What You Need to Know When You Leave

by

Your marriage was like a jigsaw puzzle. A big, confusing, fragmented mess. 

Once you found the “abuse” piece, everything fell into place. 

But are you prepared for what happens when you leave? Cause the gloves come off and the rulebook gets tossed out the window. 

From two women who’ve been there and who’ve heard countless stories of the same, here’s the cheat sheet for what you need to know when you get out. 

This playbook includes:

  • Rules of the “Game”: Insight into what your husband’s “normal” behavior will be (and by “normal” we mean crazy but predictable)
  • Strategy: A tried and true response method to his behavior (it’s the most boring, fabulous thing ever)
  • Recovery Tips: Why you should treat yourself like a fuzzy little cat during this time (truckloads of compassion and flexibility…and maybe treats)
  • Inside Secrets: There’s another person who’s been abusing you beside your husband (and you can’t get away from them!)

Related Resources:

Got questions? I’d love to answer them on the Flying Free podcast!

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What You Need to Know When You Leave [Transcript]

Hi. This is Natalie Hoffman of Flyingfreenow.com, and you’re listening to the Flying Free Podcast, a support resource for women of faith looking for hope and healing from hidden emotional and spiritual abuse.

NATALIE: Welcome to Episode 130 of the Flying Free Podcast. Today I have with me a repeat guest. The other cool thing about our guest today is that she plays an integral role in making this podcast happen as part of the podcast production. It’s the great and wonderful Sara Richmond. Hello, Sara.

SARA: You are hilarious.

NATALIE: Welcome to the podcast.

SARA: Tell me about your podcast.

NATALIE: Because you don’t know anything about it, right? Sara does the dirty work of the podcast, I think. She takes the transcript, and then she writes up show notes for it. So whatever you are reading in the show notes, that’s all Sara. She does all of that. Then she also makes sure it gets posted to social media. What else do you do?

SARA: I make sure that it goes live in the podcast host.

NATALIE: Yeah. Also, you send out the email.

SARA: I do.

NATALIE: By the way if you are listening and you think, “What email?” You can get an email every Wednesday morning from us that says, “Here’s the podcast.” It gives you a direct link to the podcast, the show notes, and the whole nine yards. It’s just a brief email. It’s not spammy at all. It’s got a nice picture in it and little links. You can get that. It’s from me, but Sara is the ghostwriter behind it. You can get it every Wednesday. All you must do is go to my website, Flyingfreenow.com, which as of this podcast just went live. We have a new website. Have you noticed it, Sara?

SARA: It looks great.

NATALIE: My friend, Becky, completely redesigned the whole thing. You guys will listen to this a few months from now, so it will be old news.

SARA: It’s so new.

NATALIE: I hate that about the podcast. I record so far in advance because I am so scared of getting behind that everything is already ancient news by the time it reaches the actual podcast. That’s just the way it goes. Hopefully, you have all seen that, but if you want to get the emails, go over to my website, and get on the mailing list. There are different places you can get on there. I don’t even know where they all are anymore. I think she tried to make them obvious. Just sign up anywhere it says name and email. If you give us your name and email, you will probably get on that list, and we’ll send you an email on Wednesday mornings with the podcast. Otherwise you can just subscribe to it in iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever your favorite podcast app is. Sara and I were talking about what we would talk about, and we thought it would be fun… Well, not fun. None of these topics are ever very much fun. It’s such a serious podcast.

SARA: I’ll just alternate. I’ll tell jokes every three minutes.

NATALIE: Okay. That’s why I brought Sara on. She provides some comic relief. She provides that for me, anyway, on a regular basis.

SARA: I’m not going to say anything.

NATALIE: I love Sara. She makes me laugh, so hopefully she will make you guys laugh. This topic, though, is kind of serious. What can you expect if you decide or when you decide to leave your abusive relationship? People ask this all the time. What I see a lot in the private forum for Flying Free and Flying Higher is that I see people leaving and filing for divorce or just to separate, and then they come in the forum and say, “It’s so bizarre. My partner is doing this—X Y Z.” The thing is that it’s not bizarre at all. It’s what they all do, and that person is doing it. So that’s what this podcast is going to be about: what do they do that is so bizarre, but they all do it? It’s not that bizarre; it’s normal for abusers to do these things. Let’s talk about that. What things do you wish you had known beforehand, Sara?

