Kulap Vilaysack Returns (Voted #7 ep of 2013)

Kulap Vilaysack Returns (Voted #7 ep of 2013)

The actor and podcaster (Who Charted?) returns to the podcast to talk about the struggle to keep a relationship with her mother whose gambling addiction has wreaked havoc on her family’s life.     Almost an hour of surveys as well.



Episode notes:

Check out Kulap's Podcast Who Charted?

Visit the Who Charted? Facebook Page

Episode Transcript:


Paul: Welcome to episode 118 with my return guest, Kulap Vilaysack. This episode is brought to you by square space the all-in-one platform that makes it easy to create your own website. For free trial and 10% off go to squarespace.com and use the offer code happy – h-a-p-p-y. This is the mental illness happy hour. My name is Paul Gilmartin. I got that backwards. My name is Paul Gilmartin and this is the mental illness happy hour. 90… 90 minutes (it actually hasn't been 90 minutes probably in a couple of months. it's more like 100-110 minutes of… But that doesn't really roll of the tongue so we're going to keep it to 90 min.) Ohhhhhh, God, I’ve talked a whole lot already! 90 minutes of honesty about all the battles in our heads from medically diagnosed conditions, past traumas, to everyday compulsive negative thinking. This show's not meant to be a substitute for professional mental counseling. It's not the doctor's office. It’s more like a waiting room that doesn't suck. The website for this show is mentalpod.com. Please go there. Fill out the surveys. You can see how others have responded to surveys. You can join the forum. A lot of people finding comfort in the camaraderie in the forum and I count myself as one of them. And, you can support this show on the website as well. What did I want to share with you? Oh, I had another one of these moments about five days ago when I’m playing hockey and I find myself in this really really angry space where I am trying way too hard and I find myself… Like when you're playing hockey, and in the span of 10 minutes three guys on the other team ask you “what your fucking problem”, it's probably you. It's probably you. You know? Like, one guy, you can kind of write off and say, “oh, that guy is just sensitive”, but… I thought I was just playing hard but I become that guy. That in-the-mirror guy that I hate… that is… that you just see he is like trying to get dad’s hug by playing. And, it looks so sad on a guy with crow’s feet. It just does. And, in my mind, you know, I am Bobby Orr when I am out there. I'm lying down. I'm blocking shots. I'm making good outlet passes. I'm skating hard but it probably looked kind of pathetic. And, one of the things that kind of being in recovery and stuff and therapy has helped me do is when I find myself getting into it with people is… one of the things I do is to go some place quiet afterwards and jack off into a dumpster. I go to someplace quiet and try to look inside myself and say, “what was it that was triggering me? What is bringing up this anger and this intensity – this fear inside of me?” And, as I looked at it I was like motherfucker, I'm afraid of getting older. I'm afraid that I can keep up with these guys anymore because I was so out of breath when I was playing. It was like I would go out there and after 45 seconds, I would just be gasping for breath. And I found myself envious of other guys who could skate up and down the ice 3-4 times and wouldn't even be as out of breath and I was like I'm really basically the version of the dude with a toupee driving the Corvette. You know? That divorcee… Hiding it just a little bit better. Just doing it on the ice really. That's the only difference but I wanted to share that with you guys. And, I’m on day… I guess it would be day 12 or 13 of Lamictal. Still on 25 mg, not feeling much of a difference yet but they say you don't usually feel the difference until like maybe week three, so fingers crossed. Alright. Lots of surveys. Mostly surveys today. But I'm going to kick it off with an e-mail I got from Megan Enloe, who works with the new media Expo who actually give me a podcasting award earlier this year in the health and fitness category which makes me laugh. Because, they are giving a health and fitness award to a guy who last time he walked into a health club, scanned his card, the woman behind the counter said, “you haven't used your card in 700 days.” And, just shook her head. So, I love that. Megan writes, “I’m at the Mikel Optima building processing free and low-cost health care insurance forms while listening to you talking to Meghan Parkansky about getting health care coverage." (Meghan was my guess at couple weeks back – returned guest.) “Please let your listeners know that the state/county they live in wants them to have health coverage. It's far cheaper to keep people healthy than it is to heal them when their condition reaches emergency status. For low income or for income that goes up and down a lot (like a lot of artists here in Southern California), there is a good chance they qualify for a state program. It's not just for the indigent street person. It's hard to admit when you're not able to afford health insurance but if the listeners will suck up their pride and walk into the social services office, they may be surprised at the services they qualify for.” Thank you for that Megan, and you can often call/dial 211 from a landline and find out what services are available in your area. These next couple of surveys are from the Struggle in a Sentence survey. Woman who calls herself “Into the Gray” about her OCD writes, “if what I do isn't perfect, I am worthless.” Sarah, who is in her 30s, about her bipolar depression - she writes, “it makes me feel like I'm in a backwards telescope and everyone and everything else have drifted far away and I can't feel or understand anything anymore.” About her bulimia, she writes, “when am binging, I feel out of control, frenzied, and monstrous, and when purging, I feel pathetic, ashamed, and disgusting. I feel like I'm doing something unnatural and fundamentally wrong to my body. Afterwards I feel shaky, tired, and numb, and I pray that it would've been the last time.” And then again, about being bipolar she also adds, “being diagnosed as bipolar two makes me feel like the diagnosis is just an excuse for my bad behavior and I'm really just a bad person and the Dr. just slapped bipolar type II on me because he couldn't diagnose me as a selfish, angry, hateful, jealous, whiny bitch.” Giving you a big fucking hug there, Sarah because I know what that feels like. Kat about her bipolar writes, “being forced to decide every day that you want to live when you first wake up.” About being a sex crime victim, “is this the day when I panic and cry when my boyfriend wants to make love to me?” That one breaks my heart. And about her mania mixed episodes she writes, “running around like a motorized doll with show tunes blasting in my head while I compulsively clean, eat, listen to music, surf the Internet, and watch TV all at once.” This is from the Shame and Secrets survey filled out by a guy who calls himself, B.D. He is mostly straight. He writes, ”mostly straight but maybe.” He is in his 30s. He qualifies, "I feel mentally 14; does that count?" B.D., I think most of us feel mentally 14. He was raised in an environment that was a little dysfunctional and never been sexually abused. Deepest darkest thoughts: death... so much death… daily... either by my own hands, accidents, or someone else. I think about being robbed and purposely giving them a hard time so they will kill me. No one actually likes me or ever has. I'm tolerated and a burden and I can demonstrate how everyone I am connected to would have a better life without me.” Deepest darkest secrets: I have attempted to or at least planned my suicide more than the two times I've told my therapist including last November when I wrote a note and decided to do it in a hotel with pills. Sexual fantasies most powerful to you: so many… group sex by sexual orgies… bondage -being tied or tying someone down… Water sports – giving control to the point I am forced to do things I don't enjoy… Taking control but only to give immense pleasure… specific clothing and props… humiliation by being in public. Do you ever consider telling a partner or close friend: she knows most of them and is good giving and game.” Sounds like it's got to be a saying, isn't it? Do these secrets and thoughts generate any feelings toward yourself: I'm very much a pervert but am actually okay with that.” You don't sound like a pervert to me. You sound like a person with a healthy sexual imagination as long as you're not stepping on other people's toes. This is from the Shame and Secrets survey filled out by woman called Jillian. She's bisexual in her 20s. Was raised in an environment that was a little dysfunctional. I'm just going to read a little bit of her survey, not the whole thing. Ever been the victim of sexual abuse: “some stuff happened but I don't know if it counts. I'm not sure of my answer on two levels. First, I think that this question is asking about an adult or someone in a position of power sexually abusing you as a child. If that's the case, then no.” That's actually not that. It can be sexual abuse when you're an adult as well. It doesn't just have to be about when you're a child or adolescent. She writes, “second, my first time having intercourse, I had said no probably three times. He did it anyway. I felt horrible about it anyway but I didn't fight. I did say no strongly. I went back and had sex with him three or four more times to prove to myself that it was my choice.” That is more than maybe. That sexual abuse. If you said no strongly, yeah. And that makes sense to me that he would go back to try to prove to yourself that it was your choice because I think when people get abused they want to try anything. You know, it's like the seven stages of death and dying. I think that first stage is denial. You're either going to blame yourself or your going to say that you wanted it or it turns you on or… Sometimes even your body may even be turned on. Deepest darkest thoughts: “terrified that I'm going to be a child molester. There is no basis for these thoughts. When I was 10, I thought it was a good idea to show to my brother was my vagina looks like. It was creepy and wrong and terrified I scarred him for life. On the other hand, I think it was just a child and I was trying to figure out what was going on with my own body. That doesn't make it okay. I'm too ashamed of this to really even say it out loud.” I would say the latter. You know? Kids are kids. It doesn't sound like there was any type of like malice behind it and you know, a lot of times brothers probably want to know what they vagina looks like. So, I don't know if it's scarred him but maybe bring it up to him. Deepest darkest secrets: “after dating my girlfriend for a year I realized that I am actually bisexual because I had an intense sexual dream involving my brother. This really really creeped and grossed me out. He was about 16 I was just getting facial hair and a half to seeing the next and felt really dirty.”I wouldn't put credence into dirty dreams about relatives. That's just me. You know, the things that we dream about… I don't know, or go talk to somebody that analyzes dreams and those more than a jackass that tells dick jokes while he cooks chicken. But then again you didn't ask for my opinion so why don't I just shut my fucking mouth and read the next one. But I do think you may get some closure by bringing that thing up to your brother about that thing you did when you were 10 because I don't think that's something you should still be beating yourself up for. This is from the Shouldn’t Feel