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Episode 4: Estranged Family

0:00:11 - Allison
Kintsugi is the time-honored Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold to highlight the beauty of imperfection.

0:00:18 - Cyndi
We believe the same is true for life and motherhood that transparent conversations can impact generational legacy, in the spirit of Kintsugi.

0:00:26 - Allison
We embrace our differences and brokenness in the everyday pieces of life because we can all turn our messes into messages and are each more valuable when repaired with care where before we were broken.

0:00:36 - Cyndi
Welcome to Kintsugi Conversation.

0:00:43 - Allison
Hello everybody and thank you guys so much for tuning in to Episode 4. Episode 4 of Kintsugi Conversations. Can you believe, mom, that it's been four episodes already?

0:00:58 - Cyndi
I know time is moving fast, but I'm still super excited.

0:01:01 - Allison
I know. So at the time when we are recording this episode, it has been all those one week since we officially launched our party and had our launch party. Of course, we pre-record a little bit, so by the time this episode is actually released it will have been a few weeks. However, I wanted to take a minute to just kind of like recap the launch party. Sure, that was fun.

So we put together the launch party kind of last minute, to be honest, but we decided that we really needed something to celebrate and commemorate the launch of our podcast. So we brought together an intimate group of about, I'd say, about 30. Yeah, I think so 30 to 50 people, about 30 to 50 mothers and daughters of all ages, and we came together and we had so much fun, just like having conversation, a few cocktails, the kids did crafts and ran around like crazy animals. I know Africa kind of stole the show yeah, she always does but it was just so nice to get to be together and have some of the conversations that we will have on the podcast this season live in a living color, you know, with community.

0:02:11 - Cyndi
What did you think of the party? I think it was really great, and what I really liked about was that we had people from all generations. I think we even had a couple that was like me, you and Harper, that was like the grandmother, the mom and then the daughter. So I thought that was really really cool, and I always think it's cool when you know there are people that are my age and then they have their daughters who are your age, because you know I can give my perspective about things, but it's also fun to see what other people think about what we're talking about as well.

0:02:40 - Allison
Exactly, I thought it was really fun to just kind of have these conversations from a multi-generational perspective, like you're saying. You guys, there were a few you know different sets of families or guests where it was like the grandmother, the daughter and then the granddaughter. So we had a lot of you know examples of kind of the multi-generational perspective that we worked so hard to share here, and that was absolutely amazing to have you know in person for a change. I really enjoyed it and I'm actually like looking forward to our next event. I think we might have something else up our sleeve. Okay, I think that'll be really, really fun.

0:03:17 - Cyndi
We also had some new moms there. I saw a couple of moms there that had like little babies and you know, they said to me you know, I know my daughter's a little young yet, but you know, I love the concept that you all have come up with and this is something that I want to carry on with my daughter. So, you know, even though she's an infant, I want to go ahead and just bring her out to be a part of this. So I thought that was really great to do.

0:03:38 - Allison
For sure, for sure. We, you know we had food and when we officially like pushed launch on the podcast. You know we popped confetti poppers. Some people thought, so they ended up being like trickier to pop than we thought they were, so it was a little bit of a process. However, confetti was popped, that's right, and I don't know. It was just great to be able to celebrate. Harper was super excited, her friends were super excited and I see like they actually understood what was going on, which was interesting too?

0:04:07 - Cyndi
I think so too, because those even like one point, the little girls you know, harper and her friends. They were just kind of sitting and watching us and then every night that I would see them kind of lead over and have their own little conversation. So I don't be curious as to what they were talking about.

0:04:22 - Allison
Yeah, same. What was your favorite part of the launch party?

0:04:25 - Cyndi
I think my favorite part of the launch party was when we did kind of our little Q&A. We kind of pulled some questions out of a bowl and you know you answer the questions. Some questions, I answered some questions but then we also asked, you know our audience members what they thought. And we got, you know, some very good feedback and I was really excited that people who are very engaging with us yeah, that was actually.

