Dirty Laundry Episode One | Getting Ready for Couple Therapy
Mina and Bryce get prepped for their first couple therapy session to work on their relationship after having their daughter. They give a backstory, explain what their relationship was like before Etta was born, talk about mental health, and cry a few (or 4) times.
*The following episode was transcribed using a voice recognition software and half of Mina’s brain. There’s probably a lot of mistakes, but after the 6th hour trying to get this done, she finally gave up. For accessibilities sake, we tried to transcribe this as best as we could. Thanks for you understanding!
(5:18) Our relationship before Etta
(15:28) Bryce’s Borderline Personality Disorder
(45:28) Fighting dirty
(55:25) Why parenting is so hard in the first 3 months
Aminah: 00:00:02 It is a couple’s therapy podcast and we are parents. It’s not a relationship. I mean like it is kind of a relationship podcast, but we are parents.
Bryce: 00:00:19 So we’re not going to talk about raising our kid? We’re going to talk about our relationship or both.
Aminah: 00:00:26 Well, we’re going to talk about what raising our kid has done to our relationship and like how our relationship has evolved or has like regressed and how we’re going to progress. So this first episode is all about [the] baby popped out, what happened to us and everything. Like everything that has happened in the past five months, she’s like almost five months now and everything that has happened before we have our first therapy sesh.
Bryce: 00:01:04 I’m so excited. Okay, so, so we’re going to call this rebuilding your relationship after parenthood. What? You don’t like that name?
Aminah: 00:01:15 What are you even talking about, this is the first I’m hearing of this and it sounds really bad.
Bryce: 00:01:20 Bad. Okay. What should we call it?
Aminah: 00:01:24 Um, your favorite book that you always want to give new parents is happiest baby on the block.
Bryce: 00:01:30 Sorry. I call it happiest parents on the block.
Aminah: 00:01:33 No, but you had another idea that was good.
Aminah: 00:01:39 but the baby isn’t on the pod side. Doesn’t work. Do you see why we need therapy?
Bryce: 00:01:46 Maybe we could talk about it at the session tomorrow.
Aminah: 00:01:50 So we are parents to a five month old and she’s pretty great. Yeah, the kid’s awesome. She’s pretty, she’s good. We’re not so great, but we’re not bad. Like we’re not. Um, I think that people think that therapy is for when you’ve hit rock bottom. Yeah. But I think that we come from the space of like therapy is, is like going to the gym. It’s like eating healthy. It’s like part of a, of a healthy lifestyle
Bryce: 00:02:27 shit you gotta deal with at all times. Like, like, like, so it’s part of, you got to take care of your physical health as in going to the gym. You got to take care of your, your spiritual health. As in meditating, sleeping. While I don’t have that spiritual, it’s kind of more physical but also like, you know, take care of your mental health, which is therapy. Yeah. And also like in the context of, of your family and relationships. I think it’s important.
Aminah: 00:02:58 Yeah. But that’s not the point. The point that I was making was that, we don’t think therapy is for like a crisis. Like it is obviously useful in those circumstances.
Bryce: 00:03:21 you don’t go to the gym just because you, you, you need physio to repair from a major accident that you need to repair. It’s just it’d be part of your daily wellbeing check. Right.
Aminah: 00:03:34 If you like picture a rollercoaster, I would say that we are, we’re kind of like, the drop has happened like the part when you’re like, like screaming. And then you know when you’re in like the bottom yeah. We’re chugging back up and we’re on like a super rickety ass like wooden roller coaster that’s making a lot of noise and needs like some oil.
Bryce: 00:04:18 you put oil on a wooden rollercoaster?
Aminah: 00:04:20 The wheels on the rollercoaster aren’t wooden, it’s like 2019 My friend. I feel like therapy to that analogy would be like fixing her up. You know, like oiling ‘er up, putting some new paint on the rollercoaster, making it seem more appealing, you know?
Bryce: 00:04:52 So, okay, let’s talk about, we’re going to therapy. Um, what do you think are, and we’re doing this live in real time. We even had this conversation, what do you think are the things we need to work on or address?
Aminah: 00:05:08 So why don’t we tell everybody about like our, our experience with our parents, like just super quickly. We dont need to tell them all the dirty details, but like, uh, I just started rebuilding my relationship with my father two years ago. Before then, I hadn’t talked to him in three years and then before that I hadn’t talked to him and like, I dunno, four years, I’m not, and I’m not even that old. So I’m rebuilding that relationship with my dad and that relationship is really important to me and he’s been really, he’s been a really big part of my life and our daughter’s life and your life. Like he loves you. I feel like I lost. Oh my God, I’m gonna cry already. Because I lost so much time. Being upset about the wrong things and I’m, and, and he, he’s changed and I’ve grown up. I’m not a little kid anymore that’s oblivious to what’s actually happening. And he tries so hard.
Bryce: 00:06:31 without, without even getting into the specifics. What do you think are the things, not the specific things, but like in a broader sense that you were upset about
Aminah: 00:06:43 I had a really strict upbringing. I like vividly remember being pulled away from the, from the park because I would be caught playing with boys when I was like nine years old. So it was super innocent. I wouldn’t be allowed to go to a school dance for an hour. Um, I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend. I wasn’t allowed to have friends that were boys. I wasn’t allowed to be a normal kid. What I thought was normal because everybody, all my other friends were doing it. What really damaged our relationship was my mom making me believe that my dad was the enemy. She was really manipulative and made me think that the reason why everything was bad, when nothing was bad, was because of him. So that’s what caused that problem too.