This Way survey. And, this is filled out by a guy who calls himself Alexander. He is straight in his 30s was raised in a stable and safe environment. What would you like people to say about you at your funeral: “a selfless man whose existence was a gift to humanity. A man whose actions and behaviors set a new standard for kindness and generosity. He will be sadly missed by his daughters and fiancée.” How does writing that make you feel: “like a complete arshole. O delusional self-centered narcissistic Fuck wad who isn't worth a shit and a can.” Dude, I would almost want to fly to England to just hang out with you because you fucking make me laugh and I kind of wish I was still drinking because you are the kind of guy that I would love to sit and have a drink with in a pub. I just love the first two things you wrote in there. If you had a time machine, how would you use it? “Go forward about 10 years to just check how much devastation my existence is actually causing my family. I suspect it's a lot.” How many of these do you feel? I am supposed to feel blank but I don't. I feel blank. “I'm supposed to feel excited and Joyous about getting married but I don't. I feel fraudulent and suffocated. I am supposed to feel happy and fulfilled about being a father but I don't. I feel resentment, anger, and guilt.” How does writing that make you feel? “Flat and worthless. Also, frustrated that I can only be truthful with an anonymous survey instead of with my fiancé, my family, and even my psychologist.” Do you think you are abnormal for feeling what you do ? “Probably not.” Would knowing other people feel the same way make you feel better? He writes, “only if they had some answers or solutions.” And, that’s why I would highly suggest the first person you begin to get completely honest with is your psychologist. You are already paying them and they want to know that stuff. That makes their job more interesting. They are no there to judge you. They’re there to help you. This is from the Shame and Secret survey filled out by a woman called herself E.P.. She is bisexual in her 20s –was raised in an environment that was little dysfunctional. Eret survey filled out by a woman called herself E.P.. she is bisexual in her 20s –was raised in an environment that was little dysfunctional. Ever been victim of sexual abuse: “Some stuff happened but I don’t know if it counts. I blacked out drinking when I was 16 at a post-graduation party. I woke up in a room without my clothes on. I have no memory of what happened, and it terrifies me to even consider it.” Deepest darkest thoughts… And, I'm going to talk about this little later in the survey but I would not try to brush something like that under the rug and bury that. That’s heavy. That's really fucking heavy and you should talk to a professional about that. You know, it's probably too late to worry about who did it or any kind of punishment or anything. Or maybe something didn't happen but what you're feeling is so important talk about – to not bury that. Deepest darkest thoughts: “I wish I could be anorexic again. Rationally I know that it was just one of the darkest periods of my life, but when the disease was at its peak, I felt incredibly powerful. Not just in terms of self-control but also the power my seemingly imminent death held over others. It was As though I was strongest when my body was at its absolute weakest.” That is just fucking so (I don’t even know the words…) so profound. It is so heavy and profound that sentence. E.P., you have such a beautiful way of putting your inner life into words. Deepest darkest secrets: “I slept with a close friend multiple times while he still had a girlfriend. The thought of it still haunts me but I know I would do it again.” One other thing from her thing that I wanted to read. Oh, sexual fantasies most helpful to you: “being in a relationship with a man but also being able asleep casually and frequently with women.” Would you ever consider telling a partner or a close friend? She writes, “yes, though I haven't been in a relationship for long time. We writes, “yes, though I haven't been in a relationship for long time. Whenever someone reveals that they are physically and emotionally attracted to me, I start to resent them. I don't know if I’ll ever be in a stable relationship. Do these secrets and thoughts generate any particular feelings toward yourself: “self-hatred and shame has been my default for almost my entire life. Thinking about these things only serves to amplify it and validate it. I so so urge you to go talk to somebody and by the way I so relate to that thing about… I feel like I'm just getting to the point now at 50 years old where I can accept people's love. I have shared in this podcast that when I was 18 and going out with this girl, she smiled at me the party and I remember wanting to punch her in the face because I felt this odd rage that why… what the fuck are you smiling about? How could you be happy to be with me? It made me angry. I could not put it into words then that that’s why I was angry but this like rage came over me. Thank God I did not hit her - never have hit a woman. I am going to work my way up with a feminine men. Not going to edit. This is also from the Shame and Secret survey filled out by woman calls herself “Future Single Lady”. She is bisexual in her 30s was raised in a pretty dysfunctional environment was a victim of sexual abuse and never reported it. Deepest darkest thoughts: “I am not attracted my husband. I love him and think he's a great person, provider, and husband and I enjoy many aspects of our life together but I have zero interest in him physically. I dream about cheating on him with other men and women all the time. I dream about leaving him but don't know how I would manage financially and also fear his hurt and ridicule. I can hear him say, “you just married me so you could have a kid and being taken care of. And, now you're done with me.” I'm afraid he's right.” Deepest darkest secret: “I had a couple of emotional affairs with boyfriends via Facebook. That sounds so lame. Just texting about having a crush back in the day and what ifs… No sexy thoughts. Well, not much.” Sexual fantasies most powerful to you:” having sex with a woman. I've made out with a woman but never had sex. I fantasize about being rich massage client. A bored housewife and I go to her home weekly to give her massage which turns into much more. Neither one of our husbands suspect a thing, and somehow I'm guilt free because I am working at the cheating isn't as harmful because it's a woman.” Would you ever consider telling a partner for a close friend: “my husband knows that I really fantasize about women but he doesn't know about the cheating part yet.” Do these secrets and thoughts generated any particular feelings about yourself: “fear that I will do it, will feel too guilty to keep it a secret, will tell my husband, he will leave me and I will spend the rest of my life poor and alone struggling to raise my son who will be fucked up because his parents split up which is my fault.” Thank you for sharing that. Sending you a hug. This was filled out by… this is also the Shame and Secret survey filled out by a guy who calls himself Achilles jacks. He is bisexual, possibly gay, and hetro-flexible. He is in his 40s; was risen a pretty dysfunctional environment; never been sexually abused. Deepest darkest thoughts: “that I'm gay or bisexual and married my wife, a woman, and I'm not brave enough to leave. To live truthfully, to admit to the world, to come out of the closet.” Deepest darkest secret: “I think of smashing my wife’s face in once in a while. It's scary I don't think I've ever do that. I also get the impulse to grab women in public.” Sexual fantasies most powerful to you: “fuck five guys at once. Fuck an 11 or 12-year-old sexy looking girl. I want the hard-core fuck my niece.” Would you ever consider telling a partner or a close friend your fantasies and : “probably not. Shame and fear of abandonment.” Do these generated any particular feelings toward yourself: “shame sometimes.” Well, thank you for sharing that. You know, I like to read stuff that… you know, if it's hard for somebody to write it down… to put it on paper in the survey, I am… I feel compelled sometimes to want to read it. I just read about too many people that feel trapped in a marriage and their sexuality doesn't feel honest. That's why put these last ones together. Though, this guy is not married. This is from the Shame and Secret survey filled out by a young man (what am I? 100?) He is 19 , alright? A youngster. Calls himself Isaac. He's male. He's straight; ever been the victim of sexual abuse: “some stuff happened but I don't know if it counts. About six months ago, I was in my school's locker room when a jock who I were previously never spoken to came out of the shower and out of nowhere he jumped on me shouting, “I’m going to fuck your faggoty ass. I fought him until I hit his sweet spot and ran off in the very quote faggotty way. Deepest darkest thoughts: “the jock I mentioned recently killed himself about three weeks ago, and, around a week before he did, I verbally abused him calling him very cruel homophobic names. I think that I killed him. It’s because of me and my fucking mouth that he hung himself.” Deepest darkest secret: “the previously mentioned. I cannot tell anybody what happened because my school’s therapist is his aunt and when I told my friends about what happened she told me to keep it to myself but I just can't. I just can't.” Would you ever consider telling a partner or a close friend: “told my close guy friend after we made out which confused both of us very much.” Do these secrets and thoughts generated any particular feelings toward yourself: “confused about who I want to insert my penis into sometimes.” You know, Isaac, I would give up on trying to label what your sexuality is. Everybody's sexuality is a continuum and often it's fluid. May change over time and it doesn't matter what you call your sexuality. What matters is getting comfortable in it and to find somebody that you can express it with that doesn’t judge you. And, about this guy that said this stuff - this guy had a lot a lot of self-hatred going on in him and your words did not kill this guy. They did not. And, this guy started that shit with you. You know? So, please, please put that thing on your mind, and then this is the last thing I want to read before we get to Kulap’s interview. This is from a Happy Moment survey filled out by a woman who is gay in her 20s. She calls herself LA Wife LGBT. I am a lesbian. My same-sex fiancé and I just gotten a lot of stares while out for dinner. We were talking about our wedding registry, but instead of letting the steering people intimidate us, she motioned for me to talk louder about wedding stuff. I did. It was such a happy moment because I felt free and didn't care what other people thought. My fiancé also worries even more about what people think then I do. Seeing her willing to take the real risk of being out in public like that just made me feel even more loved. Also, the next day we were driving to Chicago on a perfect day - bright but not hot. The breeze whooshing through the cracked Windows was cool and fresh, and the traffic in the Ryan Expressway had just cleared up just as we got our first look at the city skyline, Macklemore’s Same Love came on the radio. It's a pro-same-sex marriage song we are featuring prominently at our wedding. I started to sing for the first time in months. I was too depressed to do that before. I I just felt so content and safe ensure the country and attitudes would change. That song and seeing a marriage for all billboard just made me feel so accepted.

