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Episode #22: Sharing Scripts in Advance, As a Courtesy

Before launching Season 1 of Audacious Freedom, the podcast, an attorney friend of mine offered me very smart – if difficult to act on – ADVICE. She suggested that even though I don’t NAME my ex-husband or two ex-fiances after my divorce, that I reach out to them as a courtesy. To reach out to them as a COURTESY with JUST the script or scripts that mention them. NOT the recording of an entire episode or the whole script of an episode. Only the script that refers to them. FUCK. I KNEW this was excellent advice, though I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of reaching out to each of them at all, let alone for something so INTIMATE. INTIMATE NOT because I have ANY feelings for them – well, POSITIVE feelings for them – because – oh yeah, I have feelings ABOUT them, like what the FUCK was I THINKING to have been romantically INVOLVED with any of them. These men were among my MISTAKES, my poor decisions in life. Decisions I made spontaneously, reactively and against my better judgment at times in my life when I was most vulnerable and when I lacked confidence and believed I *needed* a man or that somehow my life would be better, easier or more fulfilled with a partner. And the ONLY reason I mention any of them in some of my podcast episodes is to share the TRUTH with you, my listeners, the TRUTH about my MISTAKES. How I got into the mistakes and how I got the fuck out of them. How I am EMBARRASSED about when I was fucking MISERABLE. So NOW, as I’m recording Season 2 of Audacious Freedom, the podcast and preparing to drop Season 1, I had to reach out to 3 of my MISTAKES. FUCK. I was able to find them all easily, thanks to Google and social media. And then came messaging them each individually. I don’t want to share with you which one said what exactly, but I DO want to share what the process has been like for ME. It’s been HARD AS FUCK, I will not lie. HARD AS FUCKING FUCK. I didn’t realize just how much of a WASTE OF TIME they all were for me and how much hostility I was holding for them and how much I wish I could go back in time and ERASE those relationships. ERASE those fucking MISTAKES and never have to think about them or to tell you about them. In reaching out to them, it was like re-living the mistakes. Writing the podcast episodes and recording the ones that mention them was hard enough – more like an out-of-body experience or something – stories – that happened to someone else though. Reaching out directly to these real people, these real people who were my biggest REGRETS made shit REAL. It was an exercise in sheer HUMILITY, to set aside my HUGE PRIDE and EGO. To approach them with KINDNESS – because I want to be kind to ALL human beings – but NOT to become FRIENDS with any of them or to catch up and have a conversation. So, I reached out to each of them with the EXACT same initial message. That I hoped they and their families – if they have one – were doing well and that I was reaching out as a COURTESY prior to launching Season 1 of my podcast. I was reaching out as a COURTESY so see if they were willing to read any scripts that might MENTION them – not NAME them – any scripts that might mention ex-husband, fiance #1 or fiance #2. And here is what was interesting about their responses. ONe said basically, “no thank you” and something to the effect of “say whatever you need to say”. Another said “sure, go ahead and email the scripts to me”. And the third said pretty much the same thing. And they ALL said, “I hope your podcast is a success”. That was kind of them, for sure. And to the TWO I sent actual scripts to, I very carefully worded the paragraphs leading up to the scripts themselves. I wrote the following bullets for them to please keep in mind:

1. I am providing this preview for you of the scripts as a courtesy so that you would not be caught off guard should someone be able to identify you, even though you are not named and I would very much like for your identity to be private 

2. The episodes are filled with my stories – past and present – that I reflect on and share my thoughts and feelings about a period of time or certain events in my life 

3. Although the stories are about me and my point of view, in a few episodes I describe how I felt about my ex – and/or later, the two fiances after my divorce, with whom I broke off the engagements 

4. I do not mean to insult or upset anyone with my point of view and memories, though I realize how offensive the words can be 

5. That said, the stories and my podcast episodes are not at all meant to be jabs toward anyone as a person or to try to settle any kind of unresolved score with anyone. I have no unresolved score with you [insert name], or with the other two 

6. My stories are raw and often embarrassing to admit what I’ve thought and felt, especially in the past, and how in more recent years, I have embraced being *self-partnered* and having my daughter on my own terms, without a partner 

7. Again, I do not name you in these episodes and I wouldn’t want any listeners to be able to figure out who you are. That should be pretty easy since our history pre-dated social media 

8. I want you to know that in these episodes I am not trying to say anything about anyone else. Rather, it’s a snapshot of my life and who I was at a time in my life when I looked outside of myself to find happiness. If only I knew then what I know now….” 

