Episode 397: Narcissistic Abuse, Trauma, and Healing with Britt Frank - Your Kick-Ass Life

PODCAST & BLOG

PODCAST & BLOG

Britt Frank is back! I received so much positive feedback from her first appearance on the show about healing from narcissistic and traumatic relationships, I knew we needed to continue the conversation. For those new to Britt, she is a trauma therapist, teacher, and speaker who specializes in the “Science of Stuck.” Britt's work empowers people to understand the inner mechanisms of their brains and bodies. 

I still had so many questions for Britt, so in this episode, we dive deeper into our conversation about narcissistic relationships, what trauma is and is not, and how to break free from narcissistic abuse or trauma. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • The difference between narcissism and a narcissist. (5:38)
  • Once someone has identified they are in a relationship with a narcissist – Britt breaks down how to decide whether they should stay or go. (7:50)
  • Narcissism is an attachment disorder and stems from childhood – the best way to prevent children from becoming narcissists is to pay attention to them. (11:05)
  • Trauma is brain indigestion. (15:12)
  • Britt Frank’s opinion on forgiveness. “Anytime we jump to forgiveness at the expense of our own truth, we gaslight ourselves.” (16:34)
  • Once you are aware of what is happening, Britt offers some ways to cope and break free from narcissistic abuse or trauma. (24:42)

✨By the way, pre-orders for my next book, Make Some Noise, are open! Grab Your Free Bonuses – including a free webinar on self-confidence coming up on August 5th.
Get all the details at AndreaOwen.com/noise

Resources mentioned in this episode:
Get Coached by Andrea and the YKAL Team – Daring Way 1:1
Britt Frank’s website
Episode 358: Healing from Narcissistic and Traumatic Relationships with Britt Frank
Britt on Instagram
Narcaway
Irene Lyon

YKAL is supported by:
Green Chef – Use code kickass100 to get $100 off including free shipping.

Britt Frank, MSW, LSCSW, SEP is a trauma therapist, teacher, and speaker who specializes in the “Science of Stuck.” Britt's work empowers people to understand the inner mechanisms of their brains and bodies. When we know how things work, the capacity for CHOICE is restored and life can and does change. She received her undergraduate from Duke University and her Master's from the University of Kansas, where she is now an award-winning adjunct professor. Britt is also a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and Level 1 trained in Internal Family Systems.

Whether she’s leading a workshop, teaching a class, or working individually with private clients, Britt’s goal is to educate, empower, and equip people to transform even their most persistent and long-standing patterns of thinking and doing. She received her undergraduate from Duke University and her MSW from The University of Kansas, where she is now an award-winning adjunct professor.

Right-click to download the .mp3

 


SHOW TRANSCRIPT

Britt Frank 00:00
trauma is brain indigestion. It's anything that exceeds your brain's ability to process. So it's sort of like if you think about food, not all food is gonna cause indigestion but all food has the potential to cause indigestion trauma is anything that that's happening inside you versus a traumatic event, which are the things people think of like assaults and, you know, rape and natural disaster and whatnot. But trauma is just a brain indigestion episode, and its most basic. We all have it to a degree.

Andrea 00:34
You're listening to Make Some Noise Podcast episode number 397 with guest Britt Frank.

Welcome to Make Some Noise Podcast. Your guide for strategies, tools and insight to empower yourself. I'm your host, Andrea Owen, global speaker, entrepreneur, life coach since 2007, and author of three books that have been translated into 18 languages and are available in 22 countries. Each week, I'll bring you a guest or a lesson that will help you maximize unshakable confidence, master resilience and make some noise in your life. You ready? Let's go.

Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad that you're here. Britt Frank is back. I got so much positive feedback from her last episode that she was on that was episode 358, if you missed. Britt is a therapist who specializes in trauma recovery, and the last episode was really great. So if you haven't heard that, I highly encourage you to go listen to it.

