Episode 27: Looking Through a Clear Lens for Future Happiness

Choosing the healing work changes everything. Everytime you learn something new it's as if a weight is lifted off your shoulders and you feel lighter and free. My husband Garin joins me for a portion of the episode sharing why he does his healing work even though it's hard. 

Episode Transcription:

(This transcript was created using software. Please be advised that it won't be 100% accurate, and it may contain formatting errors.)

Roxanne Kennedy-Granata  0:03  
We are going to be talking about a couple things today. One is the lens that we view things from, and how it can harm us if we don't do our healing work. And the other is, Do you ever feel like you just have to talk in circles or explain things over and over or different ways, and the person you're talking to still doesn't get it. So those are two of the things that we're going to be covering. In today's episode.

I also have to say that later on in the episode, my now husband is going to add some thoughts because this is so relevant in the fact that after dating, after getting married for a short year to somebody else, and finding him, the difference in what he chooses to do is like mind blowing, and it shows that it's possible that we can all do our healing that we can all get through the trauma that we have been through. And we can have successful relationships. So I'm going to start with my journey in dating, after I had been divorced for about 13, maybe 14 months is when I had started dating.

And my goal with that was to be able to heal and have a lot of counseling and, and do my work. So I kind of felt like I knew what I was doing. Now I still didn't know what I was doing. It's still a mess. It's still so hard. It's it's crazy trying to navigate through red flags, or if you are compatible. The cool stuff is the feelings that you have. It's so fun and nice to feel liked or to like somebody after going through divorce. Because the years leading up to divorce, at least my experience, were difficult. They were hard. There was a lot of love. That's why I was fighting for it. But there was so much pain and sadness. And so when you're in the world of dating, and you meet somebody that you

find fun or cute or like their company, it gives this new spark in your life. It's exciting. And it's like okay, well, maybe things are gonna be okay, maybe I can move forward, even though I had so wished that I wasn't going to be divorced. So anyway, during during that time of starting to date, I had formed boundaries. At that point, I was trying to look for red flags, I had had a few years of counseling on a regular basis, a group counseling, I did 12 step work, I did energy work, and I was doing my spiritual work as well. So it was a daily practice to pray and ponder and meditate with God so that I could be directed the right way.

Now, first, let me just tell you, that whole entire process of all of that work was not easy. Most of the time, it was super painful and so hard that I thought I couldn't go on again, I couldn't keep going, I couldn't just keep working so hard and day after day, have to dig deep and try to make it through. So it's not that it was easy. And I don't want you to think that it was and I don't want you to think that since I did all that work that it must have been okay or or that my life just sort of worked out. It didn't. And it was hard. And I had to do a lot of self reflection and a lot of forgiveness and a lot of work on myself and on the people who had harmed me.

So as I start dating, I meet this person, and we chat for a little while, a few weeks online, and we decide to meet we go on a date. And it was fun. I was so nervous. Like I don't think I've ever been that nervous in my life to go on a first date, after 20 some years of being with the same person. But we went on a date, it was fun, and we kept in contact and we kept going out. We dated for about three and a half months or so. Not exclusive. He was dating other people and I wasn't but not that I wasn't open to it. I hadn't been asked out I wasn't really putting myself in a position to be out in the single world but I wasn't ready to be exclusive.

But we decided at one point that we were going to be exclusive. Now during this time. Like I had said this person had dated, you know a number of people. And one of those people happen to be dating my ex husband at this point now and so it came up that he wanted to be friends with her still, and that they were Marco Poloing and texting back and forth, and she was having a hard time in her relationship. And they were talking together about it. Now, for me, that raised concern. And the reason is, is because in my situation, I did not want to be tied in any way to my ex husband.

I also didn't feel that it felt okay to me, that he and the new girlfriend were chatting together when they're dating us, right? I think you can follow me on this. Like, it felt crazy. It felt like No way. Like, that doesn't seem right. So I said, this doesn't feel right to me that you guys are doing this. And he said, Well, we're really good friends. And and we, we dated a little bit, and she's having a hard time. And so

we're talking it and I said, The thing is, is that if you're with me, you can't really be her person. So I tried to explain this in so many different ways. And maybe you don't agree with me. But in my case, and the way I felt, it did not feel okay for him to be talking about our relationship with her, or my ex husband's relationship back to him, right. So it just didn't feel okay for me. And so I had voiced my concern, voice what I wanted, why I felt that way, and it just wasn't working. I could explain it in so many different ways. And it didn't matter. He couldn't get it. He didn't understand. And it just didn't make any sense to him.

