Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast, where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott de Lucio, and now let’s get on with the show.
Hey everybody. Welcome back to Drive On. I’m your host Scott Deo, and today my guest is Bronwyn Schweiger. And Bronwyn may be the most evocative psychotherapist you’ve ever heard of. Uh, instead of fixing people’s messes, her goal is to elicit feelings that people are most ashamed to have, such as hatred and rage.
And she knows that even though feelings are invisible, they don’t evaporate, but they get stored away in our bodies until they get processed. Mm-hmm. Uh, so in this episode we’re gonna talk about how she helps other people process these emotions to break free of. Depression, anxiety, and, uh, series of other mental [00:01:00] health conditions.
So, uh, with that, w welcome to the show, Bronwyn. I’m glad to have you here.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Thank you, Scott. I’m glad to be
Scott DeLuzio: here. Yeah, absolutely. So for the listeners who maybe aren’t familiar with you, um, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yeah, so I am a, uh, marriage and family therapist, licensed marriage and family therapist.
Um, and. Goodness. Um, I just really love what I do, which is, uh, why I’m here to share it with more people than just the clients I have right now. Um, I have found that there are a lot of people who really want to do better and get better, uh, emotionally and internally and mentally. Uh, but a lot of therapists aren’t very good, and that’s been my personal experience, uh, as well over my lifetime.
A lot of therapists aren’t really good at what they do and don’t really know how to help most people, so, um, [00:02:00] that’s kinda my mission is twofold to help therapists to learn and then also to help people, maybe even to bypass the therapy process and get the help they need, um, and empower
Scott DeLuzio: them. Yeah, and that’s very true.
Uh, I’ve talked to many people who’ve. Gone to various therapists and, uh, they’ve just had a bad experience and kind of turned them off from the whole therapy process altogether, uh, because of one, maybe two bad experiences. And, uh, you know, if you, I, I’ve said this to other people before on the show, if you go to a therapist and it’s not, you’re not clicking with that person, they’re not working well with you, you just don’t feel like it’s, uh, being effective, whatever the treatment is, um, you know, you can always.
Asked to see another therapist. You can go find somebody who does work, work for you. And, um, you know, part of what I like to do with this show is just highlight alternative ways of thinking, alternative ways of, um, you know, going through therapy. Because sometimes the standard, um, you, [00:03:00] you know, treatments that people might go through that they, they try out.
It just doesn’t resonate with them. And so finding these alternatives, these little golden nuggets that are out there, uh, to me, I think is, is super important because, uh, the last thing we want people to do is just give up hope on whatever it is that they’re, they’re dealing with. And yeah. Um, you know, you know, keep, keep looking, keep searching and, and so talking to you today I think is gonna be especially helpful because we’ll be able to, um, kind of highlight how you let people, uh, lean into the.
Uh, emotions that they’re, they’re experiencing and, and how they can process those in a healthy way. And I, I think that’s kind of the core of what you do, right? Yeah.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting you used the word resonate, um, just now. Mm-hmm. And that’s a word I would definitely want to highlight. Um, it’s interesting cuz if you look in physics and you learn about resonation and what it is, [00:04:00] To a physicist ion is, is, you know, energy is stored in, in, um, within matter in vibrations and they have to meet a frequency that allows that resonance to, um, to dissipate.
And it’s called symp. I’m getting really into this, but it’s called sympathetic resonance, basically, where it’s like one tuning fork. Is carrying, uh, a vibration or an energy. And if another, another tuning fork, uh, picks up on the same frequency that’s called sympathetic resonance. And it allows both of those tuning forks to now vibrate along the same frequency.
And the energy from the first one is actually discharged. Um, and, and that first one’s energy is now. Free. It’s dissipated. And I, I really believe that happens with human beings, that we need other people who [00:05:00] resonate with us. Our feelings are kind of like that stored energy vibrating inside of us. Sure.
And what’s shareable is bearable. So when we put our feelings into words and we feel like someone. Validates us and hears us and believes us and understands us, and we feel understood, and we feel like we’re not alone in those feelings, that sympathetic residency and or resonance. And that sets us free.
Scott DeLuzio: does. Well, I want to get more into this in just a minute, but we’re gonna cut to a quick commercial break. Uh, and when we get back, we’ll talk more about this and, uh, we’ll talk about how, uh, how you help, uh, people. Express their deeply buried feelings and, and things along those lines and, and get them out and, uh, and, and share them in a, in a healthy way.
So stay tuned.
This message is from the US Department of [00:06:00] Veterans Affairs Veterans. Note the upcoming August 10th date to apply for PAC DAC benefits. The law expands benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and toxics while serving. If you apply before that date. And VA grants, your application VA will likely backdate your benefits to the date of the bill signing August 10th, 2022.
This means VA will pay you the amount you would have received from August 10th, 2022 to the date we grant your application. If you’re not ready to submit a claim, by then you can submit an intent to file and still receive the same effective date. Learn more at va.gov/pact.
