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“Divorcing the Dark Triad” Part II; Disordered Personality Abuse

Mark Scroggins  

Hey folks back for another edition of the reclamation transformation. I’m Mark Scroggins with Scroggins Law Group and today we have Cindy Hyde back again. How are you?

Cindy Hyde  

I’m good Mark, how are you?

Mark Scroggins  

I’m good. So as y’all will recall, this is a continuing guest that we have here with Cindy, because there’s so much to talk about in the world of mental health. But what I wanted to do is start back really where we left off the last time and we were talking about narcissism. What is it really, and I was telling you, you know, in the courts, one of the things that’s like, narcissism or hearing that someone’s a narcissist is, you know, the hot button of the day to where, you know, the courts have actually gotten kind of they’ve soured, I guess, on hearing about it a lot of time, because everybody claims that everybody’s a narcissist, because they’ve got Google and they think they know what the hell it means. So let’s start there. We’re talking about what narcissism really is. And you know, what’s important? I think, from a legal standpoint, what is important for me to know as a practitioner, and how I can go about really educating a court on what the difference is between narcissism and say, someone who’s borderline and all these other things that we get into, right?

Cindy Hyde  

Yeah, and you’re exactly right, Mark, you know, it is nowadays difficult for the courts to determine is it narcissism, or is it not? And that is because the term is so widely overused, and it’s ever used a lot by bloggers, and Facebook groups, and all of these different outlets that really have no formal training in a lot of cases. And so what happens is, the general public starts thinking, you know, they have a bad relationship or a toxic relationship while they must be a narcissist, right? Well, and yes, that can actually actually be the case, or there do seem to be a lot. However, a lot of times it’s not just narcissism. And so what I tell clients is, it’s a personality disorder. Let’s start there, because it may not be narcissism, or it might be with two or three other personality disorders also. And so in the world of mental health, there’s narcissism, there’s antisocial, which is also also known as sociopath. There’s psychopathy, which is known as psychopath. And then there’s also narcissism. And then the last one, which kind of falls off to itself is borderline, but someone could potentially have all of those at the same time, right? And so what happens is, if I get clients that come in and say, I feel like I’m going crazy, you probably get those clients too. And that’s why because they haven’t been with just a narcissist, right? They’ve been with someone that has multiple personality disorders. 

Mark Scroggins  

Let’s talk about what narcissism looks like, in a relationship, because that’s one of the things that I find myself trying to educate my judge about. Judge, I know, everybody thinks they know what this means. But let’s talk about what it really looks like, you know, so let’s talk about someone who really knows what it looks like and what it means, right.

Cindy Hyde  

And so what it truly is is grandiosity. So you have somebody that has that big personality, they’re never wrong, they have a huge sense of entitlement. They also can be very exploitive within the relationship. And so that’s where you hear the terms like crazy making or word salad. And so they’ll exploit the relationship itself. They also lack empathy for the harm that they do to someone. And so that’s, that’s one of the biggest ways you can tell if there’s narcissism present when someone has no empathy or remorse for the fact that they’re hurting you. And so that’s one of the larger ways that you can tell, in addition to that, a lot of times you can tell a narcissist because they associate with high status people, or they’re very envious of high status people. And so, you know, you’ve heard you’ve heard people say before, oh, I know, you know, so and so’s brother’s husband was the Secretary to the President, right? And so they attach to that status. And so also they usually show very arrogant and haughty behavior. And so that’s a narcissist by itself. If you wanted to know, like, what other things show up as personality disorders, and if someone were a psychopath, they have the pathological line that goes along with this pain. A lot of times people just think that’s just a narcissist. No, that can actually be a psychopath. When there’s a pathological line or there’s criminality, or there’s that high egocentricity. So it’s all about me.

Mark Scroggins  

Is it necessary? When we’re talking about someone who’s a psychopath? Is it necessary that you have that illegal behavior?