Bryce: 00:08:00 So knowing what you know now of him and rebuilding that relationship and also being a parent yourself, um, why do you think he acted that way?
Aminah: 00:08:15 So what’s funny is, you know how most people are like, oh, I, I understand why my parents were like this. Now that I’ve had a kid. Yeah. I didn’t feel that towards my mom. My dad Just wanted what was best for me, what he thought was best for me. Will I do the same to my child? Probably not. Do I understand his intentions? Yes. Short answer. Yeah. Like I understand why he was the way he was because he was trying to control a really bad situation. You don’t have any family here? You have one cousin left and you’ve been gone from home for a long time now?
Bryce: 00:09:25 Almost 10 years. Wow. Almost a decade. Yeah. I ran away from home, packed up my little Hobo sack, hit the road.
Bryce: 00:09:39 Honda Civic. It was green. No, I’m sorry, that is the one I took from Saskatchewan to Alberta and then that one got rear ended, so I had to buy a new car, which was also a civic. It’s a black civic. Okay, thanks. Yeah, so that’s my therapy session. It was good. I feel much better.
Aminah: 00:10:05 So you have been here for a really long time. You’ve kind of been used to being on your own because even when you were in Saskatchewan, when you were at home, you had always been really independent.
Bryce: 00:10:34 Yeah. Yeah. I got a job when I was 14 and started supporting myself. I moved out when I was 17. Um, and then I left the city when I was not even 19. Yeah.
Aminah: 00:10:45 Has Your relationship with your parents changed?
Bryce: 00:10:48 Oh, for sure. I’m with my dad. We were super close when we were little kids. We were best friends and then it all kind of shifted as I grew up. Um, I think a lot was because, because my priorities changed and I don’t know if this happens other people, but, um, yeah, my priorities changed and I wasn’t a playful little kid anymore, you know, and I felt like I had a lot to do. Uh, I think I held a lot of resentment. Um, I didn’t like the environment I grew up in. Uh, I didn’t like where I was from and I just always wanted to change that. And I think I held and maybe still do a lot of blame back on my parents and my family for not helping me get out of that situation.
Aminah: 00:11:42 We’ve had this conversation before and one of the things that I don’t think we’ll ever really see eye to eye on his money and like that, um, you, you’ve brought up a lot of times, like we both grew up like poor, but my, we sort of had like, we had like a glow up my family and you sort of stayed the same. But then when we dug a little bit further, it wasn’t really a money. Like it’s not like you resent them for not having money, or for not providing for you. It’s that like you didn’t have the relationship that you wanted with them.
Bryce: 00:12:41 Yeah. It was interesting. Right? And, um, so I, I kinda, I kinda let money be the thing, the object that I would play him. And I figured that because of financial insecurity I grew up with and my parents did an amazing job of making sure that, you know, we had the essentials, I always had the essentials, but I saw it a lot of shame for, for not being able to afford things that people around me could and having to like wear hand me downs and that’s why I got a job so I could support myself. Um, but I thought that if I went and then made money myself, that that would go away. And I think one of the things that is hard for me is that it’s that we didn’t have either, you know, I didn’t have money and we didn’t have time because they were working as much as they could to make it a little bit of money that they could make. And that meant evenings and weekends in there. The schedule was a lot opposite from mine going to going to school and being a kid. So I think that and a lot of ways I just wish that it was worth it. Like if, if the money isn’t there, at least go and do something you love or at least make sure that we have time together and um, and I didn’t have either as a kid and I think that’s why I held a lot of resentment. Uh, and uh, it’s funny like the people who have the least amount of money are usually the ones that are working the most and that’s just the society we live in.
Aminah: 00:14:09 Yeah. Cause you were like on a hamster wheel, you’re always trying to catch up and you can never catch up.
Bryce: 00:14:13 Yeah. The kids that are comfortable, the parents seem to be around a little bit more. Um, or at least you have one parent at home.
Aminah: 00:14:21 Yeah. But that’s, and then that’s when it comes down. That’s where we’re access comes. Right? Like if you have that access to your parent who’s there to help you do your homework, who’s there to help you do your science fair project?
Bryce: 00:14:33 Maybe because it’s like I’m doing all this shit on my own. Yeah. I’m getting a job and I’m staying on honor roll and I’m captain of the basketball team. I’m doing all this
Aminah: 00:14:42 What’s funny is I, I had a job when I was 16. I think I was 16 when I got my first job and I didn’t a job because I needed to pay for things. I got a job because I wanted to get out of the house. I needed, like I wanted to be away from my parents so badly because I wasn’t allowed to do anything else.
Bryce: 00:15:08 Then your work is like your social setting. Yeah. You get to go talk to boys and yet customers. Yeah.
Aminah: 00:15:18 so we start therapy tomorrow and this isn’t our first therapy sash. We’ve had, we’ve done some therapy before. You have BPD, borderline personality disorder.
Aminah: 00:16:22 Anyways, the point that I was trying to make was that we haven’t been together very long and we have been through a lot of things and one of those things that we have been through is your diagnosis of BPD and then getting treatment for it. So like getting diagnosed and treated all in a two years and having a baby.
Bryce: 00:17:02 But this is, this one makes, that’s what makes it hard. I mean you think of, Well, you think about supporting a partner in a relationship, but the one thing is that it’s not ever easy and it’s hard to explain. I mean, cause you, um, well there’s an amazing side of it, right? Of like the fact that I had you to drag my ass to therapy
Aminah: 00:17:44 we always say, I brought you there. You stayed there because of you. Because you can’t force anybody else to go through a program and come out like you did.
