Even Pillars Feel the Weight

Drew #50
Published on
Apr 22, 2021
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In this episode...

This week, Drew is realizing that sooner than later, his parents will no longer be financially supporting him. Not only is he nervous about being able to pay for everything, he’s worried that once his parents no longer have an obligation to support him, they won’t choose to be as connected to him. This leads Drew and Doug to have a discussion regarding being necessary, and choosing love and connection rather than feeling obligated. They talk about why Drew kicks into caretaker mode when he wants to feel attachment, and helps Drew see that he’s been a pillar standing alone, trying to hold up everything for everyone.


Kenzie Jenest
Bonnie Rae

Bonnie is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles. She is an instructor for graduate students in the LGBT Specialization Psychology program at Antioch University. Although her specialty is working with the LGBTQ community and people in the entertainment industry, she also assists clients in managing and/or overcoming anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, painful relationship patterns, creative blocks, co-dependency, love and sex addiction, issues with intimacy and low self-esteem.

Bonnie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Emerson College and a Masters in Clinical Psychology degree from Antioch University with a specialization in LGBT psychology.

Doug Friedman

Doug Friedman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker that has spent nearly 20 years working with adults, adolescents and families with issues ranging from depression and anxiety to substance abuse, bipolar disorder and PTSD. He has supervised a program at a community mental health agency that serves severely emotionally disturbed youth and their families in Los Angeles. He continues to provide clinical supervision to therapists and associates in his private group practice, Clear Mind Full Heart in Los Angeles.

Doug received a Masters in Social Work from The Catholic University of America and a BA in Study of Religion from UCLA. Before becoming a psychotherapist, Doug worked for a music management company that oversaw bands like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Beastie Boys, and Bonnie Raitt. Doug is also the artist and songwriter behind all the music heard on the podcast.

Meredith Levy

Meredith Levy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California and holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Over the last ten years she has worked with many different populations, and feels most at home working in addiction, personality disorders and mood disorders. Meredith specializes in Dialectical
Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Meredith worked with inner-city youth as a bi-lingual therapist for the Department of Mental Health in Los Angeles County. Not only has Meredith worked at a variety of different drug and alcohol treatment centers throughout California, she was also the co- founder of a large treatment facility in Northern California.

Meredith's extensive education and background as an attorney and an MBA gives her a unique perspective and a fresh approach to elevating personal growth. In addition, she is a certified yoga instructor and believes that the spiritual, physical and emotional aspects of the self are important components of the therapeutic process.

Key Takeaways

[3:58] Doug and Mer revisit the discussion of shutting down their laptops at the end of the day. No, they haven’t been practicing what they preach, but they’re going to take the challenge again now! 

[8:08] Session Begins. 

[8:29] Drew opens the session by talking about the stress he is feeling from cutting the financial cord between himself and his parents. Now that he’s turning 26, he will have to pay for his own health insurance, and he is working on becoming totally financially independent. The anxiety from this is causing him to lose his appetite and sleep. 

[11:30] Drew worries that if his parents take their obligation away to financially support him, they won’t be as invested or even care about him.  Doug tells Drew there is only one way to find out, and asks if he could stop texting his parents first and see what happens. If they do disappoint him, Drew has a safe space to process his feelings. 

[18:41] Doug compares Drew to a Roman pillar, holding up everything but standing alone. While he worries about his parents feeling lonely, he realizes that he feels extremely isolated as this pillar. 

[21:14] When Drew feels as though he isn’t necessary or important, he creates a care taking dynamic that makes him feel necessary. He does it with his parents, relationships, and even friends. 

[25:19] Drew is working on his boundaries, showing up in an authentic way, and saying “no” to something when he doesn’t want to do it. He tells Doug that his life was changed after the session when they talked about how it’s okay for him to disappoint others. 

[27:26] Drew is grateful to his friends that he feels comfortable enough around bringing out his authentic self.  He’s working on being wanted, not just needed. 

[32:42] Session Ends. 

[35:43] Meredith and Doug talk about their own path to financial freedom. It wasn’t always pretty, but the process showed them a lot about maturity and accountability. 

[37:02] Meredith was impressed that Drew wants to be financially independent, and maybe it doesn’t need to be so black and white. 

[37:50] Doug talks about working in the music industry and racking up huge debt. He spent his late 20’s and early 30’s getting his credit back to good shape, and so appreciated the help of his mom filling up his refrigerator as a young broke man. 

[41:01] Doug and Drew discuss how powerful it is to feel loved by someone out of choice rather than obligation.  Drew is finding evidence that says there will be no connection between his parents once they aren’t supporting him, and his Vader voice tells him it’s because it’s not necessary. 

[48:03] Meredith found it very insightful that Drew was able to see why he goes into caretaker mode. It sucks to be a lone pillar, but Drew is making huge strides in figuring out who he is in his relationships.  He continues to work on being okay with the discomfort that comes with disappointing people he cares about. 

[50:37] Doug’s wise words: If you figure out where you fit in, you will know just how to fit in. If you figure out yourself first, where you are going, and who is going with you in that order, you will be authentic and gain more self respect. 

[53:02] Drew loves when Doug calls him on the bullshit, and Meredith loves it too!

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