By Chris Seiter

Published on September 12th, 2023

If you’ve ever heard of the crappy childhood fairy then you are in for a treat. I had the pleasure of interviewing Anna Runkle who is the founder of the very popular YouTube channel,

We talked about all kinds of amazing things,

  • Intro to the crappy childhood fairy. 0:03
  • Complex post-traumatic stress disorder. 3:28
  • What Is abandonment? Melange? 7:54
  • How to deal with emotional flashbacks? 11:13
  • Rec repetition compulsion and repetition compulsion. 15:59
  • Dealing with the fantasy element. 23:01
  • What does limerence feed off of? 25:53
  • Twin flame and codependency. 31:04
  • The importance of telling your story. 33:32
  • How she changed her approach to dating. 38:45
  • Dating a man who met her. 41:45
  • The difference between value and value in relationships. 46:47

Important Links Mentioned In The Episode

Interview Transcript

Chris Seiter 00:03
Today we’re gonna be interviewing Anna Runkle, who has perhaps one of the most clever names or monikers she’s known as the crappy childhood fairy. So if you’re not familiar, she literally runs this YouTube channel called the crappy childhood fairy that has over half a million subscribers. So I just want to say thank you so much for coming on and doing this, there’s so much I want to ask you. But perhaps we can start a little bit by giving me the origin story about how this all came to be.

Anna 00:36
Where I’m, my channel has so much to do with relationships. That’s why I’m really excited to be talking to you. And I think we talk about a lot of the same things. And I talk about it from the angle of people, mostly women, who went through abuse and neglect as kids, which really affects the way we have relationships. And I learned about this through the school of hard knocks, I grew up in a commune with a drug addict, alcoholic mom. And a lot of the stuff that just goes with that with having a alcoholic family, the like cars in the yard and poverty and you know, nobody really looking out for you and nobody supervising. And so I had really common symptoms for kids who grew up that way. But when I was growing up, and even as even 10 years ago, people didn’t really know a lot about this. They knew that kids who had a rough childhood were prone to depression and anxiety. But gradually, the research has been coming out that there’s so much more to it, that there’s a neurological injury that can happen when kids aren’t taking care of properly, when especially the emotional neglect, like we know that physical abuse and sexual abuse are horribly harmful. But there’s this specific thing that happens in all of this. And especially with the emotional neglect, where there’s a the there’s a glitch in the neurological development, and actually connecting with people, you know, and this is where it really does affect romantic relationships to connecting with people feeling a sense of calm in your body, instead of like too agitated, or just completely bla, all of that stuff gets thrown off, it also throws off your immune system, your hormones, your, your heart, your lungs. And so gradually, it’s coming out that chronic chronic disease, the risk of it goes way up, if you were traumatized as a kid. So there’s a lot of research going on on this. And it’s sort of all over the place. And a lot of people say, Oh, I’m trauma informed. But I always say, you know, this is a really emerging science. And so what what I really recommend for people who have been through trauma and feel like it’s affected them, is to really be in charge to be their own researcher and to be sovereign over their own healing. And if they’re trying something that doesn’t seem to work for them, or they don’t feel like the big problem in their life is getting recognized. That’s how I used to feel, it might be time to find a different approach a different therapist or a different approach. So I’m not a therapist, I’m somebody who didn’t benefit from talk therapy. As it turns out, I thought there was something wrong with me. And it turns out, that’s a really normal thing for many people who are traumatized as kids that talking about it kind of makes it worse. And so there’s ways that you can process your feelings and your memories, and then get on with changing your life. And that’s the most important thing is changing your life.

Chris Seiter 03:28
So what was interesting is when I was going through your website, specifically, there were two things that stuck out to me. I’m just going to kind of follow my my intuition here. So the first thing I did when I’m with your website is I’m looking at you know, like the little sidebar or whatever, and it has this term called CPTSD, which I believe is complex, post traumatic stress disorder. But I started reading a little bit it seems like you kind of created your own childhood Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, do you want to talk

Anna 04:05
about PTSD, it’s sort of a colloquial, colloquial term. Everybody understands what I mean when I say childhood, PTSD, PTSD, we know what that is. So from childhood, that makes sense. And technically what it’s called is complex PTSD, and which is not only from childhood, but it’s the kind of PTSD that you get, which has it has a slightly different set of symptoms from say, straight up PTSD, which might be a combat veteran who went through this very bad couple of days, you know, or somebody who had a card car accident. Complex PTSD comes from chronic ongoing exposure to stress when it goes on all the time, like trauma is going to influence your body, your brain, your memories, all that stuff. When it goes on all the time, it starts to kind of get in there and affect how you develop. And so it has a slightly different set of symptoms. And a lot of people are walking around with it right now.

Chris Seiter 05:00
Yeah, so I actually think this is completely relevant to our audience. Because one of the things that I research a lot is breakups, right? And breakups can be quite traumatic. And what’s interesting neurologically or neuro chemically is that cortisol shoots way up. You know, cortisol is a stress hormone. But, you know, on average, if you get stressed throughout the day, it should take around three to four hours for your cortisol to kind of come down to normal, but to your point like this, this constant complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, if you’re engaging in activities, or you’re obsessing about your ex, you’re looking on social media, and today’s day and age does not make it any easier. Cortisol has a tendency to stay elevated. And if it stays elevated for a long period of time, it can take as long as six months for it to level out. So I think even the science is backing up what what you’re saying here? How do you think, oh, sorry, you go ahead,

Anna 06:00
I was just gonna say there’s a real disadvantage for somebody who was going through all that cortisol and a lack of like mirroring and touch and everything when they were little kids. And so already, there’s a, you know, that’s what that’s where the neurological dysregulation stems from, is, you know, you know, mirror neurons, I’m not a neurologist, but mirror neurons, they develop in response to, you know, meaningful connection with your mom with your caregiver. And if you were neglected, there’s part of your brain that can’t develop. And it might, you know, some of the symptoms of C PTSD, in some ways look like autism, it’s not autism, it’s a very different cause. And, but there’s some symptoms in common. And it might, it would be like difficulty connecting. And so that anxious attachment that you teach people about so much, so often goes along with neglect from childhood. And it’s not just psychological, it’s neurological.