Intro Music

Paul: I'm here with Kulap Vilaysack so most of you know because she was a guest… Not only a guest but one of the listeners’ top 10 favorites of 2011. I don't know. Did I ever tell you that?

Kulap: no I did not know that.

Paul: the top 10 list!

Kulap: you know I love a chart.

Paul: have them start chiseling that on your headstone. Kulap is also a co-host of Who Charted - a very popular podcast over at Ear Wolf and, she also co-hosted it with very funny Howard Kramer. But most recently you and I met backstage (well, not met – we knew each other.) We bumped into each other backstage at Jimmy Pardo’s Pardcast A Thon. And, I asked you how you were doing and you kind of… If you roll your eyes or breathed and exhausted sigh but I was like I think I might want to have you back on just to hear what's going on.

Kulap: well, first I want to say incredibly honored that I've made the top 10. I want to take this opportunity now to say thank you to all your listeners who wrote to me. You forward me few e-mails. I have gotten some beautiful Facebook messages as well. I haven't really replied at all but I wanted to take this opportunity to say that it means a lot to me and I'm very touched. And, I feel like talking about this stuff has really set me free and to kind of hear that feedback that some other people… You know, I've heard that when you talk so detailed about yourself, it becomes about me so it's been really nice to have that interaction with people and I just also want to say… I wonder if you get this a lot where it’s like I see you like, “ohhhh, now I can talk about…” Like, I immediately would go, “okay, let’s go. I’m going to…” Like you are a therapist. Like I’m going to unload. Let’s vent now.

Paul: No, not so much me. With my friends in my support group - it's that way. But, we are that way with each other but with people outside, the comedy community, or just you know, non-support-group friends, no. No, I’m just Paul to them. And, I think I probably go to people was as much as anybody goes to me that I think through e-mail. Yes, I get that a lot that people, kind of, listeners that want me to be their therapist and I always, you know, kind of, preface things by saying, I’m a jackass that tells dick jokes. You know. Yeah, I have lived through some shit and have gotten some insights about it but go to a therapist. Go to a mental health worker. See a psychiatrist. This thing is too big for you to try to handle on your own. That's kind of my mantra over and over again but, that being said I am extremely flattered and I do enjoy knowing what is going on with people. Sometimes it is little overwhelmingly when you get somebody that goes on for six pages of single-spaced type and it's just horror after horror after horror. Honestly sometimes I have got to protect myself and just scan things because it would…

Kulap: Well, to take that on is… yeah… I mean it is amazing for that person. Probably I would guess that that had been bottled up for a while. So, for them it's that cathartic experience. But, yeah, you will have to be careful to care of yourself to take on and to kind of like live it as it is being illustrated, as you're reading would be very… It would make it clear he hard for you to be able to do this every time.

Paul: the fact majority of people do it in way that is not overwhelming to me (that is kind of two the point) gives me some detail about what they're going through and there is vulnerability in there lifts my spirits. That keeps me buoyed throughout the day I'm having a hard day. But, sometimes it's can be turned in and obviously it is a continuum and there is all kind of points in between. But let's get back to you.

Kulap: Let’s get back to me! Back to Kulap! Let’s see, I would have seen you for Christmas or was it by Thanksgiving?

Paul: It was thanksgiving. It was right around Thanksgiving.

Kulap: okay, then now we were at the heart of things.

Paul: The heart of darkness!

Kulap: The heart of darkness. So, I hadn't spoken to my mom for I would say between a year and half to two years and, it was a choice made by me. Please see my first episode of mental illness happy hour. Ahen, I have come to a place where I decided that I wanted to reach out.

Paul: were you feel guilty or did you genuinely want to rekindle for you?

Kulap: Hummm, I felt guilty.

Paul: or both?

Kulap: well, alright, I mean… Okay, part of it was I went to a psychic and…

Paul: this interview is over. I think your purses by the door. No, YOUR PURSE IS BY THE DOOR!

Kulap: where is my purse? Oh, it's over there. Okay.

Paul: So, you went to see a psychic.

Kulap: I saw a psychic which I’ve never done before. In fact, I was kind of like, you know, I’ve spoken and I’ve done horoscopes, astrology. I do things. I have seen a shaman… we will talk about that little later, but I saw a psychic and it was actually more like a therapy session. I transcribed our are meeting and a big section he talked about… he was like mom she's got a heart of gold, heart of gold but she is chaos; she is darkness. I was like yeah… yeah… Hearts of gold, heart of gold. I was like yes, that’s true. And the way he described, he was like you should talk to your parents. And I was like why? He was like well, because even though you don't speak to them, they occupy negative space within you. So even though you're not talking to them, you are constantly thinking about them. And he's like it will help you to basically effect that energy out of you. And he's like you're not… This is how he put it. Don't get me wrong. You are not missing a beautiful piece of artwork in your life. In fact he was like trying to make a mansion of tear-down. I am not suggesting you go to your parents hat in hand but in fact I think you should be guarded. It was like see where your parents really are and grow away from that. That was kind of the first time where I was like oh, huh, that's true. I do think about them a lot. It occupies a sort of negative…

Paul: it almost reminds me of some the scene of a tragedy to get closure on it or something. Does that sound kind of like what…

Kulap: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. If I’m constantly thinking about like an molding it… I mean, in a lot of ways… And I know now that was a big chunk of what was holding me back. Sort of this like… I take responsibility and I have sort of made my family into the sort of dark cloud that I just kind of… Igor that I sort of would carry with me, you know? Mnd, in their absence they weigh more than, you know, having a relationship…

Paul: is the weight the burden of you feeling like you're a bad family member or…

Kulap: that is in there. That is definitely in there.

Paul: and also in there… because I relate very much work to what's you are talking about… Doyou also feel like the weight is also made up of what if of one of them dies? You know, I’ll feel like I have unclose business. Describe what the weight is instead of me trying to guess. Why don't you…

Kulap: Yeah, I would say… Actually I wonder if I should hold off and tell you a little bit more about…

Paul: this is the storyteller right there ladies and gentlemen. She knows how to unwind a spool…

Kulap: and if you could make the lights spotlight directly on top of me.


Paul: We’re going to push in on this. We don't even have cameras but that is where we’re going to push in.

Kulap: so, that happened and I've been seeing a shaman you know, what I think I have been thinking about is I want to have a family and as best I can I don't want to carry stuff onto this idea of this new relationship. Old stuff…

Paul: And by relationship you mean with your husband, Scott?

Kulap: Oh, no. With my baby, if and when I have a baby. You know, this mom stuff… I just feel like I don’t… I want to deal with it.

Paul: How close are you to having a baby?

Kulap: I mean, not that close but honestly I would love to have a baby this year. It won't happen before April. We've talked about it but you know, yeah, I want to live the baby.

Paul: and just briefly, what do you get out of going to a shaman? I've never seen one. I've heard people talk about shamans. There are mystics? I mean what…

Kulap: Yeah, I would say mystics. Look guys, I am fully aware I sound like a…

Paul: of the eye-rolling quotient?

Kulap: and, I do with too. I eye-roll about everything that they do get I truly believe everything I do. It's… I don't know what to say.

Paul: I had read my palm when I was 20 years old and she said, “oh, that’s interesting. Rour health and your money line across each other.” And, I have never forgotten that. And, doing a podcast about mental health lately my life so… You know, the door is always open in my mind for stuff like that. How much weight will I give it? You know? You don't have to commit the weight to it upfront.

Kulap: Exactly. That's right. For me… how is best to put it? So, I met the shaman through a friend of mine and she was like I feel like you should meet her. And, it's great because she (her name is Sara Finley) is this wild lady from Vermont and this came to learn later in life as well and she has taught me how to journey which is basically guided meditation and when you journey, I was able to find a place that I can go to on my own at any time and kind of call up for any guides which are usually from like these animal Gods who can tell me stuff, right? So there is that. There is also something she did called soul retrieval which is where I lie down and she has bells - of course I'm bastardizing this like I did Grinberg method the first time I was here. The idea of it… there is drumming, chanting, bells. That I'm doing is I am lying down. My eyes are closed and every time I thought comes into my head I recognize it, let it go away, don’t put too much mind to it. Meanwhile, she's basically if you will bring in good energy, taking out bad energy, and we talk about Chitu. A’ve been working with her while and Chitu courage me to speak with my mom and I have… from any healers (doctors too) I have a coldness in my belly - kind of in my root… or I did, and it has been from nominal to…

Paul: literal or figurative?

Kulap: I don't… Sometimes I take out feeling and that has to do with being molested. That has to do with… Well, that's a big part of it. That's a huge part of it. And, you know, to get pregnant and…

Paul: and the person who molested you again?

Kulap: we haven't talked about it really.

Paul: I was going to say.

Kulap: yeah, we haven’t really talked about it. I don't think I'm going to touch on that today. We got a lot to go through but I don't think… I sort of slightly mentioned it before. I kind of want to wait for a couple of people to die. I thought about this a lot.

Paul: do you need me to speed anything along?

Kulap: Nah.

Paul: [laughs]

Kulap: Oh no! Oh! yeah.

Paul: somebody dying?

Kulap: No, we’ll let them… the things are and carry themselves out as they should. But yeah, that has been a thing like part of my three-year journey to wellness has been kind of like warming all like… me getting back into my body. So much of it, I think I talked about it before to, so much of it is detachment of it.

Paul: yeah, you're your body is such a important source of information for your past and what you're feeling and it can really… I've been in relationships before where I would be having sex with the with a woman and felt like… Ah, this sounds so fucking weak, but it felt like I was being raped, it felt… I don't know how to describe it other than I felt like I was a bystander and I had difficulty saying anything about it because you think to yourself you are a fucking dude. You know, you can kick her ass. She is ahis against your will but, there was an energy to it that triggered something in me that made me shut down. And… yeah, let me just say that so I believe that we hold stuff in our body.

Kulap: Yeah, we hold stuff in our bodies. We have automatic reaction and they are not just like, you know the stuff we do mentally when we get scared. Our body seizes. My body has seized up. Maybe a mentioned before but, like through the Grinberg method that I did for a while I really learned that my left shoulder just shoots up and sometimes even like my arm gets defensive sort of stands and I don't realize I'm doing that.

