Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Ralph Sanchez
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR000117A
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to addictive behavior.
00:05 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:06 may be too candid for younger children.
00:10 Welcome the Celebrating Life in Recovery.
00:11 My name is Cheri, I'm your host.
00:14 Can we survive like adultery and anger
00:17 and abuse, resentment.
00:18 This is a continuation from last week
00:21 and this journey is incredible.
00:23 Come join us.
00:50 Welcome, so we are really looking at all kinds of things
00:53 this session as far as health wise.
00:56 How to maintain our recovery and I've just been blessed.
01:00 You know, from the very first interview
01:03 to the very last has just been amazing,
01:04 but this week we're looking at air.
01:07 And I'm trying to figure
01:08 how to tie in air with the story
01:10 that you gonna hear with the life testimony
01:13 that you gonna hear and I think God gave me a way.
01:16 One of the things that I learn
01:17 when I was traveling is there was a young girl
01:20 that who had emphysema
01:21 and she really could not breathe at all.
01:24 And as I was staying with her at her home,
01:27 her mother came over and her mother is just amazing,
01:29 just a incredible woman of God.
01:31 And they said that when she was little,
01:33 her mom was a chain smoker, smoked all the time.
01:37 The little girl would go to school
01:38 and people would tease her like do you smoke
01:40 and she'd go like no, I don't smoke
01:42 but her clothes smelled like smoke.
01:44 The current in the house smelled like smoke.
01:46 It was like she was always just smelled like smoke
01:48 and so all the kids tease her.
01:49 She finally told her mom when she was 10,
01:52 I can't stand that anymore.
01:54 And you got to quit smoking.
01:55 Well, her mom was devastated.
01:57 I had no idea you were going through all that,
01:59 so she quit smoking.
02:01 That very day was really, really tough.
02:03 Because smoking was harder for me to quit than heroin,
02:06 I mean it's a tough addiction.
02:08 But she quit that very day for her daughter
02:10 but it wasn't soon enough.
02:11 Her daughter is dying in her 30s of emphysema
02:14 and she has never smoked at all.
02:16 But she was surrounded by smoke
02:17 so even the air quality in our home,
02:20 even if I'm not bringing it into my life
02:23 and I'm surrounded by smokers,
02:24 I could end up with some lung diseases from that.
02:27 So it's really important
02:28 when you're going into recovery.
02:29 If you're smoking, man, I know it's hard
02:32 but you got to quit.
02:33 You know, I just got to say,
02:34 I'm not your mom nor I'm not your grandma whatever
02:36 but I'm just saying you got to quit
02:37 because it will take your life and so think about
02:42 making sure that even in the house open windows,
02:45 you know don't close things off so much.
02:47 We have air conditioners
02:48 and we have all that kind of stuff
02:50 but the air quality sometimes in our home are so bad.
02:52 So open your windows, go outside,
02:54 take a deep breathe like every hour
02:56 so take a deep breathe, it changes how your body reacts
03:00 and if you try to recover from something,
03:02 you gonna want all the help you need.
03:04 But what happens
03:05 if you can't breathe emotionally?
03:07 What happens if you're so full of either anger or resentment
03:11 or bitterness or whatever and you can't breathe?
03:13 And I hate to say that's why
03:15 I'm gonna introduce my next guest.
03:17 But I'm gonna introduce my next guest.
03:19 Well, the first time I heard your story,
03:21 I thought that you really are brave coming out
03:25 and saying this is my issue, this is what I'm dealing with.
03:28 We were talking about air, taking a breathe emotionally,
03:32 all those kind of things.
03:33 So I want to turn it over to you,
03:34 but I want you to start from the very beginning,
03:36 who are you?
03:38 What kinds of things did you grow up with?
03:41 And then, you know, what the issue is,
03:43 then go into the issue.
03:46 I'll try to keep the two things separate.
03:50 I'd say I had by my way of seeing things
03:54 probably pretty normal life.
