Stephanie raggazzo

Making Peace When You’ve Been Cheated On with Stephanie Ragazzo

Recently my friend Stephanie Ragazzo had a TikTok go viral where she was expressing grief and rage at having been cheated on. Join us for an exploratory conversation about why people cheat and what happens when you’re cheated on.

Our conversation also covers what to do when lines get crossed, how to recover after your partner has had an affair, the experience of being the cheater and then being cheated on, and the emotions that arise and need to be processed afterward. We also explore complicated topics like how attachment styles play into creating relationship dynamics, gaining clarity after betrayal, and how to be discerning in your next relationship.

Plus, Charna guides us through an exercise in deepening intuition and responding to your gut. If you’re working through having cheated or being cheated on, don’t miss this eye-opening episode featuring TikTok’s own @gorizzo.


Building intuition:

Let’s get quiet and be still.

We want to start in a more neutral or centered place when possible.

Place your hand under your belly button and breathe into your hand. As you exhale, you can go ahead and sigh gently like you are fogging a mirror with your breath. Your lower abdomen may pull in and engage a bit. See if you can connect with your perineum (that space between your genitals and anus) on the chair. Put attention on that spot and as you exhale imagine breath is flowing between your butt and the chair. Bringing awareness lower in your body and into the present moment sensations can help calm emotions more. How do you feel right now versus 2 minutes ago?

Now, think about a time in your life when you had a strong gut feeling about a situation and you were right. Maybe you listened to it. Maybe you didn’t. If you can recall it, where in your body was the sensation? What did it feel like? Was it tight or expansive, hot or cold? Is there a color? Do you hear song lyrics suddenly or have a clear image that arises too?

Often people have what are referred to as gut feelings below the rib cage in the area of the 3rd chakra which is associated with personal power, alignment with yourself and your actions in the world as well as abandonment and vulnerability. It’s an area people often feel clearly and strongly in a way that can be hard to ignore. If your system is more numb this will take practice in tuning in and developing. You also may get information in a less kinesthetic way-maybe it’s a visual image or auditory message instead.

You can ask your body what do you want me to know and see what thoughts or images arise. It can be easy to dismiss and minimize our emotions and sensations especially when what you felt growing up was shut down for survival purposes. It is never too late to turn the radio back on and tune in. The more you pause, pay attention to, decipher and respond to these gut instincts the more you will register when they occur. The clearer the messages will become. You can count on them. The expression gut check comes from somewhere.

Show Notes

Hello, welcome back to late open podcast. This is your host Charna caselle. My guest today is not a trained professional in a particular subject. Stephanie ricasso has a friend who recently went through a pretty universal experience she was cheated on and she happened to make a video about it and it went viral learn in life is about to start is Craig with honor descibes calm bla, welcome Stephanie,

how are you? Thank you. I’m doing great. How are you?

I was just sitting outside on my deck in the sun enjoying my garden this morning. Which you know, all too well, because Stephanie, when she lived in the Bay Area, she was my handy woman gardener and then became my friend.

And I miss it so much coming out through all the time.

Yeah, my Saturdays were spent with stuff. So recently, Stephanie had a tick tock go viral. And the subject of the Tick Tock was cheating. And it’s such a huge topic. I mean, there’s so much to say on the topic, that I thought this could be a good one to focus on.

Yeah, so the video essentially is, of me releasing a whole bunch of emotions, because I had recently been cheated on. Just crying. I’m hitting my steering wheel and yelling. And currently it has over 1.6 million views and probably almost 4000 comments on it kind of blew my mind once that exploded because I didn’t think it would.

Well, I think it’s a very universal experience that a lot of people can relate to how did it feel to share that publicly that information publicly? And then to have such a big response?

Honestly, so when I started recording it, it was for myself, I wanted to just kind of talk to myself and release some emotions. And then I was like, let’s put this on tick tock, just to share with others, and maybe other people can relate to it. The amount of positive feedback I got on it was reassuring, given my circumstances,

when you say positive feedback, like what was such as people being

sympathetic and sending Virtual hugs and telling their stories as well, I had a lot of people who were like, Oh, my gosh, similar situation happened to me, this is what happened. You’ll make it through it. You’re strong human being a lot of stuff like that.

Do you feel like you have a tick tock community? Does it feel like a?

I do in a sense, I’ve actually made friends with quite a few people on tick tock that now i i go to when I when I need to talk to people were getting different perspective on things. Mm hmm.

So what’s also interesting, and I of course, know more of the backstory than listeners do. Can you share more about your relationship, how you met this x? And we can start with that?

Absolutely. So we met at the end of 2020. During the pandemic, I was currently getting out of a relationship in California. And we kind of hit it off, she knew that I was coming to an end of a relationship. And I kind of talked to her and she supported me through it. At that time, I knew that I couldn’t afford living in the Bay Area by myself. And with the pandemic, I was given a remote position. So my best friend and god daughter live out here in Colorado. And this new woman I was talking to also worked in Colorado by said, why not I have nothing to lose. So moved out to Colorado, we hit it off and the relationship just started unfolding. From there we moved in together within like six months. Everything seemed beautiful. In the beginning, I have little to no complaints about the relationship up until the end. So fast forward about a year and a half’s a pretty healthy, good community and relationship. I came and visited you in California and I felt like almost like home was missing like a I felt a pull towards California. And I was like I think I want to move back. So I processed this. I talked to my Exadata and I was like here’s where Ma’am, I think I want to move back to California, but I’m not sure yet. And it hit her pretty hard. But she was understanding and coming to all these realizations, I started. I started attaching some from the relationship like mentally, emotionally and physically. I wasn’t totally aware of it at first until she started bringing it up, which drove a wedge between the relationship as well. And then I visited again, and I got the clarity I needed that I was like, I want to move back to California. She wasn’t happy about it. And after some discussions, knowing that the inevitable was the relationship was going to end. It was up in the air whether or not we were going to remain in a relationship. And at first, when we discuss it impulsively, I was like, Yeah, I’ll try a long distance relationship. I think I think I can do it. And then I sat and I thought more about it. And I was like, I really don’t think that that is something I can do. And I discussed that with her. And we were taking like a nice, a nice walk with the dogs and stroll. And I’m like, what, what do you want to do? Do you want to remain in a relationship for the next couple months? Do you want to end it? And she’s like, Well, what do you want to do? I said, I know what the inevitable it’s going to be I know it’s going to happen. And it’s not that I don’t care about you or the relationship. But I feel kind of neutral about what we can do over the next couple months. Because it’s going to it’s going to end eventually, it was like a deal. I want to stay in a relationship till the end of June until you move. And I said, okay, like, I’ll be more present that relationship. I know it attached. In the end, everything seemed fine, I was more present, she was more present. And we were being more intimate and chatting were like things were like things were normal back in the beginning of the relationship. So a couple of weeks, maybe a month or so goes by. And I just have a really weird feeling that something wasn’t necessarily right in the relationship. I didn’t verbalize it to her. But I just felt like something was wrong. Can I ask

you? So when you say there’s a weird feeling? Can you get more specific? Can you describe what you felt physically or emotionally? Like? What if you felt it in your body? Where did you feel it? What was the experience?