And I at that point said, Hey, would you be open to meeting with a counselor, and we can just kind of talk some of this through so that we can kind of see where we're headed. He agreed, and we met with my counselor. And he explained to the counselor, kind of what he was thinking, I shared my feelings. And the counselor said, do you hope that there's a possibility that you end up with Roxanne in the end? Do you hope that she's the person that you want to marry? And he said, Yes, I hope that and he said, Okay, well, Roxanne has done so much work, there is no way that she's going to be with somebody that doesn't put her first.

And if she's feeling uncomfortable about all the other women, or at least this one in particular, or you being other women's person for them to confide in and talk to, then it's kind of a no brainer that you no longer get to be in, in close relationships with these women. Can you be friends with people, of course, but in this way, where you are a confidant and you're confiding in each other about the relationships, that doesn't feel good to her, and that doesn't show that you are in a relationship with her. So that was the conversation. The session ended, and we leave.

And he was so upset, he did not like my counselor at all, he thought he was only on my side. And he thought that he was against him. And as he was saying all this stuff, I just knew it was done. I knew there was no way that I would just keep spinning in circles explaining myself over and over if he couldn't see why it was important to me. And if he could not even feel the importance of it in himself about having a relationship with me, and changing the relationship with other women and putting them in a different place. Not so close, then this person wasn't the person for me. Now, was he a nice person, totally, we had a lot of fun. It was great. And it was a really good first experience in the dating world for me to feel liked again and be able to enjoy some of those things. So I broke things off.

Later, he sent me so many messages about why that wasn't the way it should be. And he didn't understand and he wanted to understand. And he wanted me to explain it again. And I knew I couldn't I knew it didn't matter what I said, because I'd already been saying so many things, that this is just what it had to be. A week or so later, he showed up at my house. And he was saying, I didn't see I didn't realize I want to though I want to have a relationship with you. For me. I already knew though I had my answer. I wasn't going to spin in circles.

I had already experienced that in my first marriage, where I wasn't getting what I needed. And here we were in the same situation. And so I just said no, not for me, I need to move forward. So the reason I say that story first, is that what I have learned with my experience of trying to say and retell and do it again and in a different way and re explain when somebody like I don't get it and I'm like, gripping my head going, Okay, let me try one more time to explain this to you. And it's not going to go what I have learned since So recently, is that it doesn't matter how many times we say something, if somebody can't understand it, or if they don't want to understand it. Or if their trauma or healing work that they haven't done prevents them from seeing it, there's nothing we can do to make them even if they want to.

What I've learned is we cannot fix or give the person the solution. We can't explain it in a way that then they'll go, Oh, I see their brain doesn't connect to it. If they want to, they have to do the hard mental work of figuring out the answer. What that person could have done, if he would have been in that place was he could have been like, okay, I don't know why this is important, but I care about you. So that's important to me. And I'm going to figure out how to think about this differently, or I'm going to open my mind to learning something new. Now, again, you might not agree, and you might think it was okay, what had happened. And that's okay.

This is my experience and the way it made me feel, and where I wanted to be placed in a committed relationship. In this case, it shows that I already knew what I wanted, I expected to be treated a certain way I had boundaries, and I wasn't willing, after a certain period of time of trying to allow myself to be in that relationship. So I'm strong. I'm strong willed, the counselor at that appointment, said, someone like Roxanne who's done all this work, is not going to just pretend none of this is happening, or that she doesn't feel badly about any of this, she's gonna tell you the truth. And so it's just up to you whether you want to do the work to be on in that same place of awareness. So as life went on, and I started dating somebody else, he's the person I ended up marrying for that short year.

He was kind and wonderful and nice and sweet. And that is still true. The one thing that has been evident to me in the whole situation was there was a lot of trauma there. And in his case, the healing work hadn't been done, I didn't realize that, that that was an important part, I knew he needed to heal, because I knew what I needed in my own life. And I was continuing to do it now that I was in a committed relationship that was safe, I still had things to heal, and I was still working on those things. And I just assumed or figured that he would be in that same place and and want to feel good so that we could have this relationship.

But over the year, I noticed that he couldn't see me clear, he could only see me through the lens of his past experience. And he had a lot of trauma in his past experience. And there was a lot of unhealed wounds and and he could only see with that lens. And so when I would share something or say something, or talk about something, I'm bold, I say the truth, I keep everything in the present moment of what's happening and what things feel like. So I'm not saying that's easy, it's hard. But that's how I live. That's how it was when we were dating.

