Episode 26: Family Matters - 15 Minutes to Freedom Podcast | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Episode 26: Family Matters - 15 Minutes to Freedom Podcast".


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Intro (00:00)

This is 15 Minutes to Freedom. I'm your host, Ryan Neidell, and today's episode is Family Matters. So I've shared this story before quite some time ago on Facebook, and it was part of something that a good buddy of mine, Danny Page, had put out for probably two years ago. It was a seven-day video challenge of hopping on a Facebook video. It was before Facebook Live was around, and recording a video and then sharing it about things that went on in your life that bothered you. And so this story, to some of you, is going to be old. To some of you, it's not. I've progressed quite a bit since this time period, but I feel like it's a valuable thing to share with you as a listener, to paint a picture of where I've come from, maybe versus where I'm at now. Growing up, I had what I would have called an average middle America upbringing. A sister that's four years younger, a mother and a father, father worked all day, mother took care of the kids, things were good. I grew up outside of a little town outside of Buffalo, New York called East Aurora. Dad worked for a company called Adelphi Cable and mom was a stay-at-home mom. And through that, as my father started to ascend the ladder inside of Adelphi Cable, he started climbing poles and by the time he left Adelphi, he ended up being vice president of the organization. And as he kept climbing that corporate ladder, he was given more and more responsibility. And that responsibility caused him to have to travel a lot. And growing up, I was very, very close to my father, close to him until, you know, second or third grade, where it would be, couldn't wait for him to get home. We were buddies. I'd go with him to work on the weekends. There was this incredible, back then, incredible warehouse environment. I could go play around in this fence area with all these cable reels and just all this stuff to play with, and he would do his work inside, and we were just buddies. But as he kept climbing the ladder, he had to travel, and it took its toll on the family. And so part of an opportunity to go achieve a higher level of success was having him move from outside of Easter or New York to a small town of Buffalo or a small town of Mansfield, Ohio. And so we move, you know, pack up the family. I'm heartbroken at that and leaving second grade, getting into third grade. I'm heartbroken having to leave all these friends. The world that I know, it devastates me. I remember it clear as day. I could literally walk to my elementary school. Like, all my friends were close. And so we move.

Personal Journey And Challenges

The Tragic News Story (02:28)

And as we move, we have a family vacation that we take every year. And that family vacation was a small lake in, you know, western New York where, you know, we'd run a boat in a little cabin and go fishing and just had a good time. So we moved to Mansfield.

The Transition to Flying (02:44)

There's still boxes, you know, moving trucks there. I meet the kids in the neighborhood. And literally within a week, we're on a family vacation. The house isn't even unpacked yet. And we're on this family vacation. We end up getting to a point where there's this tragic news story that breaks. And the tragic news story that breaks is that Hurricane Andrew has devastated South Dade, Miami, everything. One of the most catastrophic hurricanes in the history of the U.S. It's leveled all of South Florida. So, you know, we get back home, drive back, and this is before the days of cell phones. This is probably before the days of really even the Internet as far as email is concerned. So we get home and there's countless messages on our answering machine. And it happened to be from the owner of the company. His name is John Regas. And John's imploring my dad to call him immediately when he gets these messages. So we get home and dad calls and one thing leads to another. And the owner of Adelphi Cable at this point, before they're publicly traded, tells him like, look, we need you to go down to South Dade and help manage this situation for us as a cable company. So I wasn't privy to those conversations back then, but dad decides to go down there.

Driving to South Dade, Florida (03:49)

And dad's petrified of flying, so he drives. He drives from Columbus, Ohio, or I'm sorry, from Mansfield, Ohio, a town about an hour north, drives to South Dade, Florida. And our house isn't even unpacked yet. Like, we still have boxes. Big stuff's set up. Small stuff's not. So at this point, it's myself as a kid going into third grade. So it puts me eight or nine. My sister that's four years younger. And my mom. And we're there. And we unpack and we make the best of it. And my dad doesn't get to come back very often. Or chooses not to come back very often. Let's just call it what it is. You know, he was hell-bent and believed the lie that would have said the harder you work the more money you make the happier you'll be that was his lie that was his truth at the moment but that is now something that he would tell you is his lie and so he's not around he's not around for these next two and a half years i probably see him six times in two and a half years. I probably see him six times in two and a half years. And when I see him, he comes home those occasional times he comes home and he's so tired and so pissed off and so angry. He's miserable to be around. Truly. I went from having my dad be my best friend to someone that I would have preferred to never fucking see. It would have been better for me just to not be around the guy. There was so much tension in Animasu when he came home. He was so judgmental and so aggressive to us as a family and me as his son. It was better when he wasn't around. So life progresses. And eventually they've rebuilt South Dade.

