The Caregiver Cup Podcast

Navigating the Emotional Complexities of Caregiving with Dr. JJ Kelly

July 02, 2024 Cathy VandenHeuvel Episode 220
Navigating the Emotional Complexities of Caregiving with Dr. JJ Kelly
The Caregiver Cup Podcast
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The Caregiver Cup Podcast
Navigating the Emotional Complexities of Caregiving with Dr. JJ Kelly
Jul 02, 2024 Episode 220
Cathy VandenHeuvel

Send Cathy a text:)

Discover the emotional complexities of caregiving with renowned clinical psychologist and emotional intelligence expert, Dr. JJ Kelly, on our latest episode of the Caregiver Cup podcast. Dr. Kelly, who transitioned from traditional psychotherapy to founding Unorthodox Incorporated, shares invaluable insights from her bestselling "Holy Shit" book series. We'll explore the intense emotions of anger, resentment, guilt, and fear that many caregivers face, particularly women, and emphasize the necessity of understanding and validating these feelings to manage the emotional toll effectively.

Through engaging discussion, we tackle the importance of self-care and addressing personal needs to prevent burnout and maintain the ability to care for others. Dr. Kelly provides practical strategies for coping with these emotional challenges, from journaling and visual representations to alternative therapies like reiki and acupuncture. We also highlight the systemic issues within traditional therapy and the benefits of learning skills to manage emotions independently, ensuring caregivers feel seen and supported.

Finally, we underscore the significance of collaboration in caregiving, control issues, and the power of emotional intelligence in navigating daily caregiving demands. With Dr. Kelly's expert advice, you'll gain new tools and perspectives to better manage your caregiving journey. This episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to find validation, support, and practical solutions to the emotional challenges of caregiving. Share this enriching conversation with others, and join us next week for more empowering content on the Caregiver Cup podcast.

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening. If you know of another caregiver who could benefit from this podcast, please copy and share this episode.

Follow me by clicking on the links below:

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send Cathy a text:)

Discover the emotional complexities of caregiving with renowned clinical psychologist and emotional intelligence expert, Dr. JJ Kelly, on our latest episode of the Caregiver Cup podcast. Dr. Kelly, who transitioned from traditional psychotherapy to founding Unorthodox Incorporated, shares invaluable insights from her bestselling "Holy Shit" book series. We'll explore the intense emotions of anger, resentment, guilt, and fear that many caregivers face, particularly women, and emphasize the necessity of understanding and validating these feelings to manage the emotional toll effectively.

Through engaging discussion, we tackle the importance of self-care and addressing personal needs to prevent burnout and maintain the ability to care for others. Dr. Kelly provides practical strategies for coping with these emotional challenges, from journaling and visual representations to alternative therapies like reiki and acupuncture. We also highlight the systemic issues within traditional therapy and the benefits of learning skills to manage emotions independently, ensuring caregivers feel seen and supported.

Finally, we underscore the significance of collaboration in caregiving, control issues, and the power of emotional intelligence in navigating daily caregiving demands. With Dr. Kelly's expert advice, you'll gain new tools and perspectives to better manage your caregiving journey. This episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to find validation, support, and practical solutions to the emotional challenges of caregiving. Share this enriching conversation with others, and join us next week for more empowering content on the Caregiver Cup podcast.

Support the Show.

Thank you for listening. If you know of another caregiver who could benefit from this podcast, please copy and share this episode.

Follow me by clicking on the links below:

Speaker 1:

Well, hello, my friend, and welcome to episode number 220 of the Caregiver Cup podcast. It's Kathy here. Oh my gosh. I am very, very excited to share my interview with a conversation I had with Dr JJ Kelly. She is a licensed clinical psychologist, an emotional intelligence skills training expert and bestselling author of the Holy Shit series. She is also the CEO and founder of Unorthodox Incorporated, a punk alternative to traditional psychotherapy. She lives her life with the belief that global healing is achieved by teaching people the skills to like themselves. Her motto and when you go onto her website is happy people act right.

Speaker 1:

Just a couple of heads up about this episode. First of all, there is swearing. You can tell by just listening to her book series. So if you have little kiddos or your ears are shy from that, I wanted you to know in advance. My personal opinion and what I felt during the whole episode was that her profanity and my profanity that just kind of tumbled on with it, are genuine and out of passion, and it's so impactful when you hear it.