03:55 I had a mom and a dad
03:57 that stuck together through their whole lives.
03:59 They are still together.
04:03 My dad, I was raised in a Christian home.
04:07 Both mom and dad were Christians before I was born.
04:10 My dad's was--
04:11 his family was converted to Christianity
04:14 when he was a little boy.
04:15 My mom is a multi generation Christian.
04:17 So it sounds perfect.
04:19 Yeah, I mean it's in a lot of ways on
04:21 and that's, you know, gets begins to cross
04:25 over almost immediately because that was the goal,
04:29 was to make everything look perfect.
04:32 And there was all kinds of little games
04:34 that were played too.
04:35 Make sure that one we set outside the front door,
04:38 we had vocabulary,
04:40 we had the way of saying things and doing things
04:42 that made us look like nothing was wrong.
04:48 Was that the truth?
04:49 No, I think probably all families.
04:52 By now, I think I've realized
04:54 all families have certain kinds and levels of dysfunction.
04:58 And if my family had its kind and level of dysfunction.
05:03 And so but you learned early on that you know what,
05:06 whatever is happening inside, that's one thing.
05:08 When you step out the door, you better look like this.
05:11 So you need to look like this.
05:12 Yeah, and I mean,
05:14 I think a family is a sacred thing.
05:16 It's a sacred institution, that's what I think,
05:19 that's what I believe.
05:21 But there gets to be such a game played
05:24 with that sacredness that the things
05:27 that are reserved for the family
05:29 I think and they are meant to be personal
05:32 and somewhat private in the family
05:34 are meant to be uplifting,
05:35 so that when I walk out the proverbial front door
05:37 what I'm, what's shining out of me is real.
05:41 Its not pasted on. Right, it's joy.
05:44 And in my family I think the sensation was
05:49 that we were always covering something up.
05:52 And so I think that had probably
05:59 for a lot to do even now when I think back on
06:02 what was my perception of growing up way.
06:06 And I had my family, totally psychoanalyzed
06:09 by the time I was about 15, 18 years old.
06:12 I had everything figured out.
06:14 I had my dad figured out, had my mom figured out.
06:16 I figured out what was wrong.
06:17 When I got to college a lot of what I had figured out
06:19 I had affirmed in psyche what I want.
06:23 I took psyche what I want.
06:25 So you do, you looking every page
06:26 and say oh, that is so me, yeah.
06:29 I mean and things just kind of clicked
06:32 and I went okay, so I wasn't just young
06:35 and naive, really some of the things
06:36 I figured out at least in terms of mechanics
06:40 of the human psyche and things that go
06:42 good and bad wasn't too far off.
06:45 And along with that went-- I wouldn't say vows
06:49 but I made promises that the things
06:51 I identified as being just plain negative,
06:56 obviously bad in the family,
06:58 were they were being covered up or not.
07:01 I was never going to do those things.
07:03 I'm not gonna be that.
07:04 I'm not gonna have that,
07:05 that's not gonna be part of my family.
07:06 I'm never gonna be like that.
07:08 Yeah. Those are incredible.
07:10 You know, to me I don't think we realize
07:12 and you probably even a way you said
07:14 that have some awareness
07:15 but I don't think we realized that
07:17 I think the enemy himself steps in at that moment,
07:21 we make those kind of covenant
07:23 or vows or promises that you know,
07:25 I'm not gonna ever have that insane just as yeah.
07:28 You better make sure, you gonna make sure
07:30 and so we can't-- It's like those
07:32 who have such horrendous things to say,
07:36 to ourselves that nobody is gonna hurt me like that,
07:38 nobody is gonna.
07:40 Yeah and the worst part is nobody is gonna hurt me,
07:43 but I'm not gonna hurt people like
07:46 I see that happening to other people in the family.
07:48 Yeah, I'm not gonna be like my family.
07:50 I'm not gonna do that from
07:52 more of the perpetrator standpoint.