Chris Seiter 06:57
So a lot of times when we’re looking at the attachment styles, specifically, the anxious attachment styles, I try to give people like the Cliff Notes version, like I try not to overwhelm them with too much. But one of the things I always harp on is this idea of core wounds. And specifically, the core wound of an anxious attachment style is someone who is terrified of being abandoned. But I guess what you’re arguing is that even you know, it’s all stemmed from childhood and the mirroring neurons and the lack of it,

Anna 07:27
well, not all of it, but it’s, you know, it sets you up your brain is developing your body and brain and, you know, intrinsic, we can’t develop in a vacuum, we develop in the arms of the people who love us, and through their talking with us and working with us and guiding us. And so like the way I grew up, for example, my mom, when I was a month old, she just took off with some new boyfriend, and my dad was stuck by himself. And he was working and he had to hire somebody to come in. And I don’t remember any of this. But this happened again and again. And it starts to explain a lot of stuff that I struggled with later, which is extremely anxious attachment, horrible abandonment wounds. What Pete Walker calls abandonment Melange, which is kind of like a special intense emotional cocktail, that not everybody gets. When you know, when abandonment occurs, when the end of a relationship occurs, even thinking about ending a relationship with somebody I couldn’t stand would like, set me off, and then I wouldn’t do it. So the the attachment with the insecure attachment kind of drives people who would that childhood trauma, it can drive, it’s this is nothing is across the board. But it’s a very common trait, to go rushing into relationships, sleep together real fast, how that whole bonding thing happened, you know, and then like two days into the whole thing, you’re just like, Oh, my God, what am I done? I don’t even like this person. But the abandonment wound is there to go, but don’t you leave because if you leave, you’re gonna get thrown into the worst depression that you’ve ever known. And so people are like, held hostage by these emotions that are at the beginning driven by this neurological dysregulation. So the approach I teach is first to recognize which part of all this trouble is the neurology and the neurological injury. And I only you know, this science is pretty new. It came out about 10 years ago, and there was a word for it dysregulation and the name Complex PTSD, it’s pretty recent that this stuff has had names. And I read the books that came out pretty early. And it was the hugest thing, and I had just gotten married for the second time. And I was going through a lot of upheaval and roller coaster with him, you know, in the first year of marriage, and then this information came out and I found out the name for what’s wrong with me and for me, because I’ve worked hard on myself for decades. I’ve been in Al Anon for 25 years. That’s the 12 step program for families of alcoholics which I certainly qualify. My you know, most of my family was alcoholic AND, and OR drug addicted. And I was going there and I, I mean, I really worked on my Self and I had written self help books, but I just really struggled around relationships in ways that made no sense. Like, I was a nice girl like me having problems at this level. And my husband, he’s, he’s a really good guy, I did not want to screw it up. But I realized, like, if I couldn’t figure out what was really wrong with me, I was gonna blow it in this relationship. And I and I looked at these books, and when I read them, I mean, I just about my, my jaw hit the floor, when I found out it’s called dysregulation. And I knew like, that is exactly what I have. No one had ever described it before. And it’s part of complex PTSD. And I, I remember, I just was like, Honey, honey, I gotta tell you this. And at the time, he was like, this, just you know, I don’t trust this, this doesn’t set. You know, this just sounds like one of your excuses. But luckily, he gave me time to figure it out. And I was able to radically improve, I had healed a lot from my childhood, but I had these crucial wounds around relationships, where I would kind of, like if something made me feel upset, I would just, I would be too mean, I would sort of pop off on him. And I would say things I didn’t mean, and it’s called emotional dysregulation. See, PTSD isn’t the only thing that has it. But it’s really common. There’s, it’s it’s a neurological thing when you take a kid who was intensely stressed a person, an adult who was intensely stressed as a kid, and you get them thinking about something stressful, like an argument with the spouse. Left brain, which is reasoning just starts to go dim and right brain, which is emotions just starts lighting up all over the place, which is exactly what it feels like. So in my mind and argument, it’s sort of like a switch flips, and it just seems much worse than it is. And then I’m saying things like, well, obviously, you don’t love me, and obviously, I shouldn’t be here anymore. And I go pack my suitcase. It was like some sort of coping mechanism. And once I had a name for it, I was able to completely stop all that. I just, I was like, Oh, it’s a thing. And I read a really good book by this guy, Pete Walker, see PTSD from surviving to thriving. And he said, This is an emotional flashback. And when it’s happening, the first thing you do is say, Oh, I’m having an emotional flashback. And he gives some steps of what to do. And I’ve sort of added some of my own over the years. But the first thing I do is stop trying to make pronouncements about what what’s wrong right now, or whose fault it is or what we’re going to do about it just stop and get reregulated. And then you can work out so much. And it was just utterly life changing. And so I started to make videos about it. And that’s the origin story is I began I found something that just was so revolutionary, and it built on and I’ll tell you about this in a minute. But it started 30 years ago, I learned some techniques that are very reregulating, I just didn’t know, I didn’t have a framework for like, why does this helped me so much? And therefore, why should I make sure I keep doing it every day, I would sort of do it when I felt like I needed it. And so now I do it twice a day, and I can stay it helps me just stay it’s like WD 40 For all your problems, you know, just loosens them up so you can start changing that what needs to be changed, release what needs to be released. And I teach that free. I’ll give you a link to that to share with your listeners.