So, uh, Bronwyn, uh, I want to talk a little bit now about the, [00:07:00] um, way that you help people get their emotions out, um, and get these. Feelings that maybe they suppress for so long. Get them out, like anger in the rage and, and all those things. And, and how do you work with them? To process these, these things.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yeah. So, um, the resonance that I just mentioned, um, is it needs to be shared. Um, but it also needs to, and it needs to be validated. Um, and a lot of us feel very ashamed of our feelings. We, we were taught growing up, maybe not explicitly with words, but we were taught it was shameful to feel. Hatred or anger or rage, those are bad, shameful feelings.
So, um, the first place I start is, you know, doing what I call psychoeducation. Letting people know that there’s no such thing as a good or [00:08:00] bad. Feeling. There’s no such thing as a right or wrong feeling. Feelings cannot be wrong. Um, they are illogical by nature. They’re not thoughts, they’re feelings, and they’re not voluntary.
They’re involuntary. So why are we judging them like they’re voluntary. They’re not actions. Our feelings are not actions. We can judge someone’s actions. We can hold ourselves accountable to a certain standard of actions. But not our feelings. Feelings. Just our feelings. And humans have the full spectrum of feelings we can feel.
I. And we do in fact feel love and hate often for the same person all at once if we’re honest. Um, you know, I work with mothers that have cute little babies and they’re like, I should be feeling more grateful. And I’m like, Why are you shitting on yourself right now? You’re, it’s okay to feel like your life just got stolen right out from under you.
I mean, that’s how all moms [00:09:00] feel. If we’re honest and all moms resent the hell out of their children, if we’re honest for a while, I mean, come on. That’s just human nature. Let’s stop judging our feelings and, and just know they’re valid. They’re there for a reason. Um, they’re not shameful to feel hatred, to feel rage.
It’s not shameful. It’s actually very human.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, it, it is. And, and it’s interesting because I never really thought about it until you just said this, but how you can have two polar opposite feelings for the same person at the same time. Um, where like a mother, like you just said, like a mother loves her child.
Um, but they could hate the fact that they’re waking up at two o’clock in the morning screaming, you know? Yeah. That they’re, they’re hungry or that they, you know, need a diaper change or they, they, they can feel all these, maybe not hatred, maybe that’s a little bit strong for that, but maybe they Resentment.
Resentment is, is certainly something that they might feel. Right, of course. [00:10:00] Yeah. And so, yeah, you can have those two different things and, and I suppose, The love is what gets ’em out of bed to go and take care of them. Right. It’s, you know, and they want to take care and make sure that they’re happy and healthy and, and.
Provided the best, uh, that they can get. Um, but at the same time, you can feel that resentment like, oh man, I really wish I could get back to bed, but you know, I gotta be up with this, this baby at this point. And you can come up with, you know, hundreds of examples of, of that type of thing where, um, you know, you have all these different emotions.
Um, but I guess, you know, for me, I think one of the things that I’ve noticed in my life and other people that I’ve talked to, Is that sometimes you’re just not in a good place to express whatever emotions it is that you might be having. And so you find a little closet somewhere deep down inside, and you shove it all in there [00:11:00] and you close the door and you lock it and you kind of forget about it for a little while, and then you maybe just forget about it all together and it, but it’s still there.
And you may have other things and you put more stuff in that closet, more stuff and more stuff. And eventually that closet can’t, the door’s not closing. Um, and it starts boiling over. Um, how do you deal with these, these kind of re repressed emotions, maybe, if that’s the right word? Um, the things that you’re just keeping deep down.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Well, I would say most of those emotions that you’re referring to are anger. Yes. Or some type of anger. Um, and, um, Yeah. So we do, we do sequester them or attempt to absolutely, we compartmentalize and we create all these defense mechanisms. And defense mechanisms can be like addiction, but they can also be any compulsive behavior hoarding, o c d, disordered eating or all compulsions.
Um, I have [00:12:00] clients who will just think about other people and feel empathy for others in an effort to distract them from their own feelings. So anything. Can be a defense mechanism. Right. Mechanism, um, anything and everything. Um, yeah. And that anger seeps out. It seeps out. We try to bottle it up and, and compartmentalize it, like you’re saying.
And it seeps out into things like self-harm where we. Internalize it onto ourselves. Depression, anxiety are just both internalized. Anger. They’re suppressed anger that ends up turning inward on us. Um, in fact, I would argue psychosis, mania, all of the mental health issues disorders are actually suppressed.
Anger that we take out on ourselves because we’re not. Feeling, um, legitimate or healthy or strong enough to direct it at the true source. [00:13:00] Now, the true source might be apparent if we’re honest. Um, for most people it is apparent and we’re afraid because one, we feel like. To uncompress, our anger would mean being violent and rageful and it would just, you know, be destructive.
Um, so that’s one reason. And two is we’re afraid to lose that person if that is apparent. And the minute I. We’ve experienced in our childhood, we’ve experienced their abandonment or their, um, threaten their threats of abandonment or rejection of us when we show any sign of, uh, displeasure with them.
Mm-hmm. So those are reasons we keep it under wraps. Um, and then we judge it and we feel shameful too. But, but as far as, um, You know, anger, I, I like to say that anger’s like fire. It can burn down a house when it’s outta control. Absolutely. It can annihilate when it’s out of control. But if you put fire in a fireplace where it’s [00:14:00] contained, it actually keeps the whole house warm and lit.