Yeah, so I felt in my gut, actually, I was like, I just had this like, unsettling, slightly nausea, type of feeling in my gut. And I’m like, I don’t know what it is. Something’s not right. So she happened to needed emergency surgery. One weekend, and I noticed before she was going into pre op, that she was deleting messages on her phone, which is a red flag for me, we have a very open relationship. We we knew each other’s passwords on each other’s phone, kind of situation. And historically, She’s not one to delete things on our phone just of what I’ve observed. And what we’ve communicated about in a relationship set. That’s really odd. So she goes through surgery, she comes home. And I am like the instinct fall where I was like, I feel like I need to read some messages that are phone, which maybe not the best thing to do go through somebody’s phone, but they did it anyways. And I saw messages between her and another person saying that my ex loves this other person and that our relationship is over. And basically, we were we were not thinking anymore. I called my friend at like, 1130 at night, I just I lost it and started crying. And I was like, here’s what’s going on. And she helped comfort me in the times instead of me waking my ex who just got on a surgery up at 11 o’clock and 12 o’clock at night to share what I have learned. So the next morning, as I am still processing, it wasn’t ready to discuss things. I took a shower, kinda like everything was normal. And she’s like, what’s wrong? Like nothing? And she’s like, Are you sure? I was like, I went through your thought last night. And she’s just said, oh, you know, she couldn’t really responded because she she knew what I had discovered. And there was some, some awkward tension. Fast forward later that day. She’s like, I need to go for a drive. Because how she processes things. She leaves and she goes for a drive and it’s just her way of doing things. So a few hours go by and I’m like, where is she at? Like, is she okay? It’s getting laid out. She has a hard time seeing at night and driving at night. So I was just generally concerned about her. And so I text her and I’m like, are you okay? Do you need anything like, are you alive because I hadn’t heard from her a few hours. And their response was unfortunately, no, I was like, that’s a odd response. It’s yeah, she She has some history with some suicide. And so I was concerned. So by continued texting her or tried calling her and I got no responses. So it’s like, Okay, where is she? And I remember she has an iPad, and it’s linked to her phone so I can see where she’s at. Like, okay, she seems like she’s in a safe area, and I text her and like, where are you? She’s like, I’m in a parking lot. Correct. It’s like, okay, and it didn’t match where she said she was based on the location on her iPad. So it did a drive by where she was at. And I was like, okay, she’s not in her car. Hopefully, she saved somewhere, you go back home, and I was like, Hey, where are you? She’s like, I’m in a parking lot crying. And then I said, I see where you’re at, I see that you’re in a cul de sac, like, what’s going on. And she’s like, Oh, I just parked in a random culdesac. And I started walking around and and sitting and crying on the curb. And it just, it didn’t sit right with me, the same gut instinct feeling that it was it was alive. She comes home, maybe 30 minutes or so after that. And I get a Facebook message from the person she was cheating on me with. And essentially, it said, like, I’m done with the toxic relationships that my ex and her are in, basically good luck to you guys. And I responded, I said, I’m not in a relationship with her anymore, if you want or you can have her. I don’t want to be involved anymore. So we ended up chatting over Facebook for a few hours and sharing our stories and the timeline with things. And like she sent me messages back and forth of things that they had discuss. And it was a very unsettling reading some of the things that were said, because how I perceived what was sad, I was kind of painted to be a bad person. So there were so verbiage that expressed that I wasn’t being good to her son. She was concerned for her safety. And with another person because I could read the stuff that was on her iPad, there was a strange conspiracy theory that I put a tracker on her vehicle

instead of just looking at her iPod to see where she was. And the next day, I’m just going to call her the mistress. My internet went out and I was like, Hey, if you want to chat, this is where I’m going to be. I don’t know if you’re still up here in this area. Oh, to give more context, where she was that night was an Airbnb that my ex got with a mistress. So it wasn’t just some random parking lot. So I was at a coffee shop. I said here, here’s where I’m at, if you want to chat about anything or need any clarification, and she showed up, we hit it off the spreads just like instantly shared more stories can compared timelines. And I learned that this had been going on like a week prior before I went through her song. And yeah, and since the discovery of it, and there was a lot of tension in the house because we still currently live together. I have a hard time trusting a lot of what she says to me even if it’s just like, small, little things. It’s hard to, to trust. Sure. So yeah, right now things are simple. We’re talking like human beings. I don’t feel like there’s an awkward tension in the house at this point.

Yeah. So do you want to share how you met her? Yet? Well, we met initially on Tik Tok, right, which I think is a pretty significant and I think it’s an interesting arc. Right? That tick tock has been almost a personality in your relationship.

It has an ascent. So we met on Tik Tok she, I think I commented something sarcastic on one of her videos. And she immediately sent me a message telling me how beautiful she thought it was. And it was a very clever message. It immediately piqued my interest because it was unique when she said, so. Around Thanksgiving. I was visiting some old friends in Arizona, and I was like hitting it Do you want to meet in person? I’m gonna be in Arizona, if you are even able to fly down here and she was able to she flew down. We hit it off immediately. Intimacy and all and that’s that’s where where the story starts. Mm

hmm. Yeah, I’m remembering because you know, you’re you’re confiding and sharing things with me as things went along. And what I’m remembering is your girlfriend at the time. So this is before you guys broke up. There was a question that you asked one day what do you think about people being jealous have, you know, I can’t remember the exact phrasing of the question. Do you remember what I’m referring to it was basically like your, your ex was jealous about this girl who was writing to you on Tik Tok, and you were emphatic about this is just a friend.

I think it was something along the lines of my current partner being jealous about me making friends on the internet.

Yeah. And, and so do you, when you look back? Do you have any sympathy for your ex? Like, what do you think when Yeah, you’re honest with yourself now knowing how things played out

knowing how things unfolded, her jealousy was definitely valid. I was consulting another person about feelings and emotions and sharing what was going on in my current relationship at the time, versus speaking to my actual girlfriend about, about some issues I was having in our relationship. Right. So her feelings were definitely valid. And it’s made me do things a little differently when meeting and talking to new people on the internet.

Right? And, you know, because it’s, I can remember then trying to lend some perspective of what your girlfriend given that I knew that your current girlfriend at that time, things were hard between the two of you. And I think sexually dormant. Yes. That when you’re not getting certain needs met, and I think your girlfriend wanted sex more than you did in that relationship. That there’s insecurity, right, so that cheating doesn’t come out of nowhere, and paranoia, and jealousy doesn’t come out of nowhere. And I think this is an important thing. It’s like we can really quickly rally behind somebody, like, and vilify people in relationships, and I think it’s important to kind of look at the gray. And, and, you know, hopefully we, I don’t wish cheat, I don’t wish anyone to be cheated on, but yet having compassion and understanding on both sides and situations, and of course, all scenarios are different, right? Like, the amount of lying and deceit isn’t I know that that’s, that is actually more hurtful than the actual fucking perhaps. Right?