New Speaker: 00:17:59 Yeah, I showed up. Yeah, I did my homework. Um, it was really hard man. It was a very, very difficult time. I kind of miss it at the same time now that about of intensive for one year, one full year. It was an intensive ass program with like actual homework.
Aminah: 00:18:15 Like you had like four hours of therapy every single week and the only weeks that you missed where like when we lost the baby. And then when we were in my Costa Rica,
Bryce: 00:18:24 I went to therapy, I went to group therapy the day after we found out we miscarried and I sat there in front of 13 people that I hardly knew and I shared that. And, um, that was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was also probably the best thing I could’ve done at that moment. I asked my therapist, my individual therapist if I could skip group because of what I was going through. And she’s like, that’s what you need the most right now. I was like screw you. But I showed up. It was hard
Bryce: 00:19:18 I guess the point I was trying to drive home was that, uh, what’s my take on this? My take is that as amazing as it is having you as a supportive partner dealing with it is very difficult. And there are certain times where we want to kill each other and there’s certain hangups and issues though we are always sorting through and having to work out. And it’s easy to like share the highlights in the highlight reel of like, oh look at my partner. She so amazing and she’s an amazing mother. And those things are all true, but there’s a lot of things where it’s like, like you brought up money, like one, we’re never going to see eye to eye on that.
Aminah: 00:19:59 No, but that’s also because we’re never going to see eye to eye on like lots of other things. Right? Right. Like we don’t see eye to eye on like we’re very similar but we also are not similar. We are similar and dissimilar. It’s not an unusual circumstance for one person in a relationship to have a mental illness, like mental illnesses, are very rampant.
Bryce: 00:20:31 Like everyone has one, you have one. They just haven’t diagnosed you yet.
Bryce: 00:20:42 But it’s just another layer to the onion of like still being new in our relationship, being new parents, you having BPD, like it’s just another layer. But what I wanted to talk about quickly was like what you having BPD actually means, so let’s say this is, so this is the example. Tell me if this is a good example. This is the example that I tell everyone, cause I tell, like I tell everybody that you have BPD. I like volunteer this. I like, I love to talk about it. Just like I love to talk about miscarriage, endometriosis, I like to talk about it because I’m, I’m hoping that somebody else is like, oh me too. And then they feel less alone. Not that it’s my story to share. I’m not ever like ashamed. I wear your badges of honor very proudly. So when I, when I tell him if this is what I explain to people. Um, so you wake up in the morning, you go in the kitchen and me, a person that doesn’t have BPD, I go to toast bread. And I think I’ve told you the example for her. I go to social subreddit and I burned the bread. I would evoke so many holes and I run the bread and I look and I see that I burnt my bread and I take that burn bread and I throw it out and I take new bread out of the bag and toast it. For you, Someone that has BPD, um, you burn the bread and then there’s a whole slew of actions that come out of a menial task. And so you have this internal dialogue about how you’re inadequate, you don’t know what you’re doing and like you are like having this like battle with yourself about how dumb you are. And then I come into the kitchen and I’m like, oh you burnt the bread and what you hear is not me having conversation with you. What you hear is she’s nagging me about burning the bread. She doesn’t understand what it’s like to be me. Why is she so crazy? Why is she blaming me about the bread? And then your reaction then is to go to the store and like buy a brand new bag of bread. Even though we have bread on the counter, like you just doing something that might not be the most logical because in your mind, the only way to solve it is by buying the entire stores inventory of bread.
Aminah: 00:23:28 Does that, so is that, does that sound right or do I need to change my story to tell?
Bryce: 00:23:37 It’s a fine, it’s a fine story about your experience of what you witnessed. So it’s Kinda good to hear that one. We don’t have a toaster. I don’t eat bread. So it’s not the best analogy.
Aminah: 00:23:49 But it’s an analogy for other people to understand because most people own a toaster and most people eat bread.
Bryce: 00:23:57 Sure. That’s great. Where do I start here?
Aminah: 00:24:01 So the idea that I was trying to show was the shame.
Bryce: 00:24:06 And that’s a, that’s a big part of it. Um, and negative thought patterns, uh, being a big part of it too, but it’s not an all the time thing. Yeah. No, it’s, it’s something,
Aminah: 00:24:19 it’s like a perfect storm, right. Of, of events in the way that you’re feeling and like,
Bryce: 00:24:23 yeah. So when I, so, so in short BPD basically just means that people are who have it are just experience, emotions differently, period. Just experience most of the differently, more intensely then somebody who doesn’t have it.
Bryce: 00:24:44 That’s so it means that use the bread analogy. It means that the tolerance for, for dealing with, uh, emotions, it’s very, it’s very difficult. So you see people who have BPD respond to things a lot differently than those that don’t. And it kind of makes it go haywire.
Aminah: 00:25:28 So every time you, and if you were to go like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, if you were to bring the bread every single day, you wouldn’t necessarily have the same reaction. It depends on what the day was like, how you woke up feeling, what kind of mental state you’re in. Did you go to the gym? Did you do your self care? Right. Something happened at work.
Bryce: 00:25:46 A lot of what I learned and, uh, and therapy is the idea of mindfulness and awareness. And to me that is incredibly important. Like, it’s not even like, oh yeah, it’s important to be mindful. It’s like, if I’m not mindful, uh, I can have a complete emotional downswing and can ruin a week of my life.
Aminah: 00:26:04 But what does that mean? Mindful, mindful of thoughts, thoughts is the biggest one. So, so thinking about, uh, you know, self talk, right?
