Terry Crews: "One Day I May Have To Kill My Father" | E138 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Terry Crews: "One Day I May Have To Kill My Father" | E138".


Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Intro (00:00)

Could you do me a quick favor if you're listening to this? Please hit the follow or subscribe button. It helps more than you know, and we invite subscribers in every month to watch the show in person. - My desire to be strong was because I knew one day I may have to kill my father. - Athlete, artist, actor, Terry Crews. That's right. - I always wanted to be a superhero. One of my earliest memories was my father knocking my mother out. She'd be nursing a black eye, and I would just dance in front of her, and she'd just start cracking up. In the middle of all that pain, I saw the ability to make her laugh. Pornography numbed my pain. I had this addiction for the longest time. - How did it impact your marriage? - She said I was different. I damaged my family, I damaged my wife. You gotta own up to it. You have to do what's within your power to make things right. One thing that changed for me is I stopped competing with people, and I said, don't try to be the best. Be the only. - So without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett, and this is the Dyer over CEO USA edition. I hope nobody's listening, but if you are, then please keep this to yourself. - Terry, I always start these conversations in a very similar way, but having read your new book, Tough, I feel like it's never been more relevant to what I'm about to say.

Personal Journey And Overcoming Adversity

What made you the person you are today? (01:24)

Reading through your new book, especially in the first chapter, it becomes so blatantly clear how our early context shapes who we become in many ways, and there's never been a more glaring example of that. So I feel like that has to be the place we start. Can you tell me about that context in which you were raised? - Wow, first and foremost, I was raised in Blint, Michigan, and I was born in 1968, and I just wanna give some context in the fact that Blint, Michigan was the Palo Alto of the United States. What I mean by that is general motors was the most successful corporation in the world. And there were opportunities, there were money, there was homes, and people were doing very, very well, and the city was growing and blossoming, and my father was a foreman at Buick during this time. He was a poor kid who moved up from Edison, Georgia, a town of less than 300 people, and moved and went up north to find, to work in the factory and became a foreman. And my mother was a housewife, and she was born and raised in Flint. My mom had got pregnant with me before they were married, and they shortly, so after I got married, and what was so wild about that is that amongst all this, you know, that kind of opportunity, my father was very, very abusive. And one of my earliest memories of the time I was about four or five years old was my father knocking my mother out. And what was really crazy, he was an alcoholic. And here you have a man who came from, he really never shared his past with me. I had to actually find out a lot about his past later on in my adult years, but I never really understood him, and he never really volunteered any information. And then my mother, however, was very religious. She grew up in the Church of God and Christ, which was what you would call the holiness movement, and it was, you know, the term was holy rollers, and you know, she couldn't wear makeup, she wore her dresses down to her ankles. We were not allowed to go to the movies, not allowed to listen to secular music, not allowed to play sports. Basically, everything that I ended up doing in my life, I was not allowed to do. And it was, we were in church, probably six days out of a seven-day week. So it was unendated with religion, a lot of guilt, a lot of shame, a lot of, you know, God's gonna get you, you know, if you don't. You know, this is the way they felt they needed to keep you in line. So there was a very toxic mix in my household, because here, you know, my father was an alcoholic, and my mother's religious, and so they always went at each other, because you weren't allowed to do what my father was doing, and my mother was always challenging him, and yelling at him about it, and he would go off, and I just wanted peace, man. It was just violent, you know? I actually went to bed until I was 14 years old, because there was not a peaceful night, you know? I would wake up to screaming, wake up to glass breaking, shouting. One time I woke up, my father was bleeding, my mother had stabbed him, and the police came, and in that day, it was like, you know, there was no such thing as domestic violence, just like there was no such thing as alcoholism. You know, it was just, he can't handle his liquor. I was kind of saved by my high school, because it was a special school that allowed you to come, because you had certain talents, and it was from seventh grade all the way to my senior year, and I had artability. And one thing about being in this religious household is that I had a really vibrant imagination, because we couldn't do anything else. So I would go to school, and people would tell me about movies they saw, and things that they were listening to, and all this stuff. So now I would go home and draw it, so because I wanted to watch it so bad, and be there so bad. And so I would start drawing, and I remember, you know, one thing my mom did, let me do is comic books, and so I would copy the comic books, and the heroes, and they had muscles, and I was like, one day I'm gonna be like that. And, but I also found out, which was so wild a little bit later, even in therapy, was just that I found that a lot of my desire to be strong was because I knew one day I may have to kill my father, because he was just that person. And it was intense, man. I gotta say, it was a very, very intense upbringing, and I became this person who just wanted to keep the peace, because there was, I just, anything to keep the peace, I became what you would call a pleaser. Like, mom, what do you need to do? I'll be a good boy, I promise, I'll sing in the church, I'll sing in the choir, and then my father will come home, and they'll be like, what do you want another beer, whatever you want? You know, I'll just make sure you don't get angry, you know? And it was just about, I was exhausted, you know? And I remember just being that tired. And it was a lot of work, because I lost all my, like who I was, it was dependent on who was around, and I was all of a sudden, be what they wanted me to be. - Did you ever try and intervene when your parents were having conflict?

Domestic violence in your family (07:43)

Did you ever try and intervene at a young age? - He was too big. I mean, it was one of those things where I felt helpless. I felt 100%. Like, I was so small, and you just look, and then I have to say, my father, you know, even since then, you know, we call him big terry. He was always big terry, and I was little terry. And this is how we refer to each other all over the house. And my older brother is my half brother. So he was smaller than me. And we were just, I just always felt tiny. I remember just looking at his hands and they were big, giant, callous tans. And the way he'd walk around the house, you just hear boom, boom, boom, you know, it was a drama, you know, it was like, man, this man could rip me apart. And I had a desire to get strong. I knew I had to protect one day when I have to protect my mom, protect my family, because I remember the nightly news, and they would always tell you all the horror stories, you know, so-and-so kills his whole family, you know. I was always looking at the TV, and I would say, you know, I think my father could do that. I mean, this is not the thoughts a seven-year-old should be having. But I remember thinking, I wonder if he got mad enough. Would he kill us all, you know? And because the rage would just flip. And my father was two people. It was, he would be sober on his way to work. And then he would come home. And when that car pulled up, he was, he would usually go to the bar first. And he was the different person. He was sad. He was crying. He was angry. He would be listening to old soul music on the record player. And this is one of my memories I even put in a book, was just, I remember looking at him, and I looked at my father, and I was, I really felt sorry for him. I just remember he'd come in home and he's disheveled. He'd been drinking. And the pocket protector was all messed up. Shirt was all undone. He used to have short-sleeved shirts with a tie, and the tie was off and everything. And he'd just sit in there, and he'd got a beer in his hand. And he'd just be sitting there, and he'd just look so sad. And I just, I walked over to him, and I kissed him on the cheek. And he looked at me like I had an eye in the middle of my forehead. And he looked at me with such disdain and contempt. And I said, I'll never do that again. It was like, oh man. Oh, and I felt like he looked at me like, it was the worst thing I could have ever done. And I said, okay, that's it. Like, we are clear. You and I were clear. We know, I know never to cross that, you know, cross that line ever again. I'll never forget that. I mean, even talking about it now, it just shook me to my core, 'cause I expected love and, oh man, it was my son, and it was disdain. He didn't know, he didn't know how to do it. And so that's what it was. In my whole young life, I knew I had to get out, because I didn't wanna be a part of this super hyper-religious world. There were so many things I wanted to do. I had a lot of dreams, I had a lot of goals. And one thing that was crazy is that my mother loved entertainment. She loved it. We used to sit around and watch the Carabranette show together as a family, every Saturday night. And I remember watching her laugh, like looking at what made her laugh, what was gonna, and she'd crack up a Carabranette. And I said, one day, that's me. Like, I'm gonna make her laugh like that. And so I would do things around the house. And I remember her, she'd be nursing a black eye that my father gave her. And she'd have like some frozen peas on her face. And I would just dance in front of her, and she'd just start cracking up. And in the middle of all that pain, I saw the ability that I had to make her laugh during all that. And I said, this is a power. In the middle of this kind of pain that she's literally interiors laughing at her son. And I said, okay, this is how I'm gonna get by this. We get into the pleaser, just make everything better. This is gonna cool everything out, right? And that was most of my existence as a little boy growing up in Michigan. That's the context.

