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“Dark Triad” Part IV; Economic/Financial Abuse Post-separation

Mark Scroggins  0:06  

Hey folks, Mark Scroggins with Scroggins Law Group, we are back for another edition of the Reclamation Transformation. And we have Cindy Hyde with us once again. How are you today?

Cindy Hyde  0:15  

I’m good Mark, how are you?

Mark Scroggins  0:17  

I am good. Well, hey, I enjoyed our previous conversations about, you know, the control wheels. And so I wanted to continue on that today and specifically get into some of the post separation economic power and control. And talk about how that is how that is used by the bad actor also, right?

Cindy Hyde  0:42  

Yeah. Yeah, by the unsafe parent, or There you go. Right. And because we have a safe parent, and we have an unsafe parent, typically in this dynamic, right, and what the unsafe parent experiences, you know, ruined credit. They experienced things like, you know, inhibited employment or a loss of education, because they might have to quit school to try to pay, you know, their financial debt that gets incurred when there’s been economic abuse, you know, situations. And so some of them may even have to declare bankruptcy or, you know, rely on their parents to help them pay court fees. Right. And so it can get really difficult for a safe parent in trying to provide for their children.

Mark Scroggins  1:26  

Yeah, absolutely. No question. And there’s, there’s legislation that they’ve got in the UK, and you see it now in Canada. I think Hawaii, instituted some and it’s not, you know, hasn’t been adopted throughout the rest of the, throughout the rest of the US. And so that’s really important to say is that a lot of the stuff we’re talking about, it’s really up to your attorney to be able to educate the court as to what is going on, and to show that it’s actually what you are claiming it to be, and not what it appears to be. Because sometimes, it is exactly what it looks like.

Cindy Hyde  2:09  

Exactly. And that and that’s where to, and we’ve talked about this before. And what I tell my clients is you have to document everything, right. And so if you feel like you’re in a situation where there’s economic abuse, then you need to make sure that your attorney knows, you know, as quickly as possible, so that then, you know, he or she can talk to the judge to let them know that, hey, we’ve been in here 10 times already. And this is really a financial drain on my client.

Mark Scroggins  2:35  

Yeah. And it’s something that it has to be part of what your strategy is, is to inform the court to educate the court on exactly what’s going on, you know, if you have been taken back to court over and over and over again, and there’s not a good reason for it, okay, you need to educate the court as to how you are being pulled back on just a bunch of BS type situations, and educating the court on that is really, really important. Okay, now, it needs to actually be what you are claiming it to be, or else you can fully expect the wrath of the court to come down and, and slap you around a little bit. That to that claim. So let’s let’s get into this. Once again, there’s another wheel folks, this is the post separation economic power and control wheel. And let’s talk about these different things and how they are utilized by the bad actor. Right. Okay. So the first the first cog in the wheel, and there are eight different cogs here is using harassment and intimidation. Correct?

Cindy Hyde  3:48  

Yeah. And so what will happen sometimes is they’ll, if they can’t get through to you with harassment and intimidation, they’ll go after your family and friends and start scaring them. So that then the person, you know, that safe parent then feels like they have to respond, because they’re, you know, the safe parents to target them. Right.

Mark Scroggins  4:10  

Can you give an example of the of the harassment, I mean, that you’ve seen in your practice, or anything that you’re aware of, because I’m, you know, some of this stuff, frankly, you know, it sounds outlandish, and it is Outland. Yeah. So the average person, I think, can be taken off guard when, when this kind of stuff appears. So can you give an example? Yeah.

Cindy Hyde  4:34  

And so not long ago, I heard about a case that the, the, they wanted financial money from the safe parent, even though they made a lot more money. They were saying that the safe parent was coming after them for all their money when in fact, the safe parent was actually choosing not to take anything from the legal proceedings. They didn’t they just wanted out of the relationship. They didn’t want anything. Well, what ended up happening Nadine, is because she stopped responding to all of his threats and allegations and, and everything like that. Then he went after her parents and her family saying, you know, she’s trying to take everything I have. And if she gets one penny from me, I’m coming after you. And so then her family scared, and they don’t know what to do. And but the truth was, was that she really was she wasn’t asking for anything. And he was the one holding up the divorce proceedings, again, because she’s the target. And so he wanted her to feel unsafe. And so that’s why he he went after her family like that,

Mark Scroggins  5:35  

well, so I hope that the families out there that are on the receiving end of this kind of thing would know that that is nothing more than a threat, there’s nothing that they can do to come after you for money that they lose, right? To the other party in a divorce proceeding. So that’s about asinine. It’s an empty threat,

Cindy Hyde  5:54  

right? Well, and what happens to if the if the safe parent, you know, hasn’t told the family and friends, like, I’m not going after anything, then they don’t know who to believe. So they’re so then they’re thinking, Well, is he telling the truth is he is it true that, that she’s going after everything, and now he’s gonna come after us, and they get scared. And so then it causes, you know, family upset, which is actually what the unsafe parent wants is to create chaos and drama and erratic situations.

Mark Scroggins  6:27  

That’s just crazy to me. So the next is using emotional abuse.

Cindy Hyde  6:33  

Yeah, and so, so one of the things they they do, and I’ve seen this happen in some of my cases, where, you know, if the safe parent, like makes a purchase for a child, say it’s, maybe they need a new phone, and so they get them a new phone, then the unsafe parent will start screaming that they’re spoiling the child or they’re, they’re harming the child by, you know, letting them have a phone that they could be looking at all kinds of unsafe, you know, internet sites. And so they’ll, you know, I’ve seen them even, you know, put that in documentation to take them back to court to say they’re putting the child in harm’s way because they bought them a phone. And so, you know, they’ll do things like that. It’s crazy. I mean, it sounds crazy, and it is crazy. But they will do things like

Mark Scroggins  7:19  

that. Right. Yeah. So here’s what I wanted to spend some time on a little bit. So using or abusing court processes.

Cindy Hyde  7:28  

Yeah. And so I had a client a few years ago, that she, I think, I think at last count, she had gone to court about 15 times, oh, man, they had they had three children together. And and she every time she turned around, you know, she was getting taken back to court for something. Usually it was, you know, not enough visitation or, or, you know, that she, you know, what he would do is he would ask her to see the kids on an off day or weekend and when not a period of his possession, right? What’s your turn, when she would refuse, he would scream parental alienation. And so then he’d take her back to court for alienating the children when she was just simply saying no, because they had football practice, or they had some, something they had to be at, not because she was trying to be difficult, she just, you know, they had other obligations. And if she said no, he would find, he would find a way to call that parental alienation and take her back to court.

Mark Scroggins  8:27  

So once again, it is incredibly, incredibly important to document all these things correct. And then additionally, it is even more important to hire the right lawyer, and you need to talk to the lawyer up front about all of this stuff that is going on and what you think, is actually happening. Because if you don’t write, then the lawyer doesn’t know what he or she is facing. So when you go through the interview process of, you know, what lawyer should I should I hire one start with someone who’s board certified. So they’ve got a much more heightened level of expertise in these in these things, but then you need to educate them on hear the things that are going on. Right. And so that they know that as part of the strategy that is going on that they can start educating the court.

Cindy Hyde  9:23  

Yeah, and that’s true too. And and also even, you know, finding out if your attorney understands pathology. Sure, you know, that and what I mean by that is Cluster B personality disorders, you know, so, you know, as we talk to so when

Mark Scroggins  9:37  

you say Cluster B, can you educate the folks out there as to what we’re talking about?

Cindy Hyde  9:41  

Yep. So you remember last time I told you the word narcissism is is grossly overused out there. Absolutely. And you know, really truly narcissism is just grandiosity and attention seeking, right. It is not all of the the litany of bad behaviors that a lot of people call Well, narcissism. It’s actually a lot of times when there’s deceit and manipulation and egocentricity. And you know, the pathological line that’s actually psychopathy or psychopath, right. And then you know, the doing things within the letter of the law or, you know, doing criminal behavior is actually sociopath. It’s not narcissism, right? And so, so many people out there, you know, talk about narcissism. So they go in and tell their attorney, I’ve been married to a narcissist and the attorneys like, Yeah, whatever. Because, you know, everybody comes in here and says, I was married to a narcissist, no, you need to educate your attorney on exactly all of the things that you were dealing with. So your attorney at least knows how to fight for you. Right? And because oftentimes, you know, that doesn’t happen, they just come in, you know, to you, I’m sure I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times. You know, they come in and say, I’m pretty sure I was married to a narcissist. Well, actually, you know, some of that, you know, high rage, you know, tendencies and high emotionality is actually borderline personality disorder. It’s not narcissism, right. And so, you know, for the attorneys to even be educated on what pathology is, which are those are, which are personality disorders, multiple, so antisocial, which is sociopath, psychopathy, which is psychopath, narcissism and borderline personality disorder. And that, that makes up what’s called Cluster B. So it’s a cluster of personality disorders, it’s rarely just one. And that’s what you know, a lot of people think I’ve just dealt with one thing, no, you’ve probably dealt with two, three, or four. And not just one. So once the attorney can kind of identify that, and I gave you that pictometry checklist, so that even you know, you could do that with your client, if you chose to, to just see, like, I want to know what you experience. So therefore, then you’re a little more educated about what you’re going to go up against the court system, because they’re going to use everything on that checklist, you know, as part of the way they fight in court, too. And so what happens a lot of times is they will, you know, just like they fought in the relationship, which was unfair, and erratic and dramatic, right and chaotic, they’ll do the same thing in the court system. So they’ll, you know, everything will be, you know, blame shifting to the one partner, it’ll all be, you know, that, that they’re alienating the, you know, the child from them, when in actuality it’s them creating all of the chaos.