So my exits, they didn’t turn the relationship was an intimate, it became it was strictly emotional. It never reached the level of intimacy that most cheaters maybe do. And are you talking about your, your,

my current, your current ex didn’t become sexual with this mismatch? Okay, okay. That’s an important clarification. At verses. Yeah. So. And even the way you were describing your relationship with this current X, when you’re with your California gal, that there is there is an emotional relationship that was starting.

There was definitely like an emotional connection that started, I wasn’t expressing love or infatuation, which I think is like, you know, it’s a difference between my current ex and my former ex.

Yeah. And so I think, how about is there anything else that you want to say about that? Like? Where is if you have a slider? Yeah. And you could like move the little slider on a line between it’s like, here you are, and where do you think it starts to cross a line into being more of an affair? Yeah,

I feel like if you are maybe having conversations or getting involved with somebody, and you won’t tell your current partner what’s going on, you’re hiding stuff. I feel like that’s, that’s a line that’s starting to get crossed, personally. Okay.

And, and so I think that something that I want to know, which is important is this idea of emotional affairs, but that very much exists within the parameters of monogamous relationships versus polyamorous relationships. There’s a notion that you’re supposed to have a certain amount of intimacy with one person. And then intimacy outside of that is wrong. There’s some nuances inside of that, right? If there’s a level of secrecy, in terms of what is being shared with these other people, I mean, because I think as someone who’s, you know, therapists tend to be more emotionally like we have like lots of friends that we share a lot with somebody else who’s very much indoctrinated into this certain notion of like you have intimacy with your lover slash partner person and that is it, versus you process things with people outside of your A

singular monogamous partner. Right? Yeah, absolutely.

I think also in, you know, lesbian culture, there’s also something there’s there it’s a it can be a slippery or slope as well, in terms of how much women in general, break all the details down with one another.

Yeah. So cuz monogamy and polyamory. I’ve experienced both worlds. And I feel like in either world cheating can happen. I know there’s a stigma around polyamory where it’s just people who want to have sex with a whole bunch of people and not settle down with one person. And that is, in my experience, far from the truth. Right? You know, certain people can fulfill most of your needs. And something might be missing where polyamory fits in. You can have multiple relationships, and trust within all of those relationships, as long as everybody’s being open and honest and communicating.

Mm hmm. And and so this relationship that you were in with this Colorado x, let’s just let’s make that distinction. It’s easier to follow than saying x x x. That was a monogamous relationship. That was monogamous. Yes. And your previous relationship was also a monogamous, monogamous. Yeah. Yeah. Because I think the other thing is, what are the boundaries that are specific to the relationship that you’re in? Right? It’s like, how are things being defined? And what are Are there particular requests? Are there particular levels of sensitivity around certain things? Right.

I mean, as you know, every relationships different. I’ve been with some people where they are not comfortable with physical connection with their friends. So for example, I’ve been with someone who was like, I don’t want you snuggling with other people, even though it’s gonna be strictly platonic relationship. Whereas other relationships, I’ve been in there, like, it’s okay. To 100%. Okay,

and were there any particular boundaries inside of this latest relationship,

I don’t feel like there were very open and communicated about a lot of things I could if I needed to consult or confide in a friend physically, just because I needed to, like lay my head on someone’s lap and cry or hug them or anything along those lines. It was safe to do. It wasn’t, it wasn’t frowned upon. Because I mean, I feel the same way. If she wanted to go off and receive comfort from someone as long as it wasn’t intimate or there wasn’t like a stronger emotional type of connection. Beyond friendship, I felt it was safe to do,

given how your relationship started with her. When you look back, you know, what kind of precedent do you think was set? It’s a good question. I gotta think on that one. Can you give me a minute to think? Oh, yeah, totally. I mean, what I’ll just say there is, you know, I think that sometimes people have affairs. They leave a relationship that’s not working, and not giving them what they need, and they’re not happy. And they end up and sometimes they marry the person they had an affair with, right? Like, it’s a lot. It’s, you know, a 30 year relationship or whatever. And then other times, it’s kind of like, okay, so how much can you trust this person who is forming this intimate flirtation with you? And drawing you out and starting something that, you know, in Europe that tip and have another relationship with it? What are the expectations then for loyalty and full transparency and honesty? Like, what’s the setup?

Right? So when we first started talking, I did make it clear that I was currently in a relationship, even though it was ending. Was it

ending at that point? Or were you just not happy? But you weren’t telling her? You? It was ending it?

California X. She wasn’t aware of it. It was going to end Yeah, I knew mentally that I was detaching, and I wasn’t happy. And even when we discussed issues that were in the relationship, nothing seemed to change. So I knew the relationship was going to end. But I hadn’t verbalized that to my California ex. Yeah.

Mm hmm. And so for you, would you consider that? I mean, again, I think that the term emotional affair can be problematic, and that’s why I wanted to name all of the assumptions about monogamy versus like multiple intimate relationships. But then there’s also there is a line that gets crossed, right, I think,

at the beginning of this Colorado’s relationship. I think I may have crossed a boundary with my California ex, because I did start connecting with this new person. And I found her very attractive. And I at the end of our relationship, the California relationship, because we had like an open door phone policy as well. She said, let me see your phone. And my heart sank, because I knew I couldn’t show it to her. Because I knew I was saying stuff about her and our relationship that she wouldn’t be happy with. Yeah, so that was the ending point. I was like, I have to end this now. kind of said, No, I’m not comfortable with it, there’s stuff in there that you wouldn’t be happy seeing out. And I ended it at that time.

At least there was, you know, there’s that versus like, very commonly, the gaslighting or denial or crazy making that a lot of people will go through, right? Yeah, to try to hold on for whatever reason. What do you why do you think people cheat?

I think people cheat because there’s something missing in their current relationship. And under the assumption, these issues have been discussed, things are changing, or improving whatever needs to happen in the relationship. So it feels like people will venture out to get something fulfilled, whether it’s physical or emotional.

What’s tricky is sometimes people are deeply satisfied in the way that they raised kids and live their lives and partner with another person. And maybe there’s, it’s there’s just this, this, you know, sexual needs are not being gratified, or emotional intimacy, like particular level of emotional intimacy needs are not being ratified, and are feeling desired. feeling appreciated.

Yeah. I think with Colorado x the last few months, because I knew I was detaching. Emotionally, I had started therapy as well. So sexually, I was shut down. So she wasn’t getting that need. And I think it just over time, it affected her and she was something that she needed. So we don’t necessarily fault her for going outside of the relationship or, or trying to get her needs to fill in. I know, in a sense, she tried explaining to me what she needed. And because we’ve just we’ve discussed it since the relationship ended. That though she was trying to share with me what she needs, it wasn’t I wasn’t processing it. I didn’t understand it, how she meant it,

what she needed. What was that? Do you understand that now? Yeah, she

needed more physical love and affection. And not necessarily on a sexual level, but just, you know, sitting on a couch and snuggling up and doing cute, sweet things like that. And yeah, I lost, I lost that and the relationship.