07:55 And then things don't go that way
07:57 and I think I like what you said
07:58 because that's exactly, it's been a horrific
08:02 and tough growing up experience spiritually
08:05 to realize all of these.
08:06 I'm never gonna be like that, I'm never gonna do that.
08:09 I even had functioning paradigms
08:12 by the time I was--
08:13 I'm not kidding 13-14 years old were
08:15 okay, I'm now projecting myself into adulthood
08:18 and I have a family and I come home from work
08:21 and it's been a bad day at work.
08:23 This is what I'm not gonna do. You know what I mean.
08:25 And I have all these things worked out.
08:28 So, Ralph, for somebody to do that at such an early age,
08:31 you must have seen stuff that was pretty intense
08:35 that you said you know, man.
08:38 Well, I mean, how intense does it have to be on a child.
08:43 And, you know, we were talking a little bit early about this,
08:46 some of the stuff is relative.
08:48 What shocking to me
08:50 maybe less shocking to somebody else
08:52 but it's all evil, it's all bad.
08:57 And when you see your mother and father
09:03 go at each other even as verbally,
09:05 this can be traumatizing.
09:07 I had, I would say probably in fact honestly
09:10 I just dealt with this
09:12 I would say 2 years ago with my father.
09:16 There was one time, there was one faithful night
09:20 probably I was I'm gonna say 12
09:24 and I've run this through my little brothers,
09:26 I worked with them, I should say my younger brother
09:28 because they're bigger and smarter than I'm so,
09:31 that's what goes around comes around
09:32 'cause I used to pick on them a lot.
09:35 But... I mean I was probably
09:38 no more than 12 years old I'll say half sure.
09:41 So my second youngest brother
09:44 and then my youngest brother was still in diapers.
09:46 He still slept in a crib.
09:48 And one night my parents got into it
09:50 and they yelled and screamed at each other all night long.
09:53 Well, to kind of get back to the point,
09:55 nobody shot anybody else, that would be,
09:58 I don't know what that would be,
09:59 I can't imagine that would be bad to hear that
10:01 that's what happens in other people's houses,
10:03 that's what we told ourselves.
10:05 But when you hear things being flown,
10:07 you know, thrown around and they are screaming
10:09 and sometimes you can even hear the hitting,
10:12 you can hear that, you know what,
10:14 the body sound as an interesting sound
10:15 when its get socked.
10:17 And when you hear that all night long, it changes you.
10:24 It changes you.
10:25 And that was a traumatizing point in my life
10:29 that I had always, I knew it was traumatizing
10:32 but I just never really,
10:34 if I can put it this way gave it enough credit.
10:37 Because here I'm however old I'm now
10:41 and I'm thinking
10:43 I've taken care of a lot of the stuff with my parents
10:47 what I call my Freudian stuff.
10:50 I've taken care with my parents.
10:51 Both my mom and dad individually,
10:52 I've confronted them with their own issues.
10:54 I've tried to you, called to you,
10:57 you know the trouble I was to them growing up
10:59 and so and so forth as best as I can.
11:01 And then there is this one night
11:03 and it kind of keeps floating around my head
11:05 and I kind of keep pushing it away.
11:06 And for me I think it was the turning point
11:11 or a turning point in my life
11:13 that was very psychologically damaging
11:16 and spiritually damaging.
11:18 I don't know what the difference is.
11:19 To me psychology and spiritual, spirituality are like this.
11:23 I don't, I've hard times-- Just who we are.
11:26 And I think that changed me
11:27 a lot more than I ever get credit for than I be.
11:29 And really the Holy Spirit work and I knew what that felt like
11:33 because when I graduated from college,
11:35 I went to this with my dad.
11:37 The Holy Spirit really called me to a relationship
11:40 for the first time ever with my father.
11:42 I would never ever have a real relationship with my father.
11:47 It was just too emotionally risky.
11:50 Because you wanted to protect yourself against them.
11:54 Emotionally and spiritually. Emotionally.
