Young love. We all had it, but now that we’re parents, we can’t help but get concerned about our children exploring the world of dating and intimate relationships. Nevertheless, these are experiences worth having. Kicking off the regular segment called Tuesdays with Tim, Christina Paxton introduces her high school friend, Tim, who will join us every Tuesday to explore various topics from love to life and everything in between. In this pilot episode of the segment, Tim and Christina take a deep dive into dating and relationships. They share their experiences in trying to find love and connection, starting from high school to the married life. Each with their own lessons and insights, they talk about the things they learned along the way and how their idea of love has evolved. Tim also shares more about his life, including his experiences in the military dealing with PTSD, parenting and social media, and overall family life. Join him and Christina as they bare it all, speaking straight from their heart, truth, and experiences.
Listen to the podcast here
Tuesdays With Tim: On Love, Marriage, And Parenting
Thanks for joining in. We have Tim for our Typical Tuesday Talk. You’ll find that he’s a regular Tuesday guest on the show. Tim is someone that I went to high school with so I’ve known him for many years. We haven’t seen each other for a long time probably since after high school. We’re going to chat or as some people say, “Shoot the shit,” and see what he’s up to since high school and talk about some things. We’re going to do some rapid-fire questions and see how quickly he can give me some answers on those. He is a pretty awesome dude and his wife is pretty amazing as well. I’m going to bring you Tim and we’re going to chit chat for a bit. Hi, Tim.
How are you?
I’m good. How are you?
I’m good. I’m excited. I have this $300 microphone for what I stream videogames. I already had this and it’s omnidirectional so it doesn’t hear anything coming from the backend which is amazing.
How often do you play a game?
Everyday. That’s a complicated answer though. Do you want to get into that right now on why? I’m on dad duty with the kids and they are about to turn 15 and 14, so I don’t care. They play video games and go for bike rides and that’s about it.
I don’t have that luxury. I’ve got an almost 3-year-old, a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old and all they do is fight. I didn’t realize a 3-year-old could talk so much until they started fighting with each other. My friend texted me because I asked her to watch that Sex/Life show so we can have a conversation about it.
Did you just watch episode three?
I saw it pop across my screen and she is like, “What the fuck? I cannot even with this show right now.”
I must have gotten to 20 minutes and 38 seconds of episode three. It was like, “Are you kidding me?” I haven’t watched it yet but I’m going to. I saw everybody freaking out about it so I wanted to see what it was about. I was like, “Stupid.”
I have to ask her what part she watched. For everyone that’s reading this, we’re going to touch base on Sex/Life in a few episodes once Tim has watched it. I’m going to have a conversation with a female on it, and then we’re going to have a conversation with Tim on the same thing and get both perspectives and see where everything falls. I have to ask her what part she watched because now I’m curious. It is quite possibly episode three and it’s 19 minutes and 50 seconds.
How much do I pay attention to it?
It’s floating all over TikTok though. That’s the thing. I feel like that’s just not a normal size. We’ll have a discussion for another day.
I have been in a shower in the same scenario. It was in Marine Corps boot camp. You shower with 65 other dudes. Twelve weeks in and we only have one week left, we got this guy that was 6’8”. Believe it or not, he was a trombone player. His job in the Marine Corps was to go to the Marine Corps band and play the trombone. He’s a ginormous human being. That night, it’s mandatory. Everybody goes and takes a shower. We’re there showering and I look over I’m was like, “What?” It’s almost the same as 19 minutes and 50 seconds of Sex/Life. We’re all 18, 19 years old? I’m like, “That’s a thing? I thought that was a myth.”
Is it real? I have to admit, I’ve never met a man that is that well-endowed.
They exist, for sure. They’re out there. They’re walking amongst us.
I like to call them unicorns.
Unicorns do exist. I was disturbed. It’s one of those things that’s like, “I’ll never forget that day.” I’ll never forget that moment when we’re all sitting there showering after a long day at Marine Corps boot camp. You look over and it’s just confusion. It’s not even like, “Nice job.” No, you’re just confused. There are unicorns out there.
What have you been up to since high school?
We could start at Spring Break of senior year. I was approached by my dad and he said, “Are you going to college? What are you doing?” I said, “I’m going to go to college and play basketball.” I love basketball. I breathe basketball. I still play basketball even though I’ve had six knee surgeries. I was like, “I want to go and play basketball.” I went to ASU, U of A, NAU, which are all the colleges in Arizona. I went to community colleges and showed them all my basketball videos from my junior year when I played on the club team, then in senior year at Apollo where I did get to play and scored a bunch of points. They were like, “Yes, you’re good. You’re this, that and the other but you’re 5’10”. We have somebody that’s 6’5”, 6’6” that’s not as good as you. We’re going to give them the scholarship.”
It’s like a backhanded compliment like “Yes, you’re good and maybe on your junior or senior year, you can try out and make JV. Maybe we can get you on the varsity if somebody gets hurt or if they transfer or something like that.” I appreciated the honesty. They’re like, “You probably make the team and have some type of practice player role.” I was like, “No. I’m good with that.” I went to Metro Center which is our local mall but not anymore. I walked through the doors. I’d never thought about the military. I never even considered it. I knew that they came on to our high school during lunch and try to entice people to come over and sign up or go check them out for an interview or whatever.
It is nice to dive into romance books and just disappear for a little while.
I can’t remember what I went to Metro Center for. Maybe I was going to the No Fear store to look for a hat or something. Because back in 2005, it was the No Fear hat, No Fear shirts. That was the cool thing. I walked in the entrance that had all four militaries to the right. You had Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Air Force. My uncles had served in the Air Force and they lived in Oregon. I didn’t grow up with them so I would be pretty much the first generation. I looked and I was like, “Marine Corps is supposed to be the toughest.”
I walked into the Marine Corps office. I sat down and talked to the recruiter. He looked at my ASVAB. I had a high ASVAB score and so he handed me the book. He goes, “You can do whatever job you want.” I said, “I just want to play basketball.” He’s like, “You could do that too. You have a job and you go do your job, and then you can try out for the base basketball team. Once you get the base basketball team, then you can make the Marine Corps basketball team.” I was like, “Sign me up.” I went home and told my mom and dad. They’re like, “Sure.” I was seventeen so they had to sign as well. I turned eighteen that April. I graduated in May and I left in August for Marine Corps boot camp.
I didn’t know any of this at all.
They’re pretty sudden.
I was busy.
After high school, I did keep in touch with some people because I went to parties all summer long.
I was busy working. I wanted to save as much money as I could. My parents had moved. We live on Northern in 43rd right behind the AMPM there. By January of my senior year, they moved up to Carefree. I had to wake up every morning and drive from Carefree to high school but then I would leave high school. I got a job at Walmart in Happy Valley in I-15. That’s where I met Brandy but I didn’t know I met Brandy. I had an on-and-off girlfriend throughout high school from my church. When I went to boot camp and came back from boot camp, that ended up not working out. When you finish boot camp, especially Marine Corps boot camp, I didn’t think I was shit before. I thought I was the shit after Marine Corps boot camp. I was 192 pounds, built like a refrigerator, eight pack, could run forever, wore my dog tags to parties, and took my shirt off. It was a complete douchebag.
