Choose In Podcast with Roxanne Kennedy Granata
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March 23, 2020

Episode 10: Our Logical and Emotional Brain Need Separate Healing

Shaming our emotional brain hinders our progress and healing. Learn to accept both our logic and our emotional ways of thinking to reach clarity and healing.


Today we're going to be talking about the way our brain looks at things and processes things. So I'm going to just take it into two different parts. One is our logical brain, and the other is our emotional brain. And the thing about those two things is that they think differently, and they heal differently. And for me, my logic brain healed way quicker. And almost as if there was some of it that needed to be healed. But my logic was already pretty stable. At least, that's how I felt that it was.

As I would be in counseling, and we would be talking about the things that I was struggling with my logical brain was super mean, and abusive to my emotional brain. So what I learned was there two separate things that need healing. It's as if we had two different wounds. So if we fell and scraped our knee, but also broke our arm, our knee is going to heal much faster than our arm. And that doesn't mean we are mad at our arm for not healing faster, or think that it's stupid, or doesn't know what it's doing. It means that it's a different wound, and it heals in a different way.

As far as logic and emotion go, I recognized these things as I was in counseling, and I would bring up different scenarios. And I could see where my logic makes sense. And I'm sure your logic is the same way. For example, if my husband at that time, was doing things that didn't look like recovery, or he was treating me badly, I could logically say, clearly, something's going on. He is not choosing recovery, because of the way he's treating me and the way he's acting. Therefore, I need to keep myself safe by enforcing a boundary.

Or I need to do something more proactive to either change my situation, or to tell him that I can no longer continue. Something like that. My emotional brain would fight me every step of the way. My emotional brain would say, Okay, okay, but, but I know he's doing that. But what if it's just because he just doesn't get it? What if it's because his brain is just so broken, that he doesn't know how to treat me right? What if it's that he just hasn't done enough work yet? And as soon as he sees that doing the work is good, he maybe he'll go to one counseling appointment, or 112 step meeting that it will, it'll hit.

He'll have these aha moments that make him see that what he's doing is not okay. And we can't just write him off. And we can't just not wait for that to happen. Because what if it does, and then all our dreams will come true, and everything will be fine. And our life will be the way that we want it. So I don't know if that resonates with you. But it's interesting to watch how that has gone for my entire recovery life. For the years that I've been in recovery and working recover, I will constantly have that battle, back and forth of which, which one do I listen to?

In counseling, my counselor just had taught me that they're both different. And so they both need to be allowed to feel and hear. And as I allow them to do that, then they both heal, and then we can work together, and then we can come up with the answer for us that is best. I'm going to start out with a pretty extreme example of what that looked like for me. So in 2014, when I asked my husband to go to rehab or to get out, he ended up going to rehab, which you've heard in earlier episodes. So as he was in rehab, he was not allowed to have his phone or personal belongings. And so I get home from dropping off at rehab. I have his phone.

I'm holding his phone, and I'm talking to God and I'm like okay, Heavenly Father, if there is something I need to know, if there is some sort of other life that I'm not aware of that you want me to find, I need you to show me how. Because there's no way I can figure this out on my own. With that, he led me to first an email, then another clue that there was different emails, there were different username words, key words here and there, that I thought, Oh, I was inspired to look what that was. And those usernames or code words, I guess, became new awareness for me as they uncovered his secret life.

That entailed lots of different online accounts, whether they were dating sites, or Facebook and Instagram accounts, they were different than his family ones. And with that led me to what his addiction actually entailed. And the extreme measures of what was going on with his addiction and how it had progressed. Now in rehab, he wrote his disclosure. And he ended up writing about these things. Not at first, though, when I found all these things, and I found this other life that he had, and that what he was doing online, was considered him being a predator, I called the rehab center. And I talked to the counselor.

