EPISODE 20 
TRANSCRIPT

0:00:11.7 S1: Welcome to the romance writer, where three writers who always deliver happily ever after is offered questionable advice for all of your relationship work and life problems. I am Aberlin, I'm Ron parish.

 

0:00:25.1 S2: And I'm CEO Xero. We've got a great show for you today. Anat Albert is a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer of over 35 published works, that's like, I'm in a lease and up, tell us more about yourself and welcome. I'm so excited to be here. I love the podcast, they live podcasts in general, I know a lot of my cooking and household chores while listening to podcast and I really love it, so I write LGBTQ romance, mainly contemporary stuff. My latest just came out last week, it is Sailor proof, it is a new military romance from me and Karina press, it's in paper, audio and e-book, and it's a brother's best friend, fake beating romance and its military, and it was really fun to relive it.

 

0:01:18.4 S1: I am in love. And for those of you who are listening instead of watching, we love you just as much, Antibes is knitting something right now, so you have to tell us what you're knitting, so

 

0:01:31.3 S2: I am making myself a blanket, usually knit for other people, like mining for myself was really unusual, but I decided to MIT myself a patchwork and it's gonna be all colors of the rainbow, so it is 26 colors of an... Oh wow, I Aotearoa green patch, but yeah, it's kind of been the rainbow, that'll be really fun, and I can like my favorite pair of headphones ever to that. How long do you think it will take you to MIT? The whole blanket, I started in the winter. I wanna say like... And so I'm on square 20 something now, and then I'm doing a conference in November, and I'm gonna join all the squares while I listen to the conference, it's an online conference, and so is probably a year from start to finish. That's amazing. I do not have that gene, I can't mix, so crochet, I have to have my hands busy or else like I fiddle with things, so I... With me, a doctor's offices and waiting, and I cannot wait patiently. That would be good if I could do that under finds that I just eat it all. Yeah, like knitting, but I have the cat problem, which is that I cannot fit without the cats coming and trying to paste my Volvo yard or grab at the string or...

 

0:03:07.8 S2: So it's like I can do it if I'm behind closed doors or in a space without pass, which is the catastrophe at Lily yarn headers, if you really like dining, you can hide the yarn in a little yarn Heider, and the only thing that they'll see is the cord, that is so smart. Thank you. That is awesome. Well, let's get to our letter... It is a good one. And you wanna jump in there? Yeah, okay. It's a little long, but I think it's... So stay with me. The title is help. I think my adult step-sons may be sleeping together, my husband and I are at a crossroads about how to confront our sons about a discovery we made while visiting their shared flats, their step-brothers technically. Note the word technically, my husband and I are both widowers who met and bonded at a support group for single parents surviving after cancer. Myeon was 10 when I met my husband and 12 when we married, my step-son is nine months younger, so they're very close in age. After a somewhat rocky start, both boys were grieving and trying to adjust to a new family norm, they became the best of friends, inseparable from about age 13 that he even took the same classes together in high school, so they could spend more time together and made sure to go to the same university.

 

0:04:30.1 S2: My hobby and I went on to have four more kids, three girls in a boy, so our lives got pretty hectic because our oldest sons were teenagers when our house... The came being be crazy, I admit my husband and I probably let the older to fend for themselves a bit more than usual, especially with four young kids in the house, they're both adults now, 25 and 26, live a state over and rent a flat together. We went to visit them once covid, once covid restrictions had eased, and my husband accidentally walked into the second bedroom in their two-bedroom flat thinking it was the bathroom and discovered it was set up as an office. My husband's curiosity, got the better of him, and he stuck around discovering one kings in SPED in the only other bedroom that contained both of their stuff. My husband didn't say anything in front of the kids, but told me about it when we got home the following week, he'd been mulling it over and decided it best not to tell me until after our holiday was over, we haven't told the boys, but have been distraught over it. My husband is convinced they're sleeping together, which makes me feel sick...