Speaker 1:

Also, another heads up this is a longer episode. I wanted to break it in half but couldn't figure out where to break it, so you may have to listen to this in multiple settings, but the episode on anger and resentment and all the emotions inside of it couldn't be in a short episode. It had to be a longer episode because this topic is so intense. I promise you, my friend, that you will get started with an understanding of your own personal feelings. I was nodding my head during the whole thing. You're going to think about your thoughts and your situations and start validating your anger, your resentment, the fear, the guilt and the behaviors associated with it. You'll also be problem solving and getting problem solving skills and practices that you can implement right away. So buckle up, my friend, and take it all in, and I will be back after the interview or after we get done with our conversation so we can wrap it all up for you.

Speaker 1:

Well, I am so excited, dr Kelly, to have you on the Caregiver Cup podcast because obviously you know, as caregivers, I'm a caregiver still to this day, but everybody listening is a caregiver Most of the people listening are women caregivers and we deal with the emotional piece. I didn't really know how crazy it would be, and so it's a constant learning process. So I'm really excited today to kind of unpack some of your expertise and your experience when it comes to it, and I'm showing everybody, I'm showing Dr Kelly her, one of her books called Holy Shit. So this Is Anger, and I have it post-it note or dog-eared, I have it highlighted, I wrote in it. Nobody will ever be able to use this book but me. But I love it and so I'm going to use this as some of my questions today, if we don't cover it already, dr JJ. So why don't you? Or Dr Kelly, why don't you take a moment here and tell everybody a little bit about yourself and what you do and what we're going to dive into today?

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, I'll give the quick and dirty which is I did therapy like straight up psychotherapy. I mean I was still teaching classes, but I did it in the traditional sense for 14 years in group practice and another two in private, before I decided to start my company and do teach emotional intelligence skills in eight week courses. That's more affordable. You learn so much. It's like give the person a fish versus teach them to fish, kind of thing. It's like give the person a fish versus teach them to fish, kind of thing. They can meet with me and then they can go away and use their skills and then if they're in a crisis, they know where to find me. But you know, I was seeing people for years and that's expensive and and I mean I think I'm worth it. But I think that the system is a little messed up that makes people so dependent on that. If you have endless money, sure, do what you want with it, but if you don't, does that mean you don't get to have emotional intelligence skills? I don't agree with that.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

I teach the courses, the eight-week courses, now almost exclusively I have. All the people that were in my private practice are now on a group call of the advanced students which was bumpy at first, but change is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it probably was really helpful during the 2020 pandemic too, because everybody was going to some sort of virtual piece and your clients could still come and take advantage of that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I've had to work with people all over the world. Then too, I bet.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you all we were. Before we hit the record button, dr Kelly and I were. We're just reminiscing. We have something in common we're from the same state of Wisconsin and now Dr Kelly's in California, which is wonderful. But it's really nice to get to know you and know what you do. Today. I want to tap into your knowledge on and I don't know how to describe it exactly, but when a caregiver jumps in and like my mom and dad, we jumped in I found out that they were sick. They needed me. Being the people pleaser that I am, I jumped in, did it all, but then that anger and that resentment came, I think because of all of the stress and overwhelm, and then it was like a mad vicious circle of things that are happening. Can you elaborate on? You know I'm reading your book here and can you elaborate on what you had said? Anger is just an emotion. Can you tell us more about that and help us understand our anger as caregivers, or just anger in general?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I'm really careful with that word, just for anything, because it has a minimization quality to it. I also think there are sexual politics involved in that kind of thing too.

Speaker 2:

I think, as women, we're encouraged to downplay our approach to conflict, downplay our own intensity of emotions, particularly anger. We're supposed to be people pleasers and put ourselves last all the time. We're supposed to be people pleasers and put ourselves last all the time. However, when you know, I work in dialectics, which is the Venn diagram and everything is contradiction, and we try to find the middle ground. We're not trying to oversimplify things, we're trying to deal with life as it is and that's complex, Well and simple, you know it's both, so it's a both and, and I used that word just with this because anger is so scary to people, Most people, before they get some education around anger in general and then their anger, they think of it as that explosive kind that involves behaviors that are really destructive.

Speaker 2:

And I get that. It's just. That's one point on a spectrum of an emotion and I actually find the stuffed for years anger scarier than the explosive. But that's just me. Neither are great, but it is an emotion like any other emotion. It's the behaviors that are the problem, not the experience of the emotion. Lack of education has us scared of certain emotions because we don't know what the hell to do with them. If someone would just teach us how to validate that feeling, have it be okay that we're feeling it and then problem solve. What do we want to do with that emotion? What is that emotion signaling to us and what do we want to do? How do we want to act in response to it and make sure that that's according to our values, so we don't have to worry for how?