0:04:49 - Allison
My favorite part too was when we did the live Q&A, because we actually had questions in the question bowl that relate to topics that we're going to be talking about this season. So to be able to have some of those conversations with other women was amazing. And I think my two favorite questions were. The first was when the question got raised like what do you think our generation, or whatever your generation is, what do you think that your generation could learn from the younger generation, and so I gave, like you, an opportunity to share what your generation could learn from my generation. And then it gave my generation the chance to share what we could learn from our water generation. So I thought that was like really powerful, and a few people after the Q&A wrapped up came up to me and kind of shared their responses to that as well, and I think overall, it seems like we all, no matter what our ages are, really admire the confidence of like Harper's generation and how they're just unapologetically themselves. So I enjoyed that.

And then, mom, I don't know if you remember, but the last question that we asked actually got everybody talking, which was really fun. It was what things or in what areas of your life. Could you use help, but you're reluctant to ask. That was a really good one. It definitely struck a chord with a lot of women because there was a lot of conversation on that, and so I think that we need to have an episode on that really, really soon, because obviously there's a lot to discuss.

0:06:13 - Cyndi
I agree, I agree with that. That was a good question. Like you said, we got a lot, a lot of feedback on that.

0:06:20 - Allison
And, you know, the support that we had that night just goes to show that, you know, you build your family and you build your community, and I'm really thankful that we have kind of built a community of mothers, daughters, grandmothers, you know, of all generations that come together and support us, you know, because I think that I think that that support is important as we all just try to do life and do motherhood and do womanhood together, right, I agree, and I also like that.

0:06:51 - Cyndi
you know people are looking for other ways to handle issues, like we always say, you know parenthood life, whatever. There's no cookie cutter, there's no instruction manual. So I really like that. We're all coming together and, like you said, we're learning from each other. You know asking questions. Well, how did you handle this when you're a kid? Was this this age? You know, how would you handle this in the future? So I think that's a really, really great dynamic and like a really great village that we're forming.

0:07:18 - Allison
For sure, and you know, it kind of brings me into the, the topic of our episode today, because I feel like one thing that I have learned as a adult. You know, am I a young adult, a middle-aged?

0:07:29 - Cyndi
adult what am I?

0:07:31 - Allison
I'm not even fussed by myself. Do you stay at Sky? No idea. One thing about that I've learned though you know in the past I can take five to seven years is that we build our family, like we. You know, we can choose. We can choose who we want to surround ourselves with, we can choose who we want in our kids' lives, and we have the power to kind of build the community that we need, as opposed to just solely relying on, you know, the people that maybe share our blood or share our last name, and today we're going to be talking about a strange family, which is a really heavy topic, to be honest.

However, it's a topic that we can both relate to. We've both had experiences with, you know, making decisions to cut off family members, and I actually just came across the family member that I, or one of the family members that I, made the decision to cut off the other day. So this is very timely because I just saw that person. We were both at another family member's house, kind of in passing. I was going and this person was coming, but it's always very awkward. I don't know that it ever won't be awkward, but yeah, it's honestly a perfect day to have this conversation.

0:08:43 - Cyndi
Okay. Well, you didn't tell me about this encounter, so I'm excited to hear about this.

0:08:47 - Allison
Yes, so, mom, you know, I want first for you to take some time to share with our listeners, kind of, about your upbringing and your perspective and experience as it relates to a strange family. It's because I definitely know that you it's something that you can talk a lot about, because it's something that you experienced firsthand.

0:09:06 - Cyndi
Sure Well, you know, growing up I told people as I became an adult, you know I was not very close to my mother or my father. They divorced when I was an infant. So that made things, I guess, doubly hard, because my mom, you know, there was always two sides to every story and one of them is or is not the truth. So he said she wouldn't let him see the kids and she said he didn't want to see the kids. So you know, that caused the rift, you know, in that respect of my father. But my mother, you know, she and I were not very close. She was very, you know, hard on me growing up.

