This is a Transcript for the Moving and Memories episode of the over divorce podcast available here

Announcer: [0:01] You’re listing to the OverDivorce.com podcast with hosts Tom and Adrian, two guys swapping stories about getting over divorce. If you’re going through a painful divorce and are struggling with anger and anxiety, then you’ve found the right podcast.

[0:14] Hang with us for the next 30 minutes or so and we promise you’ll gain useful insight and effective tips and techniques for getting over your divorce and rebuilding a better life.

Tom: [0:25] Welcome to the Over Divorce podcast. I’m Tom.

Adrian: [0:28] I’m Adrian.

Tom: [0:30] We’ve got an interesting show today. What have we got, Adrian?

Adrian: [0:33] Today we’re talking about moving stuff and memories.

Tom: [0:37] Moving out.

Adrian: [0:39] What’s that?

Tom: [0:39] Yeah, moving out, right?

Adrian: [0:41] Moving out, moving on. What to hold on to, what to burn. How to move on without erasing your past.

Tom: [0:47] I’m a huge fan of Philip K. Dick, who was the author of “Blade Runner” and “Minority Report,” “Total Recall.” I was watching those movies with my daughter.

[1:00] I was trying to communicate to her how in Philip K. Dick’s writing, he was committed to communicating the idea of memory’s role in identity.

[1:13] If you look at those stories, particularly “Total Recall” and “Blade Runner”, they’re about that idea of memory and identity. You are what you remember.

Adrian: [1:23] Yeah, I hadn’t thought of it that way. Yeah, you’re certainly the collection of all your life’s experiences, who you are, and ultimately what you’ll be is totally based on your past experiences and your decisions and actions.

Tom: [1:42] I remember that scene in Blade Runner where Decker is talking to the character, who is the highest level of replicant. He was trying to convince her that she was replicant and she asked him if he ever took the test himself. She was in this existential crisis.

[2:00] She is a computer but she was freaking out about, “Well I have these memories of playing piano.” Harrison Ford’s character is essentially going, “Those aren’t your memories. They were the memories of the inventor’s niece.” They were implants.

[2:18] That whole idea of I’m a person because I have these memories, I have these identity because I have these memories, maybe you do and maybe you don’t.

[2:26] How do you know what you really have in terms of memories and how do you know that they’re really yours I think is a really heavy question to lay out particularly back when they made Blade Runner in ’81 or whenever that was.

[2:40] About that with my stuff. My stuff is my memories.

Adrian: [2:46] Would you ever erase you memories? There is one point in time where I was haunted by the time that I had had with my ex, the painful memories of it that I couldn’t escape. What was that movie…?

Tom: [3:02] “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

Adrian: [3:04] Exactly. Where you could go in, and they could take out those cells that had those memories. You could erase that from your past. I would have done that. There is a period [laughs] of my time when I would have signed up for that no worries.

Tom: [3:17] I remember seeing a documentary about modern electroshock therapy. [laughs] That reminded me a lot of that. This idea that electroshock isn’t what you see in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

[3:29] It puts you under general anesthesia. They roll you in, and they bang you. For people who have severe depression or bipolar disorder, I know they do it for severe depression. It helps them.

[3:45] It’s weird, because we all have this prejudice about it based on film. It really isn’t like that at all, to my understanding anyway.

Adrian: [3:54] A reset button?

Tom: [3:56] Yes.

Adrian: [3:56] Is that what it’s doing? It’s totally resetting all the wiring?

Tom: [3:59] That’s the theory. That it works because they were interviewing these people. What freaks me out a little bit about it, in retrospect, is they were older. They were late 60’s and 70’s. They were like, “I feel better.” They were better. You could tell.

[4:17] I would have my memories erased. But also, in fairness, feel like maybe I have erased a lot of them anyway through the trauma of all of that.

Adrian: [4:27] It’s funny how your perception switches things around. Depending on your mood, you can feel really angry and only remember the bad times, or you’re feeling nostalgic and only remember the good times.

[4:39] How that plays tricks on you and what you recall, and how those experiences play out in your head, not necessarily reality.

[4:50] The problem, though, in terms of working through your divorce in the early stages, is getting those memories triggered by pictures, and objects, and presents, or whatever you’ve got around that remind you of your ex. That can be detrimental in terms of getting over.

Tom: [5:11] What did you do? Did you clear everything out?

Adrian: [5:13] Yeah, I ended up clearing pretty much everything out. Everything that was given to me by my ex I boxed up, got rid of. The first thing to go were the wedding pictures, the ones that were hanging on the walls. I pulled those down and boxed them up and put them in the attic.

[5:32] There are definitely points where I wanted to throw them out and burn them but I resisted that and boxed them up. They’re still in the attic to this day hanging out. Then I got rid of any gifts or clothes or anything that I’d gotten from my ex.