Where did your dad's pain come from? (12:36)

- Did you ever find out where that pain you saw in your father originated from? - I did, I did. And you know what, this crazy, I only found this out literally like a year ago, which is nuts, 'cause he would never answer me. There's so many things I never ever, he never answered, I would ask, but they've no big deal, you know? And I did a show with Henry Lewis Gates called Finding Your Roots. And he went into my family's past. And I found out that my grandfather, he abandoned his family. So he abandoned my father. And my father had an older brother, younger sister, and my grandmother had been abandoned by him. Now I knew my grandmother, but again, you're talking about in black culture, in America, a lot of these things were just too painful to talk about. No one ever, you could ask, but you'd get a nod, you'd get a gold play, don't worry about it. And no one would talk. But he found out that my grandfather had abandoned the family. And he was basically had robbed a liquor store and was on a chain gang in Georgia, which is probably one of the most brutal punishments you could get at the time in America, at the time. - What's a chain gang? - A chain gang is when they would make you build a highway. They would take prison populations, chain them together, and they would be the ones that would be clearing out forests, clearing out paths with stakes and shovels, and it'd be back breaking work all day long in 100 degree, and he did that for about two years, but this was the strain. This was where the pain comes from. My uncle told me that they took the school bus to school and they had to pass the chain gang where his dad was and where they knew their dad was working. And this was so traumatic for them because they didn't want people to find out. They would visit him in jail, but it was off and on, and he would act like he didn't want to see him. It was really, really just painful. And he got out and he did a couple more things and ended up in jail again. And finally he died of epileptic seizure when my father was 17 years old. And you're talking about my father never felt wanted. Never felt, he was his blood son, but it just was, it was a popper's grave. There's a headstone that's cracked right now. It's not even a headstone, it's kind of like just a block with his name on it, Edward Cruz. And it's broken in half, and I plan on putting a proper headstone on that. Sometimes it's a year, but it's, I started to understand. I started to understand that pain, and it drove my father to drink at a young age. And one thing that we do as men is that we tend to numb, numb ourselves. Because this is a part of, you feel like you're being tough, you feel like you're being strong. Okay, I don't feel that pain. I can't show that pain. I can't, and drinking is a big, big way of numbing your pain. For me, it was pornography. Pornography numbed my pain. And like I never, I still to this day, I've never been drunk, I've never been high. I don't do that, but pornography was something that took me out. - When did that come into life?

My pornography addiction (16:48)

Pornography, when was the first time? - Man, I first discovered porn at about nine, 10 years old. I was over my uncle's house, and he had a chest full of pornography. And just the thing, it's funny because people have said, well, yeah, there's nothing wrong pornography with adults, and the whole thing, but the problem is, is that you never find it as an adult. I don't know anybody who found pornography as an adult. You always find it as a child. It's everywhere. And it's funny because I've been told, hey man, just mind your business, it's all good. You keep to yourself, that's your issue. But porn never keeps itself to itself. I get texts today. I get texts now. People texting me, it's something that's phishing, and they text you porn, and text you hot girls in your area now. They're like, I didn't ask for this. You know what I mean? But you start to realize that they know what they're doing. They know they can get a hook, and they know if they can get it in you, and they know if they can get it in you young. And this was the thing that attracted me to porn, is that I would open up the magazines, and they would have comics, you know? And the comics and different things, they would have subjects like Goldilocks, and Snow White, and all these stories, a Jack and Jill, you know? And you start to realize, wow, this is really, this is stuff I realized as an adult, that this is wired. They're wired to get you young, you know what I mean? And to stay in there, because they know it'll never go away, you know? And now it was what attracted me. And again, I didn't even know what sex was, but man, all I knew is when I opened that magazine and saw those ladies in that magazine, and how beautiful they were, all my problems were gone. Like, it was numb. Like, I didn't know anything about violence, about where I was. It was just like, I could zone away, and every problem was disappear. And I had to have it. Like, when things got stressful, never, I'll never forget, 'cause again, and here's another thing, 'cause you're in a religious household, so you know you're doing wrong, you know? It was like, oh, that's bad, you know? But this was also a time when pornography was in the grocery store. And it wasn't seen as something, it was just kind of like, there we go. And I remember telling my mom, I'm gonna go in the store and get some milk. And I remember just grabbing one of those magazines, and I couldn't stop. And 'til she pomps, she's like, hey, what are you doing? And she would take me out of this numbing experience I was having, and I'm standing there in the store, and I told I was getting some milk, and there I was. She's like, I was waiting for you for half an hour. What are you doing? But I was stuck. And that's that kind of power that was on me. Like, and I had this addiction for the longest time. - How long? - Only all the way up until 2010. From the whole life, from literally, from the time I was about 10, to all the way up to about 12 years ago. - And when you say addiction, a lot of people might not know what that means. A lot of people might think that means watching porn from now and then, or looking at a magazine now and then. What did that mean in reality? What was the, if you've got an example of how bad it got for you? - Yes. First of all, it was, I got a day off from the set. So, usually on location. And I could watch porn from, of probably even 10 o'clock after my workout, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at night. - 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at night. - It wouldn't stop. And I couldn't stop. And I would go from one to the next, to the next, to the next. And it was, and the fact that I knew that I was in a different place, and no one would know me, and no one cared. I could indulge and just, it was what you would call a splurge. Like, it just couldn't stop. I couldn't, when day turns into night, and you're still watching, I knew I had a problem. I knew I had a problem. And when you tell yourself, not that, like, I'm not gonna do this anymore. And then you go right back. Because what was happening I found is, you know, with the porn, it was like, I needed, I would say, okay, I'm done with that, whatever. And I would feel guilty. But with guilt comes shame. And with the shame, shame says, and shame doesn't say you've done something bad. Shame says you are bad. Like, this is who you are. You're just bad. So what you would do is do a bunch of good things. And you would just work hard, and I'd go good for like three, four days, and then you need a reward. And what is that reward? Because you did so good. It's porn. And so you go back in. And the cycle starts all over again. And I found it would just keep going on and on and on.