Back then, that was the thing to do.
Our drill instructors told us, “If you live in a non-military town and you want to have a good time, just take your shirt off. When you go back home to a party, they’ll see your dog tags and the girls will be all over you. Don’t do it in a military town because if you do it in a military town, everybody’s military.”
I have to say though, I’ve been a part of the Air Force community. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a part of it now that I feel it’s more of a military area or if it’s because it really is now with this side of the town is growing so much and a majority of them being from Luke.
On that side of town. I graduated from boot camp on a Thursday. My whole family was there. That following Wednesday, I walked into Walmart to say hi to some people that I used to work with because I worked with them for six months once we moved. I saw this cute girl in line. I had chopsticks, underwear, some toilet paper, random items. I was like, “She’s cute.” I talked to the customer service manager, I was like, “Who’s that?” He said, “That’s Lynn.” I was like, “Okay, cool. Is she single?” He’s like, “I think so.” I was like, “Sick.” I walked through her line and I didn’t say anything. I froze. I was like, “How are you?” She’s like, “Welcome to Walmart. Did you find everything?” I was like, “Yup, sure did.” I just stood there, silent, freeing myself up.
I go to the door girl who had a crush on me back when I worked there. I was like, “That girl on register seven, Lynn.” She was like, “Yes, she’s cool.” I’m like, “Go get her phone number for me.” She was like, “Okay, sure.” She goes and gets her phone number for me. I was like, “What did you say?” She goes, “I said that cute guy with your line wants your phone number.” She was like, “Okay.” I was like, “I’m so stupid.” I got her number and I left. That night I’m at Apollo playing basketball with all my basketball buddies. I’m talking to everybody like Brandon, Josh and Tapia. Everybody was like, “Coach, open the gym.” He was like, “Yes, you can come to play.” Tristan, Isaac, we all came to play basketball. I called her and I said, “What are you doing later tonight?” She was like, “I’m free right now.” I’m wearing those swishy sweatpants. Those were popular back then.
The ones with the buttons down the side?
Yes. I was wearing those and a wife-beater. I am drenched in sweat. My wife-beater had a hole in the bottom too. I’m like, “You’re available now. Do you want to go watch a movie?” She’s like, “Yes, sure. Harry Potter 4 is out, The Goblet of Fire.” I was like, “Alright, cool.” It just came out of theaters. I’ve never seen an episode. I’ve never read a book. I had no idea what it was. I was like, “Yes, I love Harry Potter. We’ll go watch it.” She was like, “You do?” I was like, “Yes, for sure. Awesome. Do you have something going on later tonight?” She’s like, “I have to be in bed by 11:00 PM because I got to get up at 5:00 AM and get back to work.” It’s already 8:30 PM. By the time I run back up to Carefree, my parent’s house to shower, change and get ready for a date. She lived on 47th in Northern which is right across the apartments across the street from Apollo.
Yes, those apartments are right there.
I’m like, “I’m ten seconds away.” She’s like, “Yes, I’m ready.” Mind you, I had a ‘73 Dodge 1/2 Ton. I don’t know if you remember that truck. The ’73 Dodge 1/2 Ton was a rust bucket that I bought for $500. I picked her up in that and we went to Metro Center to watch a movie. She’s wearing this halter top, Led Zeppelin half shirt with an overcoat. Belly button ring like the Playboy bunny sticker on the tan stomach, super nice low hip jeans, high heeled shoes. She is decked out to a T and I’m wearing the swishy sweats with the wife-beater with the hole in it.
I was like, “What’s up? My name is Tim.” We go out. Have you ever seen Hitch with Will Smith? I thought that I was good with girls. I don’t know what gave me that because I had a lot of friends that were girls. My dad worked in construction so I was always with my mom and my sisters. My cousins are girls. I was surrounded by girls so I thought I was always good with girls, smooth talk or whatever. I didn’t have much of a track record to show, “Tim’s definitely a ladies’ man.” I thought I was. We go to the movie and it’s like the classic thing. I’m like, “How am going to put my arm around her while we’re watching the movie?”
However, you stink.
I had deodorant, Axe body spray, in the truck. I would buy in 2005 Axe body spray. Looking back now, it’s a total cliche. I’m a walking cliche of 2005. I go in. I lean forward and then I go to put my arm around her. She leans forward laughing and I bust her nose. She starts bleeding. I’m like, “This could not be going any worse.” I get her napkins. She’s like, “No, it’s okay,” but you could tell that it wasn’t like, “The ha-ha, it’s okay.” It was like, “It’s okay. It’s fine. I got it.”
First, you show up in swishy pants and a wife-beater and then you elbow her in the face.
It gets worse. We finished the movie and then we’re sitting in the parking lot in my truck. We started talking about our childhood, how we were raised and different stuff. I find out that she’s the opposite of me. I come from a strict Christian home like follow everything to a T. I woke up on Saturday mornings not watching cartoons and eating cereal. I had chores. I started from 6:00 AM until 1:00 PM. It was very strict and structured. Her parents gave her a cell phone and a debit card at 13, 14 years old and said, “Call us if you need us.”
I had to write an essay on why I needed a cell phone at the age of fourteen. Her parents were like, “Here you go.” I had to give them reasons why I needed one. One of them was because I didn’t always carry quarters for the payphone at school, nonetheless.
I had this girl who liked me at Sonic. Looking back now, what she said and the things that she was trying to do were illegal. I was 16, 17 years old. She was in her 30s. She said, “I’ll buy you a cell phone as long as whenever I come to the store and come to Sonic you give me slushies, free food and stuff. I’m like, “What do I have to do for the cell phone?” She’s like, “Nothing. Just come hang out with me for a few minutes.” I was like, “Deal. Sign me up. Free cell phone.” I had a sugar mama that I had to pay in Sonic and flirt with her a little bit here and there.
You were under eighteen.
Yes. Looking back now, I’m like, “What in the world?” In 2021, that girl would have gone to jail but in 2005, it’s like, “I had a cell phone. I did not care.”
If this was happening now and we’re having this conversation and someone heard it, they’d be like, “He is under eighteen and he has a sugar mama.” You’ll have cops knocking on your door in a minute.
I had to have it on my dad’s nightstand at 8:00 PM every single night, seven days a week.
I can’t remember what I had to do with mine at night. My texting got out of hand when I finally learned how to do it because you had to pay for it.
God told us to love, so love everybody.
Yes, it was instantly bad news. Anything and everything that you could think of. I sat down one day and you see all these in 2021, everything’s recorded. Everything’s up in the cloud. Somebody’s got some type of something on you somewhere. I really had to sit down and think, “Did I ever send unsolicited pictures? Was I that guy? Is there anything on it that I never did?” For some reason, it was in my mind like, “Don’t ever do that because they could use it.”
I don’t think I’ve ever received an unsolicited dick pic. Not unsolicited. It was probably someone I was dating or hanging out with.
There could be solicited pictures out there for sure.
Were you that dude?
No, I wasn’t that dude because times are night and day difference between 2004, 2005 and now.
