Celebrating Life in Recovery

Emotionally Challenged

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Brian Shaul, David Allen


Series Code: CLR

Program Code: CLR00089B

00:15 Welcome back, I love working with everybody that comes
00:20 on the set, I wish I could introduce you to every
00:22 single person in the café today.
00:24 Each has a testimony and on some of the other programs
00:26 you will meet them.
00:28 But today is about Brian and you David.
00:31 David Allen and I want to say thank you for coming
00:34 on and I know that you and Brian work together.
00:36 Before we get into that can we talk about who you are
00:40 and where you have come from because your story is way
00:44 different than Brian's.
00:46 It is different, one thing that I can say is I grew up
00:50 in a middle-class, lower middle- class family in Wasilla Alaska.
00:54 When I grew up my parents, God bless them, they were well-
00:57 intentioned and did the best they possibly could for me.
01:00 My dad before I was born, he had gone to jail several
01:03 times for in-appropriate behavior with the opposite
01:07 gender and my mom - I love the way you say that's so
01:12 easy, I'm like wait. - it's not me and they are not here
01:16 today so I - so it's something he wasn't really a part of
01:20 in your life is where your dad came from? - yeah.
01:25 My mom had a psychological condition very similar to
01:30 autism and is called Aspergers and that affects social
01:33 skills and ability to recognize and understand emotions
01:37 in other people.
01:38 For some people that don't know that I have a friend that
01:41 has the same kind of thing and sometimes it is even
01:44 helpful for them to have a notebook with facial
01:47 expressions that says this is a happiness look like this,
01:50 sadness looks like this, anger looks like this.
01:52 They are so disconnected by not being able to interpret
01:56 expressions that they have cheater sheet. - yeah.
02:00 So I don't think my mom ever did that but it would have
02:07 been very helpful if she had.
02:08 So how this came together was that emotions were not
02:14 something I was allowed to express, if I was frustrated
02:18 with something it either was punished for being expressed by
02:23 one parent or completely ignored as something weird by
02:27 the other and so I grew up with a lot of anger.
02:30 I was embarrassed that I had emotions and didn't know how
02:34 to express them and didn't know who to express them to
02:38 so I became more frustrated.
02:40 So I could see you watching your mom and trying to get
02:44 some kind of how to act when you wouldn't
02:47 have known as a small child that she did know how to give
02:49 you those clues. - yeah so I didn't receive them.
02:52 While she was very good at teaching me in elementary school
02:57 once I went to age 12 and politics and gossips start to
03:01 become the order of the day in public schools, I was
03:05 completely unequipped to deal with all the rapid
03:09 changes that were happening.
03:10 I didn't know why all my friends were abandoning me,
03:13 I didn't know why it was being invited anywhere, I didn't
03:15 know why I was being bullied and I had
03:19 no system for understanding that.
03:20 I got out of high school - you are the first person
03:24 I have ever met, I mean I have met people with those
03:27 disorders, I met people that have really struggled
03:30 at living with those and have really done a great job.
03:33 I mean I has some really good friends that struggle with
03:36 that, with Aspergers and certain elements of that but you are
03:41 the first child of someone with this disorder that
03:46 I have ever met.
03:47 You are looking and saying I have no way to interpret the
03:50 world, and that is how I stepped into it.
03:53 Angry. - yeah I stepped into it angry and it got to
03:56 the point that by the time I was getting out of high
03:59 school I was listening to heavy metal and death metal
04:03 music for probably four to six hours a day.
04:04 - because you connect with that?
04:06 I could easily connect with that and not that I have
04:09 anything against it as a style of music but the lyrics
04:12 weren't help with me at all.
04:13 So was trying to fuel my anger and was using the anger as
04:17 a motivation to do every single thing, but it was scaring
04:22 people and I didn't know that I was scaring people.
04:24 I bet you were too, you know what I mean?
04:29 I could hear you and just see how that developed and
04:33 everything in me says I bet, because once we fit in
04:37 anywhere it doesn't matter where it is, but when you are
04:40 desperately trying to fit in and you find that niche I'm
04:44 going to fulfill that niche 100%, 1000% and I could see
04:48 you just saying okay here it is.
04:50 So it looked for a while that any evil forces or
04:56 negative forces in my life that wanted me to fail had
04:59 me pretty much on a fast freeway to wherever.