Cindy Hyde  

No, it’s not. They don’t have to have criminality. Um, a lot of times they don’t, they’ll have everything but the criminality, so they’ll be highly manipulative and deceitful. There’ll be a pathological liar, but they don’t have any criminal behavior. They might like to dabble in some shady stuff, but they don’t necessarily have criminality. And then the antisocial though, is the one that can have the criminality that they’re above the law, that they do everything within the letter of the law. So if, if you had a restraining order that said you can’t be within 500 feet, they would be at 501. And they would say, Oh, I wasn’t at 500 feet, I was 501. Right. So that’s kind of how you can tell a sociopath is always, you know, above the law. And so, they usually also have a high impulsivity. Usually they can, they’ll switch jobs a lot. So you’ll see that as well with a sociopath. And then borderline is the high emotionality. So that’s that explosive behavior, it can look a lot like bipolar, but it can be the high, the high emotionality, the explosiveness, the rage, which also shows up with psychopathy, and it can also be the meltdowns, the, you know, going to victim that, you know, you know, I only hit you because you made me do it, and they’ll go to that victim meltdown stage, when in actuality, you know, a victim can think that they’re dealing only with a narcissist with all of those behaviors, but they’re actually dealing with multiple personality disorders.

Mark Scroggins  

Are there certain personality disorders that tend to affect men more than women and women more than men?

Cindy Hyde  

Typically more men than women? I don’t really have the research that says why that is. I know that it’s out there. I don’t I don’t know it off the top of my head. But there are women also, that can very much display these personality disorders as well.

Mark Scroggins  

Do you see borderline more in women actually than in men?

Cindy Hyde  

Yeah, it’s borderline is more in women, most of the time, it can show up in men. Usually, if they have multiple personality disorders, you’ll see borderline as one of those also. But normally the narcissism and the psychopath and sociopath or more typically, with men.

Mark Scroggins  

so if you were, you know, so all the things you were talking about are things that I hear from clients all the time. All right. So if you know, one of the things I will tell people is what you and I were having this discussion, offline is, you know, document everything, absolutely. Document everything, absolutely have to document everything. And additionally, if there’s anybody else present, I will tell people that, you know, the more evidence that you have the matter, because when it comes down to what he said, she said that generally turns into a losing proposition, right? It doesn’t mean that you’re going to lose, so to speak, but you’re not going to win on everything, right? Some of some of the stuff is going to be taken with a grain of salt. Right, right. And so it’s trying to make sure that you’ve got the ability to show that, hey, Judge, yeah, he or she is doing this, and this and this, and this, and this, and this, oh, and these two, and then this person was here, when this this, this, this happened, right.

Cindy Hyde  

So what you want to show is the enduring patterns of behavior, so meaning over time, right? So a lot of times, I’ll tell clients, you know, or clients will bring me recordings of, you know, somebody exploding on them, or raging, and they have multiple recordings over time. And so that’s an enduring pattern. That’s something a judge could look at and go ” this is a problem, right? Where if it’s just a he said, she said, What Happens a lot of times is the victim actually will look very unstable in court, because, you know, they can be being provoked unknowingly to everyone around them, right. And so they’ll look unstable, while the personality disordered person looks really smooth. And so it can be very difficult if there’s no proof.

Mark Scroggins  

Yeah. How do you so how, how would you go about trying to discern whether or not someone is actually a, a, I hate to use the term victim. But someone who is actually a victim in this scenario, as compared to someone who is really more of a provocateur and trying to set someone up because that that’s generally what the dialogue is, you know, it’s you were provoking me know, I’m really the victim, this, that and the other end and so it kind of goes back and forth between these two. So how do you go about discerning for lack of a better way of putting it? What’s true?

Cindy Hyde  

Yeah. And you know, what comes to my mind is the recent Johnny Depp, you know, for looking for, but the big court trial with Johnny Depp and and literally both of them were saying the other one did it which is so typical of a pathological love relationship case. And so actually the Institute for relational harm reduction, watched every, you know, inch of that footage, and said, and at the end of the day, they really felt like both of them were personality disordered. And that’s why there was so much chaos in the courtroom overall. 

Mark Scroggins  

Give the name of the institution again.

Cindy Hyde  

It’s called the Institute of relational harm reduction. Their website is safe relationships magazine.com. And they’ve done 30 plus years of research on the subject of pathological love relationships, and they have more research than anyone out there right now.

Mark Scroggins  

And so when we talk about pathological love relationships, can you explain to the folks out there what that really means?

Cindy Hyde  

Yeah. And that means when you’re in a relationship with someone with a personality disorder, or multiple personality disorders, okay. And so that is a lot of people in our world today. And in all of the blogging and Facebook groups, they call it toxic relationships. Right? Right. It’s actually pathological because they are truly in a relationship with somebody that’s disordered.

Mark Scroggins  

And would it be a situation where that person does not have the ability to make a change, even if they are so correct?