Speaker 3  12:30  

Wow, that is, you know, that’s

Mark Scroggins  12:33  

as, as an attorney, that’s a difficult thing to deal with. So it’s super, super important to be educated absolutely about that. Because if you’re not, you really don’t know how to educate the court. And that process of educating the court needs to start from the very first time that you are in front of the judge. Absolutely. You know, so there, there are certain behaviors, and unfortunately, our judiciary, I don’t think is trained in all this to the extent that they need to, and frankly, the US in my this my humble opinion, at least Texas, let’s say Texas, right, for sure, is not ready to get get into any kind of, you know, economic, economic coercion, and power and control and things like that, like that we’re talking today. But you can educate an individual court and individual judge about the so they have a different they’re looking through things with a different lens,

Cindy Hyde  13:32  

right? Because if you have, let’s say the unsafe parent makes 10 times what the safe parent makes, right. And the unsafe parent is the one filing all of these allegations all the time, you know, somebody needs to look at that, you know, like you said, maybe it’s true that this parent is the unsafe one, and this parent is not, but somebody needs to look at who is who is filing all these different allegations all the time, and who’s getting bled financially, completely dry, you know, I’ve seen cases where, you know, women at the end of the day, and and I say women and it could be a man too. Sure, right. But but we’re the safe parent feels like they have to give up custody of their child to the unsafe parent, because they’re running out of money. And so many of them will go pro se or represent themselves, so that they, you know, they, you know, can can keep living and eating right, you know, that they get so financially drained. They don’t, you know, sometimes even know where their next meal is gonna come from, and therefore they’ll give up custody to the unsafe parent as much as it pains them to do that.

Mark Scroggins  14:39  

Yeah. Yeah. And that is something that I’ve seen that people have to make that that hard decision, you know, I’ve also seen people make that decision that they don’t want to tap into certain funds that they have, you know, to do that. So it’s a it’s a question of what is really important to you in that regard. So here’s one That is that is very related to what we were talking about here in manipulating institutions. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Cindy Hyde  15:08  

Yeah. And so, you know, they may, you know, tell the court that they’re now unemployed, when they when they were self employed, that their business is doing doing so bad that they had to closed it and what they’ll do, as soon as the court proceedings are over, they’ll just open a new business. I’ve even heard about them adjusting their deputy wages if they’re self employed to a much lower amount so that they don’t have to pay the proper child support. So in essence, they’re they’re manipulating the court system.

Mark Scroggins  15:38  

Yeah. Now, let me mention a couple of things. So the court has in its bag of tricks, so the courts in Texas can look back for a period of three years. So just because someone changed something, right. You also have, you know, someone being intentionally unemployed, or intentionally underemployed. Okay, so you’ve got a way to combat those things. So someone who says that, oh, I can’t get a job, I haven’t been able to find a job. You know, some people aren’t just aren’t willing to take certain kinds of jobs. Right. That’s one problem. And you have other people that make something look on its face, like, what it is not? What it is not? Exactly. And so. So the court also, like I said, court can look back three years to see, you know, what has been the average of what they have been making. And so the court will do that a lot of the time. And so these are important things to talk about, you know, if you think that, you know, look, he’s just doing this to manipulate the situation, I know, he’s doing stuff on the side, the problem is, you’ve got to be able to prove that he is doing something exact on the side. So sometimes it is just suspicion, you know, but, but that’s where you start looking into what the other party’s actions are. So if they’re saying that I’m broke, I don’t have any money, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. But they’re always going on vacation, or they just bought a new car driving that new Mercedes. That’s right. You know, some things don’t necessarily add up. Right. And, you know, I

Cindy Hyde  17:15  

think that’s such good information. Mark, I know, my clients need to know that, that, you know, they can go back three years, because oftentimes they feel helpless. Right. And then I think, you know, that’s important also to, for the attorneys to let their clients know that if, if this is happening, that we can look back over three years, and, you know, see if there’s actually, you know, if he’s actually playing games here, I think too, that’s where forensic accountants come in, also, that you can count through and figure out where money’s been going. You know, I know they’re not foolproof, but I do know that they, you know, can be very helpful sometimes in those situations,

Mark Scroggins  17:51  

well, especially like when you’re dealing with self employment, because one of the one of the places that you look, you know, retained earnings are earnings, right, which means they’re subject to distribution, and they should be looked at when it comes to the distribution of the marital estate. It also should be looked at when you’re determining what child support should be. So if you’re at one of these things, where you’re trying to determine should it be at max guidelines? Or where should it be? Well, you know, if they haven’t distributed 50,000, or 100,000, in earnings that they’ve got, you know, it manipulates what it makes it look like someone is actually earning. So it’s important to talk about these things so that they can educate the court and explain to the court look, Judge, we need to look back over the last three years here, because this person we believe, is intentionally underemployed or intentionally unemployed at this particular juncture. Right? Yeah. So those are all things that are gonna be really important from an educational perspective, right?

Cindy Hyde  18:47  

Yeah. And I think it’s important to you know, and I tell this, I say this to my clients a lot. If you don’t know what your financial income in the household is, you need to find out absolutely, because you know, you’re in that marriage, and you have just as much right to understand the finances as your spouse does. Now, they may try to withhold that from you. And oftentimes, in these types of situations, they actually do they keep, they try to keep the spouse, you know, out of knowing any of the financial things. So if it comes to divorce, they can play some games, but, you know, educate yourself on what’s coming in and out of the house financially. It’s important to know and it’s important to have records of those documents for if you do need to see an attorney, you know, you can take the documents and show what you you feel like it’s probably accurate. Yeah, absolutely.

Mark Scroggins  19:38  

So moving over from the manipulating institution. So here’s one, it talks about banking. So can you talk a little bit about that?

Cindy Hyde  19:49  

Well, and that’s the concealing financial resources. So they may change banks and not tell the spouse about it. They may, you know, remove money from you know that Children’s savings accounts or college funds, I’ve seen that happen. Yeah, you know, where the college funds get drained. And then you know, here, it’s two years out, and the child’s not going to have college funds. Right. So, you know, that happens a lot, too. And speaking of manipulating institutions, one of the ways that institutions get manipulated is the child support. You know, there’s been cases where they don’t pay child support until it’s just about time they’re going to jail or going to court, and they’ll pay it and then they’re off the hook. But yet, the safe parent has been struggling all these months without child support, and sometimes working two or three jobs. And so they’ll manipulate the child support agencies as well, by you know, because a lot of times a lot of a lot of people have figured out like, well, I can, I can play this little game for three to six months, and not have to pay before anything happens to me, because really, in these situations, when you’re dealing with pathology, the target is the unsafe is the safe parent. Right? Right. So they don’t really care, especially if they’ve got antisocial, they don’t care if the child support people are coming after them. Right, you know, so they don’t the target is the unsafe parent, they want to make the unsafe parent is uncomfortable, and financially strained as possible, because then too, they can blame the financial situation on the unsafe parent to the children. So there’s like all of these, you know, spinning wheels that happen all the time, in situations like this, where, you know, the unsafe parent will then get blamed because they don’t have any money. Yeah, well, it’s not my problem, that your mother doesn’t buy you things, or it’s not my problem, that you don’t have enough food, you know, your mother, if she, you know, would spend the child support appropriately, you know, then then you would have food. And in fact, they’ve been withholding the child support all this time. So, you know, it’s really a tough dynamic for a safe parent to be in when when these types of games are being played?

Mark Scroggins  21:55  

Well, that’s one of the things we were talking about B, before the podcast about, you know, with child support, child support is not technically late in the state of Texas, until it’s over 30 days track, you know, so if it’s due on the first, and you’re getting paid on the 29th, and it isn’t February, okay, then it’s still, it’s still timely, you know, so there are ways to manipulate that situation. Yeah. Just to Jack with the other person. And you see that, you see that. And that’s something that courts need to take into consideration that if there’s no rhyme or reason to why a person is doing this, you know, it’s not that they’re in financial hardship. It’s not that, you know, that they’ve had a really bad month or something like that. It’s just that I’m making the same amount. I’m just yeah, they’re just not to pay it. Yeah.

