September 9, 2019
EP. 180 — Jammers vs. Blockers
Things just kinda suck at this point in life, but this caller found sanctuary in roller derby.
This episode is brought to you by Fruit of the Loom (www.fruit.com code: STORIES), Magoosh (www.magoosh.com code: BEAUTIFUL), Circle Home Plus (www.meetcircle.com/beautiful code: beautiful), and White Castle (www.whitecastle.com/stories).
180 — Jammers vs. Blockers
[00:00:05] CHRIS: Hello to all my blockers and my jammers. It’s Beautiful Anonymous, one hour, one phone call, no names, no holds barred.
[00:00:17] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one on one. I think it’ll be more fun, and I’ll get to know you, and you’ll get to know me.
[00:00:27] CHRIS: Hi, everybody, welcome to Beautiful Anonymous. My name is Chris Gethard, so lucky to host this show, so lucky to bring phone calls to the world, conversations to the world with real people, in their words, unfiltered, unproduced, unedited, allowing the world to go on record with their stories one human being at a time. Thanks to everybody who’s listening to this show. Last week we had a caller who had — was having some some real scary medical stuff and the reaction in the Beautiful Anonymous Facebook group — which if you’re not in there, it’s a lovely thing. We discuss the episodes and some other dumb stuff, and it’s very civil and it’s wonderful. I thank all the mods who help that group run. The reaction to that episode was — it was pretty delightful. It was a lot of people sharing their own medical stories or letting the caller know they went through something similar, showing that empathy, and a lot of people trying to solve all the logic puzzles and also expressing how frustrating they found it. I was not the only one going, Harry and Jared, why are we doing logic puzzles on the show? And some people actually just put out the answers so we could all have peace in our hearts, so thank you. I think that was Jonathan. Now, I don’t know if I’ve ever shouted you out. You are a champion poster in that Facebook group, and I think you solved all the logic puzzles to remove that demon from our community’s collective guts. Thank you for that. This week’s episode, I’m going to just go out ahead and say, I think one of the — one of the most concerning ones, but I think we’re going to put it out. I’ve thought long and hard about it, because I think it could help a lot of people and I think there’s other people in similar situations or who have been through similar situations who will get a lot out of it. I’ll never stop thinking about this one. I hope the caller is doing okay today and in the future, because you deserve it. You’re going to hear the first 15 minutes of this one, you’re going to go, what’s this guy talking about? They’re just talking about roller derby the whole time. And I’ve got no problem with that. I would talk about roller derby for an hour. Roller derby is cool. I’ve always liked roller derby since I was a kid. It’s like pro wrestling’s weird cousin on roller skates, I like it. But the caller starts telling us about their past, and then you start to realize that it is the caller’s present and that there’s a lot of tension and pressure and the caller is right in the middle of of some major life decisions. And the caller has dealt with a lot. Other people have put this caller in some bad situations, and she is — she is figuring out her choices. And it’s at times pretty scary. And I really just hope she’s doing okay. I’ll also say this, though, in a way that I think is really beautiful, the caller is also extremely funny. There’s times where there’s laugh‑out‑loud moments in this — in this conversation, even in the midst of the darkest parts, which I think shows you about the real world. Some of that is the caller being very charming and strong person. Some of it is deflection. We talk about all of it, but that’s real life, right? Right when you’re in the trenches, dealing with the hardest stuff is also when you’ve got to find those laughs to serve as the the sun rays that break through the clouds. And most of all, I hope you get something out of this conversation. And to the person who called, I hope that you’re enjoying your life and figuring it out and roller derby continues to serve you well as you head towards a life that you really deserve.
[00:03:55] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host.
[00:04:03] CALLER: Hello.
[00:04:03] CHRIS: Hi.
[00:04:05] CALLER: Hi. How are you?
[00:04:07] CHRIS: I’m good. Sorry, you may have heard me chewing a little bit. I was finishing a snack. It was an ill-timed —
[00:04:13] CALLER: That’s okay.
[00:04:14] CHRIS: — ill-timed choice to —
[00:04:15] CALLER: Hey —
[00:04:15] CHRIS: Yeah. Hi.
[00:04:16] CALLER: Snacks are very important, so I completely understand.
[00:04:17] CHRIS: Yeah. Trying to get my blood sugar up so I can bring the heat for you.
[00:04:23] CALLER: Well, good. I hope you’re — I hope you’re ready. I’m just kidding. That totally just like oversold me, I think, because I don’t think I’m that exciting.
[00:04:29] CHRIS: That sounded like a threat, like I hope you’re ready.
[00:04:36] CALLER: Yeah. Well, I can be a little intimidating sometimes.
[00:04:39] CHRIS: I’ve picked up on that already. I’ve picked up on that.
[00:04:44] CALLER: I’m just kidding. I’m totally not intimidating at all. People just think I am, and it’s like a really weird thing.
[00:04:49] CALLER: That like my whole life people have always thought I was really scary. But I’m not, so —
[00:04:54] CHRIS: Now, wait. Hold on. That’s kind of — there’s like a weird logic there of like, I’m not intimidating at all, people just think I am. If people think it, then isn’t that — then you’re intimidating? Intimidation is one of those ones you —
[00:05:10] CALLER: But it’s like weird because —
[00:05:11] CHRIS: — you don’t get to really choose if you’re intimidating or not.
[00:05:14] CALLER: It’s like I was just talking to my only friend about this yesterday, that people like in high school and stuff would always be like, oh, this is my friend; like if you want to fight me, like I’m friends with this person, so you know, you better be careful. But I have never been in a fight in my whole entire life. And it’s just like so weird because people would like stand down. And I’m like, I don’t — I’m not going to fight for you. Like I’m not even fighting for myself, so —
[00:05:38] CHRIS: You’re saying you were held up as kind of like the boogie — the boogie man to get people to back off?
[00:05:46] CALLER: Yeah, I was.
[00:05:47] CHRIS: What was it?
[00:05:48] CALLER: And it was really strange.
[00:05:49] CHRIS: What was it that made you so intimidating? Was it something about —
[00:05:52] CALLER: I don’t know.
[00:05:54] CHRIS: Were you like one of the goth kids?
[00:05:55] CALLER: No. I mean, I was a little like emo, you know. In that time period, that was like my high school time period, was when emo was like big.
[00:06:02] CHRIS: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
[00:06:03] CALLER: So I mean, I was like a little bit. Like I guess I chose to wear black more than any other color, so —
[00:06:08] CHRIS: But emo kids aren’t intimidating. Nobody is like —
[00:06:11] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:06:12] CHRIS: Nobody is scared of a Taking Back Sunday fan.
[00:06:15] CALLER: No. I was never a Taking Back Sunday fan, though. I’m sorry to anybody that that offends, but yeah.
[00:06:20] CHRIS: Me neither. I’ve never really heard them. I just thought that was a funny reference. That’s like a go-to emo band reference, right?
[00:06:25] CALLER: Yeah. I think it is, I think it is. I was more of like a choir kid, so —
[00:06:30] CHRIS: You were in the choir?
[00:06:31] CALLER: So I was definitely intimidating. Yeah. Very intimidating.
[00:06:33] CHRIS: And people were scared of you, wow. All right, all right.
[00:06:37] CALLER: It’s funny, though, because now I think I would be more intimidating, because I play roller derby, so I would say that, if anything, I should be more intimidating now, but now nobody is afraid of me and I just get beat up on the track every couple weeks.