I told him what I found. And he said to me, please don't tell him that you found this. He's in the middle of writing his disclosure right now. And none of this is in it. And in order for him to own everything, and to choose in to recover, he has to write all these things. He has to open up, he has to tell the truth, he has to basically open the closet door and dig into every corner and find every cobweb and put it in this. And until he does that, it shows that he is not choosing in to recovery. And he's not choosing to be honest and accountable.

I followed that advice, but with what I found, my logical brain says, okay, you have clearly had enough evidence to show that this person at this point in his life anyway, is not safe for you. There's nothing else you need to show that this is not okay. My emotional brain was saying, okay, but what if there's an explanation for this? And what if, he will recover, and then none of this stuff even matters. I was looking for a way to see that it would be okay in the end, and that we would still be able to be together. And my logical brain was so angry and abusive to my emotional brain.

I would tell myself things like, You are crazy, what is wrong with you, you know, if you saw this from anybody else, or you heard that somebody else was experiencing these same things, you would tell them you get out right now. So it's interesting how that I'm a very strong independent person. I do not consider myself weak or passive. I want to find out these things. I want to learn. I want to heal. I want to recover. I want him to yet my emotional side, was trying to save and restore my family.

As I'm contemplating these things in my mind, and going back and forth, I decided to ask the counselor, what this actually was. Is this something that he has a lifelong thing he's going to deal with now with this particular part of his addiction? Or if he chooses recovery, will it be something that he would never want to do again? Because I couldn't imagine being with him if he was going to do something like this again. And the counselor said, if he chooses into recovery fully, and he lives a full recovery lifestyle, he absolutely can change and he will completely abhor the things that he's done.

He won't even be able to believe that he made those choices, and that's the stuff that he was doing. And that gave me a little bit of like comfort and peace in those moments of Okay, okay, I don't need to make a decision right at this moment. I can wait and see if he chooses recovery. Now the logical side, didn't like that. It was like, Are you crazy? Are you stupid? This is a deal breaker. This is a non negotiable and really that is true. But my emotional brain wasn't there yet. It wasn't ready. It didn't know how to handle this new truth that I had found. And it needed a time.

As I was working and healing and looking at it, I had to separate my logic from my emotion. I had to look at them as to almost separate individuals, and what they needed. The emotional brain needed nurturing. It needed love. It needed care. It needed concern. It needed to be heard. My logical brain needed to be humble, and not prideful. And it needed to be aware that there are so many other things involved here. I was allowing myself to be abused by my own self, and by the addiction, and my husband.

By allowing all of these things to happen, by not wanting to see the truth of all of it, by waiting for him to change and choose something that he wasn't choosing with just the hope and the possibility, I was choosing and letting myself experience those things and be abused. And the reason I can say that is because all of those things along the way, that would tell me something's not right. When I would have that intuition, my inspiration from God, that would show me the red flags, that would show me that he wasn't choosing recovery, that he was treating me badly.

When he would make fun of me, or tell me my inspirations were off or tell me that if I got on medication, then he would stay with me, he's gaslighting and being emotionally abusive to me. So he was protecting his addiction more than he was protecting himself and me and our relationship. And as I would take those things, and cry about them, and plead with God, to change my situation to help me know how to navigate, as he would show me new things, he was trying to navigate me, he was trying to show me, Look, look at here, and here and here and here, of how he has not protected the relationship.

At one point, as I was praying to God and pleading with him out loud, and I was crying in pain, and showing him how hard this was for me and how all I wanted was for our relationship to make it, he started giving me this visual. It was as if a projector or movie screen or slides were kind of going in front of my face, just in a line, like just swiping through. And I was looking at things throughout my life. And he showed me how at the very beginning, from when we were dating to six months into marriage to the year, to three years, all the way through scenarios of where he was not keeping his marriage covenants and promises to me.

He was not caring for me or our relationship and how what he was doing was neglect and abusive. And when someone's neglecting you or not working on the relationship, and they are not invested in you as a person and emotionally keeping you safe, that is emotional abuse. Because neglect is emotional abuse. So as God was showing me these scenarios, and showing me how he has never, from the beginning, it doesn't matter how much love we had, it doesn't matter how much fun we had, it didn't matter how much of a present and great dad he was during those times, he was still doing these other things that were against marriage and family.