Cindy Hyde  22:48  

The safe parent, and the thing is, and, you know, if they have pathology, they don’t care if they’re late. Right, it doesn’t bother them a bit that and that’s why sometimes they’ll wait all the way until it’s like, they’re about to they’re about to go to jail for it, then they’ll pay up. You know, and so, you know, that too, I think is is information to take to your attorney, you know, and, and to make sure the attorney is aware that these games are being played,

Mark Scroggins  23:15  

right. Yeah, totally agree. The next thing they talk about is using the children.

Cindy Hyde  23:22  

Yeah, so the so you know, especially the younger children, they’ll use the children to blame the parent or shame the parent for their financial situation. And so even though they’re the ones that have been, you know, forcing the drain on the finances, for the safe parent, you know, they’ll they’ll say things like, you know, you know, I’m sorry, Your mother doesn’t ever buy you anything, I’ll take care of that. So they’ll they’ll make it appear where it’s the the safe parent that’s not providing when it’s actually them that are that are affecting that. And they’re keeping the unsafe parent or the safe parent in financial distress all the time. So they can’t do any extras for the children. And that they’ll paint it as they’re choosing not to because they’re not spending their child support appropriately, or whatever the case may be. Yeah,

Mark Scroggins  24:13  

so aside from, you know, document, document document, what other advice would you give to someone who’s going through that particular scenario?

Cindy Hyde  24:21  

You know, I always tell my clients be the truth teller to your children. And so always tell your child the truth is this. And I will always tell you the truth, and so that way the child starts learning that that the safe parent is the one that they’re going to get the truth from. And so, you know, the truth is, is that I haven’t had child support in the last six months, and I’m just waiting on it to be paid. And so you know, because oftentimes, that story is not told to the child and so they’re over here blaming and shaming the parent and thinking it’s really their idea when it’s, it’s coming from the unsafe parent right and So and so you know, the the safe parent has to be the truth teller, they have to be the one saying the truth, you will always get the truth from me. And this is the truth.

Mark Scroggins  25:10  

So here’s one of the problems that goes along with that, because courts really don’t like parents to be talking to the kids about scenarios like that. So there’s I think there is a movement afoot to say that this whole idea that you’re not going to have any conversation with kids about anything is ludicrous. You know,

Cindy Hyde  25:35  

well, and if you noticed, I never said your dad hasn’t paid child support. I said, Child Support has not been paid.

Mark Scroggins  25:43  

Yeah, but that’s semantics. That’s just semantics. So if you know who’s paying, you know, who’s not right, you know, so it’s the same thing there. But that’s something that I personally believe that the courts need to change that. So every, every single, that’s not true. Most courts, okay, have standing orders in place, and part of the standing orders is not to discuss the litigation. You know, that’s fine when you’re dealing with a five or six year old or eight year old. But once you get past a, you know, I personally think that that really does home, right. And it’s not good for the kids you shouldn’t be talking about, well, mom had an affair or dad had an affair or things like that. I agree. But for the kids to understand, you know, look, we’re going through litigation right now, both your dad and I think that you ought to be with us, you know, these are things that these are my personal opinions. Okay, folks, these are my personal opinions. Right? You know, standing orders will tell you don’t use my personal opinions on stuff like that, because I just, I think they’re, I think they’re wrong. And I think most therapists tend to think that they are wrong, because once you get to that age where kids, you know, kids are inquisitive, and they want to know, not only where am I going to be spending the night, but am I okay, over here. And you know, is what Dad’s telling me true? Or is what mom is telling me? True? And I mean, I think that’s the part that the courts have tried to cut off by just saying, Okay, there’s no, there’s no communication whatsoever. And that’s a way to solve it. It’s also a way to cause more problems with some of these kids, in my opinion, then, getting into a little more detail of this is what you can talk about it, this is what you can, yeah, because

Cindy Hyde  27:43  

it does cause alienation. You know, like, you know, if the child thinks that the safe parent is not providing well, because they’re not getting the child support. Right, you know, are there they’re not they’re misusing the child support when the truth is, is there not? Because they haven’t received it? Right. You know, I don’t think that’s unfair to tell a child if they’ve been told that they the other parents been misusing the child support because they’re, you know, that party is guilty of, of trying to shame and blame the safe parent. So, you know, it’s it is semantics, your right to bid, you know, to speak the truth. But I don’t think I agree, I don’t think children need to know about affairs, I don’t think they need to know about the sexual life of the parents, you know, but there are certain things that I think in this case, you know, with finances, I think sometimes they have to be told, I didn’t get child support, I can’t buy that extra thing you’re wanting right, you know, and I don’t think you know, I don’t think that that’s wrong, but you’re right, it sounds like it’s very cookie cutter, you know, as far as in the eyes of the court of how they see that, that you can’t talk about anything.

Mark Scroggins  28:54  

Yeah, and I understand, you know, here’s another another part of it, let’s say that one party really is going through, and they’re the ones that are supposed to be paying child support, but they’re really going through some financial hardship, you know, they’ve lost a job. You know, they’re having a hard time finding something else, you know, to sit there and beat the hell out of that parent, because they haven’t received their child support payment, where it’s like, look, I don’t have the ability to make that child screen payment. You know, there’s a fine line. And so it’s where each case needs to be looked at separately. So just having the Standing Orders are great on uncertain things, but on certain other things. We need to put things in place that are more case specific than more case, General.

Cindy Hyde  29:46  

Right. And I think I think you’re right, I think if a parent really truly can’t pay child support, right, yeah. And that can be proven right? You know, then then that should be the truth that the top child is told In my opinion, you know, and like my opinion is the same as yours, like, you still need to talk to your attorney first. But I think that, you know, if that parent, even if it’s the unsafe parent really, truly can’t pay, then, you know, when that child comes to the safe parent, the safe parents should just be able to say, you know, right now, there aren’t financial means on either side, to be able to do the things you’re asking. So still telling the truth, but not in any way blaming or shaming that other parent. But it’s unfortunate in cases like this, because the insidiousness of the blame and shame comes through the child to the safe parent. And then, you know, by the court documents, they’re trying to do the right thing and not, you know, be unkind about the unsafe parent. But sometimes they’re backed into a corner where they have no choice but to tell the truth and just say, I’m not getting child support.

Mark Scroggins  30:55  

Sure. So another area on the wheel that it talks about here is using economic abuse.

Cindy Hyde  31:04  

Yeah. And so and so that can show up in cases, like where there’s a marriage, and one of the partners are requiring the other apart the partner to pay rent. You know, it, I think it depends to, you know, how you set up the marital arrangement, if both people contribute to the household fund, or, you know, how that it needs to be determined very early on. But I’ve seen cases where, you know, there, you have the unsafe parent making 10 times what the safe parent makes, but yet, you know, here, the safe parent is working two or three jobs, and they’re being required to pay rent, right. And so, or they may be required to pay all the household bills and rent, you know, so, but to that’s where, you know, if you come into a relationship boundary less, then your boundaries, what little you have are going to be, you know, steamrolled over. And so really, it’s up to you in the very beginning, you know, to have boundaries with that person, because that can prevent you from even marrying into a pathological love relationship, if you have boundaries in the beginning, because a lot of times, somebody with pathology won’t tolerate boundaries, and they’ll, they’ll end up showing you who they are. And so, you know, do your homework in the beginning, when you’re dating, someone makes sure that you know, whether or not they will honor your boundary system,

Mark Scroggins  32:30  

or Yeah, it’s hugely important to have these discussions prior to getting married. So, you know, here’s something that happens all the time. One party owns a house, the other party does not, you’re gonna get married and move into that house. So that you should be having conversations about what are your expectations? As far as you know, are you going to put me on the house? Are you not going to put me on the house? And there’s not a right or wrong answer? There necessarily. You could say that, hey, I want to, you know, I want to buy a house that is ours, you know, and that’s something that I would counsel if that’s something that you want to you know, that’s something that seems to be a pretty smart move. But also, if you’re gonna stay in that house, are you paying rent? Are you how, how are things going to be paid? For? What kind of access are y’all gonna have to each other’s monies? Because it’s becoming more and more commonplace? That, you know, people keep, you know, we’re going to keep our money separate, right. But here’s something to understand. In Texas, folks. That doesn’t mean jack diddly shit. It doesn’t have any impact at all, because that’s all still community property. All of it is still community. What’s yours is yours. And what’s yours is mine. Yeah, that’s what community Yeah, basic. Exactly. Okay. So, so just because you’ve kept it separate, and they’ve got 100,000 over here, and you’ve got $15.23. Yeah, guess what? The $100,015.23 is, what is community? Right? Yeah. So you are? That’s right, you’re just as entitled to those monies as the other party. Right. So, you know, that’s something that people need to understand.