So there was a period of time when, finally, I think I had just turned 17, 18 years old and I was just had, just had enough. There was nothing I had to do, that was good enough and I just had enough. So I remember distinctly I was working at a restaurant and I was also going to school. So I got ready for work that evening and I packed as many things as I could in my duffel bag, got my school books, went off to work and I never went back. So that was that. That was that. I just couldn't take it anymore. I checked into the hotel. Fortunately there was a hotel right across the street from my job, so I checked into that hotel and that's where I stayed until I stayed with the manager, given the apartment, and after that there was about five years that my family completely cut me off. We all lived in the same town but you know, they didn't speak to me, they didn't acknowledge me.

0:10:33 - Allison
I'm sure you guys would see each other from time to time, right, but I know my small small Exactly.

0:10:37 - Cyndi
But I was like no, they didn't, they didn't speak to me and but honestly and sadly I have to say that was probably one of the most peaceful five years that I experienced, with or without my family, and it's sad to have to feel that way, but I did so, you know. After that, you know, we all kind of came back together but we're not really close. I see my mom, you know, occasionally. I see my sister occasionally, you know she, my sister and I may talk or text maybe once every two, three, four months or whatever. And again, because I see my mom, I'll drive down occasionally, she and I. She has to mention that, but before that she and I would talk, maybe once a month or if that.

But it was always generic conversations, right. So there was just never that closeness there because for me there was just so much hurt from, you know, childhood traumas that as an adult, made my mind, like you know, I don't have to put up with being around someone who made me feel, you know, worthless and unloved and all these other emotions. So not as an adult. Why am I putting myself through that?

0:11:53 - Allison
I think it's so interesting that you say that, because it is like all of a sudden, like there's a switch where you go from kind of like well, this is my family, so I'm gonna, you know, I'm gonna stick beside them and no matter what they do and how many times they do it, I'm gonna continue to have a relationship and do my part. And it's like all of a sudden you wake up and you're like I'm not doing that, no, more.

0:12:16 - Cyndi
Why am I torturing myself?

0:12:17 - Allison
Yeah, I don't have to do that and that's how it was with me.

But honestly for me, I think that having my kids was a big one for me because you know I have family members who I always felt like the relationship was kind of one sided, where me and kind of my people you know my little like close circle of family we would always make the effort to have a relationship and it just was not reciprocated, I mean even in terms of like inviting them places and them just blatantly saying like no, I'm not coming, like with no explanation, and this was like big stuff, like weddings and baby showers, and small stuff, like family dinners. And once I had my children, I think for me it became like you know what you can treat me. I don't want to say you can treat me however you want, but you can treat me how you treat me, but you're not going to do that with my kids and my kids are not going to ever, ever, ever be in a situation where they feel like they were not chosen or they were not someone's first choice.

And so for me, I was like, as opposed to having people in my children's life that are gonna go and come and not be consistent, I would rather just not have you in my children's life at all. And so I mean we have family members that up until very, very, very, very, very, very, very recently, like within the past couple months, they had never even met or seen my kids in person. And we have other family members who have maybe met them once, but like do not see them on the regular. And I agree with you. You know, once you are at the place where you know you wake up and that switch is turned off and you're done, it can be peaceful, because it's kind of like you've released it all and you know you can just live your life accordingly Right.

0:14:03 - Cyndi
You know it's interesting. You say that because even you know you did not have relationship with my side of the family when you were little and my reasoning behind that was like, if they don't like me or love me, how are they gonna like to love my child? And I was not about to put you in a situation where you were ever gonna be mistreated because I didn't wanna end up in prison away from you, true? So you know I just made that decision that you know why would I put my child in a situation where there's any kind of likelihood that someone may say something or do something to make her feel a certain kind of way and that's exactly how I feel.

