See You On The Other Side

50 | Trip Report with Aly (Religious Trauma to Self-Discovery)

June 16, 2023 Leah & Christine Season 2 Episode 50
See You On The Other Side
50 | Trip Report with Aly (Religious Trauma to Self-Discovery)
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Have you ever felt trapped by the expectations of a strict religious upbringing, struggling to embrace your true self in the process? Join us as we sit down with our friend Alyssa, who bravely shares her journey from religious trauma to self-discovery and personal growth. We explore the impact of a conservative environment on her mental health, relationships, and self-worth, as well as her transformative experience with psilocybin.

We dive into Alyssa's story, discussing the challenges of navigating a relationship in a religious context, over-reliance on medication, and the power of self-soothing. From facing body shame to eventually embracing her bisexuality. 

This episode is a testament to the power of resilience and embracing our authentic selves. Listen in as Aly's inspiring journey provides invaluable lessons on self-acceptance, overcoming depression, and finding the courage to break free from societal and familial expectations.

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Speaker 2:

You have a Stanley, you basic bitch Yes and a real one, is filled with 40 ounces of DP baby. And I don't mean double penetration, i mean Dr Pepper, dr Pepper Shut up. That is my crystal meth, okay.

Speaker 3:

Have you? there's some interview where some guy is drinking like a huge picture and it's full of Kool-Aid. He's like a 40 year old man and he's like you're drinking Kool-Aid and he was like I always what? yeah, i always drink Kool-Aid, like this.

Speaker 1:

Why not Fucking child?

Speaker 3:

Dr Pepper. I love Dr Pepper.

Speaker 2:

I love Dr Pepper. You can't sit perfectly.

Speaker 3:

Oh my god, i love this. What else is in there? Just DP.

Speaker 1:

Okay, okay.

Speaker 3:

I love.

Speaker 1:

You. Call it DP, not double penetration, i know what you're thinking.

Speaker 2:

I read a lot of books with DP. It's not, it's Dr Pepper.

Speaker 1:

Can I go into that? Oh, go into it.

Speaker 3:

I need to know about this. Hold on, okay. Okay, we'll go into it. All right, are you introing? I feel like you need to, okay.

Speaker 1:

Hello everyone and welcome back to another trip report.

Speaker 3:

Yes, i don't think.

Speaker 1:

I've gotten to say that.

Speaker 3:

No.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so I'm very excited.

Speaker 3:

Let's talk about what a trip report is. Okay, if they're just now listening.

Speaker 1:

Okay, go into it.

Speaker 3:

Oh me. So we're just talking to people about their trips.

Speaker 1:

Okay, share that Instagram post that you.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, so there was an Instagram post a couple of weeks ago and it was. I don't remember what the page was, but it was somebody talking about how it was annoying to hear people talk about like their psychedelic trips. Every fucking comment underneath that like hundreds of comments are like what are you talking about? That's like my favorite part. Like tell me all the details. I want to know where you did it, how you did it, who you did it with, how much you did. What do you did? Like every comment was like that's not annoying at all And, honestly, like I love hearing them too, So, yeah, our listeners like, want more of, like, the real, real live stories, and so we're going to deliver, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So today we have with us Alyssa. That's me, hi, alyssa. I call her Allie.

Speaker 2:

Can I call her Allie? Totally, call me whatever you want. Yeah, apparently. I was very difficult name, because I get Alice, alison, alicia, alicia.

Speaker 1:

It's like me. I get like Chrissy, christina, chris, i'm like no, just Christine.

Speaker 2:

A girl at work called me Jessica. I went, i'll go with it.

Speaker 3:

Jessica.

Speaker 1:

So I'm really excited about this episode. I've known Allie for six years Seven years, seven or eight.

Speaker 2:

We go back to nine round.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. We go to boxing gyms that I manage. She started out as a member And then she ended up becoming a trainer and a friend, and so we have an interesting story we'll get into today. But I just want to go kind of back and tell us a little bit about you and your story, your trauma. This is going to be a three hour episode Tell me everything.

Speaker 2:

Should have made a power point. So I grew up in a very religious household. My grandfather was a pastor of a Baptist church in Illinois And then my dad was a youth pastor. Mom worked at the church, worked at the Christian school that they started. Grandma was the choir teacher, the band teacher, right, like just totally everything was religion. Growing up in church I would go to Sunday school in the morning on Sundays and then church and then Sunday night church and then Wednesday night church and Thursday night Bible study and chapel every day and like that whole thing. And you know, at the time that's all my friends did, that I didn't really have friends like with public school and whatnot, so that's all I knew. And then went to an extremely conservative college, like even more conservative than the way I grew up like had to wear skirts all the time. Where was this college? in Pensacola, florida, pensacola Christian College, and it was. There's about like five or six thousand students in there And so it was like big enough that I had never experienced like that many, like boys and people and friends. But then it was all like like we could not go. Boys and girls couldn't go on the same elevator with separate elevators.

Speaker 3:

I was going to say I think that's the same college, but I don't think it is because they didn't wear skirts.

Speaker 1:

Who went to?

Speaker 3:

that I told you that story the other day.

Speaker 1:

Oh okay, yeah, we can't repeat that.

Speaker 3:

Okay, why not?

Speaker 1:

Okay, repeat.

Speaker 3:

No, not now but we'll get to it. No, okay, okay. Not the same school, because they did not wear skirts.

Speaker 2:

Oh, yeah, we wear skirts all the time like long skirts, long skirts, yeah, had we like to the knee, like had to go again. Chapel every day required Bible classes, like the whole school.

Speaker 1:

You were in it, so did you do the typical college experience where you partied?

Speaker 2:

No, like I tried a little bit but it was so nerve wracking because, oh my God, the stress of it, the stress was insane And it was like because people would just tattle And I mean, i'm seriously, you couldn't have a friend for all four years and think they're the best friend, and in your senior year they would like telling you when you get kicked out, i got kicked out.

Speaker 1:

I know we'll go into that Shut up, we'll go into that, but it was just like.

Speaker 3:

They're just doing right by God Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I didn't want to go there. It was kind of like a told forced kind of a thing, like we're not going to pay for college unless you go there, and I was like, well, whatever.

Speaker 1:

So was that a lot of your life Like your life got planned out for you? Yes, who you should be.

Speaker 2:

You are going to play the trumpet I don't want to play the trumpet, well, that's what we do. And you're going to play the piano I don't want to play the piano, well, that's what we do. And you have to leave the Bible study, and you have to do this, and you're going to go to this college and you're going to go here, and you're going to go here. And I was just like okay, okay, and I Jesus. Yes, like didn't want to be a nurse at all At all. I wanted to do athletic rehabilitation and get like a pre-physical therapy degree and go on. And it was like, well, that's not very smart, you just do this instead. And I had like no, couldn't stand up for myself. Just I thought that if I was just like the best girl that I could be, like got my straight A's and played all my sports, Good girl. I was a good girl, i was a very good girl. Then, like then, finally I'd be like Alyssa, you've been so good for so long, like now you can do whatever you want. And it never turned into that. It was just do more and do more. And it was like I went to college and I'm in nursing school, which is very difficult, no matter where you go. I was playing volleyball and working. I had to work, so I was there And it was still like a home. It was like where are you singing in a choir?

Speaker 1:

It was never enough. No matter how much you did, How good of grades you got, how well you did in sports Nope.

Speaker 2:

It was just more, more, more, more. It was just like never enough, never enough, which mixed in with the religious. You know, you know how it is when you're in the Christian circle it's you're unworthy, you're sinful.

Speaker 3:

You know you'll be ashamed of yourself.

Speaker 2:

You don't deserve anything that God has given you. It's only by God's grace that you're here and you're on this earth and you can go to heaven. You are worthless. You are, you know. I mean, over and over and over again I was told that I was worthless and a sinner and all this stuff, and so I was just like climb to be the best that I could be, and then every time I do something good, it was good job. What's next?

Speaker 1:

What's more, and you are really hard on yourself about your body, right About everything, yes.

Speaker 3:

How could you not be?

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 3:

Like I've got some fucked up religious trauma, but like I was the one who kind of like was like fuck this. Yeah, i'm not doing this shit.

Speaker 2:

It was so and see, the thing is, i had that whole mentality. It was so deep down and I did not feel safe enough to like be bold and bring it out, like I didn't even have a friend that I could be like, hey, i'm questioning my religion because I allowed questions so bad they would you know, i go to Bible class and be like what is this? Like I don't agree with any of this, this is not what I believe. And I had no one to talk to, absolutely no one. And so it was like I had all of these feelings and like questions and all this swirling around deep down and I could not bring it up And I just continued. I was like, maybe if I just squashed it more, like it'll go away. And I mean that was started when I was like 15, 16 years old, where I was like really down with all this And I squashed it until it was about 25.

Speaker 3:

This is like I don't think people understand how strong of a hold this type of conditioning can have on someone Like your inner voice, like your inner critic, like your desire to like fit in and do good, and this whole time you are like not once able to do something for yourself.

Speaker 1:

Well, because you were choosing connection with your family over your own authenticity, over and over and over again.

Speaker 3:

I think that's natural Right. No, kids choose. Yeah, like they will always choose connection over disconnection.

Speaker 2:

Yes, Like I thought and there was always kind of this underlying, like you know, there was no sex before marriage and there was none of that. And there was this if you do, you're going to get kicked out. You're going to, we're not going, you know, you're going to have to go somewhere else. And that was paralyzing to me, that I would like not be around my family. I would get kicked out and I'd have to like figure things out on my own. Like I was. I could not do anything on my own. I was so needy and like needed other people, and so I just was like I have to stay in line and do everything that they say, because I can't function on my own function.

Speaker 3:

It teaches so much codependency.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yes, yeah, yeah It and it's. It's one of those things where it's not and I say this in there whenever I go to therapy a lot where I'm like, well, you know, my parents didn't beat me and I wasn't, like you know, molested as a child, so it's not that bad And my therapist is like, okay, your brain isn't like the trauma that you experience, your brain isn't going like, oh well, compared to other people's trauma. She was like your brain is experiencing your trauma in your moment, in your frame of reference, and she was like it's trauma Whether you were beat or whether you were. Like your mom made pancakes for you every morning. She was like you still have trauma in your life. It was just like this subtle, consistent little bits, every single day instead of like big, major, huge things in my life And I was like okay.