I’m jumping into the dating scene. I can’t even say I’m jumping into the dating scene because it’s not going anywhere at this moment. I’m afraid that when I do finally start talking to somebody that they’re going to be somebody that sends me an unsolicited dick pic that I don’t care to see.
That’s your cue like, “Probably not.”
They’re probably a hoe, is what they call them.
After that Walmart date, I laid in Brandy’s lap and I told her my entire life story and I don’t know why. For six hours, I just talked and she told me about her life story. At that time, she was married. She grew up in Oregon and her boyfriend at the time got a scholarship to MIT to go to the Mechanical Institute or whatever down in Phoenix. They only have one in Phoenix and Ohio so they came to Phoenix. The only way back then to buy a house is to make any type of good interest rate and to afford a house it’s better if you’re married.
We didn’t have the laws they have now like if you’re dating somebody, you can still co-own a house and do different things like you had to be married. They stopped in Vegas on the way down and got married. They were high school sweethearts, but within two months, they’re like, “This whole marriage thing is not going to work.” They had just not gone through the divorce process, but she was single. I told her, “I’m going to be here for ten days, then we go for three weeks of combat training. We come home for a week and then we’ll be gone for a year of school. Do what you must with that information but I want to date you. I want to spend time with you.”
She’s the exact opposite of any type of person that I would have dated. When I was in high school, my type was blonde, light brown hair, sports, physical, not super girly, can throw her hair in a bun and just go do sports with me or sit down and watch the game with me. It was always about riding dirt bikes and sports. That’s all I ever want. I met this girl and she was super pretty. She doesn’t play sports. She doesn’t understand sports and never watched sports. She was on the dance team in high school. She liked to dance but makeup perfect, hair perfect, nails done, toes done and uber pretty. I was like, “All these girls that I dated or had relationships with in high school, I got screwed over a lot so why not try something completely different?”
To make the long story short, I came home for three weeks in December of 2005 and because it’s over the Christmas holidays, I got some extra leave in there. We hung out pretty much every single day. Come February, I’m in Pensacola, Florida in my first school in the military learning electronic stuff. She calls me and she goes, “I need to talk to you.” I was like, “Shoot. What’s up?” She’s like, “My friend was worried because she’s late over a period. She wanted me to take a pregnancy test with her. Mine came back positive.” I was like, “I don’t know. You tell me.” We sat down and talked and had a true conversation about it. I was like, “I don’t believe in abortion.” She was like, “Neither do I.” I said, “This is it. I’m yours for life. We’ll figure out this whole kid thing, but I’m down if you’re down.” She’s like, “Absolutely.” I came home in July of ‘06 for two weeks of leave in between schools. That’s when she met my parents. Imagine my beautiful Christian mom who’s the best mom I could ever think of. Christian, I said that for a reason. I said, “This my girlfriend, Brandy, and she’s seven months pregnant.”
To find out when she’s seven months pregnant, I can only imagine.
That was a complete surprise for them. I was like, “By the way, you’re having a grandkid. Surprise.” I just turned nineteen years old. I’m starting my life and we’re going to get married and we’re going to do the whole darn thing. I proposed in November 2006 we got married on December 15, 2006. If you’ve never been in the military, have no associate in the military, you cannot live with somebody off base unless you get married. She shows up in January. We had a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment in San Diego, California. We have a four-month-old. He was born in September. He would not shut up. He would not do anything correct. He was always screaming. He was always crying. He was always hungry. He would go through one of these big cans of formula in two days. The big sleeve of diapers, we would go through one of them every 2 or 3 days.
We’re calling our mom’s like, “He eats all the time and he poops diarrhea all the time. He’s not gaining weight and he’s always coughing.” We had no idea what our life was going to turn into once we found out. In February 2007, three months after we got married, Aiden is now almost six months old. We go to the women’s clinic on base to get our birth control because we don’t want another one. This one’s horrible. We don’t want another one. She pees in a cup and then the doctor comes back and says, “Surprise, you guys are pregnant.”
Your kids are that close together?
They’re 1 year and 19 days apart.
I didn’t realize they were that close.
Aiden is September 9th of 2006 and Autumn is September 28th of 2007. She notices Aiden like, “How old is that little guy?” She thought he was a newborn. She was like, “You shouldn’t be touching her right now anyway because she just had this baby.” I was like, “No, he was born in September.” She was like, “What? Here, go to this pediatrician.” We’ve been going to the Navy Hospital and they’re like, “He has pneumonia.” Sticking us in a room with three other people that have pneumonia because everybody has pneumonia. It’s the same thing. Who cares? They’re shoving him with antibiotics and sending us home after 72 hours.
He would get better slightly on antibiotics and then immediately go down. She says, “Go see my pediatrician that I use for my kids. You have to use TRICARE. I’ll write it off for you.” We switched to a pediatrician where we lived. She sent us immediately to the children’s hospice. This is the same day that we found out that Brandy was pregnant. We get to the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and within two hours, we find out that he has a grade three staph lung infection. He only has 10% lung capacity left and he has cystic fibrosis. While we were in the hospital, my wife’s cousin, Rocky, died who was like her little brother growing up. I get a call while I’m in the hospital saying, “Somebody can’t go. You’re deploying in October.”
This all happened within a week period. We’re pregnant. She was due in late September or early October. Aiden has cystic fibrosis, which the outlook then was 14, 15 years old maybe, and then one of her best friends in the entire world passed away. I was deployed at the same time the date was due. We’ve been married for two months and we’re nineteen years old. We have a lot of perspectives now. We argue about how I grounded Autumn for too long. Nobody did the dishes for the last two days so the house stinks. We get a little tussle about it and then we have a little bit of perspective like, “We’ve been through hell. I’m going to do the dishes. It’s not that big of a deal.” It helps with that perspective.
After that, life started to pick up pretty quickly. I was deployed twice to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007, 2008. I was on the ship. Brandy stayed home throughout the entire time. She was raising the kids. Once Aiden’s got his medications correctly because there’s a whole list of medications that he takes every single day to this day. Enzyme support, treatments, inhalers, steroids and all this different stuff.
You saw him walk and he’s almost as tall as I am and weighs 110 pounds. He’s on a new genetic replacement medicine called Trikafta which goes in and fixes that gene. I had 50% and Brandy had 50%. That was also a come-to-Jesus moment when we realized that there’s a 50/50 chance that Autumn could have it too. We talked about abortion again. If she does have it, we need to consider giving her up for adoption because if two kids with cystic fibrosis have two different strands, they can’t hang out together ever. They can give each other different diseases and kill each other. Have you’ve ever seen Five Feet Apart, the movie?
Yes, I have.
That’s cystic fibrosis. He and his sister would have to stay 5 or 6 feet apart from each other their entire lives.