0:14:41 - Allison
You know I was gonna ask you kind of what went into your decision to have me. You know not really get to know your family that well, but I mean I get it. I get it a hundred percent and that's the same for me. Like, if you don't like me, then why would I think that you would treat my kids, you know, equally to other kids that you might be around and I don't want them to ever be in a situation where you know they are put in harm's way or in a situation where they just don't feel loved, exactly exactly.

So I think one difference though, mom, between me and you when it comes to a strange family and a strange friends and I kind of know where it comes from, just because, I mean, you have shared your kind of history with it but one main difference is that I give second chances and you not so much.

0:15:28 - Cyndi
Well, you know, there was a time, I think, when I did, you know, I give you opportunity after opportunity after opportunity, but then I can say that switch, when I said to me one day, and it was like you know, you've shown me who you are. So that old saying was someone shows you who they are. Believe it? Yeah, you know you just that just comes a point in time, though, when you realistically and wholeheartedly have to choose yourself. You know, we can, you know, try to make all these excuses for our family and our friends, but the bottom line is if you're not giving me what I'm giving you, then what is this relationship all about?

0:16:13 - Allison
Right, I agree. Relationships are supposed to be a two-way street and they're supposed to be give and take, not just constantly take, take, take. What do you think are some red flags that people should take notice of when deciding if it's time to let go of a relationship with a family member or a friend?

0:16:30 - Cyndi
I think when you are constantly, always the one who's, whether it's calling or texting. You know checking on these people, but they never take the initiative to call and check on you. I think that's a big red flag. And when you do have conversations with these people, if the conversation is always pretty much solely about them and about what they're going through and they never even give you the opportunity to say what you're going through or even ask you hey, if you're okay or if you're going through anything, I think that's another red flag. So for me, when I start to see people being very self-centered, yeah, that's my sign to pull away.

You know, if I hit this one friend and we would go out to eat a lot and you know I don't mind picking up a check, but let me do it because I want to but it came to a point where every time the check came, she would just sit there or she would get up and go to the bathroom and finally, one day the check came and you know she sat there. So I sat there too, and it was probably about 15 minutes before you know one of us, and I think, finally, again, I finally ended up picking up the check. So I'm like, okay, this is crazy, but that sort of showed me something and that I stopped going out to eat for after that. Or I said you know what? Why don't you just pick up yours now, pick up mine.

That way we don't have to argue over the check Because there is no arguing anyway, but I was just tired of it.

0:18:03 - Allison
I get that 100%.

I think that for me also, like some other, red flags are when something keeps occurring in a relationship over and over again and you have like addressed it and like the person continues to do the same thing over and over again.

I think that blatant disrespect like if someone is blatantly disrespecting you. I think that that's kind of a red flag. And then also, I know in my experience there's been times where I have tried to have conversations with people about the things that have been occurring in our relationship and they've literally just kind of brushed it off or told me that it's not a big deal, or told me that I'm overreacting, or told me that everyone's family is like that, things like that. And if I have tried to discuss it and I have been brushed off, then sometimes to me that can be a red flag, like, okay, this person just doesn't get it and in order to protect myself and my little family and my peace, I'm gonna have to step away instead of trying to have this conversation over and over and over and over again when this person has made themselves made it clear that they're not open to having the conversation Right.

0:19:17 - Cyndi
I agree with that and a lot of times, like you said, we try to have these conversations to tell people how I'm feeling, but then because they are so single-minded in their thinking and think that the world revolves around them, it's always well, you're changing. You know they don't wanna see the fault in them or see what big contributing or not contributing to the relationship. It's always someone else's fault. Now that there's an issue with the relationship, right?

0:19:45 - Allison
and that is a huge, huge, huge red flag, after you have kind of separated yourself from family, you know when you were younger and in the near future, the near future, does that make sense?

0:19:59 - Cyndi
Yes, okay.

0:20:01 - Allison
After you've made the decision to separate yourself from family members or friends. Either you know when you were younger or you know more recently. How did you go about yielding afterwards? Because I do think that while we're saying basically like, oh yeah, just cut the people off, you know there is like it can hurt, you know there's a mourning process For me.