Chris Seiter 13:15
Is that the daily practice that? Yeah, do you? Do you mind talking a little bit about like, what’s part of that daily practice?

Anna 13:24
Yeah, um, so I had sort of like hit rock bottom. I somebody. There was this time where everything went bad at the same time. I call it a trauma storm. But I got attacked on the street. This is 30 years ago now. But I got attacked on the street. I was beaten unconscious, just like randomly by strangers.

Chris Seiter 13:43
That has to freak you out. Yeah, it freaked me out. I

Anna 13:46
had a head injury and my broken jaw broken teeth. And it gave me PTSD.

Chris Seiter 13:54
Let’s slow down here this Yeah, yes. So you’re just walking randomly down the street and someone just attacks you.

Anna 14:00
So I was on a first date with my friend had set me up with somebody. I liked him. I thought maybe, you know, I was trying to get over like a major heartbreak. I was it was like really hard year where the person I love the most had decided not to be with me. And and so I was on my first first date. And we were walking home from having coffee. And it was it was dark out. But it didn’t seem like I mean, it was the sort of thing that we did in that neighborhood all the time is walk home after dark from a cafe. And just out of the blue. These four guys jumped out of a car and beat us unconscious.

Chris Seiter 14:34
And I know where they tried to steal.

Anna 14:37
Like, it’s funny, that kind of hurt more because it wasn’t about money. It was it was

Chris Seiter 14:41
just like yeah, wow. Do they? Do you ever get any information if they caught these individuals or they just kind of

Anna 14:50
you ask I they know they never got busted for what they did to us. But we learned that this was happening all over I live in the San Francisco Bay Area you So we have our ups and downs here crime wise, and it was one of those bad years. And I guess for two years, people were getting beaten on the street randomly like this. And it was never reported in the news. And, yeah, and so but the the police told me that I was just like, am I the only person this has ever happened to? They’re like, No, sadly, it happens all the time. And they tried so hard to get the guys in later, I asked the Berkeley police, I said, did you ever get the guys who did that to me? They said, We didn’t get the guys who did it to you. But we, the whole thing stopped happening. Like it happened enough. And we caught enough people that it no longer was happening. So in the end, the net caught them. Yeah, but funnily enough, like my, like, the thing that I internalized about all that, like, I don’t really think about the people who didn’t much, you know, like, objectively and now I’m a mom, I just think all those poor screwed up, guys, they’re probably like, I don’t know, late teens, early 20s. And, you know, they, they’re, I’m sure they’re in prison now or dead. It’s just like, you can’t start life that way. It was probably a gang initiation, there was like graffiti on the sidewalk afterwards.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Chris Seiter 16:05
See, that makes sense? Like, I have a hard time believing it’s just a random thing. So like, if it’s a gang initiation, beating up some civilian or something, then yeah, some logic there just seems like, like to beat someone random. But anyways,

Anna 16:21
I know I digress. But in the, in the in what I thought about it, I can sort of, you know, I was such a brief encounter, and I was unconscious for most of it. But in a weird way, I was very in touch with myself and I had to wake myself up and scream and you know, something in me kind of kicked in. And this was a time when I was very depressed, my mom was dying, like in that two weeks later, she died. And I had my heart broken. And then this happened, and my medical care and my I was going to a therapist and state of California, like gives you all the money, you need to go to all the therapy you want when something like this happens. So but it wasn’t helping the thing that was wrong with me, it was beyond all of this. But I will say that a little bit getting in a weird way. I wouldn’t be doing what I do today, if this hadn’t happened. And I don’t wish it on anybody, including myself. But it was a pivotal moment, in my experience, because I had this very tenuous belief that I should be alive at the time I was really depressed. And so I think when you’re that depressed, sometimes when your life is threatened, it feels a little bit like, I don’t know, maybe it’d be better if they just take me. And I had to make that decision while I was out. And I it’s a weird kind of memory and hard to explain, but something and then we just was like, No, I do want to live, I definitely want to live. And I woke up and I screamed really loud, and they went away. And you know, it was very survivable. In this case, but the part that was hard. And so I wasn’t, I didn’t end up with like lingering fear about going out or anything, I had PTSD. And I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. What happened was, I had a really rough childhood, and I was somebody who did a very good job of like packaging it up, compartmentalizing it, putting it over here being very high functioning. But where it was really showing up was in my romantic relationships. So there were so many things I did, right. But there was this one thing that was like my Achilles heel, and I’d get into these relationships. And when they went bad, they went so very bad. And I was getting involved with worse and worse people, drug addicts, you know, chasing a married man, you know,

Chris Seiter 18:33
was it like a with the drug addicts? Was it something cute with your mom, like trying to recapture or