We got close to God and prayed. We’re like, “All right. We’ll see how it goes.” She got tests when Brandy was seven months pregnant. They could tell with her salt levels that she didn’t have it. It was a crazy time. I was deployed in 2010 and we moved to Mississippi in 2011. I was playing basketball and tore my ACL again. I tore my ACL in my sophomore year of high school. I had two surgeries when I tore my right ACL in 2008. I wanted to play basketball. That’s all I wanted to do. I was on the base team at Miramar and tore my right ACL. When I tore my left ACL, I depended on my right leg for a lot of things and tore that ACL. I then started depending on my left foot again because I was feeling strong and it retore my left ACL. It completely took out the cartilage and everything else inside there as well.
I had three surgeries back-to-back in 2012. That’s when President Obama said, “Marine Corps, you’re at 235,000. I want you down to 185,000 by the end of 2014.” The whole drawdown thing happened after we pulled out of Iraq. They’re looking for reasons and I went in there. You have a year to recover from any injury that you have in the Marine Corps, but you can get extensions on that for another six months. I needed a fourth surgery and another six-month extension, they said no. They sent me to a medical board and then I got medically separated and discharged. I was devastated. I loved being in the Corps. It was a passion. I got out. We moved back to Phoenix and got a good job. My parents then got divorced. I was already going through a lot of stuff. It’s hard to describe because I was clinically diagnosed with PTSD. We can do a whole episode on that too.
Yes, we can.
There was a lot of depression with separation anxiety from the Marine Corps. It’s almost the separation depression. That’s all I did. I wake up, shave my face, put on my uniform and go to work. Now I wake up, I don’t have to do anything. I wear jeans and a t-shirt to go to work. I’m doing circles around everybody around me. I’m getting promoted. I got promoted to service manager right before I left and all these guys were working for twenty-plus years. I didn’t find happiness in that. When my parents got divorced, that destroyed me. I had all these PTSD flare-ups and bad dreams. I have some friends. We can get into that another time. My friends unfortunately passed and I wasn’t even there. I still felt guilty because I started with them. I passed school. They didn’t pass school. They went to artillery and I stayed in my school program because I passed all my classes and they stepped on an IED. There’s then this connection that my brain made like, “If you only helped them get through school, they’d still be here.”
The guilt runs strong. We can talk about PTSD too because I don’t have it but my ex-husband and all that. I went through all that with him. That can be something we can touch base on.
Thankfully. To tie it all together, your first question was how many video games do you play a day or how often do you play?
That’s my out. With PTSD, there are drugs, alcohol, porn, women, strip clubs and gambling because it gives you that excitement and that itch that you feel that you have to scratch. In 2020, I went to counseling for the first time. We went through Cognitive Processing Therapy, CPT. It completely changed my life. It gave me a whole new outlook on everything. We got into the nitty-gritty on how the different things worked out. We can go into more detail later in a different PTSD episode. I came to terms with it, and so did Brandy. Brandy is struggling, “All he does is sit on his darn video game and never does anything with me.” My counselors like, “Yes, but that’s his out.” Of all the different outs that you have, of all the different things that people do to fill that void or fill that hole, he is sitting in a room on a computer with his friends.
At least he’s home.
She tried to have Brandy see that too but then she looked at me and she goes, “You can’t do that 24/7 365.” I was missing work because I was so depressed but I wasn’t going to work. Thankfully my boss thought the world of me so I wasn’t in trouble or fired or reduced pay or anything. I was sitting at home. Now, we’re in Alabama. I left Fluke in 2020 because I got a job. I’m back working for the government. I’m back working for the US Army as one of their top-level engineers for their entire calibration program. When the Army wants to buy a new piece of equipment for their soldiers to use on tanks, trucks, helicopters, and things like that, it’s going to go through us and the people that I’m team members with us. We inspect the gear, we test it, we see if the Army could use it and then we make an offer. It’s like acquisitions.
I went through a whole class when I started on January 4, 2021. I’m normally pretty vocal when it comes to politics, religion, my own opinion, but I had to purge all of my social media because let’s say a left-facing company and then there are other companies that are right-facing, but they both make a similar piece of equipment. I would never do this, I would never look at their company policies and read through and be like, “I like this guy because he said something about guns and this person’s anti-guns or whatever so I’m going to go with this person.” I would never do that.
The company that lost the bid can go to my social media and see pro-guns, pro-Second Amendment rights. Maybe some smartass comment about Donald Trump or something along those lines, and say, “This is why he didn’t go with us.” We could look at his social media and I’d be fired. That’s the world we live in. I’ve completely taken a backseat and talking about the Phoenix Suns and funny dad jokes. That’s pretty much it.
How about them Suns?
They’re 2-0 in the NBA Finals.
Did they win?
They did. I was watching it on Hulu on my computer. I gave my password to one of my buddies so two people are watching it. Brandy comes home from the gym and she pulls up Hulu to watch Handmaid’s Tale and she can’t watch it. There are sixteen seconds left in the game. The Suns are up by twelve. We were going to win anyway. My Hulu closes and I’m like, “What just happened?” I tried to log back in it says the passwords have been changed. I go in there and I’m like, “Did you change the Hulu password?” She’s like, “Yes.” I was like, “Babe, I just missed one of the greatest playoffs.” I lied and said the Suns were down by one. They’re coming down the court with fourteen seconds left. Devin Booker did a crossover dribble and completely duped this guy out of his shoes. The ball leaves his hand and my Hulu shuts off. I hear my friends in the background on Discord when we’re talking. They start screaming and cheering and I missed it because you change the password.” She’s like, “I’m sorry. I did not know that you’re watching basketball. I’m so sorry.” I have to tell her that the Suns are going to win and none of that happened.
Speak straight from the heart and from the truth of your experiences.
I guarantee you she’s not going to change the password anymore.
If I found out that you fuck with me like that, I would change it next time. I peek in on you and be like, “What is he watching?” and then I would do it. I stopped watching basketball a couple of years after high school. I haven’t been into it. You know me, I wasn’t in all the sports and activities.
Cheerleading and softball.
I don’t know what happened.
What did you do? I thought you did softball for some reason.
No, I did softball when I was younger. I was a good swimmer. I was recruited by a club team when I was in third grade. The funny story there is that I decided not to do it because they swim me around and the day that I went to go try out, the pool wasn’t heated. It was a heated pool, but the pool wasn’t heated that morning. I told my mom, “No.” She’s like, “The pool’s heated, it’s okay.” I was good at swimming. I wished I would have stuck it out but just because of that one morning that the pool wasn’t heated, I was like, “Nope. Sorry. I live in Arizona. This is not happening. You people who swim in ice-cold water, not happening.” In third grade, I was doing the swim, softball and gymnastics, all three. My parents told me I had to choose one because life was too much. My brother was in hockey and baseball. We were all doing four different sports each. They were like, “It’s time for you to pick one way to go.” I chose the wrong way. I chose gymnastics but it is what it is.
It is why I made the softball correlation because of the kickball. I see your Facebook stories and it looks like you’re in a dugout and there are bases.
I do play softball. I play slow-pitch.
I was like, “She played softball in high school.” I remember but I wasn’t allowed to go to games. The only games I ever went to in high school were the basketball games that I played in. Anything else, I was not allowed to go.
You played football, didn’t you?