SARA: I wanted to talk about this. What you said is true. Almost every woman is going to bring up the same questions or concerns or have similar experiences. In the past, my church has referred people to me. I’ve had people hear me on your podcast before and maybe in my butterfly story, and they contacted me through my website. Sometimes it was related to business; sometimes it was to say, “Thanks for your story.” I end up repeating some things often. Usually it relates to what they are going through when they are leaving. It’s a chaotic, scary time, but there are some similar themes. I wanted to address those that I hope will help women who are about to or are in the middle of it, or maybe they are past it but will help bring them to a greater place of peace. The first thing to know, and you hit on it, is that they are going to behave in predictable ways, and those ways are horrible. All the behavior that you saw before you left you will see ratcheted up times 5,000. That sounds horrible, but if you expect that or assume that is what he’s going to do, then I think you will be better equipped to say, “This is normal.” It’s not your fault. This is his bid to either scare you, guilt you, or sway you into doing his bidding. Usually that is just to get you back into the home and into the same dynamic you were in before. I remember being harassed and stalked myself, and it was terrifying. I had a friend who was wise. She said to me, “Sara, this is not an emergency.” Now, was I in danger? Yes, but she meant his constant hounding me by text, email, and voicemail. I decided he was not an emergency, and I didn’t have to respond to everything he did. He kept telling me, “This is your fault.” It wasn’t. Nothing he is doing is your fault. That is what I wish I knew beforehand. He is going to act crazy, and it’s not your fault. Along with that, because of what we’ve been through—and it is usually for years or decades of this same cycle—we think if we give in to whatever demands they have (usually revolving around the kids or coming back) that it will help. Or if we are really kind, he will calm down. All that does is feed the flames. It doesn’t help at all. It prolongs it. If you can in those moments, remind yourself that the whole point of you leaving was to stop this in its tracks. Giving in or mimicking anything in your marriage, any of the dynamics you had, will not help. It will not serve you or your kids. It will keep you on what I call the psychotic merry-go-round. So whatever you need to do to stop that, to keep yourself safe, to disengage…

NATALIE: I want to jump in here and say it won’t stop them from doing what they are doing. They will keep doing it, and you can’t control that. But when you stop doing what you usually do in that situation, that’s when the dynamic changes. When you stop doing what you usually do, that throws them off balance, which is one reason why they ratchet up. I also wanted to say that I know your guy got whacko, and some of them do. They are totally insane. But I think a lot of them get kind of weepy, saying “I’m so sorry,” and start doing the love bombing thing. I think I see that happen more often. But—I will say this with a caveat—that will happen first. A lot of guys will do that. That is their first—you called it a bid. That is their first bid. If that doesn’t work, that’s when they go ballistic. Some are like yours and will be more overt like that, but some will be more like mine who did the smear campaign behind my back. He said nothing to my face, but behind my back he was going around and spreading all kinds of fascinating stories about me. If only I was that fascinating! If only I was that dramatic of a person. Many people (not everyone) believed him. That is painful for the woman too because she spent her whole life building a reputation. Not a fake reputation but this is just who I am. I’ve always had a good reputation with people for being a truth teller, for being a woman of integrity, for being a hard worker, for being on time, for being caring, and for all these things. Then suddenly in one year, your entire reputation can be leveled to the ground because of somebody’s lies. It’s unbelievable.