Paul: When you're doing Grinberg method or just…

Kulap: Just in general, in life. Or other stuff that I I think a lot of us do not realize were doing when we get scared or just automatic reactions of like your shoulder just seizes up or like I lose sensation in my toes or something like that, you know, things that we don't realize… When the flow isn't happening throughout the body and so back to the Shaman and talking about like things always come back to my root or my stomach just stuff like coldness and to get pregnant, you need to be warm. Mnd, the also, just a lot of anger. She felt a lot of anger in my stomach and my pancreas and stuff like that and the idea of wall may be is time for you to talk to your mom you knew just this symbolism of I want to… I came from my mom's stomach and I want a baby my stomach. Maybe it's time which I was dragging my feet for the longest time so there is a lot of space between the psychic and the Shaman. And, the beautiful thing that the Shaman said to me, she said that the work that we do… Shamans believe that time is a lateral. Sll things are happening at all times, all folded upon. The work that I do with her could help heal my mom which is a beautiful idea. The energy and work I'm doing to make myself better and clear things would help my mom and way stop what she would put as like a family curse you will. Because it's something that she brought up to me that I never really entered my mind ideas very likely that my mom was molested… I had not really considered it but like…

Paul: When you described in the previous episode the rage that would fill her… Something was done.

Kulap: Maybe we did talk about this but I don't recall. One time (and I’m sorry; I know we are jumping around) but my mom owned arestaurant. In the back of my mom's restaurant, my cousin who is like 20-21 at the time, he was at waiter and his friend who was his age would come around and me and my cousin who is a little younger than me would play in the back. He came. He was kind of like playing with us and then he was sort of like wrestling with us. And then, he like grabbed my boob. . And, I remember grabbing… being like what is that and then grabbing my cousin and then went and talked in like the pantry and I was like, “that was messed up. That was messed up.” … I confronted him like you shouldn’t have done that and he like laughed at me. I remember telling my mom that and my mom basically that it was my fault. That we shouldn't… like, it's my fault - I was asking for it and will shoot until my dad.ba And, that’s like… now I think about it and like… first of all, that was incredibly destructive to me. And Incredibly…

Paul: and abandoning. I think more injuring than the original thing. And, I hear it time and time again. I get e-mails from people where they go to their parents to say you know, my brother is molesting me, my cousin is molesting me, your boyfriend is molesting me, and they get treated as liars and it's like oh my God. So, how can that not leave you with the a. some bitterness but b. how can I ever go to this woman with anything important in my life cause she's going to put her needs and the family looking good ahead of it.

Kulap: yeah, that would be… And, it fucked me up, you know, later on like when… I just had a real run in my early 20s of just like roommates’ fathers, a father figure boss making overtures – inappropriate overtures basically propositioning me. In the thought I was like well, how did bring this on and what am I doing wrong like it really fucked with my sexuality and like my being a woman was a weakness. Being sexual all liability you know, these stuff become like a gas and I see it more and more younger girls right now and they are younger and younger like you know, they are affected by this sexualization and this like shaming. It's disheartening. It’s sad.

Paul: Once you allow your brain to begin blaming yourself for things like that… not that we never have a part in things and should never examine our part in things… But once your brain begins that sick turn of looking for what you did wrong… The brain is so ingenious. It will always come up with ways to justify that self-hatred that's just kind of in there.

Kulap: I mean, you know, it’s like the ego. The ego, it wants to like help you. You wants to take care of you. But, it will mess you up if you listen to it. It will make you to see the worst in you if you really listen to it. Sometimes you've got to just… Your ego deserves a spot a table as long as you tell it to shut the fuck up. But, it's hard when you self parents yourself. You don't have, for whatever reason… you know, for me I became the voice in my head. It was like worse than my mom. There was just so many… I’ve said it before… It was like every interaction or something that went wrong, it was like I go into my head, I did cash from reality, and it becomes this like courtroom…

Paul: That’s such a good description.

Kulap: where I'm on the stand. I am the judge. I am the prosecution. I am the defendants. I am the jurors. I’m the witnesses, and that’s insanity.

Paul: it’s such a waste of mental energy and then you are not present with those people around you.

Kulap: it makes you not trust yourself. Constantly second-guess. What are your motives, what are you trying to do, or you know… It’s a lot. It’s tiring. It’s like blinds down, lights off, blanket up, bye bye. That's what it is.

Paul: well, the service do, that must be incredibly gratifying because you're not thinking about yourself when you're doing those things.

Kulap: And, that is why I do them. It’s very simple.

Paul: I harp on that (I don’t know if that’s the right word) but I emphasize that all the time with people that are isolators and feeling wounded and whatever is get out of yourself. It feels like you are just going to go rub sandpaper all over your body because you have to deal with other people but there is light in other people and there is light in doing a service and that light can sometimes keep that amber that is starting to feel like it's going out inside us, give it oxygen.

Kulap: Yeah, and gratitude and when you are sitting in gratitude, it is almost impossible to be negative. Ah, tippy tippy. Do I go to Marianne Williamson and read her books? Yes, yes, I do.

Paul: we would do that shit if it didn’t work though.

Kulap: it works. Because I have to remember for the longest I thought, again I was just… I didn't realize it. And frankly, if I didn't do any of this work, I would probably lead a pretty nice life but, I wasn't realizing that I was living in a state of trauma of my past so I just had that filter and this belief that I was going to hurt somebody and someone was going to hurt me. And, what that does when my goal and my love our intimate strong relationships it is near impossible to get to that when I'm worried… When I am not even thinking about it but I am worried.

Paul: you're afraid that there is a mean streak buried inside you that it's going to be unleashed because of the meanness that was visited upon you as a child?

Kulap: Yeah, absolutely. And a lot of energy to tamper it down which I don't do as much anymore.

Paul: that rage?

Kulap: Yeah. Because that means if I rage, if I hulk out, then I am her. If I hulk out, then she is right. And, you know,…

Paul: Does your mom turn green?

Kulap: yes, and…

Paul: Nice yes and...!

Kulap: yes and yellow.

Paul: so, you didn’t want that?

Kulap: yeah, I didn’t really… I was just… I'm doing a lot of managing like a lot of managing like a lot of you know… I don't want to retread but making my voice that is really the lady from Glee method that really wanted me to drop to my real voice and it is this one. But when I get there first and I want to make sure everything is okay, because it's really really high and that's all to be nonthreatening and everything is okay. You are good as you're not going to turn on me. I just need to take the temperature of everyone in the room and so I will be okay. I just need to sort of manipulate… I mean, it is a manipulation guys. You know, whatever. I do it for survival but it is a manipulation.

Paul: extremely extremely subtle.

Kulap: yeah. I've just like so that's everything is going to be okay and are you going to turn on me? I don't know how to feel because I want to know how you feel and let me service you in that way and make not being touch with her I am at. I will constantly be thinking. So when I'm like that with you I'm not with you, am I? We’re not having a conversation. I'm trying to make things work out and I'm managing and muscling and it's a lot of effort.

Paul: yeah, it's like your God in that moment becomes that other person’s facial expressions, their demeanor, their energy, and everything you do then becomes about managing how they are expressing themselves and if somebody is kind of stone face or whatever, those are the toughest nuts to crack because then it is like oh my God, give me something to work on so I know how I'm doing. How do I need to tap dance harder. Lo I need to…

Kulap: What’s my tactic?

Paul: and whenever I hear somebody is really high voice like that I always think that is probably the scariest person when they snap because I think about all that stuff-down, stuff-down, stuff-down, and it has to go somewhere whether it is cutting or bulimia or something. Anyways, so, go ahead.

Kulap: I forgot where we were at.

Paul: we were talking about rekindling with your mom. You did this work and you didn't want to have that…

Kulap: just figured maybe it’s time. But I dragged my feet to it because I was like, “ah, I don’t want to do this. I’m doing well right now. Do I want to start opening the store?”But, I decided to do it and that was around September of last year. Early September… called her up. We had a conversation. She cried. She didn't understand why which was hard for me believed because I was very clear. In fact, I wrote her a letter.

Paul: she couldn’t understand why why you would not talk to her?

Kulap: yeah, but we kind of set up like let's talk every Sunday and it was good I thought. By October 19th, which was her birthday, we had a breakthrough conversation and it was just supposed to be… I just called her to tell her happy birthday and I didn't mean for it to become a conversation about relationship, but, it's quickly went there. And, I have always said like I don't need an apology from my mom. I don't need anything from you now that… What is that going to do? You know, it's really tough because what I would love and a lot of us would love, maybe even you, is to take a time machine and then and like have a confrontation with the parent at that age then. Now, it’s not so awesome. They are frail. They are weathered from life.

Paul: They remember things differently than we do, I’m sure.