[5:50] That helped me in terms of not having those visual cues and have that stuff around to remind me and act as a psychological trigger.

Tom: [6:00] It’s interesting that you got rid of the clothes and gifts. I was trying to think I have clothes that she gave me that I still wear.

[6:14] I don’t really think about it when I put it on but I did the same thing particularly with the wedding pictures. I remember thinking to myself, “Am I going to ever want to look at these again?”

[6:27] I remember thinking when I was putting them away, “Yeah, I think there will be a time.” and flashed through my mind that maybe in the future I’ll want to look at it.

Adrian: [6:37] When you’re on wife number seven?

[6:38] [laughter]

Adrian: [6:39] You guys can sit down and check out all your old wedding pictures? Here’s number four. She was great. I really miss her.

Tom: [6:50] Switching subjects slightly, there is a show that ABC has made. It’s on Hulu. It’s called “Trophy Wife”. The guy that plays the character of the husband is on wife number three and wife number one and number two still orbit because of their children.

[7:11] It’s super weird, man. That doesn’t seem based in any reality but I’m sure that it is. Lots of people have third and fourth and fifth wives. It doesn’t seem practical to me but I guess it is. It still happens, right?

Adrian: [7:29] It happens. I don’t know how you manage all that. It’s a lot of exes to deal with. It’s too much man. It’s too much.

Tom: [7:36] It has a lot to do with demography. Married when you’re in your late twenties and the first one’s wrong and five years later you marry your second and spend seven years with them. It’s conceivable that you’re only 12 years down.

[7:51] Why wouldn’t you marry a third time if you had the financial means versus somebody that’s been married 20 years?

Adrian: [7:59] It depends on how bad your divorce is, the first one. It’s probably going to set the tone.

Tom: [8:06] Isn’t that a starter marriage though if you bail at five years?

Adrian: [8:09] You’re warming up. You’re getting your toes wet.

Tom: [8:13] Particularly if you don’t have any kids. No harm, no foul, right?

Adrian: [8:17] That’s the clincher though is the kids’ thing. That’s the real game changer. Not that it’s not hard if you don’t have kids but you’re definitely linked to them forever as long as your kids are in your life. I don’t know how you juggle all those exes Tom. I don’t know how you do that.

Tom: [8:38] We got no advice for you here. If you are on wife number seven we really don’t have anything to tell you. In fact…

Adrian: [8:45] Shoot us an email because we’ve got an electroshock therapy session opening up in 15 minutes. [laughter] [inaudible 0:08:52] .

Tom: [8:53] We can interview you prior and then we can interview you after.

Adrian: [8:59] And see how fucking happy you are after wards according to Tom.

Tom: [9:03] It’s hard to believe but there’ll be a link on the site.

Adrian: [9:08] Get your therapy. They’re having a buy one get one.

Tom: [9:12] Honestly, oddly, people that are in this documentary have had it more than once to legitimize [laughter] the creepy reference earlier.

Adrian: [9:35] Can’t get enough of it man. Once you get started, you got to go in. It’s like the tanning thing. You might as well get seven sessions and then I get a free hat.

Tom: [9:44] While I’m in there I’ll get a little Bot-ox across the brow so I don’t have the terrible unpleasant resting face. That would be good too. You got rid of the pictures. You got rid of the gifts. You got rid of the clothes.

[10:02] What else do we throw away versus stuff that, “Nope, I’m going to grow up. I’m going to want to see this again.” or is it your contention, because I get the inference that you don’t need any of that stuff and it really wouldn’t matter if you burned it anyway.

[10:16] Because you’re not going to look at it again. You may think that you’re going to, but honestly you’re not. It’s too painful, you’re not pulling it out, toss it.

Adrian: [10:26] Yeah I don’t know, I hold on to shit. I wasn’t going to throw it out anyways, but to your point I probably am not going to go back and look at that anytime soon.

[10:38] My kids may want to go back and look at it someday, that’s the only reason to hold on to it, but I’m not even real big on pictures anyway.

Tom: [10:48] Do you fear that those pictures may contain a small sliver of your soul?

Adrian: [10:53] I do, I feel somehow the camera has captured a small sliver. That’s all I have so I’m terrified. My love will be a soulless zombie.

Tom: [11:02] I remember when I heard this, and for some reason, it was perfectly easy for me to get that.

[11:12] It was something deep inside of me that was really strange, I can’t put my finger on it but there was something about that rationale that resonated. I totally agree with anyone who were to scoff or make fun of me.

Adrian: [11:24] I don’t think it’s weird. If somebody crosses your eyes out on a picture and sends you that shit in the mail, that’s fucked up man. That’s weird. That isn’t you, but I’m saying.