By seeing those things more clearly, I started to gain some emotional reliance and see that, wow, my emotional stability really needs to be stronger than what it is. Because he's been giving me clues all along. I could not see them. Logically I could. Logically I saw all of them and I knew it and I knew it wasn't okay. But emotionally I could not imagine letting this relationship go. I couldn't imagine breaking up my family. And I was taking on the fact that if I chose this, it was because of me. Because I couldn't withstand what was happening; that I was not enduring this well.

As I started healing, I started really accepting that God had been showing me for so long. He was showing me every time I would ask him to help me or show me or teach me, He would give me a clue with something terrible. He would show me a scenario. My husband would act a certain way, doing something that would shock me, or give me this awareness of how is he treating me this way? or How is he choosing this? When I was talking about his gaming addiction and he was choosing gaming over me and blatantly said, Absolutely I choose gaming over her. Come on, right! That is a clear visual of him saying I don't choose her. I don't choose this relationship.

He's choosing addiction instead. Because addiction wants to win. And addiction feels easier at the time than doing all the work to change those behaviors. So when he was saying those things that could have been in my logical brain, a reason to say, I need to end this. I need to be safe. I need to choose me. I need to thrive in my life and have happiness and joy. There's no reason I should be living in sadness, in pain, in chaos, in tears, every single day trying to navigate.

As the years went on, with different things, things got worse for me. My anxiety was bigger. My tears were more. I would wake up stressed every single day. And I was carrying this heavy, heavy burden on my shoulders, in my eyes, in my heart, in my body, in my soul, about how to do this, and I kept trying to figure out how to do it. I really could have seen it more clear and said, Wait a second, these are choices of someone else. I actually don't have to do this. I don't need to do this. I actually shouldn't be doing this. Easy for me to see when somebody else was going through it. Easy for me to say, okay, you should have been out a long time ago, this is abusive.

Someone is mocking you laughing at you, making you feel less than, if they are telling you and throwing all of your mistakes in your face to take the blame off of themselves to turn around, if you bring up something to them that you want to talk to that they weren't treating you right, or something that wasn't wasn't good. Or you want to ask them how they're doing in their addiction, and they don't want to answer you and they turn it on you that you're the one that's either crazy, or your inspirations are wrong or you need medication, or it's your sadness and pain that's causing all these issues. That is abusive, that is not okay. And that's neglect.

So if your logical brain and emotional brain sound like mine, where logically what you're experiencing in your relationship feels like this, where you're you're trying to discern at all times, and you're trying to walk on eggshells of what you ask or say, you also probably need some emotional resilience. So that might be where you want to start working. If you're still in a relationship that's doing this to you, then emotional resilience will help you figure things out.

Now, at the same time, there are plenty of people that choose into recovery. There are so many that make it through this part, this hard time. And they do heal the relationship and they are stronger and better and have more love than ever. So that's the hope. And that's the positive. But we cannot make someone do something they don't want to do. And holding on for the possibility that maybe next year or the year after the year after they're going to understand and they're going to finally wake up and see you, and see how great you are, you're waiting for a really long life of maybe possibility.

If you start choosing you and healing your emotional side, you'll be able to make really clear choices and decisions regardless, if some time in the future they choose that. I've also known of people that have chosen to leave the relationship. And then later on their spouse does choose healing and recovery. And they are able to reconnect, date again, see if they are on the same page and they have actually gotten married again, both as healed individuals. So it's not that all is lost, and you have to leave a relationship. That's not even the point. The point is, is to see where it is that you are not thriving.