The Fake Move Back Home (05:13)

And he comes home. So no longer am I going to the third grade. I'm now going into fifth or sixth grade. Maybe even, I'll say sixth. And he's home. But not really because now he's traveling even more. So the whole aura of us leaving East Road, New York to move to Mansfield so that he was around more all ended up being just a fucking bunch of bullshit. None of it was actually the case. So my dad was traveling, but climbing this corporate ladder, I'm the corporate ladder. I now know he was making more money, but back then I didn't. We're a middle income household, a nice ranch house, two cars, a boat, but nothing crazy. We didn't feel like we were, we never wanted for anything, but it never seemed like we had an abundance.

My 14th Birthday (05:50)

And so life progresses and my dad travels more and he's just a dick. Like he's not enjoyable to be around. There was a running joke in my neighborhood that my mom actually wasn't married to him because no one in our neighborhood had ever seen or met my dad. So he'd come home late on a Friday night and he'd leave, you know, middle of the day on Sunday to go back to wherever he had to go to and that was it. And so no surprise or secret to you guys listening that that's not the recipe for a healthy marriage. Eventually that's going to break. And it ends up breaking. That's not the recipe for a healthy marriage. Eventually that's going to break. And it ends up breaking. And I can remember, you know, on my 14th birthday, my grandfather passed away. So we decided not to go up to Youngstown to see him. And I was, you know, a 14-year-old kid and wanted to have a sleepover and all this stuff and have friends over to the house. And at 2 or 3 in the morning, I hear my mom like wailing on the phone. Like the phone rings on the side of the house. It's still back when we have landlines. She answers it and it just loses her mind. It goes crazy. I admittedly think at that moment it has something to do with my dad. I think my dad has probably been an asshole to her. I remember laying in my bed, hearing this phone ring, waking up, and being convinced it has something to do with my dad mistreating my mom because that was the person he was then. But come to find out, it was actually my grandfather that died. My father was traveling somewhere, figures this out, so we drive up to Youngstown from Mansfield and go through all that on my 14th birthday.

Divorce (07:08)

And not soon after that, my parents end up getting divorced. And although I was mad at the fact I was going to have to be insecure and share with my friends that now I'm the weird guy, because at that point I didn and share with my friends that now I'm the weird guy because at that point I didn't know any other people that had their parents no longer together but I was a sense of relief because my mom was enjoyable to be around and she was easy she loved us she cared for us my sister and I I could kind of get away with murder like it was not a bad setup but not soon after the divorce my dad is that point is living in Cottersport Pennsylvania Cottersport was the corporate headquarters of Adelphi Cable. And we're living in Mansfield.

Not a two-problems-solved person (07:28)