Anna 18:39
connect with that. So it’s, you know, it’s a bit of a mystery to me, because I would never consciously want somebody like my mom, she, you know, she was a pain. She was really incompetent and a mess and unreliable. So I wouldn’t want somebody like that I had a different idea of what I wanted. So there’s this thing that therapists call repetition compulsion, under the belief that we unconsciously pursue and repeat the trauma from the past maybe so we can work it out again. And in my typical fashion, I sometimes question these orthodoxies about why we do that, in my experience, in who, you know, I can’t really speak for my unconscious because I’m conscious, but it’s more like in the process of like meeting somebody and feeling attracted to them. And I talk about this a lot on YouTube, and so many people resonate so I know it’s not just me. It’s like this weird level of electric excitement comes that’s accompanied by this cloud of unknowing, and it makes you like a zombie. And here’s the thing, like, what’s so attractive about unavailable people? Is that you so little is required of you, it’s not going to work out. And you you can pop up into the realm of fantasy, which is a lot like fantasy. He is like, so exciting. And so if you can never really have the person, you can live in fantasy about it and pining away for them. Yeah. And, you know, I did you know, my dad, my parents were like, here and there and not always there and my dad died when I was a teenager. So sure, pining was part of it. But it’s not a recreation, it’s a weird, just like, I can’t cope with real intimacy. That’s kind of what my wound was, I can’t really cope with a real person. And it would stress me out quite a lot. Like a healthy person who liked me would just it would be it would feel like such a demand or kind of icky and just just weird and so I couldn’t really cope with it. And so there was this weird also, when you grow up in such a rough childhood, there’s a affinity that you have with other people who had it that bad. And a lot of people make a lot of people who grew up in a childhood as rough as mine, are drug addicts. So there was that affinity of like, yeah, I’ve never really been loved either. And I need to smoke cigarettes, for sure. And

Chris Seiter 21:02
well, I guess it’s like, it’s like someone who understands you. But yeah,

Anna 21:07
on this very primal level, you feel it. But it’s not really what you want. You don’t really want to be with an unavailable person alone on your birthday, as you want. And you don’t Yeah, and, and you don’t really want to be with somebody who’s, you know, nothing but trouble and somebody to be ashamed of, and you can’t introduce to your co workers or anything, what you want is just sort of those are the sorts of unintended consequences of seeking that comfort level. And trying not to get dysregulated. So that’s what I’ve noticed is this neurological dysregulation, when it kicks in, and it kicks in it can, when I say the word trigger, I don’t mean like the common Oh, I feel upset. I mean, a stimulus inside you are outside of you happens that triggers this neurological dysregulation. And there’s stuff it does to you that you can’t feel like hormone secretion. But there’s stuff that you can feel like, I feel clumsy, when I’m dysregulated I can’t find my words, I feel discombobulated, I might drive off from the gas station with the pump still in my car, and just flustered, my handwriting changes. So it’s dysregulation and just regular that’s the neurologic, your neurology governs not just your emotions, physic, there’s emotional dysregulation, and that’s other people can see that. Because you’re, you know, you’re throwing a tantrum, you’re very angry, whatever. But but these other aspects of it, like how it’s affecting your hormones, how it’s darkening part of your brain, how it’s how it’s changing your ability to feel your hands or to feel the consequences. That’s one of the things that research, that’s just one of the many things, a history of childhood trauma makes it very hard when you’re dysregulated. To assess, what are the consequences of what I’m saying and doing right now. You get very bad judgment, you normally have good judgment, but then you get very bad judgment. That’s where the bad boyfriends get in. You know, I feel attracted. I don’t see any I don’t see the problem. Right. The

Chris Seiter 23:01
chemistry is narrow, you see the problem, but

Anna 23:03
you can’t leave now.

Chris Seiter 23:06
Yeah, it’s interesting. I also really resonate with what you said about the fantasy element. So like, probably the one area of study that I feel like my team and I has done has been actually on the actual exes that a lot of our clients are trying to get back. And so we found that around 67% have dismissive avoidant tendencies. And one of the things that I always find really fascinating about dismissive avoidance is the fact that what usually works on them is giving them a lot of space so that they can fantasize about you. So you need to actually move on. And then as you move on, they’re like, Oh, now I feel comfortable enough to miss you. And it’s all that nostalgic reverie and that fantasy that you were talking about. Yeah, I was actually kind of curious to get your thoughts if you had any like wow that on that.

Anna 24:00
I’ve never heard that and it’s so intriguing to me that the dismissive avoidant that 67% are dismissive avoidant, I mean, I know the type so I like like the back of my hand. Yeah.

Chris Seiter 24:13
So that’s just our little our little shell of the world but I mean, yeah,

Anna 24:18
and the little drama plays out well what I’ve heard about this combination of insecure and dismissive avoidant is that it’s a very stable coupling really because no one will

Chris Seiter 24:27
it is so the only other coupling that stays together longer secure secure Yeah, but if you have anxious and avoidant together that’s the second longest but inevitably the flaw is there because like what what ends up happening when you have this coupling is the anxious person wants so badly not to screw things up that they inevitably just overcrowd the avoidant and the avoidant starts to avoid, I guess, and ultimately is the one that breaks up after a long period of time together and then And they actually go through the second honeymoon period on the breakup because they’re like, Oh, I got my independence back. This is great. And this is so hard for our clients to hear because it’s like, like, one of the questions I get all the time is like, is he thinking about me? Is he missing me? And I have to sit there and say, no, really happy to be away. But don’t worry, it will hit after that separation elation kind of wears off. But often, then you’ve moved on to someone else. And that’s why you see all these exes coming back. Like when you’re when you’re moved on and happy. It’s because they’re, like, romanticizing, and making you the Phantom X, you can finally

Anna 25:38
feel their love. Yeah, right. Yeah. Well, that makes a lot of sense. I’m very Yeah. Cool. Good one. Yes. Um, so I’ll tell you my take on that is a lot of content that I make is about limerence. Have you ever heard of this? Yeah, I