05:03 I realized when I got into college, at first I didn't
05:09 know what I wanted to do and then I decided I wanted to
05:11 get into business, because one thing my dad was always
05:14 good at he said if you want to study anything, study
05:17 business and then study whatever you want so that way
05:20 you will at least know how it works and you will be able
05:22 to make good living for yourself and your family.
05:25 And you can develop whatever is? - uh-huh.
05:26 - that's awesome - so I went into that and started
05:29 studying salesmanship, I was at a life insurance company
05:32 and I was calling people on this church directory and
05:35 naturally most of these people knew me growing up and
05:38 being very angry so they weren't ready to invite me into
05:41 their house to talk to their family about what would
05:43 happen if one of them died and try to get them to part
05:46 with their hard-earned money. - exactly and if you
05:48 don't do it right you may die right now. - yeah!
05:51 We may just take care that? - well if something happened to
05:56 you yes so I was looking at this church directory and there
06:01 was one name that stuck out and I saw this face and it
06:05 was a redheaded face with a beard and he had his wife
06:09 and two kids there and his name was Brian Shaw.
06:12 - Oh so that's for Brian comes in.
06:14 I look at the name and thought yet he used to go to my
06:17 church, he goes to a different one now, I should call him
06:19 but I'm going to skip that name and go to a different
06:22 one on the list.
06:23 So I called and did a bunch of other lists and four months
06:26 later finally I just decided I'm going to call this name.
06:29 I don't know why I was scared to call this person, why?
06:33 So I dialed his number and meant talk to him about 15
06:36 minutes, and maybe even five and set up an appointment
06:39 and got off the phone and I talked to him for 45 minutes.
06:42 So you connected right away? Yeah, I thought I had this
06:46 thing in the bag so I set the appointment and came over
06:49 and try to sell him the insurance and I learned about
06:53 emotional intelligence instead.
06:54 I started my journey towards personal development ever
06:58 since. - that's what his passion was.
07:01 It is very rare to find someone whose passion was
07:03 stronger than my own.
07:04 So what did you learn about emotional intelligence because
07:08 you have been dying for that information your whole life.
07:11 Without even knowing it your whole life has been
07:14 wanting to know this.
07:16 And God knew that, praise the Lord because when I was
07:20 getting started and Brian was meeting with me and teaching
07:23 me these principles from the Bible a couple of times
07:26 people would meet with him and take him aside and say
07:29 Brian do not work with David. - he's angry!
07:34 He's angry, probably one of those people who will end up
07:37 killing his mother one day and so yeah but luckily
07:41 so even with you saying that what people don't realize is
07:45 that your anger was tangible. - um hmm.
07:49 So lots of people were just frightened about that?
07:54 - yeah, so luckily Brian duly noted this and listen to
07:58 God and decided to act anyway and he became the first
08:02 of what would be many people who would be very supportive
08:06 of me, listening and understanding my emotions and it
08:09 became a bridge between me and developing
08:12 a relationship with God. - Amen!
08:15 So you know I'm so proud of Brian, and proud that he saw
08:18 that, and proud that he didn't back away from it
08:21 because of his own anger it didn't scare him more than
08:25 likely and we will talk to him about that later.
08:28 But it probably didn't scare you at all and so to me
08:31 what was it like and tell me some of the first things
08:35 that you learned about waking all that stuff up?
08:38 Okay the first thing I realized is that with relationships
08:43 what I had back then was a tit-for-tat thing.
08:46 You would do something, I would do something for you and
08:49 I would expect you to do something for me and it's going
08:51 to be whatever I want it to be and you will do it now.
08:54 It's if you don't then you are a lousy person.
08:56 - And I don't want a relationship with you.
08:59 - I learned that people don't like that very much.
09:03 I was able to watch how Brian interacted with people and
09:07 I was able to go to different churches and watch how other
09:09 people interacted with one another and I got involved with
09:13 community theater and I started to notice the social norms
09:17 with how my family operated, that isn't how other people
09:20 operate, there is another way a better way of living.
09:25 You know I just want to say David, I feel so proud of us
09:29 as Christians, I'm proud of God that no matter where
09:34 we come from, God says I've known you since you were
09:37 a little boy and I know exactly what you need right
09:41 now and that is what I'm going to do.
09:42 Your journey is so much different than mine but I really
09:45 proud of God because I know you need to watch people and
09:48 you need someone to really reach in and spend that time
09:52 and understand where you come from and don't you get
09:55 proud of God that He does all of that for us?