[00:06:51] CHRIS: Roller derby is really intense. I have a friend who does it, and she’s covered in bruises all the time, for years now.
[00:07:00] CALLER: We prefer derby kisses, but —
[00:07:03] CHRIS: Derby kisses.
[00:07:04] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. It’s very intense, but I love it. I love every minute of it. It’s amazing. It’s like the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.
[00:07:12] CHRIS: Yeah. People are obsessed with it. My friend Emma really — I have to say, my friend Emma, who I have so much love and admiration for — and we’ve lost touch a little bit, and you’ve reminded me I’ve got to reach out to my pal Emma, see how she’s doing, because I have a lot of love in my heart for her.
[00:07:26] CALLER: You should. And if she still plays roller derby, you should support her roller derby, because that’s important, because it doesn’t get as much support as it should.
[00:07:35] CHRIS: She’s always posting pictures of it, and I — I’ve never talked with her explicitly about it, but I got the sense that she really like — it really enriched her life in a very true and honest way.
[00:07:49] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. For sure. I definitely think that that’s true, because I like — it’s kind of funny that this show is like anonymous, you know, because I don’t have anybody to be anonymous from, I don’t think. Like I don’t think — I think I could probably tell you my whole name and my hometown and everything about me and not one person listening would be like, oh, yeah, I know her. Because I don’t talk to people very much, and I only have like —
[00:08:09] CHRIS: Yeah. You mentioned that you have one friend. You mentioned you only have one friend.
[00:08:12] CALLER: I only have one friend, it’s true. It’s sad, but it’s true. But I mean, roller derby has really like — just joining that community, it really is — it’s just like a family. It has introduced me to a lot of people that I probably never would’ve met in my life.
[00:08:28] CHRIS: I was going to say, roller derby is a team sport and a very, very united community, and yet, you still regard all these people — you say family, but they’re not your friends.
[00:08:40] CALLER: Well, it’s weird, right, because we like beat each other up every weekend and we like knock each other over, but it is — I mean, it’s probably the closest‑knit group of people I’ve met in my adult life, so it’s like — yeah, we definitely leave it all on the track and then we get off the track and we are just like a — just a big family.
[00:09:01] CHRIS: Yeah. That’s cool, that’s cool.
[00:09:05] CALLER: Yeah. It’s pretty awesome. I like it a lot. I really like it.
[00:09:07] CHRIS: Yeah. I’m very impressed by it.
[00:09:11] CALLER: Yeah. It’s intense, and we — there’s like different rule sets, you know. I know I’m probably doing to bore people, just talking about roller derby, but not very many people know like kind of the —
[00:09:19] CHRIS: Uh-huh. I’m all ears.
[00:09:22] CALLER: — the technological things about it, because nobody understands it. Like my family, when they first started coming, they’re like, we have no clue what’s going on, but this is so cool. And I’m like, yeah, that’s pretty — I mean, I feel the same way, and I’m out there skating, so —
[00:09:35] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:09:38] CALLER: But it is — it’s awesome, and it’s — it is hard to understand, and there’s like different rule sets, which really confuses people, and then there’s like flat track, which is what I play, and then there’s the banked track, which is like the really intense like track at an angle that I’m pretty confident I would die if I ever got on one.
[00:09:56] CHRIS: Uh-huh. Because you can really get some speed going with that, right?
[00:09:59] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. So —
[00:10:01] CHRIS: Now —
[00:10:02] CALLER: Sorry. Go ahead.
[00:10:03] CHRIS: Oh, no. You go ahead, you go ahead.
[00:10:05] CALLER: Just the — so the one that I play is like fast derby, is what they call it, so you’re like constantly moving the whole time and like knocking each other while they’re like speeding by. And then there’s other ones where you like can stop on the track and stuff like that. So yeah, it’s pretty intense.
[00:10:20] CHRIS: I’ll tell you, a very unlikely character trait, my grandmother was obsessed with roller derby when I was young.
[00:10:31] CALLER: That’s amazing.
[00:10:31] CHRIS: Used to watch it on Channel 9 WPIX, loved it, and I grew up watching it. And my brother and I, who always loved kind of niche, outlier stuff, we always watched roller derby, Rock and RollerGames when it came on. My impression, from what I remember of the very — I don’t know the intricacies of the rules. You mentioned there’s different rule sets. From what I remember, the very basics are you’ve got some people who are trying to get ahead of the pack to score points.
[00:11:00] CALLER: Yeah. That’s the jammer.
[00:11:01] CHRIS: And the jammers —
[00:11:02] CALLER: You’ve got the jammer trying to score points. That’s the one with the star on their helmet.
[00:11:05] CHRIS: And those are the people who tend to be like the speed demons. These are the people who can summon real speed, and they tend to maybe be — maybe have more of like a build that you would think of from like a — like a — like a speed skater in the Olympics, like really lean speedsters.
[00:011:22] CALLER: Yeah. Absolutely.
[00:11:24] CHRIS: And then you have —
[00:11:25] CALLER: And that is not me.
[00:11:26] CHRIS: Well, I was going to say, then you have the other people whose job is to really try to stop them from getting ahead by putting them on their ass, and those people tend to be a little more built, and your job is you kind of intentionally go a little slower to jam up the works, and you can throw an elbow to put somebody on their ass.
[00:11:44] CALLER: Well, you can’t throw an elbow, because there are rules, but —
[00:11:46] CHRIS: Come on, though. You can sneak one in. People are always trying to sneak one in, right?
[00:11:51] CALLER: Yeah, they are. It’s true. I’ve gotten — I’ve definitely gotten some weird bones in weird places, so — but those are the blockers, and that’s what I do. I’m a blocker, because I — I’ve only been playing for a little — almost two years, and I don’t have the speed yet. I would like to have the speed at some point in my derby career, but I’m not there yet. So yeah, it’s my job to stop people from getting through and knock them on their ass.
[00:12:18] CHRIS: That must feel so good.
[00:12:22] CALLER: It really does. It’s amazing.
[00:12:23] CHRIS: When you just lay someone out flat —
[00:12:25] CALLER: It’s definitely stress relieving, and I do have a lot of stress in my life, so to get out — to get out there and you know, knock some people over, it feels good. Even sometimes getting knocked over yourself, like — it just like realigns you, you know, makes you remember that there’s things in the world that hurt.
[00:12:44] CHRIS: Well, and — but in a basic way, in a way that I like — because I have some similar hobbies in my life where I get my ass handed to me — there’s something ‑‑
[00:12:52] CALLER: Oh, yeah.
[00:12:53] CHRIS: There’s something very valuable — sometimes you’re out there — sometimes you find yourself — and are you on roller skates or roller blades these days?
[00:13:03] CALLER: Roller skates, quads.
[00:13:04] CHRIS: Every once in a while, you find yourself going down a rabbit hole in life where you wind up with a helmet and some pads on on a pair of roller skates getting slammed into a track, but in those moments where there’s pain and there’s fear, I do find that in a very beautiful way your mind is all of a sudden — you’re not worried about politics, you’re not worried about job pressure, you’re not worried about family drama. You’re just worried about getting back up, and there’s something really Zen and simple and beautiful about that.
[00:13:44] CALLER: Yeah. That’s 100 percent true. That’s — I think you nailed it.
