feel the need to touch my property? Second of all, she intentionally squished the bees. And I’m just like, that’s a female psychopath right there. So, no compassion, no empathy, no nothing. So they are among us guys. Remember, it’s about 35 to 45% of the population is disordered. So you’ve got to be careful. I’m not saying you need to be paranoid, I’m not saying you need to, you know, never go out or anything like that. But just be aware, they are out there. And they’re looking for fights, or they’re looking for prey, or they’re looking for whatever. So just be aware.

Alright. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s dive into today’s topic. Okay, so today’s topic is kids, adult kids and family drama. So, we’re kind of bringing this up, because we’re coming into the holiday season, yay. And unfortunately, if there are disordered family members, there’s going to be drama, because narcissists, malignant borderlines malignant narcissists need drama and chaos, like the rest of us need oxygen seriously, because they cannot stand the idea of it being calm, and cool, and fun, and happy, you know, they’ve got to ruin it, they’ve got to create chaos, they’ve got to create anger. Those are the only things that they’re happy with, is anger and chaos. Anger is, the only emotion they get. Anger is the only emotion they get. Because that’s the only emotion they allow themselves to feel because it’s part of the fight flight freeze or fawn syndrome.

Kris Godinez  06:39

So anyway, so we’re coming into the holiday season. And when we’ve got adult kids, and somebody starts drama, and I don’t care who they are, I don’t care if it’s the other parent, I don’t care if it’s grandma, grandpa, cousins, whatever. It’s really important to guide your kids through this. Now, this is also why I talk about when you’re leaving an abusive relationship, too. If you’ve got children, get them into therapy, get them into trauma therapy, and if you need to, you simply tell the opposing parent, that’s the problem, that you’re getting him into trauma therapy to help them cope with the divorce. Okay, that usually is not threatening enough for them to stop them from getting therapy. However, if they’re really crazy. If they’re really a dark triad. Yeah, they’ll stop them from trying to get therapy because they don’t want to be exposed. They don’t want their secrets known. They don’t want whatever. So, or they’ll view the therapy as Oh, goody, goody, I’ll go in and talk to the therapist and smear you to them, etc. So which is why you’ve really got to find a good trauma therapist that understands high conflict divorces and get the kids in so that they’ve got a safe place to vent about what’s going on.

So let’s go forward. So okay, let’s say the kids didn’t get therapy, they couldn’t get there. Maybe the opposing partner or the oppose, the ex just wouldn’t allow it right? Or they would interfere with it, or they would whatever. So, again, with children, age-appropriate discussions, now, you never want to bad mouth, the disordered parents ever, because remember, there are 50% them but, you can call out behavior. That’s not normal behavior. That’s not how healthy adults behave. You know, I mean, and you can do it that way without coming straight out and going, look, your mom or your dad is a complete psychopath. You know, you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to do that. But you can call out behavior as they get older, age appropriate. Discussions about is this behavior normal? Is this behavior, how adults healthy adults behave?

You know, once they are adults, even though they’re 18 they’re still kids, guys, because the brain does not stop developing until age…. I think it’s late 20s 28/29 around in there. So, what I often hear… my dad did this, he was such a mother Clucker seriously. So as every kid turned 18, he would threaten to, you know, kick them out of the house, cut them off, you know, not guide them, not direct them, not help them not, you know, nothing he wanted, he wanted us gone he considered us a burden. So, you want to set your kid up for success. And just because they’ve suddenly turned 18 does not mean that they are now suddenly able to go out and make six figures and afford a house. But narcissists act like they should be, you know, psychopaths act like this. it’d be because to them, any amount of money spent on an adult child now is taking out of their fun money, etc. Except that they’ll never actually do anything with that fun money because it’s all about he who dies with the most toys wins.

So anyway, the thing of it is, is that you have to treat them age appropriate no matter what the drama is, no matter where in the family that drama is coming from. So even though they’re 18, and they’re technically adults, again, where are they emotionally, and that’s how you want to talk to them about the drama. And that’s how you want to guide them with the drama. Again, you do not want to be bad mouthing, because here’s something else that happens in families is like drama gets going, mom or dad, you know, tells the adult kid I can’t stand cousin Bertha, bla, bla, bla, bla, and then the kid runs to that side of the family and tells them everything that’s going on. So you want to be very careful how you say things, how you present things. And, for example, let’s say that you just call it out. It’s like, look, cousin Bertha does not behave in a way that is acceptable.