09:58 - I do, I do. - so as you're watching that and realize
10:01 in the social norms you came from are not what is out
10:04 there and you're going to now learn something
10:07 that is going to help you to step into the next
10:10 part of your recovery.
10:11 You must've been a scary time and an exciting time?
10:16 - it was, I was challenged on a lot of issues and one of
10:20 the first issues I was challenged with was the issue of
10:24 this really dark music I was listening to.
10:28 Because the person teaching me, Brian here he knew that
10:31 if I continued to listen to that four to six hours a day
10:35 and continue to try to be angry on a perpetual basis
10:40 I wouldn't be able to listen or learn to become someone
10:44 who had someone best interest in mind.
10:46 - exactly because a lot of the anger is all self
10:50 focused and what he is trying to teach you is to be
10:54 other focused right now. - absolutely!
10:57 There were something I learned in my own recovery is
10:59 that I'm oversensitive and have all these abuse issues
11:03 and somebody said to me is that God created us to be
11:06 oversensitive, to be sensitive to the needs of others
11:09 not of our own, I thought oh stop, because mine
11:13 was always about me.
11:15 So it's like not being able to turn that around a
11:18 little bit and he's saying to break away from that
11:21 stuff so you can get it turned around, dialed in.
11:26 Cool. Awesome so now you're at a place where you're
11:30 starting to cut the music down because that is a
11:34 addiction, high adrenaline, high energy thing.
11:37 It is very addictive. - Well one thing I have noticed
11:41 I very much like freedom and it comes from being rejected
11:45 as a kid and I learned that I have this desire whether
11:48 it is sometimes healthy or sometimes not to be everything
11:52 to myself, so one thing I did was I took all the cd's
11:55 I had, probably several hundred of them and put them all
11:58 in a box and taped the box shut and put it in the trunk
12:02 of my car. - so I still have it. - I still have it
12:04 and can always go back to it if I want to because it's
12:07 right there, but knowing that I could gave me the
12:12 freedom to choose not to as well.
12:14 - exactly and for some of us that has to be the step.
12:18 When someone says, even when I say to somebody is that
12:21 you just have to get rid of that and see the panic in
12:24 their eyes, step back a little bit and take that step.
12:28 Just put it over here for a minute.
12:31 That's why people say with a lot of recovery programs to
12:35 take one day at a time.
12:37 We are not asking you to stay away from whatever has
12:41 got a hold on you for a eternity we are just asking you to
12:43 do right now and do it today.
12:45 - Even for this hour, that's awesome.
12:47 So that was the beginning of your journey.
12:51 - it was - that's awesome so now with that being cut out
12:56 your free to feel something other than anger? - yes.
13:02 But that is new too, so how does that feel?
13:05 Well it felt wonderful, he loaned me books on business,
13:09 Christian leadership of John C. Maxwell and different
13:13 authors like that and I went to a seminar, a man named
13:16 Leo Screven came up and did an All Power Seminar
13:18 and I attended that.
13:20 I love Leo, he's a good friend of mine.
13:22 So I started paying attention to all the sources of
13:25 wisdom and knowledge and just became acknowledged junkie.
13:30 Almost a sponge? - yes.
13:32 Can you remember, and this is something I remember in my
13:36 own recovery, can you remember the first time that you
13:39 laughed and it was an honest laugh in this part of your
13:43 journey? Did you just feel like oh?
13:45 I compensated with laughter for many reasons so I always used
13:51 laughter, it was always genuine.
13:53 An issue I had my house with my mom with her Aspergers
13:56 I would make a joke and she would be so oversensitive
13:59 and unable to understand that it was joke and would take
14:01 offense at everything I said.
14:02 So I had to find other places where to use humor.
14:06 That was never really an issue for me looking for genuine
14:10 laughter. - okay so now that you are starting to look at
14:14 the business thing and starting to get your legs underneath you
14:17 as far as the music with the 6 hours a day, the music is
14:21 releasing you and even opening up time which is amazing.
14:25 When people talk about addictions, like even the social
14:29 network addictions, or whatever addiction is that we spend
14:33 a large amount of time on those addictions
14:35 and when we get that freed up, what do you do with it?
14:39 You've gotten some business stuff, you're starting to
14:42 get your passion about that?