 

0:05:29.8 S2: Yes, there step brothers, but they've been raised together since they were nine and 10, my husband's mind went straight to them sleeping together, but maybe it is a non-sexual co-dependency because we were so busy with the younger kids, maybe in their toes, they just got closer and closer, and maybe they weren't handling the grief over their respective losses as we thought they were, my husband argues that they've never brought home girlfriends, and we should have noticed the science earlier, what signs... To me, there were no signs, but if my husband is right, how do we handle this? Did it start when they were under age, did it start when they were adults at university, honestly, we don't know, and it has made us feel so sick and such a bad mom, made me feel so second... Such a bad mom. Should we confront the boys about it or act like we have no idea what's going on, and he... For the best, is it just a very close friendship they grew out of as they got older and meet women, please give us some insight on how to handle this as I feel so lost, we have the four other kids to think about as well, I'm not sure I would want them exposed to what would be an unhealthy relationship if our worries are confirmed...

 

0:06:33.6 S2: Signed, concerned and confused. Mama Bear.

 

0:06:38.5 S1: Wow, I just want everybody who's listening this to stop right now and go find the YouTube episode and watch and best space as the letter is being read, because that might have been my favorite part of the whole... ENTS.

 

0:06:56.4 S2: A lot of words. Yeah, I felt like it was good to read the whole thing because especially advance, we have you on, I feel like in queer romance and moms specifically, step brothers to Lovers is a very popular subgenre and Tom, it's a really common... And it's kind of interesting to hear the letter on their characterize it as an inherently unhealthy relationship, and we'd have to hide it and do how romance treats this pairing. They were a little younger when they became brothers than most authors do when they do the step-brother pairing, but not so much younger, and I guess in LGBTQ romance, there tends to be a lot of, Well, no one's getting her... It's consenting adults, they're 25 and 26, and no one's getting pregnant, there's not the genetic thing to worry about, but their step... So it wouldn't matter anyway. I think the bigger issue really is what the mom says, which is How does this impact dynamics... They have younger kids, and I wonder, do they even need to discuss this with their younger kids, their roommates, they can handle it how they want, but maybe they should try talking to the adult sons and find out how they would like the siblings to know or not know and find out what's actually going on in...

 

0:08:46.0 S2: You can speculate all you want, but until they say, This is our relationship friendship, you go romantic relation, whatever it is, they have to come out and say what it is before they can do anything that... I see, yeah, exactly, exactly.

 

0:09:02.7 S1: I think even before we get to the step brothers and whether or not that is crossing a line, which we've talked about before I comment, different opinions on... I kinda had the line that jumped out at me and... Well, not just one line, but she mentioned it several times, the fact that, Well, they haven't brought home girlfriends, so I think we've got at least some LA homophobia that we are looking at here because she can't even admit that this would be a possibility... Right.

 

0:09:39.1 S2: Yesteryear. They gonna grow out of it. At 25 and 26. Yeah.

 

0:09:47.6 S1: Yeah, and I get a little concerned by anybody who calls themselves a mama bear, but that is a man thing, not necessarily ethics, I think we've got a two-step thing here, we've got... Is she gonna be... Is part of her issue, the fact that she's also asking her grown son about their sexuality... Right, and is that something that she's getting caught on because she can't figure that part at, are they in a family where that would not be acceptable...

 

0:10:21.6 S2: That's what I'm on that.

 

0:10:22.9 S1: Yeah, that's holding her back. And then you add on to that, the fact that they are step brothers, so no actual relationship, but were raised as brothers... Well, I know sometimes that's a whole lot

 

0:10:39.2 S2: When family... So blended, when families are blended, the parents are like, and we're all gonna be on the Cape family, and that doesn't necessarily translate to what the kids want or how they feel... You know what I mean? So you can tell somebody that's your sibling, but if you don't, you don't feel like there's a sibling connection there, then... You can't manufacture that. Right, so I think that they just expected the Brady Bunch to happen with their two kids, and that's not what happened, but there was a line and she said something like, maybe we didn't let them process their grief and we weren't paying attention, like some sort of coping mechanism that they were... And they became close, and that was a little troubling to me as well as

 

0:11:17.9 S1: I think she's come up with a ton of excuse, not saying that any of this has to be excused, but she is really focused in on non-excuses... Yeah, possibly think of... And

 