Well, and it’s so important to remember that first of all, you pointed to intuition early on, right? We sense things, when you’re energetically bonded with another, you know, when you’re sexual. When you’re inside someone’s body, there’s energetic exchange, you can feel when there’s distance, right, and so much, I think only like 30% of our communication is verbal, and the rest is nonverbal. So when someone’s energetically withdrawing, and they’re saying, oh, everything’s fine, it’s okay. That, you know, it’s a bit crazy making, it’s like, even if a parent says that to a kid, what kids do is they automatically they’re like black and white thinkers, and they go, it must be about me, I must have done something wrong. When the parent is probably trying to protect that kid, from the truth of what’s you know, it’s like a fight with mom or dad or whatever. And we’re still these little kids in these adult bodies. And so we still are making ourselves wrong for something that’s happening in a in a dynamic that’s co created with another human. And the unfortunate part is when you illustrated this, you’re like, Yeah, I don’t think I process it. I didn’t get it. I didn’t really hear what she was asking for. Right. So one thing is, often people won’t make the request. They won’t ask for what they actually need. Or when they’re asking, they’re not being heard. And then they get really defeated. Right, right. They’re like, there’s nothing I’m gonna get here. But I still love this person. So I’m kind of paralyzed and stuck in this situation. And so I’ll just like Try to get it somewhere else.

So with that intuition, she she knew something was up in that. I sometimes take a while to process things to where we can verbalize. I’m like, it might be a few days. So she would ask me, you know, what’s wrong? Are you okay? And because I hadn’t processed whatever I was feeling my answer was I’m fine. And she, she knew I wasn’t fine, but I just couldn’t verbally express what was going on at the time. Yeah, she ended to ask, anytime I would say I’m fine. She would need some sort of reassurance that it wasn’t her. Mm hmm. So anytime I’m like, Yeah, I’m fine. Or I’m just thinking about whatever I need to process. She felt like something she was something she did. And that could be because of her own upbringing, and needing that level of reassurance. But after a year, of having to reassure someone, like you didn’t do anything wrong, it’s I’m just taking my time processing like, it gets a little hard after a while. I think that is part of the reason I not just wanting to move back to California. But I feel like that’s part of the reason I started withdrawing from the relationship because I can only give so much reassurance to somebody. And if they can’t come to terms, you know, over a year that I just process differently, that it’s not about them. Like, where’s the line? Essentially? How much reassurance can one get? And how much can one share to where it’s too much that became that became hard on me?

Yeah, what you’re pointing to is a whole other topic, but it relates about attachment. Yeah. So that touches into the topic of attachment, and what creates secure attachment. So for folks out there who don’t know about attachment theory, the basic idea, right, is that when you’re an infant, within the first two years of your, you know, birth and becoming a toddler, there’s a level of attunement that’s needed, right. So if you have a parent that is, is paying attention to what’s too much like a really overwhelming, manic or anxious, like in your face kind of parent versus a parent who is emotionally checked out, or if he leaves you to cry it out. There are these different what are called attachment styles that are formed. This is a super superficial description of attachment just for the sake of being able to continue this conversation. But you can google attachment. And there have been other episodes, that I go into more about attachment. So there tend to be so again, superficially, two camps secure and insecure attachment. And if you have more insecure attachment, and one of the styles called anxious attachment, which sounds like that’s what’s happening for Colorado acts, right? Yep. Where your carer is an infant was not consistent, right. It’s like I can count on it. It’s some some people just absent, right. And that can create a more of an avoidant style. But when it’s inconsistent, it’s here, it’s there. It’s not, you can’t rely on and you also make it about you. Like, if I was just, if I was smarter, if I was prettier, if I was a better human, there would be care for me, I have to do this in order to get care. You know, depending on different kinds of trauma can be like, I have to give you sex in order to be valued or loved, or I have to give you this in order to be valued or loved. Um, and so it happens in a in a certain, you know, a dynamic and attachment is not static, right? So someone could be more insecure with someone who’s who tends to be avoidant, but then they could show up as the more avoidant person in a relationship when someone is coming towards them a lot and needing more assurance. Yeah. Right. So it sounds like in this dynamic as you actually became more withdrawn,

more anxiety probably was produced in the partner’s nervous system. Yeah, absolutely. I did recognize that with her needing levels of reassurance and it came to a point where I almost I could give her the reassurance but it didn’t feel genuine at a point. And then I started becoming avoidant myself and pulling away from her which made her want to pull closer to me.

And then for you in previous relationships, did you have that pattern of tending to be more avoidant and withdraw or did it look different with different people?

It looked different with different relationships, some relationships, I jumped into them, I would need some level of reassurance that sometimes stopped beyond and just needed and craved. Whichever relationship that was their attention be like constantly, whereas other relationships, I’m just like, calm, cool, easygoing, you live your life. And I mean, in some relationships felt more distant than others were others I felt we were attached to each relation relationships in different,

right and so tricky, because, you know, it really is a co created dynamic, right? Where someone who’s withdrawing or needing more space and being more avoidant for whatever reason, they can judge the other person is needy, right? Like, God, you’re so needy, like, what are you, you know, they like pride themselves in their self reliance. And what’s tricky there is it can be kind of shaming to the person who’s like, quote, unquote, needy, yeah, right. I can bid on both sides

on both sides, where I’m just like, Oh, I feel like I’m just trying to get so much from this person, and I’m not getting it. So I want to try harder. And then it it just like, why am I trying so hard when I’m not getting what I need? And it does start to feel shameful that you’re trying so hard, and not It’s not being reciprocated? Or you need it to

be? Right. Well, it’s, it’s, it’s also hard because it can be a self fulfilling prophecy, right? Where like, the more anxious you get, the more you’re worried of whether this person doesn’t is, you know, are you not intimate, or you’re not intimate, right? Or especially when cheating, I’ve seen this with clients where someone’s been cheated on. And then they’re very paranoid, in their future relationships if they’re with a particularly dynamic and, you know, like, in a hetero relationship, like the woman has been cheated on previously. And her fella, you know, has female friends, and it’s charming and seductive. And then it creates a lot of insecurity, right? Not to with friends. Yeah. Where then eventually, this guy who wasn’t cheating does cheat, right? And then it’s like, See, I was right all along, and then it just like, it becomes even harder. And it just keeps reinforcing itself. Yeah. And so how to step off that hamster wheel of distrust, and paranoia, and look for signs and proof that you are loved, and that this person is trustworthy, and that you can be in a relationship that has a strong foundation. And so I’m wondering where you are now, let me this is very fresh, like super fresh.