Tom: [11:34] Has that happened to you?

Adrian: [sarcastically] [11:39] When I got that letter, I mean when my friend got that letter, he was freaked out. No but there is something about that. We laugh at the primitive people who think the camera is stealing their soul.

[11:59] But if you got something in the mail where your eyes were x’ed out and your face was crossed out and you see the serial killer putting on the make up and cutting out the eyes.

[12:09] That’s fucking weird man. No, it’s not you, it’s a picture, but there is something about that. And there is something about pictures that do trigger those memories and that bring back those times.

Tom: [12:22] I hadn’t thought about it, so you might want to share something. The blacked out eyes and then sending it to you… The fact that someone went to that trouble and you see the physical manifestation of that determination, x-out your eyes and mistreat your picture.

Adrian: [12:46] Yeah that’s some fucked up shit. That’s some real weird stuff. I haven’t experienced that, but to your point about talking about taking of the soul and what the picture represents and how we’re scoffing at that. I disagree. That there is something real.

[13:01] I don’t believe the picture takes your soul but it does in a weird way represent you. It can be disturbing if someone tears up your picture, or even a drawing of you that’s weird.

Tom: [13:15] I want to say at this point that we are not endorsing that behavior.

Adrian: [13:19] No, but we have an app for that. It’s called the “x out your ex’s eyes” app. Go on iTunes and check it out. By the way while you’re there can you rate our fucking podcast. Can you give us four stars?

Tom: [13:31] Enough of this, we need you to rate our podcast. I don’t know why you’re waiting, you’ve listened to two or three of them now and we need your support. We are here for you.

Adrian: [13:42] Children are going to die.

Tom: [13:44] Yes. Won’t you please, please.

Adrian: [13:48] Now this podcast is completely off the rails.

Tom: [13:51] People deserve a little off the rails. We had our fabulous holiday episode. I want to thank our guest, Bob Hope, Phil Stiller, for joining us. Off the rails is good because after a while you get so sunk into this.

[14:05] Going to those chat rooms and people getting really really negative and dark about what they’re going through. It’s like, you gotta snap yourself out of it. It really relates to what memories do you really need to keep.

[14:20] Do you really need to keep those sentimental things that are going to send you off into thinking these dark things and making you angry again. Or do you wrap them up and put them in a box and move them to storage and move on.

Adrian: [14:34] What did you do? What are your thoughts on that?

Tom: [14:37] My stuff is put away. Like you said, when I was wrapping it up I thought maybe I will want to look at this again in ten or fifteen years, but I don’t want to now. But I hadn’t thought about my daughter wanting to see it at some point. Memorabilia tends to bum her out.

[14:55] It’s unlikely that 20 years from now she would want to see it. But I don’t know, I see pictures of my mom and dad that are now divorced and when they were getting married and I like seeing those pictures. It’s good to see them.

Adrian: [15:09] But it’s probably a handful though, right? It’s not 300 pictures of our trip to Hawaii?

Tom: [15:16] That’s right. Although I would say that I don’t regret any picture that I have in my collection. It gets back to what we were talking about earlier, that Phillip Dick concept of our you your memories. It really drives home the meaning of identity, and what it is that makes our identity.

[15:36] That is a question that he was wrestling with. Outside of memory, I’m not really sure what it is that makes up our personalities or our identities.

Adrian: [15:48] How do you move forward if you don’t have some memory based memory. How do you make decisions? How do you remember how to tie your shoes?

[15:57] There has got to be some a baseline for something. Your morals and who you are as a person. That definitely goes into that.

Tom: [16:04] All of it contributes, you have to come to a healthy sense of terms with those things. I want to be able to look at them fondly and without regret or anger, but I’m not ready to do that 15 or 16 months into this.

[16:25] But I really hope, and I remember thinking at the time that I hope that at some point I can go back and look at them fondly like I do other photographs and go yeah, it was a great time. It was a good life. I’m glad that I lived it the way I did and these are the things that stand for that.

[16:40] I don’t know when you get there or if you get there at all. You make a sailing point that maybe you don’t ever get there, or you know you hope that you evolve to a place where you are dedicated to the life that you are living now and not so much the life you lived in the past.

Adrian: [16:54] For me it’s about looking forward and maybe having a glimpse at the past, being like oh yeah that was great or that was awful or whatever it was. Remembering it but definitely thinking more forward. What’s down the road and what’s ahead.

[17:09] Really what I should be doing is what’s in the moment, what am I doing in the present, and not really thinking about the past or the future so much but more so about what am I doing right now.

Tom: [17:21] We’ve preached that presence, right?

Adrian: [17:23] Yeah but you know, it’s a tough one. It’s a tough one to stay in the moment and not worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, or what happened yesterday.