14:44 I'm starting to get my passion yeah, one thing
14:46 I had put on the back burner and completely
14:48 forgot about was writing.
14:49 I wrote stories when I was in first grade,
14:52 I was homeschooled and I wrote a story that I entered
14:55 into a contest run by PBS and I won it for
14:57 my state, for my grade.
14:59 - so you loved to write? - I love to write and then
15:02 through 3-5 grade I wrote two more books probably
15:05 about 30 pages long, not really big but they were
15:07 volunteer work and I was doing it because I loved it.
15:10 And then there was a dark time in my life when I went to
15:13 middle school and I was unprepared and didn't understand
15:16 social relationships so I tried to become stronger and
15:20 looking tough and more capable of generating fear in
15:24 other people so I could survive.
15:25 I can see you doing that yeah.
15:26 So I forgot about writing and took this idea of turning
15:29 these principles into a book that reawakened that desire.
15:34 So now I want you to talk about the whole principle and
15:39 looking at socially how people do.
15:42 What about that first thing that David talked about, that
15:46 trust? What did that look like in your life as you got
15:49 a hold of that I need to start?
15:52 Yeah, so there are three things that I learned from the
15:56 very first day, and even today I'm still working on them.
15:59 They are having integrity, having other people's best
16:03 interest in mind, and getting the job done.
16:06 I had integrity to a reasonable degree.
16:09 And I ended up getting the job done because that was what
16:12 my parents cared about the most.
16:13 But having other people's best interest in mind, now that
16:16 was an issue because it was pretty much nonexistent in my
16:19 household, so I didn't understand that that was a
16:22 component trust and when that was being violated,
16:25 I knew I was being violated, I knew there is something
16:28 wrong, but I had no way to express it because the people
16:31 to whom I would have to express it had no concept of it.
16:34 So I would be frustrated at not know why and think it was
16:37 wrong with me, but thank God I was able to learn about
16:40 these principles and I learned to know there is nothing
16:43 wrong with me, at least not in that aspect.
16:46 Having other people's best interest in mind is a
16:50 legitimate need and everybody including you David
16:53 has needs in other people.
16:55 I have to just say most people in recovery we are so self
17:04 focused, incredibly self focused.
17:07 So can you give us a little bit of a step, how do you go
17:14 from self focused to turning out and really caring about
17:18 the heart of the person in front of you, or the life of
17:23 the person in front of you?
17:24 Just having healthy relation- ships around you, watching
17:29 other people around you put aside their needs for a little
17:32 while to pay attention to you and knowing that those needs
17:36 are going to be met in the future.
17:38 Just because you set them down for a second, no one is
17:41 going to run away and grab them and you are going to see
17:44 those needs again if you care about them that much
17:47 they are not going to go away.
17:48 Exactly! And to me what a gift to even say this out loud
17:53 and being able to say to put them down for a moment and
17:56 know that they are just as important, but right now
17:59 I'm going to care for the person in front of me and they
18:02 are going to be everything right now in this moment I want
18:05 them to know that I care about your passion and
18:07 your needs and your dreams.
18:09 What we can do for each other that is a gift and being
18:12 able to like what you and Brian have talked about is
18:16 making that three people at first, not just everybody,
18:19 three people and then add a different level the 12,
18:22 and then a different level the 70.
18:24 But for these three people in my life I want to be so
18:28 involved in their lives that they know that I know who
18:33 they are, I see them. You know what I mean?
18:35 That is awesome. To me as you are talking of where
18:40 you grew up in the home you grew up this is incredible
18:43 it's almost like somebody put you on life support for
18:46 a moment and taught you this. You know what I mean?
18:49 Healing and that is huge. - will there is a reason that
18:52 these type or relationships are called lifeline
18:55 relationships, they are met to sustain you.
18:58 They are meant to pick you up when you are feeling down.
19:01 - exactly, and change everything.
19:03 What's really incredible about this kind of healing,
19:08 what you and Brian have put together is that if I can get
19:13 that, when I turn around to get my thing back,
19:17 when I pick it up because you said you set it aside and
19:20 look at a person in front of you.
19:21 But when I turn around and pick it up again it's more
19:25 substantial, because I've grown a little bit by being
19:28 able to connect with this person.
19:30 So my interest, my passions, my dreams actually become
19:35 more real because my relationships are more real so
19:40 it all goes together after a while.