[00:13:49] CHRIS: You can’t sit here and worry about the world and all the theoretical things when you’ve got — when you’ve got some blocker — when you’ve got some blocker on the other team who’s made you the target, who’s made you the target and you know ‑‑ you know that — and right now, it’s like — and you know the rest of your afternoon is about to be like nature — like when you see nature footage of two elk fighting, locking their horns out in the — out in the savannah, out in the plains, and you know this is a battle that I’m going to wage for the next however long roller derby lasts.
[00:14:24] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s so much in the world to not want to think about right now, so it’s definitely a good place to be. It’s like a sanctuary. It’s like my favorite place, I think, probably right now in my life.
[00:14:40] CHRIS: Now, I don’t know where you’re located. I don’t need to, if you don’t want to share it. But I am aware that at least in New York roller derby is also surprisingly a big scene, and my understanding — and I might be wrong about this — is that there’s a number of marque teams and then people are constantly trying out to get on those, and there’s even sort of some minor leagues where you can go and cut your teeth.
[00:15:03] CALLER: Yeah. So I — the league that I play on is a little bit smaller. We’re trying to build. But yeah, in New York, they have the Gotham — the Gotham Girls Roller Derby, and they’re like huge. Like I follow them, and like I like religiously watch all of their videos that they post, and I know that they are very popular and like I know a lot of people ‑- it’s probably pretty hard to get on one of those teams. But yeah, I’m out in the west, so it’s — yeah. I mean, there are different leagues and like I said, the different rule sets, so some of the rule sets have bigger followings than others, but our league is like celebrating their ten years this year, so that’s exciting, so we’ve hopefully got some big plans coming up and a lot of fun stuff and to build our fan base and all sorts of stuff.
[00:15:52] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:15:52] CALLER: So I’m excited about it.
[00:15:56] CHRIS: That’s cool. That’s really cool.
[00:16:00] CALLER: Yeah. And nobody else has come on the show and talked about roller derby before.
[00:16:03] CHRIS: Oh, no.
[00:16:04] CALLER: I mean, I know it’s probably not a very big group, but I was like ‑- I was hoping I could be the first one, you know.
[00:16:09] CHRIS: I’m as shocked as you are. Look, we’re about 170 episodes in. I’m sitting here thinking — after episode four or five, I’m sitting here going, probably the next call is going to be about roller derby. And for —
[00:16:22] CALLER: I mean, I can’t believe it went this far.
[00:16:24] CHRIS: 160 episodes, I’m sitting here going, when the hell are we going to get around to a combination of a wholesome roller skating rink and outright violence? When are — how are we not tackling this issue yet?
[00:16:40] CALLER: Exactly. I can’t believe it took that long, I really can’t.
[00:16:42] CHRIS: Yeah. Now, listen, it’s really up to you. We could talk about roller derby all day, Lord knows, and it’s true, we can. I do want to ask, though. You’ve mentioned a couple times, you say you only have one friend, you’ve got some stress in your life. I am going to —
[00:16:58] CALLER: Yeah. I have a lot of confidence —
[00:17:00] CHRIS: You have a lot of confidence?
[00:17:02] CALLER: Yeah. I’m very confident in my life.
[00:17:05] CHRIS: But you also — oh, wait, are — now, this —
[00:17:09] CALLER: I was being sarcastic. Sorry.
[00:17:10] CHRIS: I was going to say —
[00:17:10] CALLER: I like to laugh through my pain.
[00:17:12] CHRIS: No. Yeah, I’m the same way. But I notice these are contradictory things. What’s going on? What’s going on with you?
[00:17:19] CALLER: You know, I just — life is hard sometimes.
[00:17:27] CHRIS: Ain’t that the truth.
[00:17:27] CALLER: And right now, I’m in one of those moments of my life where things just kind of suck. I’m relatively young. I’m under 30, you know, but I have — I think I started my life very quickly. Like I have three kids from the ages ten to six, so they’re not like babies. They’re older, you know.
[00:17:51] CHRIS: And you’re under 30?
[00:17:54] CALLER: I’m under 30, yeah. So —
[00:17:55] CHRIS: If you have a ten-year-old, does that mean you had your first child when you were under 20?
[00:17:59] CALLER: Yeah. I was 18.
[00:18:01] CHRIS: 18, wow. You really — yeah. So you came — you came out of the gate swinging.
[00:18:06] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. I really did. And they’re great. I love my kids. I’ve got three girls, so they’re wild and crazy, and in about three more years, I’m probably going to really hate my life, because they’ll all be like pre-teens and miserable and — I remember what I was like when I was 13, and I am not ready to get that payback. But I don’t know. What else? August is usually a pretty hard month for me, if we want to go from happy roller derby to sadness, because September is — I would have four kids, but my second daughter, another daughter because we don’t make boys, she was a stillborn at 34 weeks, so I mean, I know you just had your baby. Yeah. So you know how far along 34 weeks is, so —
[00:19:05] CHRIS: Yeah. I’m so sorry.
[00:19:08] CALLER: Yeah. It was probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever gone through in my life, and I think it was probably like the most pivotal moment in my life. Like I think I can pretty much pinpoint that to when a lot of things fell apart, probably.
[00:19:23] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:19:23] CALLER: Like before then, I probably had more friends and I think I was a lot more outgoing and happy and — not to say that I’m not happy now. It’s just — it changed -‑ it changed me a lot, you know.
[00:19:40] CHRIS: Yeah. I can’t —
[00:19:41] CALLER: Because when you’re that — yeah.
[00:19:43] CHRIS: I can’t imagine. I know that a pretty close member of my family had a — had a stillborn child, as well. And it was just indescribably sad, just a specific type of sadness. It’s very unique, that type of sadness.
[00:20:01] CALLER: It’s pretty awful, because it’s like you’re so far along. Like babies can be viable after 25 weeks, you know, so when you’re 34 weeks, like you could have like a happy, healthy baby, and just when you’re that far along and the baby passes away, it’s like you still have to go through all of the steps of burying a child, so like we had to have her cremated and we had like a memorial service, and so it’s like — it’s very — it’s very strange. I don’t know if strange is the right word, but I guess surreal to have to go through all that for, you know, a baby that never took a breath.
[00:20:43] CHRIS: Yeah. And I would imagine too 34 weeks also means you’ve set up a lot of the equipment, people have been giving you gifts and now —
[00:20:54] CALLER: Yeah. It was after — it was post baby shower. It was — it was rough. Yeah.
[00:21:00] CHRIS: I’m so sorry.
[00:21:05] CALLER: Yeah. It sucked.
[00:21:06] CHRIS: It’s also one of the great —
[00:21:13] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:21:13] CHRIS: I want to — I want to be very careful with how I phrase this and how I tread. I will say, fertility issues and issues surrounding situations like yours, it’s something ‑‑ it’s something that happens to so many people.
[00:21:36] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:21:37] CHRIS: And it’s one of the things that has a great taboo surrounding it still. It’s something that we don’t talk about and —
[00:21:44] CALLER: No. Definitely not.
[00:21:46] CHRIS: It means that when a situation like this happens you really get thrown into it as an individual, which is — which is such a shame, because it’s the taboo that creates that, because there’s not really — there’s so much support out there, but people are so quiet about things like this that it makes it very hard to find it.