11:55 So I couldn't trust him.
11:57 I know that, you know, you could be safe at one point
12:01 but you're not safe at another point,
12:03 so it's easier just to distance myself.
12:05 Anything that guy got, he would take
12:08 and use it as a weapon against you sooner or later.
12:11 When I got out of college, the Holy Spirit I was head--
12:15 was in the process of growing as I pray in now,
12:18 but I was at a point and the Holy Spirit
12:20 really called me among other things,
12:23 reconcile with your father, start a relation--
12:25 It was an interesting calling.
12:26 It wasn't just reconciliation, it was you may now
12:29 have a relation ship with your father
12:30 I'm here, I'll protect you.
12:32 It was, it was a horrific experience mostly
12:35 but he was fast and it launched a relationship.
12:39 My dad could never, he wanted that
12:41 but he could never bring himself to initiate that
12:43 which is really sad, but with the other garbage
12:46 that goes in the house is not surprising
12:48 and rushes back that the patriarch of the family
12:51 couldn't star the deep relationship
12:53 that he really desired to have you know with his sons--
12:56 So what did you do to reconcile with him?
12:59 Did you say something?
13:00 Did you go inside let's talk, let's-
13:03 Well, as with good traditional family issues,
13:06 I started out with some trivial thing.
13:08 I think we were moving stuff around
13:10 and I got to be a little bit of verbal argument about
13:13 well I use, I should move it this way
13:15 or put it in this particular position whatever it was
13:18 and it ended up in a pretty severe verbal battle
13:21 and of course every time my dad and I got into it,
13:24 all this I want to use the C word all this junk.
13:29 It would come like a volcano I mean it could be,
13:32 I don't like that glass of water
13:33 on the table over there and give it 15, 20 minutes
13:36 and it will turn into a mess
13:39 that had all this garbage in it from the past
13:42 'cause it was all never dealt with at all, not even close.
13:44 You know what?
13:45 When somebody says that and I heard some
13:49 as psychologists talk about you know that we all have
13:52 almost a file cabinet within our heart,
13:55 within our soul and every time
13:57 we've get offended or every time we get angry,
13:59 every time we have something unresolved,
14:01 we'd just put the file in the right place
14:03 and file it in that cabinet, then something happens
14:06 and every single paper flies out.
14:08 So it's like what happened
14:10 because it was just about the glass, wasn't it?
14:12 Well, no it was years in using the stuff
14:14 and you says you said
14:15 and that in your home that happened a lot.
14:17 This particular day it happened.
14:20 It happened and I did something
14:24 I thought I would never do, and that was I went back home
14:27 and lived for three months so never leave at home--
14:30 I love my mom and dad dearly.
14:32 But as an adult to hear that kind of abuse its hard.
14:37 So my dad and I got into it and I-- it turned into--
14:43 I think I really had a nerves break down
14:45 because at some point after a 30 or 45 minutes
14:49 of just circling stuff around he won't let stuff go
14:52 and I you know bare my streak of stubbornness
14:55 well, I just lost it
14:59 and I started screaming on my dad.
15:01 And I screamed at my dad is I recall nonstop.
15:04 I mean, I was even still moving around the house
15:06 and helping them move from their apartment
15:09 where they living into the house
15:10 that they had just recently got
15:12 and I am screaming as a loud as I can scream
15:15 which is you know I talk kind of normally talker
15:18 but I am screaming at the top of my lungs
15:20 and just all kinds of stuff is coming out
15:22 including some good stuff.
15:25 I mean, some stuff that makes sense.
15:27 But I am just yelling at him,
15:29 screaming at him at the top of my lungs.
15:31 We drive as 20 minutes in the sour spring
15:33 and then I was back again and back and forth
15:35 and I am screaming at him.
15:36 I'd say for a couple three hours nonstop.
15:39 You could not stop. I lost it.
15:41 Now my brother was there and we came into the house
15:44 and I was still gone I think pretty much
15:49 and I actually maybe the only time
15:52 but for sure we wanted two times
15:54 and I actually thought about taking my life.