I’m my freshman year. I wanted to quit. It’d be funny if Tyler ever watches this. Tyler is the reason why I wanted to quit and I’ve never played football ever again. I should have because when I started lifting weights in my junior year, I got thicker. I didn’t get taller. I didn’t get skinnier. I went from being a skinny basketball kid to playing linebacker. Now that I’ve been lifting for years, I definitely should have played football. I’d have been good at football.
I played freshman year with Coach Scott Kerr. He’s now the principal of Colerain or something. I don’t know what he’s doing. He still taught here and there. Somebody was like, “Tim, catch.” and threw the ball up in the air and I pressed spin, 130 pounds soaking wet. As the ball landed, Tyler right underneath the chin, spear tackled me and knocked the wind out of me. I was on the ground for five minutes. After practice, after everybody was walking away, I laid there by myself for five minutes trying to catch my breath. My chin was cut. That right there I’m like, “I’m never playing football. I’m going to stick through the season out because I don’t quit but I’m never playing football again.” I was the new kid.
I went to kindergarten. My birthday is in April so I’m younger going into kindergarten. I just turned five. I went there but we lived in Mesa. I was smaller and I got picked on but I was smarter than everybody else. My mom was strict when it came to flashcards, knowing my ABCs, reading, numbers, multiplication and division but I was four. She wanted her kid to be super smart. I go to kindergarten at five and these kids don’t know their ABCs and I’m reading in third-grade level. I go to first grade, the same thing. They pull me out of first grade. I test all the way to almost the beginning of third grade. They homeschooled me in 2nd and 3rd grade but I skipped first grade. Now I go to fourth grade and I’m a year younger and smaller than everybody. I got into many fights and it was always self-defense. It was always like I’m taking a drink in the water fountain and it’s the classic the bully comes and shoves my face in the water fountain.
I rode dirt bikes ever since I was a little kid. My dad taught me how to box. I was strong because I had to ride a dirt bike around a track and around the desert. My dad taught me how to fight. I’ll kick this bully’s butt and then I’d be in trouble because I’d kick his balls but I’m smaller and a year younger than him. I still have a scar when I was drinking out of the water fountain and a bully shoved my head hard. It split my nose completely off. My whole nostril was completely detached.
They pulled me out again. I did 5th grade and 6th grade at home but then, we moved from Mesa to that house on 42nd Northern behind AMPM. They bought it for $62,000. The people that live there had fifteen cats. We completely gutted the entire house except for the frame and the outside of the house. We re-drywalled and redid everything, but my dad and I did it ourselves. I didn’t go to school for a full year. I remodeled the house with him whenever he got home from his normal job. I would wake up and he would say, “I need you to do this and this. When I get home from work, we’ll do this and this.”
We did everything ourselves from the cabinets, drywall, tiles and carpet. We did it all. I learned at a young age how to do all these things. The tradeoff was I didn’t have to go to school. I was like, “Sign me up. I’m in.” I was back in the correct year and then, I got dumped. They’re like, “We can’t teach you anything anymore. You’re past our education level. Go to the advanced classes.” I showed up in seventh grade and I had those big gold-rimmed glasses. I’m a super nerd. I could play basketball and ride dirt bikes but as far as talking to people, I was out of school and homeschooled for so long. I didn’t have a conversational technique to talk about.
I was also super Christian. We weren’t allowed to watch Disney movies. We weren’t allowed to watch any type of cartoons. We watched VeggieTales. That was it. It was very strict but I grew and then in freshman year, it turned around. We started going to Apollo because it was like another melting pot. We get people from Landmark. We get people from Palo Verde. It was a newer thing than people from Road Runner and Manzanita at Palo Verde. I was good friends with Josh. I met him and we became close friends throughout 7th and 8th grade. We stayed friends throughout.
It doesn’t surprise me because he’s a nice guy. I dated him after high school for a little while.
You dated him as an adult.
I still do stuff but I’m like, “I’m not an adult yet.”
There are many things where I’m like, “Am I really this old?”
I literally stream video games.
I sit here and read raunchy romance novels.
I honestly sat down and tried to read one. It was free on Amazon. I downloaded it. I got two pages in and I was like, “This is meh.”
I get totally sucked in and I’m not going to lie. My future boyfriend or husband will be thankful for these raunchy romance novels.
Yes, but even if I think about my relationship with Brandy. I’m reading this and I’m like, “That’s way over the top.” There’s over the top, but then there’s pretty over the top and then that’s over the top. These novels are up here.
That’s why it’s called a romance book. It is fake but it is nice to dive in and disappear for a little while.
That’s why I do and play video games. I have a hard time playing video games by myself but a lot of my buddies work from home and they answer to that. This is definitely a PTSD podcast. Brandy has her days. Her current work schedule is awesome. On Mondays and Tuesdays, she works ten hours. On Wednesdays, she’s completely off and on Thursdays, she works ten hours. Fridays are half-day. During Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the evening time, she leaves me alone. I’m playing video games to chill. During Wednesdays, we go do whatever she wants to do.
Normally, it’s been adventures and going on hikes, going and seeing different things. On Friday evenings, we have family dinner. On Friday nights, we jump back into the video game. On Saturdays, we go on more of an adventure, then we do a hike. Wednesday is a family hike. We go somewhere local. On Saturday, we’ll go drive an hour somewhere, pack a picnic or a lunch and go see waterfalls or caves. There is a lot of stuff around here that’s pretty interesting.
Sunday is an electronic-free day in the household. Saturday nights when we get back after a long drive and I’m like, “What are you doing?” She’s like, “I’m going to watch The Handmaid’s Tale.” I’m like, “Have fun. See you later.” I’ll go play video games but Sunday’s is completely electronic-free. We try to keep that. We wake up. We go to church. We came home. We cook dinner together. We hang out together. We’ll watch a movie together as a family. One of the kids picks a movie. We’ll watch a movie and then we’ll play a board game. We have a Monopoly set-up.
That’s what the counselor talked about which is balance, “Yes Tim, with your PTSD, your depression, and the different anxieties and stuff that you’ve experienced, you’re out is when you put headphones on. You play some deep house music or some lo-fi hip hop. You talk to your friends and then you play a computer game. That removes you from reality. Now, you’re no longer in reality. You’re in a video game. That can be healthy, but you have to do it in a healthy way.” That’s what we talked about. Doing it more in a healthy way. I’m making sure that Brandy gets her time. My kids get their time because I love being a dad.
We’ll have a whole parenting podcast too but that comes with the struggles. One of my favorite things is being a girl dad. I always wanted a little baby girl. My baby girl is getting older and she’s a jerk. We never get along. It’s this whole thing. I’ve always wanted a son as well. Something like, “Like father, like son.” He is exactly like me. We like the same things. We talk the same. We make the same jokes, but it’s like a switch with him. I can snap and look and be like “Hey.” He’ll be like, “Yes, dad?” He knows that he’s messing up and he’ll then correct himself.
If I do the same thing with Autumn, I snap and she’ll snap back and be like, “What?” We’ll have a whole podcast on that because that’s a pretty lengthy topic of things I’m discovering as a girl dad in 2021. The differences between a son and a daughter. There are things that I’m still learning and things that she said in the past that I’m blown away by, “How do you know that? Why do you know that?” To give you a preview, we got done with Pride month. That brought up a lot of different conversations and a lot of ideas and now confusion on, “What am I? Who am I? What do I like?”