We don’t appreciate that as much today, living in our modern times with electricity. But there was a day where people could not live without a fire pit or a fireplace or a hearth. Um, And fire can destroy yes, but it can also purify. It can also purify and and refine. So fire in a healthy, contained place is essential for life.
Just like anger when it’s channeled in a healthy way is essential for our health. Um, I myself have struggled with very serious, um, depressive episodes in my life that were absolutely debilitating. And, uh, you know, I talk about this on my podcast. Looking back in retrospect, spec, I can see every single one of my depressive episodes began with me suppressing my anger.
Um, and it [00:15:00] just kind of making it, it just kind of sinks down into your body and it’s a way to dissociate really, from your anger, cuz I didn’t feel entitled to have my anger or to, or validated or safe to be angry or to assert myself really and have boundaries. I didn’t feel safe to do that. And that has caused me, it’s caused me a lot.
And I don’t want anyone else to have to go the
Scott DeLuzio: same route. No, absolutely. And, and I, I think, and correct me if I’m wrong here, I’m not a mental health expert myself, but, um, With people who are suffering from depression, they, they sometimes don’t experience a, a wide range of emotions. The, the highs, the lows, they, they’re, they’re kind of confined to somewhere in that middle ground.
Right. And so, um, maybe like you were saying earlier, it’s um, you know, sort of a defense mechanism. Um, but maybe it’s just because that tho those angry emotions or the, whatever the, the negative emotions are that, that they may have been. Feeling, uh, maybe were [00:16:00] so bad that they kind of just don’t want those to come back.
And so they, they are like, okay, well I’m gonna just stick to this nice, happy, safe zone here and, and not venture too far outside of that, I mean, is that kind of what, what’s happening with, with people with that?
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: I don’t know if it’s that conscious. Um, it might be in some cases with me. It certainly wasn’t with me.
I just didn’t feel entitled to be angry and I didn’t know how to assert for
Scott DeLuzio: myself. Interesting. Okay. Yeah, no, it was just a, as you were talking, it was just kind of a thought that came to me was like, you know, maybe this is just a. You know, a way of doing that. Maybe it’s conscious, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just a, you know, subconscious way of like, I didn’t like that, so let’s not go back down that road and, you know, that type of thing.
But, you know, who knows? It could be, you know, a wide, wide range of things. But, um, but yeah, I, you were talking about some of the consequences of keeping these things deep down and how they’re, they can boil over and, um, You know, turn into things like, you know, substance [00:17:00] abuse and other things like that, other coping mechanisms, which ultimately are more destructive than dealing with it in a healthy way, right?
Yes. Yeah. Yeah. It’s,
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: yeah, it leaks out that anger leaks out, whether it’s in self-harm like addiction, or it leaks out on the people who least deserve it in our lives. Right? We can all attest to that. Um, yeah, it, it leaks out. It leaks out when we’re driving our car’s down the freeway and we’re now.
Projecting all our anger onto that person who just cut us off, right? Um, it leaks out in, in lots and lots of
Scott DeLuzio: ways. And, and that’s a, a terrible place to be when you’re behind the wheel of literally a deadly weapon and you’re, you’re having no place else to let this anger or this rage, uh, vent out into, and you now are.
Uh, dealing with a roadway rage situation. And, you know, that’s where people get seriously injured. They get killed and you know, nobody, you know, with a, you [00:18:00] know, in a calm, cool, collected mind, nobody in their right mind is gonna say, yeah, I want that to happen. Like, let me go get behind the wheel and, and, you know, go run somebody off the road because that sounds like a great time.
Um, but we’re not thinking a hundred percent clearly when we’re in that situation, right.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yeah. Yeah. I mean I think when it comes to driving, well, I believe hu all humans need to feel powerful and if we don’t feel powerful in our lives, we will find that power in other ways. And I think a lot of people find the only power they have in accelerating their car.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, that’s true. Um, with that, that’s a good place to, uh, take a quick break. We’re gonna take another, uh, quick commercial break. Uh, when we get back, we’re gonna talk about, uh, sharing some of these traumatic experiences or things that may have happened in our lives and, and how that might help us in the healing process.
So stay tuned. Calling all passionate Patriots. The Patriot Box is a testament to our love for [00:19:00] this great nation. We call home Funded by veterans, they believe in celebrating the values that built America. Courage, imagination, and unrelenting determination. The Patriot box curates hand-selected boxes, packed with useful, fun and delightful American made products carefully chosen to honor our forefathers and embody the spirit of our nation.
Join Patriot Box’s community of compatriots and receive your very own patriot box. A treasured chest of proudly American made goods. Delivered right to your doorstep. Each box represents a celebration of American craftsmanship supporting local small businesses that embody the spirit of passionate entrepreneurs across the country.