Chris Seiter 25:55
did an article. Like, months ago, I did an article limerence. And I did all like so much research on it. And then I hardly can remember what I wrote about it and older

Anna 26:09
feeling. I know the feeling why I do it a lot. And it’s a, you know, you take the feeling of falling in love that anybody would have, but then it just goes on and on and on. And it’s not matched to what’s going on. And it it turns into, like an obsession or infatuation that it is more like an addiction. And what limerence feeds off of is not having the person reciprocate the feelings. So if they reciprocate the feelings, you get together, you have a relationship, you deal with all the like, you know, toilet seats and toothpaste and all that stuff of relationships, right? And you’re not like, oh, magical, you know, yeah. It’s just a guy. And you You love him. But yeah, and so you don’t have a chance to ever develop that earthly love. And it’s all up in this fantasy realm. And I believe, I think, you know, a lot of research has been done about this sort of like neuro chemistry of that. There’s a genetic component, there’s chemistry, but I believe that comes from an attachment wound and I get it, you know, people write me letters, I answer letters on YouTube, and I just have hundreds and hundreds of letters that come in, and so many of them are from, it’s mostly women who write to me mostly women who I think men get I know men get it too. I’ve had men do it to me before but but it’s a they grew up in a family often with an alcoholic, almost always with just utter emotional neglect. And I think it’s a it’s an it’s an adaptation. It’s a survival technique of a child to go. That’s okay. Mom and Dad. I know you love me. I know that this you love me like normal parents do. And you develop this magical thinking, you know that? And, and it feels it’s like what you grew up feeding on? Is this magical love, like, yes, but it’s special and and in fact, when they’re in fact not there and they’re not giving you what a parent should and so you’re simultaneously handling the shame of being the kid who’s not picked up after daycare, you know, and and just rationalizing it all in your mind and it Prime’s you to tolerate neglect abuse, you know, dismissive avoidant partners it Prime’s you to take it and keep dancing around trying to fix it or trying to come up with ways that you could look at this that justify staying because leaving is impossible. You have this attachment wound, you can’t leave, you know. And so, a lot of what people do is they get into straw ology, the idea of twin flames. Tarot cards. I mean, people make a fortune. Oh,

Chris Seiter 28:45
yeah. Psychics Yeah, he used to run this Facebook group of all of our, of all of our people who had like, purchased our programs. And the one thing we learned really, really quickly was psychics would. So our clients, you know, they’re anxious individuals struggling with breakups. They pay a psychic, right? And then the psychic will tell them to go into the group and start promoting the psychic thing so we had we like create this rule like no law of attraction, no psychics, you know, I don’t think we’ve ever like clamped down on astrology too much. But you know, I’ve never really made any kind of articles or any, any research on it, because it’s, it’s,

Anna 29:31
well, like, Can I use the same way to just tell people what they want to hear? Yeah. And charge money for it? Yeah, psychics people get hooked into that. And there’s a lot of when I you know, like YouTube shows me like, where are most of my new subscribers coming from?

Chris Seiter 29:47
Oh, do you also get the spam comments from doctor so like, I get like the spam comments for like spellcasters spellcasters.

Anna 29:55
Yes, yeah. Psilocybin. Yeah, yeah. Bitcoin Yeah, the whole thing. Yeah, we get that, but But I get a lot of sincere followers. They’re following me because I talk about limerence and attachment stuff, but they’re trying to like hold on to two worlds. Yeah, they’re like, Yeah, but the twin flame thing is real. And for anybody who doesn’t know, dear listeners know what that is. It’s a it’s a new age that a soul splits into and this person who you wish would come back to you is actually the other half of your soul. And they just don’t really. Yeah. And it’s, it’s like a form of psychological torture to just sort of hold on and be like, but I know they’re coming even if I have to wait till the next life. And, you know, people have often reminded me it’s like, well, any spiritual thing and for that matter, ideological thing can trap people in a magical belief system that are cults, right. religious cults, you know, it’s like, yeah, where you’re being abused. But actually, this is for your greatest spiritual good, so people can really get messed with especially traumatized people. Trauma really predisposes people to get mind controlled. Yeah. Yeah. I

Chris Seiter 31:05
mean, like, waited and look at there was like that HBO documentary on? Was it like, Nexium are something that are near guy? Yeah. But what was interesting about it was you got to see how really intelligent individuals could be essentially controlled. And yeah, yeah, but the twin flame thing, the thing I always think that’s unhealthy about it is it’s essentially making you believe in codependency. So, like, you need this other person to complete you. And it kind of like, makes you believe that instead of coming into as having an interdependent relationship, you’re coming at it with like, I need this other person. And that’s not necessarily the most healthy approach to any kind of

Anna 31:53
relationship. It gets so much worse. I mean, I had to get police involvement a guy thought I was the other half of his soul. Oh, and I it kept escalating like nothing I could say would make him go away. Yeah, I had to get the cops.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Chris Seiter 32:10
That’s frightening. Yeah, was that was come up here. But that was in the past. I’m assuming past in the past, not some crazy watcher of your YouTube channel, like showing up a little bit of that. Occasionally