Speaker 1:

we react it? Yeah, because I think most caregivers will try to this is Kathy's talking like to sweep it underneath the rug. And then we feel somewhat guilt and shame for feeling that anger. And I would drive over to my mom's senior living apartment and I had to dedicate time with her to help her with all of her necessities and bills and all that kind of stuff, and I would be so frustrated and angry because I had to go ahead and give up my day to go ahead and be with her. And then you keep thinking, oh my gosh, if I tell this to anybody else I'd feel shameful.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and even the not telling of anybody else. You are programmed, we all are programmed to feel guilt and shame and that's part of the just too right Like. You don't have to feel guilt and shame about feeling anger, even rage, even very intense, even murderous rage. You don't have to feel guilt and shame about that feeling because you're not actually murdering anyone. And this is a big point that I make in this book is that you have again the dialectic dark and light. We both have both in us and there is nothing wrong with the dark thoughts. As Wisconsinites that's a point of funny for us, I know it we capitalize on the dark as something to make fun of, even within ourselves, and I certainly like to teach Californians that, because they do not have the sense of humor that we have at all.

Speaker 2:

They can't laugh at themselves. They're so serious about that kind of thing. But that guilt and shame. You didn't do anything that goes against your values. Feeling anger, having the experience of the emotion of anger, does not go against anyone's values. It's what you do, how you miss.

Speaker 1:

I'm just reading that. Yes, the anger.

Speaker 2:

And so I try to encourage people to let those dark thoughts happen and I encourage them to say them to me, because it's that stuffing of them that creates more guilt and shame and then more anxiety about hiding it and then more resentment that you have the pressure of hiding it.

Speaker 2:

this, the shit's still happening, you still are giving up days and that pisses you off, and that's okay that that pisses you off. You still are going to get in touch with the choice of it. Are you choosing to do it? Do you have these thoughts like I have to? Because, according to whom we're grown-ass people, we make our own choices. Sometimes we perceive that it's not a choice. However, the anger helps us interpret, reinterpret that it is a choice. The anger makes us feel like a victim, yeah, and that creates the resentment. But if you actually look at it like I'm grown, so am I choosing this? And not a blame? The victim kind of thing, like be pissed off? Maybe pissed off is telling you you don't want to do it, exactly, exactly.

Speaker 1:

And then the cultural norms that most women carry and I'm just stereotyping here the cultural norms or the social, you know, norms that women carry is they have to do it. You know they have to have this badge of honor, you know they can't share their, their feelings with anybody just leads to this I don't know this, this big snowball that gets bigger and bigger and bigger as it rolls down the hill.

Speaker 2:

Holy time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

What pressure, what human could endure that day after day, month, years. That is going to make anyone miserable. I mean, they're not even laughing, with their friends talking about how they'd love to smother their parents with a pillow Like I bet everybody has that thought from time to time. In my opinion I've. That's fodder for funny. We don't feel guilt or shame about those dark thoughts. They're just thoughts. You're not actually doing it. Yeah, yeah, and you know pressure out by laughing about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

You're doing the opposite. You're doing like God's work man. Like taking care of that is so hard. Nobody that doesn't do that gets how hard that is.

Speaker 1:

Right, or they give up that. Yeah, I think that I have a lot of caregiver clients. I feel like I'm isolated now, I've given up on my social life, I've given up on this, and then I look at myself in the mirror and I'm totally let myself down, you know, with whatever I haven't taken care of myself. And then there and I'm guilty of that too Then I am looking to blame something else, besides facing that emotion, and I love the fact that you talk about validating it and I use the word embracing it or just, you know, hanging on to it and realizing that your mind and your body is sending you a gift. So, yes, it's a signal.

Speaker 2:

Anger is an emotion that tells us our boundaries are being crossed. So that's important. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So how do you not mismanage? That's a weird, weird ask. But how do you manage your anger better? I mean, obviously you have the validate and try to problem solve, but how do you do that as somebody that's so overwhelmed and stuck?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and overwhelm it creates such a paralysis of mind and behavior. Oh, it's really hard. Okay, a couple of things. I start everybody on the emotions wheel.

Speaker 2:

Because, everyone thinks they have a vocabulary for emotions. They don't. Geniuses don't. When I ask people, how did you feel when you were doing? They say good or bad. A lot of times they feel good or bad. They put a should if they have an emotion word, which means they're shaming it right out of the gates. So that's invalidation, not validation. But just naming the anger words that go with a particular situation starts to bring you closer to baseline. Like baseline is calm. You're just cruising along, relaxed and fine.