Kris Godinez  11:15

This is drama. I’m not going to play. If you want to get involved, that’s up to you. But let me tell you the consequences, if you do you know. So let’s say that cousin Bertha has started drama over Christmas. That’s a typical one. So cousin Bertha is, you know, wanting to invite the ex to Christmas, right? So hey, you’re welcome to go, I’m not going to go, but you’re welcome to go. And you know, or not, if you don’t want to, and then you go through all of the fears. Because a lot of times what comes up for kids is if the ex is involved and the fear is, is if they don’t go, then the ex is going to punish them. And it’s talking, it’s, again, you’re an adult, you don’t have to put up with that behavior. You don’t have to sit there and listen to abuse, you know, because by the time they’re 18, they can understand a little bit deeper and a little more. And also when they turn 18 You can start going Hey, have you read this book called The object of my affection is in my reflection coping with a narcissist by Rokelle Lerner might help. You know, and a lot of times when kids do read that stuff, they suddenly go, oh, shoot, that’s what I’ve been dealing with. Oh, my God. And that opens the dialog to start talking. So but sometimes not. Because remember abusers are what’s the word I’m looking for? Bastards. But they poison the children against the opposing parent. And that’s why I’m saying you got to nip that stuff early. By the time they’re adults, those thinking patterns are pretty set. And you could offer them to go to therapy with you like family counseling with a good trauma therapist that understands parental alienation. So, when you’re guiding your kids, or if they come to you and say, Hey, I’d like to repair our relationship, jump on it, find a good therapist, get that going, because you don’t want the ex to then step in and continue to roil the pot and take that opportunity away from you.

So, when trauma or drama, that too, when drama comes up in families and the kids are trying to navigate it. Help them with boundaries, that is going to be empower them with boundaries, empower them with the word no. So, a lot of kids are afraid to say no, a lot of adults are afraid to say no, why? Because we’ve seen what happens when we say no to crazy. And what does crazy do when we say no. Hey, how dare you? No, no, no, you can’t say no to me, you know, and then they try to punish or whatever. And you kind of guide them by walking them through it. Look, no is a respect boundary word. It is a respect boundary word. If someone in this family does not respect your no, they don’t respect you. Period. So be careful. You know, you teach them that. It’s like you don’t have to do whatever drama is going on. You don’t have to be involved in it. Will it piss them off? Oh, hell yes. I can’t tell you the number of times that adult kids have made the choice to be like, nope, stepping out of this circle. This is your guy’s problem. Not my poop not my coop. You guys get to deal with this. Right? So and then they get pissed because you’re not playing. So you kind of warn the kids it’s like look, you have a right to say no, here’s what’s going to happen, you know, they’re going to be angry at you now because you’ve said no, but here’s the thing. They’re showing you who they are. And they’re showing you that they do not respect the word no, which means they don’t respect you. Because people who love you respect you. And if they respect you, they respect the wall of No.

Kris Godinez  15:22

No is a safe word, literally, it’s a safe word. It’s like, No, I’m not going to engage in that. No, I’m not going to play that game. No, I’m not going to play triangulation of communication. So in these dysfunctional families, where especially around the holidays, they love to create this, just insane. Drama, right? There’s a lot of communication triangulation going on. So Aunt Bertha will come to you and say, well, your cousin Tony said, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? So they’re doing triangulation of communication. And nine times out of 10, whatever  Bertha is telling you is either a bald faced lie, or she’s only giving part of the communication or she’s putting her spin on the communication. So in talking to your adult kids always teach them about triangulation of communication. The second somebody comes to you and says so and so said such and such. Great. Where’s the phone? Let’s get them on the phone right. Now. Let’s clear this up. Watch them backpedal. I’m not even kidding you. They’re going to be Oh, no, wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait, wait, you know. So anytime somebody says that somebody else said something? What? Great, let’s get him on the phone. Let’s clear that up right now. Oh, look, they’re on speaker. Watch that person freak out. So that’s the thing. It’s like you never disordered families groom. All of the generations, this is generational. This is generational trauma right here. Because I’ve seen it 100,000 million times. They groom all of the generations to do this weird communication, where they talk about each other, in front of each other, and expect the person they’re talking about to act as if they’re not being talked about. Or they train them that this triangulation of communication is somehow normal. Well, it may be normal in this extremely dysfunctional family. But it is not normal and healthy families. And that’s what you teach the adult kids this triangulation is not normal. This is not how healthy adults communicate.

Kris Godinez  17:50

This drama over here is not how Healthy Families handle Christmases, or Thanksgiving,

or Halloween, or, you know, any of the holidays. So, you start pointing out the incongruence. It’s okay, well, they’re doing this, but this is what’s normal. Well, they’re doing this. But this is what’s normal. Do you see where I’m going with that? Or this is what’s healthy? Right? It’s, by old mentor John Nixon would get so mad at me for always saying normies like, use the word healthy instead! I’m like, I know. But yeah, so it’s the same thing healthy, normal. It’s like, healthy and normal is over here. What they’re doing is way over here. There’s an incongruency here. Does that make sense?