Cindy Hyde  34:14  

They do. And I think oftentimes, you know, in situations like this, that, you know, the unsafe parent has been, you know, so emotionally abused over the years, and they’re often told that they can’t survive without the abusive partner. And so then, you know, when it comes time to divorce one, they can’t afford an attorney because all the money’s been held, you know, out of their reach, right. And then two, you know, they they don’t think that they can financially survive without them, and they don’t think they’ll get anything in the divorce because that’s what they’re threatened. They’re told, you know, you won’t get anything if you leave me. And so because of that a lot of women will stay when they should actually be consulting an attorney, you know, as quickly as possible.

Mark Scroggins  34:59  

Yeah. salutely And that goes for that goes for both men. And

Cindy Hyde  35:03  

absolutely, yeah. Because it can it can actually be in the reverse. I know a lot of times we, you know, we talk about it’s it’s him, you know, and safe parent is her but it can be in the reverse. Yeah,

Mark Scroggins  35:16  

yeah, I mean, and I see that kind of stuff happen all the time it is more and more common that I’m seeing, you know, a stay at home husband, you know, in these scenarios, and wife is the, the big earner. And you know, and so these can be totally, you know, flipped on their head. So, the last one on this wheel is coercion and threats.

Cindy Hyde  35:40  

Yeah, you know, so, you know, forcing her to borrow money from her family, you know, because maybe he spent it all doing something else gambling or whatever he’s into, but oftentimes to what one of the things they’ll do is they’ll start trying to coerce the children into living with them, especially if they’re old enough to have some input. So that they don’t have to pay child support. So they’ll do things like that trying to or, or they’ll scream, you know, parental alienation and try to bleed her financially dry so that then she’ll ultimately give up custody of the children because she can no longer afford them or the attorney fees. So when you start, when you

Mark Scroggins  36:21  

start talking about coercing the children, to live with them, what does that look like?

Cindy Hyde  36:25  

Well, and sometimes what they’ll do is they’ll be like Disney dad, whenever the children are around. So they’ll, they’ll play the, you know, it’s always going to be like this at dad’s house, right? And so, so the children think, well, I’m going to Disneyland, you know, this is great, I don’t want to live with you this, you know, I have rules over here. And I can’t, you know, I can’t have anything because we can’t afford anything, right. And so so it looks very appealing on that side. And so it doesn’t really take much, you know, just takes the unsafe parent making it look really beautiful on their side. Yeah.

Mark Scroggins  37:00  

So what do you think of scenarios where, let’s say, one parent buys an iPad, for him, but doesn’t let you know, this is where I see this. And I, I see this as being ridiculous. You know, one parent buys an iPad for but no, that iPad has to stay over here, you can’t take it over there, you can’t use it all the time. Yeah, so that would kind of be the scenario that you’re talking about. We’ve all got all this great stuff, and all these great clothes and everything, but you can’t wear something and take it over to you know, mom or dad’s house, you got to keep it over here doesn’t get to me.

Cindy Hyde  37:37  

And then on that iPad, they get to do anything they want. Right? So they get to watch whatever they want, you know, listen to whatever they want chat with whoever they want. But over here, there’s rules that, you know, they can’t, you know, they have to go to bed at nine or 10 o’clock. And they you know, they can’t be on certain sites, and they can’t, you know, watch certain types of shows. And so it makes this parent look, even though this parents trying to, you know, you know, hold the child accountable and to a standard and not let them get into unsafe things. The child over here thinks this is gonna be great, I’m gonna go live with that I’ll be able to stay up until two or three o’clock in the morning plan, whatever I want. And, you know, why wouldn’t I want to live over there?

Mark Scroggins  38:19  

Right? Well, so we’ve gone through these, these cogs on the wheel. So whatever, what other words of advice would you have to people that, you know, they need to be watching out for? To make sure that they don’t fall into one of these categories? Yeah, but he scenarios,

Cindy Hyde  38:39  

you know, like I said earlier, I think knowing what the household finances are, and making sure that you have easy access to those things that you have the passwords, you know, just like you know, anything you have, that it should, it should be shared also, but to you know, I feel like you know, doing your homework before you marry someone, you know, making sure that that person, you know, will honor your boundaries that you know, they’re not going to take advantage of you in that way. I think that’s really important. And then to also monitor your own finances. You know, in the marriage situation, making sure that you know, you have a safety net, should you need it to be able to seek legal advice.

Mark Scroggins  39:26  

Well, that is all fantastic advice. And thank you for joining us again and we will look forward to the next scenario. And maybe next time we will, I think we have gone through the wheel. So we will get through into a few other things. So thanks again for joining us. Thank you. Thank you all for being here and joining us for another episode of the Reclamation Transformation and remember, change starts with you so leave your mark.

“Dark Triad” Part IV; Economic/Financial Abuse Post-separation

Listen to Reclamation Transformation with Dallas Family Law Attorney Mark Scroggins for inspirational and candid discussions on topics relating to family law from the perspective of real people. And without any overwhelming lawyer-speak so you can remember that change starts with you and remember to make your mark.



Hey everybody, Mark Scroggins back for another edition of the Reclamation Transformation and today I’ve got a special guest; Courtney Hemsley has joined me. How are you today?


I am fantastic.


I am really excited about this. We had a really nice discussion prior to and the similarities are frankly a little scary.



To me it sounds like we are kind of cut from the same cloth on a lot of stuff but I wanted to introduce you and let everybody get to know you a little bit.


Can you just talk about what you do professionally and then we’ll get to talk about some of the good stuff as well?


Yeah, exactly.


Professionally, Empire Development Solutions were the one-stop solution for any of your construction project needs.


Everything starts with the land acquisitions, what looks right for land,


What can be built there, single family, multi-family, commercial retail, then I go from there, my company does infrastructure and development. Therefore we are doing on your streets, curbs, gutters and roads for sites to be ready to go vertical. So if anyone knows that word on all of the stuff before vertical coming in, you are building up. In addition to that, I have the lending aspect of it which has been a big part of my business providing construction loans. Land acquisition,



What’s the best way to do it?


Construction loans. Construction loans which are really, really hard for a lot of these developers to get into place.


And from there also being an investor resource.


It sounds like a lot of crazy things going on but all lines up. You have to start with the land, you have to have infrastructure and development done, you, a lot of people have to have that financing in place for construction and then on the investor side, at the end of the day find ways to put your money to work.


I can walk into a room and talk to investors and go, hey, have you ever invested in a business?



I have to be in real estate, let me show you creative ways to invest in real estate.


Nothing is guaranteed.


Of course.


But put your money to work and just get awareness about what is going on in that space.


The only way to get aware or to be aware is to being in those rooms and being around those resources.


So are you doing stuff both with, you mentioned a developer.



But let’s say if I wanted to build a house and so I’m trying to figure out, hey, Courtney, I want to build this real modern house.


There’s an area generally that I want to build in.


Is that something that I would get?


I don’t do anything owner occupied.


So it wouldn’t be like a primary residence.


Anything I’m going to do or going to lend on or be a part of is going to be anything what they would consider in the commercial space.



Even though it may have a residential component, but it wouldn’t be anything owner occupied that would be your typical mortgages like Fannie or Freddie.


Mine’s going to be more of we’re building a single family development or, you know, I’m an investor.



I have some land.


I want to buy this land.


I want to build two townhomes on it.


I’ll connect them with the builder.



If they don’t know how to build and they bring in the money, if they need lending, I’ll bring in the lending.


So just kind of connecting all those pieces together, building multifamily units.


Right now I have three of those going on, doing the financing for that.

And then again, there’s again, investors.


Like here’s opportunities to invest in multifamily.


That’s probably your long play on money.



So like if I wanted to do something like with one of the things that I’m intrigued by right now is the whole inland port.


Things so like, you know, going down 45 where we’ve got the, the inland port right there and let’s say that I wanted to put together some – build some multifamily down there. And to service the people that are actually going to be working at the inland port.


That’s something that’s right up my alley.




All right.


You come up with the idea.



I can do anything to help partner it, you know, find the land to get that entitled for that specific use.


Obviously, if you’re not about going out and swinging a hammer, there are plenty of resources that build single-family townhome, multifamily.


That’s their space.


Having the construction background, which kind of still leads me down this niche.


My career started in construction, like on a job site all day, every day, and develop with multifamily.


I think I went home crying every single day.



I didn’t understand it.


There was no HR.




No, I was like, Oh, my God, what did I get myself into?


But it gave me just tough skin and, you know, that’s so unique to have, you know, frankly, to have a female that is involved in that space on the ground floor.