0:11:34.9 S2: I think one of the things that also makes me think that there is some low level homophobia going on here is the idea that what her mind would go to is the explanation clearly is that they weren't traumatized able to deal with it. And so as a result of trauma, they turned to one another in a horribly homosexual way, and I think she was unhealthy, not healthy, and I think that her own feelings of homophobia are mixing with guilt that she didn't see something sooner and is making this toxic cocktail is really making or not able to see this clearly at all, 'cause one of the things that I wonder... She's like signs. What size? I love any signs. Whereas I'm like, Maybe this is my inherently secretive nature, but if you are having a la sexual dramatic relationship with your sibling and you're sharing a house and your parents are coming to visit, unless you are so dumb or you wanna get caught, you make it look like you don't share a bedroom, like I just can't believe that these adult 20s in their 20s would know to do that, if you don't have locks on the doors, if you don't have a way to prevent that, of course, someone's gonna see your meat, them to find out so I'm thinking what they either want them to find out, I didn't know how to tell them and we're like, This is the way we're gonna do it, or...

 

0:12:57.8 S2: Nothing is going on, it makes me wonder if they haven't said something before, and she just was like, No, no, no, no, no, then I don't hear you, because like I said, this is a really weird situation to walk in and have your home... You know, they're gonna walk around, you know they're gonna... You know what I mean? They're your parents. Yeah, there has to be some... There's something missing here, either she's a deep, deep, deep denial or... Yeah, I don't know. One thing that I was thinking as I was hearing it too, is he's characterizing them as having been kids when they got together, I happen to have a 14-year-old, so I'm navigating this period in time right now, and I have an 11-year-old too, and so 11-year-olds, they have presses 11-12-year-olds, so kind in the Brady Bunch thing, we have personal in-person band, they're gonna be brothers now, maybe they had a crush from moment, berm jump, and if they had that crush, then the brotherly feelings never developed or they got kinda mixed up in the crush, and so she wanted them to have purely platonic things and her precious angels would never possibly have a crush until they're 18 and legal, but...

 

0:14:18.2 S2: No, I think that it's really possible they had a crush, and I also think it's possible that they were saying things that would give her clues like, we're moving in together. This is our house. He said they were inseparable... Right. Inseparable from the person they knew.

 

0:14:38.6 S1: Yeah, need, I think kids do get crushes and kids get crushes like... I don't know. Great, cool. Earlier, sometimes that doesn't make it like a big sexual thing, it could be a crush, I just really like this person so much, wherever it is because that's... All of that is developmental or on what level of Crush... If it was a video game, are you on level one or you... But I think there can... I think there is still a societal taboo about step siblings and getting together, and I think there's a big difference between a happening in real life and it happening in a romance book hugely, and I think motivations are different, and I think the worlds are different, and... I'm thinking of, I don't know if you guys watch the lure documentary, it's a MANA bunkers, if you've not sure. Out there, and they have the same thing. They had the pre-bunch marriage came together and one of their girls and one of their boys got married, so they had a wedding hall in the family, so

 

0:16:11.1 S2: Same thing at two command, then we talk about, you know.

 

0:16:14.9 S1: That I would need to see numbers, I would... Need to see numbers because I don't know that it is that common because that is a huge taboo. Well, used to, if you rather in the same house and you were raised the siblings from nine and 10, that's great school, that you may not feel like super sibling toward them, but that is still the definition of your relationship. Yeah, that's one definition of you... We always argue about the market... About the Oculus. Okay.

 

0:16:56.3 S2: Maybe Jane Austin has a stone. It also used to be much more common, it was super common in any country that had lands that passed...

 

0:17:07.8 S1: Within a family. Yeah, but that was a long time ago though. I'm talking about today, I know, but I don't know that it is that common here in the United States, maybe there are lots of cultures and countries where to have familial marriage is not as uncommon as it is here, and I think first of all, this mother is clearly either British or Australian, so we don't know that the family is all American.

 

0:17:39.5 S2: But yeah, I think that it could have been that the... Their relationship could have gone so many different ways and we don't know, and this mother clearly doesn't know, and the father clearly doesn't know, and clearly nobody has any idea what's going on, and I guess for me, I wonder like, Do you all think... So Avery and Adam, you both have kids. Do and I don't... So we can... Wealth, do you think is the right of a parent to know those sorts of things or ask those sorts of questions, what do you think is the right of the kids to have privacy... I'm just really curious what... I feel like we might be coming from different places, not having... Or having kids too, right? Yeah.