So, kids will often feel even adult kids will often feel disloyal, and that they need to side somehow with grandma or whatever. And remember, you’re still dealing with what’s the word, I’m looking for that ego defense, the siding with the abuser siding with the aggressor. So, there’s still that inner child stuff going on, which is why it is so important to help them start either getting therapy, working on inner child working on PTSD, do you see where I’m going with that? So, they need to start working on this stuff because the part of them that is fearful and is engaging in the drama is the child because the child is trying to fix it, especially if there was a lot of codependency going on. And a lot of well no it is your problem like so remember, they project they love to project onto the kids well no what is your problem. Well no you need to come to Christmas because you’re the barrier between me and so and so. They do that I just Oh my god, kids get all of these jobs that are not their job. So if they’re being forced to go to a family function, because some family member needs them to be the barrier between them and the abuser. Not my job, not my poop, not my coop. Mother clicker. I’m not doing it. Y’all clean that mess up yourself.

You know, so it’s really a matter of talking to them. And remember, the adult child who’s had to deal with the abuser, if they have not gotten therapy is still dealing with all of the inner child stuff, all of the fear all of the, you know, grooming, the messages, the, you know, the whole thing, and they’re dealing with that inner critic. So that’s why it’s really important to start talking to them about go get a therapist, go get a trauma therapist to help you stand your ground. Because that’s what these people do is they keep pushing at the boundaries. They’re like, the little kid in the market, you know, when you tell a kid no, when they want candy. No, I’m sorry, we’re not going to do that this time. But why, but why, but why I’m going to throw a fit and da, da, da, da, da. And I have so much respect for the parents that go, Okay, we’re done. We’ll, we’ll go shopping some other time. And even though it’s an inconvenience for the parent, they show the kid through actions, this behavior is not going to fly. And then the kid learns very quickly. Oh, I didn’t get my way. Oh, and now I have to go home. Oh, do you see where I’m going with that? So it’s the same thing with these abusive jack wagons is that you have to stand your ground, say no and mean it and be a broken record. No, is a complete sentence, respect it. R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to me, Mother Clucker! Do you see where I’m going with that?

So and if they don’t respect it, and if they keep trying to, but why, but why, but why, but why? That’s when you end the conversation. And adult kids, oftentimes, not always, but oftentimes, in these dysfunctional families still feel like they’re the little kid. And so they feel like they can’t stand up to the quote unquote, adults. empower them. It’s okay for you to say no, it’s okay for you to tell this family member. No, it’s okay for you to hang up on them. It’s okay for you to not have to go over there and be the protector or the buffer or the comedian or whatever job it is they’re trying to slough off on to you. That’s not your job. If you want to go over and see your cousins and have fun with them and play football, that’s great. But don’t get involved with this stuff. Because it’s not your problem.

Kris Godinez  22:28

It’s not your problem. And like I said, oftentimes adult kids of abusive families or disordered families, still, even in their 30s and 40s. feel like they are still a child if they have not worked on the inner child stuff. So, when they’re confronted with an adult, a grandparent, a parent, etc., or an older cousin or whatever, that tendency to do the people pleasing and cave and make them happy, pops up. So really, it is a matter of introducing your kids as soon as you can to the books soon as they turn 18 There is nothing the opposing parent can do. Literally nothing. I mean, they can badmouth you until the cows come home and, and Dwayne Robert has a whole series of videos on parental alienation, which I really, really recommend. Um, but once the kids turn 18 You can start having real talks with them Don’t badmouth the other parent but you can go this behavior not healthy, this behavior healthy you know, and encourage them to read the books encourage them to watch the videos encourage them to educate themselves about what’s been going on. So the books that I would recommend for some a kid who’s an adult for dealing with all of these people who have so many okay hold on the Disease to Please by Harriet Breaker. So that’s about the people pleasing, CPTSD from Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker. The Radical Forgiveness by Collin Tipping, Radical Self Forgiveness. also by Collin Tipping you know, the Self-Esteem Workbook by Glenn Schiraldi, the Inner Child Workbook, Lucia Cappacchione are Catherine Taylor, either one of those. So, it’s working on all of that stuff. And that’s why I’m saying don’t wait until they’re an adult, you can start working with them on self-esteem when they’re little. You can start working with them on boundaries when they’re little. You can start even working with them on healthy behavior versus unhealthy behavior when they’re little. You just got to be careful and not call names not do the psychological thing. Oh, you’re you know, my ex is a narcissist, stop, no, stop. Look, we broke up because weren’t working. And healthy people work together. That’s all you got to say. You know, you don’t have to go into great detail, and it needs to be age appropriate.