Speaker 2:

You get activated with some sort of anger or other emotion, and then we react from up here instead of first validating Now it's down a little. Now, what do I want to do about it? Well, three deep abdominal breaths will get you close enough to baseline where you can think at least okay, what are the problem solving skills I learned from Dr Kelly that I can do with my anger. Well, the breathing is the start.

Speaker 1:

If you can think of nothing else.

Speaker 2:

Three deep abdominal breaths will calm down your central nervous system. So you can. And then you know you have all kinds of ways. You have ways you're already doing it. You're coaching yourself. Okay, I only have two more hours, you know this, and then I can go home and and self-care in some way which self-care for caregivers is ironically low yeah, you give it the office, so to speak, and then you let yourself down. Now I know from my work that if every single person I see that day is pissing me off, I'm the common denominator.

Speaker 1:

I've had those instances, JJ, where I've had those instances where I'm sitting in the chemotherapy next to the chemotherapy chair and I'm just barking at people, just barking at them, and I finally had to say I have to go take a walk or I'm gonna kill somebody in this clinic, okay, okay and that when your self-care is down, you're less good for anybody.

Speaker 2:

Your effectiveness when you're driving along with e with the light on you, you got nothing to give your cup's empty you gotta.

Speaker 2:

You know, like, put the, put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others when the plane's going down, right, right, you have to fill up in order to have overflow, in order to give, otherwise it's not giving, it's servitude, and that's going to cause resentment, for sure with anybody, resentment for sure with anybody. And I really want to say that it doesn't make you a quote unquote bad person to have murderous rage when you're taking care of someone you love. It is a very confusing thing to have hatred for someone you love.

Speaker 1:

That's a good quote. It is a good quote because I think that's so many times and even now. You know my spouse has cancer too, and you know there are things that I look at that we haven't been able to take advantage of because of his illness, and you get. You get that anger or yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I know I have a lot of clients that have that too yeah, and I think you want to identify other emotions that are in it too, because I think there's sadness in it, there's terror I mean, particularly with cancer or something you know when you know someone isn't going to get better or when you hope that they'll get better, like there are all kinds of complex layers to this, and fear and sadness get kind of buried when the anger has been stuffed for so long that that's like the primary emotion coming forward now.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so I hear you saying in that wheel that you showed, so there's there's a primary, is there a secondary?

Speaker 2:

and I don't do the primary and secondary so much. I just think that life is complicated and we feel a bunch of them at the same time and we want to make it linear. Oh, I'm feeling this or this, it's not an or it's an, and usually Perfect, perfect.

Speaker 1:

I like that Simple is better and being able to recognize it. I like that you had said the fear too. I have some people that some clients that even say they're using the words like trauma and post-traumatic stress from just all of the things that they've gone through with the traumas, the traumas, and that they look like they're carrying a big Santa bag on their back of all of the emotions and it looks like it's just a big mess. So I think that it's shit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it is yeah, and being able to unpack it and understand it. If you had somebody that came to you as a as in, in went through your course and they came and they have all of this, can you kind of describe what their journey would look like in this, you know, and maybe just pick, pick something and we can walk it through? I want people to know that you do have a resource if you can't figure it out yourself.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, I validate the shit out of the anger right and that's easy, because I hear these stories and I'm like, oh my God, that must suck so much and that sounds really casual. But that's a hardcore validation statement. I'm meeting them where they are. I haven't even offered any tools yet. I got to get with them on where they're at. It's a big miss that shrinks do.

Speaker 2:

All the time Someone comes in they say how they feel and they're like, well, let's do this and this and this, and it's well intended to help them, but they miss where they are to help them, but they miss where they are. And then the client or the student or patient, whatever people say is, is like, well, they don't get it. Now I'm not going to listen to anything they fucking say, cause they don't even get what my experience I have. They are not even listening to me, they just have an agenda in their head. You know, doctors do that shit all the time. They don't listen, particularly MDs, but even shrinks. I mean the psychiatrists definitely don't listen, but the therapists they, they're.

Speaker 2:

It's such a terrible thing because they're so focused on helping and it's such like what is that? Like intentions paving the way to hell? Like, yeah, is so what's happening there? They, and there's so much ego. You know the shrink wants to help and wants to see them get better and you know the person can feel that no one wants to be strong-armed into health. Right, let me feel my feeling, and a lot of times it's the anxiety of the professional. They don't want to see someone suffering. And that's the thing with the caregiver too. Right, it's somebody you love and you're watching them suffer physically, mentally, emotionally. You're watching them suffering.