But it doesn’t stop there. With every Patriot Box purchased, you’re also making a difference. A portion of the proceeds goes to support veteran charities honoring those who have served our country. Join them in embracing the pride of living in the greatest country on earth. Visit the link in our show notes to learn more and get your own patriot box delivered with pride.[00:20:00]
So, uh, Bronwyn, I wanna talk to you about getting the, uh, Traumatic experiences kind of off of our chest, taking ’em out of that closet that I was talking about, or the, um, you know, not letting that fireplace, uh, kind of spill over into the rest of the house. Um, there’s a lot of analogies that we could throw at this, but, um, how does externalizing it, getting this out off your chest, sharing these traumatic experiences, uh, talking to someone, you know, a mental health professional or maybe somebody else that maybe the anger might be directed towards, maybe that’s a another way to.
To look at it as well, how does this help in the healing process or, or in some cases, is it not helpful to talk to certain people, um, about
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: that? Oh, that’s a, that’s a good point. I, I would say it’s not helpful to talk to many people, unfortunately. So we were talking about resonance and people resonating with us, right.
And. Yeah. And you know, I think we can both attest [00:21:00] to, you know, a lot of people wanna talk us out of our feelings, right? So if I say, you know, I give the example, I was really going through a painful experience, um, a few years ago, and we had moved and I didn’t wanna move and I, we relocated. And, um, I saw an old friend and, um, I was, I started crying and I said, I miss it here so much.
And. And she tried to talk me out of it. She said, oh, don’t be silly. Now you have two homes. You know, and she just like, she, you know, her intentions were really good. Um, but she tried to talk me outta my feelings and what I needed in that moment, which, which was not of course helpful. Um, what I needed for her to say.
Was, yeah, Bronwyn, I can see why you would feel so sad. I can see how lonely it is to relocate, you know, midway through life and have to make all these new friends and you didn’t wanna do that. And I, I can see that. Um, so just something [00:22:00] like that, simple. Most people don’t know how to do because they don’t know how to do it.
They don’t know how powerful it is. They wanna talk us out of our feelings. They speak logic, which is a completely different part of our brain. It, our logic brain is, you know, our prefrontal cortex versus our limbic brain where our feelings are, we do it to our children. We say, don’t, don’t be silly. You should feel grateful right now.
Um, we tell them what to feel and we try to change feelings with logic. So yes, I would, I definitely think that a lot of trauma. Uh, a lot of people get, get re-traumatized by trying to find attunement, which is the word there that we’re looking for is attunement, um, where people don’t attune to us and they in fact make us feel more ashamed and more alone and more isolated.
Scott DeLuzio: That’s interesting when you talk about that, uh, that isolation, because then, then you. Um, I, I would think [00:23:00] that you would end up getting into this situation where you just don’t wanna talk to anybody about it because it’s, it’s like, okay, this one person isn’t going to, uh, resonate with me to go back to that word.
And, uh, it’s like, well then maybe there’s something wrong with me and nobody’s gonna resonate with me. Maybe I’m the one who, who has a problem. Maybe I’m the one who’s wrong. Or whatever the case may be. Whatever you tell yourself, um, that, that seems like kind of what you’re saying, right.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yeah, it is. Um, so, you know, if it was really hard for me to come forward and open up and share this experience with one person and that one person invalidates my feelings.
Yeah. Now on top of my trauma I’m feeling. Completely invalidated and like, I’m not allowed or entitled to have these feelings. And so now I’m angry and I’m feeling angry at myself, and I’m feeling angry at the world, and I have just lost whatever trust that I might have had with this person and maybe a lot of [00:24:00] people.
Scott DeLuzio: Right. And that’s a, that’s a bad place to be you. You don’t want to be in that place where you don’t have those people. So, For, let’s maybe kind of flip the script here. Not necessarily for the person who’s dealing with the, the anger or the, the sadness or the whatever the emotions are that they’re dealing with.
But for on the other side, um, you know, you come to me and I, and you’re telling me that you’re, you’re upset about this move and you don’t want to move. And I’m telling you, oh, you know, now you have two places to live and, you know, to or to call home and, um, you know, all this kind of stuff. And what would be the.
You know, a better way to handle these things in, in kind of a more general term, so that way, you know, when we’re, we’re dealing with people who are struggling with their emotions, how do we help them? How, how can we talk to them and, and kind of guide them in the right direction?
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yes. Well, the first is that the, the [00:25:00] power of validation is the power that we have.
And listening, deep listening. Deep listening means listening and then like hearing, and then putting yourself in that person’s shoes and feel what you think they’re feeling, even if they haven’t said that feeling. So for example, Scott, if you were to, you know, be opening up with me, I would reflect back and say, wow, you.
I’m wondering if you just feel so alone and ashamed when you tell me that. Right? And maybe you haven’t used those words alone and ashamed, but I’m imagining because that’s what empathy is. Empathy is putting myself in your shoes when you’re telling me something and leaving myself and feeling what I think you’re feeling.
And then I’m naming those feelings. And now when, when you hear me name those feelings, That you feel alone and ashamed. It gives you permission to have those feelings, and you’re having those feelings and you’re not [00:26:00] alone in those feelings anymore. What? Shareable is bearable. You’re feeling the resonance with me.
I’m on your frequency. The empathy is the frequency. So the empathy is that frequency between the two of us. Those feelings. Now, you’re not alone in them. And, and then I say, yeah, I don’t blame you for feeling those feelings, Scott. I, I, I think anyone would feel that way.