Speaker 1:

And I think a lot of people do what you do.

Speaker 3:

They gaslight themselves into thinking it could be worse.

Speaker 1:

Yep Cause I don't know how many people have said well, yeah, but you were abused, I wasn't right. And I'm like I mean you're right, But also like we know what we know, And if that was very painful to you, that's still trauma, Like it's not the severity of the event, It's what it did inside of you.

Speaker 3:

So we were talking yesterday with Louisa while I was getting my tattoo I think it was before you got there how, like, the psychological effects of this type of trauma is so much harder to heal than physical abuse And I am not saying that that is also not a bad thing, Like but so many people compare the two, like, well, getting beat is worse. Yes, I'm like bruises heal And I understand and I understand that there's still some psychological damage done there, But this is so small and minute and over time builds up to this. How old are you now?

Speaker 2:

Oh 33.

Speaker 3:

I had to think about that, like these years of conditioning, and imagine having that realization that you probably had with your therapist, where you're like, oh my God, it was trauma. Yes it was abuse, it was psychological, it was mental. How the fuck am I going to fix 30 years of this shit?

Speaker 2:

It feels sometimes when I sit there and think about it and like it may seem a little dramatic, i'm like, i feel like I underwent psychological torture, for years.

Speaker 3:

I don't think you're underdoing it, not at all At all. I think a lot of people can relate to that when they when they see it Yeah, they have to see it first.

Speaker 2:

And it was from every. It wasn't like it was just coming from my mother or it was just coming from my father. It was my mother, my father, my grandparents, on both sides both, both sides of my family are religious. So every time I was around an aunt or an uncle, my friends, all of their parents, every volleyball coach, basketball coach, young woman in the church that I thought that I could trust, It was like they would say something else. To just reiterate, it was every single person in my life. I did not have one single safe person in my life that I could say, like I'm questioning, I don't know. You know things like I just recently discovered. I'm bisexual. Who'd have known? I don't know, because I didn't. In high school I had feelings and I couldn't figure it out and there was no one I could go and talk to about that And it was just like and I've talked to Christine about it I think the big thing with me was superiority. Culture in Christianity is with my body. I was so obsessed with my body all the time, right, Like, of course then also, I mean I was in high school from 2004 to 2008, which was what you know Kristen Dunn's and Keir Knightley, and like that was skinny heroin.

Speaker 1:

Britney Spears. Yes, i was just talking to Tony about heroin and cocaine and Kate Moss, because we were bringing up Kate Moss and I was like you know cocaine and he's like what I was like. You didn't have to know that.

Speaker 2:

That's and that's what it was at like the peak of high school for me. And here I am. I'm like have these triple D's and I got a booty and I got thighs. I play volleyball and I'm a softball catcher, right. So I've always been curvy and thick Like in that day and age, i would have been an Instagram baddie.

Speaker 1:

You would have been posting so thick. There's tribes juicy thick with three C's thick with three C's. Bbl, who, bbl who? You were the BBL before the BBLs came. I was a natural.

Speaker 2:

BBL, that was me. But I didn't fit in that mold. Back then I didn't know, you know, i didn't know how to live in my body. And of course you know you're 15, 16 years old right Who's not horny at 15, 16 years old? but it was so like you can't touch yourself, you can't hug guys. When you hug guys, like you're pressing your boobs up against them and that's sexual. You can't do that. So no hugging guys and like do not touch yourself and do not listen to get all in. Do you know? it took me until I was in college to wear tampons Because I couldn't. I felt shame, like putting my hand down there felt shame. At one point I was convinced. I told my friends I don't think I have a hole. I couldn't fucking sit. I would just like try to blindly shove a tampon.

Speaker 1:

Did you not take anatomy, that thing?

Speaker 2:

doesn't really exist.

Speaker 3:

I don't think they teach. Even the sex ed classes I took didn't really teach that type of stuff.

Speaker 1:

That's very true.

Speaker 3:

That's very true.

Speaker 2:

I was never taken the gynecologist, because you only go to the gynecologist if you have birth control and you only get birth control if you're having sex. and good girls don't have sex, so I didn't go to the gynecologist until I was about 22 years old and cried like a baby the whole time. Didn't use tampons until in high school. Just in, like shame, like total shame with touching myself or anything like that, and, of course, like I said, i had to do it anyway. No, oh, okay, that's right, not until college. Not until college, And then I was like wait a second.

Speaker 3:

What? This is wrong. I don't want to be right, it was shit.

Speaker 2:

It was just so much shame And like I think I've told you this story I have very large breasts, always hated them, right. And then I was really, really skinny, still in high school, at the same size boobs And I got very sexualized, whatever you know, it was gonna happen. And so I was forced to wear like large and extra large t-shirts to try, because everything was it's too tight, it's too tight. I was like, i mean, i'm built like China the wrestler, like, of course, too tight, like what I mean, come on. And so I was like always wearing like oversized t-shirts and I hated it. And so I met this girl at a volleyball camp and she was like 16 and she had gotten a breast reduction. Oh yeah. I remember, oh my God, i didn't know that was a thing. I can do that, because I used to wear like three sports bras, like was went because I couldn't ask for a binder, you know, and so I was like wearing a bandages, i would wear three sports bras, anything to try and make them flatter. I was so ashamed of them And I went to my mom and I was like mom, this girl got a breast reduction, like she's 16, and she did it. And I was like, if I did that, then, like you know, i hate them, they're uncomfortable, they hurt, and like I won't be sexualized. And her response was no, because your husband's gonna love those one day. And it just taught me at 16, my body is not mine, it belongs to a future man. Holy fuck, it's not mine And it, that's just. It was that kind of stuff, just constant. And so, you know, i got married at 22, because I thought this is the first guy that has told me that he loves me and I'm not gonna find it again Like and this is what I did He's nice, right, like he doesn't beat me And he's nice, yeah.

Speaker 1:

And the Christian he's a.

Speaker 2:

Christian. He's a very hard worker, so we he and I are going through a divorce, but we are still very good friends. It's very amicable And he. There's no hard feelings between us, but I love that.

Speaker 3:

And your parents probably loved him. Yes, because he was a Christian. I adore him.

Speaker 2:

And he is a very good guy. He really is Like he is the hardest worker I've ever met And it was like he's such a hard worker And he's so selfless And he's gonna be good to me And that's probably the best I can do, so we'll just say yes.

Speaker 1:

And you guys met in college right In college. How was dating somebody in that type of college? It?

Speaker 2:

wasn't dating. I call it PCC dating, which people don't understand. Pcc is a college I went to, so it's a term that we would use when they'd be like are you dating? Like we're PCC dating, which was code for like we go to church together and we go to dinner together And then, like you would hang out, maybe like in the you know the common areas, but that was it. We weren't allowed to go off campus together. We did sometimes, but you had a chaperone and like, yeah, we would sneak off sometimes, but then of course, you know when you sneak off and you're so anxious like, and you caught and you only have a little bit together. We were just having sex. So it was like we'd sneak off and we'd have sex really quick And then we'd like go back And so we didn't have really a relationship. We dated for five months and then got engaged After five months. I was a baby And I was just so desperate, like for love or connection or someone to just see me for who I was, and it was like I had no safe space. I had nobody that I could just go to and like at the end of the day, just like, well, i'll be like, oh my god, this is how I'm feeling, and it was hard because I didn't go into my marriage with the right intentions But you didn't have the right tools in your toolbox. I didn't have the right tools now. So, and it was, it was really bad. And I don't mean to say this too, because the last thing I want to do is embarrass him. I don't want to hurt him at all And we've had this discussion a lot, but it was. It was bad. Like I, you know, we were having a lot of sex before we got married which, of course, like we just talked about, you know, year 21 it was like, oh my god, yes, when I was sex and the moment we would, it was all my religious upbringing, which is totally overwhelming, and I would just curl into a ball, totally disassociate, like so racked with guilt over the fact that I wanted it. And then I said yes, and then I'm just like that was so wrong. But then, deep down, my actual inner self was going it's not wrong, alyssa, it's fine, but didn't you say something to your parents?

Speaker 1:

I?

Speaker 2:

did Okay, i did. it was actually it was graduation, my senior year. We were engaged, so I was graduating in May, we were getting married in June. This is like three weeks before my wedding. Wow, i, yes, i was so racked with guilt like I wasn't sleeping, i wasn't eating, i had lost so much weight that my wedding dress didn't fit anymore. and they were like you have to eat to gain weight to fit into this. And so I sat my parents down and I don't know why I was just like I see that I've been having sex before marriage. like I know I'm not supposed to, like I had the whole promise ring, shaman, the whole thing, and I was like and now that I look at it, i think I wanted them to tell me okay, you can't get married, because I didn't want to get married. I was having a lot of doubts and it's like I wanted them to tell me like, okay, you can't get married then and I would okay, i got to call it off and I didn't, and it wasn't me. I didn't hurt this feeling but instead my parents went it's okay, we understand. and I was like no, you don't understand, like no, we understand, cuz we did that too All the fuss for you The whole time.

Speaker 1:

You've been teaching me.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and I was just like what the fuck? Oh my god It was, and it's kind of one of those when Christine and I talked about this too. it's they did the best with what they were given, and they did the best with what they had and I think they just were. It was their way of trying to keep me safe from teen pregnancy or whatever, i don't know. Or you know, maybe they knew that I was a very sensitive Sally growing up and that if, like, for me, sex is a very personal, emotional type thing and if I have it I connect, i get a little clingy with that person. I can't just like, you know, to me it's not like whatever. So I don't know if it was their way of protecting me. I don't know, but it was just like oh my god, i've been racking myself with guilt and the whole time, like all you guys could have said is like it's okay, we did. You know, we understand it happens.

Speaker 3:

The fact that you just said, like you would, that was your way of connecting with people, because you've never experienced like true, true connection. It was always like, if I don't do this, they're gonna disconnect.