 

0:18:20.9 S1: You go first, and

 

0:18:22.7 S2: I bet we might be coming at it from the wrong angle, which is how prevalent is it in society, is it societally a Tevis is somebody's real life and it's actually happened is they have to deal with it as a family. Whether it's societally common or whether it's really an uncommon thing, they have to deal with this as a family, and I think what I would be wanting to do is look deep in myself, why didn't they come to us with it sooner, not... Do I have a right to know? But why didn't I create an environment where my child felt okay talking about their sexuality in general, because if they are in some way a couple, they do have a sexual identity that is not cisgender, straight, male, they have some sort of thing that they might wanna talk to their parents about, I don't know how they identify. I don't know what words they use, but it's something... And as a parent, you wanna create an environment where your kids can come to you and they can say, at even 11, 12, 13, 90, they can say, I kinda like this boy and I'm not sure if I like him as a friend, or This girl makes my stomach flutter.

 

0:19:45.3 S2: And it's that normal. And if you have a healthy relationship with your kids... And this mom was talking about healthy relationships, like if you have a healthy relationship long before puberty, your kid is talking to you about who they like and how they identify, and how they see themselves and their inner truth, and if that environment was there, they might have felt that could come to them, and so the parent. It's not about my right to know, it's about the environment that I've created, am I creating a place where they can bring me... Even things I might not want to hear. And so I think that's what really is here, it's something that they knew that the parents would dislike, but was there a healthy communication environment where they could tell... It also sounds like they got caught up in their new family, in the children that came along water, they had four... I think it's an were... The house was full of babies and we were all about them, and we sort of left the boys to fend for themselves, so yeah, it doesn't feel like it was an environment where I think they felt free to pull them aside, is that...

 

0:20:57.3 S1: Well, I think that that's just a set up for trouble, I mean that is traumatizing to a child to be pushed aside for the new family... Anybody who has lived that experience knows what a crappy awful thing and how many layers that ends up of trouble that ends up causing for you and in your relationship with your other folks. Right. So that could be playing into all of this as well, and I just want to guess Antibes with her saying that as parents, our job is to create an environment. And that's what I think of it as, our job is to create that environment where they feel they can come to you. Now, does that mean I don't go ask questions? Of course they do. I have boys, they don't talk. So I track them in the car and I asked them questions like, who are your friends and what do you guys like to do, and what do you talk about? And who do you sit next to at lunch, and my middle child is 15 and I still torment him like this. Right. So it's your job as a parent to have, in my opinion, to create that environment where the child can be themselves and a child feel safe enough to be able to come to you with questions or concerns or just to let you know about their day.

 

0:22:37.4 S1: Number one, number two, to be in touch with your child, whether that's because they're chatty kid or because you end up pulling... Asking questions, nothing invasive. I think there's a difference. You're not reading their diary, you're not breaking into the room, you're not 365 life in them, you know you... Oh my goodness. But they're younger though.

 

0:23:01.7 S2: I would not use... I 365 with an 18-year-old who now 65 life.

 

0:23:08.3 S1: And you're basically tracking their phone, which is always with them, you sweet to be involved with them enough to know who they are at least that moment in time, because kids change so much. So it may be their child A into B, MC, and at this point in time, later on they might be be into a whole bunch of other things. Your job as a parent is to basically be there, you're a support system, your knowledge base, and it doesn't happen all the time and be... If your kids come and talk to you and tell you all of the things and all of their crushes and all that I am personally incredibly jealous on that. Now, I have to ask the follow-up question is my minor all incredibly closed mouth, but I will say though, that I am the same way with the same way with my mom, maybe it's right there, but when they do come to you that... Even in that type of situation, that's when you know, Hey, I am at least doing something correct here. So I think our letter writer is looking back right now and take away all of that late in the homophobia that we can all clearly see in there.

 

0:24:31.7 S1: I think she is looking at this and coming back and saying, Oh shit, I didn't do my job, and I think there's a lot of guilt met, and I think that's why they're so much rationalizing in this letter.