What it is in you that isn't working to your best capacity? What is it that is on your shoulders? Are you living in pain every single day? Are you sad and not hopeful on a regular basis?  Then what is it in you that you need to continue healing? And emotionally, that's probably where it is. Because logically I bet you already know what's going on in your marriage or in your relationship. I bet you already do. It's a hard place to get to. But it's not even that you have to make any rash decisions. I don't advise any rash decisions. I advise healthy decision making.

Where is it that you need to gain some healthy perspective? So that's where it is that you need to work on. And by working on your emotional resilience, you will be able to set the boundaries that you need to that will show you where that person is at. And also, you'll feel better because you're keeping yourself safe. For me a boundary, it might look like something like this. When my husband got home from rehab, that was August of 2014, I already knew what his addiction was at this point. He did end up writing all those things in his disclosure, which was great. So he was honest and accountable.

He owned those things that he actually was a predator and this was not okay. So his counselor had given him the tools and basically a list. If you do these things, you will stay in recovery forever. But you have to do these things. You can't jump from one side to the other one foot in each door. So he gave him the list. But when it came out of rehab, I told him, I said, I will give you a year to choose into recovery to show me that you're doing that. And I need to be able to feel safe. And then if you do the work, then I absolutely want to continue this relationship. But if you don't, your addiction is scary to me, it's not okay. And I'm not going to choose to live with it or in it anymore.

He agreed he thought that was fair. He was in a really good place after rehab. Rehab is phenomenal. Desert solace was so amazing. It was life changing for both of us. Even though he didn't end up choosing recovery in the end, it gave us the tools we needed. And he could have, if he really wanted to dig deep and do the work. As time went on, he started showing that he wasn't going to follow certain things. And by December, I had to say to him, You are not following the guidelines you agree to when I picked you up at a rehab.

These things that you are now choosing or sliding on, or not being honest and accountable for, are making me feel unsafe. And that doesn't work for me, because that makes me feel crazy and anxious, and I'm not functioning. So to keep me safe; the next time this particular thing happens, I will be asking for an in house separation. I wasn't ready to choose divorce just yet. Even though originally, when he got out of rehab, divorce was the option. If he didn't live on that side of recovery, divorce was the thing. It was like a non negotiable. Yeah, at the time when it came down to me having to make that actual decision or hold that boundary I was unable to.

I had to switch it to something that I was capable of doing. And an in house separation was something that felt like the next step for me. And even though God was showing me all of these things, all of these red flags, all of these scenarios; as I'm praying and and saying, Please help me, please help us get through this. Please show me how. And instead of getting me through it in the way I thought, he was actually showing me more red flags. I thought he wasn't answering me. How can this happen? How can this be this way? Why aren't you saving me from this? And he's probably trying to say I am trying to save you from this.

I'm actually giving you and showing you the truth. I want you to live in the reality of what's actually happening. And by showing you these hard things, I know it hurts your heart, and I know you don't know what to do with it, but that's the truth. And those red flags are what is happening right now. So with that, I told him that in how separation would happen if he chose to do these certain things. Well, he just kept doing those things. And so January, we ended up separating, and he ended up moving all his things in a different room. And I had my room to myself. He had his own bathroom, his own closet, and I had rules that he was not allowed in my space. And I was not allowed in his unless we were invited.

That way I knew that my place was safe. I could read. I could cry. I could turn my light on in the middle of the night and meditate if I needed to. I knew that I was creating an environment that didn't have anxious or lies, or chaos in it. And that's what worked for me. And during that time, I was able to come to terms with the logic that I knew was true. Emotionally, I was able to get on board and realize that I would be okay in the end. if I had to choose divorce. That even though that's not what I wanted to happen, I wouldn't be able to wait around anymore for the possibility of him changing.

That gave me that strength that I needed to move forward and to choose things that were positive, things that were thriving, and things that were making me grow and progress as a person. Because besides my relationship with god that was progressing, because that was my lifeline. That's what was saving me. That was the only thing I could do every day that would keep me going. Other than that, I was not progressing in my life, because I was so distraught. And so in this constant pain, in my mind of trying to figure out and navigate this.