And that's what I was doing in our relationship. It was hard. It was hard for him, it was hard for me. So we did go to counseling. And as we sat in counseling, of trying to talk about unhealed wounds, he wanted to heal them. But it's so painful. Any of you guys know if you have done some healing work, looking at the truth of what you've gone through or how you were treated, or how you felt, or even your mistakes, is so difficult. We have to manage through shame and guilt and pain and sadness and abuse. And we have to start recognizing what we were actually in and calling it out. Oh my goodness, I was actually abused.

Oh my goodness, that person was narcissistic, I had no idea and start seeing what we didn't recognize and how long we stayed. And there's just so much to it, right? We know it's so hard. But by doing it, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and change and be able to create these new relationships. Well, as a year came, I knew that I needed to separate and that was just because he was not willing to do the work. He couldn't see me clear. And he was seeing me as someone else. And so he didn't even know me. And it was like this is crazy. Because I'm not being treated as me. I'm being treated as somebody else. So I chose to separate we were separated for maybe 10 days before we ended up choosing divorce.

But during that 10 days, he met with me at the counseling office. And we had an experience where we were talking, the counselor asked me a question. And my husband at that moment was so upset. He goes see see Do you see what she just said? She just said that I should not be feeling this way and I shouldn't be doing this and and whatever else it was, and I my mouth open it like dropped open like what is going on here? And I looked at the counselor and he stopped and he goes hey, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait a second. Let's find out if that's really what she said. Let's talk to her so turned to her and asked her. So he did. He said, Did you say this?

Did you mean this? And I said, No, I didn't even say those words at all. And he got upset. He started feeling really anxious and upset about what what is this? What I don't understand. And and he said, You know, he said to the council, you know that this just happened. You know, she said that you were here. And he said, I'm so sorry. But she didn't say any of that. And let me tell you why you're hearing that. And he put his hands to his head. And he felt like he was going crazy. And he told them, he said, you're looking at the lens through the lens of your past. She said, none of those things that you just relayed, and he was kind of out of his mind. Like, are you kidding me? Like, this doesn't make sense? Are you guys tricking me here? Like, you're telling me that everything I'm feeling and what I heard didn't actually happen.

Can you imagine that would feel very frustrating, and very scary. And he was scared. And it was, it was a very kind of an awakening in that moment of truth. And, and wow, this is really big. And my side of it was this is bigger than I realized. And his was, this makes me feel crazy. This can't be right. I don't know what to do with this information. The Counselor kept going on to say, as you heal your trauma, as you look and work on the things that are going on, that are coming up, as you take each of these scenarios where you think Roxanne is doing this or saying this, you turn and ask, Hey, this is what my belief is.

But I'm going to ask you, and then you have to learn to believe her when she says no, that's not what I said, or That's not what I meant This is what it is, then you'll be able to see clear, and you'll be able to see who she is because right now you're not even looking at her, you're not even seeing her. So with that, it was a lot of painful things to watch. It was it was really hard. And for me, I am bold, I understand the painful work. But I want a partner that's going to do it. And he was unable to do it. He just he just said this is too painful. I don't want to do that. And I said, I'm not even asking you to know how to do it. All I'm asking you is to say I don't know how to do it, but I'm willing to try. And he couldn't do it. He couldn't say that.

He was to the point where he would profess how he had never been loved like this before he felt all the good feelings. And I felt them from him as well. There was so much goodness there. But in the end, if we don't have a partner that is willing to walk the road with us, the one that we want to walk and I had already passed through living on the surface, I no longer live there. He knew that when we were dating, but to actually feel what it would feel like to have to live in truth is a totally another thing. So I don't blame him one bit, it was just him living in his truth of what he could handle and me living in mine.

And it was not something that we were able to continue. So we decided to divorce. In that scenario. It's the same thing as in the first it didn't matter how many times I shared with him, that healing works, that you feel better on the other side that it gets worse before it gets better, that the alternative is staying in the pain forever. But to be able to see clear yourself and your partner, how connective is that? It's so amazing. It shows that it doesn't matter how many times I want it to explain how to do it or what it looks like, our brains have to do the work. In order to change we have to do the mental hard work. So the new new connections form.

So we have new understanding, we break the old ones. So we break the ones that are false beliefs, we break the lies that we tell ourselves are true. But we can only do that if we challenge our brain and if someone allows us to. So if I keep telling over and over and over someone how to do something or what to do, it's not going to work. I can only say this is what I need. This is what I want. This is why it works. And when that person says well, how am I supposed to actually do that? Or tell me exactly what I'm supposed to do to make you feel okay about this? That's not the answer. I can't do that I can't answer those questions.