Cindy Hyde  

Yeah, what the institute says is 97% of that population is born that way. And only 3% had environmental situations that caused them to be that way. But either way, the neuro pathways in the brain are different. So how they relate is that if someone is born on the spectrum or with autism, they’re going to die on the spectrum and with autism, right? Same thing with a personality disorder, if they were born that way, with a personality disorder, at the end of the day, they’re going to die with a personality disorder also. So it will not change. And that’s one of the ways that we work with victims is to help them understand that, even though their brain wants to believe that this person is going to change, because that’s why they go back so many times, right. But the person really is incapable of change, even if it was environmental, even if they were one of the 3% their neural pathways got changed in their trauma, and they’re not able to change back.

Mark Scroggins  

Wow. Okay, so that’s even something with undergoing therapy, and, you know, things of that sort that it’s just not,

Cindy Hyde  

yeah, most won’t do therapy, because they don’t think they need it. They’re always right, right. And so they think everyone else is the problem, but they’re not the problem. So, you know, even if they do get into a therapeutic situation, they usually won’t stay very long.

Mark Scroggins  

Wow. Okay, well, let’s get to one of the other things we were talking about. It seems like abuse generally goes along with these types of relationships. Right, right. And so let’s talk about what is abuse? Actually, well, what is abuse? First of all, and what does that look like in these relationships?

Cindy Hyde  

So the first thing I do usually with clients is, we’ll go through the power and control will that the National Domestic Violence centers use, okay, and so what I usually look for is if they’ve had, if they’ve been if the person they’ve been with has used intimidation, so that’s things like they make that the victim feel afraid, by using gestures or smashing things or giving them a certain look. So they’re instilling fear with intimidation. The next thing I look at is if there’s been emotional abuse heavy.

Mark Scroggins  

Let me interrupt you for just a second, because one of the things I wanted to mention is one of the places that we have a problem in Texas is that Texas only has salt, okay, doesn’t have a salt and battery, right. So it doesn’t discern between the two except, I guess, the category or level of salt. But a lot of people don’t realize that an assault does not necessarily mean you know, that somebody hits you. It also can be if you were, you know, reasonably in fear of imminent personal injury. So when you talk about someone smashing things, and breaking things like that, you know, the perfect example, I think of if somebody has someone backed up against the wall, and they rear back and they put their you know, put a hole in the wall by punching the wall, right. Okay. That’s an assault in Texas. Okay. And so with that, you can actually still get a protective order. So that’s one of those areas that although it is a little grayer than I would like, it is still an area that I can do something about, I can get some relief, but when we start going into some of these other areas, that gets into a super what I will call a light gray. Right? Yeah, right. Where I’m kind of stuck. I mean, there’s just not really a good legal mechanism that allows me to, to provide some of the relief that I think my clients like so sorry, I wanted to interject there.

Cindy Hyde  

That’s where, you know, you know, a lot of clients after it’s been hard a lot of victims after it’s been happening for a while will start recording, or they’ll start, you know, they’ll make sure somebody’s nearby, you know, a lot of these these abusive men will or and or women will will do this behind closed doors where there’s no witnesses. Right. But sometimes, you know, there’s children. Right. And sometimes they can be a witness if they’re old enough, right? So you know, but that’s what I tell my clients that are the ones that come to see me is that you know, as much documentation as you can get, because that will help you in the legal system. But yeah, it’s great to know that they can get, you know, I had, I had one client not long ago that she had video of him smashing furniture and throwing things and just really losing it. And, you know, she was able to get a protective order with that. Yep. So he never physically put a hand on her. But the imminent threat was there, right?

Mark Scroggins  

So, you said using emotional abuse. So what does that look like?

Cindy Hyde  

So putting her down, calling her names, making her feel bad about herself, calling her crazy playing mind games. So in other words, you know, even though she might have, you know, seen evidence that he was cheating, he wasn’t cheating. So he would gaslight her, you know, to make her feel like she’s the crazy one, even though he’s the one with the bad behavior, humiliating her trying to make her feel guilty for his bet his abuse. So maybe he got violent and in her face, but then he made her feel guilty that it was all her fault that he did what he did. 

Mark Scroggins  

If she just didn’t get him so worked up and correct, you know, kept poking and prodding and correct. Yeah, it’s like the whole thing that the nagging wife uses Perfect, yeah, stereotype, they’re the nagging wife, who then the husband loses it. And if you didn’t do this, then I wouldn’t act like this.