Bryce: 00:26:18 In realizing what that actually is, about myself in situations or how I feel about myself or what I’m saying to myself. Um, understanding that thoughts are just thoughts and they are not true. They’re just thoughts. They’re just this thing that exists. And once you’re aware of that, then you’re able then to be, okay, so I have this thought that’s telling that I am, I am not good enough. So I’m getting this thought in my head today. Well we usually do is we take that thought, we allow that thought to affect us in the way we feel about ourselves. And then that’s how we respond to our day. And then we have securities and we deal with issues and we spaz out when we burn the bread. Um, but going through therapy, I’ve learned that, okay, I have this negative thought about myself. I’m a, I have allowed myself then to, instead of respond to it, to note it and then deal with it. Is this a thought I need to act on? Is it a worry thought about money for example. Are we going to be evicted? Is My family going to be able to eat today? Yes. We’re going to be able to eat. So that thought is not urgent or that I need to act on, I’ll just put that away. That’s my self attacking myself for whatever reason. So understanding the awareness of it and then, and then knowing what you need to respond to and not respond to.
Aminah: 00:27:52 What do you mean not respond to and respond to? What do you need to address and not address? What, what, what do you mean? Like if somebody says something that is annoying or if something happens, there are some things that you are addressing and somethings you’re not like, what does it, what do you mean?
Bryce: 00:28:23 It’s understanding the basis of reality and recognizing what’s actually happening. Versus what is just my own mind. And then when you allow yourself to have this curiosity about yourself, it allows you to treat your thoughts a little bit differently and your feelings a little bit differently. One of the biggest things is like this, this idea of uh, like loving your thoughts as opposed to allowing them to affect you.
Aminah: 00:29:06 Honestly, I like, that’s so beyond my realm of understanding. I just mean like, I’ve never one, I’ve never had a year long therapy before in my life. Um, but like the skills and stuff that you learned are like things that I don’t even, I can’t even, I don’t, I don’t have the same internal dialogue or, or if I, I don’t even, I don’t address it.
Bryce: 00:29:58 BPD is just dealing with a very act of mind that is sometimes attacking me. Yeah. So what do you do with that? And then, then that’s why when people have BPD, you end up with a lot of addiction issues and different kinds of self medicating or ways to escape. Um, Because it’s very difficult to deal with this. It’s very hard. It’s easier. It’s like, okay, I’m having all these bad thoughts, I’m going to go drink.
Aminah: 00:30:24 Right. And there’s only one way to do with it. And as DBT,
Bryce: 00:30:28 yeah. I mean that’s the only way that the found
Aminah: 00:30:30 There’s like medication that you can take and to deal with like the other things like if you have anxiety or if you are depressed or like all the other things that can be alongside your BPD, but BPD itself does not have a prescription
Bryce: 00:30:50 Yeah. No, it’s a, it’s not something that you can medicate. Uh, a lot of times, you know, BPD might be accompanied by a different kind of disorder that might need medication. But in my case, I don’t have anything other than it. So medication was not a part of the prescription.
Aminah: 00:31:09 But what was part of the prescription was me doing family sessions. So you’re BPD was like, I mean it’s not like some BPD is good and some BPD is bad, but like your BPD was not great for me. It was obviously not great for you. The reason why we went to CAMH was because I, we call them episodes. Or I call them episodes. It was like a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and the Monday came and you had them every single day and like four times a day you were having these episodes of that like internal dialogue. Monday came and I had a doctor’s appointment and I couldn’t go to it because you were not in a great place. You were in a really bad place and that’s when I dragged you. You came willingly. I didn’t literally drag you to CAMH. We went through triage. And then when you went through triage, you had the six week program with your social worker who you really, really liked. Cause you had done therapy before but you would never like how to break through like you did with
Bryce: 00:32:36 It’s hard to get matched with a therapist that is the right fit for what it is you’re going through. And that’s, it’s really hard to get diagnosed with BPD first of all.
Aminah: 00:32:46 Yeah. Um, and I mean we’re going to talk about your BPD lot like so like it’s going to be a common theme. Like, cause obviously it’s not like one day you’re not gonna have it anymore, but you had the social worker that you got paired up with and you had done therapy a few times before. Right, like through your work benefits and stuff.
Aminah: 00:33:21 I was going to say you have to divulge, divulge a certain part of you. You have to reveal a certain part of you, part of your life in order for it to work.
Bryce: 00:33:29 What ended up, what ended up allowing me to be diagnosable was the fact that I was having these episodes and that and, and that was like a symptom that was like, Oh shit, you know, let’s look into this further. And then I actually got linked up with this dude that took me through, uh, an actual big diagnosis. Like a test.
Aminah: 00:33:50 Yeah. And when we were in triage, so we left, we left CAMH and you had spoken to three professionals. And we had some semblance of a diagnosis. And I remember going home thinking, telling you like, you sat with this person for 30 minutes and another person for 30 minutes. And other people, like how could they diagnose you with something? Like how do we know that this is it? And you then became fixated on this and that you wouldn’t stop reading about everything there is to know. And there was like that one stat that you read that scared the shit out of you. And it was the stat about suicide rates.
Bryce: 00:34:39 Yeah. So it was that 80 some odd percent, 70 to 80% attempt that are diagnosed with BPD attempt suicide.
Aminah: 00:34:48 But it was specifically for males, the statistics that you read
Bryce: 00:34:53 and then um, I think 25% of that, uh, are successful.