I wanted to announce that I have room for one private client in my practice right now. And I'm actually taking someone through The Daring Way right now privately. And I just love this curriculum so much. So I wanted to just kind of quickly tell you what that actually is. I know I've repeated this ad nauseum I am certified in The Daring Way. It's the methodology based on the research of Brené Brown and The Daring Way is the program that I take people through that is essentially, and I don't say this lightly, it's essentially life changing. So basically, we we together, we shine a light on all the ways that you're living your life from fear. It's a lot of if you liked How To Stop Feeling Like Shit, that book came from my training and working with so many women, I was like I need to write about this, I need to write about all the ways that we show up and that we use these unhealthy coping mechanisms because we think they're going to protect us and they don't. That's How To Stop Feeling Like Shit was born. And The Daring Way, again, was born from that. And so we look at all the ways you're living your life from fear, and where it came from, and why you're doing it. And then, I teach you the tools necessary to live your life from a place of courage, instead of perfectionism, people pleasing, numbing out, hiding out, etc. And all the while I'm supporting you in practicing these tools in real life scenarios, because it's not just about learning them and us talking them through, it's about you going out in your life and things happen and I'm supporting you along the way and holding you accountable and all that great stuff. I also have lead coaches, amazing, amazing women, Sabrina and Liz are my lead coaches. And if it's not a great fit with me or this particular curriculum, I'm happy to refer you to them even have a conversation with them and see if it's a better fit, super easy, no obligation. The applications over at AndreaOwen.com/apply.
Okay, the other thing I want to mention is the free webinar on self-confidence I have coming up on August 5, this is exclusively for people who pre-order Make Some Noise, which is my new book that's coming out in August. This webinar is a preview of the book plus some extras on how to implement the advice in your life. I'm giving you a very simple methodology which I'm calling the TSA Methodology so you can go out into your life and take some action and gain some self-confidence. There's other bonuses too for preordering Make Some Noise including a workbook and a book plate that I will personally sign and snail mail it to you who doesn't love to get mail I sure love to get mail anything other than bills I love to get. You can find everything at AndreaOwen.com/noise. That's where you can pick where to preorder the book if you haven't already, and sign up to grab all the bonuses and I will see you at the live webinar on August 5.

All right before we jump in, let me tell you a little bit about our guest today. Britt Frank is a trauma therapist, teacher and speaker who specializes in the science of stuck. Britt's work empowers people to understand the inner mechanisms of their brains and bodies. Whether she's leading a workshop teaching a class or working individually with private clients. Britt's goal is to educate, empower and equip people to transform even their most persistent and long-standing patterns of thinking and doing. She received her undergrad from Duke University and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Kansas, where she is now an award-winning adjunct professor. So without further ado, here is Britt.

Britt Frank is back on the show. Do you love how I said your first and last name, which just makes it more official?

Britt Frank 05:36
Official, thank you so much.

Andrea 05:38
I am excited to have you on and after we had our conversation the last time you were on I believe it was episode 358 for people who missed it. I told everyone about you I think you guys have to go and read all of her stuff and and it just is an expertise that I'm fascinated with. I think that is so universal around trauma and healing from difficult relationships. And let's I want to do a just a very brief recap of what we talked about last time around narcissism for people who might be new to the topic, because again, it is such a buzzword these days. So as a review, can you tell us what is and what is not narcissism.

Britt Frank 06:15
Yes, I'm so glad you said that because it's such a trendy buzzword, but it's starting to get watered down and lose its meaning. And it's so important that we are talking about the same thing when talking about narcissism. So okay, narcissism is a quality that everybody has. I have it you have it, you know, if you're a human to a degree, you're gonna have a little bit of narcissism because we're all concerned with our image and what we present to the world. Okay, so that's narcissism with an m. a narcissist is somebody who falls on the extreme high end of the spectrum of narcissism. Someone when I use the word narcissist with the word T, or the letter T, at the end, I'm referring to someone who is so far gone from their humanity, that they're causing damage, they're causing destruction, and more so, they are delighting. You know, there's a lot of people that cause relational chaos. I'm one of them. I'm recovering relational, crazy person. But there's a difference between out of my own trauma I hurt people A narcissist actually gets off on hurting people. And that's really the differentiation between someone who's got narcissism who might not be the healthiest person and a narcissist who delights in destroying other people.

Andrea 07:28
Okay, which actually now I have a second part to that question, because I understand that in the DSM, they only refer to antisocial personality disorder, it which is what they used to refer to people who are sociopaths or psychopaths. So does narcissism or I should say, a narcissist, fall under that same umbrella with antisocial personality disorder?