15:57 And it wasn't all I am so sad
15:58 and it wasn't any like that I was just freaking mad.
16:03 And I wanted to kill somebody and I can't kill you so--
16:05 Somebody is got to die.
16:07 Somebody got die and I killed two birds with one stone.
16:09 I get to kill somebody
16:11 and you have to pay for my surviving it
16:14 and they live on a high rise apartment complex
16:17 and they are way at the top
16:18 and I am walking at the sliding door.
16:22 I'm just gonna dive up.
16:23 And I am taking my fist on the wall behind there
16:26 is this temperature, a thermostat
16:29 and I am just hammering this thermostat
16:31 with the back my fist just like this
16:32 over and over again screaming at my dad
16:34 who was sitting over in that direction
16:37 and my brother, my second to the youngest brother
16:39 is standing or kind of kneeling next to my dad
16:43 and all I remember and that is my brothers
16:45 kind of talking softly to my father
16:48 and I heard him at one point say, look at him.
16:52 This is my brother telling my dad
16:53 to look at me, he needs you.
16:56 And so it's hard not to get chocked outside like that but--
17:03 It's hardened for me not to get chocked up
17:04 and I wasn't even there.
17:06 You know, its just in that moment I just began
17:09 and it was a long time coming down from that
17:12 and even longer getting my voice back
17:14 because by then I think it was just worst bringing
17:16 and I was still screaming at the top of my lungs.
17:20 And it was-- I think hearing my younger brother say
17:24 that was it did something spiritually in the room
17:29 because literally the color of the room changed at that point
17:32 and things began to take a turn.
17:37 So to answer your question that was the turning point,
17:40 that was the day and it was literally a whip around.
17:43 And remember I went into it on faith and faith alone.
17:47 I had-- I was sure I was gonna change my dad
17:49 and I am still sure of that.
17:52 But I knew I could because my dad does strive
17:54 to allow God in the best way he possibly can
17:57 and who knows what brain damage now he has
18:00 that he his carry with him from his childhood as well.
18:05 Not's the true that's the really big truth.
18:06 Oh, it's so true, it's just so--
18:09 We walk away generation after generation
18:11 after generation into somebody says
18:13 you know what it stops here it cannot continue from here.
18:17 Right, that's right and I guess
18:21 you know in my family
18:22 I was called be that stopping point and that--
18:25 So let me just say with your dad
18:27 you have that moment totally now down,
18:30 totally losing control.
18:33 God getting both your attention with that statement
18:37 as He needs you, so a little bit a change
18:40 starts to happen seeps in that relationship
18:44 and what about your mom?
18:46 Because a whole time
18:47 she is probably trying to fix something.
18:50 She-- when my dad and I used to get into it like that
18:54 or anything even close to that
18:55 mom would hang around for a bit
18:57 but she kind of had some sort of symptom
18:59 that she will look for, some sort of gauge
19:02 where it would go and she would say
19:04 if you guys don't cool it I'm calling the cops
19:06 and then she would remove herself from the area.
19:09 And I think that kind have happened in this case
19:12 because it was pretty much just my dad and I spending the day.
19:14 I think everybody in my family realize something life
19:17 is was someway inevitable knowing my dad and knowing me.
19:23 Unfortunately I think it was gonna have to happen.
19:26 I don't really advocate, I'm and not saying
19:28 this is a template that anybody should follow.
19:31 It was a horrible experience I mean, really
19:35 and but it did open the door,
19:38 you know, and this was the important thing.
19:40 It opened the door to a relationship with my dad.
19:42 And why was that important?
19:43 Well, other than hopefully the obvious really
19:46 I felt that the Holy Spirit it called me at that--
19:50 and this was a like a long calling.
19:51 It was after I got out of the college
19:52 and I am wondering okay, I got a degree
19:54 and now what, you know.