Aminah: 00:34:58 Right. So I don’t mean, I don’t mean to like, yeah, I didn’t mean to cut you off but, but what I was trying to get at was you finally, again, I’m going back to the same point of the social worker, found someone that you really liked, and had a breakthrough, but you only had six weeks with them. And we knew that you had to get into a DBT program and we had a few options. One of them was very expensive. The other one was expensive. And then there was CAMH. You had to see if you could get in and usually you go on the waitlist. And you got in right after your social worker
Bryce: 00:35:39 They put you through this test. And they pretty much fast tracked me into the next available program.
Aminah: 00:35:49 Um, and I was, I was still, and I think, I mean, like still am a little bit, but like at the time I was so angry with you because of what you had, not just like put me through, but like put us like our relationship through. I was so angry and hurt and upset and sad and worried. Um, I remember thinking like, even if we had not ended up together, even if we had broken up, I wanted you to get the help that you needed because I wanted you to have the chance to have the life that I thought that you deserved. And cause I did a literally did not know, like if we would be together. I remember doing the family sessions, which is a 12 week, um, accompaniment to your DBT. So DBT is dialectical behavior therapy where you learn, you learn the skills to cope. And then the family sessions is the group therapy for significant others or the families. We learn the same skills, not to help you, not to make you better, but to make ourselves better because we are often very triggering. And I remember before you say anything, I remember going to the first week and thinking, wow, these people are nuts. I was very judgey. Um, and it was a, it was a different dynamic because they were all parents. And then there was me and that’s a lot of different relationship for someone who has BPD because they are usually the ones that are blaming the parents.
Bryce: 00:37:54 The parents will go, I don’t know what’s going on with them.
Aminah: 00:37:57 And so it was like upsetting for me to go in there. Um, and then the second week I was like, I know all of this. This is common sense. Why am I here? And then the third week, um, I forget what skill it was, but basically it was like, it was like my breakthrough. It was literally like therapy for me. So then I started to love it. But what I realized was that it wasn’t about you. This wasn’t about you fixing it. Because this whole time I was like, you have BPD, you put us through this, you fix it. And then in that third week of family sessions, I was like, sure, I could be that way. Of course I can be that way, but I could choose to not be that way. And I could choose to maybe be careful with how I say things and not be so blunt or harsher, aggressive, even if I don’t mean it. And what I learned was that my whole life I had been speaking a certain way, having a certain air of attitude about me and my personality has been a certain way. And, and I learnt that even if I have the best of intentions, and I didn’t mean to say this to you in a rude way, the fact that you’re taking it in a rude way should make me sad, right? Like it should make me upset that I hurt you regardless of if I meant to hurt you. And that’s when it all changed for me. But the problem, like the problem it was was that it was just so much like I had the miscarriage I had dealing with you while I was pregnant, having your episodes while I was pregnant, dealing with being pregnant, all of that in such a compounded amount of time that it was so, it was so hard. And then I loved going to family sessions because I was like, what skill is what skills Bryce learning? Oh, I’m learning this one too. And it just made me see that if I wanted us to work, it was a decision just like it was a decision to love you, to stay with you, decision to move in with you. And in order to, I think it’s like, would you rather be right or would you rather be together? Yeah. Like would I rather be right? Like about the amount of time you should’ve toasted the bread or would I rather just let you figure it out and not put in my 2 cents about the burned bread. And I chose to be with you rather than be right.
Bryce: 00:40:52 And I think what you’re explaining is a, is a, is a really good breakthrough of therapy in general is just the added perspective of having, you know, professionals who do this to uh, to allow you to kind of open your eyes because like we can sit here and talk to each other. Like this is how I feel about that, just how you feel about that. But um, you know, being involved with professionals is just so much more powerful. And the other thing is like, I think everybody should learn DBT skills. I think they should learn it in school. Yeah. Because what I’ve learned about, uh, mindfulness I already kind of mentioned and I went on a little tangent, uh, but also emotional regulation, which is incredibly important for me, the most important thing, one of the most important things is like, I know it’s trendy right now, but self care, like real, real self care and um, how to really make sure that I’m looking after myself and taking care of myself from the ground up. It doesn’t mean you know, lighting lavender candles and kicking my feet up the,
Bryce: 00:42:01 But it’s really identifying what it is I need and how important things are.
Aminah: 00:42:08 So that’s basically, that’s like a snapshot of who and what our relationship. Was like basically before our daughter got here, like the, all this, the kind of stuff that we were dealing with. Um, when we moved into this new place. I was six months pregnant when we moved to when I, so when we had the baby there was, you maybe had two or three episodes. Like I just want to give like perspective of like how far you’ve come before you started therapy. Like I said, there would literally be four episodes in a day. So you doing therapy was like night and day. Like not like not even night and day. It was like the weather in Canada compared to like the weather in Costa Rica. Like DBT therapy, both the group sessions were incredible in, in helping you deal with yourself. So seeing that like I could not be more proud of, of that progress.
Bryce: 00:43:30 Yeah. I mean, you know, from my perspective, My days are a lot better and I noticed that, uh, I noticed our relationship is very strong. We have hangups now, but we don’t have, we don’t have battles.
Aminah: 00:44:00 You don’t have episodes anymore. Like we have arguments.
Aminah: 00:44:12 But I, but we’re able to get to the end of it way faster then before, before it would be a whole dramatic sequence for five, six, seven hours. Now it’s an argument that’s not pretty, you know, it’s not like, let’s not be, let’s not lie. Like it’s not constructive. You fight so dirty you, you know how to hurt me. Like you know, and there are things that I would never say to you.