Speaker 2:

Cuz. There was a lot of when having sex and we were dating. It was a lot of. If I don't, he'll break up with me, if I don't give him a blowjob, he's gonna get mad, and if I don't do this, like I have to keep him happy and he never. There was never any physical like, he never threatened me or it was nothing like and I was never even afraid of that, like I never even flinched in his presence. But there was still that deep down in me were like, if I don't do everything I'm supposed to do as a good Christian wife, he's gonna leave me, he's gonna walk away, he's gonna. And then it was like I was so tangled up with the fact like, do I want him to? I don't know, i just wanted somebody so bad. Yeah, and it was. I've said this in therapy a lot too is that I feel like everything with me is like just like a tangled up necklace, like a tangled up chain, and I'll like pull on one piece and like, okay, you've got it figured out. Like you know, you didn't really want to be with them, so this. And then every time I do, it's just like I'm making the knots tighter and I just like everything was so tangled. I just remember being like 22, 23 years old and being so confused and tangled all the time with what I really wanted, what I really needed with religion, with marriage, with I mean, i was 22 years old and trying to figure all that out and I just went. I quite like just paralyzed myself right. And so when we got married, we moved here. I'm not from here, i grew up in Illinois. We moved here. I'd only been here like twice. No friends, i had no job, no family, and his job at the time took him out of town. So we got married in. A couple weeks later he went to Nebraska for six weeks. I laid in my house on the couch and like did? I did not move, i didn't do anything. I would take huge doses of Benadryl to make myself sleep so that I wouldn't have to worry about doing anything else. Wow, and I like we lived a mile from a Kroger and I could not go to the grocery store. There were times where I would go like two to three days without eating, or I would eat like salting crackers and like fucking ketchup, because I could not go to the grocery store, i could not get up, i could not get out of the house, i would just lay on the couch for sometimes 18, 19, 20 hours. So you just fell into a deep, deep, dark depression yes, yeah, and I I mean in that lasted for a long time and then, unfortunately for him, because he didn't grow up in a very emotionally what's the word I'm looking for, like his household, is a motionally safe or intelligent yes, intelligent, they didn't talk about emotions and talk about that it was more of like a just so he didn't know what to do no, so he would come on. But and then also you know you're newly married and you've been gone for six weeks. You come home. What's the first thing your husband wants to do when he walks in the door? it's a sex deal. And I would just like lay there. Like it was painful and I would just cry and I just wouldn't do anything and it was just. I mean, i felt just like a shell of a person for years, years and then finally, at 25, it was something like I cannot live like this anymore, like I just cannot fake my way through every Sunday at church. I can't do my hair, my makeup on Sunday mornings and go sit through church and like I hate every little bit of this. And I'd already. I had attempted suicide once at 17, when I was in high school, and then I attempted again when I was 21. That's a whole other story. I was in my room at home for Christmas break and I was cutting my wrists and I had cut one and was working on the other one and my mom came in my room and she saw me, because we didn't knock in our house ever. And she came in my room when she saw me and she just started wailing and crying and wailing and calling for my dad and she came over and she took the razor out and just crying and crying and crying and put me in bed, prayed over me and she's crying and I'm just kind of like dazed in and out of it, you know, because I was so like emotionally overwhelmed that I'm like not disassociated the whole thing. She put me in bed, she prayed over me and we've not spoken about it ever again holy fuck, shouldn't take me to the hospital therapy therapy. I was not taken anywhere no, like what's going on?

Speaker 3:

nothing.

Speaker 1:

I know you've like evolved and grown and have really worked hard on this healing journey, but it does make me feel so much compassion and empathy for that little girl. Yeah, like every time, i'm like I thought this was supposed to be funny.

Speaker 2:

I just all of this drama makes me fun it makes your neighbor.

Speaker 3:

So I'm feeling like you like the amount of loneliness yes that you had to have felt like yes, truly like insane it and that was the one thing and the funny thing.

Speaker 2:

I literally just said therapy yesterday and that was doing EMDR therapy. So I love that it's coming up too, and I had that. I remember the first time when I was 17 it was on spring break of my senior year when I tried to commit suicide and that was the overwhelming feeling, was loneliness. I had five very good girlfriends in high school that we were had been friends since kindergarten, you know, because we all grew up together and it was spring break and I was sitting at home alone and I just remember thinking I cannot call any of them I have. I can't. I could not call even my best friend who had known since kindergarten. I couldn't, i did not feel like I could call her in that moment I was. It was the most overwhelming feeling of loneliness I have ever experienced in my entire life. Holy shit. And that just so you know. I went to college. It was like I just clung to everybody and it turned into this kind of like oh, you're a popular girl, you have so many friends, and it's like I was just like almost like grabby hands, like anybody that would give me attention, i was just clinging to them. I would go on so many dates with guys. I would go to lunch with one guy and dinner with another, and then it became like oh, she's a tease. And I was like no, i'm just like, i just am looking for something for someone and I didn't know what it was. And then all of a sudden, like I graduated college, and boom, you're in a house alone by yourself can you share about how you got suspended really quick lighten the mood a little bit. I was a junior in college and I was dating my husband and my brother. He's a year older than me and he was dating a girl and we grew up in Illinois same house like our entire lives and my parents were moving like we started that Christian church or that Christian school started church, like that. That was our legacy in our life. And my grandfather retired and my dad was got a new job in Texas and so we thought, if we don't go home like our, my boyfriend will never see the house that I grew up in. Like this is our last chance to go home. Well, there are so many stupid rules like you couldn't travel farther than 300 miles from school and you couldn't go with your boyfriend, and you couldn't do this.

Speaker 1:

School rules, school rules. All one of the guys is like safety.

Speaker 2:

So we came up with this whole like you had to put a pass in, like you had to and they could deny it. Like you had to put a pass in like a request to go home and they could deny it or prove it. So it was like me and my brother requested to go home and my boyfriend requested to go to his grandparents in Florida and my brother's girlfriend it's like we finagled it we snuck off. We all met up at a Walmart parking lot and, like, got in a car and drove to like a fucking prison.

Speaker 3:

I mean I know like it's a Scientology, like what the fuck a lot of it was just fear.

Speaker 2:

It was fear-based and it was like said under the guys of like we're keeping your kids safe for this, they're gonna be so safe here, but they don't know. There's that like, the more rules you put in, like the we find ways to break them. Yeah, there was no trust involved whatsoever from parents to kids or from school to kids. There's just there's zero trust. So we snuck off. We go to Illinois, we have a blast for the weekend. We go to Chicago, we have so much fun. Whatever we come back, it's four of us. It's understood. Nobody says anything. We don't even tell our friends, we don't tell our roommates. That is how you get caught. You literally keep it to the four of us. Well, my brother's girlfriend black her big fucking mouth to her roommates who she knew we're not a little little narc, little narc, she was doing it just to be like funsies. So they went and tattled on us shut the fuck up.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so I got pulled out of her roommates, though, like I would have been so mad at my roommates, no cuz she knew she was like yeah, they, i knew that they weren't really like.

Speaker 2:

Like that they were like why would you say?

Speaker 1:

you do that, sarah.

Speaker 3:

Kayley, kayley, stephanie like are we making up names here? yeah, we're making names.

Speaker 2:

Okay, sharon. So I got yanked out of my nutrition class and I'd studied so hard for that quiz. Oh my gosh yanked out of miss bushey's nutrition class, had to go. So what's called student life, and it was like a committee and there was one for the guys, one for girls and they would bring you in there and so a cult.

Speaker 1:

I mean it's like a cult in the cult.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and they would like question you, and the thing was, they wouldn't. They wouldn't just come right out and ask you. They would like try to get you to like, catch you in a lie or whatever they had called my brother in first and they were like we need your laptop. And he was like why? and they're like someone said, you have porn on it, my leg legally do that? I have no idea. There's no lawyer program there, so we could probably for a reason probably we don't want no lawyers here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, i'm like I feel like I'm like listening to it like a law and order, svu, yeah, so yeah they said someone, someone gave a certificate.

Speaker 2:

You have porn on your computer, we need to look through it. I had just given that motherfucker all the pictures from the weekend, literally three hours before. Oh my, those pictures on his computer. And so they were like so he gets in there and he's like I don't have porn on there. Mind you, my brother is in the pastoral program, right, like he's learning to be how a pastor, and they like slip his computer around. They're like where were you this weekend? okay, tony Soprano, like Jesus Christ, he was like, i mean, i can't even lie about that. And so he's like me and my sister and our boyfriend girlfriend, we went home for the weekend. They're like super drinking no, we weren't drinking, we literally just wanted to hang out the house. And we went to Chicago and our parents were there and our parents were there. Our parents wanted us to come home, like it was our parents, and that's the thing is, my parents were not as strict as this school. You know, they sent me to school. It wasn't like that strict Jesus at home. And so, well then, they call, they called girlfriend, and and so I show up, i like walking on the book bag, like what's going on and she's like crying. She's like okay, kaylee, just don't lie. I was like all right, whatever. So I walk in and I like where were you this weekend? I said I don't hold my boyfriend and I lied to you about it. I made up everything, i lied all about this. I let it, i just cuz like there, you know. So I told them everything and they're like okay, well, you guys are gonna have to go like a student committee where they're gonna decide whether or not you can stay. I was like man, i already know that I'm getting kicked out, whatever. So, whoa, you would get demerits at this school, right? you know, like a normal college you get like fine, just something, you get demerits, like you in high school. And I think if you got 150 demerits, you got kicked out. And they like add them all up. It was like 75 for line and this it was like 400, some on demerits. I was like what I'm out of here what the fuck?

Speaker 1:

I don't mean to laugh, because that is like so hilarious, like the fact that that is even real mm-hmm, like I'm thinking like a lie would be one, this would be one, this would be one they're like let me have this up real quick.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was like out of here like attitude, you'd get 10 demerits, and for disrespect you'd get 25, and for oh my, taking your trash out, you get so you've had compliance ingrained, yes, in you, yes, since you came out of the womb.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes.

Speaker 3:

Gilead sounds like Gilead in the handmade tail. It really fucking does.

Speaker 1:

I could. I started watching that show and I got six episodes in and I could not do you watch that show no, i don't think I could watch.

Speaker 3:

I don't think you could either. I had to stop. I watched it and it's there's probably for someone who has a lot of religious trauma, that's probably extremely well, and you know how?

Speaker 1:

like Game of Thrones, it's like something fucking crazy happens, but then there's like redemption yeah, when I watched Handmaid's Tale I was like, does anything good ever happen to this person? yeah, like can can't somebody get murdered for her? I mean really like can't someone's head get chopped?

Speaker 3:

off, but also a game of thrones lit on fire by a dragon it's like dragons and shit and you're like that's just not real. Yeah, i'm like this is real, it felt so real.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's why I haven't watched it.