[00:22:07] CALLER: Yeah. And it’s really weird the way that people react, obviously, because, I mean, nobody wants to be like — I was going to be very crass, but nobody wants to like — ask like, hey, are you doing after your baby died? You know, so people don’t want to talk about it, but it’s actually very therapeutic to talk about it, so like even now — this was — she’ll be — this would’ve been her ninth birthday in September, so I mean, it’s been — it’s been years, but it’s still freaking hard every single year, but whenever people like — or whenever I mention it, people are like, oh, okay. And I’m like, guys, it’s — we can talk about it, like I’ve been dealing with this for nine years, like it’s better to talk about it. Because, I mean, I feel like it sort of keeps her memory alive a little bit, even though she never truly existed, but like people are always like, oh, okay, well, thanks for bringing up the sadness. And I’m like, well, it’s — I mean, it’s part of my life. Like I would talk about my other three kids. Anytime, you could ask me about them. Like just because she’s not or never was truly living — well, she was living inside of me, but on the outside — you know, it’s not — people get weird about it.
[00:23:16] CHRIS: Right, right. Because it’s one of the — it’s one of the things in the world that everyone fundamentally knows there’s a chance it could happen to anyone.
[00:23:34] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:23:34] CHRIS: There’s nothing you can really do to avoid it. It’s just a — it’s just a really sad, tragic thing that sometimes happens, and those are the exact types of situations that people don’t want to face.
[00:23:50] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:23:51] CHRIS: And it makes you feel isolated, and it makes you feel like you’re on an island.
[00:23:54] CALLER: Yeah. For sure. Because then I don’t — I mean, I don’t really know anybody else — like I know people that have had like miscarriages and that sort of thing, but I’ve never like met anybody that had to go through the exact same thing as me. A couple years later, one of my childhood best friends, she lost a baby too, but it was to something different, so he was like born and he had a couple — they had like a couple hours with him. It was — it was like a birth defect type of thing. Yeah. So that was really rough too, but I mean, it was nice for us to kind of like — she lives in a different state now, but I felt like — I felt like maybe I knew what to say more than other people, because — especially when you’re young, people say the most terrible freaking — people say the most terrible things. Like it goes — like sometimes I would rather them not say anything to me, than tell me like, you’re still young, you can have more, or you know, it’s — maybe it just wasn’t to be. Like, okay, well, she was a baby, so probably not the best thing to say. Or because I already had my older daughter, people were like, well, at least you already had one daughter. Like, okay, that doesn’t make the fact that this baby died in my stomach any less hurtful or any better.
[00:25:06] CHRIS: Right.
[00:25:07] CALLER: People are terrible.
[00:25:08] CHRIS: Yeah. People are —
[00:25:09] CALLER: It’s a weird mix between wanting to talk about it and not wanting to talk about it because people say terrible things.
[00:25:15] CHRIS: Right. Someone going like, oh, it just wasn’t meant to be and you’re like, this is not like I applied for a job that I didn’t get.
[00:25:25] [AD BREAK]
[00:26:04] CHRIS: Oh, it just wasn’t meant to be and you’re like, this is not like I applied for a job that I didn’t get.
[00:26:10] CALLER: Yeah. Seriously.
[00:26:12] CHRIS: We’re talking about a life that you were starting to envision a lifetime with this person.
[00:26:26] CALLER: Yeah, yeah.
[00:26:27] CHRIS: That’s horrible. I can see — and that’s true trauma, that’s true trauma. It makes sense to me that nine years later you still feel it every time around the year that it went down.
[00:26:37] CALLER: Yeah. And it’s sort of weird, because when I got pregnant with her, me and my boyfriend, now husband, we’d only been together for like a very short amount of time, and it’s kind of weird to say this nine year laters — nine years later, but we never really had like — like at that time, we definitely were not in a place where we should’ve had a baby, especially because I already had a one-year-old that was not — she has — my oldest daughter has a different dad, but he like was out of the picture when I met my husband, so my husband like stepped in very early for my oldest daughter and has always pretty much been her dad. But we were kind of going through like a rough time when I found out I was pregnant, so it was a lot of like back and forth, and then, you know, after the baby passed away, then it was kind of like still a little tumultuous. And it’s kind of strange that it kind of foreshadowed the rest of my existence with him, but we’re still married. We got married five years ago. And I wouldn’t say it’s a great marriage, but you know, we’re getting by and currently dealing with something that I — again, I don’t know anybody that’s gone through it, so — yeah, I’m being very vague. I’m sorry.
[00:28:04] CHRIS: Yeah. I’ll leave that up to you. If you want to stay vague, if you want to get into it, I’m not going to — I’m not — I’m not twisting anybody’s arm. It’s up to you, whatever you want to say.
[00:28:15] CALLER: Yeah. I guess we could talk about it. It’s just like when you talk about like things that you know — you know, and like a lot of the people in my life, like my mom and my only friend, they like don’t — well, my best friend does not like my husband, and she’s never liked him, because he’s kind — he’s one of those like blunt assholes, you know, where he just says what he says all the time and he’s very unapologetic. And some people can agree with that, and other people don’t want anything to do with it. But he’s also very selfish, so recently — well, I guess we can go back a little bit more. We have like a weird relationship, to say the least. Like we’ve been married for five years, but like we never tell each other that we love each other, which is kind of strange, so it’s more like having like a roommate that it also a sexual partner that is also the father of my children, so it’s — I don’t know. It’s very — it’s very weird. And I’ve always known that he like had something bigger going on in his life. Like he would always leave in the middle of the night and I never knew where he was or — but then I also like am very stubborn myself, so I never asked him about it. And then recently, about two months ago, we were out, just kind of driving around, because we were getting dinner, and then he like had to pull over and he like told me that he had been arrested. And the worst part is that when he told me why he was arrested I wasn’t shocked by it. And my husband got arrested for solicitation of a prostitute, so it was — it was very, very strange. And everything in me knew that it was time for this to be over, but it still isn’t over, so it’s a very weird place that I’m at in my life where I know that my life is not good and I could do things to make it better, but I just can’t take that step to make it better.
[00:30:33] CHRIS: Wow. So you — when you say you can’t take that step, you mean — so just so sort out what you’re saying, when you said like you know it’s over but it’s not over, does this mean you’re in the process of making it over or you haven’t crossed that line yet?
[00:30:50] CALLER: Yeah. I think we’re in like a weird limbo. Like we haven’t crossed that line yet. Like every couple days like we’ll like — you know, where I just kind of get irritated or if he does something to like — just like remind me of why it should be over, then we’ll like get into an argument. And he’s like, well, if you want a divorce, then we should just get a divorce. Then I’ll be like, fine. And then like nothing else happens, and then like a couple — they’re kind of petty fights, is what it reminds me of, but it’s obviously more than petty, because it’s serious.
[00:31:22] CHRIS: There’s massive issues. Yeah. Can I just — before we go further, I just want to make sure — and this is a situation I don’t remember running into before during our conversations on the show. I want to make sure — and I don’t want to put you in your head. I just want to make sure, on my end, that, you know, should your husband hear this that it’s not going to create more headaches for you.
[00:31:51] CALLER: No. And I don’t think that he ever will hear it. He doesn’t listen to the podcast, and like I said, nobody knows — I don’t think anybody would listen to this and be like, oh, yeah, I know her.
[00:32:01] CHRIS: Okay. I’m just wanting to make sure you feel comfortable and safe.