Bryce: 00:45:08 So let’s back this up. Like a one, one step talking about BPD again. So there’s this feeling with, with myself, and I’m not using BPD as a crutch or an excuse, but this is the feeling that I have is that when I feel violated or betrayed, I feel like you are literally stabbing me in the heart.
Aminah: 00:45:28 Can you, can you give an example of like, so how you would feel because it’s not the same way that
Bryce: 00:45:34 it’s hard for me because I don’t know what the other feeling is. I just know that when I feel betrayed that it is literally life or death for me. no, that’s fine. I should be all right. But I wouldn’t really, I just burned the brand. And you said, why did you break? Right. Right. That’s what I’m trying to explain it to me. There’s nothing worse he could have said to me. Right. And that’s the way it’s making me feel. This is my inability to process emotions on a normal level. So when I feel this way is not an excuse. It’s just the reality of the situation is very hard for me to deal with. Uh, I feel like I need to fight to the death. So when you say I fight dirty, it’s because I need to go into the attack mode because I feel like I’m being attacked. Right. Um, I almost never attacking you. Right, right. Um, but I, I hear it and, and, and, and the reason why, because it’s just the reason why it feels so much I’m being attacked is because I’ve already done all that attacking to myself. I have already been attacked. I’m already wounded. So you breathing on me makes me feel like you just blew fire. That’s making me feel like I’m burning alive. I know. That makes no sense. I can’t really relate, but maybe, and I know you’re listening more and more like a lunatic talking, no, don’t, both is publicly. Um, but that is how I feel and that is the experience that I’m having and that’s how I’m uncalibrated emotionally by having this mental illness. Um, so then when I fight, it’s like I’m bringing you down with me. Yeah. And I’m smart about it. Right. And you’ve said it’s super ugly and it’s not okay. You’ve said,
Aminah: 00:47:31 and the like, there, there are things that like, I can’t forget, like you’ve called me a bad mom. Like you’ve, you’ve said things that aren’t great. Yep.
Bryce: 00:47:38 And I, you are the greatest possible mom. That’s objectively, and I know I’ve said that and I am very, like, I give you me saying, I’m sorry for that. It’s just a, no, I don’t, because it’s like this is what I’m going to therapy or really you just say sorry. Yeah, no, I know. It just, I, I get, I’m fucked. Like,
Aminah: 00:48:00 no, don’t say that. That’s not, that’s, I’m just, I’m just trying to, um, I’m just trying to paint the picture of not as like me as a victim and was a monster. Yeah. I’m just trying to like, and then, um, in order for that and then in order to, and then so I have to use my skills in order to deescalate. Is that the word? Is that the opposite of escalate the situation. And then we’re down back to like normal and then you apologize and all that. But then I’m left with the, like the feeling of what you just said to you and how I feel. Oops. Which is abusive and damaging, but how, but how I feel. Fuck you just interrupted me. I forgot what I was going to say. Fuck. Oh, what I feel is you’re telling me how you really feel, but you claim that it’s not like a truth serum. Like it’s not, whenever you say whenever you, you like, cause you know how to make me upset. So I think that you’re saying these things because you mean them cause it’s like obviously I’m going to think you mean them if you’re saying them to me constantly over and over. But apparently in BPD land
Bryce: 00:49:26 You’re saying the mental illness isn’t real what you said like in BPD land, like it’s like no, I’m sick. Oh my God.
Aminah: 00:49:41 This is an example of, this is an example, not the way you said that. No, I’m saying it because It’s not the real like it’s not the reality of the situation you like, you’re not. Yes. Well you don’t actually think that I’m a bad mom. Your perspective is that that’s what I meant. Yeah. Your perspective is that when I’m emotional or angry, that is when I’m the most truthful because that might be true for others. I’m not sure how it works and normal land, but well, yes. Usually when you say something, it’s usually not a lie. Like it’s like, it’s like I would never yell like I’m cheating on you to hurt you because I know that would hurt you because I’m not cheating on you. Do you know what I mean? Like I would never yell. I murdered his person to hurt you because I’ve never murdered a person. Right. If I want to hurt you, I would say something that I know would bother you because it’s true. Like so it to me, it’s nonsensical for you to tell me that I’m a bad mom. If you don’t actually think that I’m a bad mom, that isn’t, that doesn’t make sense to me.
Bryce: 00:50:44 Mine in that situation, I am just getting all of my, to me, that’s not me saying the truth to you because the truth doesn’t matter to me in that instance, what matters to me is surviving, so I’m getting all, all of the ammunition I can find
Aminah: 00:51:05 and let’s give an example I don’t want people to think, oh my God, Bryce is calling me a bad mom on the, on the regular, like I’m not careful with my words, I’m not, um, I don’t speak in a very, like nice way, but like I’m very, I’m like, I’m kind of like aggressive. Like I’m kind of like loud and you’re unapologetic and the way that you speak. So for example, there’s been a time when the schedule, like the, our routine as you take, you take our daughter in the morning because I’ve been woken up three, four or five times at night to feed her and then sometimes it can go back to sleep and that’s, that’s your time with her before you go to work. So you take her for two hours when she was really young and she wasn’t sleeping through the night yet, she would be sometimes impossible to put down because she was in leap or whatever. And then I would come out here into the living room. I would be wearing my contacts with the night before my eyes would be dry as hell. I’m tired as fuck. And you’re not able to put her down. So it’s like kind of annoying. So I come out here and I have had such problems eating that my blood sugar is like nil. So whenever I wake up in the morning, I’m kind of woozy still and I’ve come out here into the living room and I’ve, I’ve asked you like, what are you doing? Because I kind of hear like her cries like a little muffled. So I’m like, did he swaddled her wrong? Like is there a cloth over her face? Like is they’re doing something wrong? So I’m already in a state of half a week, half not awake. And I literally am like, what are you doing? Is it nice the way that I’m saying it? Not necessarily, but I’m not, and I’m not meaning it in a way of like, what the fuck are you doing? I’m eating it. And like, you know, what I meant to say was, oh, what’s happening out here? But I don’t say it like that. I don’t say it. How, I mean, are you see it in the lake fastest way that I can, what are you doing? Okay. My isn’t go that low.