Kulap: and they are different people now but it's like if only you could have the little you’s back and step in between and have that conversation that will satisfying but now it's just harder now, right? And they… So, we just started talking about stuff and she made some comment about how you're supposed to help family as best no matter what. And, I said I can't help people unless they help themselves. And then that kind of evil to me talking about how difficult it was a growing up and feeling like I'm not good enough at home, I'm not good enough school, just constantly feeling like I’m not being good enough. I'm crying and she was like she apologized. She said, “I'm sorry, I really missed you up. I’m sorry.” And, she has NEVER apologized to me like that's not her. She never says she is sorry. And, if her says she's sorry it is so fast and it's like well, it's because you made me do this. It's like was that an apology?! I can't tell. But then she's saying she's sorry opened up for me to go, “no mom, you were doing your best. I know, I know. It was really hard. I know you are a war survivor. I know you are trying to make things… ” It creates a bridge when… for her to have made this apology and I thought it was… It was kind of beautiful conversation and she been kind of like pressing to visit me and I'm was like no, I’m not ready for that. I'm not ready for her to come to my space. This is so very new. And then like cut to… Oh, I think in our Sunday calls I had said maybe I'll come visit you guys in November and December possibly. And that way I can see my sisters and my nephews and I can see my mom. And she was like yeah that would be great. That would be great. So, cut to we did an event where there was an improv workshop at Viva center for girls. These high school girls… It was a lot like Dangerous Minds. They begrudgingly did these improv games with us. Let's all stand in a circle. Oh, look, Dominique is sitting in a chair. That's okay. But of all the court events that they have done it was the most exhausting even though I was just observing because it was harder to get the girls to do stuff you know. They did participate but it's a harder thing right? One of the girls walked past me, her and her friend, and she was like oh my God she has the most annoying laugh like to me and I was like God dammit. I am back in high school. Like the feelings I had I was like arrrrrghhhhhh. So, after that, I met Scott to go see Skyfall and I have time so I ordered food and I was like oh I'll call my mom. And I call her and she… I forget what we talked about… We were just talking about other things and then I was like you know mom, I'm actually not going to be able to visit you. Scott and I are going on a trip during the holidays and you know maybe you calm in January you can come visit me and then she lunches like well I can't. I blah blah blah blah blah. And then proceeds to ask me for money which is something that I have been terrified. I don't know if I mentioned before that my mom is like… money… she's like… she has always been like the breadwinner but she is just a real hustler in a lot of ways… And I was like well, okay…

Paul: Hustler in a legal sense or shady?

Kulap: every every sense. While being the breadwinner and working her ass off. So, then I’m like okay, this makes me uncomfortable. We just started speaking. So, now, this is Novermber. We had just started speaking in September. She said, well it’s because she had surgery. She is behind because she didn’t work during that time. She wants to… their house, you know, they are officially being evicted in March. But, like this has been going on for two years. My mom is super resourceful. So, she is like I want to get a government-assisted condo. It’s like to $1500 for a down payment. She is like I want to pay off my credit card bills. I was like okay, you need to borrow money to pay off your bills?! Well… I was like it makes me uncomfortable mom and she said I don't want to make you mad. I'm like I'm not mad but we just started talking. I said like I will talk to Scott but there is no lies between me and my husband so I'm not giving you any promises. She is like okay, okay. And I said wait, mom, this has nothing to do with you gambling, right? She's like no, no, Alyssa, my younger sister said you know, that she would stop talking to her if she gambled. So, my mom was like I don't want to lose my kids. I'm like okay, well, alright, I will talk to Scott but you know, we'll see. Right? Get off the phone with her, Scott comes, and I was like okay, so my mom just asked me for money. He was like well, that didn't take much time. I was like I now and he was like look, we will talk about it afterwards. We will talk about it. I'm like okay.

Paul: It almost seems like she was planning to seed in that first conversation with you when she said will family helps each other out.

Kulap: yeah, yeah, yup. And then I was kind of like let me talk to my sister, Alyssa and I called her on the phone like again, you know, Skyfall is about to happen in 10 minutes. I was like, “hey, I don't want you to investigate.” I was just like, “as far as you know, do you know if mom has been gambling at all?” She is like, “yes.” I’m like, “wow!” She is like, “why?” I’m like, “mom just asked me for money.” She is like, “how much?” “$3000.” She's like, “well, on her birthday weekend she lost $1300 at the casino and she asked to borrow money for me.” I was like, “what? Really?!” I was like, “alright.” She was like, “and I think maybe I bet if she ask you for money today then she went to the casino today. Because she was supposed to go to the movies with this and then she disappeared.”And I was like, “Oh, God. Alright. Okay, okay, get off the phone.” And I call my mom and I was like, “Hey! Mom! Did you go see a movie today?” She's like, “yeah.” “What movie?” “James Bond movie.” “What’s it called?” “It's called Skyfall.” I was like, “oh okay. Did you lose money at the casino?” “yeah.” “How much?” “$100.” I go, “are you lying to me?” “No.” I'm like, “well, look mom, if I find out that you have lost $300, we are done. Okay? So, do you have something to tell me right now?” “No.” And I could see that she was starting to get mad but she couldn't… And I just kind of let it go. And, still at this point I'm kind of giving her the benefit of the doubt. This is what my thought was. “Alright, you know what? I’ll have her mail me her bank statements then I'll go through the bank statements.” That's where my head goes. We'll see. We'll see. That is my instinct. Right? So, did movie's about to start. I texted my sister like, “she said she only lost like $100 and she said she went to a movie.” And, my sister texts me like, “oh, and also, that found receipts from the local force track for $500 that same weekend like ATM receipts. W was like, “alright, okay. Let’s watch Skyfall.” Like, just basically watch Sklyfall. And, later on I was like, “Oh my God, my mom is so sick that she's gambling on our tenuous, very delicate relationship.” I go home after the movie and I go… I forget now but the gamblers equivalent to Al-Anon and there was battery of like just questions things like do you know so much about your parents marriage? Have you had anxiety when mail comes? Have you… This whole thing the end of it, it was like if you answered most of the questions, we want to know like, we understand. And I was like, “oh my God. After all the things that I've been dealing with the last three years which was the mental abuse, the emotional, the sexual, physical abuse… Like, I haven't really even chipped away at the gambling - my mom's gambling addiction which up until this happened, I was like , she's an addict. She's sick. Until that point I haven't dealt with it. I haven't… That's really is and the way the crocs of all of my problems with my mom. I mean I have memories of sleeping on cold floors of strangers homes while she plays cards, of her asking me to lie to my dad of like my dad… the fights of my mom about gambling, about like this financials stuff but the hard thing with my mom is that she's always been the breadwinner so it is this thing because I know that it is a point of pride for her - that this is a way that she is extremely fun for her but it is a way that she provides.

Paul: That probably keeps her feelings stuffed down too because user something to distract herself from and you feel all those… You know, the normal mood swings that people feel from sports or whatever but in a way that it is so fucking unpredictable and damaging.

Kulap: I mean my sister, Alyssa, who is in college… She was telling me how six months ago mom asked her for money to put a down payment on a government assisted condo and Alyssa was like well, let me see the paperwork and she caught so pissed off, so angry about it. She says alright and she lends her money. This pisses me off to no end because that's my sister's loan money that she gets for going to school and my mom constantly is sweating her for that money. That's what I'm talking about also the hustling and resourcefulness. It makes me so angry.

Paul: You know, it would have been so nice if the phrase have been on your tongue when she said families save each other to say families also are honest with each other and family shouldn't abuse each other.

Kulap: Yeah. absolutely. I mean, a lot of the guilt that I have are my sisters and moving away when I was 18 and they are nine and 11 years younger than I am. Then like not being more of a buffer between them and my mom and while I was away she would constantly like be using their account like accounts and you paying for the moving money around and in many ways I felt strapping down financially. My middle sister especially. Like, locking her down on a car payment, all of these phone stuff when she's 16 you know, the focus became only that and working and bills - not on school as much and just like then with Alyssa… Alyssa was like she was more like the academic one and it was like, you can go anywhere like you get the best grades and we will take care of school. My mom sweating me so hard because she didn't have any money for Alyssa to go to school. When he came down to it, she had no money for Alyssa’s school. And, she sweated me to pay… To sign a loan and all the stuff which I couldn’t at the time because my credit was bad. It was so inappropriate for her to ask me. So, my Middle sister, Anita, sign for my sister's loans. And, now, she is asking my sister… like what are you doing?!

Paul: and all this to keep up the front that she's the mom they can provide herself and she can't even see the lie in herself that she's a gambler who has ruined her ability to provide for her family.

Kulap: and she is young because you know, my mom… Okay, so I am 32 so my mom is 52. She's got knees and all these surgeries because she does – she works crazy hard but what is… She’ll say she's working hard for us but the truth is she's working hard to pay off her debt. And she's doing that to herself. And she can work as much as she could. She used to do 70 hours a week, 60 hours a week, point of pride, but it's like why are you working so hard? And specially now like you have not been paying the house payment for two years.

Paul: I have a problem too with parents who reminder kits how hard they work for them. It was their decision to bring the child into the world you know? That's like saying you know I bought a car and I'm going to remind people how hard I work to wash his car and it's like well, you put yourself into that position to have to work hard and that's what parents are supposed to do. They are supposed to work hard. I think It's okay to go your kids and say you know I'm feeling you know a little overwhelmed right now, I feel a little stressed out and need a little time away to kind of you my thoughts together. Kou know, you don’t have to be a fucking robot around your kids, but putting that guilt and bringing your kids emotionally and financially is… I get so many e-mails from people who have a relative either a parent or sibling that drains them that guilt stunned into saying you're not giving me enough. I'm suffering over here. You now? There is only a certain amount of giving that is the kind of giving. And then at the point it becomes draining of your essence. And you can sense with that is. When the person's phone number comes up and you feel dread, there is a pretty good chance that person is draining you and you know if you're not talking to somebody, a mental health professional or trusted friend or a support group friend about this , this is way too big for us to handle on our own because it's so complex and review it with all these feelings of guilt and our own self-hatred and maybe that person is putting the seed in our mind like my mom did with me that I am selfish. That I am rotten at the core. Well, you start filtering it through that, and you're going to be constantly coming from a place of I don't do enough for anybody. I've got to do more. Does any of this ring the bell?

Kulap: Yeah, absolutely. Growing up, you know, my mom… Her form of affection was like you know, purchasing things but then she would rip them just as fast. It was a constant game of control too. A mean, to me I really didn't realize that's withholding love… it's torture.

Paul: It’s so cruel. It's so cruel.

Kulap: It’s torture. And the thing... so yeah... it was never you know, she wasn't affectionate. She wasn't...

Paul: When would she be affectionate with you? Or would she ever bbe?

Kulap: No. I don't know a time of affection. Rarely.