This was about a month and a half ago, this happened. So I’ve always had the mindset to not bring past relationships into new relationships. This isn’t my first time being cheated on rubberband, I don’t think the next person is going to cheat. I’ve just always had that mindset. And yeah, it’s, I just I don’t know that mindsets always kind of stuck with me. The first time I was cheated on I was my early early 20s is a very similar scenario. Except this person was my fiancee at the time. And same thing like sinking gut feeling. Late at night, I went through her phone. But I woke her up. I was infuriated. I was like, why, you know, like, you had sex with this person less than 12 hours ago. You’re telling her you love her? And you’re saying that I mean nothing to you? Why would you say yes. When I proposed to you kind of slick it was it was really hard for me at the time, especially still learning about I mean, in early 20s. See you, you don’t have a full grip on relationships in your early 20s. In my opinion, there’s so much to learn. But at that time, I ended up kind of self sabotaging myself. At that time. I had a hard time trusting people. And my way of comforting myself and trying to move past it was to sleep with anything and everything I could in my path. So it was not a healthy coping mechanism. I didn’t have people I felt like I could speak to and get positive perspective on. So the second time I got cheated on I was told about it. We broke up and she’s she said she cheated on me. And I think when somebody’s honest about it, and they don’t try to avoid the conversation, it makes it a little easier because then even though the trucks is broken, their honesty rebuilds it in a sense to where you’re not like, oh, another person’s going to do us. Yeah, and So now, you know, over a decade since the first time I’ve been cheated on instead of reacting on anger, I just, I try to talk to the person or the people around me about what’s going on. And I try not to drag it into my next relationships, like, whomever I date next. I’m not going to think they’re going to cheat on me. But I might have my guard up a little bit, depending on how they are talking to other people. And absolutely, I make that hasn’t been wrong with cheating scenarios. So I’m gonna definitely continue following that in the future.

Yeah, well, I think that part is really important, which is we get intuition. And when you when we talk about our gut, right, that’s, that’s like your, your third chakra, which is about personal power and alignment, like alignment with your action in the world. And so we get like, icky feelings. If we’re out of alignment, we also get intuitive feelings there. We also feel abandonment in our guts. Yeah, right. So it’s a really important center a part of the body, it’s like, underneath the ribs, above the belly button area, where we get information. And and your body doesn’t lie, I’ve had that similar feeling and knowing and I think a lot of people do who’ve been cheated on. And, you know, there’s the part of you that when you said that, after the first time, you just, like kind of slept with everybody on your path. That is a common response. Some people absolutely have that response. And I think that there’s a way that it you know, would you say you were emotionally connected to this? You know, huge. Like, yeah, so it’s protective, that we inherently have parts of us that want to protect us, right? We have internal parts that are like, I’m never going to be emotionally hurt again. I’m gonna protect myself, I don’t need blah, blah, blah, I need

sex. Yes. And that’s all I needed. At that time. I, there was a it was a lot of people, it was in a year timeframe after that relationship. And I didn’t, I had zero emotional connection to these people.

Right, right. And unfortunately, it would be great if maybe people’s hair turned blue, when they were in that phase, and you knew oh, this person really just wants, it’s like purely a sexual thing. And their heart is, you know, caved in on itself. And they need to do some healing. So I’m going to alter my expectations of what they can give. And then maybe all the blue haired people would like, find each other and be like, worried about our heartbreak and just fuck, slug it out. Until that happens it out. Fuck it out. And you know, maybe at some point, they’ll heal and be could be able to be vulnerable again, and you know, but again, I just think it’s super important that we’re compassionate with one another and like, yes, people behave badly. People do things that when they look back at their younger selves, they go, God, I wish I could do that over again. Hopefully they

had that sight. Yeah, I’ve cheated before. Okay, yeah, Sharon’s more about that. Oh, my gosh, it was late teens. I think it was my first girlfriend ever. And we were together for maybe a year. But that strong sexual chemistry that I was looking for, wasn’t there. And one of my old high school friends was just like, the hottest thing in the world to me. And, like, the sexual drive was there. We hung out all the time. And something just clicked and I was like, oh, I want to make out with this person. And completely neglected my relationship. And me and this person. We we had a really hot, intimate, makeout session. And right before it was about to turn sexual, my guilt. My guilt set in I was like, Oh, God, I cannot do this to my girlfriend. So like it stopped. She had left a hickey on my neck.

And I think I’m gonna pause you for a sec, cuz it was interesting that you’re like, before it turned sexual yet you had it. You’d had a hot makeout session like you don’t you don’t put that in the camp of sexual bullets.

before. Before the act, the act of sex started.

Uh huh. And so again, you know, I think it’s important that you primarily do primarily identify as queer, do you or do you have sex with men at all? So I identify as a lesbian, however, I’m not against

tennis on a rare occasion.

Yeah. Like those people who are like I’m a vegetarian, but on a rare occasion Oh, have stayed.

Yeah, but I don’t develop emotional connections with men. So it would be strictly sexual.

Right? Right. The reason I said I asked that is because so often, hetero folks will be like sex B is P IV, penis and vagina but like, oral sex and fingers and different kinds of playing, they don’t consider sex. And so it’s kind of like, there’s a, the reality is that we have these energy bodies that are interacting with one another and you can feel it have your you know, like, you’re around someone and everything feels electric. And you’re Oh, absolutely. Your body lights up like a Christmas tree. It’s like, who’s to say that you’re not already having sex? So anyway, back to the Hickey. So

right before you were, you know, about to have sex, what have ya. It just ended at a really totally remember how because it’s been so long. But we stopped the makeout session. So my girlfriend that night or the next day, and we were at a grocery store, she said, What happened to your neck? And I was like, What are you talking about?

And when I I burned myself with a curling iron,

I didn’t even know there was a hickey on my neck. Oh, no, I was like, What are you talking about? And I look in the mirror in the car. And I’m like, I applied that, like my instinct. A late teen was to just lie, and I was like, my dogs scratched me. Oh, fuck of RIA. Oh, fuck is right. So we’re walking around the grocery store. Very awkward. There’s tension. It’s silent. We’re not speaking. And we get back in the car. She’s like, what really happened? I was like, shit. I was like I made out with so and so. I’m sorry. Like, I came clean. It should have never happened to begin with. But I came clean. We’re still friends to this day. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, good. Yeah.

I think it’s it is think it’s really, you know, it’s important. It’s such an interesting thing, right, that people find themselves on one side of a scenario and then years past, and they find themselves on the other side of the scenario. And then back to this, you know, this thing of like, why do people cheat? Right? What has people cheat? And I’ve seen clients for 20 years, and worked with couples where there’s, you know, there’s cheating that’s occurred. And usually, it’s something like the problem is not the cheating, the cheating is the symptom. Right? Makes sense, right? And, and often, people don’t have the courage to bring up the other issues that are in the relationship. And then the cheating is the thing that gets the attention and the focus, and it’s like, okay, we actually needed to discuss all these other things. Right, right. I’m at the age where I have a number of divorced female friends, and they’ve all been cheated on, like that has that has been a theme. So, you know, at talking to them about different things of like, around this subject, and one of them had something really valuable to say, which I’ve seen with, with my clients as well. So there’s this idea of their thirds, or their things that are outside the relationship Stackins terminology, who is a, he’s a couples therapist, attachment brain science guy. Okay. You can wired for love. That’s one of his books. He was one of my teachers. And he talks about the couple bubble, right? It’s like this is, you know, we create a bubble, we create it, we co create a bubble around our relationship, and we want to protect that bubble, that creates secure attachment. Right? Well, I mean, lots of things go into creating secure attachment, but attention on the reality that we create, we want to create a bubble of protection for you, as part of it, right? And we want to be conscious of the things that we do that interfere or disrupt this, this bubble, right? So thirds different kinds of stuff, someone’s job, great traveling for work, you know, a mother in law and a certain dynamic with that person, a certain friend, a certain hobby, gambling, addiction, like all these different things. And so, you know, for one person addiction, right, like for a person compulsively having sex with people, and cheating, like, that’s their, their exit, that’s their way of avoiding things in the relationship. And someone else it could be, you know, it could be an addiction to video games, okay. It could be food, it could be so many different things. And this particular friend, I think, is so diplomatic. And her perspective in her partnership, she was cheated on many, many times in their relationship, but she’s also willing to look at like what was what how did I contribute to this relationship? And you know, likely not valuing herself and having certain kinds of boundaries is why she stayed as long as she did. But what was her third? What was her thing that she was doing? Or using to avoid intimacy and working on the relationship?

