Hey everybody, before the podcast begins, just wanna do a quick trigger warning. We will talk about domestic violence and self-harm briefly.
Hey everyone, welcome to the Healing Everyday Podcast, stories and conversations to inspire you to be in the driver's seat of your life. Buckle up.
VICTOR: Hey everyone. Welcome to the Healing Everyday Podcast. My name is Victor.
DEANNA: And I'm Deanna.
VICTOR: Hello, Deanna.
DEANNA: This is wild. I'm so excited to video record our podcast.
VICTOR: Yeah, so this is our first, uh, attempt to actually, we've done this before, but we didn't actually post it. And what we're gonna be doing is, uh, recording our, our podcast and video format. We'll still have our podcasts and audio on Spotify and Apple, but we're also gonna post these videos in our blog section of our site. So you'll have a couple of places to actually, if you wanted to watch us, um,
DEANNA: Everything going? Yeah, I told everybody, I told everybody this morning that you'll have like three ways to view it now. You'll be able to do it like through Apple or Spotify, through just audio. Then our website, you'll be able to watch the video, but then there'll also be the transcript. So any type of way that you best soak up a podcast, we'll have it all there for you.
VICTOR: Yeah, and also too, we're kind of, uh, you know, uh, trying to figure out the format in terms of, you know, when we're talking, it'll be me on the screen and then obviously when Deanna talks, she'll be on the full screen. But we may change that up, um, as we move forward. Cuz I think as we get guests, which we're gonna be announcing soon, um, I don't mind the fact that we're all on the screen at the same time, but we'll see how it goes and we'll kind of, um, mess around with it and see what's best.
DEANNA: Yeah, I'm super excited. And we had just talked like, well, what are we actually going to talk about today? And, uh, I, there's always a million things for Victor and I to talk about. Uh, my mother-in-law teases me about the way Victor and I speak because of just how much we do talk about. And what I had talked about was, one of the things I'm working on in therapy, and I've, I brought it up kind of recently when I was on live, is this almost an inability to just sit down and rest and not, like, not stop going like work, which you guys know how much we love our work, but work and doing extracurriculars with my son, doing projects with my son, um, always feeling like I have to do something around the house and then there can come a point of burnout or just exhaustion. And it's, it's so hard not to stick with that because I've always used everything as a distraction so I don't have to sit by myself and sit with myself.
VICTOR: Yeah. And I think, I think we all kind of do that. Sometimes we, you know, you, you get busy and it keeps your mind off of things that maybe things that you do want to really address. And we kind of do things to, uh, cope with certain things in our lives. We, and it's not a bad thing I don't think overall because if you're doing something positive and, and you're with your family or you know, you're, I mean, maybe on one hand you are avoiding certain things, but you're, you are, you are, um, doing something at least fairly positive. Um, something for me that I've done since I've been in my twenties and it's been very on and off, um, has been meditating and in the last, uh, couple of weeks, it's so funny that you brought this up today. Um, I do have a tendency to say in my mind what I wanna do in terms of slowing down, but, um, I, I, I continue to move.
Um, I don't watch a lot of tv. However, lately I've gotten stuck on a show and I I've been watching it kind of crazy throughout the holiday season. But what I started to do is I started to dive into my meditation a little bit more. And I find it to be very fascinating. Um, even if it's 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and then at the high end I do 20 minutes. But it's really, you know, quieting the mind. Um, not, we don't get into this today, but we maybe have a whole session on it. But, um, it's not about, you know, freaking out if you think too much cuz it's kind of hard to turn off thoughts. I mean, but by relaxing and getting into a really quiet state and all that, um, is pretty powerful. And I think that is a great way to deal with the busyness of everyday life. You
DEANNA: Know, and you know what, I think we've talked about this on the podcast before, but there's been, we're at like over 30 episodes now, so, uh, I I couldn't tell you where it is, but you actually went and did something when you were very young. You went somewhere, right? And you did like a, like a meditative retreat, right?