You’re talking about being on a job site because I remember working some construction summers when I was in high school and it was not a, it was not a PC environment.


Definitely not.


But I will say, you know, it’s interesting because being the different person has made the difference in my career.


There’s not a room that I walk in.


I actually want to walk in a room and be the oddball out.





Because your first thing is not about attention as I’m like, Oh, look at me, but intention.




What is she doing here?


First off, it’s like that.


What is she doing here?


Or secondly, you know, if you’re opposite in a room that you’re in, you get that attention.



Then you, what you’re talking about makes sense.




You just, they’re not going to forget you.


No, that’s exactly right.


So that’s my biggest thing.


I encourage everyone, you know, like, man, walk in those rooms, especially.



Well, you’re the oddball out of the different one, but just make sure you know what you’re talking about.


And, you know, people won’t forget you.


You’ll make those connections.


You’ll have the resources and you’ll make a big difference.


That’s truly been being different has made the difference 100% in my career as a woman in construction.


I can, I can absolutely understand that.



And it sounds like one of the things that you also just mentioned is something that I mentioned to people all the time that knowledge is power.


Oh, you know, so like when I have somebody asking me, you know, what should I be looking for in a family law attorney?


It’s like, well, you know, start with looking for someone who’s board certified because it’s a higher level of understanding.


It’s, you know, and you have to meet all these criteria.




But it’s about knowledge.



You know, if you’re kind of a jack of all trades in the.


You do family law.


You do personal injury.


You do criminal and all this shit.


You know, it’s like you’re, you’re a jack of all trades, but master of none.


So you don’t know what you don’t know.





So you better make sure you get someone who knows what they know, which I can’t imagine.


You know, you hear all the terrible stories about, you know, contractors that have taken deposits and they run or they do an absolute shotty job.


And then you find out, oh, well, they’re not numbers of their business.


You know, all these different complaints and stuff like that.


So, yeah, it’s important to.



And a key to that is I think I don’t market anything about myself.


Everything comes from referrals or resources that I’ve worked with before.



Just like you.


I think that I think people look over that sometimes people want to look on Google or look on however you find people these days social media.


And I just want to see what somebody’s talking about in the moment.





I think the real way that you get people that are legit and their business and then we’ll do their best for you is to check the resources or apps.


Somebody, who did you use them?


I mean, if you problem is, most of us don’t want to ask because we’re too embarrassed to say what we don’t know.




But if you would me, I’m going to ask everybody.





This is what I mean.


I don’t know crap about it.


But who has not who’s dealt with the best person in this?


Who’s dealt with it?


And how did they treat you?



How did it turn out?


I think that’s what we tend to overlook is to instead of not asking or being embarrassed that we don’t think we don’t know is to really just ask people.


Who did you use for who was your best law attorney?


Who was I think that’s probably the key?


Well, and I think most of those for sure.


I completely agree with you.



I think that is you know, it’s amazing though.


You also hit on something that I think is really important that you mentioned that sometimes we’re too embarrassed to ask, which I think is we get in our own ways.


And I shouldn’t I shouldn’t say that like we like third person.


I get in my own way.


All right.

Because it is difficult.



I think one of the hardest things at the end of the day is just being an authentic human being all the time.




Because I think most people it’s easy for me to get caught up in what the idea of a certain role is.




So I have people thinking, you know, that, wow, I should be dressed in a suit all the time.


And you know, this stuff sure kind of kind of deal and it’s like, man, that ain’t me.





You know, so and they, you know, hear me drop some interesting terminology on things.


And, you know, I cuss like a sailor.




You know, but that’s just me.


And it’s more of an authentic thing.



So understanding, getting to that point of, you know, I don’t give a shit.


What people think to a certain degree.



I mean, you’ve got, you know, a healthy amount.


You have to have a healthy amount of you to be able to survive.


But to keep that from turning into an unhealthy narcissist and being a people pleaser or being being concerned about, you know, God forbid you get codependent on stuff.


And I’m so worried about what everybody else thinks that I can’t, you know, do my freaking job.



And that’s not what it’s about.




And when I say do my job, I’m not just talking about being a divorce lawyer.

I’m talking about being a friend, being a husband, being a father, you know, being a son.


All of these different things are different roles where they’re all I look at it like I want to be there to support or to help. 100%.



But if I’m worried about what everybody thinks, I also can’t protect myself by setting proper boundaries.





You’re right.


I think you touched face on something really important there.


Roles can be deceiving.






And they can cause, they can cause a lot of pain whenever or heartache or disappointment.


I’ve experienced myself.


We all get these roles and titles.


Mother, father, husband, boyfriend, daughter.




And somewhere along the way, we’re taught that this role means we have to be this way.





And that’s it.


And when we set ourselves up to go along these roles that everyone else is trying to make us be or that we see or that we think or that we read.


And then that doesn’t happen.


That’s where that disappointment comes in or that for others and even for yourself.


I think that’s when you touch on that and that really, really, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked back in life, not today, but back in life and then been disappointed by myself thinking I wasn’t doing the role right, a role.



Disappointed in others when really now what I’ve learned is you just have to, we spoke on this earlier before, you just have to be here now and you have to love people for who they are and what they are in your life now.


Love yourself for who you are and what you are in your life right now.


And just be here in that moment.


There’s no past.


There’s no future.


But those roles, man, they can you really, you know, had a good one with that one because they can really, really cause us to go all different directions emotionally and mentally.



You know, and the interesting thing to me is that when we talk about, you know, those roles, so the definition of those roles, well, who created the definition?




It is the generation previous.




The generation prior.


So like, I’m generation X. Yeah.



You know, and so you had the baby boomers for us that were defining certain roles.


And so, you know, I look at the way my dad was, the way my mom is, you know, different things of what their expectations are of those roles.


So at that time, it was very gender specific, right?


You know, dad’s going to be the big earner and mom’s going to be home with the kids and, and all of these things.


And, you know, for generation X, that was those definitions are still in play to a certain degree, but less so, you know, so understanding how certain things work and you can be your own individual, I think is difficult a lot of the time for the baby boomers to really understand.


And yet, you know, my daughter, who is now 25, you know, looks at me with some of my thoughts and what makes sense for me and thinks you are out of your damn mind.



Live life a little, honey.




That’s right.


You know, so, but I don’t, I don’t, I can only see it in my perspective.


I can be very open to listening to what she says and what the way they think and think, you know, one of my dad saying said I love and now I understand it was, you know, you’re entitled to your own opinion, no matter how screwed up it is.





You know, so, so I think about that now.


And so, but it’s funny based on what the perspective is.


And so getting comfortable enough in your own skin to be able to say, well, that’s fine.


You can think I’m absolutely out of my mind.




And that, you know, you’re entitled to that opinion.



But I don’t have to live my life.




Based on what you or society in general, you’re right.




I’ve got to figure out what absolutely works for me.









So it’s like one of the things we were talking about before we began the podcast is you’ve really seen an acceleration in your business just going to new fights.


Based on exactly what we’re talking about, being the authentic you and being able to be present right here right now.




So 100%.



So how did you, you know, we all have our own, our own journeys for sure that we have to go down.


You know, mine is kind of mine is steeped in recovery.




And that has allowed me to obtain a certain level of spirituality and some people, you know, that don’t know me well would probably hear that and go, you’re full of shit. Because I’ve seen you in the courtroom and you do not appear to be the most spiritual person in that particular moment.


And that might be true at that moment.



But it’s like, you know, if we’re going to have a street fight, you know, I’m not going into it without.






So, but how did you, what got you to the point, what has worked for you to be able to really be the, the authentic Courtney and be true to who you are and live life the way it makes sense for you instead of worrying about whatever other people see.


And that’s a good question.


I would say that my entire life I’ve been in survival mode from childhood to adulthood as a wife when I was a wife as a parent.



I’ve been in that survival mode and being in that survival mode, you know, we all talk about, yo, I’ve got to be strong up, got to be tough.


But in those modes, I mean, I lost myself 100%.


I was so focused on how to career a great beautiful daughter.


She’s wonderful.


But who was I?


What was I doing?



And I was just what I learned was we, we often, we don’t do it on purpose.


We get stuck in these modes of survival.


And when you’re trying to survive, you’re really not living.


And that’s where there was four years ago, I went through always, like I said, struggled, you know, and just been in that fight, fight mode, not where I’m fighting everything, but just like, man, you just got to make things happen.


You know, I can’t fail.


I can’t do this.



Four years ago, I went through a divorce, really, really bad divorce.


And I was 30, me and my daughter kicked out of our home right at the beginning of COVID.


All of my business was shut down, you know, construction.


There was nothing going on kicked out of our home.


And in that moment, everything that I knew was gone.