Speaker 2:

You almost hate them for pitying them and then you feel guilty and it's scary and you have no compassion for yourself and the compassion for them is just running out of your ass too like yes, nowhere to be found because we're so hard on ourselves and then of course that's going to get projected onto the poor sick person who's acting like an asshole sometimes too, because oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, right, but you can't call them an asshole. You can't even think it, even if they're acting like it yeah, yeah because then you're the monster that isn't patient enough, or whatever. Oh, yeah it's just so hard.

Speaker 1:

And there's very few people that will help us, as caregivers, validate our emotions. I've been told so many times like if people would meet me in the grocery store how are you doing? And it's some of the worst times of my life and I would say things are really hard, but you got this, they're so lucky to have you, and I would leave there and I would be so frustrated and because others don't know how to help you validate it.

Speaker 2:

Nope, and they're so anxious by you being in that.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

Shame you for it. You had the courage to even tell the truth instead of just be like oh fine.

Speaker 1:

I know.

Speaker 2:

Until you said the truth, and then they just squashed it. They ran away. They didn't make any sort of space for you no. And what I would do with that. It'd be like what happened today. Yeah. And just let you talk because there's so much inside you from just one damn day and nobody's listening to you and you're listening all day long. Active listening can be quite draining in a relationship that isn't reciprocal and it's not supposed to be.

Speaker 2:

when you're a caregiver, when you're a teacher, you know, when you're in that higher power position, that authority, it's not supposed to be reciprocal, but you got to, like, take care of yourself so you're not drained by other people's shit all the time you have to yourself energetically. You know like I, I will tilt, just like my heart just a little bit away so that we're not head on.

Speaker 2:

I don't totally know how energy works, but I know what I feel when someone is like suicidally depressed in front of me and I'm facing them head on. After that hour I'm going to leave and I'm going to have caught some of that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Like oh my gosh depressed.

Speaker 2:

I'm the happiest person I know, not that shit doesn't happen, and I feel those feelings negative too, but like suicidal depression from nothing. I know now that I just picked up somebody else's stuff.

Speaker 1:

I wasn't carry that burden and you know, and you can't sleep and you can't do anything and as a caregiver, it's good to know, it's, it's validating to know that that was normal to go ahead and carry that. But how do you release that Right?

Speaker 2:

And I think we got to do body work too. I mean, I certainly think that care caregivers need to talk, need to be listened to. They need that space. Um, you got to find somebody decent though, because even the friends are gonna do the thing like in the store. It's gonna sound more sophisticated, but it's gonna feel the same.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, crappy um so you got to find somebody that gets it. Um, but I think I think body work of some kind, like energy work, reiki, um, acupuncture, I think, cause the, the mind and the mouth lie and the body doesn't you know, it'll show up in your body. You'll spend the whole day with your shoulders.

Speaker 1:

Digestive issues, yeah. I had for sure with your shoulders. Digestive issues yeah, I had major major because I did it for seven years and it was very intense for quite a while and I ended up being diagnosed with a lot of digestive issues. But then you go to the doctor and what do they do? They just fix the symptom where I didn't understand that I had to fix the stress and I had to fix myself internally Yep.

Speaker 2:

And you notice, I didn't say go to a GI guy like MDs. Go if you have to, of course. I just I think the the taking care of yourself part involves something a little bit out of the norm, at least out of hardcore Western medicine, and shop around, find what you like, and you know you don't have to totally understand it. When you leave, how do you feel? Are you relieved? Well, do more of that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I was just listening to Hoda Hoda Kopi's podcast today and she was talking about she was interviewing somebody about acupuncture and talking about, um, she was very skeptical of it and was like worried about it. And because the lady had her glasses on her head and she was looking for her glasses and she was thinking, oh my gosh, is this person going to even be able to do it. And she, when, when she left, she felt better.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh. I did that for 15 years I did.

Speaker 1:

I've never done acupuncture, so yeah.

Speaker 2:

Well, give it a shot. I went for grieving and I like cried on the table for six months. But I was like I went to one of my colleagues. I was like I think I gotta go on meds or something just to work, like I am such a mess and I didn't want to. So I happened to see one of those pull tabs of somebody that started their practice and I was like, well, shit, I'll try anything, I don't want meds. And I ended up doing it for years and years. I did it for sports injuries, I did it for everything I love interesting, interesting, interesting, interesting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, being able to go ahead and do that, yeah.

Speaker 2:

That has less of a stigma too than a lot of the other stuff. Yeah, clearly in the Midwest.

Speaker 1:

you know, I know it's kind of that. I love the fact that you had said I have one piece in here that I said I love this. You said stop denying, you have anger in the first place.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's the validation piece. Yeah, yeah, you got to validate it. We can't let go of shit. We haven't acknowledged.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. So continue to ask yourself why and why and why Do you see benefits to journaling that and looking at? Yeah, do you see that too?