VICTOR: Yeah, I, you know, when I was younger, we didn't have the internet, but a friend of mine gave me, um, a clip from a magazine or a newspaper and it was advertising, uh, you know, spending time, uh, meditating with the monks in, uh, Northern California. And that's, that's a bold thing to do. Um, and I was in my twenties and I said to myself, I, I made a decision that I'm gonna go and . It was very cool because I literally did something I had never done before. I got on a plane by myself. I flew out to, um, I believe it was Redding, California, where I actually, I had to get onto another plane, a smaller plane to go up to Mount Chasta, California to go to a, a Buddhist monastery. And it was very powerful. It was in the mountains, it was, it went from like 60 degrees to like 30 degrees cuz it was really, really cold.
I'll never forget that. And we literally, or I literally was in a room by myself and, uh, stayed by myself. And then during the day day we would meditate with the monks and they would have us do working meditation where we would work on like their mailings and things like that. But the whole idea is, is to just be in the present moment. And that's something else too, I think we don't do a lot of, and that's something I'm working on is where you are busy doing something, but you're just doing that. And so that's what it taught me, um, to just be in that moment to work on their mailings or, or I remember I was sweeping the floor and it just said, okay, well when you're doing that, just do that, focus on that. And then we actually did a type of meditation where we stared at a wall for I think it was 30 minutes, which I, that wasn't really for me. I like to close my eyes and get really quiet. Um, and then I also learned too , the side message there was you, you don't have to go somewhere else to find yourself cuz it's really, you can be in a room and and be just as powerful. I mean, it's great to go somewhere and to really enjoy that experience, but I realized I was going there to look for something. I didn't have to go anywhere. And that's what I learned From that.
DEANNA: Right. And that's actually so cool to go and experience something like that. And that's, that's what I've been working on in therapy now since 2015. Cuz I, I do cognitive behavioral therapy and it's, it's all about mindfulness and living in the present moment, being grounded. And when I first started therapy, we had, I was assigned to do exercises. And what I love about cognitive behavioral therapy, at least with my therapist, is that it's, it's almost like, like a class like you are teaching yourself and there's lots of room for my feelings and there's lots of room, but it's, it's living in the moment with those feelings. So like, I was given, like, Deanna, this is your homework, um, and the morning, spend five minutes and ground yourself, put your feet on the floor, you know, really sit, identify what's in your surroundings. And then after I started doing that and it became consistent, my therapist broke the news to me and said, Deanna, our goal is not for you to just sit down for five minutes in the morning or 10 minutes before bed, or 30 minutes during lunchtime and to be able to ground.
She goes, grounding should be a constant state of being and you should be grounded when you are angry, when you are in a presentation, when you are fighting with someone, when you are loving someone. She goes, it's the state to be in always. And I look back now and know the reason why she didn't tell me that in the beginning is because that is daunting. I mean, I have goosebumps just thinking about it right now. The thought of doing that and being present with myself all the time, you know, especially if we are taught that who we are is not good or lovable, it's terrifying to give yourself that time and space. Oh, I'm like emotional about it because it is such a powerful thing to sit in the moment with your feelings. And then I got into the trap of thinking, okay, grounding means that, that I'm calm means I'm, I'm calm, I'm fine. You can actually be incredibly grounded when you are angry. You know, it's, it's, it's not about being perfect with it, it's about being able to do it consistently. It's about being able to give yourself grace.
VICTOR: Talk talk more about that in terms of, okay, you're saying that if, you know, if you're in an angry state, you can still be grounded. What does that mean to you that you're, you're in the present moment with the anger?
DEANNA: Absolutely. So, okay, for instance, my, and I'm talking about my therapist so much, she's amazing. We love Margaret. So she talks to me about hearing your own voice because sometimes we get wrapped up in what we call a narrative. A narrative as in our projections onto other people. We think we know why they're doing what they're doing. We think, oh, they're doing this because they're mad at me. They could be bo do we have the facts of that? So when I become angry, there are times where I don't listen to my voice and I'm not grounded, meaning I'm not looking at it fact-based. So like, let's say for instance, um, I get into an argument with my husband, side note, he's amazing. Anyway, we argue, we get into back and forth. Now I could sit there and I could say, well, wait a minute, he's disagreeing with me because he thinks his line of thinking is better than mine.