19:42 There's a story that I would like to talk to about.
19:45 I basically took the Harvard business school version of
19:48 learning how to put aside my needs for a moment.
19:52 My mom came back from a mission trip teaching English in
19:56 South Korea, which was her first time overseas and it was
19:58 very exciting for her, but she came back in a wheelchair.
20:02 She had Lou Gehrig's disease which is a terminal illness
20:05 where the body painfully and slowly shuts down.
20:08 Starting with the fingers and working its way to the lungs
20:10 until you die. - wow, wow! - My mom didn't want
20:15 anyone to know that she was sick for a while and didn't
20:18 want to have anyone else help her so what I ended up
20:21 doing was that put aside my schooling and stopped the
20:25 business I was involved in and I spent my time learning
20:28 how to take care of her.
20:30 So I didn't have a nursing degree and I was scared of the
20:33 idea of doing nursing as a profession but I had to learn
20:37 how to take care of people outside of school and really
20:40 learn how to spend all my time with this woman
20:42 who brought me into this world and I spent six months.
20:45 - you still love her and was going through
20:48 this process with her.
20:49 Yeah and I was in real estate at the time and I had
20:52 made my first and last sale after about month six which
20:54 was the sale of my childhood home to pay for the
20:57 medical care that she needed and she was able to
20:59 rely on that for the rest of her life.
21:01 Wow to me I can't imagine, I really can see how God
21:08 used that to you outside of yourself but I can't imagine
21:11 emotionally, you'd then felt everything from joy to
21:15 despair. - Um Hmm. - during that time.
21:19 Did she survive, is she still alive?
21:22 No she's not, she died two weeks before her 60th birthday
21:27 in 2009. - Wow - and I had already bought a plane ticket
21:32 to come up and visit her and all I was going to do was
21:33 finish my final exams and go up and she died before my final
21:38 exams were completed.
21:39 I'm sorry about your mom, I'm thrilled that you were in
21:44 a place where you can care for her and that you could
21:47 go in and put things aside and just so you know what,
21:51 I'm actually here for you in whatever you need during
21:54 this time. That is incredible.
21:57 It wasn't easy, it was one of the most difficult
21:59 experiences in my life, but I am glad I went through it now.
22:01 It changed you? -Um Hmmm.
22:03 What's really for a lot of us is that we think that as
22:09 we learn these things and we come into healing as
22:12 we figure it out that everything is going to work out but
22:15 life still happens, tragedy still happens but we have
22:18 tools that grow us during those tragedies.
22:23 So tell me more about your journey?
22:29 I mean the journey with your parents it sounds like you were
22:35 able to resolve some of that anger stuff and during the
22:39 time you cared for her in the last part of her life being
22:43 able to resolve some of that and understand her at a
22:46 different level. - it was, there were a couple times were we came
22:50 a head because she had trouble understanding
22:52 emotions and she was relying on me not as her 3 or her
22:57 12 but as her 1 and 1 and so she had a lot of needs and
23:03 only need to meet them.
23:05 One thing that was great about her is that she read her
23:07 Bible every day, she prayed and she made a dramatic
23:10 transformation in her life and she became much more
23:13 peaceful and she was going through these last several
23:15 months then when I seen her when she was well.
23:17 Well, so you got to see that.
23:19 I'm going to go him take a break and then bring Brian
23:23 backup so that we can close this out with the two of you
23:27 because I got a really good sense of your journey and
23:31 I am so, I don't know if it's appropriate for me to say
23:35 I'm so proud of you, but the things you have looked at
23:38 and the things that you have confronted and the steps
23:42 you have made, how cool is that?
23:44 I just want to say praise God for that, you could have
23:47 said no along the way, you could set I'm not put many
23:50 music aside, I'm not looking at any of this stuff but
23:53 you didn't you said yes to all of it.
23:55 And in our recovery the only way we are going to get
23:58 healing and recovery is when we start saying yes, even
24:01 against the things that we know have worked in our life.
24:04 I'm proud of you that you did that. We're going ahead
24:06 and take a break and I want to bring Brian back up and
24:11 have a sense of how all this fit in and how they are
24:14 helping people stand up and hopefully somebody is
24:18 listening and you hear the fact that when you start
24:21 saying you want to change God will put things in place
24:24 that will just wow you, absolutely wow you.
24:27 Be right back, stay with us!


Revised 2014-12-17