So every other weekend, we'd have to drive the five and a half hours to go to Cotterport. You know, we'd meet halfway. And over time, as I'm growing up, you know, 16, 17, I don't want to make that drive anymore. Like, I've had enough. I found out a bunch of crazy shit about my dad, which would be another podcast another time. But just none of this made sense anymore. Like I was just over it. So I'm like, look, I'm going to stay home now. But some of that comes from this back end story that if I was probably actually going from 15 to 16, maybe a little bit sooner. My mother, I can remember it clear as day. She sits me down in our living room in the house in Mansfield. She sits me down in our living room in the house in Mansfield. And she says, look, obviously, Dad and I are divorced now. And I've spent the past, you know, 14 or 15 years raising you and then your sister. And I've given you guys my everything. But now it's my turn. I'm done. You guys basically have to fend for yourself. I'll make sure you have a roof over your head. I'll make sure there's always food in the refrigerator. But, like, I'm going to go live my life now. At this point, and I was probably had my learner's permit. I know I had my, my grandfather passed away because I had his pickup truck in the driveway. That's gonna be my first car. I'm like, what the fuck? Like part of me is excited. Admittedly, part of me is like, all right, this is awesome. I'm, I have my independence. My dad's not around anymore. I can hop in the car and go and do what I please. Like a normal 15 or 16 year old kid would want to do. But the other side is like, you got to be fucking kidding me. Like this woman that's been my savior now after my father was a jackass is now turning her back on me. Like she's over it. She doesn't want to raise me or my sister anymore. And through life's progressions, she ends up finding this guy that ends up being a pretty bad alcoholic. And he takes her down or guides her down a pretty slippery slope. And that's a slippery slope of alcoholism and partying and Lord knows what else went on during that time period. And when I say that, there were countless times where I'd come home from school and she'd be drunk or passed out or couldn't get a hold of her. All these things happened pretty consistently, which led into the fact of, at that point, the guy that she was dating, spending more and more time inside of our house and coming home from the bar with her, 2, 2.33 in the morning, pounding on my closed bedroom door, calling me, saying I was just like my father and how ungrateful I was, how much of an asshole I was. Now, granted, at this point, I'm 6'2 and 265 as I speak to you right now, but back then I was 6'1 and 165 pounds and didn't have something inside me that made me snap to want to fight this guy. I didn't know what the fuck to do. So this continues on from 16 to, gosh, senior year of high school. So it's right after spring break, my senior year, I get home and this fucking guy pounds on my door 2.30 or 3 in the morning. I come home, wait till the next day and ask my mother to have a conversation with me and say, look, this went on for two years off and on and I've kind of had enough. It's not an ultimatum, but something has to change. He's embarrassing to be around my friends. He's made you or brought you into the world of drinking and alcoholism consistently. I don't want to bring people around because he stutters and stammers. And, like, sure, it's fun to party in the house when you guys aren't here. And there's always alcohol I have access to. But you're not being a mom. And she apologizes. And says, look, like, you're right. I fucked up. I'm not going to do that anymore. You should have never had to deal with this. Okay. Great. Thanks. One thing leads to another a few days later. I'm sleeping on a Tuesday. They stumble in at 2.30 or 3 in the morning.

Ungrateful allegiance (11:19)

Another pound on my fucking bedroom door, ungrateful, all the normal stuff. So now I'm fired up, I'm angry. At this point, I've gotten rid of the pickup truck and I'm driving a Mercury Sable at this point that I paid for myself. And so wait till I hear them both snoring and I pack up all my stuff. Everything I can possibly find in my room that I know I paid for personally. TV I bought personally. PlayStation. Anything that I had value on that I paid for myself, I waited and I put it in my car. The car I bought. And I move out. I move out of my house somewhere between my birthday of March 14th and graduation from high school in June. And I live in my car. At that point, I was working for a gentleman that had wealth and some space. And I was actually, I had keys to his office complex. And I was parking my car inside of his office building, inside this 10,000 square foot garage, and sleeping inside the garage, either in my car or on a cot, then showering in the outdoor showers I had out in this warehouse and leaving before any of the employees got there. So I'd show up. I was working there, of course, so I'd show up when I got off school. I'd work and they were used to seeing me around. And I'd just stay there all night. And I'd get up and leave in the morning and head to school or head to go get breakfast or do whatever before someone ever got there. head to school or had to go get breakfast or do whatever before someone ever got there. And that was my story. That's how my high school life progressed. And that progressed into college and things like that, where I was not close to my mother or my father during that time period. And so there's a lot more to the story and there's a lot more for other episodes. When I look at my life from the time of being, you know, that first conscious memory of seven years old, wanting to be close and be loved by my father, to moving, to have my father not be someone I'm close with and replacing that with the love of my mother, and having my mother essentially say, I'm out, I'm done, and then having to replace that with my own self-love, it's a pretty crazy trip. It's a pretty wild story. Now fortunately for me, I've been able to over the past two or three years put most of these pieces to bed. I've sat down with my mother last November, sat across the table from her, looked her in the eye and said, I fucking hate you for what you did to me. Not that I hate her for who she is. Just in that moment, if I'm owning my truth, I fucking hate you for what you did to me when I was a young man.