SARA: They can take one conversation… I will say, mine ran the gamut. It wasn’t just scary, psychotic behavior or the smear campaign. What I noticed (and this is a great way to empower yourself in the beginning; over time it will just become background noise) is that you will start to identify the pattern and where you are in the cycle of abuse. Usually, mine will start with a bid of kindness when I set a boundary. When that doesn’t work (because maybe I push in with “Now change your behavior. This needs to stop.”) then he will push in with, “No, this is your fault.” He will bully and blame shift and project. Once bullying doesn’t do much of anything… He’ll try multiple avenues. He’ll say something nasty about the past, about the way I parent, about the fact I did this all for the money—he’ll hit whatever he can in long texts (which I love). Once I’m not very interesting or say, “I have no response,” then he will give up. A while later, he will go back into fawning and trying to appease me. Eventually he will let off, and there will be quiet for a while. If you can recognize where you are in that part of the cycle, knowing he’s about to flip out, you can just ignore it. I think it’s empowering. It doesn’t make it benign, but it makes it less scary and can be more like water off a duck’s back versus “Oh my gosh! Everything he says is true and I have to respond to everything.” Your perspective will make a huge difference on how traumatic and horrible this stuff is to you.

NATALIE: Yes. I will say that if you can eliminate your dramatic response or your reaction to them, that will change the entire game.

SARA: I’m four years out, and I can still tell that this person gets his jollies by trying to incite things or instigate things with me. It could just be that I respond to something that I don’t have to respond to or give him a bit of information about my life that he doesn’t absolutely have to know, and from there he will try to go to a thousand, get nowhere, and then come back down. The fact that I know he gets his jollies from that is enough… It’s hard to control myself sometimes when I want to just rip the ridiculous BS I’m dealing with apart. But staying quiet and not responding is key. You can’t stop their behavior, but over time they will learn that it just doesn’t work. They will try every now and again, but it just doesn’t work. They will not waste as much energy.

NATALIE: Your deadness is powerful.

SARA: Yes. That doesn’t mean you need to be dead in general though. You’re going to want to reawaken, and you will be able to give your full self to other people but not to them.

NATALIE: Right. I’m glad you clarified that.

SARA: Along with that, even though you are doing what you can by leaving and responding differently, you’re not going to come out of this unscathed and your kids aren’t either. Don’t have as your goal this idea that if I do XYZ that everything will work out. That ship sailed when you were born.

NATALIE: Exactly. When you were given the gift of life, it came with a lot of baggage.

SARA: The goal isn’t that you figure things out perfectly, that you perfectly protect your children, that you heal perfectly or in a certain time. One of the beautiful things about this process is that you are finally throwing off the shackles not just of a marriage that was killing you, but a lot of ideologies and false beliefs that were destroying your spirit as well. One of those is that linear thinking that is spiritualized in the Christian world that if you do XYZ, then you will get this result. There’s some truth in it, but it is not entirely true. Try to remember in the chaos of this huge transition that the goal isn’t to find some kind of immediate normal. You are going to have periods of constant readjustment. Frankly, for the first few years, it seemed like every time I got my feet underneath me, they got knocked out again. I don’t mean that to sound as if things were horrible and there was no forward movement or progress. That’s not true at all. I just mean there wasn’t a way for me to find some kind of normal or build habits.

NATALIE: Routines?

SARA: Yeah. I had to be really flexible and gracious. Otherwise I felt miserable and like a huge failure. Try to be flexible and gracious with yourself. Try to look at yourself as if you are a cute, little, fuzzy cat that you just want to love.

NATALIE: This is what I love about you. So that was an encouraging piece of advice. Is there anything else that you needed to hear back then when you were going through it that you wish you would have known or that you needed to hear?

SARA: I think that just because you are doing the right thing doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. That it’s hard is not because you’re doing the wrong thing or because you are doing it wrong. It’s hard because it’s hard.

NATALIE: That is profound. Let’s just stop and think about that for a minute. It’s hard because it’s hard. It is.

SARA: You’re not weak, and you’re not failing. It’s just hard.

NATALIE: And it’s okay. It’s human nature to want to escape icky feelings. We will try to solve those icky feelings usually in some way that is a quick fix. Those quick fixes aren’t very effective long term. The other problem is that we never learn that we can actually sit with hard things or with icky feelings. They will not kill us. I’ve experienced a lot of hellish feelings over the past few years. I’ve learned when they come and wash over me to just allow them to be with me and to say, “Okay. I guess this is the time when I’m going to feel like I just want to die.”