 

0:24:46.2 S2: I just hope that the guilt is... If I had been more president, they wouldn't be. They are maybe it may be. Yeah, only thing I think is really interesting is I'm thinking... My parents definitely made me feel safe, I definitely felt like I could have told them things, but I didn't... I was like the most private closed off person, and not because I thought that there were gonna be terrible consequences, I just like my mode of asserting my independence at that, starting at probably 10, 11, 12 was that I wanted to be left alone and I wanted to deal with things on my own. And I took any question or attempt to connect by my parents as a challenge, and I don't know, obviously I've been to therapy since and I'm fine, but you know at the time, it wasn't because they had done something wrong, it wasn't... So I think that it makes sense to me that this mom feels guilty and maybe if you should, it sounds like maybe she should, but I also think you can be the best parent in the world and create the most loving environment and still have kids who don't wanna tell you so certain things or who are like, I feel really safe to tell this person lots of things, but I wanna keep it private for other reasons, I love having secrets, I love having things that I don't tell people, especially as a teenager, it felt like precious and exhilarating to have secrets, and so I think there could have been nothing going on when they were younger, or they could have just been best friends and this happened later, or they could have actively chosen to keep it a secret in a...

 

0:26:36.3 S2: You are a terrible parent kind of way, but like this is... We don't wanna deal with any of the fallout, and I think another way that parents are... Another thing that parents also have to remember is there is so much just 'cause you hear a parent, that doesn't mean you're also not just another person to your kids, and that if you have something that you think like the world that's complicated or taboo in some way, it might not be that you feel unsafe, it might be that you simply don't wanna manage any of the feelings that would result as a fall out of learning that... I have things that I don't tell my parents that happen, I work with regards to safety in my neighborhood, and I don't tell them because I know it would make them scared for me and for my safety, and I wanna protect them, and I'm 39... It's not like I'm an adult, I can decide that for myself, but I also imagine that probably came of a long time of feeling about my parents, they cared about me so much and love me so much, and that meant that if anything bad was happening to me, including bad feelings, that it would harm them in some way to learn about that, and so I developed this protective mode where I didn't want to...

 

0:27:46.0 S2: I didn't wanna hurt them, but that also means like I don't wanna deal with the fall out of a care of someone's feelings after telling them there that might hurt them, which is... That's just complicated, and I don't think is necessarily parents fault, so I do hope that this mother will not be so caught up in the guilt that she can't remember that some of these things might have to do with choices that she and her husband made and some of them also just might not have anything to eat. Funny, you said that about being private, like I grew up in an environment where privacy was the goal, so you didn't talk about anything, you don't... And I think there are some families where you don't talk about real stuff, everything is very superficial, and this could be a case of that 'cause they're like, Well, do we say anything we've seen what we've seen, and do we say anything? Maybe not to be, just keep it to ourselves. And there are families where that happens all the time, like no one is encouraged to talk about anything that could rock the boat. You know what I mean? When I was a kid, I would wanna tell everybody everything, but I was conditioned not to tell anyone anything, and that's how I am now.

 

0:28:58.7 S2: Yeah, so it's definitely... There's just a lot going on in this family, I'm not sure how they're going to as a family with the kids, the younger kids sit down and talk about this... If they do get to that point, I think

 

0:29:11.4 S1: The first thing I think they just need to talk to the boys.

 

0:29:14.8 S2: Oh yeah, yeah.

 

0:29:15.4 S1: I'm just calling the boys, they need to talk to the boys first and find out what is going on instead of just speculating, and at that point in time that I think then you get to this step, sibling part into the next bridge, one bridge at a time, that's all I can take. That would be my recommendation.

 

0:29:39.8 S2: I'm actually on team, don't bring it because the oil and bring it up for a reason, and there is so much complicated family dynamics here and the Watanabe issue, if they bring this out into the light, then they as parents are gonna feel they have to make a decision that benefits these four younger kids, and that might mean distancing themselves even more than they already have from the older too, and it keeps their family dynamic, which is not the healthiest right now, but if it's a choice between we bring this out into the open and then they're gonna go do their living together and we're gonna keep our younger kids over here, we don't want them to know what's happening over there, things are getting more unhealthy, not less. I wonder if they're doing that already to say kind of are...

 

0:30:35.6 S1: I think they are, but I think they're also... They could be blowing this... I don't know, I will respectfully disagree with you Animas, I think that it is one of those things where you just ask if the kid doesn't wanna answer, the kid doesn't wanna answer a team, not saying like being super interested to say, Hey, you know, I noticed this, I'm curious, can you...