So, the other thing that disordered families will do is when a child stands up and says no, no, I’m not going to do that. They all then go on the smear campaign. And so then it’s like, it’s like a game of telephone. So then now grandma or Aunt Bertha, or whoever’s pissed off at the adult kid is now smearing the kid everybody else in the family. And so it’s like a, what’s the word I’m looking for? And then pretty soon the kid will get the flying monkeys calling. So, you’re going to have to explain to them what’s going on. It’s like, look, you’re going to say, no, they’re not going to like it, they’re going to rally the troops, and you’re probably going to get phone calls from other family members, and you’re going to have to stand your ground. So, you’re going to have to kind of like, let them know what’s going to happen so, they’re not blinded by it, you know, blindsided by it. So that again, it’s like, single narcissists, romantic narcissists, family narcissists, they all act the same exact way. It’s like, there’s a damn playbook seriously. So, they will gang up on the kid, they will use the guilt stuff and you again, you teach the adult children, you do not need to be guilt tripped. If somebody is guilt tripping you remember, fog, fear, obligation, that’s what they’re dealing in. And guilt, especially the obligation and the guilt. The fear is kind of there too. But fear, obligation, guilt, if they’re making you feel fearful, that you’re going to be excommunicated. If they’re making you feel obligated. Well, you have to, I’m your grandmother, I’m your grandfather, I’m the whatever head of the family, blah, blah, you have to obligated, you owe me, you owe me that’s obligation you owe me. I don’t owe, Jack. All I got to do is pay taxes and die. You know what I’m saying? But that’s what they do. They make you feel obligated or guilty? You don’t love me? Why aren’t you know, the covert narcissist, it’s like, I do everything for this family, and you won’t even come to this particular party to protect me. Oh, please.

Kris Godinez  27:11

You know, so if they’re doing any of that, you got to explain to the adult kids what this whole thing is. That’s why I’m saying, I really firmly believe that a family trauma family therapist would be really good, so that you guys can get a communication going. So, you get everybody on Common Ground. When I say everybody, I mean you and your kids, you know what I’m saying so that you understand what is going on here and help the kids you know, share your own stories. You know, this is how I stood up to Aunt Bertha. This is how I stood up to your grandmother, this is how I stood up to your grandfather, this is how I stood, you know, and help them and show them and give them tools.

That’s really what this is all about everything you guys are learning in here. You can give to your kids age appropriate and show them how to use those tools. That’s really what it’s all about is you want to learn how to use the tools yourself, go out and practice, then pass those healthy tools on to the kids age appropriate. Show them how to use it, help them and guide them when there’s pushback from the abusers or from the disordered family. And, you know, give them a way to express themselves. You know, encourage them to talk, encourage them to go to therapy, encourage them to journal. It’s amazing. It’s so funny to me, where I will tell my clients, it’s like, okay, journaling is going to help you like I don’t see how that can help. I know you don’t see how it can help right now. But trust me, I want you to start journaling, I want you to have a voice, I want you to get it out. If you want to… you can bring it into session and we can go through it, or you can trot it out to the barbecue and burn it your choice. And then a couple of weeks later, they’ll come back in, and they’ll be like, I really liked journaling. Wow, I was finally able to tell Aunt Bertha that she could go push herself off a cliff. Oh, great. Okay, good. So, there’s some anger about Aunt Bertha, let’s go into that… you see where I’m going with that. So, it’s really important to pass on all of the little tricks of the trade that I have been giving to you guys, you know, journaling, writing and burning letters, getting support, getting support, you know, get it get friends, family that are healthy and trustworthy. It’s like, you don’t have to put up with this. You don’t, you don’t, you don’t have to put up with this just because they’re family. And here’s the big question. I asked everybody. If you were not related to these Jack wagons, would you have anything to do with them? And the answer is probably going to be no. If so, act accordingly. You don’t owe any body an explanation. Like I said, No. is a complete sentence and I’ve had to tell people that no is a complete sentence you need to stop and if they don’t stop, okay, they’re showing me who they are. They’re using manipulation. They’re using guilt and fear. They’re using obligation, whatever. Time to let them go. Time to let them go. Bye bye. Bye, bye now go pound sand. Bye bye, bye bye. Now we’re done. You know, seriously, you don’t owe anybody anything. And I hate how families do this. Oh, well, oh, what we’re your family as if that means something when they’ve been abusive. They’ve been derogatory. They’ve been, you know, hateful they’ve been… I wish I could swear because I have some choice words for people like that. So, you know what I’m saying? It’s…. If you were not related to them? Would you put up with that behavior from a stranger? If the answer is no, then don’t put up with it. Oh, so anyway, there that is. So adult kids and family drama sometimes. And I swear, I’ll get to the questions in just a second one last thought. Sometimes what abusers will do is they will drag the adult kids into the drama in order to get to you.