SARA: Yeah. What you are saying is… I know it’s not new to you, but isn’t it a constant process where you are just going deeper and deeper into things? You are trusting yourself more, and you are trusting the process more.

NATALIE: Yeah. If you can learn that icky feelings won’t kill you, you become much stronger. It’s weird because your brain, your amygdala, is awakened. It is screaming at you that you are going to die, and your prefrontal cortex is shutting down. Your prefrontal cortex is your reasoning brain, your rational brain, your creative… That’s the part of your brain that can come online and make your life amazing. But it shuts down when your amygdala is screaming that you are going to die.

SARA: I think what you are pointing out is that our biology is made to protect us, so when we realize we’ve been avoidant or are self-sabotaging or we’re numbing out in the middle of this process… I don’t know about you, but I had times when I realized that I had eaten like crap for an entire week or that I had been standing in my kitchen for most of the day—almost walking in circles like lame duck—because I was in so much overload because of the constant chaos. We don’t have to hold ourselves in contempt because of that. Our bodies are just getting us through. Over time, if we sit with those feelings that come up when they come up and trust the process, the path isn’t into deeper, more horrible things. It is taking us into peace and healing the deepest wounds that we have.

NATALIE: That’s right. I keep thinking of a podcast episode I heard from Brene Brown’s podcast. What’s that called?

SARA: I should know.

NATALIE: Just look up Brene Brown podcast. She did one with these two sisters. (Oh my word, I have a terrible memory.) She was talking to some people in this podcast, these two sisters who wrote a book about stress called Burnout. The episode was about stress. I’m going to put the link in the show notes. (This is another reason you’ve got to go to the show notes. There’s extra stuff in the show notes that Sara puts in. Sara is going to put the link in the show notes.)

SARA: Don’t you worry listeners. I’ve got you.

NATALIE: I was going to say, “You’re welcome, Brene, for sending my hundreds of listeners to your famous podcast.” It’s a great podcast. I went out and bought the book, and the book is great too. It was the first time I ever realized that stress is normal. We’re all scared of stress and think, “Oh my gosh, I’m stressed!” But stress is normal. You should experience stress throughout the day. That’s good. You want to learn how to complete the stress cycle. That’s what the podcast and the book Burnout is about – learning how to complete the stress cycle. One of the best ways to do that is physical activity. What I’ve done since I heard that podcast several months ago now, I’ve taken walks. When I have had several extraordinary extreme stressful times since then, scary times, I put on my headphones… I’m sorry, but my favorite “complete the stress cycle” song is by Sia, and it’s called…

SARA: I love her.

NATALIE: … Never Give Up.

SARA: I’ll have to listen to it.

NATALIE: Is that what it’s called? I’m going to put the link to that in the show notes too, whatever it’s called. Anyway, I walk, and I listen to that. It fires me up and reminds me I will not give up. I want to, but I will not. Let me think of the lyrics. “Never give up, no, I’ll never give up, no, no.” How was that?

SARA: I mean, I was over here just getting down. But I loved it.

NATALIE: All I can remember is the never give up part, but that’s the best part. Right? Never give up? So you guys have to go listen to that song. If you’ve never listened to Rock-n-Roll, it’s okay. It won’t kill you. Go listen to that song. Sia—Never Give Up. It’ll fire you up. That song really helps me to complete the stress cycle. I walk, and I walk fast. I have a determined look on my face. I’ve listened to that even when I’ve felt a tremendous grief over the loss of something that I have loved. I’ve needed that message of I’m not going to give up no matter what. Anything can get striped away from me, and I’m going to live my life. Nothing is going to stop me from living my life. I’m going to show up because that’s who I am. That’s who I’ve noticed survivors tend to be. They are people who, every time they get knocked down, they get back up again. That’s the other thing I want to say. If you’ve never seen Captain America, no it’s Captain Marvel, then you must see that movie. You will see yourself in that heroine. Not heroin. Heroin is the drug, right?

SARA: No, you’ve got it. Heroine. Here, it has an “e” on the end.

NATALIE: Oh, they are both called heroine? Like, “I’m going to smoke some heroin?”