He thinks that he is right in this specific parenting disagreement that we have when in reality, and we've had this discussion before, he's just never had an opportunity to look at it a different way. He doesn't think that he's right or better, it's just from his experience. So from a grounded state, I can get agitated with him and see, I don't like that he disagrees with me. I don't like that he's not seeing it from my point of view. And I can sit with those, know that my feelings are valid and what can I do with it? What's my behavior? Well, I can express, I'm feeling anger. I can express that this is how I see the situation. And then I can also give him the opportunity just like he gave me the opportunity to respond with his feelings and how he sees it as well. So I'm allowed to feel agitated and angry, but in that moment it's all about being fact-based. What are the facts, right? What are the facts?
VICTOR: Yeah. I I I also think too with, with that, I, I love what you just said, um, keeping in mind too that sometimes when we are in an angry state and there is a disagreement, there are people, and I, I have done this and I think it has a lot to do with being aware of the fact that this happened growing up. That, you know, when when my father used to yell at me, it was like he was my dad. And when he would yell at me, I, it would be like, it, it would be like a a an ending situation, meaning it wasn't like he would yell and then later on we would talk about it. It was like, this is the way it had to be. So it cut it off like it was like I lost, it was over. And I think as I've gotten older and when these kind of arguments come up with people that I care about, I think that they're not gonna gonna want to be around me anymore.
It's, it's very kind of a scary feeling. Yes. But what you're saying is know that, you know, things aren't always going to be happy go-lucky, although it's almost like you can know that going into something, being mindful of the fact that when you are getting into a place where you're starting to rev up, that you know that it's, it, if you can st like kind of be in front of it before it like really takes off a, it could help you to not blow up mm-hmm. and also know that it's okay to have these kinds of situations. Obviously you don't want 'em to go overboard, but you have you, it, it's okay to go through this because at the end of the day, the people that you're with, they love you. They want to be with you. It's not an uh, it's not an over situation, it's just you're, you're kind of getting through something to get to the next place,
DEANNA: Right? Yes. And I also think if you come from a trauma background, it is, it is very, very common for us to start seeing that our feelings are valid and we, we start to put up very strict boundaries, which is, I did that for, uh, quite a few years where I would notice something that made me feel that I would allow myself to feel a certain way, right? And I would immediately put up a hard boundary, which again, nothing wrong with that, but where I am now in my healing is I'm getting better with the gray area. It's not quite so black and white. There's gonna be times where I am angry and triggered or sad or scared and I just put up the boundary and I say, I can't talk about this right now. I can't talk about this right now. Whereas before, I would say, I can't talk about this at all.
And again, there's gray area, there are some things that I will not post a conversation about. Like, and I, this is just me being real with everybody. I would never, ever sit down with someone who says, think about how your parents feel, Deanna. Think about how, how, what they experience. I'm not trying to host that conversation that's triggering to me. Um, I don't wanna get in the mind of an abuser or, or someone say it wasn't that bad. Like, that's a boundary for me. I'm not gonna be invalidated. However, I can't sit down and I can talk about, again, some of those more gray areas of like, there were good things that my parents did, you know, there, I, I can acknowledge that now. Like them putting me in soccer or, um, spending that creative time with my dad, right? Whereas five years ago, pretty much, so before I had a son, um, I wouldn't be able to acknowledge any of the happy stuff because it's almost like the happy stuff was invalidating.
VICTOR: So let's say someone does ask you, let's see, you know, put yourself in your parents' place and what are they thinking? What are, and you don't want to, and I get that and I, I totally respect that, but are you at a point now where at one point would you have been mad at that person for even bringing up that question, thinking like, what are they taking their side? Blah, blah, blah. But you're at a point. Absolutely. You're at a point now where you're like, people can ask those questions. I'm not gonna take it personally, but you've put up a healthy boundary and you're not living there anymore.
DEANNA: Correct. Correct. So, um, and I think that's really important, especially in the work that we do. Victor is, um, pre-work with you. I didn't share my story. The way I share my story now with students, um, it would come up sometimes in like eighth grade, but, you know, we share our stories from developmentally, appropriately from third grade all the way through college, through adults who are working in the field and whatnot. Um, but yes, they're, if I was at the crisis center, and this never happened while I was working, but it did happen in my personal life where people would be like, well, cuz they just, they don't have the scope of understanding. They don't, they really can't understand how we went through this or how abusers do this. So they're really trying to understand. It's not always malicious, you know, right now, I would say, um, I don't take it personally.