Scott DeLuzio: Now what if there’s a situation where you actually don’t agree with that situation and you know, where, where it’s like, well, I kind of do blame you for feeling that way, like, You seem kinda uhhuh, like you’re blowing this out of proportion.
Like why, why are you making such a big deal out of this? Um, and you, you maybe you can’t see their side. Is it best to, I, I don’t know. Is it better to lie to them and just kind of validate what they’re feeling or, or maybe just kind of work your way out of the conversation? Um, that’s
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: a good question. So there are people, [00:27:00] Um, there are many people, unfortunately, who just wanna vent and play victim their whole lives.
They, they’re always the innocent victim and everyone else is the aggressor and they’re just the victim of their situation. And if you have someone like that in your life and you have allowed them to vent to you over and over, you’re enabling that. You’re legitimizing it. So, I mean, I hear that there are people like that.
If, but if this person is not one of those people to your knowledge, then there’s nothing to disagree on because feelings aren’t something you agree or disagree on, you just validate. You just say you just in your mind that empathy is saying, you know, even though I wouldn’t feel that way in that situation they did and it might be way worse than I’m even imagining.
It probably is way worse than I’m imagining and I can’t relate, but I can. Empathize and I can be a good listener and I can give them their feelings and then I can ask really good questions like, [00:28:00] tell me more about how you felt
Scott DeLuzio: right then. Right. Yeah, no, and that’s a good point. And I hadn’t thought about that cuz you did say this earlier, that that.
Feelings aren’t, uh, there. There’s no good or bad feelings that there’s no right or wrong feelings. Like you feel the way you feel because you feel that like it just is. Um, and so, yeah, it’s not like you can disagree, like, no, you shouldn’t be sad for whatever reason, or you shouldn’t be angry or, Yeah, you, you are, you, you just are.
And so, um, yeah, it’s, I guess when you think of it that way, it’s, it’s a lot easier to validate those emotions and allow that person to feel the way that they feel, um, and, and help them kind of process through that right. Now one other thing that I want to talk about and, um, we’re getting close up to a break here, so we may, may, uh, start it here and, and kind of continue after the break.
But, um, when. This podcast is largely focused on military [00:29:00] veterans or families, um, service members, things like that. Um, and a lot of times, myself included service members, we are really good at shoving those things down, those, those negative emotions. Mm-hmm. And we wanna, we don’t wanna, uh, you know, deal with them right now, so we’re gonna just file ’em away and we’ll deal with them later.
Um, but then that ends up. Seeping out into anger issues. Maybe you bring those anger issues home, you’re. You know, yelling at your spouse or your kids or, you know, whatever, and you’re just unleashing at, at them. And you kind of alluded to this earlier, how, um, how this is something that, um, you know, you tend to pick on a target that doesn’t necessarily deserve it.
Um, you know, what kind of advice or guidance, uh, might you have for military veterans who might be experiencing some of these anger, uh, related issues but don’t really know how to address them?
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yeah. Um, [00:30:00] so I like to tell people that anger is a natural consequence of when any, when the real deviates from the ideal.
And that’s pretty much like 23 hours a day every day. Okay. So how are you gonna go through life and say, I’m not, like, I hear people say, oh, I’m not an angry person. I’m like, You’re a breathing person and therefore, yes, you’re an angry person. We all have anger. That is a natural human phenomenon. What scares me isn’t the people who are in touch with their anger.
It’s the people who are dissociating from it. Um, so yeah, whenever the real and the ideal deviate, there’s gonna be anger. So we need to know that that is valid. That is not a shameful thing. That doesn’t make you, unlike other humans, if we’re honest, we’re all struggling with anger all the time.
Scott DeLuzio: That is such an interesting way to put it, where the real and the ideal deviate, [00:31:00] uh, I ne I don’t think I’ve ever thought of it that way or.
Had it even presented to me in, in that way, uh, before, but I’m thinking back to all the times that I, you know, big times that I’ve been angry at things that have happened. Um, yeah, definitely the reality was definitely not ideal. Yeah. Uh, the, definitely not the way I had envisioned it. Things did not go as planned.
Uh, and that Right. That created a lot of anger. Um, and sometimes I did exactly what I was saying before I, I prompted this question, is I just kind of stuffed that stuff down and ended up dealing with it later in a lot less than healthy ways than, than I, I probably should have, you know, and, and sometimes it’s not a necessity where you, you can’t necessarily deal with it right now because there’s something else happening right now and, and you have to, uh, you do have to file it away for a little bit and then you can maybe, Come back to it.
But, um, yeah, it’s, it’s definitely, uh, [00:32:00] that’s an interesting way to put it. I wanna talk more about this after the break, but we’re gonna take another quick break. Uh, so stay tuned. The hero company is more than just a brand. It’s a force of change. As a veteran owned and operated company, they stand shoulder to shoulder with our brave servicemen and women.
Their mission is to help provide service dogs for veterans suffering from ptsd, all at zero cost to them. Every purchase you make from the hero company helps fund this crucial initiative. They offer a wide range of products including jewelry, apparel, key chains, stickers and decals, dog collars, and everyday carry items.