Kris Godinez  31:05

So, it’s a hostage situation. So don’t play. Don’t play. You know, if they’re dragging the kids in, you let them know what you’re seeing, nope, they’re doing this to get to me, I’m not going to play. You don’t need to play either. Say no and be done. And then, you know, stay out of it. So just realize disordered people. And here’s something else to think about. If somebody is always pulling drama around holidays, that’s narcissistic behavior. narcissists, ruin, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, births, weddings, deaths. If they can ruin it, they will, because it’s puts the attention back on them, you know, and it makes them feel powerful. So, you know, if they’re doing this crap, you can walk away, it’s okay, give yourself permission. Hi, good to see you. Have a great day. You know what, I give you permission to walk away from your family. It’s okay. Seriously, that’s going to be your morning mantra. If you’re dealing with this kind of family. That’s all drama, and all chaos. The other thing you need to realize too, is people that create drama and chaos, the more they are really, really, really causing drama and causing chaos for other people. The more chaotic they are on the inside, and it’s because they need to stay outside focus. They don’t want to focus in on what they’re thinking and feeling here. They want to stay outside focused. They don’t want to deal with their own emotions. So, they would rather create a fire over here and put all of their attention over there, man, the absolute Inferno that’s going on inside of them. So, there it is. All right, let’s dive into the questions, shall we? Okay.

Ah, is it common for one adult to be excluded from family gatherings? Yeah, if they’re a scapegoat, you bet. I was told not to come with Christmas, as my abusive half-sister would be there. And that meant I was not welcome if she was there. Well, again, when people side, when flying monkeys side with the abuser, they are showing you who they are. Believe them the first time. Honestly, they did you a favor, if they’re siding with somebody who was abusive to you, and they’re saying, Oh, they’re welcome. But you’re not. um Houston, there’s a problem. So family is not always blood. Family is not always blood. You know, sometimes, people who are not even related to us can be more of a good family than blood related family can be. So um, yeah, that it’s how do I explain this? In disordered families generational okay, we’re talking generational trauma, if nothing has been worked on, and there is a child who is disordered and abusive, again, they will ego defense, side with the abuser because they’re afraid doesn’t make it right. But that’s what they do. So, again, they’re showing you who they are. If they’re not getting help for this, if they’re not working on this, if they’re siding with somebody who was abusive to you. Bye bye now go pound sand, I’d be done right and burn and angry letter be done. So yeah, they will do that. And they do side with it’s just like little kids who side with the abusive parent. They’re afraid of getting killed on some level and it’s usually an inner child issue. And if there’s been no work on working on the inner child working on self-esteem, working on boundaries, working on no, working on whatever, then they’re going to do knee jerk reactions. They’re going to side with the abuser So stay away, stay away and do not take it personally, this speaks volumes about them. Nothing about you. So, remember that.

Okay, um, can you still be empathic and not listen to people’s drama? Yeah. Many times, if you don’t play the drama game, you’re told you have no empathy. Well, yeah, because you’re not buying into their stuff. So oftentimes, when I am working with clients that come from heavily disordered families, they get stuck in their story. And that’s what the drama is, it’s being stuck in your story. So, they’ll come in, and they’ll, you know, roar and this, that drama, blah, you know, the whole thing.

Kris Godinez  35:49

And I’ll go, okay, got it. And, and then they get past, because I’m not getting as upset as they are. And I finally had to tell them, it’s like you’ve told this story three times. Now? Why are you stuck in your story? How has this story become who you are? Because the story is not who you are. But you’re telling it so many times that it’s now become who you are. So, need to separate that out. Do you see where I’m going with that? So yeah, you can absolutely be empathic and still not participate in the drama. So, it’s finding what the real issue is. So, what is the real issue? What does this story mean to you? What does this drama mean to you? Why are you allowing this drama to run your life? Start asking questions like that, and either one of two things will happen, they will have an absolute fit and get very angry at you. Or they’ll stop. And they’ll be like, oh, and that’s what I go, uh, huh? See where I’m going with that. So yeah, you can be empathic you can, the thing of it is, is that people who get stuck in their stories are in pain, they are suffering, if you want to get into the Buddhist philosophy of it, they are suffering. And so they have an identity that explains the suffering, as opposed to, I don’t need to be my thoughts. I don’t need to be my family story. I don’t have to buy into the BS that the family said I was.  I don’t have to, I don’t have to, I get to tell my own story. And I get to write my own ending. And it has nothing to do with this family of origin. So yeah, empathy is figuring you know, hearing them, but hearing what’s behind the drama, what’s driving the drama, what’s driving the need to have this extremely dramatic thing going on all the time. And usually, it’s pain. Usually, it’s hurt, usually, it’s trauma. So yes, you can be empathic. But you also have to have boundaries, because if you don’t, they’ll just keep telling the story over and over and over and over and drama and drama and drama and drama. And you kind of have to be like, and what’s your part in this? That’ll tell you everything you need to know, because if they say, you know, screw you roar, roar, and they run off then okay, they’re not willing to deal with their own stuff. Okay, they can find somebody else to listen to their drama. So, do you see where I’m going? Yes, you absolutely can be empathic and still have boundaries. That’s, that is the task of every empathic survivor of abuse or every Empath period, is to have boundaries, and still be empathic.