I think some people, especially students, they, they just are trying to understand. And I would just say that I don't really know. I don't know why they did it that way. I really can't put myself in their shoes. And that's kind of where the conversation ends, you know? Um, but I do have students that will sometimes ask me, or even staff members, well, what if there's a person in your audience who has perpetrated, who has hurt someone else? And I say, well, I would get them help the same way I would anybody else. I wouldn't keep it a secret. I'm a mandated reporter in all aspects that includes victim and perpetrator. You know? So, um, yeah, I think it's important not to take something personally. And part of that is being
VICTOR: Right? And it's like, what's actually true? Mm-hmm. , like, we have to question those, those thoughts and, and those situations. For example, I, I've had kids many times, you know, middle school, high school, say not so much high school, but they'll say, can you talk about what he actually did to you? Hmm. , that's a very, uh, I wouldn't even say it's triggering necessarily, but it's, it's a boundary that I, I go, I, I, I know, first of all, it's a very, it's still uncomfortable to talk about what actually happened to me. It's very painful. It, it, I never even lead on to what it actually was that he did to me. And so the presentations, we, we, you know, we talk about, we were inappropriately touched, we were sexually abused. But it's a very simple little statement because at the end of the day, there, most my family and closest friends, nobody knows really what happened to me that day, and only a few people do.
And when I have shared it, it's, if I were to talk about it right now, I probably would be like, I'm kind of doing right now. It, it does bring back a lot of bad memories and it's very painful. So that's why my counselor, when I remember going to therapy after I came back and she said, Victor, you are here today. Um, you're here for a reason. And you never ever have to share what actually happened, because that is not what we're here to do. What we're here to do is talk about that, the fact that it did happen, and we wanna work through that. And that has stayed with me forever. And I think that's a boundary that is, it makes sense to me. And I don't even like, and, and that's interesting when kids ask me that, I, I say, that's a very valid question mm-hmm. , but I won't answer it. And let me tell you why. And I just set the boundary up and obviously teachers and everybody there, all the adults appreciate the fact because we're not there to talk about that
DEANNA: No, no. And I, um, so I get that question a lot too. Um, and, and it's typically like I would say sixth grade, seventh grade by eighth grade students are becoming a little more aware of questions that even for people that are very open like us, we, you don't really ask. Right? But that's why giving these students grace and understanding they've never been in a situation like this to ask these kinds of questions. Um, I I love to answer it in this way. So I will say same thing. I validate, thank you for asking your question, Victor and I never share explicit detail of what happened to us for a couple of reasons. Number one, it is very difficult to hear. Number two, no one should have to hear that in a presentation like this because it is incredibly uncomfortable and inappropriate. And finally, we don't want to, that's just a piece of it.
We don't want to. And so what I say to students is, um, when I say I was sexually abused by this family member, that means they checked or touched private body parts and they were not keeping me clean and healthy. That's as explicit as we get. And I think that that is very straightforward and very simple, and as you said, upholds that boundary. But I will say this, Victor, if we weren't grounded in presentations, I could see how we could immediately go, oh my gosh, I don't talk about that. I don't wanna share about that. Why would you even ask that? So in order to do our work, so in order to live life, oh! I just caught myself in something from therapy. So my therapist said, it's so funny, it just happened. My therapist said, I have a tendency to separate different aspects of my life and thinking my therapy skills are different in every aspect.
So I just said at work, right? So at work we do this, but at home we do this. It's all, it's all life. There is no work life, home life. Yes, we can have different boundaries, but the skills I use when we're on Zoom right now, the skills I use when I have a conversation with my husband or my son are the exact same skills I use at work. So that grounding, that piece of staying in the moment, we can use it in every aspect of our life. And it is super necessary when we do the work that we do in front of kids. Super necessary.
VICTOR: That's great. Yeah. I think so many times we compartmentalize where we're at. Like we're a certain way at work, we're a certain way at home, we're a certain way with our family and friends. And I catch myself all, all the time. And, and if I can, like, that's a great, that's a great lesson for all of us to hear.