Anna 32:21
people get limerence on me. Yeah. And somehow, there’s a form of limerence where people do it on friends, or they are a mother figure. And I think to some people, I’m a mother figure. Or, you know, it’s weird. I handle this very carefully. Because sometimes people are like, I just think if I could talk to you, I could heal. Yeah. And that’s a like, that’s a really like, careful line that I walk, because it’s like, well, I can’t talk to everybody, but I’ve made all these videos and courses for you. Right? My sincere hope is that you, you can use them. But there is, you know, there’s actually, there’s, it’s interesting, because I started doing live shows a couple of months ago, I just did one in London last weekend. And, and you know, there’s a lot of like, we hug and we talk and people are crying, there’s just coming together with other people with the same thing. And, you know, when you’re a YouTuber, it’s a, it’s almost like, television person or something. Like you really represent something to people. And so it becomes this intensely healing environment. And, you know, in a way, I think seeing each other in person corrects a lot of that, but I suppose it could go the other way. It corrects magical thinking, yeah, it’s gonna that it would be this or that. And one of the things I’m teaching people anyway is telling your story is not really the it’s not the end all be all of your healing. It’s, it’s really like what you do to change your dating patterns, either dating course dating and relationships for people, for people with childhood PTSD. And that’s where I teach some very tough love, you got to, you know, like, nobody’s coming to save you. It’s not men’s fault. It’s not society’s fault. It’s, you know, the people who abused you, when you’re a kid, it is their fault that you got wounded. But nobody’s going to come and fix this now, right rail against this or that all you want. But it’s not going to change the wound that you’re carrying, and you got to heal that wound, you got to be working on yourself. So I teach people to get very clear, who is the person you really want to be with. And a lot of people who have been through the wringer around relationships they can’t remember. And they’re afraid to define that and be strong about it. And you’ve probably found this to in your own work, you know, like, they won’t say marriage, and I’m like, well, so you don’t want marriage or you do and they will they’ll say life partner or yeah, I’ll be like, Well, can you be more specific? Like, what do you want? So I can talk to you about what you want? And they’ll be like, well, but it just seems to them. It seems like marriage is too much to ask. So when they say life partner, I say, Well, do you mean like an open relationship? Like your money is separate, or do you mean that it’s not permanent? And they’ll be like, No, I want it to last forever and everything else Gather I’d be like, like Americans, right? Click a marriage. And it feels like too much to ask. So a lot of this healing begins with like being really clear. This is, you know, this was what I want, it may not be what you grew up with, it may not be what you ever got before, but you can, you can define it as such. And for me, that’s when things really changed is when I had mentoring to just really write that down, I wrote down 200 qualities that were like, they were in like three categories, I must have this, I this is pretty important. But I could live without it. And this would be nice, you know? Yeah. And, and write that stuff down. Like one thing I could I must have is this, my person can never have have have now or have had a drug or alcohol problem. And I think people who are sober, clean and sober can be great partners, but not for me. Because I had such a blind spot going into it. Yeah. So I just said none of that. And that was one of them. And they had to love my kids. You know, I was a divorced mom of little kids, and they had to love my kids and be a really good person for them. So those were like, must haves, and you know, and on down the line, and then I had to really, really work on you know, like, I can’t, I’ll never be able to tell you what’s the draw of unavailable inappropriate people. I just knew what happened. And then I had to use guardrails to make sure that’s not what was happening. And that I was getting, you know, that I was basically like sitting back and doing no, definitely no more than half and in the early part, less than half of the initiating of like,

Chris Seiter 36:29
just literally like what we teach. Yeah,

Anna 36:33
yeah. And just let information come to me. And so with my now husband, he’s the first person I, you know, I went, I spent two years working on this big transformation and myself and I was in my early 40s, divorced mom. And so it’s not, you know, it wasn’t too late at all, I thought it probably was. But I really got to the point where I was willing to have no relationship rather than get into the the just like, horrible situation I was in I couldn’t do that to me or my kids. And, you know, it’s really it was affecting my finances. It was affecting my job like it was it was a real problem. And the what had happened, the relationship that was the ultimate one that caused me to go into this deep period of reconsideration was it was a drug addict. I didn’t know he was a drug addict when I got together with him. And when I gradually found out what was going on, and I was making my lame attempt to get out of the relationship, which was messy and incomplete and dragged on for a long time, he flipped out and he took his own life. And I’ll never be sure did he take his own life? Or did he accidentally overdose but either way he made it. So I found him. And it was a terrible, like, I was re traumatized all over again. And so when you grew up with trauma, these you end up kind of drawn to and attaching to see people say, Oh, I attract narcissists. And that’s one of my little catchphrases. It’s like, No, you’re attracted to narcissists, and you sleep with them, and then get bonded with them, and don’t leave them. That’s the problem. It doesn’t matter who’s attracted, you know, because you’re probably very pretty. People are going to be attracted, but it’s who you go for. And so I had to stay very transparent, you know, with the people who were helping me. And I was in a 12 step program, and I had a sponsor, and I had, I had a series of mentors in different aspects of my life. And I was very honest about the nature of my problem, like, I can’t see these problems coming. I never want to do it again, I want to do it differently. And so I learned, so I finally started dating again. And the only person I ever sincerely dated was the man who I’m now married to, because he popped up with those characteristics that I had already defined as important to me. And then I teach people to do this in my dating course. But I felt very strongly about him. He was so cool that he had it together on every level, he still does. And we’ve been together 15 years and married for 10 now, and and I still, like really, really believe in him as a good man. And like such a good thing that happened in my life that I was able to change my approach to dating and be with a good man. And so I was trying to answer a specific thing for you. And I sort of was getting into the details there. But here’s what I changed. This was what we were talking about not rushing in. So the first two months we were dating, right, he was being super careful to we’ve been on nine dates, and he hadn’t kissed me. And one day, I was like, Listen, I am starting to have a concern. Yeah, you know, what, are we are we just friends? Yeah, you’re straight. Right? And and he said, No, no, I’m interested. And, but I just know that I want to go really slowly. Which he told me on the first date, but by nine dates, I was like, okay, good, right.