0:20:22 - Cyndi
I just kind of sat back and I kind of it's strange, though, because I actually, on one instance, went through like myself, all because this one friend and I we would travel a lot together and when I went through my phone and looked at pictures of us and I was head in my head, okay, I'm gonna see how many of these trips were trips that you know I basically invited the friend on, versus trips that she invited me on.

And when I went through, got to go through all the pictures, there was not one single picture where she had planned and even she needed the trip, yeah. And so I just kind of came back and looked around and I was like you know, honestly, this relationship has been one sided for years, but I just didn't see it or didn't want to see it, and so I just kind of sat back and said you know what this was, something that really was not good for me. You know, realistically, this person really didn't care for me. So, you know, I just think to, as an adult, understand that everyone is entitled to their feelings and you know how they want to move and operate, but for me and my own peace of mind and my own well-being. I just need to let this person go out of my life and just kind of reflect it that way and was really after I kind of did that, I was at peace with my decision.

0:21:47 - Allison
Yeah, I think that you know stuff like that can be very helpful, kind of to go back, and I don't want to say, like you know, make a tally, but you know, just kind of reconcile. Hmm, how did this relationship really play out?

0:22:02 - Cyndi
But were you here for me, or were you here for me, or were you here for me? So this kind of you say this, but in life there are tallies, though, right.

0:22:10 - Allison
True. Kind of go back, though and like, take a look at the history of the relationship, and I think that in doing that, usually we can find enough you know instances to kind of give, give reason to the decision that we made, to kind of help in that healing process and let us know that we didn't make a mistake. However, I will say that for me and this is something that my therapist actually kind of pointed out to me and that I in turn started pointing out to clients when I was doing therapy you should honestly try your best to mourn and start the healing process of an estranged relationship before you even end the relationship, because in deciding whether or not you're going to end the relationship, you have to first determine if it's going to be too painful for you to end it you know what I'm saying and so Start to continue it. In some states, exactly. So, like before you kind of make that decision, some of the healing process should already be done, and that's kind of how it was for me, before I kind of made the final decision like, ok, this is it, I may never see or talk to this person again, and if so, so be it.

I kind of already you know, gone through the history of our relationship, I kind of already spent some time thinking about, wow, like how will my life be if I don't continue this relationship? What will this feel like for me, what will this mean for my kids and for the rest of our family? And I don't want to kind of come to terms with it. And so by the time I was like, ok, yep, it's done, was kind of already I'm standing, already healed, I'm kind of okay with it.

0:23:46 - Cyndi
That's really good that you were able to do that and in that too, sometimes if you've had those conversations with the person, like he said, you know, and express that you were unhappy with the way the relationship was going, then to me that is also kind of a way of setting things up that, okay, I've given you this opportunity. So if you now don't, don't acknowledge my feelings and make a change According to what I told you I need in this relationship, we don't need to continue this, exactly, exactly.

0:24:17 - Allison
So what do you think about reconciliation, mom? Do you think that there are times when reconciliation is Appropriate? And then how do you then decide that that's something that would serve you, or not?

0:24:30 - Cyndi
There aren't instances, I think, when reconciliation is good but it has to be prefaced on Both parties acknowledging what happened in the past to kind of end the relationship. I mean it has to be honest accountability Okay, I'm just a little accountability right for what caused the demise of a relationship in the first place for me, and then what's that has been done. You know, I'll give you a little bit of rope and see if you have now changed your behavior. But if your behavior has still not changed, if I still see those same traits in you, then for me it's a rat.

0:25:11 - Allison
Yeah, I Think that there are times when it's appropriate, but I also think that it's okay not to, and I don't think that. I Think that when you do make that decision to cut off a relationship, you should manage your expectations and you should not cut it off with the Intent to reconcile. Of course, you can stay hopeful, but I think that you need to kind of acknowledge that it's possible that, like you, guys might not ever come back together. However, I do think, like like you said, mom, that if there has been Gross and I say gross because I don't really think people change a whole lot but if there's been gross and if people have learned lessons and, you know, matured, and that you can see that they are in a different place and because of that, their behaviors will be different in certain situations, I do think that reconciliation is appropriate.