SARA: No, heroine. You should make the “e” a long “e”. Heroine. That will sound better. We’re not talking about drugs, people.

NATALIE: Don’t do drugs! Stay away from the drugs—unless it is anti-depressants. Lexapro was a lifesaver for me and Xanax once in a while.

SARA: On that note, you will heal.

NATALIE: Yes, with a little help of heroin. I’m just kidding!

SARA: We talked about things I wish I’d known beforehand that relate to external factors, but there are things I know I needed to hear. I’ve said them to myself, and I’ve said them to other women. We can touch on those real quick.

NATALIE: Yes, let’s do that.

SARA: One is to be kind to your body. I mentioned treating yourself like a little fuzzy cat. You can’t even comprehend what your body has been through over the last years and decades. Getting out will not decrease the stress in the short term. In some ways you’re not around a person who is bent on destroying you every second of the day, and that is significant. Don’t underestimate that. But assume that you need as much sleep and care and tender loving gentleness as a little baby and maybe even more. If there’s one person who you should not allow to make you feel guilty about that, it’s you. I got to a point in my recovery where I was so fed up. I’d left behind my ex. I’d left behind some people who had rejected me or didn’t trust me anymore when I made that choice. I had come into my own in a lot of ways and realized I was still harming myself from the inside out. I was so fed up with it. Not honoring my body and being gentle and kind with it… I hated how guilty and pathetic and disgusting I felt when I didn’t do that, when I recognized physical limitations or weaknesses. I’m done with it, and everybody else should be too. You’re human, and that’s not going to change. What you have been through is a lot. You’ve been there every single moment with yourself. So if anybody understands what you need, it’s you.

NATALIE: Yeah. So many women struggle with loving themselves. They really do hate themselves. I think that’s one of the first things we must heal.

SARA: Yes. Even just not hating that you hate yourself, not holding yourself in contempt because you have those feelings. Grace upon grace upon grace, and unending compassion for yourself. We talked about how people will reject you and how that’s one of the biggest pains and one of the surprising, horrible aspects of this. You don’t owe anybody your story. You don’t have to defend yourself to anyone.

NATALIE: You don’t have to answer anybody’s questions either.

SARA: You don’t. I’m not going to say there haven’t been times I’ve been yelling in my living room at an imaginary person. But keep it in your living room. You don’t have to demean yourself anymore. You did in your marriage. You probably pursued a person who didn’t care about you at all. You engaged with a fool and tried to please other people who didn’t know what the heck they were talking about. You do not have to do that anymore.

NATALIE: Yep. Just because someone asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer it. Just last night, someone asked me a question, and I said, “I don’t think I’m really comfortable talking about that.” You know what they did? They said, “Oh, okay. That’s totally fine.”

SARA: Going back to the abuse cycle that we talked about, that is going to keep coming up and will be like a lovely theme in your life. It’s like, “Oh, there you are again.” You can remind yourself (and you should do it every day) that you are not who he says you are. Nothing about his perspective of you is true. For example, let’s say someone walks up to you one day, stares you in the eye, and says, “You are a llama.” Wouldn’t you just laugh and say, “You’re insane!” and walk away? If you can (and this won’t feel real or true for a while) try to approach the way he treated you as if he were just telling you that you were a llama the whole time because he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about.

NATALIE: That’s right.

SARA: He couldn’t see your value. He couldn’t esteem you or love you. He doesn’t know who you are, and what he says about you isn’t valuable. It’s trash and is not reflective of anything that is true about you.

NATALIE: He just had thoughts in his head. You were just a circumstance in his life, and he had thoughts in his head about you. He got to pick his own thoughts. Of all the millions of thoughts he could have picked, he picked some crappy ones. Then those thoughts about you made him feel certain ways, and he did certain things. Now the result is that you are leaving him. Always remember that, too. The results are his results. It’s not your fault. A lot of women say, “I kind of feel bad for him.” Well, why? He chose that.