Cindy Hyde  

Right. And so in some, and again, this could be a woman doing this to a man. Yeah, but so many women in our culture, especially in my generation, and a few years younger than me, you know, were raised that you were to be submissive to your husband. And so a lot of them will pick up that guilt and feel like, well, maybe if I just did something different than he wouldn’t. And so there’s a psychological abuse component just to that, right. But it comes from childhood, you know, that they were taught that they shouldn’t, they should tolerate anything, maybe they even saw it with a parent, right? You know, and they, and they felt like, well, my mom, you know, stayed, so then I should stay. And so that happens a lot, too. But another way that they abused is using isolation. So they’ll start telling you that your friends or your family are bad, or they don’t like them, or, you know, they treat them badly. So they therefore shouldn’t, you know, associate with them. So they’ll start trying to get them away from friends and family pretty soon, because they don’t want any base speaking truth to them. Right. So they usually do that pretty quickly.

Mark Scroggins  

Yeah, so using isolation. That one’s that one’s interesting, because that’s one of the things that I you know, I have conversations with my client about all the time, it is amazing to me, you know, you can pretty much go down a checklist and say, you know, is is he or she doing this is he or she doing that, you know, and going down and one of them seems like, you know, they want to isolate you away from all of your close friends or family.

Cindy Hyde  

Yep. And they’ll do that using jealousy, too. So what they’ll do is, you know, if you go somewhere publicly with them, they’ll accuse you of looking at someone, or they’ll say, they’ll say, I know, you know, if you ask, you know, a waiter where the restroom is, You were flirting with the, the waiter and you saw that you that they must have a thing going on. And so then the fight for the next month becomes about the waiter and the fact that, you know, you must have been talking to him, you’ve been seeing him and so they’ll use those kinds of things. Yeah, and so they’ll even start monitoring what they read, who they talk to everything, a lot of them will make sure that they’re, they’re in charge of the cell phones, so that they can see who they’re talking to and who they’re texting everything. So they’ll literally put them in a prison, where they’re in charge of everything. Then they minimize, then deny and then blame shift. So they minimize that they’re doing any of those things, that they are jealous or that they’re monitoring their phone calls, they minimize all of that, or if they cheat, they deny it, and then they blame the shift. Well, if you were just having more sex with me, then then I wouldn’t have had to cheat. So you know, they’ll use those types of tactics. They’ll even use the children. So they’ll, you know, they’ll, you know, tell the children like you act like your mother or, you know, you know, I know that you see how your mother acts and I don’t want you to act that way. So they’ll do things like that to make the children go against the safe parent, because the safe parents are usually the ones getting abused.

Mark Scroggins  

trying to equate bad behavior with that with the parent right? 

Cindy Hyde  

Correct Yeah. And so, and you know, once they get to, and we’ll talk about that in a second, but once there’s a separation, they’ll start using, they may not, you know, want to give the child back. Or they may, they may try to keep the child longer than they should, in order to torture the parent that they that they that they have separated from. Another thing that they’ll do is what’s called using male privilege. And so they’ll become the God of the house or the king of the castle, right. And so they’ll define the male and the female role. So usually they have the wife or the partner becomes basically the servant. And so, and while you know, they do next to nothing, the spouse is doing everything. And then they criticize the things that the spouse is doing.

Mark Scroggins  

So one of the other things I see on here is, and by the way, folks, if anybody wants a copy of this power and control wheel, or any of the other things you hear us referencing, if you will send an email to info at Scroggins Law Group, we’ll be happy to provide those to you. One of the other things that I see is making all big decisions. And so I know or acting, you said, you mentioned acting like the master of the castle, helped me understand how that is different from what I will call traditional gender roles. 

Cindy Hyde  

Like I said earlier, you know, our generation grew up with traditional gender roles where the man was the head of the household, and the wife usually did most of the house work until women started going back into the workforce, right. And back then it really wasn’t considered abuse. But nowadays, when it’s including isolation, and they’re, they’re making it where that person is truly a servant versus a partner in the house, then that makes it more abuse.