Speaker 2:

to journaling that and looking at, yeah, do you see that too, particularly that people that are isolated with their emotions, you know, like people don't get it, people that are grieving caregivers, you know a lot of those sort of things that freak people out because they're not exposed to them very often yes, and if you're muzzled in some way in your life, yes, journal, and particularly for the anger work man, we do this all the time.

Speaker 2:

If I can feel somebody doing yeah, buts all the time when we're working together and I'm like, and they're not quite in touch with their anger, but my guess is they're feeling some, I'll be like, okay, all right.

Speaker 2:

This is we're battling here. I mean it looks friendly, but I can feel what's going on here. So I'm going to set the timer for 10 minutes. I want you, I'm going to give you this red marker and this big piece of paper and you go ahead and have serial killer handwriting, I don't care. You write out every ugly thing you want and then we're going to burn it in the fireplace.

Speaker 2:

And burning a piece of paper is a visual representation of letting go. People say, oh, let it go. Let it go. There's that just again. Let it go. Well, shit, if I knew how to do that, I would have already done it. Thanks Einstein. Like how do we do that? How do you let something go? You know you can coach yourself with words to do it, but you know we're not in Tibet. Or like you know where kids are learning how to do this stuff and meditate at two. Like, we're not like that. So a visual representation of the paper going away due to the flame clicks something in our mind of letting go. We're actually watching the words burn away, and maybe you can say an intention when you do that I'm letting this go. It can be real simple like that. All this anger came from someplace and now I'm going to let it go. For me not to be polite or anything, I'm letting it go because it's a burden on me. Yeah, light it and then you watch it burn. What if it comes back again? Do it again.

Speaker 1:

Do it again. You just have to come back again, for care yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, frickin day. Yeah, the big thing that I see is that caregivers are so close-minded and I was too Close-minded where their anger and resentful because of a situation, their loved one just yelling at them all the time give me this, give me that, I need this, I need that and they don't get enough sleep and they try to work through, and we try to work through choices and different options so that they get some self-care time, but they're good for a while. Then it comes back again.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think that there is some ego in that as the caregiver in that we want them to get better. Yeah, we want. You know, life is the peaks and valleys. So, we know that. So why the hell, when there's a valley, are we pissed off every time? That's a control thing, and control is self-medication for an emotion, meaning it's like a drug to get away from the experience of the emotion.

Speaker 1:

Interesting.

Speaker 2:

And if you're trying to control everything, which is complicated too because you are in charge of so many choices, so control is like really on you.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, you're just like you're. Yeah, I'm the first born in the family. I'm a people pleaser, I'm a high achiever. I think I have to do it all, and then I'm angry and resentful. It doesn't make sense what the heck am I doing here?

Speaker 2:

I mean, and I would have flamed out so early in my career. You know you're a newbie and you're like do this. You know you think I don't still think sometimes, if you just did what I fricking told you to do, your life would be better. For every April, when spring fever makes people make messes of their lives, and then they run to me and they're like help, help, jj, and I'm like I fricking told you in March this shit was coming. I say it every year. What do you want me to do? You know what would be an example of that? Oh my gosh, the spring fever thing. Man, whatever you're feeling in your life, there is a surge of energy.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I see what you're saying.

Speaker 2:

It makes more of whatever it is. It's not always positive If you're a depressed person and then you spring. People are out and they're wearing shorts and they seem like, oh, everybody's having a better time in life than me. They get more of that if your anxious definitely get activated.

Speaker 2:

People want, you know, I tell people up the masturbation too. Like you're gonna go make messes with fake relationships and you're like I mean the whole gamut people just messes. We call that willful behavior. The ones okay behaviors you engage in, you know, make your life worse instead of better. Yeah, yeah, but you know I, you know you do it enough years and you start to look for places where you got to just let go of the grip on the attachment to outcome. We can't make people take their meds. I mean we kind of can, but you know, like you can't make people do anything. I'm great at my job. I cannot make people do what I say. I can't make people do the skills that I teach. We have to be in collaboration and I have got to accept the limitations of my own power.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Accept your limitations is a great piece.

Speaker 2:

Because I'm taking their power away if I power over them. Nobody likes to be strong armed either. That's why you do the choices right. But even the choices thing is like fucking do this or fucking do that. You know, don't do nothing. And sometimes they just want to know, in their very powerless situation, that they can wield some power. And sometimes it's destructive for sure. But if you were to validate their frustration I know you're having one of those days that sucks and like everybody's prodding at you and I'm sorry and I'm pissed off too. Like maybe we should just be pissed off together and watch a funny movie.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, and fuck all this stuff for today. Release it, yeah, and release it yeah.