That's where a person has to do their own internal work, work with God with a counselor and change the connections in their brain. The two scenarios that I've shared so far are not to place any blame on these people. They really played an important role in my life. And it was exactly what I was supposed to do exactly what I needed. I was directed by God in both of those situations. And it added to my life, even that marriage of one year was a gift to me. It was exactly what I needed for my own healing and to see that it has nothing to do with addiction.

That person was not an addict at all. But I was in the same situation as I was before with my addict. Because in both cases, the work that it entailed was too painful for those People Now again, that's okay. Because it's we're all where we're supposed to be. And I'm sure that he will continue to be guided into the healing that he needs. But for those moments, it was right for me. And I appreciated the relationship that we had. And I hope that he feels the same, that he was able to get something out of it that he hadn't had in his previous relationship that was healing for him. But even if not, it doesn't really matter. But that leads me to where I am now.

With my spouse now, we've been married now almost a year. If you remember my story, we dated 27,well, now 28 years ago in college, just for a few weeks, and then we reconnected after both of our divorces. And now we're married. And it's great. So the thing is, is that I'm still the same. As far as I had already done my healing work, I continue to do it, I have strong boundaries, I state the truth, I call things out. And so that is not easy. That's not easy to be faced with truth and awareness, all the time, when when you're living present. It is shocking, sometimes, especially if somebody isn't used to that. If you've been in a relationship that lives more on the surface, and then you're in one that you're constantly being called out or, or someone's telling you how they feel or what's going on.

It is just different than what you're used to. And so he is now my partner. And I wanted to bring him on our show today. Because the situation that he's been in or or my past relationship was in, is so similar. And he was faced with the same things do you want to do the work and heal so that you can see me clear? Or does that feel too painful. And for him, he chooses the work every single day. He was already doing his work before I met him, he continued to do it while we were dating so I could see now I could still feel that there was a lot of healing to do, that he hadn't been divorced as long as I had and and that things were new for him.

And living in this present. truthful state was not something he was used to. But still day in and day out. He does the work. And so I was asking him, how he chose to do that, why he would do it because it cannot be easy. Being with someone like me, who says the truth all the time, every single day, it can't be easy. So I've invited him to be on the show today to share why it's important to heal and and that it's possible. And that really going backwards and not doing it doesn't lead you to successful relationships. So my husband's name is Garin, we are going to just give the microphone over to him and he's going to share with you why he has chosen the road that he has Garin.

Garin  22:50  
So the question that you asked me was, why if it's hard and uncomfortable, do I still want to do the work. And the thought that came to my mind right away was, I know what it feels like to be in a relationship where you're not dealing with the root problems, the deep underlying issues, but rather living in this shallow place. It doesn't help you to be in that place. It's avoiding what the real problems are. And it's just living in this surface state where you're not healing, you're not getting closer to the person. And so the idea of continuing to avoid discomfort and stay in that place. I'm done with that. I don't, I don't want to keep doing that.

Because it doesn't help you heal, you don't get closer to your person, you continue to live in this place that that is doesn't allow you to progress. So you're right. It isn't easy. It isn't always comfortable. You know, when you speak truth when you tell me exactly how you feel. It's hard sometimes, but I don't want to avoid what it takes to learn and grow and be close to you. I want the emotional intimacy, more than anything, I want to be close to you. If I don't do the work, there's no way I'm going to be closer to you.

Because it's going to continue to keep me in this place of shallow emotional feelings. So the thought that keeps coming to my mind about why it's so important to do this work, even though it's so hard is because for so many years, I developed these filters or these thought patterns that were built around some traumatic experiences. And so the idea is like a wound that has to be washed out the infection has to be taken out or I will always be seeing you unclearly I will interpret things that you do and say and a scribe meaning to things you're doing that are completely wrong.

That is really infuriating and demoralizing. Because I want to see you for who you are, I want to know you for who you are. I want to be connected to you and not connecting to you in some past traumatic filter, or, or thought process. So for me, there's there's no other way to see you clearly, without going through this painful healing process. And it takes a lot of work, it takes you being really honest with me, which hurts sometimes, and makes me feel like I'm not making any progress.

And like I'm taking steps back in order for me to be in a relationship like I want, I've got to do the work, there's just no other way to do it. Even though it's hard, anything worth it is hard. Anything that is worth having takes work and takes commitment and takes consistency, I totally get when someone just feels like it's too much I understand the feeling. But the sad part about that is for anyone in my situation that would want to give up because it's too hard. That's so tragic. Because that person is going to continue to think the same thoughts, the same patterns, and it doesn't matter who they're with, they're going to not see them clearly.