[00:32:05] CALLER: But I mean — yeah. And he — I mean, he’s like told his closest friends about it, so they know, because, I mean, he like had to get a lawyer and he needed like letters of recommendation. And just yesterday, he found out that they’re actually dismissing the case, which is good, because he has a job where criminal charges could be really bad for him, but — so everything is going to be dismissed after, you know, $3,000 that we had to pay out to make everything go away, pretty much. But yeah, I don’t think anybody — I mean, I really don’t think anybody listening will be able to tell who I am, because I have not told anybody this story, except for my mom and my best friend. Those are the only two people that know, so — on my side.
[00:32:56] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:32:57] CALLER: Which is probably not good. I should probably talk to somebody about this, like professionally, but —
[00:33:01] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:33:02] CALLER: I’m getting there.
[00:33:03] CHRIS: Definitely, definitely. It also makes a lot more sense that you participate in a hobby where you get to fuck people up physically. Sorry Sally.
[00:33:11] CALLER: Oh, my God. It’s just so — yeah. It’s definitely, definitely helpful to make things a lot better.
[00:33:18] CHRIS: Certainly have some emotions that I’m sure you need to express. I guess I’ll just ask some of the — some of the questions, and if they’re — if they’re hard questions, tell me that you’re not ready to talk about it, okay?
[00:33:32] CALLER: Sure.
[00:33:33] CHRIS: So the big reason, the obvious one, is for the sake of the kids.
[00:33:43] CALLER: Yeah. Definitely.
[00:33:44] CHRIS: Outside of — outside of that, what are the reasons to stay with him? If you’re — if you’re — if you have one friend who has always been concerned about him, if you yourself say he’s an asshole in how he puts out his opinions, outside of the kids, what are the — what’s making you hang on to this one?
[00:34:05] CALLER: See, and that is where it’s hard for me, because other people have asked me this question and I don’t — I don’t have an answer for it, so — which is — which is why I know that I shouldn’t be here anymore, because, if anything, it’s just the familiarity. Like we’ve been together for so long. We’ve been through, you know, the birth of children, the loss of a kid. It’s just like — it’s just — it’s just what I know, you know, I think, and that’s the scariest part, because I don’t like change, so to drastically change my life like that is scary to me, but I think it is inevitable.
[00:34:47] CHRIS: Do you feel like — because your life at the age of 18 started involving kids and the responsibility of kids, do you feel like figuring out how to do that on your own, after you’ve never had to, is that super daunting? I would imagine it would be.
[00:35:07] CALLER: Yeah. I think it is, and I think — I mean, my kids are still young, but I think that they’re kind of old enough now where they — you know, they kind of assume a lot of their own responsibilities, so it’s not like — I don’t think it would be like as hard as maybe if I had like a baby or you know, something like that, but it’s — it is — it is a little daunting.
[00:35:33] CHRIS: Very hard for me right now, because you’re in the middle of this situation.
[00:35:39] CALLER: Yeah, yeah.
[00:35:39] CHRIS: It’s hard to offer opinions, because I certainly am not there and we’ve only known each other about half an hour.
[00:35:49] CALLER: Yeah. Feels like we’ve known each other forever, Chris.
[00:35:51] CHRIS: I’ll take it. I do feel like we clicked pretty quickly, I do think that.
[00:35:57] CALLER: But I’ve also listened to 130-some hours of your voice, so that could be why.
[00:36:03] CHRIS: I like that roller derby was your priority, by the way. I like that you were like, I better make sure we get roller derby on the record and then if I happen to also bring up the insane, tumultuous nature of my current situation, we’ll get to that, but first of all, let me talk about what a jammer is.
[00:36:19] CALLER: You’ve got to open the door. You know, you’ve got to step in with a friendly conversation.
[00:36:23] CHRIS: Listen, you’re trying to step up on behalf of the world and make sure we all know about the rules of different subsets of roller derby, and I appreciate that.
[00:36:32] CALLER: It’s very — it’s very important to me. You know, everyone should support their local roller derby. Just look it up. Go watch a bout. It’ll change your life.
[00:36:40] CHRIS: A bout.
[00:36:41] CALLER: If you’ve ever wanted to sign up for it, just do it. Like who cares? They teach you everything you need to know. My first day, I couldn’t even skate, and now, I’m freaking knocking people over.
[00:36:51] CHRIS: I love that. Okay. Listen, I do have to ask more questions about the real stuff going on, though. If we dive back into roller derby, people are going to hate me forever. Let me ask you — let me ask you — and again, again, all questions, last thing I’m trying to do is guide you, but I am very concerned. I’m very concerned, just human to human, with what you’re telling me about. Obviously, anybody would be. Let me ask you.
[00:37:18] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:37:19] CHRIS: Outside of, you know, the kids having stability, kids having both parents in their lives, do you feel — have you had discussions with your husband about his behavior and about if he has the ability to stop it? Because you say that this has been going on for years, which makes me think that this is some sort of addictive —
[00:37:37] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:37:38] CHRIS: — personality, which is a very hard thing to break without help, and I worry about you and I worry about your kids, if this is behavior that’s not going to stop, because that’s not healthy and it’s not safe and it might put you in danger in a number of ways.
[00:37:52] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. We’ve definitely — I mean, when we first talked about it, when he first told me everything he did, he has started going to counseling and he’s started going to like sort of group sessions, but when he kind of dropped the bomb on me, it was like — it was like the can opened, you know and everything just came spilling out, so like on top of — I mean, I guess we could just call it a sex addiction, because that seems like what it is, because it’s not like it was — the worst thing is like it’s not like it was lacking at home to be — you know, probably give you too much information, but just that he still felt like he needed to go out and find it elsewhere, but then it also opened like he would tell me like, okay, well, some of the nights I was gone I was also, you know, spending all of our money at a casino. So he also opened up kind of about how he felt he was like spiraling into a gambling addiction and — yeah, so he has — he has started getting help. But the thing that I always come back to, is that I don’t think that he would be getting help if he didn’t have to.
[00:38:51] CHRIS: Right.
[00:38:51] CALLER: Like he got caught and that’s why he’s trying to change, and had he not gotten caught, what would we — would we still be in the same cycle right now, you know?
[00:39:03] CHRIS: Right.
[00:39:04] CALLER: And it’s only been two months. You know, I think two months is an okay time to be on the right track before a relapse, you know, so I don’t — I mean, I don’t really know what the future holds or you know, what could happen next month or what could happen next week or when he could go backwards.
[00:39:25] CHRIS: Right. And I would have to imagine too, like you said, it’s a very good thing for his job situation and therefore for your family that he was able to find his way out of it, but there must be some concern then too of like, well, then in your gut do you feel like you got away with it and is that going to increase the likelihood that you might try to get away with it again?
[00:39:47] CALLER: Yeah. It definitely feels like he got away with it, because a lot of ‑‑ and a lot of the times he is like — he always tries to deflect. I don’t think he really takes responsibility for his actions, so like — I don’t want to say, you know, white male — but he kind of embodies it sometimes, which I tell — I tell him this all the time, because it’s like if he — you know, if he was somebody else, he might not have gotten away with it, or you know, if he wasn’t who he is — because he’s not — you know, we’re not like wealthy. We didn’t really like — you know, we’re not upper class or anything, but it could’ve been different if he was not him, and I do think that he — because of that he kind of felt like, well, I shouldn’t get in trouble for this because — I mean, look at everything that I can lose. But it’s like, okay, but you have to — like you did this. Like you went out and you did this. You made these decisions, so you should have to take responsibility for your actions. But that’s also a hard thing to say, because I feel like maybe I’m not even holding him — holding him accountable for his actions.