And from my home to being a wife, my daughter, we lived in a hotel for several months.



She went to college.


I mean, even my dog died for 15 years.


So a girl was like stripped down to nothing.


I had nowhere else to go.


And I really, and in that time, you know, we can’t get away from ourselves.


A lot of times we do things to distract ourselves.



We do things, you know, as a husband, a wife, as a mother, because we don’t want to stop and work on ourselves.


We don’t want to stop and look what’s really going on inside of us.


But when God puts you through these things so you can get to your purpose, you have to allow that stripping of everything down.


I mean, you don’t want to build back up with the same shit on the bottom.


I mean, eventually, eventually resurfaces.


So I took that time, that time of, instead of feeling sorry for myself, instead of going back in that fight mode and survival mode.



I had to, who is Courtney?


What is she about?


What excites her?


What motivates her?


What keeps her going when all of these things that I’ve lived for when they’re gone?


Because they were gone.





So trying the typical, what everybody does, okay, I’m God, love God, believe in God 100%, but not everything looks the same as what everything looks.


You know, I’m going to go to the church.


I’m going to go to counseling.


I went through all these steps to become my best me because I knew that’s what I needed.


And it wasn’t until I went on this journey, an awakening journey, I call it awakening of the soul, practicing Ayahuasca, that it really allowed me to go deep and address what had me in that survival mode for my entire life.



And not until I was able to address that and really see it and understand that the past is dark, it’s deep.


I don’t necessarily have to keep reliving that or reminding myself of that to be who I am today.




And not allowing what’s going to happen tomorrow or what am I going to do tomorrow?


What’s going on?


Not allowing that.



I’m really focused on, you’ll hear me all the time now.


When moments come up, be here now, be here now, be here now, because that’s all I can do is control what’s going on now.




So I think my biggest turning point was quieting all the noise outside of me.


What people think, what people say, you know, you’re divorced or you have nothing, you’re starting over and everybody wants to.


And really just digging into myself, my faith and God and what worked for me, not being worried about what worked for other people was my big turning point for me to be the best and to be where I am today and to learn and know my purpose.



And in that, it has allowed my business to grow tremendously.


It’s allowed me.


At this age, this point in my life, I feel the freest, most fulfilled that I’ve ever felt in my life.


And it’s all just because I stripped it all down, allowed it to be stripped down.


And I took that time, really took that time to build myself back up.


You know, that is, I think that is something, I will just talk about me again.



But that is something that I struggle with is, nobody enjoys the pruning.






I mean, that’s when you really get your ass kicked.


For sure.


You know, there’s a, there’s a prayer called the Prayer of J. Bess.



And so back in the day, when I actually went to church, instead of just relied more on spirituality, I remember we had a, had a book study about this book.


Called the Prayer of J. Bess.


And it talked about the necessity for the pruning so that the future blooms could be better than they’ve ever had.


But nobody wants to go through that process or understanding that that is just part of the process.




You know, that there are times when I’ve got to learn certain lessons.



So I made big believer in karma and, you know, so what you put out there, you’re going to get that.


And, and so part of that is like doing things.


Charitably, whether it is time or money or whatever where, you know, nobody else knows about that.




And it’s nobody else’s business.





And if I turn it around and make it a look-at-me kind of thing, well, that does – does away with, you know, what it’s about.


That’s exactly right.


But it’s the same thing with other things, you know, I think it’s, it’s very easy to get caught up in those roles or get caught up in certain trappings, you know, whether it’s, you know, people get derailed by different things, whether it’s, you know, booze or money or sex or whatever shining


glibly, you know, and exactly.


And I like sparkly.





You know, so I like it.


But it can’t be what I am all about because if it does, then it’s hollow.


There’s nothing for sure.


There is nothing left inside.


If that is what it is truly about.





And so it’s super easy to get caught up in that instead of focusing, you know, how can I truly serve my fellow man, but within the parameters of healthy bound.




That’s exactly.




That’s 100%.





So there’s, there is a, you know, there’s a saying in the recovery community.


You know, we carry the message.


We don’t carry the alcoholic.






You know, so you can’t do it for someone.



And it’s the same thing.


And I mean, that’s just an extreme example that applies to me.


But that is an example, I think that carries over into every aspect of life.


You know, you can see somebody struggling like hell, you know, and really suffering.


But you can’t make them take the steps that you believe they need to take.


You know, you’re right.



And I think you, you, you really setting those boundaries.




That’s a hard thing.


I mean, I’ve dealt with that in the past setting those boundaries where.


And those come from where you learn how to, for me, they came from learning how to, like I said, going back.


They were somewhere along the way where I saw myself as less than.





We all do it.


At some point.


We feel like we don’t fit in where they were not qualified or not.


And somewhere along that way, when I found myself as less than that’s when I allowed boundaries to be broken in those things.


I think when we’re going through these things as they always come up, someone’s always going to try to, you know, go past the boundary or you allow it.



Not really people sometimes, such as who they are and what they are.


You know, they said they don’t know any better, but maybe they don’t.


But it’s also up to us.


But, you know, we can’t, we can’t play victim to people that have crossed our boundaries.


We have to be responsible for those boundaries and the way, a way to get those is to, it comes with confidence, self love, awareness, awakening to be able to protect that and not in a bitter or have a wall up or, you know, no emotion type of way.


But just what’s wrong with selling someone, my biggest thing.



Now I’ll tell anyone business personally.


Hey, I just don’t think we’re aligned.


Those are probably thinking, what is she talking about?


It’s my easiest way to say is like, “You’re not for me and I’m not for you.”


And that’s cool.


I respect you in your space.



But I’m going to respect myself as well.


But it didn’t come until I was able to break myself down and realize what was allowing me to allow those boundaries to be crossed.


And now to set them and stand by them.


And like I said, love myself and be aware of what works for me.


That may not work for other people.


You know, and that’s, that’s, I think that is so important and difficult because I can be lonely.





And well, and as I sit here though, when I look at, when I’ve allowed my boundaries to be violated.



One, I’ve allowed it to happen.




But the whole reason that I am allowing it to happen is because I want someone to think better of me.




If I do this, which goes against my core values.




And it might be helping this person who says that they need help or doing whatever that is for the benefit of someone else.


But I’m like, this isn’t right.




I should not be doing this for them.



This is stressing me out.


It’s not even my deal.





You know, a perfect, perfect example is, you know, loaning money to those that are closest to you.





You know, don’t do it unless you can view it as a gift.


And you don’t.




And you’re not going to see it as a result.




For sure.



Because then all you’re doing is you’re harming the relationship.




And someone might be pissed at you in the process of you saying no.




But actually what you’re doing is you’re, you know, you’re harming the relationship by saying yes. 100%. For sure.





Because you’re resentful.













It’s just amazing to me how those kind of lessons continue to pop up until I have learned the lesson of don’t do that.




It’s like, you know, I have what I, what I refer to as white knight syndrome.




You know, I want to ride in on my white horse and save the day.





You know, and, and most of the time, that is not my job.


And most of the time, the people that you do that for have absolutely no appreciation for it.


I am 100% convinced.


And then you’re like, what?


I did all that.


I did this.



That’s right.




I am convinced that is where the saying of no good deed goes unfinished.


For sure.


Originates from.





You know, because I’ll see that.


And I will, I will do that.


I’ll do, for example, I’ll do that on a pro bono situation where I’m going to go in and oh, I know I shouldn’t do this.


But I’m going to help this person.


And they are the most ungrateful individuals.


Think that the world owes them everything and has absolutely no self awareness about.



You’re not a victim in everything that happens.


Or if you really think that you are, then what’s the common denominator?


It’s you.


The Bob brings the whole yes.


You know, I mean, it’s amazing.





You know, I will have people that walk in and will do that.


And, and it’s like, yeah, do you take responsibility for anything?


Right. 100%.


But that’s what I meant when I said setting these boundaries off.


I’ve felt it’s been lonely in a good way.





Because it really, when you.


Like, I don’t mind saying no now.




So, I mean, that means that they’re probably going to be pissed that I said no, but okay, well, they’re probably not going to call.


They’re probably.


But that’s what I mean by you have to be comfortable, which I think we both kind of.



Learned how to set those parameters because it can be very lonely, feebling.




Because a lot of times these boundaries, we let them down because we want to be accepted or because we want to save the day or we want to be loved or there’s something missing.


So when you set up these boundaries until someone knows and then they don’t ring your phone again.


Well, first off, that tells you their motives were off.





And, but it feels lonely in the beginning.




When you start setting these boundaries in your eye, how all these things we do to improve ourself feel horrible.






Well, and you get for, I get a warning about it.





Because I am a big believer in what my get.


Oh, yes.




And that’s the way I am a big believer that God talks to me in that way.


And every time I go against what my God is telling me, it’s a shit show.