DEANNA: I'm saying,
VICTOR: Yeah, when I'm, when I'm with my family at, at get togethers and for the holidays, cause we just had holiday, I can recall, like I am almost, I I am not as present as I could be because I'm still kind of going back to being that kid. Well, first of all, I'm the youngest in my whole family, so I'm still like that kid to them, but maybe I'm not to them anymore. But to me, in my head, I still think about growing up in my house where all this negativity was all this horrible, you know, my dad's alcoholism and all that. And there's still moments when I'm there thinking, oh, I have to be a certain way. I have to be a certain way. I have to make sure I'm talking to everybody. And what you're saying is you don't have to like think you're going to this place. You have to be a certain way or to that just because I know when I'm presenting, I'm at my best as Are you. I feel so good. I feel so confident. Um, I know what I'm doing is making a difference and I know I'm really good at it. That's what I've been. And I hope that doesn't come across as, as, as as, uh, arrogant. But I know
DEANNA: If anybody gets yes, if anybody gets the opportunity to see Victor present, you will see exactly what he's talking about. Um, I say that Victor like almost vibrates while he's presenting in a good way
VICTOR: Now. But now that I'm talking here I am like I'm getting so like I want to jump up and start moving around because it's what I really love to do. But what you're saying is that I can still, that that is who I am, right? And it's who I am when I'm at a family get together. But if I can start knowing that I don't have to be that eight year old, nine year old boy, when I go to a family get together, I don't have to be this amazing presenter when I'm at a school. I don't, I can just be me and just, just understand that it's about being grounded. It's about realizing like, it's almost like you have to practice it. Like I have to. You do. This is an opportunity for me. My next family get together. And this is a great lesson for all of you watching or listening, is that when you know how, how you can actually, you know, how do you want to be in this situation?
You can actually go through it in your mind. It's part of my meditation anyway. It's like, what do I wanna accomplish in my life? You gotta feel it now. You gotta create your future. You know, it, it's the unknown, but why not create it before it happens? So I could literally say, okay, I'm going into this family, get together, I'm going to be like, I always say I'm gonna be present, playful and powerful. I I can do that when I'm with my family. And, and then take that couple of minutes before going in and be conscious about it and see what happened.
DEANNA: See, and, and , I'm gonna say it, Victor, I'm gonna say it. I love that . I love that so much. Yes. And that's exactly what we're talking about is we don't have to have bits and pieces and to have a fragmented life, a fragmented being. And that's what I'm working on in therapy. And it's, I did this work five years ago and because new triggers emerged because healing is not linear, I went back because again, talking to my therapist, I can see how I started to fragment again just because of different life changes. And that's why we say healing every day because I don't know when those moments are going to happen, but I know I can ask for help. I know I can be open about it. I know that who I am when I'm in front of those kids is just as powerful when I'm sitting with Matt and Harry at the dinner table.
VICTOR: Yes. Yeah. It's just as possible.
And I'm telling everyone, and, and again, we are here, we're, we're, we're having epiphanies all the time. And when it happens, it's very exciting. I think I just had one. But you have to understand everybody, that in order to live an amazing life, you have to practice what you want. This is all about creating new habits in your life. Again, I use the example of working out and being healthy. You can't gain muscle, right? Unless you go to the gym and work out. You, you can think it, but you have to work it. You have to, you know, you gotta, you gotta lift those weights if that's what you want. I'm just using that example. You have to be mindful of that, you know? And something that I do, and I have it right here, is my journal. And I always say this, and this is a great, this is my way of creating a new habit in my life.
I try to set up every day, not try. I set up every day with success for success. And that is writing in here. What are my three things that I'm grateful for in the morning, every single day, right? Every single day I write three things that I'm grateful for. And then at the end of the day, no matter how difficult it might have been, how challenging it might have been, I always end with writing three. I call 'em victory laps, three victories for the day, three wins for the day, three highlights, caught whatever you want. Three things. Because again, there's been studies that if you go to bed at night and you're focusing on on good things, positive things, you're gonna sleep better. You're gonna get a, a deeper sleep. But if you're focusing on all the things that went wrong, a lot of times we're not gonna have good healthy sleep.
So before I go to bed, I write in my journal re highlights of the day. And, and again, I could have had a just a decent, just an okay day. But you're, you're always gonna be able to find something if you think about it. But that's why you gotta be intentional about it. You gotta think about it because there's always something. It could be like, I had a great conversation with my daughter today, right? It might have been mundane to everybody else, but to me it was very powerful. And if I think about it, I write it down because now it becomes one of my wins for the day. Make Sense?