Britt Frank 07:50
Typically, yeah. I mean, not all people with an ASPD, anti-social, not all sociopaths and psychopaths cause harm they can and many do, but not all of them are going to. Narcissist by definition are going to cause harm and most of them are going to delight in it, or at the very least not care that they're causing harm. But it's a Venn diagram with all a lot of overlap.

glasses on that would tell you like 3d glasses?
Okay, some overlap. All right. And in that last episode, we had discussed how, you know, you've talked about how someone knows whether or not they're in a you know, quote unquote narcissistic relationship with someone who is. So let's say, someone has identified and they're pretty sure that they're that they're in one that they're their partner is a narcissist. How can someone decide whether they should stay or go because there's no like, you know, like litmus test to tell them for sure if they are not.

Britt Frank 08:36
Wouldn't it be nice if we could take a blood test? Like your blood type is Apple.

Britt Frank 08:41
Glasses on that would tell you like 3D glasses?

Britt Frank 08:52
So I mean, I don't know who said this, and I really want to attribute credit, but somebody on Instagram posted a meme that said, “the first sign of a narcissistic relationship is confusion”. Might be narc away. I don't know who said it. But it's true in toxic relationships, you're going to have pain and sadness and anger and hurt. But with a narcissist, you're going to be confused. Nothing is going to make sense. You're not even going to know if there's anything wrong. You're going to feel crazy. And the do I stay or go question is pretty much impossible at the beginning because you don't even know if there's a problem. You're, you know, you're you're seeing a green sky and a purple grass and wondering ‘Am I the problem?’ So do I…

Andrea 09:33
I was just about to say are you think that you're you're the

Britt Frank 09:36
Right so do I stay or go is not the first question. But am I crazy? For most people, myself included is the first question but it's so confusing. If

Andrea 09:45
someone asked me that. And given I don't have the expertise that you do the training that you do, I would say if you're asking yourself the question, I'm not saying that you should go I'm just saying that you should really look into why you're asking yourself the question in the first place.

Britt Frank 10:00
Yes so much as to that and you know if you're googling is my partner a narcissist then the relationship is problematic and I tell my clients don't get hung up on the label. If they're a narcissist, are they narcissistic? Do they have anti-so… it doesn't matter. If you're being harmed in this relationship if you're not living your best life if you feel less than your best self, and then it's not a healthy relationship. Now getting out is a harder thing because it becomes its own kind of addiction. But you know, if you're not happy…

Andrea 10:29
We talked about that last time right? About the withdrawals.

Britt Frank 10:32
And oh, it's awful. But if you're not happy, don't worry about labeling it if it's toxic and unhealthy, you're going to be able to see that faster than labeling it with this is a narcissistic relationship.

Andrea 10:42
And I'm curious about after we talked last time, you might laugh at this question. I read somewhere that a lot of narcissistic tendencies stem stem from childhood experiences like mother or father wounding etc. So how can we talk to our children? In other words, like how do we prevent our kids from being narcissists?

Britt Frank 11:05
Oh my God, that’s why I love you so much. Okay, so the very first disclaimer here, so yes, it does stem from childhood. No, it's not your fault if your child has turned into a raging narcissist, you know, you know, childhood explains the origin of a lot of behaviors. But once you grow then the responsibility is on you to not be an asshole. So a bad childhood or less than perfect parenting doesn't get you out of you know, sort of get out of jail free for being a narc. So narcissistic treatment and recovery, all of that. It's not about blaming the parents. So that's my big disclaimer. Now that said, yes, narcissism is an attachment disorder, and it stems from childhood. And the best way to prevent your children from becoming little narcissists is to pay attention to them. To who they are, not to who you think they should be, or to who you want them to be. Narcissists as children learn very quickly how to shape shift in order to gain secure attachment and approval from their caregivers. So if you have a child that knows no matter who I am, I'm going to be loved, the chances that that kid's going to turn into a raging narc are pretty slim.

Andrea 12:17
I mean, I don't worry about either of my children. But I just…

Britt Frank 12:21
It's a fair question, though. It really is.

Andrea 12:25
Yeah. Well, I know we want to raise our children to be good, caring, compassionate human beings. And yeah, I saw a meme somewhere I loved you know, like everything. Everything good we learn is from memes on Instagram. But I saw a meme, it might have been a few years ago that said, said something like “raise your son to grow up to be the kind of person you would want your daughter to date”. And I was like, damn, that brings a lot of things to the forefront of conversations that I think a lot of people avoid. But I took that to heart and to think about that a lot. My son's 13 now. uncomfortable.