Speaker 1:

So I'm like I feel like it would just make me angry yeah.

Speaker 2:

So for those, that don't know.

Speaker 3:

We have an admin now I call her a manager, momager she's a momager, yeah, yeah so if you hear a voice in the background, it's her she helps us. Just hi, mom, live literally okay, so I want to fast forward to the part where you starting going to therapy right, so it was like 2019 so again why?

Speaker 2:

so? the only thing that I can remember so it's 2019, 2018, i don't know, whatever it was. I kind of hit this wall in my marriage and whatever, been married at this point for about five or six years now and that's where I was, just like this is not me, isn't me, i don't know. And so my depression manifests in anger, and I was at work and I was just angry all the time, so angry the point that, like my hair was falling out. I was like had intense, like cystic acne and I was gaining weight and all this stuff and I was like what is my problem? just mad all the time. And was going to a holiday party with my husband and had like a total, just like a total panic attack and he got really mad at me and he was frustrated and I was frustrating and I was like I don't because, of course, growing up in religion, there was no go to therapy and take drugs into any of that. And so finally I was like just fuck this. And I literally just called up defer, like, looked up a free therapist, psychiatrist, and was like I just need some kind of drug or something, like I have to try something. And I did. I got in a couple of it and they started me on well-buttern and it was like at the time I thought it was great because I just started taking it and all of a sudden I could breathe, like I could just breathe. And now I look back and I see that really it was. I wasn't connected to my body, wasn't connected to my emotions, so I was feeling anger and depression and loneliness and all these things and it was just all making me and the drugs just numbed it all, just totally flattened it, which, like I said at the time, was just it's what I needed. I needed a break. So it was great for like a long time. It was for like a year. I was like this is great, but then it was let's bump it up a little bit. Let's bump it up. Let's bump it up. Oh well, buttern's not working. Let's switch you to a fixer. Let's add in hydroxazine.

Speaker 3:

Let's add in boost bar can I say something about that really quick, because I don't think that people realize you can build up a tolerance to these medications, oh yeah and so it's the same thing, like it's not gonna be just 25 milligrams for the rest of your life.

Speaker 1:

No, my, my stepdaughter, one of her friends got on I don't remember what one, an SSRI, and within a month bumped up.

Speaker 3:

Now a few months bumped up pumped up and I'm like are, then they start mixing things, or 16, 17 year olds like what's what?

Speaker 1:

what are the danger?

Speaker 3:

dangers of that or like okay, this combination is working, but now you're having trouble sleeping. Let's put you on this to help you sleep that's what happened to me that happened to you.

Speaker 2:

Yes, that's what happened. Okay, it was every three weeks at first. Every three to four weeks I was going to see my psychiatrist and then that psychiatrist something happened. I got to get switched to another one. So then you got it and the thing is, my appointments with my psychiatrist were literally 20 minute appointments.

Speaker 3:

So these were not like you're going in and you're talking about your traumas and you're talking about like healthy coping skills like okay this was.

Speaker 2:

I'm feeling depressed and I'm feeling kind of sad, and it was like, well, do you want to kill yourself? it was like, well, i mean maybe not like today, but you know it was like, okay, well, well, then, let's start you on this and see how it goes and call 911 if things get bad. It they were literally scheduled for 20 minute appointments and so I went, like, got maxed all the way out on well butrin, and which also is one of the side effects is it's an appetite suppressant. So I lost a lot of weight, which is great, until I couldn't eat anymore, still like to like, which then, of course, brought up all the stupid eating disorders that I had in high school. And I went back into that mindset and then I was getting anxious and so then we had me on boost bar and then like said I couldn't sleep, so take this hydroxazine and take this. And there was something else I added. And so then finally it was like, well, the well butrin's not working, we're gonna switch you totally to a flexor. And it started all over again. The lowest dose of effects are all every three weeks. I get bumped up, bumped up, bumped up. And then I actually got switched to another psychiatrist, i had to start all over again with the third one, and then it was like. And so every time I get there, it was literally this is how it start are you feeling, okay? and I was like no, no. And they're like okay, well. And they would ask me well, do you want to try something else, or did you just want to maybe stay with this dozer a little bit? And I was like I don't know, man, you tell me, how am I supposed to know? Well, do you want to try something else?

Speaker 3:

I was like, i guess, like shit because I don't know, like, not once like getting to the root of any of it.

Speaker 2:

No, And so it got to the point where I was not actively trying to like off myself again, because that was for a while That's how it was. I'm talking like every waking moment I was thinking about how can I like get out of this existence, how can I, can I get in a car accident? Can I do something? And then it was me wanting to do it myself. Well then, after I'd been maxed out on all these meds, it became total apathy. Like at one point I was driving home from work and I was getting ready to go through a green light and a car ran the red light and I went damn, maybe next time. So close, fuck. Like I wasn't going to run a red light, but if another car didn't hit me, it was like you wouldn't have cared.

Speaker 3:

Wouldn't have cared right, it would have been like doing you a favor.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and it just became such apathy, like, oh my God, can I just get in a car accident? Can I just do something? Can I just like, i don't know, like I was just so tired of being here, and then it started. I started getting angry again, and I know because people at work were like, are you okay? Are you okay? And I was like at least I had the wherewithal to acknowledge like things are getting bad again. And that's when Lo Mestang, over here, was all up on my Instagram and I was like something's different, something is different And I have to know. I just I have to know Drugs, drugs And I want the good ones And I think I can. I mean, i barely, i think I just messaged you on Instagram, yeah, I was.

Speaker 1:

I was going to ask I don't remember how that happened, because you and I kind of, after I left nine round and we kind of just kind of faded out. Well, we just, we talked, but we didn't see each other.

Speaker 2:

No, And I think you know you were going through your own kind of physical struggles and you were dealing with that And I didn't I didn't have your new number at the time, but I think it was just like I was dealing with my own and she was dealing with hers and we were both kind of in our own different you know, universes.

Speaker 1:

And then, when she came back on, I just well, and I didn't realize what you were going through with your ex. Well, nobody did Right, nobody did, to be fair, i mean I, when we would hang out like I had opinions, yes, um, but it wasn't, you know, in my place.

Speaker 2:

That was the thing too. Even as as much as I was dying for closeness and safety and all that when Christine and I worked at nine round I felt it in her. I like felt it like I could. This is a girl that I could really be friends with and like I could, like I always felt safe with you. But there was still I did not tell everything because I felt guilty, like talking about my husband or going to you and talking about like I struggle with sex and I struggle with this and I struggle with my body, and it's not that it feels safe with you, it's just there was something that I felt kind of maybe you didn't feel safe within yourself to share it. I didn't And a lot of shame kind of leads a lot of my reactions throughout my life. And I think there was shame like Hey, i haven't married for six years and still don't like sex and still really like this and still, you know, and at this point I'm 27. I have no idea what I'm doing with my life And you know, now I'm like, hey, whatever, i'm 33. I don't know what.

Speaker 1:

I'm doing Right, but I'm. I appreciate you've never shared that with me, so I appreciate you sharing that with me, cause now, like it's very different, are what we talked about? Yeah, it's very different.

Speaker 2:

Go on, but this thing, i think.

Speaker 3:

I just messaged her on Instagram and was like what are you talking about?

Speaker 2:

Yes, I was like you're doing something like your hair is glowing and your skin is glowing and you're like something is different and I need to know. Like I need, i need to know about it. And I had known, being in healthcare, i had known like ketamine treatments. I had looked into that a little bit but it was just expensive and people at work kind of talk about it Kind of don't. A lot of people that I work with honestly just don't really know. I think a lot of the doctors and stuff are just kind of like I don't really know about that. So we got together we just decided to go to brunch one day and I think it was like a four hour brunch, literally, and we sat at wild eggs and talked for four hours and she told me everything And I was like fuck it, let's do it, i have to do it, i have to And like I did a little bit of research. But I kind of have this thing where if I think too hard about things, i bring stuff out. So I just like I watched a couple of the Netflix documentaries and that was about it. And she showed up in my house and I was like let's just fucking do it. I have no idea what I'm getting into. Let's just, let's just do it.

Speaker 1:

So how much did you take?

Speaker 2:

How much do I take? I don't know. you gave it to me my man Five Five Five, seven Five Five.

Speaker 1:

I think, But I had never.

Speaker 2:

I had never done any drugs right Anything. I had done like an edible once or twice and didn't really like it. And so I was literally had no earthly idea what to expect. And so I remember taking it and also thought it. This was like oh, this is going to take like two or three hours to kick in. You were ready, i took it and she was like you might want to go pee now. And I was like why? And she was like just go to the bathroom and sit down. And I came and sat down, i sat down in my bed and I went oh my God, this is so cliche. There's like rainbows, it was like it was like a kaleidoscope And I was like this is exactly what it's like in the movies, it's just fake. Like did you, did you get me Hang on?

Speaker 3:

For the real, is this even real?

Speaker 2:

Like I thought the whole like you're going to see rainbows and unicorns. I saw rainbows and unicorns. Oh, that was nice. It was like a kaleidoscope in my room.

Speaker 1:

I was like, oh, okay, i probably was in my head thinking would you just like fuck down and put your mask on? Oh?

Speaker 3:

man. Oh my God. So what came up for you Like? what was that experience like after the rainbows and the unicorns?

Speaker 2:

stopped dancing. So my intention for my journey was clarity was the word that.

Speaker 3:

I kept talking Oh, that's a good one, it is a good intention.

Speaker 2:

Because so at the time my husband and I had not officially decided that we were getting divorced. We were separated. We were still living in the same house, but we had been technically separated, like living in separate rooms, for about a year. Maybe I think is about that We'd at least been kind of having these problems for a little bit over a year And we hadn't. We were really back and forth and what do you want And what do I want? And it was like I knew what I wanted but I wouldn't just come on and say it. And then I also hope nobody at work listens to this, but like I fucking hate my job, right.

Speaker 3:

I bet they feel the same. probably I'd almost put money on that.

Speaker 2:

It was like I just was so, just not happy in it, Wanted something new. I've, you know, i've been in that job for 10 years now and I started getting antsy, and so it was like there was a new opportunity for me in healthcare and I didn't know whether I should take it or not. So I needed clarity on whether I should quit my job and clarity on whether I should get a divorce. And that's what I kept saying, and I say this a lot I need someone to just tell me what to do, cause my whole entire life people have been telling me what to do. Oh not have not made decisions for myself right Ever. I need someone to tell me. I need someone. My poor sister my sister, by the way, she is my soulmate. If you're listening to this, abby, you are my fucking soulmate.