How did porn impact your marriage? (22:43)

- How did it impact your marriage? 'Cause you got married in 1989? - Listen, it, first of all, I got married in 1989 to the most beautiful woman on earth. And Rebecca, I met her, she's from Gary, Indiana. We met in college. I actually met in church, which was wild, because I thought I wasn't gonna be religious. But what was wild is that I couldn't get away from the things I felt and the things I was used to. And so I went to church and met her, and she was on the piano. And she was the church leader, the worship leader. And she had a child, just like my mom had a child. And it was a little girl, and she was only six months old, and we got married when she was two. And this was the thing I thought that once I got married, the porn would go away. I said, "Man, I got a real woman now. "Oh, I don't have to tell her about anything. "We just gonna, it was a phase. "I'm gonna be out of it. "It's gonna be great." And then the first argument, the first, well, you feel like it? No, I don't feel like it tonight. Okay, I'll be right back. Oh, the first sexual conflict. Right, I'm going out to get pornography. And I thought it was gonna be my answer to what it was, but I realized it didn't, and I decided that I was gonna be my secret. And then you develop a thing where you think, if you're in secret, everybody's in secret. I'm sure this is just the way everybody is. It wasn't until I got into therapy that I realized, I said, "No, no, not everybody's like that, Terry." I was like, "Wait, what do you mean? "You don't do that? "It was a surprise to me." But it was no different than any other thing that would numb you via alcohol, via drugs. And this is the thing too. What I learned, what I thought was awesome. It's the 12-step program. 12-steps, it was really established by alcoholics anonymous, but it works for basically a lot of different addictions. I mean, and starting with the serenity prayer, which is, God help me accept the things that I cannot change. And the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Well, the thing was, what I got backward in my whole life was that I was trying to change things I couldn't change at all. And the things that I could, I felt I was powerless. So if you have those things backwards, it's not wisdom. And what was so unbelievable to me, I just remember, 'cause the wake-up call, of all wake-up calls was what we call D-Day around our house. And it was February, 2010. And my wife was basically, over the years, she was always suspicious. But what had happened is 10 years earlier, basically in 2000, I had went to a massage product and got a hand job and cheated on her. And man, I vowed, vowed that I would never tell a soul.

Cheating on my wife (26:14)

Like, I was so hurt, I couldn't believe I did that. Like, you know, you think I was, no, I can only do this and that, you know, it's gonna stop here. But it just fueled the want for more. And I actually crossed the line. And when I crossed that line, I couldn't believe I did that. And I knew, I said, I'm gonna go to my grave with this. I said, no one's ever gonna know. And that's just the way it's gonna be. Well, years go by. And but my wife was always suspicious, like, you know, what's up with you, Terry? And I'm like, I'm good, I'm good. And I remember starting arguments, so she would stop talking. 'Cause what happens is one lie turns into two, turns into 100. And over 10 years, you start to forget which lie you told, you know, things start to conflate and you're like mixing up. And the pornography never stopped. It would be at a low, but, you know, I'd go like a month and be like, oh, wow, I'm good. And then, ah, ah, and man, it all culminated. I'll never forget. February, 2010, she was like, what is it? I don't know about you, Terry Crews. If something I don't know, I can't, man, it broke me. 'Cause we were on the phone literally. I was in New York, she was in California and I was working on a project. And this is one of the things I wanna say. I was very successful, very successful. You talking rich, making money, famous, popular, everybody loved Terry Crews. It was like, wow, you know, Mr. White Chicks, Mr. This, this, this, didn't, you know, it was phenomenal. Money was rolling in, we were doing well. And I'm like, what's she had to complain about? You know, it's a good life, you know? And the question I would ask her, and I would literally ask myself was like, why didn't she believe me? When the question I should have been asking is why am I lying? It's too different, it's the context of saying two different views, you know? And I had blamed her for not believing me. That's how deep it goes. And I'm gonna tell you, success is the warmest place to hide. Because no one's gonna call you on your shit. Nobody's gonna say, hey, maybe you should, you get a lot of psychophants, you get a lot of people telling me, you're right, you're right. I had tons of people like, man, you good. In comparison to everybody else, oh my God, you never hit your wife, you bring the money home, you do all this stuff. But I was not real, I was alive. I was living a lot. And when I told my wife, I heard this guy from the other end, and I was like, oh boy, I think it's over. And she said, you know, I'm done. She said, I don't know who you are. I have no idea. 'Cause see, to me, it happened 10 years ago. But to her, it happened today. I had a few words to say about one of my sponsors on this podcast. As the seasons have begun to change, so has my diet. And right now, I'm just gonna be completely honest with you, I'm starting to think a lot about slimming down a little bit, because over the last couple of, probably the last four or five months, my diet has been pretty bad, and it started to show a little bit. Really over the last two months, I go to the gym about 80% of the time. So I track it with 10 of my friends in a WhatsApp group and this tracker online that we all use together. We call it fitness blockchain. And I'm currently at 81%. So 81% of the days I've done a workout in the last 150 days, right? So I'm going to the gym about six times a week. That's been a little bit impacted by the Derivacy of Live Tour, but I'm trying to stick to it. And so one of the things I'm doing now to reduce my calorie intake and trying to get back to being nutritionally complete and all I eat is I'm having the cure protein shake. Thank you, heel, for making a product that I actually like.