Britt Frank 13:05
Oh, gosh. And it's really solid piece of advice. And there's, again, I agree with it 100%. The problem with that is that kind of ideology tells boys that their job is to take care of women. Narcissists become narcissists, because they believe they need to take care of their mom. And so to a degree, what you're going to want to do is make sure that your boys and girls can be narcissists too so I'll just say your children, that they feel seen and heard first, because people think that narcissists are all about themselves, which is true, but it's because they were never, you know, really seen as kids. So before teaching your child to have empathy on other people, which is important, but the best way to install empathy is to empathize with the kid, a kid that feels seen and heard is going to have the capacity to see and hear other people.

Andrea 13:57
Okay, okay. Fair enough. I, and I appreciate that perspective shift. And it's interesting how blind I think all of us are, you know, mines, just, how blind we can be to more or less misogyny cases, but just patriarchy in general. It's all around us.

Britt Frank 14:18
It's everywhere. And you know, narcissists both have, you know, any gender identifying whoever, narcissists have an internalized hatred, not just the women but of humans. So you know, the narcissistic men with whom I worked in my practice hate women, but they hate men too. And so that's another kind of differentiation that misogyny is a problem with narcissists. It's a hatred of all humanity that's the problem. And empathy really is the solution to that.

Andrea 14:46
I'm curious, because when we hear the word trauma, we often think about a horrific incident that happened in someone's life. And I love that you have a very straightforward and easy to understand way of explaining it and you well you share it how you explain it.

Britt Frank 14:59
But like hardcore neuroscience people, I'm sure are just like, what is she saying, but I love metaphors.

Andrea 15:09
He's gonna say like, no, it's not a neuroscience thing.

Britt Frank 15:12
It's not technical, and it's not literal. But trauma is brain indigestion. It's anything that exceeds your brain's ability to process. So it's sort of like if you think about food. Not all food is going to cause indigestion. But all food has the potential to cause indigestion. It doesn't mean that that you know that Apple is bad, it just means that where your stomach is out on that day, it's not agreeing with you. Trauma is anything that that's happening inside you versus a traumatic event, which are the things people think of like assaults and, you know, rape and natural disaster and whatnot. But trauma is just a brain indigestion episode. At its most basic, we all have it to a degree.

Andrea 15:53
I love that. And I that's not what I was, because I think it's on the homepage of your website, you say different traumas is not defined by what happens to you, but about how your brain interprets safety and danger. And I love that I love the indigestion.

Britt Frank 16:08
And that one's an even more watered-down version. Because with, you know, with danger and safety, people will often say, ’well, I'm safe, why I don't have trauma, everything in my environment is safe’. And it's like, well, logically, yes, everything is safe. But your brain is going to decide what feels safe, what doesn't feel safe. And it does so with its own agenda that you don't have a say in. So I distilled that down to make it brain indigestion because that makes it even even easier to understand.

Andrea 16:34
It is easy to understand. Thank you. I appreciate that.

I want to ask you about I think I heard you talking about this on another interview. And I love this perspective. And I've often thought about this too, and talk to clients about it to kind of let them off the hook. But how do you feel give us your Britt Frank opinion on forgiveness?

Britt Frank 16:51
Ah, I love you.

Andrea 16:54
That's exactly what you said in the other interview. There's my answer.

Britt Frank 16:58
Oh, God, I love you. You're Fantastic. Thank you for bringing that up. Like if nothing else, my mission in life is to take the ‘you have to forgive everybody or you're not going to heal message’ out of popular whatever. Forgiveness is beautiful. I am not anti-forgiveness, you know, forgiveness as a spiritual ideal. It's a wonderful state to get to. Forgiveness is not required to heal trauma. And so the people the well-meaning wonderful people that say you can't heal without forgiveness, that's not true. There's nothing in our brains that says forgiveness is necessary in order to renegotiate a neural pathway or to give ourselves a reparative experience. So my shorthand little pithy statement here is forgiveness as a spiritual ideal, but not a requirement for trauma healing, at all.

Andrea 17:49
I remember it was months and months ago, I heard you talking about that. And I there was somebody else too, that was talking about it before and I, and I've written about forgiveness, and I and I heard it I was like, I actually absolutely agree with that, that. And forgiveness to me has always felt like this sort of arbitrary, more or less esoteric, yeah, mysterious thing out there. And people ask me, you know, how do I know if I've forgiven someone?