Speaker 1:

Younger older four years younger than me. I love her.

Speaker 2:

She is every, she is my world, And I talked to that poor girl every day. It was like what?

Speaker 1:

do, i do. And I think she was like fuck, i make a decision, there's nothing.

Speaker 2:

There's nothing. Bless her for listening to my crap, and it was just so fine that we get into this. I'm like my intention is clarity. I need to know what to do. I need to know what decision to make. So you know, i kind of chill, meditate I'm just saying that over and over again, got a little freaked out there for a little bit. So put Christina, let me put my mask on. I laid down and I laid flat. I was laying in my bed upstairs and I laid flat and I just kept giving this overwhelming sense to like I need to be on my side, i need to be curled up, i need to be in the fetal position, and I sleep like that a lot. I get really freaked out if I sleep with my arms out or my legs straight, and I get freaked out in sex that way too. I don't like having my arm, i don't like feeling unmoored or like I'm very. I sleep. I don't know if you can see, but I sleep with like my hands under my chin like this, and curled up all the time like a very protective stance, and I just had this overwhelming feeling like I need to be protected right now. I need to be curled up, and so I did. I curled up and I put one hand under my chin and I had one hand on top of my head And I remember it being very dark, black, kind of getting a little bit scary. Remember Christine saying, if it's scary that means it's something you need to move through. And I remember just making the conscious decision to move through and it opened up and it was just white. I remember like whites and golds and kind of going through a tunnel and coming out and being all white And I don't have any very like specific visual things that I remember It was a lot of just like a kaleidoscope. It felt like I was in a kaleidoscope kind of the whole time. But I remember a couple of phases in. The first one was that I just kept hearing the word mother over and over and over again And it was like at first it started off kind of soft, like mother, mother, mother, and then it was getting angry And I felt like I was getting like bombarded And I have a very I don't know if difficult is a word, but my relationship with my mother is complicated, complicated, yes, and it's so like how you can love someone so much and then not agree with, like anything, and it's just it's so complicated And also I kind of took it to is I do not want children at all And I've known that for a while and but it's always been pushed on me. You know you'll change your mind, you need to. My husband wanted kids and he didn't really push me but I knew he wanted them And I just have always felt this overwhelming guilt and pressure of like why do you not want to be a mother? Like that's what women are supposed to do. You're supposed to want that. You're not feminine if you don't want to be a mother. And it was like this pressure of that, this complicated relationship with my own mother, just like pushing and pushing And I was just curling up more and protecting my head and just I mean totally crawling into myself. And then all I remember was I kind of went through another kind of tunnel and came out no-transcript. It switched to the overwhelming I just kept hearing enough, enough, enough, and it morphed into I saw myself, not my child self, i saw myself in that very moment, exactly how I am, look me in my eyes and say you are enough as is. And it was like for the first time in my life, i realized I can do it. I don't need anybody to tell me what to do. I don't need anybody to make my decisions. I can trust myself. I'm enough as is and, yes, i want that connection. It's so important. Friendships and, you know, romantic relationships are so important, but I don't need them. The way that I was clawing for them And it was just over and over and over again Enough enough, enough, enough. You are enough, just over and over and over.

Speaker 1:

And I don't know if Can I say what was happening from my head?

Speaker 3:

No, this is going on in your mind. I was sucking my So, I have to say it.

Speaker 1:

Let me, I like, literally just spit. She's curled up on the side in a ball and she's rocking back and forth in bed and she's patting her head and she's sucking her thumb. I was just like I don't know what's going on in there.

Speaker 3:

It's working Mothering of the young child.

Speaker 1:

Just from my view, looking a little strange.

Speaker 2:

I was rubbing my head.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yes, that's what you were doing. You were rubbing it and you were patting it and you kind of looked like you had like Tourette's.

Speaker 3:

Like was she tweaking a little bit It?

Speaker 2:

was like, not like Sometimes I would come to I would become a little bit more aware and I had tangled my hand up like my fingers in my hair and I thought that I had like spiderwebs on them. Oh my god, then I would like freak myself out and I was like, oh, it's just your hair, but I would like. I was trying to like calm myself, like pat myself, and I do this. The thing is is I do this a lot at night I don't know if other people, but I will like self soothe, like I will. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I will literally be like tickling my arm, or I'll sleep with my hand on my back and I'll scratch my own back. Wow, like, because I want some kind of physical affection. And that's what I was doing. I was the whole time I was like telling myself that I was enough and at one point, i think I started whispering just it's okay, it's okay, it's okay, it's okay, and I was like trying to calm myself down, You were mothering yourself. Oh yeah big, mothering myself Little little baby.

Speaker 3:

Because you are a mummy. I literally do that with my kids, like we'll rub their arms and their backs, and you know, while they're sitting with me or when they're trying to go to sleep, and like you were literally mothering yourself Yes, like in the way that you needed it.

Speaker 2:

And it was like I said, i kept seeing me in my mind, like the me that I am now Oh shit, which I think was a little bit more, i can't think of the word, but it was the fact that I didn't see my kid self. I actually liked that. I saw myself in that moment And it was like it's like I saw that that is me, like this is not you, the way that you are, the way that. I am right now is the way that I'm supposed to be. It's not like oh, i saw a version of myself that I could be, or I saw a version that I couldn't work towards. It was like no this is how you are now and you're really cool and you're really hot.

Speaker 1:

You should hang out sometimes, we should hang out.

Speaker 2:

And it's like. So I came, i came out of it. I remember waking up, puking my guts up and Christine holding my hair back, and I was like gnawing on that trash, can? I was like, eh. And the funny thing is, though, is that right? when I came out of it, i still kept asking Christine, did I do it right? Did I do it right, stop?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and.

Speaker 2:

I didn't really realize until later. I kept saying did I, did I do it right? Did I do what I was supposed to do? Oh my god. And she was like you did so? you know, of course you're so. you did so great, you did such a good job, you're safe, you know everything. But I just kept saying did I do it right? Is that what was supposed to happen? And so I came out of it. and the funny thing was, though, i was still feeling it, and so I was sitting on my bed. You weren't out of it, i was.

Speaker 1:

I was out of the She's out of the peak of it. I was out of the peak of it, i don't know. Well, she couldn't fucking talk. So she like sat up like ticker mask off and she was like this I was like it's okay. I was like are you okay? And she's like I don't know.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, and so I was sitting on my bed and I remember I had like one leg off my bed and one leg straight. I was just leading up against like this And Christine was sitting on the end because I was still seeing things, like I was still seeing the rainbows. Was it also like?

Speaker 3:

you see what I'm seeing? You're not, oh, okay.

Speaker 2:

Well, my problem is is that whenever I get, like when I smoke or edibles or anything I just talk about, i get short term memory loss, like I'll be talking saying a sentence and can't remember where I was, and so I continued to ramble And that's what would happen. I would look at Christine and I'd be like right, christine's my room, and then I would like look out my window right, i'm in my bedroom and then I'd look over at the bathroom and go I did drugs. And then I would look straight forward and I go what happened? And I would do it all over again And I'd look at Christine and go. I was in a loop. What fell like for hours I don't know how long it really was And so I'd like look at Christine again, and she was in the exact same position, just like on her phone, but she had like six eyes And I kept going. I know that's not real, but I am seeing it. It's not real, but I could see it. Her eyes were like blinking.

Speaker 1:

And so then I do it again, because I didn't know what to do Because you kept staring at me, but you weren't like looking at me, you were like looking through you. Yes, you were a little blank in there.

Speaker 2:

And I was just like, just you know don't make awkward eye contact Do something on your phone because she just keeps staring at you.

Speaker 3:

She can't know.

Speaker 1:

I know she knows she did drugs And she just wasn't saying anything. I was like are you okay? Like do you need some water?

Speaker 2:

Well then I kept thinking like, where is my husband? He should be here. And I was like, oh, he's at work. Okay, that's fine. Because then I was like, does he know I'm doing this? Oh, yeah, he does. Okay, i told him, and I just all over again Until finally I looked at the bathroom and I went wait, i have to go pee. That snatched you out of it.

Speaker 3:

Yes, and I literally looked at her and I just went.

Speaker 2:

I think I have to pee now. She was like okay why, don't you get up and go? and I'll go downstairs and like, get some food and some snacks. And I walked in my bathroom and I went to look up and I went, christine said don't look in the mirror. I thought you were like right back now. I was like I don't want to see what's going on in there, i'm not going to see. And it was like the moment I peed it was like I broke the seal or something And I came out of it. I walked out of the bedroom and she was downstairs. I mean, i was still obviously still feeling hot Sure. But I walked out of the bedroom. She was downstairs getting food together, getting whatever, and I sat down on the side of my bed And again, like I talked about how my trip was a lot of phases And it was a whole nother phase, i sat down on the bed and I looked and I went Christine's gone, but I am okay by myself. I'm like it's so corny, but like that one little moment of me just sitting in my bedroom I don't know if I knew that I am okay by myself. I went.

Speaker 1:

I think I'll just sit here until she comes back, okay, first off, And I did And I just like okay, so that's like I left her and she's like I gotta go pee. And I was just like okay, so I let her go pee And like that's how I left her, where she was like the whole time, and I come back, she was wearing sweat pants. No, i was wearing spanky pants. Well, i thought you took the sweat pants off and then you had the spanky pants shorts underneath it. I don't know. I had like you did, you did Listen. I think I got really hot.

Speaker 3:

Listen, linda, i almost fucked up Listen.

Speaker 1:

Linda So she took off the pants and then she had like the spankies on And it was like a brand new person. I was like what happened? She's like hi. And I'm like, hey, she's like I love myself, i am one hot ass, fucking bitch. And I was just like yes, you are.

Speaker 2:

And then I remember I kept asking her did I get taller? And she was like no. I was like yes, i did. Okay, look how tall I am. She was like okay.