Bryce: 00:53:26 What are you doing? No, but so there’s an element here and that you’re identifying, which I think is really important is that on one hand, you have all of these thoughts about a certain way that our daughter needs to be treat it like she needs to be swaddled in a certain way.
Aminah: 00:53:45 But hold on, let me finish. You have this air about you where if you’re upset, the whole world will know that you’re, that Bryce is not happy. I I have a two. Like if, if either of us are upset, everybody will know we’re not upset. So I could be in the bedroom and you could be out here and if you’re getting frustrated, I know and I hate if either you or I are frustrated with her because it’s not her fault and it just reminds me of like my childhood. So it, it, it makes me upset if either of us are frustrated with her and like I’ve cried to you about like telling her to shush or something and they feeling guilty about that. So if I feel you out here and I feel that you’re frustrated with her because of the way that you’re speaking or, or whichever, then that also brings me to another level anyways, go on.
Bryce: 00:54:43 No, I was, I was just going to say the element of, uh, you having these worry thoughts or feeling like you need to manage a situation of how she’s being treated and then mix that with my own feelings of, you know, inadequacy or what have you. It just not a good match. It’s like in the heat of like that and honestly like you’ve gotten a lot better. We’ve both gone a lot better. I feel a lot more adequate as a father. Like I know at this point, like the frustration is now,
Aminah: 00:55:23 but it’s also because she’s older and we know her. She’s not a stranger.
Bryce: 00:55:26 Yeah. Where’s it at the beginning, and I think a lot of parents feel this way is you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing and you feel like you’re don’t, you don’t know what’s going on and it makes you feel incompetent.
Aminah: 00:55:35 In the beginning, and I told you this when I was pregnant, the one of the things that I was afraid of was you not being able, cause you, you need that belt, you need validation. Like that’s, you need to be told like, one of your love languages is like, I think is um, what’s, what is it like when you need to hear like words of affirmation. Right. Right. I think that’s one of yours, right? Yeah. And, but you do like me, right. God, that’s what I’m talking about. What I’m, what I’m trying to get at was when a newborn can’t smile at you can’t laugh. I can’t play with you. Can’t like thank you for, you know, like tickling her like doing things is it sucks. Right? It sucks when you just have a crying baby and you can’t do anything. Cause we had introduced the bottle, we had any given her a pacifier. Yeah. We hadn’t done any of that. So yeah, it’s super frustrating, but I don’t think it’s just frustrating. Um, as a new parent, I think it’s frustrating as somebody who has BPD as well because you aren’t able to get the giggles that are like that validation that, oh yeah, she likes me because she’s smiling at me because she’s laughing with me because she wants to play with me because she’s hugging me back, you know? So I think that that’s another layer where that gets you frustrated is because you have this crying thing that won’t stop crying because she wants me because she wants is hungry or whatever. And then that’s another thing that’s not making you feel great is that I have to keep coming in to feed her. I have to keep coming into settle her to calm her down.
Bryce: 00:57:20 But I do want to say that in that the first three months, like I’m pretty proud of how we got through it.
Aminah: 00:57:27 Yeah. I mean like we came out alive.
Bryce: 00:57:29 We came out alive, we did it, you know, super hard.
Aminah: 00:57:53 Uh, yeah, yeah. Yesterday. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yesterday. Um, we’ll re what would it be? We were you fighting about, ah, it was nine o’clock. No, it was eight 30 and you were getting ready to go and you had told me that you, the day before you were or no, you told me that that day that you weren’t leaving until 11, so that I could get some work done and you were cleaning the kitchen because our house is always a disaster. Um, you’re cleaning the kitchen, you’re on your computer, you’re on your phone and you weren’t taking her. And I have this problem because you are the one that’s working. You the one that is the breadwinner of the family right now. My work is very sporadic. A lot of it does not equal money right away. Um, and I have this problem where if you don’t physically take her, I will just, I will go on with my daily routine, changing her, playing with her, feeding her, I’ll, I’ll just do all those things. And then nine o’clock came and you were like out the door and then you kept on being like, oh, okay, well I’ll take her if you want. You can do this if you want. And like it was like, it was just weird and annoying for me because we had already about you going into work later and I was going to have the mornings to do work or do whatever the fuck I needed to do and So that’s what caused the fight because we again, misunderstood what the other person was saying or doing. And then that’s what caused me to look into our benefits package, look into what would be covered and find, um, a therapist in the vicinity that would be covered.
Bryce: 01:00:00 Yeah. I mean, it’s important. I mean, we got to do it. You’re just listening to you to share that side of your story. I mean, I just realized like how are we see things so differently? Like you keep saying you didn’t take it, you didn’t take her, but to me she didn’t need to be taken. Um,
Aminah: 01:00:19 yeah, but I’m not going to say like, Hey, it’s your turn to watch the kid
Bryce: 01:00:23 like I was, but I was, what do you mean you were,
Bryce: 01:00:34 But she was with me like we were good anyways, we’ll figure this out.
Aminah: 01:00:40 wait, what are you talking about?