Recognizing the truth (13:52)

And we've made amends. You know, we, we, she's shared her story with me about little pieces and parts and took ownership for pieces and parts, but it doesn't matter. Cause I got rid of the baggage. I got rid of that story that I've been carrying around with me for so long. Step backwards into December of last year, sit down with my father and have almost the same conversation. I fucking hate you for working as much as you did for For leaving me and my sister. For all the other crazy shit you've done.

Confession. forgive yourself (14:27)

For how much of an asshole you were to me. I looked him in the eye, man to man, sat across the table from him, and told him all these things. And these things, when I addressed them, and when I quit letting these things have the power over me, there was a sense of relief. Letting these things have the power over me. There was a sense of relief. The sense of almost serenity. Of just the fact of, man, these stories just don't hold the same weight. And I would have said up until three weeks ago at Warrior Week, that was probably true. But it was true only on the surface level. You know, it was easy to sit across. Not easy. It was simple. It was not easy to sit across from my parents, both individually. And tell them that I hated things about them or hated them as people. Because here I am as a 34-year-old man in my 20s, I can probably count on my hands and toes how many times I've spoken to my parents. Typically no Christmases, no holidays. I didn't get a call from my parents on my birthday. That's normal to me, though. It doesn't upset me. It's not a boo-hoo thing. That's just life. They gave life to me, but that doesn't mean they're in my life now. And so there's this, this peace that I thought I had, but I hadn't really made peace with myself. I'd made peace with the situation. So I went to Garrett White's Wake Up Warrior event, Warrior Week, two and a half weeks ago, and was able to get rid of all this self-defeating attitude and all these self-defeating stories that I had shared with myself over the past as long as 17 years about not being good enough and not being good enough for my father's love, which is why he wasn't around. Not being good enough for my mother to stick up for me. Not being good enough at sports to have my father congratulate me when I come out the field just for him to tell me all the bad shit I didn't do right. Not to have my mother stand up for me, that I wasn't enough. These were stories that were so deeply ingrained in my psyche from what had went on in my childhood up until I moved out of my own fucking house, that I had assumed the fact somewhere deep inside myself that that was the truth. And I can tell you now that's not the fucking truth at all. That I'm capable of doing anything I need to in the world. I am capable of greatness. I am fucking greatness. No different than you, listen to these words right now, have the same gift that I have. We are all divine creatures in our own right.


Be authentic (16:53)

Even if you're a twin, there are not two of you on the planet. So we all have our own gifts to share, but our own crosses to bear as well. And you can't have the pros in life without the cons. But when you can start to own the cons and use them to give you power for the pros, you become a fucking dangerous weapon in the world because most people never take the time to do that. And so as I wrap up today's episode, what I'm going to encourage you to do is sit down and think, in your life, what are the self-defeating and self-limiting stories you've told yourself? Maybe you can't have the body you want because your parents had bad genetics. That's fucking bullshit. You control what you put in your mouth. You control your diet and exercise. You control how hard you work in the gym. These are controlled decisions by you. Or maybe it's relationships. Maybe you're always going to cheat on your spouse because your father did that to your mother. That's also bullshit. That is a story you've told yourself for years to justify your behavior. You're better than that. I would have told you guys that I wasn't better than that, but I know I sure as shit am now. Same thing with business. That you've had a failed business or two before in your life. Or your parents weren't entrepreneurs, so how can you be? You don't know how to do it. That is also bullshit. That is a story you've told yourself that has held you back from where you're at to where you want to get to. All these things, if you stack them together and you take action on them every day, they'll put you one step closer to your goal. And getting one step closer to your goal every day is the epitome of getting shit done. Hey guys, Ryan here. Thanks for joining me today. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please head over to iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you consume audio and subscribe to 15 Minutes to Freedom. If this brought you value, please do me a favor and drop me a five star rating. Then share this podcast with someone who needs to hear it. For additional content, head over to RyanNidell.com. That's R-Y-A-N-N-I-D-D-E-L.com.

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