Speaker 1:

So then she like stands up and starts like looking in her like body mirror and she's like literally like dancing around the room and she's like I am so fucking sexy. I was like this Yeah, okay, oh shit. Then she starts like turning around. She's like I have a great ass, i have a great ass And I have cellulite, but who gives a fuck? Like I love my legs, i love my body. I was low key, worried you were going to figure yourself in front of me. I almost did. I think I literally texted Tony And I was like I was feeling like I shouldn't be here right now. One I think she's bisexual.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, i can't believe. I never told you that I want to have sex with you. So bad at nine round, so bad. I would go before I became, before, when I was just a member. I would go when Christine was working because I had such a crush on her. Oh my God, you and Laura, yeah, yeah Because. I didn't want to go when Jason the man instructor was there because he told me I had a nice butt and I was like I want to go in Christine's there.

Speaker 3:

This is amazing Confessions Damn it. We could have had fun at nine round, oh my.

Speaker 1:

God. A lot of fun, okay. But I texted Tony and I was like I don't know, like I'm like really worried she's going to have sex with herself and I'm here. He's like oh wow, and he was just like be careful in those streets.

Speaker 2:

My biggest insecurity is my cellulite over my legs Right. Had it even when I was in high school when I was on my absolute fitness. It just thick thighs cellulite And it was like I had never seen myself like that before. Like I was wearing these short little spanky pants, looking in my full length mirror just thinking do I look like this? all the time. And I kept asking her this is this how I've always looked? And she was like yes, and I was like not off, yes, no.

Speaker 1:

And she'd be like stop, you're lying.

Speaker 2:

I was like I'm really like this is what I look like. And she was like yes, and I don't know if it was like body dysmorphia had taken over my life or the last. it was like a veil had been lifted and I saw myself the way other people saw me.

Speaker 1:

The other thing you would do is you were like laying in the bed and you're like Lay in bed and you would be like Like this on my sheets?

Speaker 2:

Yes, like this. And I was like She was just curled up on my bed in my blanket And I was like kneeling on the bed and then I'd like fall off the bed, i'd be like kneeling on the floor and then she was in the middle of something and I went do you want to have sex with me? No, but really She was like I probably not.

Speaker 1:

She was like she would get on all fours. She'd like get on all fours and start rubbing the sheets and like Oh my God.

Speaker 2:

And then, like at one point I was just up and it was like I cannot even show. I was just like I was like walking back and forth. I have like a lot of room in the end of my bedroom and it was just solid two hours like this for two hours. Yeah, solid two hours. I don't know what I talked about. I told her everything that I went through and then I told her like Let's talk about your books.

Speaker 1:

Oh man, let's talk about your books. So in her room, on one wall, she has just books that are stacked on the floor and on top of each other and like piled so high. I was just like how I was like what, what the fuck? Like this is a lot of books, like I mean this is great, but like You should go do some stuff now.

Speaker 3:

Get out of it all.

Speaker 2:

Go live. Can you, can you just explain to me this situation over here? I was like those are my universes, like those are my books and she was like yes, what is happening? It was just like I love to read, read a lot when I was a kid right, like Harry Potter, hunger Games, like all the fantasy stuff You know. Then you get to college and you stop reading, because when you have to read, like anatomy and physiology and yeah, you don't want to read anymore.

Speaker 3:

No, takes the fun out of it.

Speaker 2:

And then when I was in my 20s, it was like I can't read fantasy, people will think that I'm, you know, weird, weird or childish, whatever. And so I would try to read these, like historical books or these memoirs, and I was like man, my life is miserable enough. The last thing I need to do is read about somebody else's miserable life. No offense, i do not want to read about like the tattoo of Auschwitz, like I don't, i don't, that's not like I think I'm going to relax and read about No. And so it just like hit me that I was like I don't know, i just want to. It was in 2020. It was the end of 2020 or maybe just 20, whatever. I was like I'm just going to read a goofy book, whatever. And so I read the fairy book, the fairy porn book, a court of thorns and roses that are like really, really popular, really popular, and it's literally fairies, not like tinkerbell fairies, more like elves, right, and I know, legolas was my biggest crush growing up, so that's probably where that all started from. I had a life-sized Legolas poster, you know.

Speaker 1:

Orlando Bloom. No idea who you're talking about Lord of the.

Speaker 2:

Rings Never seen it.

Speaker 1:

Orlando Bloom with the long, long hair and the elf ears? Oh, that's your thing.

Speaker 2:

That was in high school. I had a life-sized poster film, so that must have been where it all originated. So I was like you know what makes sense, i'm just going to read the fairy book, whatever Loved it, obsessed, and I was like, is this what I've been missing? because I think that people might think that I'm weird if I tell them that I read the fairy books. So I just read it and it just like totally and because then I went into the whole like why don't I start reading romance? right, like why not, i'm not going to read trashy romance? Oh yeah, that opened up a whole new thing. That was your porno.

Speaker 3:

Do you think? I listened to this podcast? on Dax Shepard's podcast, i listened to an episode with him and it was this woman who studies addiction and addictive behaviors and she talks about it because she herself helped people with addictions but was also addicted to fantasy porn books, because it was like an escape for her, the way that alcohol is an escape for other people. It's like you're living this like alternate reality. You're able to escape your life for a little bit and like so do you feel like that's kind of what it was, like you were getting something out of those books? that like you. Oh, definitely weren't able to.

Speaker 2:

It was 100% an escape for me, like fuck, because I was getting really overwhelmed with like Instagram and TikTok and all that and kind of morphing back into that, like seeing the way that, comparing myself to the way that other girls looked on social media and stuff, and so you read a book. you can read about anything. Yeah, books about plus size women or me have this weird thing that doesn't matter how the main characters are described, i picture myself and, like I always pictured myself, you're about monsters, fairies, whatever, like. whatever you want you can find it and I used it totally as an escape and got a little addicted. I still like to read, but I tried to like branch out maybe a little bit, i don't know. right now I'm reading a lot of gay monster romance or whatever. Monster morphing so hot.

Speaker 1:

Monster romance Gay monster romance. Didn't even know this was a thing.

Speaker 3:

I literally didn't know this was a thing. What's gay?

Speaker 1:

monster romance book.

Speaker 2:

So Lily Main is the author and she has a whole series called the monster series and it's like a post apocalyptic world and there was like a tear in between worlds and all these monsters came through right. But they're not all like animal ones. Like a lot of them are like humans, and so it's like 20 years after this has happened and it's like it's male, male and it's like a human guy and a monster guy.

Speaker 1:

You are so fascinating to me, i know Like, and I mean that in the book.

Speaker 3:

Okay, i need to ask this, though like you said in the beginning, like you're bisexual, and you said just then, like when did you know that about yourself and when were you able to accept that about yourself?

Speaker 2:

It kind of became. I mean to me I probably didn't do it right, because I like to say when I was like 25, 26 is when I started started coming more into myself, acknowledging that, like I needed to be, this might be a thing that, yes, that like things that I'm feeling like regarding religion and regarding just a lot of the way that I was raised is not what I truly believe and really started to dig into, like what I believed in, because it's what I believe in and not what I'm told right. And so around that time I kind of did the whole like that girls are so cute and like that girl's so hot, and like a little bit of like the. I probably didn't do it right, but like, oh my god, i totally kiss her but I'm gonna have a relationship with her. It started morphing into, and then I was like do you, are you really attracted to women? Alyssa is Is, is that something? or are you just trying to be like quirky or felt like what? what? like you really need to dig Into that, because you can't sit here and be like. I was like you need a quarter, you need to figure it out. And so I kind of started looking back, realized in that in high school I put a lot of sports in high school and so you know, we'd go on Um tournaments and things like that and you go to other schools and you play against all these other schools And I would get so jealous of like certain girls. Like there's this one girl. I was jealous of her all the time and I was like, oh, that girl is so pretty and good and perfect and everything She does and her legs are so nice, and like, oh, and I just, and she has beautiful hair, and it was like I was not mad at her because I was like, oh, she's a mean girl. I was like I love her, i was frustrated with how beautiful she was, and so then now I'm like, oh, that's what, that's what that was. I'd get really jealous sometimes of girls and couldn't figure out why, like certain girls And there was no reason. And you know, you do the whole like I don't like her and I don't have a reason, and I would do that like I just don't like that girl, i don't know why. And it was like, oh, oh, you had a crush on her and you were scared of that yeah, and I didn't know how to determine that That's what it was right that was, you know, not allowed, and So it's kind of Morphed. Now it's where I am bisexual. I am still more male Leaning because I've also did a lot of research into, because I always thought like bisexuality was 50-50. Yeah, 50 women and you're 50% men. That's what it is. It's not, it's all fluid, it's all You know. You can be 70, 30, you can be whatever, and I do. I feel like.

Speaker 3:

Was what if you're like 99% male, but then there's like always that one girl crush.

Speaker 2:

That's just gay. That's gf y gay for you. Gay for you, yeah, like you are straight, but you are gf y for her, oh.

Speaker 3:

Oh, wow, did you make that up.

Speaker 2:

It's probably a thing It's like from books, yeah, or what do they call ahead? What do they call it like hetero fluid or something?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we were talking earlier about how, until something Pertains to your life or affects you personally, there's really like you don't have a reason to go down these rabbit holes, you don't have a reason to like research this stuff. I was saying that because, like, my husband's sister is trans and That was a big thing in our family system and I knew so much about it Because it affected us and my answer lesbian and I knew so much about that, like, and It's like I've never thought about the fact that, like, oh well, you've had to go down this rabbit hole because it is directly affecting your life. Am I making any sense, right? now totally you are okay, because I think we all do that I know I'm looking for a hand to hold, a Verbal hand, my making sense. I think we always do that like there's. We forget that there is stuff happening outside of our realities and things that people need to Learn and understand, outside of what we think we need to learn and understand.

Speaker 2:

That affects them yeah, totally make sense. I think as long like for me it, you know it became as long as I'm showing an empathy With them, i can say like I might not fully understand what you're going through. or I might not fully understand, like the first time I met someone who was non-binary, i was like I don't really get it. But instead of being like I don't get it, it was like a tell me about it. Tell me about it. I, i want to have looked into that. I don't really understand it. Are you comfortable sharing with me? and I became you know, and then what it kind of led me to is that, especially amongst sexuality, is it's just, it's what you say. It is to be honest with me, because I was very much like a are you a bisexual, are you a heterosexual? Are they gay? and then it was like I don't know you, you are, you are. Whatever you like to be like you, because for the longest cuz then now, even lately, i've kind of realized like I just like people And I said it before because people sometimes at work will make I don't have a type. Like in college I dated a five foot seven ginger guy and I dated a six foot five, blonde hair, blue eyed surfer guy and I have, like I like so many different kinds of people and So then I went through this like am I pansexual? and then I went I Don't really fucking care, because I just like who I like and I kind of got over the label. So like I do label myself like I'll say like I'm bisexual, but in reality I just like who I like, no matter who it is.