Opening up to my wife and its consequences (30:39)

The salted caramel is my favorite. I've got the banana one here, which is where the one my girlfriend likes, but for me, salted caramel is the one. What did you tell him? I told her that I went to him as I was a brother in Vancouver, and I got a hand job. And I said, it happened, I told her like 10 years ago, it was a long time ago, this is the one thing you don't know. Why did you tell her on that day? 'Cause she's always asked me, like this was the first time, you know? It was a course of like, you're doing something. I'm not doing anything, what are you doing? Like leave me alone, I'm not a, like I said, you why won't you believe me? But it became to a point where we were on the phone for so long she wouldn't let it go. A little bit, it was like she wore me down to the point of, you know, like here. And let me tell you the shocking thing about me telling her that revelation. I was like, she was like, I'm gone, that's it, I'm out. And I was like fine, leave, great. Thank you, now we know. 'Cause I was still blaming her. I was like, so you're not gonna stick with me, cool. You know what? I'm Terry Cruz. I'm like, I'll get another one just like that. First of all, Hollywood does not care if you lose your family. In fact, I'll get three more movies. They'll be like, hey man, you have to go home. Just go right to this one set to the next. I said, since when is Hollywood cared if you lost your family? Since when has that been a career breaker? Never. In fact, you get a divorce, that's just a par for the course. And I was like, cool, you can't handle it. And I had all kinds of excuses where, you know, you're gonna understand my upbringing. I got high sex drive. You know, look at all the women, I couldn't be having. None of that stuff worked, man. And all of a sudden, and she left, I remember her hanging up the phone and said, "Don't come home." I said, "I'm not." And then I was by myself. I remember in this hotel room. And I was with my little thing like, there it is. It's over. And then a little voice was like, maybe it's me. I was like, who is that? You know, I was like, no, no. First of all, I just gave you the rundown on all the excuses on why it, I had to do what I had to do 'cause that's what I needed. And whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. It's you, Terry. She's got none to do with this. And man, it was like cracking an egg. And I was trying to seal it. But the group was going all over the place. And I'm like, I'm trying to put an egg back together. I can't do it. And I went, damn it. It is me. It is me. Like, I lied. Like, I was lying the whole time. And what I presented to my wife was an image. And she was married to that. She wasn't married to the real Terry Crews. She was married to the picture. She didn't know. And let me tell you, man, one thing I learned, which is so important and incredible, after all this. And once me and my wife rebuilt our marriage, like, related from the ground up, I learned that intimacy is the only thing I'm looking for. And when I say that, intimacy really means that someone knows you, all your stuff, everything about you, good and bad, and loves you anyway. That's all every man is looking for. First of all, your mama does that. Your mama knows everything.

Why do men avoid intimacy and vulnerability? (34:52)

And she loves you anyway. That's why your love for your mother will never dissipate. A good mom. A good mom is always somebody that you like. You put on a pedestal. - What have been invite or allow that level of intimacy? - Well, first of all, it requires vulnerability. It requires you. You can't get intimacy without vulnerability. It's impossible because you're going to have to tell your stuff. And imagine, imagine the problem because if you can't tell, you'll never find intimacy. So, but that's the only thing you're looking for. So what happens is you get sex. Sex and love's two different things. Lots of sex. And it's always unfulfilling because you're not getting what you need. You know what it's like drinking salt water. Drink salt water. Taste good. Feels like you're getting hydrated, but you're slowly, surely dehydrating yourself. - Is this almost apparent paradox between when you're a man, you think that masculinity is the opposite of vulnerability, right? And you think masculinity is attractive. And also in your case, it can be our self-defense through the hardest of times. So the thing that ends up being was our self-defense and helped us to survive ends up being the thing that stops us from being able to thrive, right? Isn't it wild? Isn't it wild? And at some point, I see it on this podcast, the example I give is Patrice Ever, who was the famous Manchester United football player, champion, you know, one of the titles, Tough Guy, where I grew up on the streets of France, where there was gangs and he was sexually abused and he was in a household where his brother had an overdose and he was around that environment and he built this like tough exterior to help him get through that. - Yeah. - But then he gets into his later life and has kids and he's cold with his kids and he's cold with his partner. And then one day, his wife's nagging him and saying, "What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you? "You want any cracks?" And at 40 odd years old or whatever, he was at the time, he, for the first time ever, tells someone he was sexually abused by his headmaster and about all that pain that he had been, you know, he'd held behind that shield of his masculinity. And until then, he describes the same thing, until then he wasn't able to have a real intimate relationship with anybody. - Right. - And I think it's interesting 'cause so many men listening to this, you know, and I was definitely one of them, would have used masculinity or what we think masculinity is as a way to survive and to fit in and to get through and then it gets in a way later. - Well, I mean, everything works until it does. Drugs work until they don't. - Pornography addiction worked until it didn't. - Did you tell her about that? - Yes, I told her everything. You know, we had a thing and this is what was, we required in therapy was the term as disclosure. And you have to answer every question she has, truthfully and honestly. And I'm gonna tell you, man, it was like shooting her. It was like shooting her. What was wild, I remember in the NFL, that I looked back on and I thought were, you know, moments of camaraderie, but they were really, it was really disturbingly twisted and that, you know, we would land a plane, you go to the strip club and all the guys be, you know, you feel like, okay, they're like, I mean, we going to the club, we going to Magic City, Atlanta, we doing it. You're like, okay, are we going down there? And you go into the club and all of a sudden there's girls out there and they're doing a thing. And then all of a sudden one of the girls would come off the stage and then they'd wanna talk to the players and they're like, "Hey, how you doing? "You know, I got my kids and I'm doing it." And it's like, "Ah, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop." You're ruining it. 'Cause she's talking kids, she's talking life, she's talking stuff. The problem was she was becoming a human being before our eyes. Just get back up on the stage and be a doll. Be a picture because pictures don't talk back. You know what I mean? Like, humans do, but you be a mannequin and we can manipulate you in any way we want, but don't talk 'cause you're ruining it. And when I say, I've said this before and a lot of people got on me, but there was a thing where we didn't really think women were as human as men were. That's a horrible thought, but it was everything that I was taught. In my culture, it was like, "Hey man, "you got to understand, growing up in Flint and the hood, "the whole thing was like, "Hey man, you better get your, "you better tell your girl something, "but get her in line and you owned your family." Not like you served them, you owned them. You owned your girl or girls. You know, the pimp mentality was praised. I all, "What's up pimp? "Oh, that's my pimp right there." I mean, these are fathers, the kids. One of my best friends, his dad took him to a prostitute is to make sure he wasn't gay. "Huh? "You're talking about severely abusive behavior." I don't even, and this is another thing. I even bring it up in the book. You know, this was another thing, even amongst the women. You know, my mother, there was one time, my mother felt like she owned us. And I remember she made me, she called me in a room and she said, "You got hair down there?" I was like, "What?" - Head down there. - Yeah. - 'Cause it's a super car. You have hair down there. I said, "Don't wear it. "What are you talking about there?" And she points at my private. I'm like, "Yeah, I guess." And she said, "Pull it down. "Let me see. "Put your pants down." What? "Pull your pants down. "Let me see." Man, I'll never forget it. You know, pull them down. I'm looking out the window. I'm just like trying to be somewhere, anywhere, other than here. But it was that extreme religious control vibe where it was like, "I control you." To the point where I could just make you pull your pants down and spec you. And I, listen, I don't think it was, it wasn't sexual in nature, but it was definitely abusive in nature. And it was to let me know that I run this. And I remember pulling my pants up and trying to forget it for years, for years. And I confronted my mother about it. I remember when I was grown, and out again, already successful, but I had already went through D-Day with my wife and going through therapy. And I called my mother, I said, "Do you remember when you made me do that?" And she said, "Do what?" I said, "Ma, remember?" She said, "I didn't do that." I said, "Ma, you did that." And she denied it. And then my sister came in and was like, "Why are you trying to break up the family and you trying to do all this stuff?" Then I was like, I didn't make this up. And she said, "Well, if it did happen, I was young and stupid." And then, you know, and she just tried to excuse it and it's the thing, 'cause it's too painful. It's too painful. No one wants to know they hurt their kids, but it happened. And it was part of me getting through every little bit. And see, I called the book tough because remember I brought up the fact that, you know, the courage to control the things you can. You can, there's a lot you can control about yourself. See, I was, like, literally helpless before, like, whichever way the wind blew, Terry Cruz was going, what else can I do? This is another thing where you could bait me into anything. I could, you know, another thing here in my culture was that, you know, if somebody called you nigga, you knock 'em out. No matter what, no questions asked, don't even hesitate. You supposed to, and they would tell you, "Hey, man, anybody call you nigga, knock 'em out." Well, the thing is, though, is that usually when you do that, you go to jail. You can't prove somebody calls you a nigga unless it's recorded and it's like, "Your word gets, but somebody's laying on the ground, you're just assaulted somebody." It's no different than if you go to a football game and somebody does a cheap shot and you hit 'em back, who gets ejected? The jail is full of black men who were baited by a word and had to follow the rules. We got to follow the rules, right? So, anybody call you a nigga, you get knocked out. But here's the point, and here's the thing that changed me, and this is where I learned what I could control. There are no niggas. There's no such thing. You might as well call somebody a leprechaun. There's no such thing as a nigga. And I say, "Ooh, cow, I can get mad about someone calling me something. I'm not." Like, the thing I like to say is Bill Gates, if you call him broke, he just looked at you and go, go in his helicopter and fly away, you know what I mean? He wouldn't even be threatened by that. But here's the thing, if you really do think you're a nigga, that's when it affects you. That's when you wanna fight. And I said, "But I'm not a nigga."