I was taking on the whole role of whatever happened, was because of me. So we stay together, it's because of me, we don't stay together, it's because of me. And I had to learn that that wasn't true, that that was a lie I was telling myself. I had to learn how to make sure that I was doing all I could to hear the truth that God was showing me. He had been showing me for so long, and I had to finally accept that he was there. In the times, I thought that he had left me because things would get worse and worse and worse, I had to now be accountable for the fact that I wasn't seeing him clear.

I didn't see God clear. I was thinking he was not saving me for from this. He was not protecting me. And he wasn't helping my husband change. But in reality, he was right there. He just kept giving me the truth and giving me the truth and giving me the truth. And I just wasn't ready to accept it. I wasn't open to the possibility that divorce would probably be the outcome in my situation. But as soon as I did, and I let go, and I surrendered the control of how I wanted it to turn out, that's when I was able to learn. That's when I was able to go, Okay, this is actually not okay, he is not treating me, okay. And God would not want me to be treated this way. So what am I going to do?

I'm going to go to counseling. I'm going to learn how to heal these wounds. I'm going to learn how to see myself clearly. I'm going to build up my own self worth. And I'm going to learn and figure out how to gain the strength that I need to be able to make the choices based on what I was seeing as the truth. Is this true that he's not choosing recovery? Is he still being dishonest with me? Is he still treating me in a way that doesn't feel safe? And doesn't care for me? And for my situation, that was what the truth was, he wasn't.

So I was gaining the strength I needed. So that instead of feeling like I was a disaster of how can I choose this? There's no way I can do that? How am I going to make it through divorce? I can't financially support myself. And I'm not going to know how to do this. And how am I going to navigate lawyers and all the things that I had no clue about? Right? How was I going to do all that? Instead of coming from a place of fear and unknown, and that this is not possible, I came from a place of comfort of a feeling of peace and calm, because I was now open to what the truth really was.

I no longer was trying to make up what I wanted it to be, and trying to see things in a way that made me feel better. I accepted what actually was happening. And by doing that, I was able to move forward. Now, not all cases will be divorced. That just happened to be mine. I will tell you, that for me, divorce was the right answer. It really was. And because I chose that, and because I did that hard thing, I have been able to find more of who I am. And I've been able to live with a peaceful heart. Now, that doesn't mean that things aren't hard. And that doesn't mean I don't still cry, and I don't have anxiety. And I'm able to function every single da.y

I'm not. I'm definitely not. There's some days that I am not functioning at all. But it's not because I'm trying to discern my relationship or discern how somebody else feels about me. It's just because life is not easy. And there's ups and downs. And that's what I experienced. This is a good time for you to assess where you are at in your logic and in your emotional stability. Which one of those is holding you back? Or which one of those is keeping you stuck? Or which one of those is causing you so much pain? And whatever it is, now's your chance to say okay, I actually want to feel different, see different and be able to be clear in my future.

Take those things and ponder, meditate, schedule a counseling appointment, and get yourself on the right track. You know a lot of my story. If you read my book, or if you listen to these podcasts, you know so much about me. You know that even though our stories might not be exactly the same, I still can relate. I have been through really crazy things. If you want to schedule a session with me, visit my website and I can give you some clarity into the direction that you should go, or offer a new tool to help you along your way.

I'm here to help you. I want to share my experience with you. You can ask me any questions that you'd like. I'm not at all going to tell you what you should do. I'm going to prompt you with questions that you're asking yourself, or giving you insight on what something is. I will share with you when I see something that's abusive. Well, that's abusive, if he's saying that to you, or treating you like that is actually not okay, that's abusive. I will call those things out for you to look at. But it's up to you. And it is your decision on how you want to navigate through your life. I'm just here to help and to love and to serve, using my experience to help you along your way. So have a great week. I look forward to your email. It's fun getting to know you and I feel like it's a really special bond as others share their stories with me and I'll see you next time.

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