For me, it's absolutely worth the work. That's how you're going to heal. I think I'm healing I hope I'm healing. It's kind of demoralizing, like I said, but I feel better doing the work and learning new things. And what my counselor tells me is I'm a rewiring my brain, and that feels good. It's hard sometimes to see the progress, it does feel like a little baby steps forward. But in my mind, there's no other choice. Because if I want to have the relationship with you that i want i i have to not think in those patterns anymore. And I have to see you clearly and I have to be connected to you in a in a whole complete way.

The other thing that feels really good about about doing this work, which is hard work, is being able to go back like I'm doing with my counselor now going back through these experiences, you know, all the way back to to high school, looking at these traumatic experiences, having my counselor walk me through it in a way that makes me consider other interpretations of that trauma, because what's happened, unfortunately, is I've attached meaning to these experiences. And it's just been like locked in my brain all these years. And so every experience I have gets interpreted through that filter.

The sad part about it is they aren't necessarily accurate, in my interpretation very well could have been wrong about some of those traumatic experiences. So that's just an example of when you go back and you do the hard work of healing. I remember just the other day coming out of my counseling appointment, and it just felt like 150 pounds of pressure had been lifted off my shoulders. It's a surreal experience, because you don't necessarily feel like you're different. But I feel lighter. And I don't feel burden, my mind's not spinning around some of these experiences of the past. And so it actually feels like they're being put behind me.

That's what I was saying earlier about how you can do things to avoid the pain, you can do things to distract yourself from what really happened. But it's not healing, the infection still there. And until you do these hard steps, these hard processes of looking at the stuff feeling the hard feelings, lots of tears, it's hard work, but it makes you feel lighter. It makes you feel like you're not locked in this crazy making state where you can't figure out why you're not connecting to your person. I mean, there's a lot of times that you'll you'll say things to me, I'll be like, What are you talking about, I love you, I want to be close to you.

But when I really stop and look at it, I'm blocking, I'm putting up a wall of some kind, or I'm distancing myself from you in some way. I'm not aware of why I can't, I can't figure out this is what I meant by how frustrating it is. And so by doing the hard work, it's it's not fast. It's not a quick fix. But as you do the work, you begin to see different ideas about how you can remember the past how you can be present now, it feels really good, even though it's painful. I remember one of my counselors a year and a half ago saying to me when I explained something about my my ex wife that was really painful. And he stopped and he looked me in the eyes and he said it's terribly wonderful, isn't it?

What are you talking about? This is awful. But what he meant by that was, this is now truth. You're seeing truth, you're feeling truth. And now that we feel and know the truth, now we can start to work on it. that stuck with me. It's never left me actually that phrase. And that's what I feel about the work right now. I feel like it's terribly wonderful. Because it's painful, it hurts, but it leads to healing, it leads to feeling better about myself better about my own worth better about being able to be vulnerable with you. It's totally worth it. It's just hard.

Roxanne Kennedy-Granata  30:36  
He's right, it really is hard. Thank you so much Garin for your perspective for your vulnerability, sharing the hard things, it is not easy to do the work. But as you can see, in order to have a connective relationship, both people need to be doing their healing work. It's imperative you can have any kind of relationship you want. I've had relationships in the past that were kind of more one sided, or at least the sides that we were doing weren't connective, they weren't going in the same direction, which makes it so difficult.

So learning how to see clear clearing the trauma way that you've experienced and been through, it doesn't matter if you're male or female. We've all been through really hard things. It doesn't matter if you struggle with addiction, or you don't struggle with addiction. If you've had abusive relationships, if you've been married to somebody in a relationship with somebody that is controlling or abusive or narcissistic, or even just not willing to do any work at all, it's hard. The only thing you can control is you What do you want to do? How do you want to heal? Do you want to feel better? Like Garin explained, having that weight lifted off of his shoulders, he didn't even realize he was carrying it until his counselor helped him see and work through a piece of trauma from the past.

And all of a sudden, he felt lighter. There is so much goodness and happiness. When we do the work. It is not easy. It is hard every single day, and we have to choose into it every single day. But if we don't, the alternative is staying stuck staying in that pain and that sadness and that depression in the feeling of hopelessness. When just on the other side, there is so much hope and healing. I'm so glad Garin was able to do this with us today so that you can hear both sides. And that you can also see that just because I've finally found somebody that's doing the work. It doesn't make it always easy. We love each other and that's where the commitment is. We both want the same things. We're both working hard, and we're doing it together. I wish you well this week, work on your healing. Send me a message if you need anything, and we'll see you next time.