19:55 I was in that frame of mind
19:57 and really it wasn't-- it just dawned on me.
20:00 You need to get in a relationship with your father
20:02 and I certainly on my own never would of--
20:04 I would have continued to go
20:06 through my whole life even loving God
20:08 and everything sincerely protecting myself
20:11 emotionally from my father.
20:12 And you know because we work with adverse people
20:15 all over the world there's so many people
20:18 that are gonna hear this and get it.
20:19 You know, that do I reconcile with this craziness?
20:25 You know, I don't even know have to change it
20:26 and the other person I am looking at has no clue
20:29 that there as damages they are and you're asking me
20:32 to move back into the relationship,
20:34 how do we do that?
20:35 But in faith what you saying is that crisis
20:38 I am started that for you, started that journey for you.
20:42 Yes, all that.
20:43 And during you wish you could say
20:44 and the next day dad was so different.
20:48 You know we wish you could say that
20:49 but that's not what happen is this the next day
20:52 you were little different.
20:54 The next day when I could talk again later in that evening
20:57 my dad was down in his study and I walked on
21:01 and I put my hand on my dad shoulder
21:03 and I looked at him and I say dad,
21:05 let's just bury the hatchet.
21:07 And my dad said I can bold on my shoulder
21:09 for about five minutes
21:11 and he said this is what he said
21:14 if can say it without bothering myself
21:16 because I wasn't bothering down
21:17 I mean in my heart was pretty steely after all that.
21:21 But I realize I was being
21:22 let alternately thank God, by God
21:24 and I just thought let's bury the hatchet
21:26 and he stood up and he said you truly are a man of God.
21:30 That's what he said and I thought well,
21:31 that providential right there.
21:35 So, because well--
21:37 So you say with dad and you said your mom
21:40 tended to kind of just wait until, you know, whatever
21:44 and I'll call the police if it doesn't calm down.
21:48 But would-- did she ever start to say
21:53 you know let's get healthy,
21:54 let's kind of heal, let's talk about this,
21:58 let's do whatever would--
21:59 because I getting kind of a picture of your dad
22:01 and even of his childhood I get somewhat of a picture
22:05 but your mom I don't get any sense of who she was.
22:08 That's interesting.
22:12 My mom I think is and was an enabler
22:20 to my fathers stuff.
22:23 So explain to the people that have no idea
22:25 what enabling means, what is that mean?
22:29 Well, to me it means that rather than do
22:33 what you just describe, rather than take one person
22:36 or the other or calling outside help
22:40 not only to save the moment but also to fix the problem
22:46 because my mom loves her family, her children
22:49 and she wants things workout.
22:52 She doesn't do that.
22:54 She-- her first duty is to protect her husband
22:57 this is my perception of my mother
22:59 and in doing that when there is bad stuff going on
23:02 when you protect somebody in their long doing
23:07 you're enabling.
23:09 And nothing changes?
23:10 And nothing changes
23:11 and usually gets worse over time.
23:13 Lot of times with enabling I am just been able to say,
23:16 okay, come on, stop let's go eat, its time to eat.
23:20 And the table is set perfectly and everybody sits
23:23 and we just had this incredible storm that just went through
23:25 and nobody talks about this storm.
23:27 You know, they talk what the elephant in the living
23:29 and nobody talks about the elephant,
23:31 nobody talks about the anger
23:33 and yet everybody now is dressed properly
23:36 is saying grace, the day goes on.
23:40 We are gonna go ahead and take a break
23:41 because to me the most important thing
23:45 about any of this, the most important thing
23:48 about realize and where we've come from
23:50 and where we kind of get our anger
23:53 and our junk from is that what do we do with it next?
23:56 What is that look like next especially in Ralph's life.
23:59 And stay with us because man,
24:02 its not an easy journey to know that in your toolkit
24:06 I have this in my toolkit
24:07 I don't have a lot of things to pull from
24:09 and God has to teach me.
24:11 And so man, we're gonna explore that when you come back.