And I'm like, well, I do think that there is some sort of guidelines that you can go by about how charged You know, when you think about the event, do you wish this person can you wish this person well, genuinely, you know, little bullet points like that, but and I also feel it like you were saying, it's so multi-layered and cyclical, and I just don't ever want it. I don't want people to think that it is something that they have like it's a destination for them and they're doing it wrong, if they still feel resentment or disappointment to the person who's hurt.

Britt Frank 19:05
Because the spiritual teachings are you know, you have to forgive. So if someone struggles with forgiveness, they're going to feel shame and shame is going to kind of become its own barrier to the forgiveness process. I mean, if you get high enough if we're talking the collective consciousness and the oneness and you know, to forgive you as to forgive myself, that's true, and that's great. But if we're talking about healing trauma, a big part of the process of healing is feeling the reality of our anger and our rage and our pain. And anytime we jump to forgiveness at the expense of our own truth, we gaslight ourselves and then nobody's forgiven.

Andrea 19:29
Yeah, wait, Sabra that because I want you to say that again, anytime we jump to forgiveness at the expense of our own… can you say that again?

Britt Frank 19:35
Anytime that we jump to forgiveness at the expense of our own truth, we gaslight ourselves. Yeah, completely. You know, forgiveness is only possible when you access your anger and your authentic feelings once you digest and process and access your feelings and if you want to forgive someone awesome, great, but not at the expense of your own truth.

Andrea 20:00
I love that. Yes, yes, yes, yes. I've, I've read books on forgiveness, and I've, I've felt like I wasn't at the same spiritual level as people I'm like, I don't know what level of consciousness you're on, but I am not there. I would love an invitation.

Britt Frank 20:15
Well, then it becomes bypassing. Then it gets into I just live in a state of forgiveness, and I have nothing and it's like, okay, well, you know, where’d your sad go, oh, I don't feel sad, I just I just forgive. Forgiveness is a very appealing place to go to avoid the messier feelings. And I, you know, I fell into that trap, too. It's like, oh, if I jump to forgiveness, then everything is sunny and shiny and clean. You know, pain and sadness and anger and shame and guilt are messy, but they're necessary for real forgiveness to even be possible. rant over human experience.

Andrea 20:47
Yes. Okay. rant over. I just want to tag on to that. It reminds me a little bit of and this is such an unpopular opinion. Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements, also an ideal, the whole, like, don't take things personally, I'm like, shut up. Who does that? And I, it's it's one of those things where it's a beautiful sentiment, and it gets lost in translation, because memes are created, we're back to memes, on Instagram, and people read that don't take things personally, and think that it's a black or white scenario. Like either you, you don't take things personally. And you live in this like perfect, spiritual realm where there's unicorns and fairies or you take things personally all day long, beat yourself up, and you're a crappy personal development human.

Britt Frank 21:34
Yes. And I'm sorry, that was brave of you to bring up the Four Agreements, because I agree with you 100%. But I don't think I've ever put a meme together saying so. But it's true. Would you say don't take things personally, if you distill that far enough down, what you're saying is, you as a person don't matter and the hurts that have been inflicted upon you don't….that I get that that's not what he's saying. But that's a really easy place to interpret high level collective consciousness. Yeah, nothing is personal. Because what they're doing to me like no.

Andrea 22:03
Yes. And is in his defense, I have heard him I wrote about this in one of my books, I've heard him interviewed. I can't remember if it was Ellen DeGeneres, or Oprah, one of the two where they asked about that, and he further explained, and he does talk about the nuances which I was very relieved to hear. He wasn't super preachy and spiritual about it. But, I just feel like there's so much advice out there that that tells people what to do. And there's, there's so much new, I mean, the whole like, don't take things personally. It's like, have you lived as a woman in this society, or as a person of color, or as I mean, the disabled person…

Britt Frank 22:41
The privilege thing, really, you know, the whole like, well, what they say about you reflects more on them than you and it's not about you and don't take it personally is great if you're in a privileged position where your safety is not in question, or your life is not in danger. But it's a lot harder to swallow that pill if it is. So I'm with you. It's a great ideal, not necessarily a universal thing. That's so black and white.

Andrea 23:07
Sorry, not sorry, I have one I want to hate on and then we'll move on to the next night. And I don't know if it was really Eleanor Roosevelt who said this, but the quote that floats around of “no one can make you feel inferior without your permission”. All the way.