Speaker 3:

And maybe I should correct that, because my aunt will say she's not a lesbian, but her partner is a lesbian. She because she used to be married to a male.

Speaker 1:

Tony says the same thing.

Speaker 3:

She'll say I Love the person that they are. Yeah, like I love their heart. I love who they are on the inside, and the outside isn't what Attracts me to them. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

That's kind of how I became my other aunt is lesbian like.

Speaker 3:

Yes fuck penises.

Speaker 2:

So yeah, that's interesting it because it became interesting, because, like I would say to my sister, like you, really Like you would never with the woman. She was like no, and I was like I'm like the straight straights, i can't understand them.

Speaker 3:

Like a full.

Speaker 2:

You're like full straight, full straight. But then same with like a woman who's like I am 100% lesbian. I'm like you don't even find guys like no, and I'm like but, but boys are so cute.

Speaker 1:

Orlando boom from.

Speaker 3:

The ring. No, i was into. I don't even remember the chicks name From Orlando, bloom the legolas, but like the other one, jackers daughter Tyler. Tyler, steven Tyler's daughter, mac Jagger's daughter They're all the same.

Speaker 2:

Jagger Steven Tyler. I get that way with anybody. I'm like how do you just not like everyone? Everybody's hot all the time.

Speaker 3:

Everybody's hot, yeah no, that makes a lot of sense.

Speaker 1:

I'm gonna manifest this hmm, someone's gonna listen to this podcast episode one day and be like that alley. I'm curious to get to know her. Give me some of that Because, like you are, i just think you're a really special person so she's going through a divorce About to be on the market Healing healing awesome big it.

Speaker 3:

That's the big, big, important part. Like I feel like dating these days should be like what are you doing to heal your trauma and your childhood?

Speaker 2:

Actually just talked to my therapist about this yesterday and I think I've talked to you. It sounds very pretentious, but I'm realizing I have a hard time Being around people that are not doing the work.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, we say that all the time It's hard. It's very difficult.

Speaker 2:

It is like something like I can have a very Surface level. You know you're at work, yeah, we can joke, we can talk and like I can have fun with you, but after a little bit I'm going. I'm so exhaust. Why am I exhausted? Why am I tired And I'm going? I mean, we haven't been talking about anything like no. It's just.

Speaker 1:

It's hard when people are not and imagine people who you've known your entire life and they're expecting You to stay the same and think the same.

Speaker 3:

Yes, we had this conversation About how exhausting it is to put a mask on. That's what it feels like, yes, like I have to go be around People who don't Understand who I am or what I have to say or want to, or want to. They make fun of me behind my back. I'm gonna have to go to this thing and Pretend, mm-hmm, to be interested in the same old shit.

Speaker 2:

And they all talk about. And then you pretend and they go. The girls are fake.

Speaker 3:

Right, mm-hmm, what do you want for her? She's different, she's different, or she was quiet, or that was weird, and I'm, and I feel like I come home and I'm like I Don't want to do that again for a while. Yes, it's very difficult.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so I mean, i even said at work I was. You know, i go to work and I am Like the class clown, the flirty, the jokie, sarcastic, the feisty, and I got. Yes and I got real quiet one day and someone said to me was the guy. He was like what's wrong with you, like you're not, and I was like, oh, workless, i had to take a break. He was like what do you talk about? I said you realize that none of you people know me, right, like This is not, this is not me, because it's something. He was like you're so fun. I was like I'm actually not, i'm a very boring person, like I'm. I can be, but I just I was like this is workless. Uh, this, this is not. Yes this is my work mask, like I am like yes, i am the work comedian. Sure, i'll come in and I'll make everybody laugh for my 12 hours and I go home, it's whatever. And then I only work two days a week and so, like the days that I'm off work, i'm just like God.

Speaker 3:

I Don't have to do that, i don't have to be like funny or You know, it's that I just retired, like a couple weeks ago, from my job because that's what it felt like, like Putting on this mask every day, and there were very few people who knew me And I love and appreciate them because I could just be me. And one day, like a client left a Sticky note on my table when she left and when I went back in the room It said don't hide your woo. I was like, oh, if you only knew that, like sometimes I have to, like I don't want to, but like I just Feel like other people Don't know how to respond To this and I think it's just because now, seeing it, you see that everybody else is Also masking and is also doing that and they're just afraid.

Speaker 2:

And that's where, like when people are like, oh, you do drugs, i'm like, yes, i want everybody to be happy, but I think like that sometimes, like I will look at people now, like at work or my family, and I'm like drugs, your life would change.

Speaker 3:

You should totally have a trip you know, there's like another side to living right.

Speaker 2:

It's like I feel like I almost again It sounds so pretentious, but I like I feel like I have the key and I'm like, do you want to hear about it? And you know, i was very nervous out because, like I said, i worked in healthcare And I was very nervous and I hope nothing bad comes from this, but I was nervous to talk about it at work, you know, working around a lot of doctors and all that. You're afraid that some of them are very set in their ways and it's like, yeah, no, we don't deal with that. Western medicine only I got really good reactions from a lot of my co-workers like a lot. That's awesome and even more so is the biggest compliment to me is that I have had many of them come to me like unprompted and say you are very different and It's very refreshing and I can see That things are changing for you. I've had a lot of them say you seem to be doing really well.

Speaker 3:

That's what I was gonna ask next is like where you are now, how long it's been, like what that integration process? you don't have to like give me all the details, but like well, so I did.

Speaker 2:

It was October, right, so I think we figured out. It's been like what I eat months. I can't count, you could? I know my colors.

Speaker 1:

I think, you're due for another seven months.

Speaker 2:

I am due for another. It's been Obviously highs, like I rode that high for like three weeks after that trip, mushroom cloud Yes, big time. And then Like immediately, and I made it a point to immediately get into therapy. I was like I can't screw around and wait. So I was actually with the guy who was our couples therapist, just because he already kind of knew yeah, and so I think I did two or three sessions with him just on our own And he actually was like you know, i Don't think this is enough. He was like I can tell that you really want to heal and you want more, and this talk therapy is not enough. And so he sent me to his I love that and I thanked him Perfusely because he was like I mean it, he's like, if you want to. He was like we can keep doing this once a week And we can talk for the next 10 years. He was like but I think that there's something better, for he explained to you The army. He was like I'm just not qualified, but I think that you would do so much better with that and it'll get you where you want to go faster.

Speaker 3:

I love that. And he knew you did mushrooms and everything. Yes, yes, see, okay, so that's. Another thing We've talked about is like, not all therapists are equipped to help you through this integration process and it is important to find someone who knows what you did and How to help you navigate through it, yes, and integrate it, yes and he was very like I.

Speaker 2:

He did that like I just don't really know But I know people that are doing that and like it wasn't like ooh, be careful, or it was this immediate like acceptance, and he was and something that was very healing is that. So he sent me to his colleague within his practice and I I'm with her now and I don't know about the two of them personally, but I know that it is a Christian practice And it's very healing that the two of them, um, that I'm getting that from two people that are Christian Wow, That I never thought that I could get from religion I have a lot of anger still towards religion and that the two of them are so accepting and are so open and are not. You know, they're never pushing, It's not, I don't know how to explain it. They're just. They're so empathetic and they listen and they're so good and they take everything that I give them. And it was very healing that I'm getting that from a Christian practice. Even though I might not be going back to that religion, it still was like it kind of healed a little part of me where I like There are some good things to it. Yeah, they're all dodgy and they're all hateful and they're all, and it was like, okay, that's your own, you know, trauma that's talking towards that whole group of people. And these two, my two therapists, have very much kind of brought that out of me. And so now I'm doing EMDR, i do it every week, still feeling a little stuck recently And because I think, because I just went to that body, what was the thing we went to? Oh, women's embodiment circle.

Speaker 1:

Women's embodiment circle.

Speaker 2:

And I said when we were there that I had said I've been feeling stuck And that's I've been feeling very disjointed from my body. I started going back through another, like I hate the way I look and I hate the way I feel and I hate all because I'm like I've gained weight again, feeling very stuck. We went to that women's embodiment thing, which was massive, like for me, like huge. I would never do that before, ever.

Speaker 3:

Well, and hearing it mean either hearing what you talked about in the beginning of this like feeling, like being the good girl. The session that you went to was so perfectly themed Yes. Like that was divine, Like that was not a coincidence. She needed that session.

Speaker 2:

Reading. When she said, like what are the things you've done to be a good girl? And I was like, excuse me, can I have another hour?

Speaker 3:

I have a lot to put down.

Speaker 2:

And that kind of kickstarted it And then. So now I think the biggest thing for my trip is that I used to feel things and not know what I was feeling and not know what to do with them. And now I can sit here and I can sit on. You know, i do this a lot where I just sit with myself, whether it's meditation or not, and I sit with myself and I go what are you actually feeling, alyssa? Are you actually frustrated? Are you anxious? Are you whatever? And lately I've been sitting with myself and it's like, okay, you're feeling a little stuck again And I can get myself out of it. I used to, when I would feel these things, i would just go into which one is it. Is it fawn? Oh, fight, fight, fawn, freeze, freeze. I go into freeze Legitimately. We'll lay in my bed for hours and just like stare at the ceiling And I get so overwhelmed with emotions And so now I can get myself out of those cycles a lot easier And I can tell myself you're not actually anxious, you whatever. You know what I mean. I just am a lot more connected with the actual emotions that I'm feeling, as opposed to them just being totally dampened and me just laying in bed for hours, and so I do feel like I'm due for another one. There's a little bit of fear now, because now I almost know what to expect, and so now I'm going. Oh, what's it going to bring up?