Kris Godinez  38:47

So, when that woman smashed the bees I think the first, I was angry, but underneath the anger was just sad. Because I was just like, wow, somebody who is that hateful, and that un empathic and that unfeeling and that uncaring. I can’t even imagine how she is with her kids. Or other people. You know, I’m a total stranger. If she did this to me, I can’t imagine how she treats people close to her. So immediately, I was like, Okay, what do I do with these emotions? Because I’m angry, and I’m sad, and I feel bad for the bees. And the little kid in me is like, why did you feel the need to try to hurt me by killing these bees I was saving what what is up with that? You know? So immediately I went to the tonglen, meditation, the metta meditation, which is okay, this woman is suffering. May she have peace. May she have all that she needs food, shelter, companionship, may she have freedom from suffering. May she have peace because when people suffer according to Buddhism, that is when they are sadistic, horrific, hurtful, harmful, hurt people, you know, etc., etc.. And rather than carry her through with me, the entire day wasn’t about to do that punted around in my head, did the tonglen meditation, let it go? And I didn’t think about it again until I did this broadcast, because there was a lesson in there. So, anyway, so it’s doing the tonglen meditation, remembering that her brutal behavior spoke volumes about her nothing about me. She doesn’t even know me. You know, so it’s kind of like, whoa, okay, does disorder disorder, disorder was like a neon sign flashing over her head. So, you know, again, rather than taking it personally just going, Okay, this is her issue. She’s suffering. I wish her peace. I wish her freedom from suffering. I wish her enlightenment so that she no longer harms innocence. So, there that is. So, hope that answered the question. Hold on. Let me get back to make sure I did. Um, yeah, yeah. So, you can have empathy. I mean, I have empathy for but avoid her like the plague. If I see her again, out at the pool. I’ll tell you that much. Oh, anyway, okay.

Um, my narc. Mother is a dry drunk. I’m so sorry. My little brother 21 is still at home. How do I help? He has started acting like her anger manipulating, etc. He won’t listen, that mom’s a narc. Well, there’s very little you can do. If he’s 21, and he’s not listening, it’s, you know, all you could do is maybe hand him some books and go, you might want to read this, might want to read this and nine times out of 10, he’s probably not going to read it. So, all you can do is just be honest and open. And you know, here’s some things that might help. And if he takes you up on the offer, great. If he doesn’t, great, you know what I’m saying? Alright, so yeah, there’s nothing you can do. I mean, it’s like, if he’s not listening, if he refuses to believe that mom’s got issues, all you can do is say, hey, these books helped me. I hope they help you give them to him, will he read them? Maybe, maybe not, you know, so and just, you know, offer, offer to go to therapy with him if he’s ever interested. But, you know, he may or may not take you up on it. So, and it’s hard. It’s hard for kids to acknowledge and recognize that a parent is disordered, it really, truly is. It’s like when I was going through my stuff it right around that age, right around 21 around in there, you know, I’d started separating from the family and really getting that dad was completely cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. And mom wasn’t too far behind. And that’s a hard thing to accept, because it’s like, you just need one caring adult that has your back. And unfortunately, in a lot of these situations, there are no hearing adults that have your back. And that’s, that’s a tough thing to accept. So that might be something to discuss if he’s open to it. But if you’re telling me that he’s unwilling to see the behavior, and you know, all you can do again, you point out the incongruence sees there’s this going on, but this is healthy.

Kris Godinez  43:17

You know, so just talk to him and see what happens. And if he doesn’t want to listen, he doesn’t want to listen, he’s not ready. People are only ready to deal with things when they are ready to deal with things. You can’t force it. So, you make suggestions. You can offer a lifeline. Hey, I’m here to talk anytime you want to. Hey, here’s the name of the good therapist, hey, you know that kind of thing. But that’s about as much as you can do. Okay, let’s see.