What was your lowest moment? (45:30)

And I realized that there was so much I could let wash off because I examined it and I put it to the test. But you gotta be tough to do that. When you look back on that period, what was your lowest moment? I would have to say that the day I went to that massage problem, it was low. I write about it in the book. I just think, and I describe it in detail, just because I never thought I would do something like that on my wife. Like, how did I end up here? You know, you just look around like, "What in the world?" You know, it's almost like having a faulty instrument panel and you're trying to get to Seattle and you end up in Mexico. You're like, "What in the world? How did I do this?" It was low. Like, that was a real moment I actually considered suicide. Like, for a minute, I remember thinking, what if I just found a way to die and then make it look like it was an action? You know, like, I was kind of thinking of things, you know? Off to the massage parlour. Yeah. Oh, the 10 years later when you start speaking? No, no, that was after, I mean, that 2000 was a dark time. That's why I was like, to me, the day 10 years later was actually an awakening because it all happened in one day. It was like denial and then all of a sudden acceptance that I got it screwed up. I don't look at D-Day as a low day at all. I look at it as the day I woke up, the day of like, "Wow, I was forced to see myself as I really was," 'cause I had a great image of myself. And it was like, "Oh, I'm this."

Your dad being aggressive in front of your children (47:32)

And I'm not that bad 'cause I'm in comparison to everyone else, I'm great. But it did not pass muster because she had to be the one to dictate that. One of the other symptoms of being tough is introduced in the prologue section of the book where you talk about the day where you get in an altercation and there's extreme violence. I mean, violence shows up there, but you also see it throughout your story. And the other key moment that really stayed in my mind and it was a very graphic scene is when I believe you're on the way to dinner with your wife and you get a phone call saying that big Terry, your father has punched your mother again and her tooth has turned in her mouth. - Yeah. Tell me about that phone call. - Man, first of all, I made my father vow. I said, "Man, look, I'm bringing my kids." This was the first time I'd actually been in Hollywood. This is post NFL. I already had a job, but my first job was a TV show called Battle Dome where I basically beat people up. It was like American gladiators on steroids. They put me in a cage, set the ends on fire and I would take three contestants and pummel them. It was, I mean, look, I know about violence, okay? And I could do it. And so I came back home for Christmas and we call it Christmas from hell. And so we were there and we're going out to dinner with some friends and Detroit is about 45 minutes from Flint. And we were driving to Detroit with me and my wife to go see our friends and we get a call where literally 10 minutes into the ride. And I get a call from my aunt. She's like, "Oh my God, your father hit your mother." I'm like, "What?" He's just drinking. This was somehow the holidays brings out the alcohol. Everybody wants to drink on alcohol. It's really triggering for alcoholics. And I said, "Get my kids, see it?" She said, "Yeah, it's scary." They saw it. - They were like, "You kids were there." - My kids were there. - How old were you? - Oh, I was, I had just started, so I was about 31, 32 years old. And yeah, man, it was, I couldn't believe it because I told him, I said, "Man, my kids, I've never came up in this. I've never seen this." You know? And I was three daughters at the time. Not five now, but I couldn't believe it. They were just shocked. They had never been in that. And all I remember is just the feeling of surreal terror. You know what I mean? Like this big man is beating my mother up. What do I do? I don't know. You know? And then they were in there like, "Why is he doing this?" Like they never seen it. And I said, "Damn it." Man, I turned, I did a U-turn. I said, "Listen, take the kids, take them over your house, make sure it's just me and Victoria in that house. Understand, make sure of it." She got the kids out, the whole thing, dupe, I roll up in that house. I said, "Hey man, did not tell you." He said, "Oh man, shut up, man. Get out of my face." Wow, hit him dead in his mouth. And there it was. I was like, "Man, all those times you beat my mother up. All those times I was running around five years old scared, couldn't do nothing, froze up. I'm bigger than your ass now, huh? How you like that? Bow, bow, he's screaming at me to stop. He's bleeding, he's screaming, and I'm just wailing on him, man. And I'm like, "No, how you like that? This is how she felt." And you're crying while you're doing this. I beat his ass and I'm in tears. But listen to me, man, it was nothing. It was empty. Like, nothing. I thought, "Dare it is. I got revenge. Revenge is complete." And it was hollow. It was like an empty box. It's like a big box with a giant bow on it. What now? I was like, "You just beat up your dad. Big deal." It didn't settle the score. Didn't change him. Didn't fix my mother's tooth. Didn't do anything. My mother moved right back in. I was like, "What the hell?" And so I didn't come back on a pretend years after that. I was like, I remember just being shot. Like, this was supposed to be so good. This was supposed to be so sweet. It was not bad. It didn't work. And one thing I discovered, even in writing this book, was that you can either have success or revenge, but you can't have both. It's success would have been transcending that moment. Taking your mother out of there and just leaving them all to his own devices. Because that's a punishment. Let these people do that. These kind of people, that stuff doesn't work 'cause it just makes them more angry. You know what I mean? Makes the whole world blind, doesn't it? It makes the whole world blind. But success is when you leave, but revenge is quick. I'm gonna have to say this because there was a time when I was Will Smith. When you could say something and I would have walked up on that stage and smacked you. But when I learned how to be Chris Rod, when I learned how to keep control and actually not let things descend into chaos. 'Cause that's what that could have been when you look at Chris and imagine if he'd have fought back. There would have been no recovering. That would have been the end of the Academy Awards. It already was, by the way. But it would have been complete beds alone. Quick one. As you might know, Crafted are one of the sponsors of this podcast and Crafted are a jewelry brand. And they make really meaningful pieces of jewelry. And this piece by Crafted, when I put it on, for me it represents courage, it represents ambition. It represents being calm and loving and respectful and nurturing while also being the antithesis of that. Seemingly the antithesis of that, which is sometimes a little bit aggressive with my goals and determined and courageous and brave. The really wonderful thing about Crafted jewelry is it's super affordable. It looks amazing. The pieces hold tremendous meaning. And they are really well made. What was the process for you to become that man, to take on your ego? And I remember reading about the moment when you were on holiday and your daughter spills her drink. And you would have reacted. It was after my son. It was my son. It spills his drink and you would have normally reacted with anger or being mad at that moment. But your wife actually noticed that you didn't. And she said to you, you've actually changed. That was the moment. Wait. First of all, what was it that changed you? What was the process? You know, remember this was years in. Okay. And it was small, minor, minor changes. Just one after the other, one after the other. It was a process of constantly examining. You got to say it. Like there was a moment where I would walk outside and it would look different. Like, oh, like the sun would look different. And it was weird.