SARA: I think there is a time and a place to leave anger aside for the most part—not to say you should act as if nothing is wrong when recurring things happen. But anger, in the beginning, was helpful to me. You should have a righteous anger about the complete crap that you’ve dealt with and that you are dealing with because you are valuable. That would be the next thing you need to hear—that you are worthy of love, of honor, and of safety. You are a good woman. You are worth pursuing, and what you experienced is not reflective of your value at all.

NATALIE: That’s right.

SARA: I wish I could drive that home. I want to honor anybody who is listening to this who has made the choice to leave because even if you don’t feel it right now, even if on the inside you hate yourself daily and you look in the mirror and see a wasteland of a person, that’s not always going to be true. Beyond that, you affirmed your value when you said, “No more,” and left. Connect to that at the very least. One day I believe you will connect on a deep level to how amazing and worthy of honor you are if you keep being open to healing. That was number five, that you can trust the process. You are going to heal. There were times, especially when I had the betrayal and rejection of family members… I said to my older sister at one point, “I’m never going to heal. How will I ever heal from this pain? It is so deep.” I could almost laugh at that at this point because, not to say there aren’t times when something comes up that makes me cringe, but there are so many things I’ve healed of that seemed insurmountable obstacles in my heart. There was no way for my heart to be pieced back together, but that’s not true. That’s another thing I’m going deeper into recently—how we look at ourselves and see broken. Really, nothing is wrong with us. There’s a lot that we believe that makes us think we are broken or busted up, but these are just beliefs. At your core, nothing has been taken from you. At your core, you are still whole. The things that ache now are not always going to ache. The things that cause you to flounder now, that you are deep in, are going to become your shallow end over time. Don’t give up hope of that. That would be one of the last things I would say. There are too many other people in this world who have been through hell and have walked out of it, who have been through what you’ve been through and who’ve reached greater healing and had amazing lives for you not to believe that it can’t happen for you. On some tough days, I always thought back to that. There are so many people who started from nothing or had to start again from nothing. There are people who have had everything taken from them, and somehow, they did it and I can too. That’s true for you. There is nothing profoundly different about the people we are amazed by and you. It’s just a matter of are you willing to fight for yourself? If you are, then you are going to thrive. You are going to have an amazing life. You can assume that all the beliefs you’ve had that have held you captive in your marriage and that even now are affecting you daily are not true. Entertain the thought that you don’t know how amazing you are, how great your future can be, what your responsibility is in life for real—the things that you actually should care about, what your identity is really based on—everything you think you believe… I’m not saying toss it all out the window, but for me, being open to negotiating those things has made a huge difference because when I got out of my marriage I ended up being the only person left abusing myself on a consistent basis. The only way to stop that was to challenge the beliefs that I had gently and kindly, realizing that he wasn’t the only one who had done me harm. The greatest freedom and joy that I found is in the transformation that I’ve experienced since then. That isn’t a reflection of healing from my marriage. It’s a reflection of a constant evolution and discovery with myself.

NATALIE: Yes. I need to put in a plug here for the programs because those of you listening, some of you are in Flying Free and some of you aren’t. So far in the last five years we’ve had over two thousand women go through the programs. That number might sound like a lot, but it only represents a snowflake at the top of an iceberg of Christian women out there that needs help. Never think that you are alone. I used to think I was alone. I used to think I was the only one going through what I was going through. I had no idea that it was a thing – that it was not just a thing, but it is an epidemic in the Christian world. If you know nothing about Flying Free, you can learn more if you go to joinflyingfree.com. All the information is there. Every single day I either get an email, get a Facebook message, or hear in the forum from someone saying, “This program has changed my life.” It’s a program. It’s systematic. If you are at the beginning…. People come into the program who are like deer in the headlights. “Where am I? What do I do? I want to change now. I want Cinderella’s godmother to go, ‘Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo’ and change me right now.” We have to tell them it’s a process. It will happen, but you need to go through the program. You need to walk through it and do it in these little bite-sized pieces. Slowly over time, within one year, you will think differently. You will become… Your entire brain will change, and that changes your life. So check it out. If you are already divorced and are still feeling like you’re sitting in your front yard, your house just burned down and are wondering where you are supposed to go now… Because that is what divorce feels like. It feels like your house got leveled and you have no idea how to even begin to rebuild what you had. That’s where the program Flying Higher comes in. Those women over there are all divorced, and they are all rebuilding their lives. That program will help you do that. It’s a little more intense. There is an application process to get into Flying Higher because I want to keep that group small and focused. So you must go through the application process and get an invitation. The invitation is only open for 48 hours. If you don’t accept the invitation, then you must wait for six months to get another invite. So don’t fill out the application unless you are ready to go. But you can learn about the program and walk through the application process by going to joinflyinghigher.com.