Chris Seiter 39:50
Yeah. Nine days is pretty slow. It’s like it’s like a caterpillar crawl.

Anna 39:55
Yeah, worked for us. But so he said he just got slow. And I said, I said to him, then I go, Well, that’s okay. Because I already know how this is going to end. And I sort of I had a very strong feeling about him. And I had a mentor who I said, I think I’m just doing that thing again, like having magical thinking about an unavailable guy. But my mentor said, You know what, I think this is different. My mentor met him, you know, under different aspects. You know, my, my now husband didn’t know that this was

Chris Seiter 40:22
out. You did the whole audit thing. I was very careful. I didn’t

Anna 40:26
have a dad to do this for me, you know, like, like I was supposed to learn. Yeah, so. So we, so we’ve added him and we gave them a lot of time. And eventually he came around, but early on, I came on too strong. I was grasping, I was trying to push it forward. And that’s my anxious attachment. Also, I was a single mom, and was like, yes, very anxious to get this kind of like lockdown and solve a lot of problems. But, but he got put off, and he broke up with me. And we were in this course together all that time. So I would see him every week. But we were broken up and I was dying. And my mentor helped me with this just said, Well, this is good. This is a chance for you to just like, hang out. And I was told don’t go talk to him. Don’t go ask him how he’s doing. Just mind your own business. Just sit there and do your thing. You know,

Chris Seiter 41:15
sounds like a limited No Contact Rule, which is what we tell our Yeah,

Anna 41:19
yeah, I did keep going. And I looked just as cute as I could every time I told you that too. I didn’t do it. And then, and then he started taking an interest sort of, and then he called me called me once on Saturday at 5pm. And he’s like, do you want to hang out tonight? And I was like, No, sorry. I’m busy. Maybe another night. And of course, between you and me, what I was busy doing was not saying yesterday. It’s like somebody who’s not valued. And it’s weird. Like, I only had to do that once. And I remember he was really like, taken aback like, Oh, wow. And then he always asked me in advance. And I’d love to tell the story. Like it was just all smooth sailing from there. But when you have a task more interesting.

Chris Seiter 42:02
Yeah, yeah. So what specifically about him was attractive was just those non negotiable things that he was hitting on your list, or

Anna 42:15
he had he, you know, I was able, he was very serious about relationships, he wasn’t looking, you know, just for a good time, he was looking to get married like I was, and he was willing to go slow to pick the right person, he didn’t want to go with somebody who didn’t meet the criteria. So it’s such a godsend that the first person that I really felt feelings for felt the same way about these, these things that I intellectually wanted. But when it came right down to it, my insecure attachment would kind of made me try to push through and lock it down, you know. And, but some that one of the, before I realized I was attracted to him, I met him I, you know, we tell everybody that we met in a Al Anon meeting, and Al Anon is usually women mostly. And that’s not normally where you would think, to go meet men, but he just happened to be in my meeting. And you he, he was so happy. He he worked really hard at his program, he would go out of his way, when he was sharing in that meeting to say things that were helpful to others. He didn’t just like, you know, cry about his own life or anything, he was very directed towards serving the group and what they needed by telling them, there’s a way to do this. And, and I could tell by how he described his own 12 STEP program that he was, you know, he was a formidable person who had really done self reflection, when I went on a first date with him get a lot of books on his shelves, and I was fascinated by what he was interested in some of it, I totally agreed. And some of it, I was like, How can you say that. And he was really, like, intellectually challenging for me, which is important. And he’s gorgeous. I always, you know, he’s just, he looks like Cary Grant to me. And so that didn’t hurt any dress nicely. And as I got to know him, I found out that he used to have social anxiety. And he was sort of dressed down, and he didn’t have confidence with women. And he had, you know, he had done his own work. And he just, he dressed very nicely. He took good care of himself. He had he had a good career. And on our first date, he showed up, he smelled good. He just like I remember he, like turned around and he was like, shining, he just, he really put a lot of effort into being available. And then when we were in our early dating phase, he said, I’m going to tell you something I’m doing. You don’t have to do it, too. I just want you to know I’m doing this. But while we’re dating, the reason I’m dating you is to see if we’re compatible for marriage. And this wasn’t like a dictation. It was a you know the result of a conversation. And sometimes when I would talk to friends, they’d be like, he sounds like some sort of like old school Dominator or something, but he’s not and it’s very hard to dominate a person like me, but he just knows he’s he’s a very moral person. He knew his own values, and he stuck to them, you know more than I he ever did. And more than anybody I know ever did. He was just very clear about himself. And he never forced me into anything. But he just said, because I, I just want us to have really good conditions for me to get to know you. I don’t want you to have to feel jealous. So I just want you to know, I’m not hanging out with ex girlfriends. You know, I’m not dating other people. I’m not, you know, and you don’t have to, you don’t have to do this for me. You know, you can you can tell me what you’re doing or not or do do whatever you’re doing. But I just I want to see what you’re like when you feel secure. And I was blown away.

Chris Seiter 45:32
Yeah, you know, what’s interesting about that, it’s actually your friend’s reaction. Because to me, it just sounds like someone who’s being upfront about the conditions like, Hey, I’m not trying to lead you on like, I’m not dating anyone else. I do want marriage. And what’s interesting is your friend’s reaction is there’s something wrong with him. And I think that says something about our society, which is that’s so unique. But that’s actually the way I think it should be when you’re dating.