Are you asking me what I was doing? If I was doing anything?

You can totally relate it to yourself and answer that. Sure. I’m just saying, like, I just think these are important things for for us all to look at before we immediately go to being a victim in a scenario where people are shitty, but how could we be more accountable? And take responsibility for the treatment that we that we expect in relationship but also like, how are we treating others? And are we passively contributing to something? Yeah, so

Colorado, x as a child, and I never wanted to be a parent, it was discussed before we even started dating, like, I don’t want, I don’t want a kid in my life. For some reason, we tried it anyways. He like there’s nothing wrong with him. She has a lot of attention, like any child would. And it became very overwhelming for me. I did sort of step into a parental role. At some point, he was calling me daddy, which I just kind of rolled with it didn’t think anything of it. It was adorable. I’m like, okay, like I almost used as a nickname. I didn’t do it as like, he sees me as almost like a parent in a sense. And it got to the point where I was like, hey, Colorado, X, I don’t think he should call me daddy anymore. Because I didn’t want to be viewed as a parental figure. He stopped, he started calling me stuff again. But that didn’t stop how much attention a child needed and how overwhelming I’d felt around it. And even though I expressed how overwhelmed I was feeling, you can’t just make a kid disappear. So I started just taking myself out, I started going on more heights and doing stuff alone, which that took time away from the relationship, and probably started the cooling away process because I was overwhelmed at home when the kid was here. And I just wanted to be with myself and not deal with with that.

Mm hmm. Yeah, that’s such a tricky one. You know, it’s some of the couples that I’ve worked with that are it’s just so heartbreaking, where a couple, they totally love one another. And one person wants kids and the other person doesn’t. Yeah, and that’s one of those things that’s a deal breaker in a relationship, right, and then trying to override what feels really true for you. In compromising that. I mean, you know, I have people I’ve worked with that. They felt that way. And they’re, they love their kid, and they’re glad that they have a kid in their lives. But it was a massive boundary crossing, they crossed their own boundary and agreeing to have a kid that they just really didn’t want to.

Yeah, yeah, I crossed the boundary. But yeah, I don’t regret it. I wouldn’t say I should go back because it was definitely a learning experience. But I absolutely know for the future that if somebody has a little trial in their life, yeah, that’s, that’s not for me. Maybe somebody that can take care of themselves and not be so yeah, not rely so much on the period, that probably be different.

Well, it also sounds like it would still be different if you didn’t live with them. The fact that, that, you know, that’s a whole other thing. And so there’s it sounds. So what are your what are some of your takeaways? What are some of the things that you, you know, relationships do help us clarify, if it’s not the one that we stay in for a really long time, we’re like, oh, okay, I know that I need this. And I shouldn’t pretend like I don’t, and I’m getting to know myself. So this is a really clarifying experience.

Yeah, I know, children are no, children are not in my future. I think one of the biggest takeaways is, I mean, continue following my my intuition or gut gut instinct. I think when relationships feel very strong in the beginning, I think I’ve learned I need to take a step back and actually analyze what’s going on and weigh my pros and cons. And actually, you know, because I’ve crossed the boundary with the kid to uphold my boundaries and and maybe not cross something as big as that because it’s not just a relationship that’s ending. There’s a child that’s getting impacted as well. Absolutely. Which I mean, I feel bad for that. And I forget what wording is called when somebody sharing feelings or change in need in a relationship, to share back how you are understanding what they’re saying. So there’s

reflective listening, or if yes, that.

So become becoming better at that. A ha, those are affiliates are my biggest takeaways.

Say more about, what about reflective listening? What did you learn about that, to actually

express back to my partner, what I am understanding by what they’re like, what they’re saying and how I’m understanding it. So Colorado X would say something along the lines of, I wish you just snuggled on your couch more with me or wish XYZ happened, which is great that you can wish that. But it for me, at least, that it wasn’t registering that maybe that was something she needed in that moment. So I would just be like, Okay, I understand. And then I carry on with my life, instead of maybe asking questions, do you know, do you need this now or something later down the

road? So, right, right, speaking back what I’m hearing, and understanding. So an example in that moment, there’s so there’s two kinds of communication tools that are so useful in relationships, that reflective listening helps really de escalate, any kind of situation, and nonviolent communication, although it can be problematic, in some ways, is also very useful. So that without example, if she had been able to say, you know, I really have a need for more connection, and more time with you, and more physical touch. And when that doesn’t happen, I feel sad and disconnected, I would really love if you could cuddle with me on the couch right now. Or we could have a special date, you know, at least like 10 minutes, every night, that we get some physical contact, that would make a really big difference for me.

And that I would have understood better, because I feel like here’s, here’s the problem, here’s why. Here’s the solution to it, I would have jumped right on the couch, for example, and just sat with her and watch TV or whatever.

Yeah, and so that the formula there in that case, because it can be robotic when you’re learning these things, but the formula there is, okay, I have some kind of need, when that need doesn’t get met. At there’s an emotion that comes up for me. And it’s a way to take responsibility for the emotions that are bubbling in us. And then make some kind of request based on that, so that you’re getting your needs met rather than seething and resentment. Or, you know, getting pissed. You’re not your person. That’s reflective listening. Right, is repeat back what you’re hearing to check it out, validate, and empathize with what they’ve just shared. Right? So that sounds like you’re, you’re wanting me to sit on the couch with you and be more affectionate. Is that right? And then, and then, well, if you’re if you have a need for that, and that’s not happening, I could imagine you might feel kind of sad and lonely, and touch deprived. And if you feel like that, maybe you’re just maybe you feel disconnected from me. Right? Yeah. So it’s, it’s an empathy practice.

Which because of how I grew up, that I didn’t listen, I wasn’t as empathetic and learned those skills like I showed, I was kid.

Sure, who did learn that, holy moly, right. These are things these are videos you can watch on YouTube, you know, you can in their books that you can read the couple’s dialogue is what it’s also known as their NBC books, Google NBC, there’s so many tools out there for learning these things that most likely your parents did not teach you. And there are practice groups that you can be a part of and good thing you’re coming back to California because boy, there are endless resources here and there’s

so many resources to

area, my dad you could you know, take up walk a block and you know, a few 100 a corner and nickel for every self help group that existed in the bay. So again, back to this, like, has it clarified first of all, I keep coming back to this thing of like you met her on on Tik Tok, right? Yeah. Now you have this, this big following of people that have registered this experience that empathize with your experience. And so that means all more comments and more contact and a bigger community. And so what have you learned what have you discerned? What would you do differently in navigate? Eating this world of contact and people and what qualities would you be careful to observe and seek out in future relationships?