Speaker 2:

Through laughter, which is both bonding and fun, but it also has a neurophysiological effect of calming the central nervous system down. Would you just fake laughing together? Yeah, it's going to end up being funny if you're just like ha, ha ha ha.

Speaker 1:

For me it's the TikTok pranks. I love the pranks. I don't think I could stage those all the time, but I'm laughing at the pranks. There was one where the wife or the girlfriend would lay on the ground and the gentleman would come around the corner and they're all sneaked out and scared and they drop everything or they fall or whatever. And I'm like my husband looks at me. It's like why are you laughing? And I'm like because it's fun right now.

Speaker 2:

So funny, dude. My brother and I watch those videos incessantly and he scares me. I'm the one that's scared all the time. I'm not great at staging it, although this last I did scare the crap out of a bunch of times. That's fun and it's the losing of control. I think that makes that so funny to me the throwing of things or whatever, people just losing control of their body or something. I don't know what it is, but it's hilarious to me too, right, right.

Speaker 1:

Well, this has been so insightful and I know the caregiver listeners will definitely benefit from hearing about you, know this emotion, or their emotions, and being able to go ahead and and understand their emotions. Now I want to go ahead and I'll promote your book. Do you have one book? I finished the sixth one. Oh my gosh, I have to go ahead and get on the ball here, because I only have this one, this one called A Guide to Honestly Assessing and Effectively Managing Explosive and Implosive Anger Without Toxic Positivity. Say that one three times.

Speaker 2:

I know I tried to pair it. I love it though.

Speaker 1:

I love it because I'm geeking out at all the words. So yeah, so definitely. I'll include that in the show notes so people can go out. Is it Amazon or their favorite bookstore?

Speaker 2:

Amazon, audible. I read them and I told my producer to like, when I start laughing or I say something like wow, who puts that in a book? And I just start laughing, I tell her to leave it in. Oh, because it's real. You know, it's. That's who I am, and I think authenticity is how we deal too. So I wanted to say one last thing. I think isolation with your profession and your listeners in particular, I really think that is a support group situation or a group treatment plan. There is something about not getting being surrounded by people that don't get it and then being muzzled. That, I think, really exacerbates this problem. So you can come together, wine something you know. It can be super informal Jam a party, happy hour, whatever, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And and you want to you want to manage like bitch fest, and vent definitely has to be part of it. And then the second half has to be something joyful. It doesn't have to be problem solving. It can be problem solving, but like if it turns into just a bitch fest, it can have the opposite effect.

Speaker 1:

I see that in a lot of Facebook groups right now. I see the pain and I see the bitching going on, but I don't see the next piece.

Speaker 2:

That's trauma bonding and that that does more harm in the long run.

Speaker 1:

That's cool. I like the fact, though, because I think what I did I made the mistake originally in the business of doing the bringing the trauma together but then moving right into problem solving, versus not having the fun, not having the bonding, and I think that's an important piece, because we can't fix everything in this space that we're in, and but we can acknowledge it, and my, my saying, um, jj, is always to go back to when you're done with caregiving and you look back on caregiving, what are you going to be proud of?

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's so great.

Speaker 1:

Because you don't want to remember it as all pain. I mean there's going to be some grief and pain, but you want to remember some of the good things as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and the strength and courage it takes to face that pain all the time. That's something that's women. We are not celebrated for the strength in vulnerability there is. There's a reason that's mostly women doing that, and then we don't even celebrate the strength and courage it takes to face that every day. That is an incredible thing to do. That is like miraculous work every day. So don't forget that.

Speaker 1:

That is like I'm not a very spiritual person, but I'm going to say hallelujah, yeah To that. Oh my gosh, yes, that's a revolutionary way to think.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, yes, isn't that strange that that's a revolutionary way to think. It's so common sense, it's common sense. But you know it's true. When you hear it, you can feel the truth in it. And yet it's this elusive, airy thing that we never take time to notice.

Speaker 1:

I know it and that makes it. You warmed my heart there. That's really good. Now, if somebody wants to connect with you or wants to go ahead and investigate your services, where can they find you?