It’s a chance to wear your support and make a tangible difference. To date, the hero company has raised over 1.2 million, but their fight continues. Their goal is to raise 10 million to ensure veterans in need, receive the service and companion animals that can change their lives. By buying from the hero company, you’re not just making a purchase, you’re intentionally being a hero.
For our heroes who need our help now join the mission. Visit this episode show [00:33:00] notes or the hero company.co/drive on to shop and support our veterans. Together we can make a heroic impact and honor those who fought for us. So Bronwyn before the break. Um. We were talking about how anger is basically equal to, uh, a situation where, uh, the real and the ideal deviate from each other.
Um, and to me that that is just a eye-opening way of looking at things, um, personally because it, it is really, um, Very true in my life. Uh, and I’m sure a lot of the listeners who are thinking about this right now, uh, probably are like, oh my gosh. Yeah. It’s really just a disconnect from that ideal situation, you know?
And, uh, uh, you know, ideally we could drive down the highway and there’s not gonna be any traffic. Um mm-hmm. You know, especially when we’re late. Right. And, uh, yeah, when we’re, when we’re, we’re running a little bit late, ideally there’d be [00:34:00] nothing. We could just fly down the highway and we’d be, we’d be golden.
Um, but you get on the highway and there’s a traffic jam or there’s a, you know, a construction or, or something that’s causing it to you get that, that little bit of boiling going on inside of you. And, you know, there’s, there’s things like that that happen, right? And, um, yeah, like it’s just a matter of, you know, how and when do we process these things?
Some, some little inconveniences, um, you know, from the, that little bit of a deviation. Um, I’d imagine we could probably deal with them on the spot, but some of these, these bigger things, um, you know, the loss of a loved one or, you know, things like that. Um, they, they’re gonna take a little bit of time.
They’re, they’re not gonna just, you know, snap your fingers and they’re, they’re, you know, good to go. So, you know, what are, what are the best ways that we can identify, you know, things that we need to work on right now, or things that we can. Uh, maybe put off and work with somebody, [00:35:00] uh, a little bit later.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Well, I would say, you know, getting back to just, you know, the level of anger. So we talked a little bit before about trauma, PTs d um, you know, what I have found is it’s not the situation that causes it. Um, it is the suppressed anger from feeling betrayed. So, That causes ptsd, it’s betrayal. So it could be that we have betrayed ourself.
Okay. Or that someone that we trusted betrayed us. So if we’re, you know, you’re saying we’re driving down the freeway and we get angry at the traffic, that’s not a betrayal. It’s the people, it’s the betrayals that really cause the trauma. Um, and once we are able to again, put our anger into words, At the true source of the betrayal, um, and feel [00:36:00] heard and validated, that is kind of the key there.
Um, so I actually, years ago I was on a plane for work and I sat next to a vet who was very intoxicated. I think even before we got off the ground, um, he was flying back to some kind of, uh, reunion. Um, back east with guys he had been in the military with. Um, and he just started crying at one point, telling me how he was, I forget what his position was, but he basically felt he had failed those under him who died under his watch.
Mm-hmm. Like, he could prevent it. Okay. It’s not rational, of course he couldn’t, but he felt like he had betrayed himself. So his trauma, his pt, ptsd. Was feeling angry at himself because that’s what that is, that that regret is anger at ourselves and [00:37:00] he couldn’t forgive himself. Um, but a lot of times our trauma comes from someone else betraying us.
So it’s the trauma within the trauma. It’s um, you know, that we trusted someone to be there for us and they weren’t. That is the ultimate trauma.
Scott DeLuzio: So it’s a betrayal, uh, right. That that’s kind of what what you’re feeling is, uh, that that person who, uh, either you, you trusted or you know, was in a position of authority, you know, someone who Yes.
Might maybe outrank you and, uh, they were in charge of you and they didn’t execute their job the way they, they should have, and it mm-hmm. Caused something, uh, bad to happen to you or somebody you. You, you know, and, uh, yeah, you have a, that, that sort of betrayal, uh, that, that goes on and, and, um, it’s traumatic when you have that, that person that you, you trust and then they break that trust, right?[00:38:00]
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yeah. Um, you know, I, when I first started out as a therapist, as an intern, I had a young woman who had PTs d from childbirth, and I found out very quickly that her PTs d from her childbirth was basically anger, suppressed anger at the nurse. Who kind of usurped this woman’s agency from her that ended up harming her and hurting her and hurting the delivery and the process of the birth.
Um, so yeah, it could be it. It is oftentimes at medical professionals. It can be, you know, in the military at someone in authority. It’s, a lot of it is at authority, but it can also be at her parents. Mm-hmm. That’s a big one cuz they’re both. People we trust or should be. And, uh, they’re also people in authority.
And we often project those same betrayals onto other people if we haven’t processed the betrayals by our own parents, especially people in authority.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that, that’s interesting. You, you ju you the way you put that because, um, you know, [00:39:00] you always hear people talking about how they, they have, you know, childhood issues and, you know, oftentimes that comes from their parents.
And, um, you know, I. Those, those parents that you, you have growing up, um, are the first authority figures that you really have in your life. Those, those people who are, you know, quote unquote in charge of whatever is going on. Uh, and then later on in life, you, you. Gain more authority figures in your life.