Bryce: 01:00:42 She was good. But that’s, that’s the difference is like if, if like if
Aminah: 01:00:50 we have very different parenting styles, yeah. You will put her in the chair and clean up the whole house. Right. Because it’s important for a home to be clean. No, I’m not relax buddy. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I’m saying that you have different priorities than me, whereas I won’t put her in the chair because I think it’s important for to do tummy time. I think it’s important for us to get that stuff in. I’m not saying you don’t do those things. I do them to an excess like, like I don’t do anything that’s productive because I think it’s, it’s my own, it’s my own guilt. It’s my own insecurity because my parents were constantly working. It’s, it’s, it’s not about you. This is a me problem. I don’t like putting her in the activity center or putting her down or putting her like to her own devices when she wants attention, when she wants all these things.
Bryce: 01:02:00 Yeah. where to me like 10 to 15 minutes while I load the dishwasher. Right. Is like, I don’t see that as an issue,
Aminah: 01:02:08 but she doesn’t let me have 10 to 15 minutes to load things in the dishwasher. She screams until I’m in her face and then she’s happy again. Like I won’t pull out my laptop to do work when she’s awake ever.
Bryce: 01:02:23 The other thing is too, if she makes a noise happy or sad, Even happy you’ll run to go. Yeah, because I don’t want to miss anything. Right. But if she’s sitting there, if she’s laying there giggling or sitting in as you’re giggling, I’m okay to just like let her play with her toy while I, yeah, but,
Aminah: 01:02:42 and that’s fine. I’m not going to do other things saying that what you’re doing is bad, but I feel like you make me feel like what I’m doing is not, so what happened was I got frustrated because clean up the whole house with her and then you make me feel like I can’t do that. So you’re the better parent.
Bryce: 01:03:02 Right. And, but these are our own feelings of adequacy that are coming out. It’s not that I’m cleaning up the house to sh to show off. Right.
Aminah: 01:03:08 No, but the problem is, is you throw these things in my face when you’re angry with me, so I can’t help but resent these things.
Bryce: 01:03:18 So you’d rather our house just be messy. No. Where do you, where, where do you get the idea that if I clean up the house that I’m doing it? No, I need you to not throw you cleaning up the house in my face. That’s, that’s what I needed. And that’s fair. I mean, we’ll figure that one out.
Aminah: 01:03:36 What do you mean there’s nothing to, don’t throw things in my face. There’s this thing that I have where my mom and dad used to like wake me up at like six in the morning on a weekend when all I wanted to do was fucking sleep. And my mom used to make me get the, um, we call it a dust bunny. I don’t know why we call it a destiny, but it was like a, um, you know, like a little vacuum, like a handheld vacuum. Do you know what I’m talking about? Vacuum. And I would have to vacuum the tiles in a square and like, she would make me do dumb things like that. So I think, and I’m starting to like learn, I’m starting to remember like traumatizing things from my childhood as they like come up. Like as I, I don’t know if the, if you have experience with this, but like as I’m, um, like becoming more of a mom and like, my child is growing up and I’m experiencing these things. I’m experiencing these traumatic things from my childhood that make me realize like why I’m so deathly afraid of like organizing things or like why I’m like incapable of handling money or, or things like that. It’s, it’s not just because I’m careless, it’s just, it’s because of things that have happened in my childhood and I feel like you think that I’m careless.
Bryce: 01:05:13 Um, no, I think you care deeply about things that you focus on and you hyper focus on things that you care about and in doing so you do amazing things. Like with our daughter, you an incredible mother and you do really amazing work.
Bryce: 01:05:32 So I don’t think you’re careless. I think that there’s just certain things that you choose to care about and that’s it. That doesn’t mean careless. It means you, you hyper focus on what you do care about.
Aminah: 01:05:51 I don’t know what that means and I don’t think, I don’t know if that makes me feel better
Bryce: 01:05:56 I don’t know what you want me to say. Like, do I think that you care about how clean our home is? No, that’s not something that’s a priority to you. Do I think you care about money? No, that’s not something that’s a priority to you. So I manage those things.
Bryce: 01:06:22 Not The way you do. I could not replace what you do for her. Like it’s not possible. You’re incredible.
Aminah: 01:06:32 But that’s just because you work.
Bryce: 01:06:47 What am I supposed to say? Like you do care about money. I don’t think you do. No, I’m not.
Aminah: 01:06:57 Anyways, we have a lot of work to do and it’s only the first episode and I think I’ve cried three times. So that means it’s good automatically, I think. I think that’s what makes good podcast material. Not quite sure you’re the podcast listener in this relationship. Um, this is a really long podcast. I don’t imagine that the rest of them would be this long because we won’t have to fill people in on our entire backstory every single time. But I think that this is important, not be, not for us. I mean obviously pick, we’re going to therapy. Obviously we know that this is important to us, but I’ve talked to a lot of parents that are going through the same shit. Um, and just in a different way. Um, I’ve talked to a lot of moms that are experiencing like they don’t know how to, how to transition their relationship to now being parents. So I’m hoping that this will either be that catalyst that makes you look introspectively into your relationship or just maybe feel not so alone. Um, but I think that this could be helpful. You want me to, I don’t know if you’ve heard that, but I just did a really big gulp, just like, thanks for doing this. Me. Now I look forward to continuing.
Aminah: 01:08:40 Oh, and that’s our cue because the kid is waking up. Um, you can follow along both of our journeys on our personal Instagrams, @MinaTheMama on Instagram. You can follow me and Bryce, @BryceSeto
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