Then, I proceeded to share with each of them the partial scripts and included the Show Titles and Show Notes for context within each episode. And then I went about my life and resisted thinking about how they might react, when they might respond. I OWNED the scripts and my stories and my memories and my feelings about it all and I had zero control over THEIR memories or feelings. They both responded within a few days, I think. One said simply that he wasn’t going to dispute anything and he again wished my podcast well. And the OTHER one, Jesus Christ. Jesus fucking Christ. I did not see this one coming. At all. Not for a fucking second. I could not have possibly anticipated this response. I’m getting worked up just thinking about it. I literally feel nauseous writing out this script now. I have adrenaline pumping through my body. My entire body is in fight or flight mode now and I want to punch AND run. If his face were right here in front of me right now I would punch him and I have never punched anyone. I would punch him in his fucking face right now if I could. I am sweating right now with anxiety and it’s so weird that I can feel sweat in my armpits because it’s freezing cold in our home right now because the A/C is on and I have goosebumps from being cold. But I am also sweating because I feel sick and anxious, re-living reading this fucker’s email back to me. I still can’t figure out how he thought it was ok to respond with the words he chose, after I so carefully prefaced my email to him. I used the same exact preface and email to both of these people. And one responded very simply and kindly and humanely even. And the other one. Jesus Fucking Christ. I have to tell you that I will NOT share his exact words with you listeners. NOT because I don’t want to air his fucking dirty laundry, because I fucking should. This guy should be OUTED. I’m not going to share them because I can’t stomach even READING them again and I sure as shit wouldn’t be able to write them down in this episode script, then read them ALOUD. NO FUCKING WAY. What I WILL do though is give you the gist of what he said. And then I WILL share with you – maybe only in part – what I responded to him. And the only reason I might not share ALL of what I wrote back is because I want to protect NOT HIM, but maybe other people in his life. That’s all I’m going to explain about THAT. Okay, so what did this fucker write back that’s got me so PISSED? I literally have to get up and pace around for a minute now. My hands are shaking. Hang on. Okay I”m back and I’m not really any calmer. And I’m noticing my handwriting is ANGRY, too – it’s a little bit messy and darker than my handwriting on the other pages because I’m writing so fast to get this story out of my body and my brain. Shit. Okay, here it goes. This FUCKER said something to the effect that he had good memories about the first half of our relationship. And then. And THEN, he proceeded to share very GRAPHIC and EXPLICIT memories of our time together. Shit that I had NEVER thought about – I had no fucking reason to ever think about. Shit that he wrote to me about – that he thought to write to me about and that he actually wrote to me about, ESPECIALLY after I shared this partial scrip about him in Season 1, Episode #8 of my podcast, called “Having a Baby DIY-Style”. Show Notes: “Here’s a riddle for you. A woman has been divorced for 21 years. She has an 11-year-old daughter. Who is the daughter’s father? Tune into this episode for the answer to this riddle – the story about my daughter and me. And it’s clearly not as the old nursery rhyme goes: ‘First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage. Hah!’” Then I wrote: “Script(s) referring to [insert character in story]: “Then comes getting engaged again a few years later [after my divorce] at 37. Then comes complaining to my new therapist about my fiance: my therapist – and this is for real! – said, ‘Honey, maybe this is just as good as it gets.’ What the fuck?? Then comes trying a little longer with my fiance – my fiance who I literally run circles around in every aspect of life – until I just can’t any more. THe comes kicking out the fiance after 13 months in the relationship and I consider this a success because I was with my ex-husband for 13 YEARS wishing he’d be someone else and THIS time I’d only wasted 13 MONTHS of my life wishing my finance was someone else.” HARSH words, I know this, listeners. I know. My thoughts and memories are BRUTAL. I get it. And this is why my attorney friend was absolutely right to advise me to reach out ahead of my podcast launch, to get ahead of any backlash and any upset from any of my three past relationships. And what the FUCKING FUCK was this FUCKER thinking?? How did this fucker arrive at – AFTER reading what I said and thought about him – how did this FUCKER arrive at REMINESCING. I want you all to know I am fucking sweating again. I had to get up and pacer around and I want to PUNCH his fucking face. I imagine myself in the boxing ring with gloves on and perfect boxer form, boxing gloves on – one hand protecting my face and the other one throwing an expert punch in his FUCKING face in slow motion, turning to the side and blood coming out of his nose. I know. I’m not proud to admit this. This is embarrassing and against my nature, to have good intentions and to be kind to others. But this fucker fucked with the wrong person. This fucker responded with the WRONG words to this person. This fucker. This is is what I responded to this fucker. But WAIT! There is MORE! “How could there be any more?”, you listeners might want to know. Well, I’ll tell you how there could be more because you can’t make this shit up. I’m just RELAYING to you what actually HAPPENED. Last week. In 2021. THIS happened: the fucker actually ALSO wrote – also FUCKING WROTE – that he wondered if I was trying to RE-KINDLE something. RE-FUCKING-KINDLE something. What the ever-fucking fuck??? I am so worked up right now

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