Paul: What would be the most positive experiences that you would have with her or you felt closest to her as a kid?

Kulap: As a kid?

Paul: or adolescent?

Kulap: Well, like sometimes I... There would be stuff here and there. I can't really... It was better when I got older, when I moved out and I was more of an adult but it wasn't good being at home. It just wasn't. That was like you know, I had everything... I felt like a slave. So much of you know and it was like I have to take care of my sisters. I have to clean the house. I have to get good grades. I have to not talk back. I have to clean her room. I have to you know, do everyone's laundry. I have to you know... and if I complain or talk back you know I'm a piece of shit and how hard they work and how you know how much they been through. It's really hard to, by the way, parents, it's really hard to appreciate somebody who does that. Who says that the all the time. it's really really really hard.

Paul: I can't imagine.

Kulap: And that's a lot of responsibility. They gave me a lot of responsibility very very young age. You know, one of the things that my mom said in that good birthday conversation, I found most honest thing she said to me was that she doesn't know how to be in a family. She said to me she left home at like 15 to go to school and she doesn't be in a family. She's not good in a family. I was like wow. Not that it makes anything better but there is... For my mom, there is some level of self awareness.

Paul: a lot of addicts do have kinda of moments of clearer thinking and that's part of... You know, as a fellow addict, I kind of feel for your mom but not to the point where I think you should put up with that shit, you know? I think... my opinion is the ball is now in her court. Does she want to something about her addiction.

Kulap: Oh, let me tell you about Monday text real quick. Let me grab my phone. Because, so, Sunday she calls and asks me for money. Then I go I'm really confused because there is guilt. Do I help? She's my mom. She's in a bad spot. This makes me uncomfortable.

Paul: Is this a couple of days ago? she did this?

Kulap: No, this was... the Sunday call like in November basically. Then you know, I go on the gamblers anonymous Al-Anon website, and one of the things they say was like you should never give money to... for any reason, give money to a gambler. And, I was like wow, that's even an option?! And, that really kind of... I kind of like breathed that in. so, now, Let me grab my phone real quick and we're going to jump to Monday. I am on my way to Marianne Williamson who does Monday weekly lectures basically at the Sivan theater. On my way there, my mom texts me.

Paul: [laughs] I love when things have a poetic timing too.

Kulap: right? Okay. So, I'm driving and she writes, "Kulap, can you please? I need help. I never ask for anything. I will make arrangements to pay you back. Pay back any penny." Oh, that was in the mornings, I'm sorry. And, then at 7:30 at night eight, "This is it? You are not going help your mom?! When I need the most help in my life? All of things I did for you? You are the part of me. I don't have the gas to go to work tomorrow."

Paul: I love how she makes her problems your problems and that she's never ask for help.

Kulap: she says, "please Kulap and Scott, transfer money to my account." And gives me her account number.

Paul: Wow, that's so sad. That's so sad. I'm so sorry that she has to deal with that illness but I'm really sorry too that you have to deal with the manipulation of the addict. That's the part that does so much fucking damage and that trust is so hard to rebuild for the loved ones of the addict. And I know as somebody who has hurt the trust those round me. You know, thinking I was well-intentioned but when you're when you are so miserable and empty inside, and your addiction is this thing that brings you euphoria that takes away that feeling of deadness, it is so easy to serve that. It is so easy to serve it and to look at the repercussions of it later. So, just understand... try not to take it personally that your mom is doing that.

Kulap: that really... this is the turn for me all this was... for me because I don't regret anything that has happened. I don't regret. I'm glad that I spoke to my mom. That was the right thing to do. I'm glad we had a conversation on her birthday and I'm glad it happened when it did. If it happen later on like when I was pregnant... Because I was already having... going back to my fantasy like what our relationship could be and how maybe she could help me, and maybe this is... I was going to what I have always wanted our relationship to be.

Paul: [laughs] which is an important distinction between the fantasy that you have of where you want it to be and where it actually is.

Kulap: Yeah, as this like say... to see it for what it is and to grow away from it. So, I had made the decision of like oh, what I... You know, through therapy... I went my therapist and just to go oh, I never have to give her money was this like oh-my-god concept that like is amazing and that removed, you know, those fears that it would ruin my marriage, that my mom is seeing my marriage as like a ATM, a golden ATM. But, I don't want to give her. I feel like I have to give her money, but I don't want to give her money because I don't want her to keep asking me for money. Like, these are the thoughts that I'm having when it's like oh, no, never going to give her money. I left her a message telling her that of like I love you. I think you need help but that's up to you to find. Meetings are free and I hope you go to them but I will never give you money. You can't ask me for it. If you do, I'll hang up. That said, I still want you in my life and it's up to you to decide under those circumstance if you want me in your life.

Paul: That's beautiful! Good for you. That's so awesome.

Kulap: I left her that message and...

Paul: were you scared when you were leaving it or did you feel strong?

Kulap: I was... I felt strong because I realized it wasn't me FOR THE FIRST TIME! THIS ISN'T ME! I'm... what has been operating in my head hs been what piece of garbage am I that my own mother cannot love me like I need her to love me. What is so wrong with me that she's like this?! Having that text and seeing it like that was so shocking. Where I was like, oh shit! This isn't me. My mom is sick. My mom has a disease. It's not my fault that she is this way. It's not my fault that our relationship is this way, and frankly even though I know I know my friends believed me... I know you believed me when I talked about family, but to be able to go see? I wasn't lying! I wasn't lying!

Paul: Because your mom and that sickness… they wear away your self esteem so you begin to think that that suspicion and all those things in those moments of meanness that they accuse you of being, it's like this sick garden that gets planted in you that you are always aware of until you begin to confront that person and stand up for yourself and you realize oh my God, I'm a better person than I thought I was and it's been there all along. I've just been afraid to act as if I am an okay person.

Kulap: yes, absolutely.

Paul: and then, you feel it in your bones and that's like oh my God, I'm so glad I took this leap of faith and stuck up for myself.

Kulap: I mean... so, what I described that's what is in the cloud that we were talking earlier about. And, since then, it was a HUGE weight off of me. Because what happens when you have that garden, that toxic garden that you attend to all the time, well, I can't be a writer. What do I... Who am I to be a writer? I'm not good enough. Of course, I go to this audition but I'm not good enough for this. She is better than me. You know, what would I even want this? I'm not good enough for this. I didn't go to the right schooling. I'm not thin enough. Oh, I'm not lovable enough. They'll see who I really am. I'm a   a fake. I'm a phony.

Paul: I'm selfish.

Kulap: I'm selfish. I'm a monster and I'm saving people by not showing how I truly am. I don't know who I am. Like, what happens. If that gets removed, that gas gets sucked out, you're like oh my God, what can I do? Like, what... and I've been in this kick of like I've been so creative less about like the sort of gatekeeper that says why I can't do everything - that voice. Just like, shut up and go away! And, I'm just writing and collaborating with people. And I just feel just so much more in my body. I feel the best I felt ever about myself and about relationships and about my marriage and about frankly having a baby and being a mom like I want to do that. And, you know, with my mom, she... like a week later, I get a box and it's like a priority mail box from her. There is no note inside. There is twelve/dozen huge organic honey crisp apples that she hand-wrapped. That's it.

Paul: That was her apology.

Kulap: Yeah. That's how she communicated and I did have guilt of like well, should I call her, or you know, but where I stand right now, I'm done parenting my parent. I have laid out what I want. And she needs to come meet me. She needs to call me. She needs to... And, how I feel when I talk to her it's not as noisy and won't be as noisy as it was in the past. It's so weird. It's like, IT'S NOT MY FAULT! IT'S NOT MY FAULT. IT'S NOT. She is not unhappy because of me!!! And, I don't have to continue this curse like I don't need to take this on. It's not mine. There is so much that I want to do.

Paul: The freedom is incredible.

Kulap: I feel sooooo free like that I feel so free.

Paul: and not just by establishing the boundary with that person, but by establishing that boundary and backing away from it and looking at it and not feeling guilty about it. That is the combination that is so awesome when you can experience that.

Kulap: yeah, because before it was like, I think I mentioned before too, it's like you're not talking to your mom?! Like, she is your mom. Like, your mom. You don't know her.

Paul: Don't listen... exactly!

Kulap: You don't know her and I know that you are talking about your mom and it's different, you know? And, I don't need to take that on and to fold that into my being. I have confidence in what the deal is with mine.

Paul: You know, somebody started to say that to me (I was doing a podcast) and they were like, what happens if your mom dies? And, I said I can't... I may take her phone calls again in the future but for right now, I'm doing what feels safe to me. I felt unsafe around this person for 48 years, and you can only tell people your needs so many times and have them not be met before you finally have to set of the boundary where your needs can get trampled on.

Kulap: yeah, absolutely. I mean the first you know, heck, whatever makes you feel whole and feels right to you like my middle sister was like I'm cutting her off like I told her and I said If you are gambling, I'm done. And, I knew that would be moving backwards for me and what has been freeing is like for me like yeah, you can be in my life according to how it works for me and I will never give you money. I mean you cannot ask me is just like...

Paul: pretty awesome.

Kulap: pretty awesome.

Pual: and you're not helping that person. You're not abandoning them. You are helping them see the view largeness of the addiction, te largeness of the problem, and the largeness of their stubbornness to ask for help because I'm sure your mom knows she needs help.

Kulap: She has talked about it with my little sister but she has not made any movement towards it.

Paul: If enough people around her start establishing boundaries and giving her consequences...

Kulap: I mean, I thought she had bottomed out when she was going to lose the house, but I mean, clearly no. She somehow found a way to prolong it.

Paul: When an addiction is your God, you will go to lengths to serve it that would shock most people. It would sock most people. But ,because most people don't know that, that yawning emptiness, or that feeling of just not rightness inside you that needs to be quieted.