Why didn’t I?




And it’s like, I knew.


I knew.


You had a ton of warning there.





You know, I was sitting there telling you don’t do it.


Don’t do it.


No, no, no.


I can make it work.


I can do it.


I can fit.



That’s ego.


We are ego.


Man, it can get the best of us.


Well, you know, I think anybody who thought God didn’t have a sense of humor.


I mean, who wants the happiest you can be is when you were living in God’s will.





But I’m going to give you free will.




So you got to give it back to you.


It’s like, wait a second.


How do I get it?





It’s a trick.




It’s like that doesn’t logically make a lot of sense.




But that’s when I met my most comfortable is when I feel like I am aligned.


And for me, that is where, you know, I am in concert with what my gut tells me on stuff.



When I go against it, I have more turmoil.


I feel more disjointed, disconnected.


I am not as nice to be around.


Things are coming out sideways.


And it’s always coming out at those that are closest to us.




Because who you’re really pissed off at or who I am really pissed off at is me.




You know, but who I’m taking it out on is, you know, where’s my next victim?


Who’s the next person that’s walking in here?


You know, that it’s going to come out that way.





So, you know, I know an area that I constantly have to wrestle with is perfectionism.


You know, and it’s hard for me from a professional standpoint because I want things done a certain way.


I want to make sure that we represent people in a certain way.


But one of the things that I’ve had to learn and I continue to learn over and over again is just because it’s not my way.




It doesn’t mean that it’s wrong.





It just means that it’s different.




You know, now sometimes it’s not right.




I’m not going to go along with that.





But a lot of the time, different is just different.


Yeah, you saw this.


And I think it’s about stopping and listening for a minute, looking.


And then from that point, seeing if it does a line or doesn’t align with what you’re doing or what your purpose is or what you’re serving or what you want to represent.





That’s who you are, who your business is for sure.


Well, and that’s, you know, that’s one of the things.


So I started Scroggins Law Group six, a little over six years ago on February 1st, which was also my parents anniversary before my dad died and it’s my anniversary.




Now, so there’s a lot of meaning to that date for me, but it was to create a law firm or family law boutique that is different in that.





I don’t want to say yes to everybody.




You know, I don’t want to represent everybody.


We’re not for everybody.

And when you do that, you have, just like people want to pick us to serve them in business.





I’ve realized I want to pick who I work with and who my clients are as well.


And when I’ve started doing that, it’s kind of so much more peaceful.


I’m not frantic.


I’m not feeling anxious, anxiety.


It’s – I choose who I want to work with.


And if it aligns with me, and it’s it’s so crazy that I can turn around because we all we feel like a lot of times in business that we have to serve everyone that calls us or everyone that wants our services or everyone that says they need us.





But if you just stop for a minute, listen to them, listen to who they are as a person, what they’re doing in their business, how they do handle their business, how they handle other people.


It tells you how they’re going to handle you, how they’re going to handle their transactions with you.


Do they pay you?


Do they talk to you crazy?


All types of things like that.



And with what you’re saying, I think it also comes with all of this, you know, setting boundaries, not just personally, but in business to choose those that we want to surround ourselves with and work with.


And, you know, that makes a big difference anyways.




You know, who you’re working with.


Well, and I think.


Who you are as a person.





I mean, because one of, you know, I will tell people watch their feet.






Everybody’s got this or not everybody, but a lot of people have this.





The gift of gab, right?




They can talk a good game.




But do the feet match up with the game that they are talking and what my experience has been is that for most people, that’s a no.











So, you know, I picked the people who I choose to have as mentors in different areas of my life.




And they allowed me to choose them with it wasn’t where I set up the parameters of exactly what this relationship was going to be or how we were going to do things because I’m coming to them for a reason.







So, it’s basically, if you want what I’ve got, are you willing to do what I did?




You know, so it’s kind of the same thing for me professionally in a lawsuit where I can say, I can help you get from point A to point B. Yeah.


If you are willing to do X, Y and Z, are you willing to do that?





Well, when you see somebody that deviates from that, that’s when you get your real answer.


It’s easy to say yes.




You know, but when they’re not and they continue to do it over and over, you know, that’s where you’re left with a difficult choice.


For sure. 100%.



And especially in, you know, in personal relationships.


Oh, yeah.


You know, so if, you know, if you’ve got someone that is in your life that is a soul sucker, you know, I think we’ve all had them or probably been one.


Yeah, exactly.


And some of that is, you know, I’m not talking about somebody just in a dip going through a difficult time.





That’s, you know, I think that’s one of the areas that we really get the opportunity to be a good friend.


Oh, for sure.


Or a good partner or whatever.


But it’s when, you know, that person who you only hear from them when they need something.




Mm hmm.



And it’s always when, you know, everything is a disaster.






You know, oh, now I’m really willing.


But then you take the time to help, but then they still don’t.


And then they disappear.



That’s called.


You know what those are called?


What’s that?


Ask holes.


I’m gonna, I’m just telling you I’m stealing that.


They are called.



Ask holes.


Ask holes.


Call you.


Ask all the questions.


Yeah, yeah, I’m going to do it.


I got it.



I got it.


And you’ve told them 15 times and they turn right around and do the same shit.


They’ve always done to get themselves in a situation.


That’s, you know, and I stay away from those because like you said, they will drain you.


So like, I don’t have time to repeat myself 20 times.





So if it didn’t work for you the first time or if you didn’t take my advice, I’m saying it’s right.


Or it’s the perfect thing for you.


But then stop asking me the same question.


And again, it’s me going, I’ve already told them that listen, I’m not picking up the sun.


You know.


So that’s, I think that’s something else that’s really important is understanding that that’s a boundary that you are setting for yourself.





For self preservation.


And that’s okay.





Because there’s something unhealthy in society that gives this idea that it’s almost like you shouldn’t have any boundaries.



People are now boundaries have become a buzzword.




In the last few years and setting healthy boundaries.


And, but what does that actually mean?


And when people understand it’s, I can only do so much.


I’m here up to a point.





But that’s all I can do.


That’s all I have to give.


And there’s a societal piece.


I think that tells us, no, no, no, you’ve got to give more.


You’ve got to do.



And it’s like they’re calling me because they need, they need you.


I mean, but there are days, man.


You just need yourself.


There are days when I have nothing else to give someone.


And when ask hole rings my phone, I’m not answering, you know, because you’ve all right.


I mean, you’ve sucked 15 other times that we’ve had that.



So I think, like what you said, boundaries are an individual thing and they have to be.


We can’t think our boundaries have to match everyone else’s and they can come across sometimes as like what you said as, or your cold or you don’t show any motions.


You don’t like I’ve learned right now.


I have to through all of these other past experiences and lessons.


I have to put myself first.


And if I don’t do that, I’m no good to anyone else.





So that is really I stand by that now.


And more than I’ve never done that in my life.


Let’s talk about that a little bit because I think that something like I was talking about just a minute ago that societally we talk about those boundaries and taking care of yourself.


But then you get that same message that, well, don’t pay attention to what I just said over here.


I’m not taking care of yourself.



You need to be there to help everybody else.


And you do need to be there.


I think you do need to be there to help people and to serve your fellow mayor.


But how do you figure out where that line of demarcation is because that’s a struggle for me anyway.


You know, that’s hard.


And you know, and I feel like a complete jackass when I say no.



So no, right.




You know, so how do you go about figuring that out?


It’s hard.


And I think every situation is going to be different because sometimes it’s someone in business.


Sometimes it’s a loved one.



Someone I mean, sometimes it’s a long time friend.


And I’ll just keep going back to once we have really sat down and aligned ourselves first.


That’s when we can.


It’s not going to say we’re not going to have moments where we feel like a butthole, but we can really follow through with what our boundaries are and what our wants are first.


And that often comes across selfish and uncaring and all these other words that people want to use.


But when you go back to anyone, if they’re not okay with themselves, they’re literally destroying themselves trying to fit into this mold of what everybody else needs or wants at that time.



So you’ve got to learn how to say no for the benefit of yourself.


And it’s you have to.


There’s a re at the end of the day, there’s a reason you’re not able to set boundaries.


And that’s what you have to look at.


There’s a reason that you can’t say no to people.


Those are there’s something underlying there that is causing you to not have boundaries or to not take up for yourself or not to stand up for yourself or not to say, Hey, I need me time right now.



There’s something that is underlying right there.


And I think we all are responsible for going back and looking at that and figuring out what that is so that we can be our best selves and be confident enough to tell other people.


Listen, I just I’m sorry.


I don’t have any more of me to give right now.


There’s nothing wrong with.


I mean, that’s normal.



How many times have you ran yourself to death for everyone else?


And everyone else told the great, but you feel like shit.


I mean, that happens constantly.


You do it in your relationships.


You do it in business.