 

0:31:03.2 S2: And like me a little bit about... So you can tell me anything you like... You know, you can talk to me about anything. That's what I'm gonna say. You know what I mean? You don't have to even come for

 

0:31:12.8 S1: Yet, because I think the more they go and big secrets can faster, and I think the fact that brain said they easily could have covered this up if that was their goal, if they all want a hate relationship...

 

0:31:29.3 S2: Yeah, they might be the conversation, the...

 

0:31:32.0 S1: They might be like because... Especially if they're in a family where we don't discuss things that are out of the comfort zone, for lack of a better phrase, which to me would be any feelings, period, and this may be their way of being able to start that conversation

 

0:31:50.1 S2: That... I just noticed this line where she says, My husband didn't say anything in front of the kids, but told me about it when we got home, he had been mulling it over and decided it best not to tell me until after our holiday was over a week, knowing that she was gonna react poorly. Yeah, I think she needs to spend some time separating the step further issue from the homophobia issue, solely, there is a path forward where if they have the conversation, they can still be a family, maybe even a happier, more honest, more communicating family than they currently are, but in order to do that, she and maybe the husband who were gonna have to confront their views on sexuality, and they need to do that apart from the step further question, because should the step brothers be together, that's kind of a separate thing than the section they were whatever sexuality they are is intrinsic to Ben, they had it before they even met each other, and if you don't believe that she might wanna spend some time with how she think sexuality forms and really get okay with whatever their sexuality is, and then deal with the step brother question is a metal...

 

0:33:08.7 S1: My good, my kids, I'm just imagining these sons, the step brother is like... First of all, I personally have no problem with step siblings having a consensual equal relationship, and that's not my issue, but even though I feel that way, I am aware of the awkwardness that can arise for myself and for everyone, if you are in that kind of relationship, which PS, remind me to tell you guys some time about the time that my parents thought that me and my sister were a role for one minute at dinner, and it was the funniest thing that's ever happened as face. Acetone about, I wanna move to Thayer.

 

0:33:58.8 S2: Not a couple, but my sister and I are best friends, and I am imagining that if we were in a romantic relationship in some way, even if nobody knew about it or if everyone knew about it and they felt okay about it there... That's just a lot, that's a big change to be a couple in your family, to do all those things, and so I think it's great to time, I am generally a propeller of honesty and talking about most things, and in this instance, I feel like the ideal would be a way to talk about it that didn't force the issue before these step sons are ready to about it, if it is a case, but there's some balance of asking, making it clear if it's true, that they can tell you anything like you said, so... And just saying like, We wanna talk more here, if you ever wanna talk to... I think we love you no matter what the atheist thing out of the mouth... I see. First thing I ever not... Yeah. Okay, for a Brook, so formatted, should we move to our... She wants to go to the chat to check

 

0:35:04.0 S1: It. I am not in favor except to a relationship. Alright, so let's see, our chat topic for this week is something near and dear to my heart each and every day, and that is, how did you address Sasha, is that I have... Now I do what you're talking about as you sit there and met, what are your top two, three ways of dealing with stress, but

 

0:35:34.1 S2: One thing I can say I walk so nitty and stuff, but I've been dealing with a lot of stress lately, and one thing that I think we don't give ourselves enough is permission to let go of some of it and take things off your plate. I think there's a lot of pressure, especially on writers and people in creative professions to say yes to every opportunity that comes through way, say yes to everyone who wants a piece of view, yes to everything that could possibly get your name out there, and it is okay. To take things off your plate. And it's also okay to say, Okay, this person over there, they might have a huge place in... My personal plan is smaller, I don't have room for all these extra things on it, and I'm gonna get okay with that, and I think that is something that I'm dealing with right now, which is what things are okay to take off the plate is... Nor Robert says, Which balls are glass and which balls are rubber? Because you cannot juggle all 25 balls at once in your life, and so while I knit and I take naps and I do long walks, and that all helps, but none of that can make your plate any bigger or smaller, and sometimes some things have to go in order...