Speaker 2:

It's all drjjkellycom. I recommend the TikToks, the Instagram. There's so much free content on TikTok and Instagram, like pandemic. We just loaded it up. Loaded it up, okay, so that is the easiest. The courses are all on the website. There's. There are materials that you can print out the uh wheel on there for free, which I recommend because the ones that you find online that's why I had to make my own is because they have a lot of thoughts in there that are masquerading as feelings. Attacked ain't a feeling, interested is a cognition. I mean interested could. Maybe I'll let somebody go with that if they're doing a job with the other ones. Good, bad are not on there. Seen, heard, these are not feelings.

Speaker 2:

They're all kinds of things people are saying oh, I'm feeling emotional. Well, what emotion. It's not vulnerable to say that that's a toxic bypass or that's a toxic spiritual bypass. Yeah, toxic positivity. Oh, I'm so emotional. Yeah, what emotion. Yeah, pissed off.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's next level to say pissed off instead of just emotional. That's intellectualizing, that doesn't get you anywhere.

Speaker 1:

I like that too. I like that too, and you're, you're coming closer to yourself and really admitting it and validating it because I think so, or even like the word. I'm so overwhelmed. What does that mean? What is that? That's not an emotion, right?

Speaker 2:

Well, I let that one go. But you're not feeling emotions by the time you're overwhelmed. There's a shutdown that goes with overwhelm, and overwhelm usually means you're stuffing something. It's usually fear or anger. Those are the two big players. Okay, but you can recognize it through the paralysis that it creates. But you can recognize it through the paralysis that it creates.

Speaker 2:

And you can walk it back and be like why do I not want to do anything? Oh, I'm overwhelmed. Okay, overwhelm, is that like high anxiety? Am I trying to cap off anger and I'm overflowing? What is that about? And you can really do that kind of analysis. You don't need to be a shrink to do that, you just have to have somebody teach you.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, I could talk to you forever about this, because my head's spinning, my head's totally spinning, with like three more examples Gifted Misfits book is my course.

Speaker 2:

That's the emotional intelligence.

Speaker 1:

What is it?

Speaker 2:

The Gifted Misfits. Holy shit, I'm a Gifted Misfit. Holy shit, I'm a gifted misfit. That second book is the course. So for whatever 13 or whatever bucks it is, you can do the whole course on your own, Okay.

Speaker 1:

Okay, okay, wow, that's cool, that's wonderful. Well, thank you very much. Oh my gosh, wasn't that a great interview. What did you think there were so so much she gave us. There was so much. Why don't you hit that text link at the bottom and tell me your biggest takeaways? I'll go ahead and share those on next week's podcast and we can even unpack a little bit at the beginning of that episode. A couple of mine was she had said we are programmed to not feel guilt and shame, and then she goes on to share it. What about the other one that she shared some problem solving skills and practices? She talked about taking a deep breath first before you reach out or before you react. Those were just a couple. I mean, I had a ton of them that I wrote down, especially when I was re -listening to it again.

Speaker 1:

Okay, another one is get out there and get her series of books, or the one that I used during the interview was the Holy Shit. So this Is Anger book. It's just a little tiny, half-inch thick book. So it's an little tiny, half-inch-thick book. It's an easy, quick read that you could probably read in one setting. Then I already ordered my Holy Shit. All this is Shame. Uncover the Hidden Emotion that poisons our ability to thrive. That really unpacks the emotion. She has a whole package of books out there. If you go to Amazon, I think if you do the electronic version it's $9.99. Or you can get the paperback book, which is, I think, about $20. So whatever works best for you. For me, I love highlighting and writing in the books.

Speaker 1:

You can also follow Kelly, dr Kelly, on Instagram. She is Dr JJ Kelly K-E-L-L-Y. Or you can go to her website at drjjkellycom and read more about it. Look at what she has to offer out there. There's some free stuff, and then there's some more intense work that she does with her clients. Then there's some more intense work that she does with her clients and then, lastly, if you know of anybody else that really is struggling with anger and resentment, this is the one that you're going to want to.

Speaker 1:

Go ahead and share this episode with. Hit that share button or take a screen print of it and share it on your Instagram site so others can benefit from Dr JJ Kelly's wisdom and her advice that she gave us. She gave us a whole hour of information to go ahead and use and stew on and think about, which is just wonderful. Lastly, thank you for listening to the Caregiver Cup podcast. I know it's in the midst of summer when this episode is going to air and you have other things that you could be doing. You have other podcast episodes that you could listen to as well, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting this podcast and following it. We'll talk to you again next week. Bye for now.

Exploring Caregiver Anger and Resentment
Navigating Emotions in Caregiving
Support and Validation for Caregivers
Exploring Letting Go of Anger
Exploring Emotions and Self-Reflection
Sharing Dr. JJ Kelly's Wisdom