You have that background of Christianity and there’s that whole perception that all Christians hate people that are gay. I’m like, “No. Some do. The old-school ones do. I don’t speak for old school ones but not all old school ones.” There’s a lot of old-school, old heads that say, “Sodom and Gomorrah saw what God did,” but then you have other churches like, “God told us love so that’s what I do.” I love everybody and anybody that’s ever met me. I invite somebody to bring up a time or experience where I bullied them because you won’t find it. It’s not in my personality. It’s not who I am.
In high school, I was friends with everybody. I would go have lunch with the gothic kids. I would go and have lunch with playing kids, with the basketball players or go into that little side room where they sold snacks and have lunch with Chloe and Kelly. I hang out with them for a little while. I tried to always be there but then, I would go with classes and I’d be with all the nerdy, smart kids. I’ll then go hang out with and try to speak broken Spanish to all the kids that were Hispanic. I like people and I’ve always loved people. It’s this whole persona. She challenges me. I reached out to a couple of people that have kids that are going through some of their own struggles with depression and transgender or lesbian or gay or bisexual. All these different topics.
I reached out to them and I’ve been leaning pretty heavily on them. I’m like, “What do you do?” I never thought in my wildest dreams but we talked about it more. We’re going to go take her to see a counselor because I told her counseling changed my life. I was headed in one direction and counseling completely pulled me from that direction. It put me on a different path. I don’t care that you’re thirteen. You’re about to turn fourteen in September 2021. Go to a counselor. Write all your thoughts on a book and go to a counselor. Be honest. They’re professionals. That’s what they do. I’m not saying what you’re saying or what you’re doing is wrong. I’m saying you’re thirteen. I wish she could not worry about this stuff.
It’s hard because when we were her age, it’s not something that we ever thought twice about.
I was concerned about something. I remember that in 7th and 8th grade, I wanted to kiss a girl. I’ve never kissed a girl before. That was my focus but then it was basketball and I never wanted to be inside. I always wanted to be at the neighborhood kids playing outside. All these kids want to do is be inside. We’ve talked about it. I went through her YouTube history. She’s watching because she had TikTok for two days. When it first started becoming a thing, I would say, the beginning of COVID was March 2020. I was at home making TikToks. She had a TikTok for two days. I got a TikTok because I was like, “She’s got it. I have it. I’m going to check it out.”
Within the first couple of videos, I was like, “Delete this. Shut off your phone immediately. There’s no way for me to see what you’re watching and how you’re watching it.” Once you watch something, it’s in your brain and then it’s gone off your phone. I can’t help you with that if you see something that’s confusing. What she was watching on YouTube were TikTok compilations. I’ve told her multiple times that you cannot watch those. There’s adult content that makes its way on TikTok.
A majority of it is eighteen-plus content.
It’s what got her grounded. I took to YouTube where I said, “You have no social media. You have an art Instagram page where you post pictures of your art. You have one selfie, but that’s it.” I then took YouTube away because she was watching compilations of, “Walking up to my boyfriend when I’m naked or while he’s playing video games.” It’s hilarious to see the guy’s reaction for us. I said, “Autumn, you’re thirteen.” She’s like, “It’s really funny?” “You just lost YouTube.”
We’re doing previews of all the podcasts we’re going to do. For me, it is your attitude once you’re in trouble. I don’t know if my son is pulling a blind, pulling the wool over my eyes. I tell him he’s in trouble because of his actions. There’s remorse. There’s, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that.” We have this discussion. I tend to be like, “You’re off with the computer for the first night. Tomorrow morning, we’ll have a couple of extra chores for you but then you could be ungrounded.”
My daughter immediately goes, “How long don’t I have YouTube for?” I’m like, “We’re still talking about what you did wrong.” She’s like, “I won’t do it again.” I’m like, “Okay.” She’s like, “Was it 2 or 3 days that I’m doing some chores? What do I have to do to get back?” It’s just a straight, resting bitchface. It’s like a business transaction. “I messed up. What penance do I have to pay in order to get it back? What’s up, dude? Why aren’t you answering me? How long?” I’m like, “Forever. I don’t know. Until I feel more comfortable with you having YouTube.”
It’s this weird thing where I was up here because of the way I was raised plus the Marine Corps for nine years. The way Brandy was raised way down here. It’s taken us a long time to even out. Even then, it is always a balancing thing because sometimes I go too hard. She then goes too soft, because she tries to balance it out. It’s like this teeter-totter of mom and dad. These kids are getting older. We only have 3 and 4 years left until we have adults out in the community doing their own thing.
A leader needs to have the ability to talk to people and help them walk through their struggles.
The parenting in my house is different and that’s because we have two separate households. I am strict over here at my house and that’s mainly because I’m raising boys to treat people with respect and, “Mind your Ps and Qs. This is how you act towards someone older than you.” When they go over to their dad’s house, I’ve explicitly told his girlfriend, “They have manners. If they don’t have manners, they don’t get shit like that.” She’s been good at giving them manners, but she also does everything for them. When they come back over here, it’s like, “Where did my children go? Do you not have manners?” That’s all a discussion for another day too. Co-parenting is hard. I’m not even co-parenting with my ex-husband. I’m co-parenting with his girlfriend because he doesn’t have a backbone.
I hope that everybody can tell how much I adore my wife in the things that we’ve been through together as a couple but I’ll say it a million times. I love her to death but sometimes I feel like there’s that lack of backbone. There’s that but we’ve talked about it too. We’ve gone to counseling. I love counseling so much as we talk to somebody about it. Basically, the counselor said, “She is soft because you’re hard. You got to come down a notch a little bit. Them not doing the dishes when you told him to is not that big of a deal.”
That makes sense as to why my ex-husband would be a little softer than me but in separate households.
In the same household, she would see like, “Babe, you really came down hard on Autumn.” Autumn will have a little backtalk, disrespect and I’ll hear it. She’s like, “Yeah but she already got trouble from not washing the dishes.” I feel what she’s saying is I had the skill. In the six months that we’ve lived here and what helped though, is every other Tuesday, we go on a daddy-daughter day. We then go to Buffalo Wild Wings because they got $0.50 bone-in wings on Tuesdays. She calls it the Double D Date. She says the Double D date because it’s daddy-daughter. On her calendar, she has a DD date and we go get wings. We talk. It was pretty powerful. We’ll talk about that at a later time.
Having that and going back to when should you talk to your sons about different things or should they come to you? Should they go to their dad? I have had more questions from Autumn and Brandy has had more questions from Aiden. There’s this weird dynamic. I believe if you have a good relationship with your daughter but a mother and a son will always have a special bond, a special relationship. Aiden will say things to her like, “Mom, some personal questions.” She’s like, “I don’t have one of those. Go ask your dad.”