 

0:36:55.7 S2: To bring your stress level down. Agree. And it's like as creative, especially as authors and India authors... Your tendency to say yes. Yes, I'll do that. Yes, I can do that. Yes, I can be involved in this. You wanna participate in all the things and help all the people, but you only have so much waxing your candle. Yeah, exactly, yeah, there's only so much of you, and if you are at critical red level with the stress, it's entirely possible that some things are gonna have to go in order to bring that red level down to green again. One of the things that's been most useful for me is being able to recognize what I feel stressed, because I for a long time was not in touch with what the feeling of stress meant, like I thought... There were sometimes when I knew I was stressed, like, I have a big paper due tomorrow and I haven't started it yet in college, or I have to do X, Y, or Z thing that I think is gonna be really hard. There were certain extreme cases where I could identify the cause and the effect, but I would say for a great deal of my life, I have thought like, I don't really feel very stressed out, I'm fine, I know it'll get done, which...

 

0:38:13.4 S2: It took me a while to realize that when you have to say... I know it'll get done. Usually, you're already stressed. And for me anyway, it's like that thing where you're like... By the time you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated kind of thing. Right, yeah. And it honestly took me years and years and years to notice in myself the way stress manifested when it wasn't at launch the Milan to space blow your head off kind of levels, and that has been really helpful just because then I'm gonna start to catch it before I'm quite to the level that I used to need to get to before I could recognize it, so I do think for some people, if you're someone who's like, I don't really get stressed. You're wrong. Everyone gets stressed unless you're a sociopath or like... You're probably not. So yeah, it's super good, I think, to learn and yourself... What are the things that come up that you don't know? Our stress responses, but I actually are... Or the call to Bivins, where you think it's a virtue to be test... I think that's part of it too. I'm just busy. And that's good.

 

0:39:21.1 S2: No, you're really stressed. But one thing I think we learned over the course of the pandemic is that you need to take time, people who are like, Oh, I have all this time, I can do all these things, rather than just sitting still or reading a book or listening to an album or whatever it is that it didn't demand of you... I think that was a big lesson that I think a lot of people learn, but... Yeah, I don't even know. I have the same coping mechanisms for stress that I did when I was in high school, which is probably the best thing, but it's whatever works, just like turning everything off and putting on that favorite album or putting on that favorite movie or whatever it is, or going for a walk? Like the same stuff. Nothing special. Yeah, mine I guess are usually stress for me is a mental thing as opposed to a physical thing, and so obviously, because my job as a mental job... And so for me, when I feel mentally stressed or exhausted, I always turn to trying to do something with my hands, that's always what makes me feel busy or better, I mean Roach-ing, so like baking or cooking something, or gardening, or even lying on the couch and playing with clay, or I tried to come whittling during the pandemic or something to do with my hands that's totally detached from having to solve mental problems is really helpful for me, and I always wanted...

 

0:40:49.5 S2: The ways that I've learned stress manifest in me is decision fatigue, which I didn't used to realize was the thing that happened, I was like, Well no, I'm in grad school, I'm getting my PhD, everyone at the end of the day of working, just eats a bag, get that they picked up at the store on the way home, because they literally can't conceive of a... Anecdotally, with creative writing, one of the things that I feel like a lot of people who aren't writers don't know about it, is that you are making one million decisions every single day, like every word is a decision, and so by the end of the day, when I'm feeling stressed for me, decision-fatigue is huge, and so doing physical things that don't... Where I don't have to make choices is great, so baking things that I've baked before, so I can just... I could just do it automatically, I don't have to think about it, or pulling weeds in the garden were needed to make choices about what to put place is I find at the end of an hour or two of doing something where I don't have to make any choices, it has radically dampen my stress...

 

0:42:00.0 S2: Yeah, that's why I turn to comfort. Bliss or comfort? Watches or comfort is I don't have to worry about what to expect, I know what's going to happen. It's all very laid out for me and I can just turn my brain... Or part of my brain off.

 

0:42:14.8 S1: I love that term, decision fatigue. I have never heard that before. It, but I completely do that. I had a melt down, not that lingo, and I was in the middle of actually pulling my car out of the... Out of the garage, my house husband came home and we had like a neighborhood garage sale, and I ended up picking up this really cute table that I wanna re-finish, I'm not that person, but I have hope some day maybe being that person, and so I'm talking to him and I'm like, what we can do. And then I realized I just couldn't, I couldn't even saying, Can we just move this downstairs into the storage room was too much. And I just look at it, I'm like, I can't decide, should we put this in the kitchen? Should we put it in the story trip? Should we just leave it in the garage where it is now, which I physically could not do it. My brain was like, Me too. Sorry. Yeah, and I love that because that is a huge sign for me because I'm a super decisive person, and so not immediately decisive, not like...