Speaker 3:

But then also, you know what comes out of it. I know it comes out of it And I do want to, like, when we say doing the work and I don't want people to think that we're saying like if you're not doing mushrooms, you're not doing the work We say this a lot, like that's not the only thing we do, like we do that somatic practicing, we do talk, we do talk to our psychiatrist when we need to, and we do have people that we are safe with and open up to and talk to. So like the doing the work part is not the mushrooms, that's not even like you're just going to have a good time, probably a bad time, maybe a little bit of both. A really good bad time, but they were really good beds as perfect, but then, like the doing the work afterwards is the part that's transformational And you can be doing that before you ever do a journey.

Speaker 2:

It's fucking hard work, yes, and it's. It's never ending And that's something that I have to remind myself, a lot is that I'm like. Sometimes it hits me, it's like you will fight your battle with depression for the rest of your life. It's not going to get cured, it's not going to get. And then I realized that it might always be there, but it's not going to be this huge mountain totally overtaking my life the way that it used to be. I can, i can get it manageable and I can. You know, yeah, it might still be there, but at least now I feel like I have the tools and I have the confidence in myself to figure it out. It just was so before this. It was so I don't know how to put it. I just it consumed, you, it consumed. And I would tell people literally every waking moment, from the moment my eyes opened, i would go I don't want to do this, i don't want to be here, i don't want to be on this earth, i don't want to be alive. Every waking moment it was exhausting. So then when people go, how are you? I'm tired, and it's not like I'm tired because I didn't sleep well, i'm tired because I am constantly fighting to stay alive. Literally at every, i have this tattoo on my hand. Just one more. I got that on my birthday last year, so when I turned 32, i got it. And I got just one more. And I got it on my hand specifically because this is the hand that I drive with And when I drive, how many times I've gone, what if I just like that TikTok, yes, like what if I? just what if I just now? and like there's been so many times where I've been driving and been like, just let go of the wheel, just put your cruise control and let go of the wheel. Alyssa, just do that. And so I got it on my hand so that when I'm driving I can see it all the time And just one more is like just whatever it, whatever it is that I need to get through. Just one more hour, Alyssa, just one more day, just one more second, if you can make it, just one more second, and then we'll figure it out. If you can make it just one more second, and then we'll figure it out. And I had to do that and it was exhausting. And this trip has allowed me to just breathe for the first time in my life, to just sit there and see the whole picture and pick out my emotions and go okay, let's figure it out now Let's figure out where we go from here.

Speaker 1:

I'm so proud of you.

Speaker 3:

I am too Like bitch. This is like so pretty, but I've been thinking a lot about like the depression too, Like this is just I'm going to have to deal with this the rest of my life. I used to think like that And then every time that I've had to like go back to doing another mushroom trip or like pulling myself out of this hole, I've had this realization that like the depression for me is because I was so disconnected for so long. So anytime I can almost like pinpoint the triggers that happen that send me back into another depression, and it's when I'm feeling disconnected. So now my goal is to try to remain connected for as long as possible, or to have these practices of coming home to myself or feeling into my feelings and my body, because the moment I start letting go of that is when I can see myself going back into those like depressive episodes.

Speaker 2:

You just feel so unmoored, just so floating, and it's terrifying to be floating out there. And, yes, i need that connection of Christine and the connection of Leah and my sister and my younger brother to just bring me back in and remind me that I am love, as I am right here in this moment.

Speaker 3:

You are enough.

Speaker 2:

I am enough. And yes, it's those connections that just and I think, sometimes depression, you know, an anxiety and all these things it you have those connections but it's blocking them. You can't see them because there were. You know, like I said, attempted suicide at 1721 and 31 and the 31. So just a couple of years ago was again. It was when my husband and I I told him to leave, i told him to get out and I sat, i was sitting at the top of my stairs and I sat there and went there's nobody, i can call nobody. And I drank a bottle of whiskey and I took a bunch of sleeping pills and I started to self harm again And luckily my husband felt something and he called me and he facetimed me and he saw that I was doing things and he came back and he got me out of it. But the funny thing is is days later, when I sat there and I thought you were sitting there thinking there is no one on earth that you could call, and now I'm sitting there going there's my sister, there's three people from work I could have named, i've seen there's my neighbor, there's. I had all these people I could have called, but it would just it overcame it lies to you. It overcame me in that moment so heavily that I could not remember a single person in my life, and that's where you know a lot of people. Suicide is selfish and suicide no, suicide is a lie because it your brain is so in that moment where you lose your sense of self to the point where you actually want to take yourself out. It's so outside of your mind. It's a bad version of being high. It's being so high and outside of your mind, just in a very dark place, the fact that I couldn't I couldn't recall my sister's name in that moment to pick up my phone and I could not put my sister's name in my phone to call her because it had lied to me that. And so that's where this is again so kind of cliche and whatever, but lifting that veil, and this trip has just shown me that, like in those moments, i go nope, stay away. Like I have connections, i have people in my life, i have people I can call and I just need to reach out to them, and it's just created a space for me to be able to breathe and to sit for a second and, like, acknowledge things instead of just like my life is so miserable and I'm just going to off it right now because I don't have anyone And it's like I just my brain has totally. My thought process is just entirely different after just this one, one journey, one trip, and that's where I feel like I'm holding the key and I'm going to be like hey, let's all do drugs. Everybody can feel the way that I feel. It's just I've told people at work when they're like, oh so it was really good And I'm like it's life changing, life changing. And I've told a couple of people if I hadn't have reached out to you and if I hadn't have done this, i can say with complete certainty I would not be here right now. I would not. I tried enough times to take myself out of this earth and I was going to be successful one of these times. And if it had not been for this, no, with 100%, i would not be here right now. It's not just life changing, it's life saving. I'm happy that you're here.

Speaker 3:

I want you to pull one of these for her, because you know her better than I do. I should also say that I only met you the one time at the women's embodiment circle. It was very quick and we didn't have a lot of time to chat.

Speaker 2:

This is one of those things now where I can see I feel so safe with you already. There's just such. I even said it to Christine. I felt it, i don't know why. I think her name's Lindsay the one who ran it. For a long time I was like I can't go to Pilates, they're all snotty and whatever. And I met the girl and I was like man, i feel safe with her. It's like I have this kind of sense now where I can like when I meet someone I'm like they're a very safe person. You can feel that, yes, i can feel it Like. I feel like I can open up to them and I feel safe with them and I feel whether it's this deep, life changing relationship or not like that is a person I can go to, that I can be with. I feel that with you.

Speaker 3:

I love that. Oh, thank you. I love you. I love you. Do you want to have sex? I just can't.

Speaker 2:

Oh, my God yes, yes, and Christine can watch And be so jealous. Only fans.

Speaker 3:

Oh, sorry, she's not married yet. I'm just kidding. Pull up her OnlyFans link in the bottom. That's how we make money. I do have cute feetsies Ooh, not me. I am, i'm not, i'm not, i'm not, i'm not, i'm not, i'm not, i'm not, i'm not, i'm not, i'm not, i'm keeping my toes up here.

Speaker 2:

Some people like that too.

Speaker 3:

Whatever, Okay, we're doing this thing. We just started doing this. These cards are called the Skin Deep. They have like several different decks So far. We've done this twice so far, and this is supposed to be the amusing friend edition. They have not been that amusing, so maybe you can put a spin on it, but that's why I'm like you, pick a card.

Speaker 1:

We're not going to draw one, describe a time where your failure resulted in the best thing that could have happened.

Speaker 2:

Oh God, i hope he doesn't Again. I say this With love. With love, i mean, i have the weirdest feelings, but getting married to the man that I married Failure. Some people might call it failure because we're divorcing. I don't say that, but it brought me to Kentucky, it brought me to you, it brought me to the people that I have, the job that I have, and it I mean I don't know if I would call it a failure necessarily, but I guess you could say that the divorce is probably the failure that has brought me. I have never felt more myself, more secure in myself, more at peace, than when I finally said it's time for this to be done.

Speaker 3:

It's time for me to move on. Still not amusing but, holy fuck that was beautiful.

Speaker 2:

That was because, you know, that was the one thing I thought. That was like I didn't think that I could.

Speaker 1:

I think that's why you had a hard time letting go.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I can't live in a house by myself. I have to work by myself. Who's going to take my trash out? I was going to my lawn He still does. You got that? Yeah, Perfect, But yeah, it was. I saw that a lot as like the biggest failure that I could ever experience would be if I got divorced. Like my parents are going to have to tell people that their kid got divorced and I'm going to have to tell people that I got divorced and I've never felt more at peace. But with all love to him, I still do love him dearly.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you guys sound like you're really good friends in this. He sounds like a really good supportive.

Speaker 1:

He is, he's a good guy. He's a good guy.

Speaker 3:

Partner.

Speaker 1:

He's a good guy.

Speaker 3:

And he sounds like he wants what's best for you.

Speaker 1:

I think he loves you so much. He wants you to be happy and find yourself.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

And he knows that he's probably not equipped to do that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and he's told me that multiple times, and it's such a weird feeling to love somebody that much but to know that you need to not be together.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I stressed working with you because I knew what the answer was going to be and I didn't want him to like be upset with me. But also I think he knows that it was the right answer to. Does that make sense.

Speaker 2:

I did.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, all right, we got to wrap this up, but I am so grateful to know you now. I love you so much. Can you like send me her number?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, For friends, your friends, now For whatever, whatever.

Speaker 2:

But I also feel like.

Speaker 3:

I feel like there might be some people Oh shit, and we're not telling Jason that. I feel like there are some people who can like hear your story and relate so fucking hard.

Speaker 2:

And that was what I told Christina. I was like what the fuck am I supposed to talk about?

Speaker 1:

I knew, i knew I've been pushing for you to come on here. I love to ramble.

Speaker 3:

No, it was not rambling. It's necessary, and I love this whole journey for you.

Speaker 1:

You're my favorite, stop it.

Speaker 3:

Really, this crush is coming back Like you're never going to let that down, so thank you for being here.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for having me.

Speaker 3:

This is always a safe place for you. You can come hang out with us anytime. Hell yeah, okay, that's all of our listeners.

Religious Trauma and Personal Growth
Body Shame and Religious Upbringing
Dating and Early Marriage Struggles
Surviving Suicide Attempts
Over-Reliance on Medication
Heroic Psilocybin Journey for Clarity
Self-Mothering and Self-Acceptance
Self-Discovery, Sexuality, and Fantasy Novels
Embracing Authenticity
Embodiment and Emotional Work
Overcoming Depression and Finding Connection
Discovering Safe Connections
Support and Moving Forward