And so, um, you know, you get a job and you have a boss or you know, you’re in the military and you have people who outrank you and, you know, all these things. There’s, there’s people who are in authority and it seems like the more people there are, the more chances are that there’s gonna be some sort of that betrayal.
Cause nobody’s perfect. Um, there’s, people are, are going to make mistakes. They’re going to, uh, have these little slipups, uh, here and there and, um, you know, sometimes those slipups could. Have devastating consequences and that, [00:40:00] you know, uh, you know, a little thing you can, you maybe can, you know, forgive and forget.
Um, but, but bigger things are gonna have a much more, uh, you know, lasting impact on you. Um, now I, I’m curious, um, you know, how do we take the. Things that we talked about here, the, you know, trying to get this validation, um, uh, you know, listen, having somebody to listen to us. Um, you know, I, I, I think everybody wants that.
Everyone wants their, their feelings to be validated. They want, want to have somebody who listens and puts themselves in our shoes. Um, we may not always have that person. Readily available, um, to us. Um, you know, how do we seek that out in, in people, you know, when, when you’re making friends with people, when you’re looking for, uh, you know, [00:41:00] uh, a spouse or, or, you know, other people that you’re, you’re hanging out with or, or whatever the case may be.
Yeah. Um, are there any kind of cues, like social cues like this, this person. Is a good person I can come and, and talk to as a friend, you know, that type of thing. Yeah. You know, is there there anything like that that we can kind of key into that, that will kind of help us out down the line? Yeah,
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: that’s a really good question.
Um, not everyone is a safe person, and honestly, the older I get, The more, I think there are, there’s a smaller percentage of people who are safe people in my mind, um, honestly. Um, so a safe person is someone who, who listens, who really listens what I call deep listening. Again, without judgment. Without the need to fix or give their unsolicited advice all the time.
Sorry, all men by the
Scott DeLuzio: way. Yeah, I was [00:42:00] gonna say guilty.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yeah. I’m married to one of you, so, uh, I understand. So I’m, my husband and I are working on this. Um, so yeah, just listening, um, and. Listening, you know, with empathy, with concern, um, without shaming us or humiliating us or ridiculing us or any of those things.
Um, but I think first and foremost, we need to be that person for ourselves. Because what happens when we go through trauma, which we all do, all of us, um, is we abandon ourselves, right? We abandon us, we betray ourselves. And um, so my work as a therapist is to help people come back to themselves and change their relationship to themselves instead of hating on themselves, instead of taking out their anger on themselves, um, trusting themselves.
[00:43:00] And, um, and that means having empathy for themselves. Um, So the more that I’m able to do that for myself, then I meet a new person. Let’s say, you know, at uh, work, I can listen to my gut. I can check in with my intuition, I can listen to my feelings because I’m learning to trust myself and how that person makes me feel.
And I can go, Hmm, I think this might be a safe person. And I can trust myself.
Scott DeLuzio: And that goes back to that concept of the, the resonating that you were talking about before. If, if you’re vibrating at a certain frequency right, and that other person is, is matching up with you, uh, you’re going to click a little bit easier that way.
Right? I, I think that’s kind of what you’re getting at there. Um, but yeah, it, it all comes back to, I think, um, kind of [00:44:00] knowing ourselves how we talk to ourselves. We all have that. That inner voice. I actually, I, I think not everybody has that inner voice, which I, I heard this like a while ago, a little while ago, that not everybody has that little voice in the back of their head that like, kind of talks to ’em and everything.
That kind of blew my mind that like, I just thought that was a thing that, that’s just always there. Um, but, uh, you know, if you have that inner voice, it’s like, how is it talking to you? Is it, is it a jerk to you? Is it, is it nice to you? Is it, um, you know, What is it doing? What is it saying? How is it making you feel?
Um, and that, that voice, um, Will, will help you to, to kind of process some of these things. Like you were saying, you know, you want to have, uh, someone there too can validate your feelings and, uh, really listen and understand and, and be empathetic. And if you have that voice that’s just kind of nagging you and, and putting yourself down and all this kinda stuff, you’re, you’re not doing that with yourself.
And so it, [00:45:00] it makes it harder for you to be able to find that in other people, I would think. Mm-hmm. Right.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: Yeah. Yeah. So, um, you don’t wanna, if you have spent time with someone and then afterwards you’re kind of second guessing yourself. Mm-hmm. That’s a really, that’s a red flag.
Scott DeLuzio: Ah, okay. Yeah. Yeah.
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: That’s a red flag.
So pay attention to. I don’t wanna sound new agey or whatever, cause I’m not. But your inner wisdom, like we do really have, we all are born into the world with a conscience, with an intuition, with curiosity, with um, with empathy, with our feelings. And we need to pay attention to that. We can’t just be all up in our heads.
Um, that’s not gonna serve us or anyone else. So paying attention to how that person makes us feel. Now some people. Are gonna make us feel elated because they’re playing a little game where they want to make us to love Bombas or make us feel, you know, a certain way. And it’s, it’s part of their strategy.[00:46:00]
Um, and if we’re feeling like elated, that’s, that’s also a red flag. So we wanna feel, when we walk away from spending time with a friend or a potential partner, we wanna kind of feel just like, um, peace, peaceful, kind of like content. Um, Yeah, just like that person resonated with us. Like we wanna feel very at home.