I think my my biggest thing that I would observe, at least initially in a relationship is how quickly someone would be to get attached to me or or me getting attached to them. I feel like if there’s like this instant, strong, lustful connection, for me, at least, I would need to slow down in the relationship and observe what’s going on. That’s the biggest, that’s the biggest one, it would just be to slow down, because I historically have just been so quick to jump into relationships without questioning anything along the way.

Mm hmm. Are there things that you would ask the other person or ask of yourself,

I hadn’t really thought about that. I think learning people’s communication needs would be a very important one, because you can chat with somebody all day, but not necessarily understand how they perceive things, or if they’re sharing whatever they’re sharing. Whether it actually means what you think their say. So how people communicate, how one would show we’re need a section in a relationship and love because everybody’s a little bit different.

On that topic, just good. Just want to plug. So an hotter ship, I might be saying her last name wrong, sorry. And she’s someone else I interviewed for my podcast, and she wrote a book, that is a response to the Five Love Languages book. And it’s more of an 18 Love Languages for Modern Love. And it’s for all relationships, platonic relationships, not just romantic relationships. Okay. And, you know, just a reminder that there are those five, but those are just five. And there’s so many other things and to try to figure out what are your specific love languages? Right? What are the things that you that that? How do you tend to care for others? And how do you want them to care for you? And what are the ones that make the biggest difference, like mine is accountability, if accountability isn’t present, even with clients, right, like, I expect accountability across the board from everybody. It’s a line expectation. And, you know, I’ve learned, like collaboration is something that I really love. I really enjoy that with people. And I wouldn’t have necessarily called it a love language, but I’ve come to see that it, it can be okay. So, you know, it’s like starting to think about what are those for you and then inquiring, and that I think her book is a useful one. It’s an eBook out there. To help you start to consider what some of yours might be outside of the five outside of the Bible, and anything else that you have a sense of that would create secure attachment for yourself or someone else in a future relationship.

brutal honesty is a big one for me. Even if it hurts, I’d rather somebody be honest and beat around the bush or try to sugarcoat something that’s being said. That’s a huge one that I’ve come to terms with lately.

Mm hmm. Yeah, there’s a whole let’s called Radical Honesty movement that you can explore there. Okay, what’s interesting, so Stantec, and who is one of my teachers with around attachment theory and all that. He taught something that was like one of my biggest takeaways, and it was focused on reality based answers versus security based answers. You know, and so the example that he gave, and when I learned this, I felt like someone had punched me in the chest. I was like, Oh, God, what have I been doing? I was very dedicated to to honesty prided myself and honesty throughout my life. My mom’s a very honest person, and actually, really inappropriate, like, would share too much, you know? And so the example he gave is like, a kid goes, you know, mommy, and like, gonna die. You know? And it’s like, like, Yes, honey, but not for a very, very long time. That’s a security based answer. Right? Okay. Yeah, like, okay, like, yes, that’s, that’s yes, you are. So then a reality based answer is like, yeah, we never know. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow. The CRA Exactly. And, and so I had a reality based mom, and I became a reality based partner in my eyes, you know, and that a security based answer to a question as an adult, if someone’s like, are you going to love me forever? Right. The part of me that would seize up that would be like how I don’t know what the future holds, like, how do I how exactly. And yet at the same time, that doesn’t create a lot of security, right? So if you’re intentionally trying to navigate and create security, it’s like, how do you pull this desire for? What creates safety, for me is honesty. But how do you also create security? Right? And so that might be what you need. But let’s say someone is like my father, or, or my mother abandoned me, they walked away. One day, they were there, the next day they were in, it’s really hard for me to trust that people are going to stick around. They need security. And they don’t necessarily need that brutal honesty of like, I cannot look into my crystal ball and tell you what will happen. And

yeah, yeah, and the future is so unknown. Like, you really, truly never know what’s going to happen. I never thought that I was going to move back to California, we would have those discussions about, you know, are you going to love me forever? And promise me, you’re never gonna leave? And I feel like there were times where I was like, I don’t plan on ever, and you do. So there’s, it’s a reality. With some security? I

feel like, yeah, it’s a tricky one. Yeah.

So the plan wasn’t, the plan wasn’t to leave. Presuming all the cheating didn’t happen. The scenario and I didn’t want to move back to California, we probably would have remained in a relationship.

And then before that, it’s kind of like, what you’re pointing to is that they’re all these little breadcrumbs. So it’s not just one thing. You can’t be like, in a relationship. You’re the bad one. Because this thing happened. I mean, sometimes it can be I guess, but that there was, there was a domino effect. Right? Yeah. You know, the ripples in your in the field of connection? Because you did want to move back to California. And there was a drawing that was already happening. And who knows if she was already being weird and flirty and Chidi? Online? Or or what?

Yeah. Who knows? I don’t know. Yeah. I’m not one to dig and find out either.

Yeah. So what tools I know that when the cheating happened, you called me and you’re like, how do people manage their anger? How do people work out anger. And I had offered a series of possibilities, which I’ll list a few here in case people I find ripping cardboard to be somewhat satisfying, or using a plastic bat or your hands and hitting a couch or a bed and screaming in a car, which Stephanie really, truly illustrated well in her Tiktok. What tools did you because I know you’re in therapy. Now. What? What other tools? Did you discover through this process? And what what are you doing to take care of yourself now,

leaning on trusted ones has been huge for me, I am used to be kind of reserved and keep my feelings and emotions inside and not share my problems with people because I didn’t want to burden other people. But I’ve I have found with this particular instance, it has been helpful. getting other people’s perspective on things. being reminded that it’s not necessarily my fault. What happened because I went down a rabbit hole and what could I have done different?

Yeah, that’s such an important thing to have. Yeah.

And then with with anger, just screaming and yelling in the car was the biggest thing for me hitting my steering wheel a few times, while at home, because we still lived together. If I felt any kind of anger or sadness filled up, I would just go outside and walk and just breathe some fresh air, just to have a different sensation come across my body, spending more time with my devolves and just loving on them. And my therapist taught me a breathing exercise where you, you stand with your feet, but you know, parallel to your shoulders, and you let your whole body fold over. And you take a deep breath in. And while doing that, you actually bend your legs, the bend and kind of like a squat. And then as you exhale, you, you go cool a little you know, you’d make noise as you exhale. And as you’re standing, that kind of helped me ground and to feel more sense of calm, and I would do that until like my legs would uncontrollably shake. Hmm. And that would just help center me and bring me back to a state of calm.

Yeah, that’s great. That last one is great. There’s there’s something you can also look into called Tre. It’s a trauma release.

Technique. Okay.