Britt Frank 23:29
I’m gonna get so much hate after this interview. I know. Okay, so let's talk about children. Children can 100% be made to feel bad about themselves. Right. And so you know, no one can make you when you tell a kid that and a lot of people use that quote to tell kids, you shouldn't let anybody make you feel bad about yourself. Well, we're, as children, we're learning about the world through how people are relating to us and interacting with us. And it doesn't happen in a vacuum. Other people very much help you come up with Who am I in this world? And am I valuable? And am I worthy. So yeah, I'm with you. I don't agree with that. But it’s again, I get it, but no, no.

Andrea 24:06
Yes. And again, amazing sentiments, and I, I myself have said that to one of my children before, I can't remember which one and then thought about it months, maybe years later and backtrack and now we have bigger conversations about it. So my apologies to anyone who might have offended me this morning.

Britt Frank 24:28
No shame if you said these things. Please. This is another disclaimer. This isn't about shaming people who have said to other people don't take things personally it don't take things personal. Yeah, it's about when we know more we can do better that Maya Angelou some, you know, paraphrase.

Andrea 24:42
But yeah, and I think what's helpful for me over the past few years is really thinking about nuance, and that there's so much gray area and so much lived experiences outside of my own, go figure. And that helps me sort of expand the advice that I give the way that I talk to my do I talk to my clients etc, etc? Absolutely. Okay, we will stop hating on famous personal development quotes.

I'm interrupting this conversation to tell you about one of our sponsors. Since we started using Green Chef last year, one of the things I love about them is that it's kind of like you're picking from a menu every week. And the best part about that is that I didn't have to put the menu together. Already done for me. The ingredients come premeasured, perfectly portioned and mostly prepped, that means less time stressing and more time enjoying delicious home cooked meals. And I will say this, there has not been a meal that I didn't like from green chef, all of them super yummy. They offer nine meal options every week for each plan. And you can also switch it up whenever you want. And try a new way of eating Green Chef is the first USDA certified organic meal kit company delivering you a fresh, flavorful veggies straight from the farm. Go to GreenChef.com/kickass100 and use code kickass 100 to get $100 off, including free shipping, that's GreenChef.com/kickass100, use code kickass 100 to get $100 off, including free shipping. And thank you so much for supporting our sponsors, because that in turn supports this show.

Well, let's let's circle back to talking about narcissistic abuse or trauma. And so once someone is aware of what's happening, say they're in a relationship, or even maybe if they think about their childhood, and they're like, you know what, I think that there's some abuse there that I need to uncover and, and work on. So what are some ways that person can cope in the meantime, and try to break free from what they're what's going on inside their minds and inside their bodies?

Britt Frank 27:00
Oh, gosh, and it's so tough. Right? So I mean, it can be a helpful place to start by asking what am I, what are the benefits to this relationship? Because and I can say from personal experience, even the most toxic, violent, abusive, gross, icky relationships are going to provide benefits of all flavors. And so if you don't understand what you're getting from the relationship, it's going to be really hard to leave it because you need to find ways of replacing whatever the perks are. And so getting, like ferociously honest with yourself and saying, alright, if I'm going to be completely honest, what are the perks, what are the rewards that I'm getting from this? Now a lot of people get very offended by that, like, oh, my God, clutches pearls, how dare you suggest that I am getting anything from this, you know, horrible situation, and I get it, because I've been there. But every situation provides benefits, otherwise, we wouldn't be stuck. And so understanding that, validating that and then finding healthier ways to meet those needs is a good, you know, rule of thumb general working guideline.

Andrea 27:58
Okay. Well, it's interesting, because when you said that, I was like, yeah, I mean, there are benefits for me in my abusive relationship, I think the biggest benefit was companionship. Yes. And I was I would tell my therapist, and I'm like, and I was talking about this in another podcast episode, and I've gone through this trauma therapy over the last year with her and, and when she really laid it out for me and was like, okay, based on everything you've told me, and that he used manipulation, intimidation, gaslighting, among many other things. She's like, A, that was an abusive relationship. And she went on, but I had a really hard time. Number one labeling it that because it was never physical, even though he used physical intimidation to scare me into control me, he never hit me.