I had a very, very close friend in college and we actually had a falling out and we gosh, we didn't speak for probably going on two, possibly three years after we Kind of stopped being friends.

However, you know, one day we I don't even know how we kind of show up a conversation we ended up coming back together and talking and we were both able to take Ownership of the things that had happened in our relationship over the years to kind of lead to our falling out, and we were both able to say like, wow, you know, seeing that from your perspective, I can see how that would have been really painful for you and we were able to come to a place where we both Recognize the, the role that we played in it, and we're committed to continuing to have a relationship I'll be at a little bit of a different relationship, but for it to having a relationship going forward and not, you know, repeating those behaviors, and so I think that it's definitely possible.

I've seen it in my own life and done it in my own life. However, I also have people who I I don't ever see myself, you know, reconciling with, because I honestly just don't think that that they have the emotional maturity, and I also and I'm a on this I don't think I did anything wrong and so I'm not gonna be the one to it's come and saying well, you know, I did do this, this, this, because I don't see my role in it. Maybe I need to grow up a little bit more.

0:27:27 - Cyndi
We'll see well, you know I can be with that and I tested that too. I have a friend that you know. She got upset with me and you know, stop speaking to me for some years and here recently, you know she, she reached out and so you know I also recall, and we had an honest conversation about what she felt that I had done and I, I gave her my responses and you know what happens, played out, and we now, you know, have come back together and and we talk, you know, maybe once a month or so. The relationship is very different because we were like, really like, sisters, but now we are able to have honest and open conversations. We it's it's different in that we're not as close as we were, but each time we talk we kind of pick up from where we left off in the mass conversation, right, so we're able to be, you know, cordial and friendly with each other.

But I don't think the relationship will ever quite be what it was before. And then, like you said, I have, you know, other relationships that I'm done. I don't wish anyone anything bad in their life. I wish them nothing but the best, but as far as me I don't see a purpose that they serve in my life, so I don't need that.

0:28:45 - Allison
And just like listening to you talk, I was kind of thinking about how we both have shared examples of reconciling with friends, and you actually did somewhat reconcile with your family. I mean, you speak to them now so you don't have to say. However, I do think that it's different with family versus friends, like for me. I think that with friends it can be easier to forgive and move on versus with family, like with my family.

If it's gotten to the point where we don't speak or have a relationship, it must have been really really bad or it must have been like multiple offenses or this must have been something that was like happening over a long period of time, because for me the decision to cut off a family member is obviously kind of a harder decision than it is to kind of part ways with a friend, and so I think that it can be a little bit different just because of the meat of the relationships there With friends. I'm not that you're cutting off friends willy-nilly, I love my friends but with friends it can kind of be easier to let a relationship go than with family that are so intertwined, intermingled, all those things. So I think that it can be sometimes harder to reconcile with family members than friends. I agree with that.

0:30:04 - Cyndi
It is a lot harder because with family again, like you said at the beginning of our episode, family you want to give them a pass. Oh, they're family. So I have to take this because we share the same bloodline. Yada, yada, yada. But I've just come to the realization that it's not blood that makes family, it's the way people treat you and care for you and your heart and your surroundings, your life, that really and truly makes up family. So you can. For me, like I said, I talk to my mom now occasionally, I talk to my sister now occasionally. But, realistically speaking, if I'm completely 100% honest and transparent, I do it because basically they are my family, because there is so much of an emotional connection that I have with them. It's realistically and honestly because they are family.