[00:40:56] CHRIS: Right, right. When you say you only have one friend — we’re laughing about it, but I’m becoming increasingly concerned. What led to that? Was it — was it the trauma of what happened nine years ago? Do you feel like your husband’s behavior and standoffishness has driven people out of your life? Are you just not a social person?
[00:41:21] CALLER: I think it’s — I think I’m definitely not a social person, because my friend, my one friend, we’ve been friends since the fifth grade, so she’s like really more like family than like a friend, but I mean, I’ve never really been a person that had like a lot of friends, even like when I was younger, and then, you know, I’ve had like a couple like different best friends, quote, unquote, throughout my life. My other like really, really close friend kind of betrayed me, so I mean, once her and I stopped being friends, I just kind of like — I think that she was probably like a connection to a lot of other people that I would talk to in my life, because I — from being friends with her, I, you know, became friends with other people or — yeah, I used to work in a restaurant, so like I had like work friends, but I’ve never really had like people that I would just like call up and hang out. Like I’ve never been like a really social person.
[00:42:24] CHRIS: And then I don’t want to — I don’t want to pry too much. Your friend who betrayed you, just on a hunch —
[00:42:30] CALLER: That was harsh. I’m sorry.
[00:42:32] CHRIS: No. It’s okay. I’m wondering, just following my gut instincts, did she betray you in any way involving her husband — your husband?
[00:42:40] CALLER: Not my husband, so that’s good. It was just — me and my — I’ve had a really fun life, Chris. My best friend that I had like throughout most of high school, we were really, really close and — because my like actual friend that I have now, since we were friends since fifth grade, you know, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs in our — in our life and we have gone like, you know, a couple months like not speaking to each other, especially when we were in high school or you know, when she found a different group of friends and I found a different group of friends and then we would like, you know, argue about it or — we were, you know, catting teenagers. That’s what teenagers do, I think. So I became really close with somebody else, and she was like my absolute go-to person, but then we just — I mean, I guess we did kind of start growing apart when I met my husband a long time ago, but then there was — everything in my life was ruined by men. There was another guy who was kind of like my first love type of like crush on him all throughout middle school and high school and we were like always together, but it never worked out. And then because I pick really great people, he went to prison for a couple of years, and then when he got out, I had met my husband. And then when he got out of prison, he started dating my other best friend, so we just stopped talking after that.
[00:44:12] CHRIS: Now, I’m just going to say something blunt, I am, I am. And you do, you laugh through your pain, but you also laugh sometimes to — because I do this too. You were saying — you said earlier in the call, I laugh to deal with the pain. But you also kind of laugh to deflect it, I’ve picked up on. That’s fine.
[00:44:30] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:44:30] CHRIS: I’m not judging it, but I do just want to say something. So there’s so many red flags, and clearly part of why you’re sticking with your husband is because you really have been dealt a hand where you don’t have much of a support system in life. It’s one thing for someone to say, oh, you’ve got to get out of there and you’ll find your community to help you get through it. But you don’t really have that community, so it’s —
[00:44:57] CALLER: Yeah. I think that’s true.
[00:44:57] CHRIS: — scarier. It feels like — much more like jumping off a cliff. All that being said, all that being said, my guess is that anyone listening who in some ways are a community, like a faceless community, but of people who are supportive human beings who listen to this show, my guess is that almost everyone hearing this would go, respectfully, even with all that being true and all of that being terrifying and all of that being unfair in many ways with some of the hands you’ve been dealt, even still grab your kids and get the fuck away from this guy. I bet that’s what most people are thinking. And again, it’s your decision, and I’m not — as an untrained human being who has a podcast that is ultimately entertainment, I’m not trying to butt in. My guess is that —
[00:45:52] CALLER: No. That’s okay. I understand.
[00:45:54] CHRIS: My guess is that most people’s instincts upon hearing this story would be, get out of there and figure it out once you do.
[00:46:06] [AD BREAK]
[00:46:37] CHRIS: My guess is that most people’s instincts upon hearing this story would be, get out of there and figure it out once you do.
[00:46:45] CALLER: I know. I know that’s what I need to do, and that’s — I think that’s the worst part, is that I know, you know.
[00:47:02] CHRIS: Yeah, yeah.
[00:47:06] CALLER: It just really sucks, it just really sucks to have to — I don’t want to say pull the trigger, because it’s very sensitive times, but to, you know, just make it happen, do it, just take the step and get out of there.
[00:47:21] CHRIS: Because where are you going to go? Who are you going to talk to about it? You don’t — you don’t have so much of that infrastructure in your life, and it makes it so daunting, but I will also say — and not to become like a bullshit motivational speaker, but just thinking truthfully, I mean, you have — you have your daughters. You have a ton of responsibility, but you also have a lot of years ahead of you. You’re still in your 20s.
[00:47:46] CALLER: Yeah, yeah.
[00:47:48] CHRIS: So even though it’s a daunting, uphill climb, just mathematically, you do have time to figure it out.
[00:47:56] CALLER: Yeah. I know that.
[00:47:58] CHRIS: And my guess is that the more time you burn the more you’re going to increase the amount of pressure in your life, as I would guess.
[00:48:14] CALLER: Yeah. And I think the longer that I — the longer I take to make the move, the harder it’s going to be. That’s for sure, because it’s — I mean, it kind of sucks, because it’s almost like — just like pretending like nothing happened, but I can’t — I can’t do that anymore. You know, it’s just — we come home, we play house, we, you know, do everything that we normally do, and it’s like nothing, but I just feel like shit all the time.
[00:48:45] CHRIS: Well, if you’re —
[00:48:47] CALLER: And that’s not — that’ s not a good feeling.
[00:48:48] CHRIS: I mean, that’s the thing. That’s where it’s tough for me, because it’s like, I would never presume — like there’s a big part of me in just my value system that goes, well, if you have a marriage and it’s fixable, you fight for it, you fight hard for it, but you’re describing a situation where you just said you feel like shit all the time and one of the first things you said is that your husband and you don’t ever say that you love each other. This doesn’t — it feels — it feels, at the minimum, sort of emotionally dangerous.
[00:49:27] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:49:48] CHRIS: And having been someone in my life — in my life, I have a pretty massive support system, and I have found a strong community, and I still am someone who historically has struggled massively with self-esteem issues, self-doubt, self‑confidence, and I have a pretty massive community, so I understand the feelings that you’re feeling and I can’t imagine doing it on my own. That being said, you deserve better. You just deserve better, and you can —
[00:50:00] CALLER: I know that I do. I know I do. It sucks. It sucks living this life, you know, and I know that I have everything I need to make it better. I just haven’t done it. Because it’s not — I mean, I don’t like financially depend on him. I don’t.
[00:50:31] CHRIS: You don’t.
[00:50:32] CALLER: You know, for all — for all — I don’t know. To put it plainly, I guess, I don’t — I don’t need him for anything.
[00:50:42] CHRIS: Oh, that’s good. I have to say, I made a little bit of an assumption, that with three — well, when you mentioned that he — when you said, oh, it’s really good that his job is going to be retained and mentioned having three kids, I think I fell into my head assuming that maybe he was the, quote, unquote, bread winner, and that’s a very misogynistic thought on my end, so you have the financial freedom.