And so I had a really hard time accepting that it was abusive, because then I would have to accept that I, you know, I stayed for so long, there was a lot of feelings, right? And I felt the need to immediately start to defend him and then to defend us. I haven't been with this guy for 15 years. But I felt like it said something about me. And I kept saying to her, and I thought it was curious. And we talked about this, why I kept saying it. I kept saying, but we were so normal, like, most time we were normal. Like, here we are making dinner and having dinner on the patio. Here we are, you know, like, right? On a Sunday like it was it was very normal for the most part, except when it was that it was really, really bad. Yeah, exactly. So there were some benefits.

Britt Frank 29:35
And there are and then the other benefit is distraction. You know, if I'm in this great, I'll speak for myself, part of my you know what compelled me to participate in crazy relationships. It was a wonderful distraction from my own childhood pain, and my own feelings and my own traumas because there was always something on fire. And if there was always something on fire, then you're in crisis mode, which is a very appealing place if you're trying to avoid the past? It is no shame. It's That's just a fact.

Andrea 30:05
That's an interesting…yeah, that's interesting to look at as well. One of the other thing that things that came up and came up in my experiences she, we veered, the conversation, and we were talking about the sexual relationship I had with him. And I'd mentioned that it was, it was super intense. And I and I said, I used to half-joke with people and say the, the only real time that we got along great was in the bedroom. And she told me and I didn't know this, but she said that in many, she'd been a therapist for 40 years, she just actually retired. And she said in the vast majority of the clients that she's had of women in heterosexual relationships, who had been with an abusive partner, there was some element that drew them in, within the sexual relationship. And that it was typically the sex was really great. And/or intense, and it was kind of the only place where they could connect, you know, I'm using air quotes around like, connect. And many times they used it to control one another. And I was like, you just totally described exactly what our sex life was like.

Britt Frank 31:08
It's really wild, because there's so much chemical stuff that goes on when you're having sex. And whether again, narcissists are just a manipulative person. They're masters at reading what it is that you're wanting, where your wounds are, what's going to, you know, literally get you off. And then once you throw sex in the mix, then you've got all those hormones and that you know, chemical cocktail of, oh my god, this person sees me, this is my twin flame soulmate, and I can't live without that person. It's intense sex, will cement people myself included in unhealthy relationships.

Andrea 31:44
Yeah, it's, um, it was a lot to rumble with, her holding the mirror up.

Britt Frank 32:00
She sounds amazing. Oh, you're a good therapist.

Andrea 32:06
She, she was I got really lucky. And as I was telling my audience, several episodes ago, I specifically, well, I asked a friend's therapist, and I said, I need someone who the other therapists say, I want the best of the best. And I want someone who specializes in some kind of somatic healing. As I have talked and talked and talked, which I think is great. I think talk therapy definitely has its place. But I was stuck. I was stuck and needed some more stuff. So we did some we did some somatic therapy.

Okay, my next question is about and I can't remember if I asked you in the last episode or not, so please forgive me if I'm if I'm, someone just listened to the last episode, and are like ‘you already asked that’. But I want to know, how did you get to working specifically with this topic? Was it because of your own personal experience? Or did you see a need for it or something else?

Britt Frank 32:53
I would love to be able to say, you know, I just really wanted to help other people. And that's true, but that's such not my primary objective. My primary objective was, you know, survive my life. And then, you know, try to feel a little less shitty. And in doing so, I picked up a few pieces of info along the way that they don't teach in graduate school that therapists don't talk about. That people, I mean, for all you know, people, bitch about social media, I have seen more accurate information about narcissistic relationships on Instagram than I saw in postgraduate training in graduate school or anywhere else. So it's so sad, but the things that I learned came out of just, you know, therapists heal thyself. And then once I learned them, and I got out of the crazy, then it was okay, I want to tell other people what I know. But you know, it wasn't exactly altruistic at the beginning.

Andrea 33:53
Okay, well, I have learned so many things from TikTok.

Britt Frank 34:02
Yes, it's crazy.

Andrea 34:09
Everything from okay, so, this morning, I was watching TikTok and there was a scientist on there talking about how we as humans aren't inherently sexually attracted to the female breasts. That it's cultural. Okay, we are the I mean, just random weird, he's like the he was like this older gentleman and he's like the only thing that is universal and all cultures that sexually turns on turned us on in our brains is watching people have sex that's the only thing is and I was like…

Britt Frank 34:36
I guess breasts are arbitrary. His feet it could have been our feet or the like everyone's obsessed by it.

Andrea 34:42
right? It could be Yeah, elbows or something. And it just things like that. And also, you know, hacks for how to how to get the stems off cilantro and swear I'm still paying off my college loans, but I have learned more from TikTok.