Kulap: Oh, and just to follow up to the world didn't end the next day. I think my mom was also surprised that my sisters and I talk. Like I have made a point to not... I don't interfere with my sisters' lives and I don't interfere with my... as best I can with my parents and my sisters' relationship. Because I actually I see my sisters as adults. They have made good/sound choices and they need to figure things out on their own. And, I have to respect the fact that they have a different relationship with my parents.

Paul: such an important distinction too.

Kulap: yeah, and so, you know, Anita, my little sister, was like really I don't want to stop talking to mom and I don't know what to do. She watches Ky, my nephew, and I was like, Anita, what I do, I'll tell you what I'm doing. You in no way need to do the same thing I'm doing. I won't think any less of you. I know mom helps you with Ky, with my nephew, like do what you need to do. I just want you to know what is going on. And, my mom, I think was really struck by how much we talk because she got mad at younger sister for telling me that she gambled, and like, you know, and lied basically about this down payment, and the next day, my mom then goes to work but she had to pick up Ky, so my sister wrote her a check for gas. But, she told her like I will never write you a check directly in your name, so if it's for T-Mobile, it will be for T-Mobile. If it's this gas station, it will be the name of the gas station. And, who knows if that has stayed; if my sister has continued to do that. It's not my business. It's just not. But, the world didn't end the next day. You know? And, she gets me she has worked me up in the past to such a frenzy to like if something doesn't happen then the world ends. We'll die. Everything... you know. That's just not real life. It isn't.

Paul: no, and they can work you up into that frenzy if you never give yourself the option of disconnecting from that person, of disengaging, of walking away, hanging up the phone, or...

Kulap: It just speaks to... even though I've been away from her for so long, my first instinct was (which I thought I was very smart) just like, you know what? I'm going to have her send her bank statements and I will highlight and we will have a conversation and that'll be the truth. It's like what?! I don't need to even go there. But, that's like my first sort of let's be rational. That's not rational. [laughs] That's its own kind of crazy.

Paul: wow, I love the phrase that somebody in recovery came up with I'm sure years ago that "no is a full sentence."

Kulap: Yeah.

Paul: Well, thank you Kulap for being so open and honest, and giving the listeners and me a great example of boundary setting and self parenting.

Kulap: Yeah. I actually have more compassion towards my mom now because I know she is sick.

Paul: and she doesn't have her hooks in you.

Kulap: yeah. She doesn't.

Paul: It allows you to look at that person in a way that is more objective and less viewed with feeling of I'm their fucking puppet. It's hard to love somebody when you allow yourself to be their puppet. You are so full of resentment and guilt. Yeah. That's so awesome. That's so awesome! Thank you so much!

Kulap: thank you Paul.