[00:51:02] CALLER: That’s okay.
[00:51:03] CHRIS: That’s good. That’s good to hear.
[00:51:04] CALLER: No. I — he — I mean, recently, he started making more money, but I’ve always been like the bread winner in the house, just because I kind of advanced through my career very quickly. I’ve worked for, you know, the same company pretty much my whole life, and I’ve climbed the ladder, so I — you know, I manage a department, and I am — I make pretty good — I can support myself.
[00:51:28] CHRIS: So you’re telling me this guy never says he loves you, the way he treats people drives them out of — out of being able to connect with you, you have traditionally supported him financially more than he has you, and he’s been sneaking out at night for years to gamble your money away and sleep around, specifically in a situation that not only based on the health issues of what he might be bringing home to you, also between gambling and prostitution, the type of people he’s associating with, God forbid these people somehow wind up in your real life face to face.
[00:52:11] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:52:11] CHRIS: There’s true danger here. What is this guy giving you? What is this guy giving you?
[00:52:17] CALLER: A headache, I think a headache probably.
[00:52:23] CHRIS: You and I both laugh through the pain, but I’ve got to say, you nailed that. What is this guy giving you? A headache. But truthfully, truthfully, over the years, is — have you felt joy in this relationship? Have you felt like you’ve gotten something out of it, or is it more fell into this when I was young and it’s something and I have it and for the sake of the girls it should — it should perpetuate?
[00:52:50] CALLER: Yeah. I think that there are times — we definitely have our moments that are better than others, you know, where like I look at him and I’m just like, this is it, but I don’t know if they outweigh the moments that I look at him and think, what am I doing here?
[00:53:08] CHRIS: How long has that been going on for?
[00:53:11] CALLER: Probably longer than it should should be.
[00:53:15] CHRIS: Since before you got married or after that, after you locked it in?
[00:53:19] CALLER: Probably since after we were married.
[00:53:23] CHRIS: Yeah, yeah.
[00:53:26] CALLER: But then when I think back to it, I just kind of think sometimes that we probably should’ve never gotten married at all, because I didn’t — I mean, I didn’t think that we were going to get married, and then he kind of — he wanted to join the military, but we already had three kids, you know, so he didn’t want to join the military. And then he thought like, well, if he’s going to join the military, then maybe we should be married. And then I was like, I’m not marrying you just so that you can join the military. And then he proposed anyway, and then we got married, and he never joined the military, so that’s good, I guess — well, not good, but you know, I guess he didn’t do it just for that sole purpose, but it’s — we’ve always kind of had a rocky relationship for ten years, so a good ‑‑ a good amount of my adult life.
[00:54:18] CHRIS: This is a hard one, this is a hard one. But I’ll tell you something, just based on the handful of things you’ve told me about your life, I know a couple things about you, which is, one, you’re really strong, because if you can — if you can have a stillborn child and then still find it in yourself to have two more children after that, that requires a sense of bravery and a sense of strength that I don’t think I have in me, so you’re really strong. And you do roller derby, so that also means you’re fucking cool.
[00:55:10] CALLER: Thanks. Tell my kids that.
[00:55:12] CHRIS: But listen, you’re strong and you’re cool and you’re still young and you’ve got a whole life ahead of you, and I hope you — I hope you — I hope whichever way you go this husband issue, I hope — I hope in — you know, you say for ten years you’ve had it rocky with this guy, and I hope ten years from now you look back and go, you know what, that second ten years, that second decade, I went out and I — and I embraced myself and I lived a life that I deserved.
[00:55:42] CALLER: Yeah. I think it’s definitely time for that. It’s definitely time for me to live the life that I deserve and not live my life for anybody else, except for my kids, of course. I can’t just like throw them away, and my dogs. I know that you’re not a dog person, but —
[00:55:57] CHRIS: Yeah, no. To hell with your dogs. I’m not interested in hearing about your dogs. No. Of course. But there’s also something we said fundamentally that I’m sure you feel, as well, and as a very new father — I’m only four months in, so you know far better than I do, I would imagine. You’ve been through all sorts of emotions that I haven’t yet that I look forward to feeling in regards to my kid, but there’s also something to be said for, you know, living for your kids, of course, but one of the — I feel like one of the best things you can do for your kids is show them what it — show them what it is to carve out a life for yourself that you love. Show them what your priorities are. Show them the strength you have. It’s one of the best things you can do for them.
[00:56:44] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. And I definitely — I need to, because especially having three girls, you know, sometimes I just think like, this is not — me staying here is showing them that this is what’s okay and this is not — this is not what I want for them. I don’t want them to grow up and think like, oh, well, this is how my dad was to my mom, so this is the kind of man that I should find. You know, that’s — that weighs on the back of my mind — the front of my mind, all the time.
[00:57:13] CHRIS: And you’re part of roller derby, which I know enough about it to know that it is a extraordinarily feminist community, as well.
[00:57:21] CALLER: Yeah. For sure. Yeah. And I like to consider myself a feminist. Sometimes I think I might be a shitty feminist, but I try my best, you know. I think I’m definitely more supportive of other people than I am for myself.
[00:57:37] CHRIS: Do you — do you have a sense of what your daughters think about the pressure cooker that you’re in? Do they have a sense that it is a pressure cooker? Are you protecting them from realizing that? Have they sort of figured it out?
[00:57:49] CALLER: I try to protect them, but I think that kids are too perceptive. You know, I think that they — even if you don’t talk about the things that are going on, I think that they know. They’re just smart. They’re too smart, so yeah, I think that they can feel it.
[00:58:04] CHRIS: So they’re sensing — they’re sensing — they hear the warning bells in the back of their head?
[00:58:11] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. I think so, which sucks and makes me feel like a crappy parent, but —
[00:58:21] CHRIS: No way.
[00:58:22] CALLER: We could just — we could talk for a whole other hour about all the ways I feel like a crappy parent.
[00:58:25] CHRIS: Listen, I don’t know — I know very little about you, and I know that you’re clearly not a crappy parent.
[00:58:35] CALLER: Thanks. I try. I try my best.
[00:58:39] CHRIS: You’re dealing with a lot, and you’ve —
[00:58:40] CALLER: They drive me nuts.
[00:58:41] CHRIS: Of course. Of course, they do. My guy — my guy can’t even talk yet, and he drives me nuts.
[00:58:47] CALLER: But he’s so cute.
[00:58:49] CHRIS: Yeah.
[00:58:50] CALLER: I can’t even stand to look at his face he’s so cute. I saw his pictures on Instagram.
[00:58:55] CHRIS: My wife was — my wife — you’ll like this. My wife had like the stroller out by our car. We were parked on the street, and she was loading him into the car. And two teenage girls walked by. And one of them said, this is the baby I’ve been telling you about. Because apparently — she takes him to the park all the time, and apparently, local teens have said there’s a really cute baby about.
[00:59:22] CALLER: He is — he is a really cute baby. You did good.
[00:59:26] CHRIS: Yeah. He’s got dimples. He’s a good-looking guy. Sometimes people say he looks me, and I honestly find myself flattered. I’m like, wow, you think so? Because he’s pretty good looking, and I don’t know, I got real big teeth and a giant forehead. I don’t know, if I look like him, maybe I’m doing better than I thought. Anyway, it’s not about me, it’s about you and —
[00:59:44] CALLER: I agree with your wife, though. You’ve got to stop being so self‑deprecating.