Um, I have had to reach very deep to find my empathy, I cannot talk, referencing it authentically. Now. Is that a common problem? Well, kind of. Yeah. So, in adult children or in any children of narcissists, a lot of us go numb. A lot of us just, there was just so much pain and so much suffering and so much awfulness. And you kind of cut yourself off, you know what I’m saying? It doesn’t happen to everybody. But it does happen to some people. So, some clients that I have had, have just gone numb, and it’s, it’s really important to not stay numb. It’s like get back to being a human being, find your empathy find the caring in the world find, you know, because it’s like, it’s kind of like the situation that happened at the pool. You know, if I hadn’t worked on myself, I would be like, Screw it. I’m never going back to the pool. Well, no, I’m going back to the pool. There’s plenty of other good people around I’ll just avoid that person, you know. So, it’s finding that empathy, finding that caring, realizing that not everybody in the world is evil, although sometimes it feels that way. And um yeah, we cut ourselves off. And there was an interesting discussion over on Facebook on one of the posts I made, that somebody said that, you know, it’s really funny that children of narcissists seem to be either very, very empathic, or they kind of do the same thing that the parents did. And sometimes there’s a middle ground there, sometimes they’re empathic, but they’ve gone numb, and they just don’t want to care about anybody because they don’t want to get hurt again, is really what it is. So, it’s allowing yourself to be empathic. It’s allowing yourself to feel, it’s drawing extremely strong and healthy boundaries, recognizing when it’s somebody else’s issue, when it’s speaking volumes about them and nothing about you, recognizing what’s yours, what’s theirs, and allowing yourself to feel. You got to feel it to heal it and having empathy separates us from our abusers. Abusers absolutely do not feel empathy, they do not feel guilt, they do not feel remorse, they do not feel anything the way you and I feel them. So, it’s really important to allow the emotions to allow the feelings to allow the empathy, but don’t practice idiot compassion. So, Pema Chodren talks about the difference between having compassion and idiot compassion. So, compassion is kind of like what I did for that woman. It’s like recognizing she’s disordered. Not having anything to do with her doing the tonglen. Metta meditation, may she have peace, may she have freedom from suffering. May she have all that she needs food, shelter, companionship, they should have enlightenment, they should have peace. You know, it’s like, okay, and letting her go, right? Idiot compassion would have been, I need to fix her. I need to I need to confront her. I need to do this. I need to know I don’t need to do anything. It’s a pay taxes of that. So, you know, it’s like, idiot compassion is I need to fix them. I need to have them in my life. So, I can fix them. No, no, no, you can have compassion for somebody at a distance. So, I have compassion for my dad, I do he was a complete jackwagon a total psychopath. A total dark triad, a total borderline a total. I mean, he had so many issues. It wasn’t even funny.

Kris Godinez  47:08

But and, again, suffering, he was suffering. He was a sufferer. He suffered literally, like, literally. And that’s what made him such a mean, nasty son of a moon. You know, and so I can understand why he behaved the way he did, but I’m not going to give him a pass. And at that point in my life, when he finally died, I had moved, like, as far away as I possibly could, I think I was I was in Oregon at the time, he was in California, I was in Oregon. And I told John, I said, I don’t want to be anywhere near my family, I don’t want to have access. I don’t want them to have access to me. I don’t want to be involved in the drama, I want to be far enough away. So that, you know, I can love them from afar. And that’s basically what I did. You know, I knew my dad was disordered. I knew I couldn’t fix them. And sticking around would have only damaged me. And my older sister and I talked about this. And she was like, Oh, hell yeah, get as far away as you can. Because I stuck around thinking I could help mom. And instead, all that did was create drama. And I’m not yeah, now I’m stepping away. So yeah. So yeah, you can love people from afar, you could have compassion for them from afar does not make you a bad person and makes you have good boundaries. So yeah, that’s a boundary. That’s a boundary. So um, yeah. So, it’s, yeah, it can be because Empathy means we care. And when we care, our abusers find what we care about, and then kill it, harm it hurt it, make us suffer. So yeah, that’s why we go numb. And that’s why it’s sometimes hard to kind of find that empathy again. But it’s hugely important to do so because that’s what separates us from the abuser. So yeah, absolutely.

Okay, um, how can we set internal boundaries, around our empathy with people going through terrible events and other parts of the world like stuff in the news, okay. So, I try not to watch the news to be perfectly honest. Remember, if it bleeds, it leads, so they will intentionally put the worst stories out there. I’ll check in with the news literally, maybe once a day, or maybe once every couple of days just to see what’s going on. And if there’s something that I can help with, I will help with. So, for example, whenever I hear about a hoarding situation with dogs, I’ll figure out what the local, you know, humane society or the local rescue, the local that you know what I’m saying the local dog helping place whatever that is Humane Society Rescue etc. And I’ll donate I’ll just donate. I’ll just be like, this is specifically for these dogs that were hoarded. You know, there you go. Or, you know, these cats or you know, whatever. So that makes me feel good. And that’s what I’ll do. I’ll donate to Doctors Without Borders if…. Pakistan, dear Lord, like apparently a third of the country is now underwater because of the monsoon. So yeah, so I’ll donate to Doctor Doctors Without Borders. But I’ll make it a donation I can afford, you know, you don’t want to, you don’t want to kill yourself trying to help other people again, boundaries, boundaries, what can I afford? Okay, I can do that. Okay, I can do that. Okay, I’m done for this month.