Mark Scroggins  

Because the one that I see is making big decisions. And so that’s a scary one to me, just because I can tell you about a recent case that I had, where a husband wife, getting a divorce wife is complaining that, you know, he financially isolated me in this, that and the other. And it turned out that was really pretty much bullshit that he had provided all of the login information like this, that and the other, she just didn’t know how well, no, she knew how she just didn’t take advantage of it. And so it was, you know, well, he never sat there and walked me through everything, it’s like, well, you need to get off your ass. And so there’s a fine line, it seems to carry on doing that. So anytime and obviously being male, that kind of scares me when we start talking about, you know, the use of male privilege. And we start getting into something where people have decided that they’re going to have what I will call traditional gender roles and they’re not going to share in certain things that’s different than you know, we’re going to buy this house, and we’re going to live in this city. And we’re going to raise the kids this way. And we’re going to decide you’re going to homeschool the kids and all this out of bounds.

Cindy Hyde  

I think it goes to say if one of the partners does not have any choices, if there’s no choices, right, and they’re just simply told this is what you’re doing. Right, then that’s where it becomes abusive. But if that is the case, if the partner had a choice, then there’s not an abuse factor there. 

Mark Scroggins  

Would you agree, then, that this is really something that needs to be coupled with other things on this wheel? Would that be correct? 

Cindy Hyde  

Yes. And you kind of touched on it getting into economic abuse. So you know, there are situations where a spouse is allowed no money whatsoever, unless it’s doled out in very small amounts, right. That is abusive, you know, because in Texas, as you know, 5050.

Mark Scroggins  

Its community 5050 is a starting point. So, and very rarely is it actually 5050. So good to know, yeah, unless you get into, you have a really substantial amount of money, and then it doesn’t really matter what kind of fault there is, then it’s going to be 5050. Yeah. So anyway,

Cindy Hyde  

Yeah, and I think that’s a whole topic in and of itself, because I know a lot of my clients have those questions when they come in, and when they’re trying to decide, you know, what should I do? Right? You know, it’s good information to have, you know, is it does it start at 5050? Or is it 5050? 

Mark Scroggins  

Yeah, and it starts, that’s the starting point. So that’s one of the things and I’m glad you mentioned that, because I think that there’s a lot of misinformation about what people think well, and it’s amazing. They come in well, you know, I know that Texas is a community property state. So I know the division is going to be 5050. And it’s like, No, you really don’t. And that’s, that’s not the case. You know, generally it is the starting point, but then you’ve got different things that are going to share, you know, a couple percentage points here and a couple percentage points there. And if there’s a significant disparity in earning capacity, that’s the big one. That’s where you can see things all of a sudden end up with a 6040 split or something like that, depending on just how severe the disparity is.

Cindy Hyde  

It’s good to know. Yeah. So, in the terms of abuse, when they use economic abuse, what the National Domestic Violence Center says is this, that they prevent, or they prevent them from getting or keeping a job, I’ve had clients tell me about how their partner got him fired from three or four different jobs, you know, because they would, you know, come up and have a big explosion at their office or something like that, and they would get fired, you know, if they are making them ask for money, so therefore, there is no money that they’re allowed to touch unless they ask for it. They’re given only a little pittance of an allowance, they take the money that that person brings in. So that happens a lot with that, where, you know, they’ll have I know of one that works, two or three jobs and all the money goes to him first. And then he decides how much of that that she gets. And so not letting her know about or have access to the family income, like you were talking about earlier, sometimes that gets misunderstood. So I have to be very clear that the victim had zero choices that it was all taken. And then the last thing is using coercion and threats. So making or carrying out threats, to do something to hurt them, a lot of times what they’ll do is threatened divorce a lot. And then that leaves the victim terrified because they have no financial means. Because all the money’s being held by, you know, the partner. Sometimes they’ll threaten suicide, although I will say most of the time, they don’t carry that out. It’s just, it’s just a threat in order to get control. 

Mark Scroggins  

Let me mention one thing, because I’m glad you mentioned this with the threat of divorce and people, you know, being abusive, because people don’t really understand what their rights are. So one of the things if you have somebody who is threatening divorce, over and over, go consult with a divorce lawyer so you can learn what your rights are, because what you are being told is not accurate. That is not what your rights are, you absolutely are entitled to the money just as much as let’s say if you’re a stay at home, right? Okay. You are just as entitled to the money the wage earner makes as the wage earner his or herself, you know, so it’s important to understand what, what your rights are there. So that can take some of the fear out of it. And hopefully, then, with removing some of that fear, then you can think clearly and make a determination as to what is good for you and what is not. 

Cindy Hyde  

Yeah, I’m curious I’ve had that brought up a question. I had one not long ago that, you know, this kind of situation, not not allowed to work, threatened divorce all the time. But there’s also even though he’s the primary breadwinner while the only breadwinner, right, he’s also got business debt. And so her concern is will she be responsible for the debt too?