Britt Frank 35:02
Oh, true. There's that information online. Well, there's that information in the even the most prestigious programs, you know, and universities. So it's about knowing how to sort through the information. But I'm with you. I've learned more from TikTok and Instagram than I did in a lot of my schooling, you know, officially.

Andrea 35:22
Do you have a, do you have a TikTok account? No, there's a lot of therapists on there who are doing really well.

Britt Frank 35:26
I don't I, I spent so much time on Instagram. I just cannot take on another thing right now. Perhaps someday.

Andrea 35:35
Okay, so tell us what your Instagram handle is so people can go follow you. And then tell us a few other if you remember them off the top of your head, Instagram, good mental health and maybe some trauma healing accounts that you follow.

Britt Frank 35:48
Okay, so my Instagram is @BrittFrank and Britt has two T's, Frank has 1 K. B-R-I-T-T F-R-A-N-K. And so that's me. And then the accounts that I follow, okay, off the top of my head. I really like @SitWithWhit. She's fabulous. Who else do I'm like so blanking, right? I'm gonna pull it up and like…

Andrea 36:08
We can, we can, you can tell us a few later when you remember in the middle of the night and I can put it in the show notes. Something narc, was one that you mentioned earlier.

Britt Frank 36:17
@NarcAway is one that I think I quoted. And I just always like attribute and credit.

Andrea 36:25
And that's @NARCAWAYA?

Britt Frank 36:29
Yeah, I think okay, I think.

Andrea 36:31
Perfect. I think I've saved a few memes and kind of carousel things from them. And that was it was very interesting.

Britt Frank 36:39
Yeah, there's so much good stuff out there. You know, not just from narcissism for for trauma. I really like you talked about somatic work. I like @IreneLyn a lot, L-Y-N she does really awesome work on somatic experiencing in the nervous system, which is awesome.

Andrea 36:55
Okay, well, thank you for those resources so much. And are we allowed to talk about your book?

Britt Frank 36:58
Yes. Yeah, we can.

Andrea 37:00
Okay, does it have a title?

Britt Frank 37:02
It does. It's called The Science of Stuck. And it's all about the things that we do, why we do the things we do, and really taking the shame and judgment and guilt and all of that off of the process. So we can actually do the things we want to do without ‘why am I so lazy? Why am I so unmotivated?’ And what's really going on and how to get out all practical, really easy to digest information. I'm so excited about it.

Andrea 37:28
Oh, my gosh, I have a feeling this is going to be huge. So it comes out April 22. Correct?

Britt Frank 37:30
Yes. 22.

Andrea 37:31
So we have a few months, I'll have you back on when it comes out. So we can talk specifically about The Science of Stuck. Great title, by the way, our titles matter. And I will have all those links, are in the show notes your website and and to follow you on Instagram. Thank you so much for being here. Is there anything you want to circle back to, to what we said earlier, or that you need to say before we go to feel complete?

Britt Frank 37:57
The same thing I always say which is you know, whatever is going on whoever's listening, you are not crazy, everything makes sense in context, even if you don't know what the context is. and see. Yeah.

Andrea 38:13
So fantastic. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming back. Britt, I have so enjoyed this conversation listeners, thank you so much for your time, I value that time so much. And remember, it's our life's journey to make ourselves better humans and our life's responsibility to make the world a better place by everybody.

Hi there, swinging back by to say one more thing. You know, I'm always giving advice over here on the show and on social media. And a couple of those things is that I'm always telling you to ask for what you want, be clear about it, and also ask for help. So I am taking a dose of my own medicine and I'm going to do that right now. It would be the absolute best and mean the world to me if you reviewed and subscribed to this show, Make Some Noise Podcast on whatever podcast platform of your choice. And even more importantly, it would matter so much if you shared this show. Sharing the show is one of the few ways the podcast can grow. And that also gives more women an opportunity to make some noise in their lives. You can do that by taking a screenshot when you're listening on your phone and sharing it in your Instagram or Facebook stories. If you're on Instagram you can tag me @HeyAndreaOwen and I try my best to always reshare those and give you a quick thank you dm and also you can tell your friends and family about it. Tell them what you learned. Tell them a really awesome guest that you found on the show that you started following whatever it is I appreciate so much you sharing about this show.

Like this Post?
Sign up for updates!