I would say we wanna feel at home, but again, if we have a good relationship with ourselves, this is gonna come much faster and more naturally. If we don’t have a good relationship with ourselves. Someone who’s a complete narcissist might make me feel very at home because I grew up with a father who is a narcissist, so it feels very familiar and I feel very at home with this person.
Ah, Right? Sure. So it really comes back to our relationship with ourselves being a healthy one
Scott DeLuzio: first, and yeah, and understanding our, our own selves and our backgrounds and, and that type of thing. And what’s gonna make me feel at home. And like you said, [00:47:00] like getting into that relationship with that narcissist is probably not going to be, uh, a great thing down the line.
Um, it may make you feel like you’re at home, um, but you know, at, at home could be, you know, uh, with, with an abusive. Uh, person. And that’s obviously not a good thing to be either. And so, yeah, you don’t you want any of that? Uh, we’re gonna cut to another quick commercial break, uh, but when we get back, we’ll wrap up and we’ll, we’ll, uh, talk a little bit about your, your podcast and, uh, where people can go to find.
Uh, uh, out more about what you do, so stay tuned. Attention military, veterans, and Families. Are you ready to conquer the civilian job market? Monster Resume Writing Service is here to support your transition. Their team of certified resume writers specializes in helping veterans like you. They’ll create a custom resume.
That highlights your military experience, translating it into a language that civilian employers understand. They understand the unique challenges you face from navigating career shifts to finding [00:48:00] the right opportunities. That’s why their experts will tailor your resume to your specific career goals, ensuring that you stand out from the competition.
They optimize your resume with keywords to match job postings and past recruiters screening software. Monster Resume writing service is dedicated to helping you succeed. Visit the link. In this episode, show notes to learn more about how they can help you take the next step in your civilian career.
So, uh, Bronwyn, uh, you also have a podcast. You mentioned it briefly earlier. Um, I don’t think we gave the name of it, but it’s angry at the Right Things. Um, tell us about the show and what people can expect from it when they tune in. Yeah, I
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: just started it not too long ago. Um, it’s just, I just really felt like I, like I said, I really wanna get this out to more than just my clients.
I really want to empower more people. I. To, um, reconnect to themselves and reconnect to their [00:49:00] anger. Honestly, that sounds really weird, but so much of what I do with my clients and my clients have all kinds of, I don’t specialize in like one thing, um, is to get them to reconnect with their anger. Know that their angry feelings don’t have to be violent.
That’s not the goal. They don’t have to destroy, but they need to be there contained, like that fire in the fireplace that keeps things safe and warm and that anger, um, you know, Keeps us safe. It keeps us safe from unsafe people and situations. Um, and then channeling it, like I said, into words, um, is really important.
And those words can be assertive words like me saying no, no is a really awesome word. It’s also complete sentence. Um, so you know, just helping people, you know, something like saying, I. That’s not okay. You know, that’s very assertive. That’s very [00:50:00] powerful. So that’s, when I say reconnect your anger, I don’t mean yell and be violent.
I mean, saying to someone, you know what? That’s not okay. I’m, I’m not gonna allow you to do that anymore. Um, So that kind of thing. But yeah, so my podcast just talks about all of these things about dysfunctional empathy. I give a lot of personal experiences in my life, um, with depression, anxiety, and um, again on mental health and just how connected that is to suppressed anger in our lives and our bodies and how it doesn’t have to haunt us.
It really doesn’t. We don’t have to live with it. And if you’re going to a therapist, A lot of therapists are like, oh, well we’re gonna manage the symptoms of your mental illness. They’re just symptom management. And I’m like, no, let’s get to the root and dig it out and set you free. Let’s not waste time with symptom management.
And so for me, this podcast and doing [00:51:00] it has been extremely cathartic because I wanna help more people with the root core issues and set them free instead of hearing. So many of my clients come to me and they’ll tell me like, what the last therapist said and did. And I’m like, oh my God, this is making me angry.
Scott DeLuzio: yeah. Well, and that, and that’s great. And I think, you know, getting to the root cause of any problem is, uh, the, the best way to go dealing with the symptoms. Um, You know, yeah, maybe temporarily it feels good, but it’s not ultimately long term going to, uh, you know, solve anything. So, um, yeah, I, I think that’s, that’s really the way to go.
So, uh, for the listeners, go check out angry at the Right Things. Uh, podcast and, uh, you can, I’m assuming you can get that anywhere that you typically listen to podcasts anywhere. Um, and so, um, yeah, go check that out. Um, uh, Bronwyn, it’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today. Um, you know, some of these things, [00:52:00] uh, you know, gave me a lot to think about.
Uh, hopefully the listeners too. Um, and hopefully this will help people, uh, kind of. Rethink, rewire kind of the way they, they think about dealing with anger and, um, you know, other, uh, emotions along those lines. So thank you again for taking the time to come on. You’re welcome. Really appreciate it. Welcome.
Thank you for having
Bronwyn Schweigerdt: me, Scott. I appreciate
Scott DeLuzio: it. Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book. Go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.