Mark Scroggins  

Yeah. Great question. And that really, it really depends. So typically, no. Okay, so you’ve got questions there? Is it a business she’s involved in at all? Is it a business that was started during the pendency of the marriage? So if it was started during the pendency of the marriage, then it’s going to be community? Okay. And so the question there will really be, what is the, you know, what is the value of the business itself, and then the bigger questions become one really have retained earnings. So that’s where something can be abusive, even if it’s a separate property business, so separate property business, still, all of the income that’s generated is community property. Okay. And so those retained earnings are community in nature. So just because someone hasn’t distributed what they can doesn’t mean that there isn’t money that’s in the business. So that’s one of the things that you always want to look at, but it’s just like, a company can’t be divested of their property. It’s just like, the debt isn’t going to be divested if it’s in the name of the company. Now, if it is debt that is just in his name, you know, could she be held liable? I guess technically she could, but it’s very unlikely. It’s very unlikely. So that’s a pretty hollow threat. A lot of the time we’re Oh, you’re gonna be justice. Hell, justice. I am bullshit. Not gonna happen. 

Cindy Hyde  

So that’s how we determine abuse in all of the ways that we just talked about, but then there’s a whole other, you know, area to look at too is when there’s children involved. Right? Right, right. And so a lot of times people think as soon as I leave, I’m never going to have to deal with this abuse again, right. And that is actually false. There’s, it’s what’s called post separation abuse, right. And that abuse takes place once the victim has left and typically with the children. And so that’s, that’s usually when there’s an 18 year battle that ensues until the child is old enough. And I don’t know if you caught the recent Pamela Anderson documentary or not, she was talking about, you know, she left Tommy Lee because he was abusive, and, and they had two children together. And so once she left, she was talking about how it was a long, 18 years. And that’s pretty much what happens in these types of situations is, it becomes a very long 18 years of post separation abuse that happens even after they’ve left.

Mark Scroggins  

So when you talk about post separation abuse, can you tell me what specifically you are referencing and here we’ve got another wheel.

Cindy Hyde  

Yep, we got another wheel. And this wheel can be found in one moms battle. There’s also you can also look for post separation abuse on Google and go to images and find wheels for it too. But you know, a lot of times what the personality disordered parent will do is they try to alienate the child. And they do that by smearing the safe parent. And so they’ll start trying to set the children up to favor the unsafe parent versus the safe parents. So you hear the term Disney dad. So a lot of times the unsafe parent will become Disney dad, and it makes the safe parent look like you know, she’s not doing anything, you know, that supporting the children is fun, right? And so and so anything that is bad that happens or anything that doesn’t go well gets blamed on the safe parent. And so, so you, I’m sure you’ve had lots of cases for parental alienation, a lot of times. That’s what’s happening is one of the parents is trying to alienate the other parents by befriending the child.

Mark Scroggins  

You know, that’s another one that’s really hard, because I don’t think a lot of judges really have a clear understanding of what parental alienation is. And there are a lot of people who don’t . Frankly, parental alienation is another one of those buzz terms that is very akin to narcissism, correct? When we start saying, Oh, well, it’s a clear, clear, you know, case of parental alienation. It’s like, you know, just because they see things differently doesn’t mean that that’s parental alienation. Yeah, you’ve got to be showing what is actually doing what is going on to show that they are trying to create a situation where the child just favors that other parent.

Cindy Hyde  

Yeah. So again, documentation, but you know, so it could be a case like there could be a sex addict parent, right? Who had years of acting out behavior, and disclosed one of the affairs to the child, right, and then blamed the safe parent for not forgiving them. Even though the safe parent knows there were dating apps, and there were prostitutes. And there were all kinds of very bad behavior for many years in the marriage. But yet, the child is being told that it’s only because the safe parent won’t forgive for the one affair, right? So not only is the unsafe parent lying to the child, which they should, because the child doesn’t need to know all of that. Right, right. But it’s painting the safe parent as the bad parent, right. And so now the child wouldn’t want anything to do with the safe parent because they think it’s their fault that the divorce is happening, even though they know about the one affair. So it’s things like that that can happen that turn a child against a safe parent. And so a lot of times once the separation happens, and the personality disordered person has the child in their possession, even if it’s you know, based on custody arrangements, they start neglecting the child.