You can you can look it up. There are different online zoom courses. I think there’s even an app that was created that shows is a series of exercises and what it does is it really fatigues the soul as

okay I do have a book. It’s called troubled release exercises, I forget who writes it. A friend

of mine who travels around the world teaching these this particular set of exercises is Maria, but I can’t remember her name El Faro. Anyways. And so what happens when you’re describing you’re like, my legs shake uncontrollably. It’s literally that I laughed. I was like, oh, it’s like trauma twerking. It’s like, you’re, you’re laying on your back, and then your legs, it’s like your butt and legs. And everything just started by rebuilding a lot, you know? Yeah. The idea being that we hold especially as you just described, you’re in this, you know, my tendency is I’m going to be a burden. And so I think like, I just have to hold everything in. So all of those folks out there who you know who you are, where you stuff and shove your feelings down, it can show up as numbness in the body. But that shaking that happens is actually the discharge of energy where you want to allow it versus trying to stop it. And it’s actually a good thing, in addition to moving that anger, or what other emotions, right, they may seem pretty obvious, and we can list them, but what other emotions have come up for you in response to this situation?

Sadness, the trail. A bit of confusion, in a weird way, a sense of happiness. And okay.

Do you want to say more? So the second part of the question, but I’d like you know, you can go ahead and share more about each of those, these different practices, are there different things that have helped you be with each of those different emotions? And go ahead and you kind of giggled after the sense of happiness. It’s like, okay, say more about that.

Well, the angry one I already shared with yelling in my car and hitting steering wheel, with all of the feelings, you know, the grief and the sadness and anger. Actually verbalizing, you know, what I’m feeling in a moment, or how I was feeling towards my extra things that I may have wanted to say to her that weren’t necessarily appropriate. Tell the person, like I felt a sense of hate. So like, I’m yelling in my car. And I’m like, you know, I love to hate you. When reality I don’t hate her, I just eat the choices that she made. With sadness, just I cried a lot. Actually feeling the hurt and the pain in my chest, and reading through it and crying, just to release all the motions were extremely helpful. As far as the sense of happiness, and I know, a chopper with that, we had a great relationship for the most part. So I look back and I’m like, This person made me feel loved even when I was at my most down moments, like where I was depressed, or were just wasn’t myself. And so it made me feel good that there are people out there that can still love me at my worst. And I feel like I’ve learned a lot throughout this relationship. So there’s that that positive aspect. It’s not all it’s not all negative, it was just a negative scenario.

That’s so important to know, right? It’s that things are not black and white. And that I can also imagine as someone who has stuff things down so much to actually yell and to feel and to let things move through you. You’ve stockpiled things way beyond Colorado girl, right? Oh,

I’ve sent childhood I have slammed it all down.

Right? It’s like that, you know, when you’ve cleaned out a garage that’s like covered in cobwebs and dust and moldy boxes and you like clean it out? You’re like, oh, Lord, yeah.


space cleanliness. Yeah. Then you got to excavate so much out of your system. And, you know, the reality is that as big as your capacity is to feel grief or anger, it’s that large to feel joy and passion. And so there was a little surprise in your voice when you’re like, man, and you know, happiness. And it’s like, I’m so glad that you can still appreciate the sweet moments that you’ve had with her over the year and reduce it to this one shity shity situation, but then also, I’m excited for you for what is opening and what you’re going to be able to step into as a result of this experience. Right? Yes, I have a term that I use called asshole angels. And I feel like Colorado girl was an asshole angel for you and an asshole angel is a person that, that sometimes we you know, it’s like maybe a person you want to punch in the face and maybe a person that you feel is treating you wrong, or is treating you unjustly in some way. But what’s really occurring, if you look at it from a different vantage point is you have the opportunity to see something about yourself to see where what muscles you need to build, right? You’re like, oh, maybe it’s boundaries, maybe it’s self respect. Maybe it’s communication. Or maybe it’s like, oh, discernment to now I have this discernment. And I’m gonna approach things differently next time. So it’s, it’s a way that I try to look at people that crossed my path that I could just choose to feel victimized by. But then I also go, how can I grow in this situation? Yeah. And so let the Athol angels live. They bring some benefits. Yeah. Yeah.

I mean, I’ve always lived on the saying everything happens for a reason. And it’s always going to be a good reason. So even though a scenario might seem really crappy and unfortunate, I feel like you can always bring something positive out of it.

Is there anything else that you want to share with the listeners about this topic or anything else? Trust your

intuition? Hmm. And even though maybe whatever is going on, in a relationship, it can always get better if you allow

it to. Mm hmm. Good. Yeah. And you know, you have to get into your body in order to feel what’s happening is that your intuition is in there. Yeah. Right. And find the resources to help you do that. And how can people find you if they want to follow you on Tik Tok or Instagram or whatever? What are your handles?

So my biggest one is tick tock. I don’t typically use Instagram or Facebook too often anymore. But my handle on there is John Rizzo. So it’s GORIZ CEO.

Right go Rizzo, cobras, our next step. Please remember next week will be a continuation of this interview. So tune in for part two. One of Stephanies takeaways from this heartbreaking experience was to trust her intuition. This is useful in all aspects of life. So I’d like to focus on that for our exercise this week. This is a big topic and I could write a whole book or teach multi day classes. But this is a simple meditation in a way to start tuning in. So let’s first get quiet and be still. We want to start in a more neutral or center place when possible. Please your hand under your belly button and breathe into your hand. And as you exhale, you can go ahead and sigh gently, like you’re fogging a mirror with your breath. Your lower abdomen may pull in and engage a bit to see if you can connect with your perineum, that space between your genitals and Venus on the chair. Put your attention on that spot. And as you exhale, imagine breath is flowing between your butt and the chair. Right bringing awareness lower into your body and into the present moment sensations can help calm emotions. How do you feel right now versus a minute ago? Now think about a time in your life and you had a strong gut feeling about a situation and you were right. Maybe listen to it. Maybe it didn’t. If you can recall it where your body was the sensation. What did it feel like? Was it tight, more expansive, hot or cold? Is there a color? Do you hear song lyrics suddenly have a clear image that arises too often people have what are referred to as gut feelings below the ribcage in the area of the third chakra, which is associated with personal power, alignment with yourself and your actions in the world as well as abandonment and vulnerability. It’s an area people often feel clearly and strongly in a way that can be hard to ignore. If your system is more numb, this will take practice and tuning into and developing. You also may get information a less kinesthetic way. Maybe it’s a visual or an auditory message. instead. You can ask your body what do you want me to know and see what thoughts or images arise? It can be easy to dismiss and minimize our emotions and sensations especially when witness felt growing up was shut down for survival purposes. It’s never too late to turn the radio back on and tune in. The more you pause, pay attention Sian and decipher and respond to these gut instincts, the more you will register when they occur, the clearer the messages will become. You can count on them. The expression gut check comes from someplace. This has been laid open podcast with your host Charna caselle. Please join us again next week. If this show feels beneficial, we’d love if you’d please rate and review it and share it with your friends so others can find us. If you have additional questions around sex and trauma, you can submit them at Charna If you found this exercise helpful or want to see it written out, it will be reposted in my blog along with a number of other exercises from previous episodes. Follow me at laid open podcast on Instagram and Facebook and read more about my work at passionate May this podcast connect you to new resources and empower you to kill yourself.

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© 2022 By Charna Cassell, LMFT. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFC 51238.

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