Paul: Love Kulap and just to give you an update I e-mailed... because we taped that I think like maybe three months ago and maybe even longer than that, maybe it was four months ago, and so I gave her heads-up that I was going to post her episode and she wrote me back and said, "old boy, oh boy, update. I had an informal intervention with my mom on Easter during now I'm making a documentary about our relationship, and so I wrote her back and asked her how it went. And, she wrote that she was open to getting help and she wrote back, "she was open to it. It was the first time that the girls and I were really open and on the same page about everything. Once I knew my role was to create a safe space and let everybody talk, I settled down and brought my best self. Getting help is still talk at this time but I have surrendered to the fact that she is going to do what she is going to do." which I think is... and I think anybody that's in any kind of recovery would agree, it's such a healthy place to come from. I look forward to seeing that documentary too. What did I want to say? Oh, before I take it out with the surveys... and thank you (I think I've said this last week) but thank you for all the support about the longer episodes. I know when I started doing longer episodes, I was fretting, and you guys... I suppose those that find it too long can just tune out or listen in pieces. But, thank you for the support that you guys have shown me. As I mentioned the website for this show is mentalpod.com. That's also the twitter handle you can follow me at. There is also a Facebook page for mental illness happy hour and go read the guest blogs on the website, take the surveys, you can support the show... there is a couple of ways you can support the show. You can support it financially by going to the website making a one-time PayPal donation or my favorite, a recurring monthly donation. You can donate as little as $5 a month. Once you sign up, it'll just take it out of your credit card every month until you decide to cancel it or your credit card expires. And, much love to the people out there that are my recurring monthly donors. It feels the foundation that the show is built on for me, because it lets me know I have a future in doing this. And, as that begins to grow, I feel more and more secure. I still don't feel very secure yet because I'm still below the poverty line in terms of the money that this brings in. And, it does cost money to do this podcast too because often I am not able to record at home. I'll have to rent studio time and there is keeping the various websites going and stuff like that. But, you can also support it financially by using our Amazon search portal. It's on the homepage right hand side about halfway down and that way when we buy something from Amazon through that link Amazon gives us couple nickles. It doesn't cost you anything, and you can support us non-financially by going to iTunes giving us a good rating and spreading the word through social media - through Facebook and Twitter and Reddit, and all those types of newfangled contraption. Let's get into it. Let's roll our fucking sleeves up and get into the cookie. This is a thick-ass stack of...I will be shocked (where are we at right now? We're at the 98 minute mark. Wow!) And, I haven't even started the back-end surveys. I think it will be a miracle if we get this matter under two hours. This is from the Struggle in a Sentence survey filled out by woman who called yourself Abbey. She is in her 20s. About her depression she writes, "welcoming any life ending accident." About her alcoholism and drug addiction, "constant search for that one thing to quiet the voices." About her love addiction, "if you do not love me, I do not love myself." About her sex addiction, "as a female I can conquer the world if I use my body. You want to try? About her PTSD she writes, "any raised voice and my heart starts racing, initiating tears." About her anger issue she writes, "I'm a simmering pot of water. Any additional heat and I'll boil over." This is very rarely taken survey called the Vacation Arguments survey because I've always found something inherently ridiculous about vacation. arguments and this was filled out by Whale... Whale?! Will, a guy in his 20s. He writes, "on a vacation in New Mexico, my mom made my brother and I play the license plate game. We had driven from Texas so we had a lot of miles of road to search on. At a certain point we had seen the license plate from every single state but Hawaii. My mom bet my brother and I that she would get another tattoo we saw a Hawaii license plate and long and behold, we saw one in the parking lot of the next landmark. She immediately took it back and we fought about it on and off for the rest of the trip. This from the Babysitter survey, also another rarely taken survey. I encourage you guys to... I am sure if you're regular listeners of the show, you know that a lot of stuff in the Shame and Secrets survey happened to people when they were either babysitting or being babysat, and This is a survey specifically about this. This was filled out by a woman who calls herself (how does she call herself?) oh, she calls herself "And Here We are". She is straight; she's in her 40s; was raised in a pretty dysfunctional environment. She writes, " I had heard about BJ's and was changing a diaper on a nine month old boy. I put his tiny penis in my mouth and he giggled. Just a moment - nothing more. But I felt horrible about it. I was 13. I still feel horrible that I did something terrible that will affect him or did affect him. I was just curious. It was not planned - just a quick curiosity. I never told anyone but wanted someone to tell me it was okay and I am not a bad person. I never did it again and I do not have any desire to be with young children. I feel shame, guilt, and anxiety. I don't feel any damage was done but don't know for sure because I moved away. It was not normal and I should not have done it. I do not want any babysitter to do it to my son. I do not trust anyone to babysit except close trusted family or friends, and would not allow anyone until my son could talk." You know, I think it... because those images... You know, just my dime-store opinion on it is it was just an impulsive things that a 13-year-old girl did that she immediately kind of were like, what the fuck am I doing? And, never did it again. I think she should forgive herself and I imagine that probably a really slim chance of an infant is can remember something like that, and you're not in trying to go fuck children so I say treat yourself to a fucking big margarita and chill out. This is from...I would be interested in knowing what other people think. I think most people would agree with me. This is from My First Day in Therapy survey filled out by a guy who is between 36 and 50. What brought to the therapy? "I have not been able to move past the death of a parent 30 years ago with whom I had a very problematic relationship." Any fears you had starting therapy? I'm going the low-cost route and I am working for trainee. I was afraid that he would be so inexperienced that I would be wasting my time and he would never understand me. He is also predominantly CBT trained, and I have always had my reservations about that modality." CBT is cognitive behavioral therapy. Of the fears you described, did any these come true? He writes, "though he may be inexperienced but he is prepared, assertive, and capable. He's begun to challenge my allegedly irrational beliefs alah CBT, so I will allow this process to play out further before I pass judgment. What has worked best for your in therapy? "I've had therapist that made me feel better that is to say relieve my anxiety and sadness for the duration of the session but long-term relief and change has as yet alluded me." What were your initial impressions of your therapist? "I was surprised how proactive he was in pursuing follow-up questions after statements I made. With past therapists a simple "and how does that make you feel?" Was the usual follow-up question. My current therapist was more specific in what he asked." Do you feel you can be completely honest with your therapist? "Regardless of therapist, I have always had a hard time being fully honest fearing that I'd be seen as completely admissible as a person if he or she knew how seemingly abnormal my behavior has been."Is there anything you'd like to share with the group of new therapists? He writes, "as a client, it's important for the therapist to have a sense of how I perceive change will occur and to what and that change will occur. That is to say what model of health am I working towards." And, that makes perfect sense. I would imagine most therapists would say that you working towards a place where you're comfortable giving and receiving love, and are comfortable setting boundaries and giving people consequences as if they cross your boundaries, I would think that would be a basic goal but because each person this is different, there probably can have a different goal but being comfortable in your skin would certainly be one. And, about being honest with your therapist, I want to stress again, (I said it earlier in the podcast) but the more "fucked up" you are, the more interesting you would be to your therapist. The more you... they got into that to delve into dysfunction and people with broken coping mechanisms so that they can help you straighten it out. They want to help you. The last thing they want is for you to lie to them. I urge you because I have told everything to my therapists. Everything . I've always been open book and it's really helped me because the need that information to help me and to judge me once I Leave the room. [laughs] I truly don't believe they judge me. I really don't. But, I was terrified of it in my first probably six months of therapy. This is from the Shames and Secrets survey and this is filled out by a guy named Jeff, who is in his 20s. He writes, "once I was 16, I was making out with another 16-year-old and I groped her. Not quite knowing that what I was doing was wrong. She told me it wasn't alright. I apologized and never tried anything of that sort again but I still think about it almost 5 years later with disgust at myself in fear that I've might have scarred her. We're still close friends. I haven't brought it up and I don't intend to. I get the feeling that she doesn't remember which just makes me feel like I'm beating myself up over nothing." I think you are beating yourself up over nothing, you know? The fact that she told you that it wasn't all right and you apologized and you never tried to do again, you know? You learned. You made a mistake and you learned. And, on the scale of mistakes that people can make in terms of their sexuality and other people, dude, that's got to be... if not at the bottom, very close to the bottom, so, yeah. And, why not bring it up with her, you know? Just say, you know, this still kind of... kinds of... (why am I having trouble talking?) still kind of bothers me that I groped you that that night when we were 16 years old, and I just want to make sure that it hasn't fucked you up because it still kind of fucks me up, and I want to get some kind of closure on this. And,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I value you as a friend and I wouldn't ever want to do anything that hurts you. And, then she'll say oh my God, I barely remember that. And then you grope her again. You go right on both of her titties and you give them a good hunk, and then I'll find a punchline to end this ridiculous bit that I just interjected. [laughs] That's right - I just snorted at my own bailed-out bit. This is from the Shame and Secrets survey filled out by a guy who calls himself Fuck Comcast Internet Guy. Hhe is straight in his 30s - was raised in an environment that was little dysfunctiona, never been sexually abused. Deepest darkest Thought? "If someone slows down my pace while walking or driving, I imagine myself beating the shit out of them until the face shows complete terrorisation. Like I'm an invincible predator from the movies massacring a hopeless fishing village in eastern Laos just because they were in my path of travel." Be careful. You might run into some Kulop's relatives and some of them are warmed up pretty tight. I'm just warning you. What are your deepest darkest secrets? "When I was 9 or 10, my sisters, a couple of cousins, and I stated my grandma and grandpa's for 10 days. It was filled with lifelong endless summer memories. But, only one memory comes to mind when I think of that summer. My grandpa was in his 90s and not there mentally or physically. He would sit at the couch or the porch all day long except meals. Never heard him speak five words my whole life. My older sisters discovered that when they sat next to him, he would gently grab the nearest leg and drape it over his leg. I thought it was funny and tried it. Sure enough he did it. Well, I began grabbed his balls through his pants and fondled them. It was 10 to 20 seconds and he didn't do anything to stop me. My sisters and cousins were watching from the stairs and sort of thought it was still funny. I carry shame still to this day. He was so old that all he could do was sit there as we manipulated him like a toy. At his funeral, I held back every tear until it was over. I sprinted back to my parents' car before anyone else so I could quickly cry then wipe my face off. Not sure why I was so ashamed to cry that day." You need to forgive yourself. You were a kid and that's the kind of shit that kids do. Kids are constantly testing their boundaries, performing for each other, and fuck old people are funny dude. There is something funny, you know? About, not necessarily that this guy's mind isn't there, but... I get it. I would have been Hauling. I would have been hauling, and I think you should forgive yourself because you were a kid and I blame grandpa's balls. If they weren't so inviting, you would not have done that. This is from the Shame and Secrets survey filled out by woman called herself "Bunny Kins." She straight. She is in her 30s - was raised in an environment there was a little dysfunctional. Ever been the victim of sexual abuse? "Some stuff happened but I don't know if it counts. Found dead porn of the young age and felt sexualized by this and other experiences. An older cousin liked to play "games" because she was fucking me when we were about 7 and 10 respectively. Deepest darkest thoughts? "I wish people I know who have had success would lose everything they've achieved so I could relate to them. I love other people's pain and tragedy. When people are suffering I feel closer to them. I feel pain inside on a daily basis so why should they be happy? Ugh, I'm the worst." No, you're not the worst. that's a super common thing for people to feel like... and I felt that before. Deepest darkest secrets? "Started masturbating way too young. Felt intense guilt about it. Would make my friends play "sex games" with me. Tried to teach my friends to to masturbate in class when we were about a... oh God, it's horrible remembering this stuff. I feel awful. I was bullied as a kid but also bullied at least two other kids that I can remember. I'm worried that they've now kill themselves but that makes me feel like a narcissist because why would I've been so influential in their lives? I do worry about the residual effects of my hurtful words though. I seriously think about this at least three times a week over 25 years." It is time for you to forgive yourself and if you can't forgive yourself, I think you talk to someone, or you know, if you still are in contact with those kids, you know, contact him and and apologize for it but again you were kid. You were in a highly sexualized environment as a child and you were just acting out stuff that was done to you, so I don't even know if you need to apologize to anybody... but talking to a professional would certainly help because if you think about it three times a day for the last 25 years, you know, that's a weight on your shoulders and talking to somebody can always always help unburden that weight... Okay, next one...  from James the Almighty - Shame and Secrets survey. He straight in his 40s - was raised in an environment that was pretty dysfunctional. Never been sexually abused - deepest darkest thoughts? "I'm attracted to girls in their late teens. I don't act on it that I could easily get into a situation of a great-looking 17-year-old ever flirted with me." Deepest darkest secrets? "I've recently discovered prostitutes. I love the convenience and excitement of such relations. I can treat them poorly and they still take my load eagerly. It's intoxicating I think my days of being in "legitimate relationships" are numbered now." Sexual fantasies most powerful to you? "I wouldn't say I dislike women but I do get off on dominating them in sexual situations. I fantasize a lot about doing things with women in positions of power when I'm not looking at young girls but I draw the line on girls that are clearly younger than 16 or 17." Would you ever consider telling a partner or a close friend? "I probably don't have to worry a serious partner in a near future." Do these feelings and thoughts generating any particular feelings toward yourself? "depends on the day. Sometimes I think I'm just behaving like a "normal guy" in this age of overtly sexual overtones coming from all directions. Other daysI wish I did focus more on other healthy interests." You know, I think... as I read this, it sounds like there's an anger inside of you and and like a hurt... and being able to see women just purely as sexual beings feel safe to you and there is a turn-on in that, but I think the danger in that not only hurting other people but in making your life small and lonely, so while it may be exciting to go see prostitutes and think of them as something that you're dumping your load into, it... It sounds corny, but you're really hurting yourself because you are cutting yourself off from the world and the real path to connect to the world is to talk about pain and talk about what your afraid of and to get vulnerable. And, blah blah blah... Talk to a therapist. I hope I don't become so redundant in doing these in how I comment on them. I'm going to close it out with a Happy Moments survey filled out by a woman insert was her 30s and she writes, "I work at a nursing home and care for many patients with dementia. Even stronger than fear I have of dying is my fear of getting Alzheimer's or some other type of dementia. So, I tend to feel especially tender towards these residents. One of my favorites is a 97-year-old woman with severe dementia who has been treated in psychiatric hospitals but whose doctor now keeps her whacked out on Haldol and Marinol. Her family very rarely visits her because of her combative and angry behaviors and she routinely hits, scratches, and curses employees. She is often not taken outside of her room because she will hit and yell at the residents. For some reason, I love this particular resident. Every day I work, I take a minute to squat down beside her and take her hand and ask her how she's doing. May be two times out of three, she will come out of her drug-induced state and say something nasty like get your God damn hands off me or I'll shoot you, you hear me?! But, then there are the times when she opens her eyes and looks at me and this beautiful smile comes across her face and she will say something to me that makes no sense but I can tell she is reliving a happy memory. At these times, I lean over and kiss her forehead and she will motion to me to kiss her cheek and she will kiss my cheek at the same time with a long mmmmmmmmuwah! And, look at me with that loving smile. She has no idea who the hell I am, but at these times I feel like I'm a vessel or some sort of avatar for a happy moment in her life and not only does she seem to experience peace but I get this sensation of a simple quiet love. One night, she told her that she was "mighty lonesome" and on my break I went in and set by her to keep her company. I didn't really have anything to talk about because she can't really follow a conversation but I decided to sing to her. First I sang Jesus Loves Me because I know she was probably a christian and she remembered the words and we sang it together along with You Are My Sunshine and Amazing Grace. And, this other him I don't know the name of, but which they played at my grandmother's funeral. In some way I feel a pure spiritual connection with dementia patients. Maybe because so many of their details, their personalities, and their experiences have pasts - have been buried by their condition and I have to continually relate to them only in the present moment. I'm rambling now. I can't explain why I love what I do so much." That is one of the most beautiful happy moments I've ever read and just what a beautiful human being you are. And, I hope the people that fill out these surveys and are feeling shame I hope you know that we all have that beauty inside of us. It's just takes work sometimes to find it. And, that sounds like a bunch of new age fucking horseshit, but it's really true. So many years I wanted to kill myself, I wanted to be dead, and I didn't know why. I didn't know why was trapped in this prison in my head. Or, why my heart was so shut off and I've been doing the work and it has changed my life. It has led to this podcasts. If you like this podcast, thank therapy. Thank support groups. Thank vulnerable people out there that held their hands out to me and love me when I couldn't love myself. And, there's tons of us out there so the world isn't necessarily propagated by the people who hurt you. There is a lot of people out there that want to love you. You just got to give them a chance to do it. If you're stuck and you're feeling alone, you are not alone. There is always hope. Thanks for listening.