I go to Walmart. It’s a super funny story. There is this #GirlDad. I go to the store. We’re on vacation in Florida. We got back from Florida on the 4th of July. We were staying in an Airbnb. I get a text message from my daughter that says, “Can you buy these?” It was the whatever brand of tampons but the link that she sent me was “RLN2X.” I was like, “What?” Whatever that size is. I was like, “No.” I remember Brandy saying I have to go buy Autumn a variety pack because she’s been a woman but this is the first time that she’s going to go swimming. She really wants to go to the ocean. We haven’t been in the ocean in forever.
Autumn sends me this and I’m like, “Tim, you wanted to be a girl dad. You told her that she could trust you with anything.” It’s going to happen. It’s going to make you a little uncomfortable. I don’t mind buying tampons for my wife. That’s my wife but then my daughter’s. I then called Brandy and said, “She sent me this link. I don’t know what she’s talking about.” She’s like, “She wants a variety pack.” I’m like, “A variety pack for what?” She’s like, “We didn’t know what size she is. You have to get the different sizes because it depends on flow, but it also depends on the size of her vagina.” I was like, “Stop. I’ll get it.” I didn’t know that’s what that was for. I consider myself pretty smart but I never thought about it like that until I saw the box that had like, “Little, tiny, skinny to whatever.” I got the thing.
Fast forward to the next day and I was not ready for this. I’m good at blocking stuff out of my mind. It goes away. It gets buried somewhere deep. It goes back in the corner of my mind and I don’t think about it. The next day, we’re in the ocean. We’re having a good time. Everybody’s having a great time. I keep seeing Autumn feeling on either side of her bathing suit because she’s freaked out about the stream show. I’m like, “Autumn, stop grabbing yourself. You’re bringing attention to that when you keep doing that every two seconds. Stop.”
We get out of the water and we’re drying off. I’m standing next to her. She sneezes and she’s like, “Ooh.” She was like, “That’s what they were talking about.” I’m looking around like, “Who are you talking to?” She’s like, “I just sneezed.” Brandy, my wife’s like, “Did it fall out?” She’s like, “No. It just felt weird.” I watched a video on tampons and stuff. It says it feels weird when you sneeze. That’s why she was like, “That’s what it feels like.” I want to go cry and crawl in a hole. I never thought that many years ago when I’m holding this beautiful princess in my arms. I’m excited. I am adoring this cute little 6-pound, 5-ounce baby. This is daddy’s princess that in 13.5 years, my daughter’s going to sneeze in front of me and go, “Ooh. That is weird. I could see what they’re saying.” I’m like, “This is being a girl dad.”
The joys. You are learning so much. Wait until she gets pregnant. Hopefully, not for years and years to come.
We had talked about it and like, “You’re not dating until you graduated from college. Do you want to live here? Don’t be dating.”
I would have to say that that’s a whole new experience being pregnant and then having like my dad, who I’m very close with now. Back in high school, we didn’t get along very well but circumstances changed after high school. He’s my best friend now. Getting pregnant and having three C-sections and stuff, he was there for the first two. Immediately afterwards, as soon as they were letting people in my room, he was the first one there. He brought me dinner and was all concerned. “Are you doing okay? How are you?” He’s making sure I was okay. On my third one, he had moved to Texas a week before my C-section. He was the first person I FaceTimed. That bond between a dad and a daughter is different. We’ll get to experience that, the older she gets. I didn’t have any of this period stuff with my dad. That was all of my mom’s. I was way too embarrassed.
I’m thinking to myself and I told my wife this. I was like, “Could I open the door because I’m so open?” I’m like, “You could tell me anything. You don’t have to be embarrassed. I got your back.” This is what I want. I’ve always wanted to be a girl dad. You could come to me with any questions and don’t be embarrassed.” She’ll open up and talk about stuff on our daddy-daughter dates, which is great but then that is like a bomb out of the mouth. It doesn’t matter. “It’s just dad.” She like, “This and this.”
It’s more of the parenting in this day and age where the closer you are with your kids, the more vulnerable they’re going to be with you as they get older. Whereas how we grew up was different than how kids are growing up these days. My dad and I have had a different relationship growing up. There were times where we lived in the same exact house. We saw each other every single day and we could go two weeks without even speaking to each other because we pissed each other off. My mom was always the person I went to for my female stuff. We’ll talk about this one day too, about how my dad walked in on me and my boyfriend in high school. There’s that too as a dad.
We will be doing these podcasts from jail if that happens. You’re like, “Surprise, guys. I know we’ve been doing this for a couple of years, but Tim’s now in jail. We’re just going to Zoom call from jail.”
That was the whole experience. I will never forget that.
You’re not talking about making out. You’re talking about walked in?
Just about. He got home from work. We’ll get into it.
I was a good kid. I never did any of that stuff.
I was relatively good. I didn’t go to parties. I didn’t drink but I did have a high school boyfriend and there was some exploring.
I’m not saying you’re a bad kid. That’s not what I’m saying. There’s that spring break in my senior year before. That was the first time. I was like, “They keep saying that you’re going to feel horrible. You’re going to feel like the scum of the earth. God’s going to look down at you. You have to wait until the day that you get married. If you don’t, you’re a horrible person.” That’s what I’ve been shoved down my throat ever since I knew that the female was different and that’s what I was supposed to achieve when I get married. They have different bodies and different things. I wish there was some cute story or some type. I knew of this girl. I’d seen her. I ran into her at Supercross.
One day my parents went to Tucson with my sisters. She came over and we were watching football and went back to my bedroom on my own bed that’ll last for about fourteen seconds. That was it. Literally after, though, I was waiting for the guilt. I was waiting for the shame. I was waiting for, “I feel horrible. I feel bad. I did everything.” I was super confused. From that point on, I was with Brandy that December. To think that that was March to December was bad. I’m talking like I was a whore, not just a hoe. If you looked at me, I’d be like, “What’s that?”
I had my moment. I had my high school boyfriend. After that, I had another few hookups here and there. I then had another boyfriend, a long-term boyfriend that treated me like shit. He was verbally abusive and assaulting, all that. After that, I have no shame at all. Whenever I did that, I was careful about it.
My first long-term sexual relationship is with my wife because I waited so long. When it finally happened, it was literally eight months of hooking up. It was all hookups, all of them. There was no one like, “We’re boyfriend-girlfriend.” It was over and over every single chance that I had or every single opportunity that I had, I would see a girl, find a girl, talk to a girl, wear protection and hook up all the time for eight months straight as much as humanly possible as I could. Whenever I got to be alone, it was like that and I was polite. I would be like, “Do you want to do this? By the way, I want to hook up. This is fun. Let’s have fun. We’re not in a relationship but let’s have fun.” They’re like, “Sure, whatever. Let’s have some fun.” I then met Brandy and I can honestly tell you that it was different with her because there was this weird connection. We then hooked up. It was three weeks. Those three weeks that I was home in December of 2005, the entire time. When she called me in February, I was like, “Cool.”
It was Matt in high school. After high school, I hung out with Josh but nothing ever happened. Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes. I adore him to death though still to this day, even though I don’t speak to him. I then met some guy that I worked with. That was the long-term one. It was maybe two years of utter chaos and stupidity. After that, it got a little crazy. I would have to say, it was probably a good year or maybe two of me having fun and doing whatever the heck I wanted. I enjoyed every minute. There are people who are like, “No, you need to do your post-divorce whole phase.” I’m like, “I get that pre-marriage whole phase. I don’t need to go do this post-divorce whole phase. I need a one-time, long time.”