DEANNA: Okay. So I am inspired Victor and my inspiration is gonna require you to do some work. So, I don't know, um, if it was brought up on my live today, um, someone said, Ooh, did I see you have new products? And I'm like, do we, we, so I'm like, I don't see any new shirts, I don't see anything. And so I'm looking at the, the website, um, two 12 victory lane.com and your digital prints are there, Victor's digital prints. So I'm going somewhere with this. I think we should totally have a digital download of what you just talked about of, um, three things we're grateful for, and then the three victory laps, or the three wins for the day as like a single printable sheet that people can, can download and things like that, where they can do that for themselves every day. Yeah, I think that would be really, really cool.
Yeah, I, I purchased, I purchased downloads from people on, um, Etsy before and um, like different things of like tracking water intake. And then I eventually, I just, you know, drew my own. So you could do it yourself, but we could have one that's like specifically for healing every day. And I think that's such a good idea. I really do. Um, or at least encouraging other people to try that out too. Like, like we've said before, there are some things that may work for us individually that don't work for other people, but you don't know if you don't try.
VICTOR: Right. Exactly. So, yeah, I, I, I think that this has been an incredible podcast study because I, I really think it's about really working on knowing that you don't have to be a different person in your mind at different parts of your life and different aspects at work. And you can be you and you can just keep focusing on what it is that you want to bring out into the world. And it's gonna require work. I'm telling you. I mean, you have to make a decision, right? I think decisions are very powerful, but until you act on those decisions, right? So I, I could say to myself, I'm gonna write three things down, or I'm gonna meditate every day and then I don't do it. You know, I'm not gonna beat myself up. I used to, but I'm not doing that anymore. There, there's days I don't write in my journal, like, I'm tired or I just blow it off, fine. But about 90% of the time I'm doing it and it's becoming a habit. And once it's a habit, it's like you, it's part of your life. It's part of your Right.
DEANNA: It's not perfection. It's consistency, right? Consistency in what works for you. Yeah. Consistency is what works for you. And I think that's awesome. And I think, I, I think this was a really awesome podcast as well, cuz just thinking about how when you grow up in trauma, any kind of trauma you get this warped sense of what reality is and who you are. So we feel like, like we have to put on a different persona or, or even if we we're not any different, when we go out, we feel like we're different because being with ourselves, and this is bringing this podcast full circle, being with yourself, slowing down, not distracting yourself is something that we were, we were taught not to do. We were taught that ourselves were unlovable or we had to be quiet when bad things were happening. We couldn't feel our feelings. So we put on a mask when we go out into the world. So nobody sees that eight year old boy. So nobody sees that 10 year old girl. Like we were taught to do that. And a part of our healing journeys and doing this every day is giving ourselves the opportunity to work on it. And I, and that's a, I love that. I, I love getting to do that for, for me and for the people that I care about.
VICTOR: That’s fantastic. I think that's a good place to, to stop for the day. Again, everyone, uh, we always say we are so grateful for everyone that's watching this now or listening. Um, please share this with your family and friends. Share the link, share the podcast, share the videos. Uh, two 12 victory lane.com has some great things that I have created over the years to, to help you, that have helped me to create out of my pain. If you wanna learn more about our, our curriculum and our programs for schools and our, just our overall talks for for adults as well, go to childhood victories.com and you can learn a bunch of things there. Um, what do you say, Deanna? What'd you think?
DEANNA: Uh, I think everybody is gonna be super excited to get to, um, cuz they, a lot of people see me all the time live and stuff, and I know why we have cause I'm so popular. Um, but to get to see you and, uh, I think it's, it's gonna be really awesome. Did you do your exit yet? Did you say your three things?
VICTOR: No, I did not. Did you?
DEANNA: Okay. You, you did that first and then me, and then you
VICTOR: . All right, sounds good. All right, everyone . This is like weird cuz it's on video. But everyone remember, be present, be playful, be powerful
DEANNA: And be happy. Be healthy. Be safe.
VICTOR: Bye everybody.
EXIT: To learn more about creating your story, visit animated survivors story.com and follow us on facebook.com/childhood victories or on Instagram at childhood victories.