How and why did you change? (55:33)

I'll never forget coming out of therapy. And this guy was like, they were like, "Terri, you have to learn how to tell people no because I was a pleaser." And so I remember being at dinner and people were like, "Can I get an autograph?" I'm like, "Yeah." And I was signing autographs for an hour with my family there. My wife was like, "Terri, we're here. We can't even enjoy it." I was like, "Yeah, but these are my fans. These are the people that pay our bills." And then she's like, "You can't tell them no. Just for an hour." And I couldn't because I was like, I got a plea. And I remember being in counseling. And the counselor asked me, she said, "What if a director told you to do something you didn't want to do?" I said, "Well, I have to do it." And she was like, "No, you don't." I said, "Yes, I do." And she said, "No, you don't, Terri." I said, "Well, I'm an actor." She said, "Yeah, but you don't have to do what the director, everything the director told you to do." I said, "Yes, I do, 'cause I'm an actor." And she's like, "No, no, you don't." She said, "Terri, you don't have to do that." I said, "But I would lose my job." And she said, "Well, get another job." I said, "But I'm an actor." And she said, "Terri, you don't have to do what you don't want to do." I didn't know, especially since I was such a pleaser, it was one of the things, "Well, yeah, yeah." And I'll never forget this guy came up to me, he said, "Hey man, can I get an autograph?" And I was gonna do it. I was in practice. I said, and I looked at him, I said, "No." He said, "Come on, man. Come on, man." I said, "No, no, no." And I was, I went crazy. And the guy was like, "Do it, relax, man." And I was like shaking. It was the first time I was exercising this, "No, my no, no." And I was shaking, I got back in the car and I said, "You got it." I thought I was going crazy. I thought I was going crazy. But what I was doing was dissecting and piecing and understanding who I was and what made me tick. And it's so thorough. And it got so thorough to the point where I was like, "Oh, that, why do I feel angry if someone says that?" Or, "Why am I insulted? Why? Is it me or is it them?" And once I started asking these questions, I could let it go. And I was like, "Oh, man, that's nothing to do with me." But whereas before it was just, you insulted me. And dude, the process of doing this kept going on and on and on and on and on and on. To the point where when my son spilled that water, I knew he was innocent. Whereas before he would be guilty. Whereas before, man, watch where you going. You gotta pay attention. If you don't pay attention now, you spilled this water all over the place and then you know how much this cost? Then I would have went all, you know what I mean? I can't count to you how many family gatherings are ruined, how many, you know, theme park outings, I've crushed people in tears, I'm going back to the room 'cause I just, everything had to be perfect. Everything had to be the way it's supposed to be and then you didn't do it the way I wanted. It was hot, my way, the highway. But dude, that moment he spilled that water and I was like, "Oh, man, it's okay." So I went, dude, everybody in the table was like, are you serious? Am I why I flipped at me? She looked at me. She said I was different. And I knew I was. I've always been through. I'll never forget. She said, "Tari, you're different." I said, "Tari, I'm with you." She said, "I love you." She said, "Oh God, I stuck with you 'cause you were willing to do the work." And it was, uh, that's what I knew. And that's one of the biggest reasons why I have to tell it. So because I don't want people to feel like they're alone. I don't want men to feel like they're alone. I don't want men to feel like it's just them. And they don't know any way out in the whole thing. I said, "I have to be vulnerable. I have to share this part so that you can see this part so that you know how far I came." You know, I have no interest in showing that image anymore. I have no idea. Like I said, I told you earlier, I've moved from fiction to nonfiction. Why did that mean so much to you when she said that? Wow. Because I knew I wanted to make it right. It's not enough to say you're sorry. It's just not enough. It's like, it's not enough to hit people in your car and go with my bad and pull off. But you got to understand in the world today, you said, "My bad, I said I'm sorry. Bye." And you leave people broken. You just hit somebody with your car. And you pull off and go like, "My bad, and yell it out." It's not enough. Not enough. I damaged my family. I damaged my wife. And that's when I knew when the person I hit can come back and tell me they loved me and they hugged me. And they know that I was truly sorry. That's the forgiveness I always wanted. That's what I wanted. And you have to make amends. You have to do what's within your power to make things right. And again, a lot has been said for just, "Yeah, I said I'm sorry," and old thing, but man, it's just never enough. You have to do the work and you have to pay the price. You have to stay by whoever you hit. You got to wait until the ambulance comes. You got to wait until the police comes. Or you got to own up to it. And that's what I did. Would you think your life would be like if you hadn't looked yourself in the mirror and started to own up and confront that? I don't believe I'd be here today. I really don't. My temper, I would have went off on somebody. I honestly can't say. I know I wouldn't be married. I probably, you know, the vision is, you know, Hollywood and relationship to relationship, just trying to find somebody that would stick with me long enough for the pictures. Not love, man. I don't think I'd be like, "Oh, I'm not going to be here. I'm not going to be here." I'm not going to be here. I'm not going to be here. I'm not love, man.