We will have a divorce podcast, I’m sure. We were going to sign papers last November 2019. We had an appointment to go meet with a mediator and sign papers. We had set out how much I’m going to pay her, how much I’m seeing my kids, where we’re going to live, how we’re going to do everything. We were at that point. We had already done our own mediation. It was through the whole PTSD thing. I saw a lot of things a lot more clearly.
She was sick of dealing with all of it. I’m coming with her like, “I’m fixed. This is what I need you to do.” She’s like, “What are you talking about? I’ve been doing this for years and now you want me to change? Do this and do that? You’re telling me that you need to do this? No. I’m not doing that.” I was like, “You’re not taking my PTSD seriously,” which was wrong. That’s not what she was saying. That’s what I took it as. I was like, “Well then, I’m out.” She was like, “Fine.”
We sat down that day and wrote out how much I’m going to pay her and when I can see my kids. We have this open-type of relationship where if my dad is having everybody over, but it’s not necessarily my day, I’m going to come to pick them up and take them to my dad’s house. She’s like, “Of course and the same thing for me.” We got along with the whole thing, being her talking for two hours of mediation. We agreed on everything, “I’m going to give you $2,000 a month and then when they turn eighteen, I will drop that down to $750 for you.” All these different things. We figured this whole scheme out.
That was a Monday and then on Wednesday, I was at the gym. I got to lose some weight because I’m about to get back to the market. Dad bods are cool and all but it’s pretty nice when a dad dude takes off his shirt and like, “That dude works out and cares about his body.” I need to go work out. She called me after the gym. She was like, “Can I talk to you?” Unbeknownst to me, she has gone out with my pastor’s wife. Jeremiah was a guy whom I did sound in his church every Sunday. He pastored a church. He was also my youth pastor when I was in middle school. I’ve known him for my entire life.
He and I talked about what’s going on. He’s like, “I prayed for you.” His wife reached out to Brandy and they went out to dinner on Wednesday night. They had this long talk for a couple of hours. I still don’t know what they talked about. It’s none of my business. She called me and said, “Can I see you?” I went over to her parent’s house and we talked a little bit. She said, “Can we go on a date on Friday night? Can we go on one more date to make sure that what we’re doing is what we’re doing?” I was like, “Absolutely.”
She goes, “Just take me on your dream date. I’m sure you had a dream. You grew up here. I didn’t grow up here. Take me on your dream date.” I took her to Scottsdale. I took to the one that has the gondola rides with a nice Italian restaurant. I took her to this super fancy Italian restaurant and then with dinner, they give you a gondola ride. We then go on the gondola ride. This dude sings lovely Italian songs around this entire lake for 45 minutes. I then went to Pointe Tapatio Cliffs. Have you ever been there?
I’ve lived here my whole life and I’m discovering that I’ve not been to hardly anything.
Pointe Tapatio Cliffs which is in Dunlap on 7th Street. The 7th Street goes through the mountains and ends up at Thunderbird. It skips everything. That hotel right there that has the waterpark attached to it, there’s a restaurant on top of it. It’s called The Pointe. You can then drive to the top of that. We drove to the top of that and then you can hike up a trail. You can see 360 all the city lights. It puts you right in the middle of town. You can see downtown. It was a full 360 view of the entire city. We sat there and talked. We’re personally together now, but that was a whole lead-up to that, and then following that. We can talk about that because I know you went through a bunch of shitty stuff.
Shitty stuff that a lot of people still don’t quite understand how it all happened but I will get there.
You will get there. It was only the first one. One thing that I told myself is there’s not going to be any sugarcoating. There’s not going to be any fluff. It’s going to be true. As you said in your trailer, I’m going to speak straight from the heart, straight from the truth, and my experiences because I’ve always wanted some type of platform to share my experiences with somebody but then have that be put out to other people they can be like, “I’m not alone.”
That’s exactly why I started doing this because I feel like what I went through, people go through it but when it happens to you, you feel like you’re alone. You don’t have anyone to talk to. All of my friends are married so their perspectives are a little different than what I’m going through. They don’t necessarily understand it. Yes, my best friend has been married for over eighteen years. Her husband has been in the military for years. They’ve gone on deployments. She’s done parenting by herself and TDYs. She’s done all of that single parenting by herself but it’s different when you’ve got someone.
My husband is no longer with me. I officially have to get a job and provide for myself because I was a stay-at-home mom. There are things that I have to do by myself. No matter what you went through or how you went through it, her being a single mom based on her husband being deployed or TDY or any of that, they’re both the same. One is not harder than the other. We both had a hard situation. It’s just that each situation was different.
I was in a position in the military for the last few years. I was an instructor. They specifically sent us to counseling, how to be a counselor, how to talk to somebody with domestic violence and sexual assault. You learn this counseling technique and you develop your own technique where there were things that I was approached with that completely blew me away. A military wife approached me. She was all beat up and her husband beat her up the night before who was one of my students. You have a girl who went to a party and was on the receiving end of a train because she got drunk and didn’t know what was happening. Someone sits across you and says those things. It’s like, “I got punched,” but you’re their leader. You’re the person that they came to and trusted you with this information. What are you going to do with it?
It thought me this ability to talk to people and help people get through stuff and help people walk through it. The biggest thing that I’ve learned and this is why it will make a good podcast is the ability to listen. When someone tells you their story, and you’ve done that and I talked a lot, but in order to have a successful relationship with somebody, you have to be able to listen and let them talk. I’ll make sure that when it’s your turn to tell your story. I’ll just sit here, look pretty and listen to your talk. I thank you for this opportunity, for sure.
As soon as I saw that you said something, I was like, “Babe.” She was like, “What?” It’s like she knows when I say, “Babe,” that I have some crazy idea. I said, “Christina.” She’s like, “One of your high school friends?” We have this thing where it’s hard. I don’t have a new friend that is a girl now. It would be awkward like, “I met this girl at Walmart and we’re going to meet.” I feel like we’re 34 but with Facebook and social media, you are able to keep up with somebody’s entire life. I feel like I’ve known you forever, almost half of my life.
Essentially we’ve known each other although we didn’t speak to each other for years on end. When you have social media as we have, it’s easy to share your life with people you don’t necessarily talk to on a regular basis.
Summer was my best friend and nobody can ever take that away. I told Brandy that she’s my best friend. Get over it. Adam is much just as my best friend. Those two are awesome. I would get into more later stuff when it comes to PTSD and divorce. They had a particular part in playing a huge role in my life throughout a lot of my troubles in the last few years. They are an integral reason and part of who am I now. I talk to them all the time. Thank you so much. I look forward to many more times doing this. Hopefully, in the future in the same room in a studio of some sort. Thank you for having me. See you soon.
Thanks for joining and we’ve got lots to discuss. We will break it down topic by topic and take it head-on every week.
It sounds good to me.