0:31:04 - Allison
But that brings me to my, I guess expertise for lack of a better word having a master than marriage and family therapy Therapeutically. We do not teach that blood is thicker than water. Ever, ever, ever. We do not ever teach clients that. Well, you should continue that relationship because that's your family. And so as individuals, we have got to stop that rhetoric and we definitely should not be passing that on to our children, because, while it might be literally true that blood is thicker than water, in terms of relationships, it is not true at all, and we should not be allowing ourselves or forcing ourselves or our children to maintain toxic relationships with people just because they are our family members and their blood. If a relationship is toxic, it's toxic, and I don't care who that relationship is with mother, father, sister, brother, cousin, whoever. If it's toxic and is not serving you, then it's okay to let it go.

0:32:01 - Cyndi
I completely agree with that. Sometimes, like I said, we always want to make excuses for people, but I don't know if it's now because I'm older, that I just I don't do that anymore. If I gave you the opportunity to be in my life which I think is an honor, just like I feel like there's some honor for me to be chosen to be in someone's life, if you don't respect that and treat that with the same care that I care and treat you with, then I don't care who you are. You're not worthy of my love and my attention.

0:32:34 - Allison
I agree, 100, 100, 100 percent. And I think that you know we, that's not something that I want to teach my kids. You know. I want them to know that if, if something, if a relationship is toxic, then they should not continue it. I mean, even if that relationship were with me and I'm not about to be a toxic mama out here, but you know what I'm saying. Like I don't want them to have people in their lives that, you know, don't really love them truly and wholeheartedly.

0:33:02 - Cyndi
So I mean, you got to look, like I said, with that key and if your care is the one who is always inviting, you know this, they have this best friend or whatever. Well, if your kid is always the one who's inviting the best friend over to play with her or to do things with her and the best friend never invites you know your tier, then what's the point of the relationship? It's not being reciprocated. So you know there's no point to it.

0:33:26 - Allison
True Guys. So we recognize that it can be really hard to determine if you know if it's time to cut off a relationship or not, especially, like we said, with family members. And you can know we like to leave you guys with some little extras, a little bit of homework. So we put together kind of like a journal prompt or like a quiz I guess we could call it to kind of help you work through those relationships, if you have them, to figure out, if it's something that maybe you should let go of, if you're ready to let go of it, or you know, maybe if you should give the relationship a little bit more time. So we're going to have that available on our website and on the show notes. And we've also been getting a lot of DMs lately, mom, with people that have like questions for us. Mostly you people think that you are just so wise out here.

0:34:16 - Cyndi
Oh my gosh.

0:34:18 - Allison
And people that want us to discuss certain situations, and so what we've done is that we've set up a submission page on our website. This feels very official and so basically, you can go and you can submit a question, or you can submit kind of a request for a topic for us to discuss. If you want us to share who you are, you can say that. Otherwise it will remain anonymous. But we will be addressing these questions either on our Instagram story or on actual episodes if it's something that we think is like long enough to have a full episode about. So if you guys have anything that you want us to talk about, feel free to leave us a submission.

0:34:59 - Cyndi
Are we official now? I know I love that. I don't know if people think that I'm wise. I think it's more that I don't have a filter and what I think is, you know, I am my authentic self. So if it's how I feel about something unfortunately, you know, at 60, I'm going to say it.

0:35:19 - Allison
Yes, that is true, you do say whatever you want and sometimes I'm like, did you really just say that? But you've also been through a lot you know in your life and I think that people, people value that. You know the experiences that you can bring to the table because of that, so don't don't sell yourself too short.

0:35:35 - Cyndi
Well, I hope so. You know that's one of the whole goals, and doing this, though, you know, if I can reach somebody through one of my stories or one of the things that I've gone through and give them the courage to stand out on their own being, it makes all of this so worthwhile for me.

0:35:51 - Allison
Very, very true and I love it. I'm here for it. Also, guys, we do have a Patreon. I don't know if we've told you guys about this yet somehow, but we have a Patreon and for every single podcast episode we also release one or two little bonus episodes. And so if you want to hear a little bit more about our kind of personal experiences with Estrange family members and with reconciling with you know, friends and family who we have cut off in the past, head on over to our Patreon page to listen to the bonus episodes. Thanks for listening, guys.

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