 

0:43:28.2 S1: Ron thinks about things and considers and plants and does all of this stuff, which I'm super jello and me, I'm just like, yes or no. I just stand not being able to come to that is such a freak out moment for me, so that's when I should know. That's when I'm about to fall off a cliff. As a really good tip.

 

0:43:49.5 S2: Oh good, I'm glad. I think it's useful to be able to communicate that too, so one of the things that I... Like when I'm on days that I don't cook, so my girlfriend works basically until dinner time, and so she usually doesn't cook, and so she'll usually get order something, and I have found it super useful when I've reached that moment of decision fatigue and she'll say like, Oh, what do you want for dinner? Do you... What are you gonna move forward to sometimes be able to be like, I can't make any more decisions tonight, I will eat anything, but I need you to choose, and that's a really easy same with sometimes on weekend projects or something, do you... We're gonna go for a hike. Do you wanna go here? Here are here, if I'm still really in decision fatigue, I'll be like, don't care, just tell me where to drive. And I think the data is a super useful, if you have a partner or kids or friends who are in your close circle who you can explain that too, and who maybe they might have the same thing and hopefully you don't hit at the same moment, but if you can be that for each other, I think that's so great, 'cause I sometimes hit it and it's so extreme that I'm like, If I'm in the car and I have to go do an errand, the idea that I could...

 

0:44:56.8 S2: I could turn left her or turn left on any of the next seven blocks to get to the street I need to get to fills me with this sense of like, I want to crash the car into a hydrant so that I don't have to make the choice. I was only like directions for places that I know how to get to, just so I can follow someone else's direction instead of having to make the choice because I'm trying to maintain what little is left of my decision-making things... Anyway, for me, that's a huge thing, and I feel like being able to communicate that to the people closest to you. So you can tap out in certain moments and just be like, decision fatigue card, and that means everyone else has to choose is the way that I wanna hesitate edges of your...

 

0:45:43.3 S1: No, you're not crawling up in to ball and crying in your garage, which I may or may not have done, so... Okay, one thing we can help you make a decision about though, is besides listening to us another podcast that may be in one thing you like

 

0:46:02.1 S2: That translates, I just transition. Good segue, wanted to shout out one of our product network siblings, they're called too stupid to live, which is like the perfect name, and if anybody's ever read or written fan-FICO know that this is like a huge term there, TSL, but it's a podcast, it reviews extremely cheap romance novels. That costs 5 or less. Hi, I have a few of his host, Becky Feldman, and her hilarious guest analyzes those sultry book covers, read steamy passages and giggle their way through discussions of romantic vision, fiction initiates trashy books, calls it a brilliant concept, and I agree. And it was listed in bustle 2019 list of 17 podcasts to start for readers who love romance novels, and Ron comes Lookit dot com, also listed it as a romance podcast to snuggle up with, so be sure to check out too stupid to live for your romance podcast fix guys. Yeah, use you to not... Well, Goodness me, we have reached the end of our program and an enough Albert. Thank you so much for being here with us. Can you tell everyone again, where they can find you on the internet if they wanna take a peak? So my reader group is on Facebook, I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, wherever you like to connect, I probably am.

 

0:47:22.1 S2: And I have a lot of books to Aleppo newly have a holier Mance coming in November that I am super excited to bring you all, so... Yeah, check it out too. Facing is Antibes. Angels is a nest. Angel? Yes, yes. Awesome, deviation, we love having you and thank you listening for hanging out with us for another episode of drone writer. Remember that you can send us your questions, we are at Dear romance writer dot com, and have a form there that you can send, fill out and send us questions, you can also hit us up on any of the social media platforms through to... To our DMs, IIT RDS and ask us questions, we cannot wait to give you some questionable advice. Thanks, everyone. You next time I thank you so much for subscribing to Dear romance writer. Remember to keep sending in those letters, I Durrani dot com. We can't wait to tell you what to do. Dear romance writer is part of the frolic Podcast Network. Find more podcasts you love framed podcast.