Mark Scroggins  

Let me let me go back to one thing real quick, because we talked about after the separation actually takes place. And one of the questions that always comes up is why does he or she always go back? Oh, yeah, you know, so that’s one of the things and I think that’s something that in the legal system that judges have a hard time really dealing with, it’s like, well, if it was so bad, they wouldn’t keep going back. Yeah, if he really did all this, or if she really did this, they wouldn’t go back. Yeah.

Cindy Hyde  

Yeah. And so and that’s such a good point, because it’s so true like, you know, I can see where a judge would be confused, like, wow, you went back four times why? Why would I? How do I know that was really abusive if you kept going back, right? Well, what happens in the victim is what gets created is called cognitive dissonance, which means, on the one hand, they have the hope and believe, belief that that they’re going to change and be different. And the reason they have that hope, and belief is because of the early love bombing the brain attached to that. And so they keep thinking that, well, that person is going to show up again. And so everything’s going to be different if I go back, and a lot of times, the personality disordered person is telling them that everything’s going to be different, that, you know, they’re going to change, it’s all going to be different. And so, you know, the victim holds on to that belief and goes back. And then as soon as they’re back, usually, it’s right back to the bad behavior, because the good behavior, because truly, they’re in what’s called a dual dual relationship. So you’ve heard of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, right? Yeah. And so it truly is a dual relationship, meaning he’s good, he’s bad. I love him. I love him. I don’t know which to believe. Right? And so her brain wants to go over here and believe that there’s that sliver of good that eventually, if he just goes to anger management, then he’ll be better, right? Well, he can’t because he can’t change because remember, his personality disorder, if he was born that way, or even if he was part of the 3%, that wasn’t his neuro pathways are not wired for that. And so they won’t ever change. So they will, he will always be bad. And so that’s what her brain can’t reconcile that he can’t change, right? Because he’s telling her he can, but yet he can’t sustain it when she goes back. And so she’ll go back in and endure more abuse, and finally get brave enough to leave again. And then he’ll start telling her again, like, I’m going to change, it’s going to get better, you know how much I love you. And she goes back again. And so that’s how that happens. Because her brain is playing tricks on her trying to make her think that the good can be sustained.

Mark Scroggins  

So it’s basically just like any other type of addiction pattern.

Cindy Hyde  

Oh, absolutely. 

Mark Scroggins  

Like an alcoholic or drug addict who thinks oh, no, this time, it’s gonna be different. This time, it’s not gonna get me. 

Cindy Hyde  

Exactly. Yeah, the whiskey and milk story. And for those of you that don’t know what that is, it’s in a big book. And it’s about the power of addiction and how you can keep going back even when you think you can control it. And it’s the same way with a person, the victim becomes somewhat addicted to the personality disordered individual. And so what happens is, when they lose that person, just like if somebody took a bottle away from an alcoholic, right, you know, they almost grieved, they almost grieved the loss of their addiction, their drug, right, so that person now has become their drug. And so what can happen is, it can cause their PTSD symptoms to be stronger. And so what that can show up looking like is emotional overwhelm high irritability, right? So a lot of people don’t even realize that’s part of the trauma and PTSD, but it is. And so, so what happens is, the longing and the craving start within the victim, and so they’re craving their drug, right. And so this is like setting them up to relapse or to go back to that person. And so what then can happen is that they can start like self destructive behavior, maybe the victim starts numbing out with food. Have you ever seen somebody that leaves the relationship and gains a lot of weight? Yeah, well, they’re trying to numb the drug that they’ve lost, which in this case, is a person, right? And so what will happen then is they may start getting into relapse behavior. So maybe they fall prey to the craving or to the longing. So it’d be kinda like an alcoholic just taking a sip. Right? So maybe they’ll just send that text, you know, maybe if I just tell him this one more thing, because her brain is still thinking she can get heard by this abusive person. She can’t. But yet she’s about to fall into a relapse pattern because she’s made contact, right? And so what then happens, it’s kind of like that sip of alcohol, right? So maybe the next thing is, she offers sex and thinks, Well, you know, we always had great sex, I can just have sex with him. And that’s it kind of like I can, I can drink that glass of wine and I will be fine, right? Same thing, right. And so then the acting out behavior gets worse. She’s going back again, she’s leaving, she’s going back. She’s leaving. And they’re what she discovers is just like in the bottle, there’s no change in that person. And so either the relapse cycle continues, or she stops and finally gets away.