Anna 45:59
Yeah, I mean, for me to be freed of the burden of jealousy. And that he taught me also was that, because in my culture growing up in Northern California, when you break up with somebody, this is what you’re supposed to do. Okay, instantly, now, we’re friends, and that will hang out with your new girlfriend, and I’ll be really cool about it. And then go home and just be like, Oh,

Chris Seiter 46:19
that sounds it sounds familiar, passive,

Anna 46:21
aggressive, or vicious, or have a have a cow right in front of everyone. And I just, he’s just like, no jealousy is like, that’s what it feels like when you’re, you know, in love with somebody, they don’t want to be appearance jealous, or, and so you when you’re dating somebody, you don’t make somebody jealous. And so he had this really clear thing about, like, to this day, he doesn’t hang out with ex girlfriends, you know, it’s great. And he just, he doesn’t cause jealousy. And he taught me about that. And so the way I grew up, and, and this value were two really different things. And my culture here thinks that that’s like crazy religious, you know, ultra extremism. But I was like, You know what, I’ve been waiting for this all my life, to just like, if I’m going to be in a relationship, I’m going to be in a relationship. And so one of the things I teach my people and you teach this to it’s like, when it’s over, it’s over. Yeah. And,

Chris Seiter 47:13
you know, the challenge is getting people to buy into that.

Anna 47:16
I know, I know. It’s tempting to be friends. And it’s hard to let go. But, you know, do you know the concept cab light, I learned it from Sex in the City, but it’s a good concept.

Chris Seiter 47:28
So I have watch Sex in the City, but I have not watched that episode, where they’re talking about that.

Anna 47:33
I didn’t even watch it. Somebody told me I ripped it off the city. But let’s just make it ours cabling. It’s like the light that’s like, magically, sometimes you want to be dating, but nobody takes an interest. And then one day, everybody takes an interest. And how you keep your cab light, shiny and attractive, like that is you don’t, you don’t stay emotionally leaking out all over these exes. Or people who are interested in you. And you’re not interested in them. I call them lab rats. You know? Like, I, you know that I don’t want a relationship with you. Right? And they go, Yeah, and I’m like, okay, so we can hang out, you know, and go to the movies and have fun and watch TV and, and all that. And I’m just using them to fill my Saturday night. And that is emotional clutter. And it’s not attractive to healthy people. Yeah, all these like, people hanging around. And, and so it’s not how I grew up. But changing that immediately changed my own emotional availability. And it made me have to like really face reality. And reality is where you want to be like here, and now is where real love can reach you. And nowhere else.

Chris Seiter 48:42
So we were talking before we started recording, about you have like a free course called the daily practice, right daily practice.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Anna 48:50
So this is a it’s a set of techniques. The first one is a writing technique very specific. So I teach it, it’s, you know, you can learn and try it in about an hour in my free course. And it’s a way to get free of the fearful, resentful thoughts that are always I mean, everybody has them. If you’re if you have anxious attachment, they’re going like a bag of cats, you know. And they’re going all the time. And a lot of us were trained, like if you’re feeling like I’m feel really anxious, like, talk to me, and you start talking to your partner about it. I feel really, I feel like you feel like maybe you think that I think and all that stuff that nobody can do anything about that because it’s fear and it’s resentment. And so, it’s a way to take those feelings and start processing them all by yourself. So you can clear away a lot of the stuff that’s unnecessary, it works remarkably well. And then then there’s a little left that maybe you do need to talk about. And it’s also like a it’s like an a it’s like a emergency oxygen mask. When you’re you think you’re about to get into a big scuffle a big you know knock down drag out process for five hours you know, argument You, you can stop and say I’m sorry, I feel like I’m getting really dysregulated and my emotions are getting so much I don’t want to lash out at you can I take 20 minutes and just go do my writing right now and then come back and finish this conversation. So it’s this way that you can release a lot of this emotional intensity that’s going on and, and psychological, you know, bag of cats. We follow it, we do it twice a day. So you do the writing, and it’s got this thing at the end, I learned it as a prayer. But I also have an adaptation for people who would prefer a secular way of doing it where you release. I’m too too. I’m like a bulldog with that stuff, I don’t release very well. So I luckily became a spiritual person. And that helps me. But once you’ve done it, then you sit down and you go into a really, really simple meditation, the purpose of which is just to rest, rest your body, rest your mind, and let your mind recompose itself. And so I learned this 30 years ago, it just, it was so dramatic the difference it made for me to have these really easy things to do. I turned around very quickly, I had a lot long way to go to learn the life lessons about how to do relationships. But I could stop freaking out inside, I could stop being depressed inside. And right there, now you’re on a level playing field. But I had to catch up because like, relationship wise, I just, you know, I was way behind. So I had a lot of learning to do. As you carry on with it, it’s really like a way that you can begin to just become your real self, just less of the, you know, what does everybody think and less of this? You know, poor me I you know, or, you know, the world today is going to hell in a handbasket. What’s the point and even trying, you know, just these ideas, they just keep getting out of the way and you can start to be who you are fruitfully and happily, fewer problems, less drama, you know, gradually you have fewer dramatic characters coming into your life, there’s less to be upset about it just builds and gets better.

Chris Seiter 51:54
Yeah, I really think our audience can, especially when they’re going through the breakup. This seems like a really great way of sort of regulating and and sort of calming down. But I wanted to say thank you so much for coming on and doing this. I know I’ve already taken up. This is supposed to be 30 minutes long. turned into an hour, but it was great.

Anna 52:16
We had so much to talk about. It’s been great

What to Read Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.