How would your life be if you wouldn't have changed? (01:03:23)

You know, this whole thing, it's wild because unless somebody knows who you are and really, really is willing to love you, you know, Hollywood doesn't do that. It doesn't operate like that. In fact, what's so crazy about Hollywood is that they'll make movies about love. The main star will be like, the star will be talking about, "Oh my God." There'll be this great movie that was all about this love relationship and he's a rapist. That's this town. You know what I mean? It's wild, but it's real. I mean, it don't make no, it's the same thing that happened to me when my own agent assaulted me. And I went to the head of the motion picture department and I was like, "Hey man." I said, "This dude, you can't molest the clients." And the guy looked at me and said, "He's a partner." "Yeah, yeah you can." Your agent at a party well documented, came up to you and started grabbing you. He grabbed my privates. He grabbed my dick basically. And I'm like, "Yo!" I don't know what he was on because he wasn't drunk, but he was on something. I don't know what it was. I have no idea, but he was not acting himself. He was licking his tongue out and acting all funny and weird. It's like he was tweaking this nervous, weird energy, like somebody had a molly or something crazy. He was not there. And I was just like, "Man." He was looking at me like, "Oh my God." I don't know what was there. And again, it was really weird because here we are and this really, you know, Hollywood party, hot famous people everywhere. And here he's, listen, he's the loans agent.

Experiences Of Sexual Assault And Personal Transformation

I was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive (01:05:22)

He's Eddie Murphy's agent. He's Adam Sandler's agent. He's the head of the motion picture department at William Morris Endeavour. And he lost his mind. And look, I pushed him off. He come back again. I pushed him off again. And he starts laughing. "Ah, I'm going, what?" Now, I'm feeling so crazy. Now, I'm about to put my hand through his head. And my wife, I looked at her. And this is where I went to because my wife had seen me. There's a long trail of people who've been knocked out by Terry Crews, okay? So she looked at me, but there was a time, a long time ago. She made me promise that I would not be violent anymore. And I was part of the therapy. It was part of what we're doing. And I realized this was another trial. This was no different than being called nigga. This was no different than a pool and a bait that if I went for it. And what's so crazy is I asked people the question like, if I had knocked them out. Because a lot of people say, "You should have just done it, man. What's wrong with you, man? You weak." But I go, "Would you believe me?" No. No. You, even you, the people who say that I should have done it, would you have believed the story that this guy grabbed my balls? And I just wailed, and I wailed off on him. And he happens to be the head of the most picture department. Why would he do that? Terry Crews, Big Superstar, probably got drunk, probably knocked him out because he got angry. Hey, man, nobody would believe that. But you believe me now? Because I didn't do it. When people take that, you took that to your agency, the head of your agency, and you told him what had happened. And he said, "He said, well, he's a partner." And he said, "Listen, this is what I'm going to do, Terry." He said, "I'm going to take his title, and he's going to be suspended for 30 days." But I went, "Huh? So you're going to send him on vacation?" Was he giving you that fake energy? You know when that fake handling it? It was this fake, it was like dealing with the devil. And he, but first of all, when I met with him, he was like, "I'm going to give you a meeting." As if he was going to grace, he was going to let me grace his presence. Because, you know, he owns all these people in Hollywood. And I'm like, "What the hell?" When people talk about why they didn't come forward, they often mention an element of fear. Yes, for what that powerful individual might do to their career or their life. What happened is even right after it happened, he told me the other day, "Adam Bennett called me, and I'm sorry, I was broke." You know, "Whoa, whoa, whoa." I said, "Hey man, you got to be held responsible for what you just did. I don't know what's up, so what's up?" And so everybody told me, "We're taking this very seriously, and we're going to get back to you with what's going to happen." And nothing happened, right? So a year later, when the Me Too thing happens, I snapped because I knew nothing was going down. They let him get away with it. And so when I met with Ari, I said, "Hey, Ari." I said, "Man, first of all, you wrote a letter to Mel Gibson, demanding that he be kicked out of Hollywood for anti-Semitic remarks. You wrote a letter to Huffington Post. You can Google it right now, and it tells how he needs to be kicked out." I said, "Look, anti-Semitic remarks as reprehensible as they are are not illegal." I said, "But sexual assault is." I said, "You can't--" I said, "I don't--" You're talking about a 30-day suspension. I said, "Man, you can't molest the clients and come back to work ever." I said, "If somebody in the mailroom did this, they'd be out. How much more the head of the agency, a partner?" I said, "What are you saying?" He said, "It's different." And you know what it reminded me of? It reminded me of the standing hole that happened with Will Smith. It's different. It's Will Smith. Chris Rod standing over there, nobody goes to him. He's standing all by himself. But who's bigger? Who's got the best light? Ah, we love Will. It's different. And I said, "Dude, no, it's not. No." And I said, "All right, man." I said, "You really want this?" And he said, "Hey, man, it is what it is." I said, "Okay. I see you when I see you." And what happened was I decided to sue. And I spent $500,000 of my own money suing William Morris Endeavour. And what was crazy is that they fought me every step of the way. Until people came out of the woodwork. People like Terry, he did this to me too. Let me join your case. I was like, "Because remember, you don't rob the biggest, you know, bank in the city. You start out with the branches. You start out small. And all these people started to come out of the woodwork about what this man had done. And then all of a sudden they were white flag, "All right, bad." And they decided to retire him. So he basically retired. You're not allowed to say "fire." But he was retired. And I was like, "Good." And I didn't want any money. I never wanted money in the first place. Because their whole thing was they were scared of, "Well, you were like, how much you want?" I was like, "I don't want to die." I said, "Dude, I will spend a million dollars to win one dollar." So what do you want to do? And so what they did, I got my attorney fees back. He was gone. But that's all they should have done in the first place. Because it's unacceptable. Remember, it's not enough to say "my bad." You can't tell me, you can't grab me in front of my wife and all this. And be like, "Oh, my bad." Like I hide that day. It's not enough. Will Smith reminds you of who you used to be in this moment. Because this is why, listen, I love Will and I love Chris. You know, I love Will. And all I could think about was like, "Oh my God, that's me." That was me. And does that give you empathy for... Yes. Yes. Yes. I hope that's what everybody's getting from this interview. Because I had nothing but empathy for Will at that time. Because I'm going, "No, no." He got pulled in. He got paid it. You know, a joke. Now again, it wasn't funny. It's not even one of Chris's best jokes. It wasn't even... And I looked at that thing and I went, "Oh no. Well, no." And it didn't hit me until he was back in his chair. And you saw he lost it. And he was saying these things and I said, "Oh no." Because it reminded me of me. It just reminded me I would have done that, man. I would have done worse than that. I'll be honest. What Will did was nice compared to the stuff I did. One of the things that you said saying your book in section two, which is titled "Shame," is that you're overachieving came from insecurity, which is the other side, the other consequence of the context in which you were raised. The other side of it, so you've got the one side which created anger and all of these other things and the escape of pornography. But the other side of it, the thing that everybody collapsed for, which made you an anomaly as well, and gave you that drive. And that hard work was your success and that came from the same place. And that sometimes funny when you think, "The thing, my light side and my dark side originated from the same catalyst." Yes. Right? Yes. And it's kind of wild because these things, you get a lot done when you are running off shame or even revenge, these kind of things.