Mark Scroggins  

So I would imagine that one of the things that would be super important is if you are with someone that is like this, when you make that decision, or before you make that decision to leave, you know, getting counseling is something that is super important. And I would imagine finding someone like yourself that specializes in this area is really, really important.

Cindy Hyde  

It is very important to and to make sure that your therapist is trained in personality disorders is one of the things that you want to look for. And especially if they have knowledge of pathological love relationships, that’s very important as well, they can always go to the Institute for relational harm reduction, which is safe relationship magazine.com, safe relationships magazine.com. And they also have a great recovery group there, that’s very affordable. I highly recommend that over Facebook groups or bloggers and also to the one of the ways that I always tell clients right off the bat is be sure not to read things that aren’t written by people that are clinicians. So they either have some letters before or after their name. And there’s research attached to what you’re reading, because they’re, you know, there’s a lot of wounded people out there writing, and so you just don’t want to cause more harm to yourself.

Mark Scroggins  

Absolutely. There is a ton of that, you know, somebody has read something, and thinks that their situation fits perfectly into that pattern, correct? Yeah. So well, so I’m glad that we know that. So I’m sorry, I interrupted you on that one.

Cindy Hyde  

No, that’s what was needed to cover that. 

Mark Scroggins  

Let’s go back and Talk about coercive control. Yeah. So can you describe a little bit what that is? 

Cindy Hyde  

Coercive control is where there’s threats where they threaten, harm, or threaten the behavior. Let me get back to where I was. It’s very threatening and isolating. So they, literally , are taking control of the victim’s life. And so that’s cool, or some control. And there’s actually now the UK has started legislation on coercive control. And if it can be proven that they actually have fines and even jail time for that. Now, that has not made its way to the states yet. But it’s very much about what we’re talking about. But they’re calling it instead of I was in a relationship with a narcissist. They’re calling it a coercive, coercive control bill.

Mark Scroggins  

That’s an interesting, interesting subject matter. I mean, that’s, that’s something that we ought to talk about, and how do you legislate that exactly? Effectively, I’d be super interested to learn about what their prosecution numbers are: the number of cases that they’ve actually taken up in the number that they’ve been successfully prosecuted. 

Cindy Hyde  

That would be interesting. We should look into that for another show. Yeah, absolutely.

Mark Scroggins  

So let’s talk about them a little bit . I want to skip forward, because I know we’re up against our time limit. But one of the things that it talks about in post separation, abuse is legal abuse. And so I wanted to talk a little bit about that, and, and get an understanding of what that is, and what I as you know, a lawyer can do to kind of sniff this out a little bit.

Cindy Hyde  

one of the first things you’ll see is they’ll go for 5050 custody, or they’ll go for full custody, right, one of the two, instead of standard. Most always, that’s what’s involved. And then if you know, if the safe parent, like for instance, let me give you a case in point. So like if a safe parent is asked to allow the unsafe parent visitation on an off week, right, and the safe parent says no, because they have commitments, like volleyball or swimming lessons or whatever, right? The unsafe parent will claim parental alienation, and they will take them back to court. And so they’re usually doing that to financially drain the safe parent. And so they’ll find all kinds of reasons to drag them back into court. And so like every time they turn around, if they didn’t, you know, the safe parent forgot to let them know that they took them to a doctor’s appointment while they’re not following the court orders. And so they take them back to court. And so they look for any little thing to try to draw the safe parent back into court. And so typically, that’s what legal abuse means. 

Mark Scroggins  

Gotcha. Okay. And unfortunately, there are plenty of lawyers out there who would be willing to take up those cases that are just little B’S type cases.

Cindy Hyde  

Had I had one reach out to me not long ago that was being taken back to court for like the 15th time and all of the papers said this last time it was for cause and she had no idea what she was going to court for. And so the paperwork just said Had she was to appear for cause.

Mark Scroggins  

Okay, yeah. Well, I could speculate on that yet. I’m gonna keep that from happening. So I’ll tell you what I want to do next time because as we have talked about, you will be a recurring guest on the reclamation transformation podcast. And so I want to go into the financial abuse a little bit more and then how that leads into counter parenting. Yeah, it’s so there’s a lot more to talk about and a lot more to talk about. Yeah. And then we’ll get into some one of the things that we needed to discuss. So thank you so much. Thank you for being here today. And thank you all for joining us in another episode of the reclamation transformation and remember, change begins with you so make sure to leave your mark.

“Divorcing the Dark Triad” Part II; Disordered Personality Abuse

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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