And if you were to pick up the phone and call those people, they wouldn’t answer or wouldn’t be there to do crap for you.



And it’s not a thing where it’s a tit for tat, but we get so caught up in that underlying thing that’s causing us to do that.




That we really need to.


I advise anyone.


You know, you have to stop and become aware of yourself, which is really, really hard and lonely and painful.


It can be painful.





But you have to do that in order to be the best you feel the best and fulfill your purpose.


Otherwise, you’re just you’re just going along through the motion.


You’re surviving.


You’re not living for sure.


I completely agree with that.



And it’s it’s hard now with, you know, one of the areas that really hits me a lot and thank God I’m the age I am because I am not prey to it like, like, I’m not.


Like others are, but the duality of social media.






You’ve got now.


There are more and more studies that have gone on that show that, you know, Gen Z specifically and.



Oh, God.


What was the millennials to have an issue with depression related to that and an inability to truly establish relationships because everything is right here.


And then the problem is, you know, you’ve got an aspect of social media, which is, look at me.


Look at me.


Look at me.





And all that is is a snapshot in time.




You know, of an event.




You know, and 100%.


And a lot of it is created for a specific purpose where people, you know, have the ability once you have enough following that you can monetize it.





So boy, I better look good and I better do this.


Oh, look at me on the swing in Valley.


You know, you don’t know Jack should about what their life is and how they feel and what makes them tick.


I mean, do they have a hollow existence?


Or are they really pleased with who they are as a person?



Are they spending six hours a day taking pictures of themselves all day every day?




You know, and then you’ve got everybody else that’s looking at those that is, you know, oh, I better heart that.


I better like this.


I better do do that.


And then these people that are sucked at, well, why isn’t my life like that?



My life isn’t as good.


And it’s like, you know, anything about what their life is.




So you’re comparing your insides to other people’s outsides.


You’re right.


And, you know, I don’t know how we get past the duality of it because right now, I mean, you know, it’s just, you know, cranky old man, curmudgeon.





Kind of shit.


Get off my lawn.


You know, kind of stuff.


If I say something about that, but it scares me to death with the comparison like that.


And it’s like, you don’t know what makes that person tick.



You don’t know if they are happy or not.


You know, I’ve been really poor and I’ve been pretty well off.


I like pretty well off better.


For sure.




But it doesn’t solve your problems.



You know, if you are just an asshole, you know, you can just be exactly.


That’s exactly right.


I mean, you know, I loved one of the, one of the sayings that Robin Williams had, which was that cocaine is God’s way of telling you you’re making too much money.




You know, and, you know, I have represented plenty of trust babies.





I can tell you that their problems are not any different than anybody else.


And the problem is, is that they’ve got the resources to be able to fund whatever kind of debauchery they want to get into trying to fix themselves at the moment.


If I’ve got to feel good now, right?


You know, and that’s great.


You feel good now.





What do you feel like in half an hour?




What you’re coming down from that.


You feel like when you lay your head on at night.


That’s right.


Can you look in the mirror?



Can you look in the mirror? 100%.






You know, I think identity is a big struggle at some point in anyone’s life.


As a child that may be, you know, how do I fit in at school?





Both of the same parents that look the same.


Do I have a mom and a dad?


Do my parents do what they do?


My hair is frizzy, crazy.


What, you know, there’s always, even as adults, you know, people are always trying to find out where do I fit in.





And that comes with, I think, social media.


Like you said, it stems around a lot of putting this stigma out there.


It’s like, oh, look at me.


Do you want to be like me?


Do you want to be like this?


But when you’re not loving yourself, when you haven’t aligned with yourself, when you’re, when you’re truly not living your purpose, those that identity ego is what I call it.



Oh, it’s always going to get in the way.


It’s always going to have you second guessing yourself.


It’s always going to have you allowing people to run over you because you think that that’s going to get you where you need to get.


I’ll say, and I’ll say it a thousand times over, being confident in who you are, knowing your purpose, and doing what is best to be you.


It can be lonely, and that’s what most people fear.



It’s being alone and not identifying with other people.



But in these last, probably three to four years where I’ve been alone, lost everything, felt like I did not identify with anyone.


I felt that way, growing up, same in business.


I don’t mesh well with everyone.


I don’t look your typical person in construction.




But when I started loving myself and being confident in who I was, which takes work, that’s when I don’t care, but I don’t care.


And that takes all of us going through things and being willing to continue to grow through them as you go and stop and going, okay, what is this trying to teach me?


What am I going to take from this?


How am I going to become better?


What am I going to learn not to do again in this situation?


So I’m not making repeat mistakes and going like that, but it really, anything, identity, self love, setting in rollboxes, all of that comes from that pressure of society, social media, making us think or us allowing it to make us think we have to be this way, and that’s the only way to be.


That’s a hard deal to get your hands around, because talking about the 20-something that’s swinging on a beautiful swing over the ocean in Valley.



Hell, I’ve never been to Valley yet.


I am dying to go to Valley.


I hope they have a swing that will hold me.


But a lot of people, it’s like, I want that.


Are you willing to walk the journey that it takes to get that?


Because it’s almost not almost.



I’m going to take that out.


It is a sense of entitlement.


And a lot of people think, “I need to quit doing that.”


I need to just say, what I thought for a long time was that I had these expectations.


I would set goals and then I’d achieve them, and then it’d be like, okay, this isn’t what I thought it was.


If I do this, then I’ve made it.



And then I achieved that, and it’s like, well, that wasn’t an idea.


So I better do this.


So all of those things are hollow unless you can really be in the moment, I think, to enjoy it.


So it seems to me that everything is, the one constant we have is change.


You’re correct.


And that you can fight it all you want, but it’s going to happen regardless.



So you better learn to get comfortable with it.


But for me to truly get comfortable with who I am, it’s figuring out what’s really important to me.


Is it working four days a week?


Is it that I want to retire at the age of 58?


It’s not.


I couldn’t imagine what I’d be doing.



It’s like figuring out what really makes me tick and what’s important to me.


But you have to know your, in order to answer those questions, what makes me tick, what you have to know yourself.


And truly stand by who you know and who you’ve become and who you want to be.


And that’s what you said.

In order to make those things tick, you have to start with that, which is putting in a word, knowing yourself, standing by protecting it and then staying aligned with that.





Well, and I think there’s also a big piece of, you know, that changes too.


As we get older, everything, your perspective changes.


It’s like the old saying of, you know, youth is wasted on the young.




You know, because you don’t have the, you don’t have the life experience there.


It’s like, so after I got divorced, I didn’t start dating a bunch of, you know, really young girls.



Because my experience with dating someone that was a whole lot younger than I, they didn’t have the life experience.


And so it’s like, what are we going to talk about?




You know, I remember a number of years ago, we had a, had a young associate and, and I was telling her, I was so excited.


I was going out to Vegas and we were going to see Billie Idol and concert and House of Blues out there.


And she just looked at me, dear in the headlights, like, I’m like, you have no idea who I’m talking about.







And she goes, no.


I know we’re Vegas.







Can you not know Billie Idol?


You know, but I mean, that’s the whole thing is everything changes as we get older.


So understanding that my perspective on things is going to change too.




And that I have to be willing to walk the journey to obtain whatever it is I’m seeking to obtain, you know, whether that is, you know, greater self awareness, whether it’s to be able to do ex philanthropically, whether it’s able to do this for family, whatever it is.





And your journey is not going to, your journey will never match anyone else’s.


And if you’re trying to align your journey to be a certain way of what you see someone else doing or whatever, it will never, there’s no way for you to stay on that path.




You know, I mean, it’s just really, it’s really hard to maintain that.




You know, because it’s not really who you are.



It’s not the road you want to be taking.


Well, and things are things are not always as they appear.




You know, there there’s been something that I’ve actually liked seeing on social media a little lately.


There was one showing of a shot towards the pyramids.


And then just you turn away from that.



And most people don’t realize how close the pyramids are to actually downtown Cairo.




And that, oh, there’s a McDonald’s and a pizza hut.


And, you know, and that kind of crap.


But that’s not the vision that you see, or that’s portrayed.


You know, so understanding it’s all about figuring out who I am, what works for me.



And just because that’s what works for me doesn’t mean that that’s what works for anybody else.


And being okay with that.


That’s right.




That’s right.


Well, Courtney, thank you so much for today.



Yeah, this has been a great evening.


Thank you.


You’re sharing your journey.


I mean, it’s beautiful.


I really appreciate that.


Thank you.



And ditto here.


I mean, we’ll become the mutual admiration society here.






Everybody go see Courtney because different and willing to speak to all these stories.


Isn’t that something new?



So, so thank you again.




And thank you all for joining us on another episode of the Reclamation Transformation.


And remember, change starts with you.


So leave your mark.

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