How my dark and bright side came from the same place (01:14:17)

You get a lot done. This energizes. Okay, I got to prove that I'm this. I got to prove. And again, it's typically, I've seen women do it too, but I would say for men, it's a typical move where we feel bad, but then you have to find a way to feel good about yourself. You know what I mean? And you have to find something to feel good about so you immerse yourself and work. Is that what you did? Oh, definitely. Were you like an obsessed or work of holocaust? Oh, my God. I mean, amen. You talking about, I'm the kind of guy who would work out until you passed out, like, like, work out to every muscle and my body cramped up. Because I'm trying to figure out, you know, you came, you're an NFL player, it didn't go great for you there. And then you arrive in LA and without acting training, like extensive acting training, without coming from Hollywood, in your 30s, you managed to build this career and become a really successful actor. You spend the first two years in LA, you know, pretty, pretty broke working job. You're ready. Yeah, jobs people want to work. But then you rise from that point to become this tremendously successful actor in a completely different field at a time in life where people would consider pretty late to get into acting in your 30s. And I'm looking at that thinking, what was it about Terry that made him successful in that discipline, when that, where that's not where he came from? He came from the NFL. He came from art school. I have to say, it was the only thing I could feel good about myself for. You know what I mean? Like, it was one of those things where all my self-worth came from it. That's why when she said, you know, what if a director did something you didn't want you to do? I said, I have to do it. Because everything, I was wrapped up in their opinion of me. You see what I mean? So you go farther than that. You do that. You go, if people are going around once, I go around a block four times. So I remember even being on security, you know, we would stand for 12 hours straight, you know. And so I remember just being this person who, you know, they were like, we break you for lunch, but I would bring my own lunch and have to stand right there next to me and I would jog in place. You would jump in place. Oh, yeah. I was going to get the workout in and I said, I'm never going to let my body get down. I'm going to, because see, remember, like, mom, I'm going to be the best kid. I'm going to be the best kid in the church that you've ever seen because of the pleaser thing and the whole thing. And then the shame would make you bad again. And always knowing and feeling in your heart that at your core, you're bad. So you must never get there. In fact, do so much. You never be alone. You know what I mean? Do so much that you don't have to face yourself because then things start to fall out. Then things start to fall apart. So you know, I had like three jobs at the same time. You know, sometimes I was like, I would sleep for four hours and I would get up and do a security job, then I would go to my bouncing gig and I would do two or three. I would try to get another gig on the other side. And even as an actor, it was actually illegal. I was doing three movies at the same time, one time. You can't do that. But I didn't tell anybody, but I was that focused. I was like, man, I'm here. I'm here. And I can show them. I can be, I can be beyond. And see, for me, it was like, you know, you have to understand the NFL, for me, it was not about catching ability, throwing ability. It was my ability to take tremendous amounts of pain. That was my skill in the NFL. I could take a lot of pain. I could endure a lot. And so I was like, I'm going to, I'm just going to be unstoppable. And you start doing the work with the therapist and you start unpacking a lot of the stuff. How does this change your relationship with work? Oh, it became where, hey, man, you're good because you're good, because you're you. And then the default, because this is another thing I had to, and one thing in our therapist really highlighted for me was, have you ever seen a child is not bad? And it hit me that if that was our state, then children would be evil, you know, all children would be evil. But no, no, all children are good. And it's programmable. And so what I did, I put a picture of myself on my desktop in my computer and then I even printed it out, put it in a little frame. And it was me at six years old, like my little two teeth missing. And I was like, that's you, man. I get, I get choked up looking at it because it's like even I think about it, I'm like, that's still you. Hello, good little boy. What would you tell him if you sit right next to you? If you sit right next to you, what would you tell him? You would hug him. You know, little boy who kissed his dad and got shunned out the room. You would be like, man, it's okay. I love you, man. You're a good boy. You know, I'm the same person. I'm still him. I'm still him. I got in touch with that dude. And I said, that's who I am. And that got rid of the shame. Now guilt is good. Guilt says you did something wrong and you need to fix it. But you need the shame ain't working. You only got nothing to be ashamed about. Nothing. You know, it's funny because there's people making, I remember being in high school and you do something dumb and fart by mistake. And they're like, I don't fart. We literally say that, man. I never farted ever. And you're like, oh, man, you don't fart. Oh, man, am I the only one? And I tried to realize, man, that's shame stuff. It's manipulative. It's people use that stuff. I never did that. And now all they're doing is trying to one up you. And I realize, man, just be you. You know what? One thing that changed for me is I stopped competing with people. And I said, don't try to be the best. Be the only. Be the only. That's only one Terry Crews. You know what Terry Crews, you got to get Terry Crews. You know, you see in scripts that like Terry Crews type. You know, I don't know. I love everybody. I love to rock. I love Kevin Hart. I love all these other guys. But I'm Terry Crews. You never be like me. And I'll never be like them. I'm the only. And by being the only, you are the best. I said, I don't want to. Oh, my God. Like, that was watershed. So much pressure off. You see what I'm saying? It's like, whoa. Now I'm working because I like it. I'm not working because I got to prove it. And you keep up with all of this. And he's got two houses. I need three. Because it's another thing I started to ask myself. What am I missing? Am I missing anything? If I got one house, am I missing something? No. I have one wife that loves me. Am I missing something? Because I don't have 10 girlfriends. I'm telling you, it's powerful. Terry, thank you. Thank you, sir. A very necessary book in our time. And that's the best way I can describe it. And I feel privileged to have had the joy to read it before it's come out. But a very necessary book for all the reasons that I'm sure are evident for everyone listening today. But there's a lot of men and women. Because it takes too long, but it also takes too long to understand. There's a lot of men and women suffering from the consequences of the things that cause the insidious, toxic, corruptive behavior you see in people in men today. And your book is tackles that head on in the most vulnerable, honest, important way. And the only way to be honest, you are a man that represents for many, especially in movies, being strong. And what you do in this book is you redefine what being strong means.

Closing Remarks

Our last guest's question (01:23:28)

And that's certainly something that I took away from it and will have a big impact on my life going forward. So thank you so much for your time and everything and writing such an important book. I think it's going to be an absolute tremendous hit, especially for the people that listen to this. We do have a closing tradition on this podcast, which is the last guest writes a question for the next guest. So in a weird way, they will have a conversation with each other. Okay. And I don't get to read it until I open this book. What is your mood right now? My mood right now is satiated. I saw me where I can describe it. It feels good. It's just get it out, talk about your life, the way you want to talk about it. What I think social media pulls everything out of context. It's so confusing, you mean something and someone can say it means another thing, but this is a very satisfying and satiating feeling to be able to talk and tell your story and not have it be taken out of context. So beautiful. That's my mood right now. Terry, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Bye.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Wisdom In a Nutshell.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.