Kris Godinez  50:39

You know what I’m saying? So yeah, and you just realize you do what you can. And if you can’t do anything else, you do the metta meditation, or you contact whatever organization that might be doing stuff, see if you can volunteer, you know, that kind of thing. So, but again, the difference between doing what you can and codependency or idiot compassion, is you never ever want to kill yourself over you don’t want to get to the point where you’re broken, you can’t pay rent, you don’t want to get to the point where you’re exhausted, and you can’t go on in a normal life. That’s codependency. That’s where we’re like giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and not replenishing the pot. So yeah, so it’s just kind of like, what can I do? What can I afford, okay, I can’t afford money, but I can do a metta meditation, or I can do whatever. So, where I can volunteer, you know, and help pack boxes, or I can, you know, whatever. So, there’s tons of, there’s, um, if you go on to Google, and you look up volunteer opportunities, at least in Phoenix, there’s a whole list of volunteer opportunities that you can do for different organizations that are helping other parts of the world. So yeah, so do that if you feel called to do that. So again, don’t extend yourself to the point where you’re keeling over where you’re broke. So there that is okay.

And it’s normal to feel awful. That’s why I only watch the news once a day or every other day or whatever, just to get a taste of what’s going on. Because when those stories do come up, it does it does affect us. If you’ve got a heart, if you’re not a complete psychopath, yeah, it’s going to affect you. You’re going to read those stories and have empathy. You’re going to read those stories and go, what can I do? How can I help? How can I? How can we make this better, because it’s driving me crazy. So, it’s true that you do what you can, and you have to let the rest go. And that’s all you can do. So there that is, okay.

Um, how can I deal better with repressed anger? My knee jerk reaction is to yell because I want to be heard. Yeah, that’s normal. It’s really annoying because as soon as I’m calm again, I feel like a whiny child. Okay. So, anger is not a pure emotion. Love is Love, Lust is lust. Happy is happy. Sad is sad. Anger is the bodyguard of the softer emotions, sadness, betrayal, fear, hurt. So, we want to be heard. And that’s an inner child thing. So, when we’re not heard as kids, we tend to be yellers, when we become adults, because we’re tired of not being heard. So, I would again, suggest get with a really good trauma therapist, there’s a great book called There’s a Cow in the Parking Lot. It’s a Buddhist approach to anger management.

So, anger is not the issue. The issue is not being heard. So instead of getting louder and yelling, a more effective way is to get quieter. And I don’t mean quieter, like shutting up. I mean, like, lower your voice. Lower your voice. This is what I’m trying to say. You are not listening to me. Because that forces people to pull in, and it also forces them to listen. So yeah, I mean, I don’t know if you’ve ever had an adult do the lowering the voice thing when you were a kid, oh that works. So, it’s because you’re not being heard. So if somebody’s not hearing you, instead of yelling, they’re still not going to hear you. It’s kind of like, it’s kind of like, just because you’re getting louder doesn’t mean they’re going to hear you. So people who are dedicated to misunderstanding you are not going to hear you. So, it depends on who your audience is. And this is somebody who truly cares about you. They’ll want to hear you and you won’t have to yell. But if they’re not hearing you, lower your voice and if they’re still not hearing you walk away because the issue is now theirs, not yours. So not being heard is a huge issue with adult survivors of trauma with adult survivors of narcissistic parents. We weren’t heard as kids, we weren’t respected, we weren’t cherished and loved and cared for the way we should have been. Because a lot of narcissists have this very Victorian attitude of, you know, children are to be seen and not heard and in some cases, not even seen. So, um, yeah, get with a good trauma therapist work on that Self-Esteem Workbook, Glenn Schiradi, you have a voice you have worth, and you don’t need to prove it to anybody. Actions speak louder than words, if somebody’s not hearing you, and they’re consistently not hearing you.

Kris Godinez  55:41

Even when you get soft, huh problems with them, not with you. So there is that? Also remember, repressed anger, write it out, write it out, write it out, write it out, burn it. What is this anger really about? What is this incident remind you of? Because sometimes the current event is really triggering a past event. So the anger may not be all about the current event. There may be anger about the past event. So write out your anger about not being heard. Who didn’t hear you? Dear mom, Dear dad, Dear grandparents, Dear teachers, Dear whoever. You didn’t hear me when I was fill in the blank. This is how it made me feel. I feel worthless. I feel unheard I feel unloved I feel you know, not valued, etc., etc., etc. Guess what? I’m taking my power back. If you’re unwilling to hear me, that’s your problem, not mine. Especially when I’ve been very clear. I’m going to therapy now. I’m working on myself. I’m working on self esteem. You don’t get to run me anymore. Have a nice life. And I have a nice life. I mean, go parents and trot it out to the barbecue. Read it out loud once burn it, but do get with a good trauma therapist to work on this stuff because it’s impacting your current relationships. So some of it could be the current relationships but it’s triggering stuff from the past. So there is that all right, kids, I’m going to call it for today. Thank you so much for tuning in. Alright, you guys have a great week and I will talk to you later. 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 Krisgodinez.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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