SARA: She is saying this in front of me, ladies. I have been in the program, so obviously she has no fear because this is the real deal.

NATALIE: It is. I just get too much feedback regularly that it changes people’s lives. I want to thank you, Sara. Did you have any last words before we end?

SARA: Funnily enough, I just wanted to thank you. I doubt you get… Maybe you get thanks…

NATALIE: I get no thanks! I get no thanks! I’m kidding.

SARA: I mean, I know a fraction of a fraction of what you’ve been through on the outside and some things we’ve talked about when I’ve worked with you. But I know you are constantly serving other people and you are the real thing. I love that you offer women a place of safety, and you offer them a path to freedom and healing. I’m really grateful for you.

NATALIE: Thanks, Sara. I really love working with you. I love how you make me laugh. I really like to laugh. Sara totally makes me laugh every time I talk to her. I love that. I feel like laughter… I think survivors are funny people anyway. I think I’ve said this before. You either want to slit your throat or you want to laugh. It is one or the other because of the trauma. I think that in order to be resilient and to survive you have to have some kind of sense of humor on some level. I don’t think abusers have a sense of humor.

SARA: Not a real one.

NATALIE: Right! They can make jokes at other people’s expense…

SARA: Or rote jokes. Things that they always depend on.

NATALIE: Yeah. It’s not real though. It’s not connected to real… I don’t think they can laugh at themselves or laugh at their own foibles. Did I say that right?

SARA: It sounded like you said “foilable”—like tin foil.

NATALIE: They can’t even laugh at their own foil. (I’ve got to stop picking words like that. I need to think of easy words. I’m regressing back to kindergarten.) But see, even that. We can laugh at the fact that I can’t even… There is someone out there thinking, “Oh my word. She can’t even say the word foibles.”

SARA: Gosh!

NATALIE: But no. I’m just going to sit here and chillax, say all the wrong words, and be totally okay with it because I am human. I’m a humanoid, and I do human things. We all do, and I love that. Let’s just be messy humans together and laugh at each other. It is so much more fun than being judgey and nasty. Anyway, thank you, Sara, for coming on here. And thank you for listening. I’m so sorry for those of you who are more serious. Maybe we ruined your day.

SARA: We’re not sorry! What are you talking about? I’m not sorry at all.

NATALIE: We’re totally not sorry. They just won’t come back and listen again, right? Everyone has agency. That’s okay. You don’t have to listen. There are a lot of serious podcasts out there that are amazing. So those of you who are the more serious type, this will not be your cup of tea. Actually, it usually is. I’m sorry. No, I’m not sorry. (We need to end this podcast now because I’m starting to go insane—or I’m driving everyone else insane.) Alright, thanks for listening. If you liked this podcast for some odd reason, go over to Apple iTunes and give us a rating and a review. That will help people find us. Plus, Sara and I and the other people involved… We’ve got my son, Philip, who edits all the audio. And Jennifer listens to all these podcasts really closely because she is the one who makes the transcripts. So hi, Jennifer. (Hi everybody!!!) And thank you, Jennifer, for what you do. I’m trying to think if there is anybody else. I think that’s it. I think it’s just the four of us.

SARA: We’re making it happen.

NATALIE: We’re making it happen. The four of us really enjoy reading those reviews. It makes us happy. So do that. That’s it. Until next time, fly free!

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Thank you Natalie and Sara Thanks I needed this the morning.. I’m very grateful.. this put a much needed smile on my face. and I really did LoL

    Reply

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