[00:59:48] CHRIS: Yeah. It’s true. I mean, hey, listen, if — I have a feeling that if there’s anybody in the history of this show who’s called in to have a conversation who gets the ‑‑ wearing the mask of laughing and self-deprecating, it’s — you and I, I think, both know that feeling. Listen —
[01:00:05] CALLER: Yeah, yeah. We’re definitely on the same page.
[01:00:08] CHRIS: — you just — I feel like one of the most important things you said in the course of this show — and I don’t want to gloss over it — is — I’m not trying to be alarmist, I’m not trying to be sensationalistic, and I’m not trying to like freak you out. I just have to assume that if one of your daughters winds up in a marriage like the one you’re describing you’re going to be very concerned for them. True or false?
[01:00:34] CALLER: Yeah. I would be. I definitely would be.
[01:00:36] CHRIS: So if you — if you’d be that concerned for them, I would think that, just on a basic level, it’s fair to say you should be as concerned for yourself.
[01:00:47] CALLER: I agree, and I should be. I need to be.
[01:00:56] CHRIS: You deserve it. I bet — I bet — I bet — you know, it feels like you’d be walking out into this void where you don’t know what’s going to happen, because this is all you’ve known for a decade and because everything started moving in your life when you were still a teenager, but to hear that you’re someone who has had a career that has grown and that you’re out there putting people on their ass, this tells me some things about your attitude deep inside. When you get past all the jokes about having only one friend, it tells me who you are. And my guess is that you will find a community and you will find a much healthier love and that all those things that you’re scared might not happen can happen. And my guess is that they will happen much quicker than you think they’re going to.
[01:01:58] CALLER: I sure hope so. I hope so. And I hope that the greatest love I can find is, you know, the love within myself, because I think that’s probably the most important one.
[01:02:09] CHRIS: Yeah. And it sounds like — I mean, you’ve been very open about the fact that that maybe is something shaky that’s at the foundation of a lot of stuff, but —
[01:02:20] CALLER: Yeah.
[01:02:23] CHRIS: You deserve it. You’re cool. You’re funny. You’re funny, and you do roller derby. Like right there, you have a good — you made me laugh a bunch of times. You made me laugh when we were already way deep into a story that was horrifying. You’re a funny person with a cool hobby and a good career.
[01:02:43] CALLER: Thanks. Nobody else thinks I’m funny.
[01:02:46] CHRIS: Because you’re not telling them.
[01:02:46] CALLER: I think I’m funny, and that’s the most important thing.
[01:02:46] CHRIS: Because you’re probably not making jokes. You’re probably thinking ‑‑ you probably, every day, think jokes in your head that you don’t say out loud.
[01:02:56] CALLER: That’s so true. And I have so many good ones. I’ve got to get them out there.
[01:02:59] CHRIS: You say them out loud, you’re going to find these friends fast.
[01:03:04] CALLER: Yeah, yeah.
[01:03:05] CHRIS: You’ve got all these thoughts in your head that you’re telling me, and you’re not saying them in real life, and if you started saying them in real life, you would find the strength very quickly to head in the directions that you know you need to head.
[01:03:18] CALLER: Yeah. I definitely keep everything bottled up inside, just shoved in a back corner in my brain. That’s what I told my friend the other day, and then she told me she wouldn’t talk to me anymore because she got mad at me.
[01:03:32] CHRIS: Hey, listen, whatever you do, don’t push away the one friend, okay?
[01:03:37] CALLER: No. She’s not going anywhere. She knows that she’s in it for life.
[01:03:40] CHRIS: We need this friend.
[01:03:41] CALLER: She’s stuck with me. Yeah. And we work together too, so it’s just like, you know, we’ve been best friends since fifth grade and we work together, so she can’t get away from me, even though she wants to.
[01:03:47] CHRIS: She can’t, good. She’s trapped, good. You have her trapped. That’s good, that’s good.
[01:03:55] CALLER: She’s definitely trapped. Yeah.
[01:03:56] CHRIS: Yes. She has — you have her trapped in the same way your husband has up until now had you trapped. Yes. Good, good, good, good, good. I’m so sorry that I made that joke. Hey, we have —
[01:04:06] CALLER: It’s true, though and terrible.
[01:04:08] CHRIS: We have about 20 seconds left. You can tell I am — I am rooting for you hard. I am wishing nothing but the best for you, and I believe in your ability to find it yourself. I’ve wanted to ask since the beginning of the call. Do your daughters ever come and watch you do roller derby?
[01:04:26] CALLER: Yes. And they love it. They love it so much. They want to put on skates and do it too, and they will. They will very soon.
[01:04:32] CHRIS: And they love it because they know their mom is strong. That’s why they love it.
[01:04:36] CALLER: Yeah. I hope so.
[01:04:38] CHRIS: You are, you are. I really —
[01:04:41] CALLER: Okay. I have to ask you a quick question before we hang up, though, because I don’t think anybody has ever ask it. What is your —
[01:04:45] CHRIS: Jared had the mouse over the drop button. He had it over the —
[01:04:49] CALLER: What is your Hogwarts house?
[01:04:50] CHRIS: What is my — oh, God. You just opened a whole can of worms. You just — no, listen, you opened a whole can of worms. Listen, the entire — the entire Beautiful Anonymous community is about to get furious with me, because you’ve opened a can of worms. Do you want the real answer?
[01:05:09] CALLER: I want the real answer.
[01:05:10] CHRIS: I’ve never read one word of one Harry Potter book.
[01:05:14] CALLER: I knew that — [ring]
[01:05:22] CHRIS: Caller, thank you so much for calling. I really will think about you often, and I will send you every ounce of positive energy that I have. And I think I speak for everyone listening when we all say that we hope you wind up in a situation that you are happy with, where you feel protected, where you feel safe, where you feel loved, you love yourself, and where you feel free. These are all very important things that you deserve, and I think you’re right on the edge of going there, and I really, really, really hope it works out. Thank you for sharing your story. I know that one was not easy to put out there. Thank you to Jared O’Connell in the booth. Thank you to Shellshag for the music. I’m going on the road doing all sorts of stand-up dates, live Beautiful Anonymous tapings. ChrisGeth.com is where you can find out about all those. If you like the show, go to Apple Podcasts, rate, review, subscribe. It really helps the show when you do. Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll talk to you next time.
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:06:31] CHRIS: Next time on Beautiful Anonymous, our caller is dealing with a lot of pain, physical and emotional, but also has a lot of hope.
[01:06:40] CALLER: Well, basically, something happened in my brain and it just started working slightly differently and firing off pain signals that weren’t there, and it like takes over your entire life, and that’s just your brain like not doing what it’s supposed to be doing. It’s not injured. It’s just doing something different, and you just kind of realize how vulnerable you are as a pile of walking goop. Like it’s just — it’s weird.
[01:07:06] CHRIS: Did you say a pile of walking goop?
[01:07:09] CALLER: Yes. Well, that’s what we pretty much are, with some bones in there, you know.
[01:07:17] CHRIS: Those are the moments that I love the most in life and that I’ve learned about through this show. We’re talking about pain and the brain and the body and the symptoms, and then you say pile of walking goop and I can’t help but laugh.
[01:07:34] CHRIS: That’s next time on Beautiful Anonymous.
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