Tom: [17:35] Or six years ago.

Adrian: [17:38] But taking down the stuff, a good first step if you’re going through it and having a hard time seeing those picture is to take them down.

[17:48] Take them off the walls. Put up some other pictures. Go out to some lawn sales, and find some Ansel Adams silhouettes of bark trees. Bark trees, really?

Tom: [laughs] [18:00]

Adrian: [18:02] Put up those Grand Canyon pictures.

Tom: [18:04] Can we do something other than Ansel Adams though? Can you give some help? Can you…

Adrian: [18:10] …Do you want the hang in there kitty kat?

Tom: [18:12] Yeah. I’m going the other direction.

Adrian: [18:14] Hardcore or softcore? What are you thinking?

Tom: [18:17] Yeah. What do you think should go on the walls? You’re dodging it and you have a very well-defined opinion on what needs to be up there.

Adrian: [18:27] I have two parents that are both artists, so I am forced by family pressure to have a ton of artwork from my mother and father. It’s great because that goes on the walls and it shows well.

[18:42] That’s my opinion. You have to go out and make sure that both of your parents are artists and then you’re well stocked to handle a divorce from the picture swap out.

Tom: [laughs] [18:52] Merry Christmas.

Adrian: [18:54] Merry Christmas. [laughs] It’s cool to go out. Here we got farmer’s markets and go to some local art shows and go out and check and see what moves you, see what’s cool. It’s a good way to meet people. There’s always wine and cheese there.

[19:10] There’s usually sophisticated women, that are there that are cool to talk to. Pretty cool people in general hang out at those things. They might be a little pretentious or whatever depending on where you go.

[19:21] You can go out and get some good cheap art. It’s whatever interests you, whatever tickles your fancy, whatever you’re into, pick it up and pop it on your wall. It’s your wall now and you can decide what that means. It helps you create a little bit of an identity.

Tom: [19:38] I met this society art patron at a party one time and she had a couple of things that were really awesome. One of the things that she said was that art on the wall is like a battery.

[19:49] She goes you put it on a wall and the battery’s fully charged, you looked at it and it charges you up and you’re all psyched. Then, the battery wears halfway down and you’re looking at it, but you don’t get the jolt from it that you did.

[20:03] You still like it, it still works for you, and you’re still happy there looking at it. She goes then it starts to lose its power and she said that’s the time where you have to trade it out. You trade it for something new and you try to trade up, but you don’t necessarily have to.

[20:19] She says the whole point in it was to get something with more energy up there. On its surface it sounds really crazy and weird, but I really think it’s true and about art generally on the walls of places I live and that’s exactly right.

[20:39] I’m really looking forward honestly to putting some of the less associative pictures on the wall and some of the older art on the wall of my new place. Then, waiting for its remaining energy to come out and then putting something else on there.

[20:56] Again, I know it sounds weird to talk about a piece of art having energy and putting it on the wall, but I buy into that idea. Yeah, you look at it and it gives you a little charge until it doesn’t. If you can trade it out and get something that charges you up again, it’s a win for everyone.

Adrian: [21:12] You get some crystals. You go out to Sedona, get some beautiful crystals, make a little necklace out of it, and get charged up.

Tom: [21:21] See but being the child of a hippy has made you cynical.

Adrian: [laughs] [21:23] There is definitely whatever you want to call it an energy there that motivates you. It’s good to be around. Having an object that is beautiful and that somebody has worked on and has mastered a craft and has expressed themselves in a way that you can’t is admirable.

[21:44] Why wouldn’t you want to be around that little depiction of excellence? Your thinking is right there to seek that out and try to be around that and create that. The beauty is you get to create that. You get to say this is what I want to be around.

Tom: [21:58] You get to start over and you get to redefine what it is you’re interested in and what works for you. That’s one of the benefits that we’ve talked about throughout this podcast, about getting through your divorce and getting over your divorce is that ability to redefine yourself.

[22:13] You can’t redefine your memories. You want to keep those as accurate and intact as possible. You want to respect them and pay honor to them, but you don’t want to wallow in them.

[22:25] It does make sense to put them away for a little while and find some new things. Put the pictures away, the art that you have, trade it out. See if you can trade up. I bet you can.

[22:38] If you try to follow your instincts and look for things that will energize you, you’ll find them. If you can trade it, it’s a good thing.

Adrian: [22:46] You could also create your own stuff too.

Tom: [22:48] It’s true.

Adrian: [22:50] It’s not so hard, you can take a photography class at a local community college for nothing and get some really cool stuff out there and then it’s your own.

Tom: [23:00] It’s amazing what you can do with an iPhone. Seriously, it sounds silly but you can take amazing pictures with an iPhone, certainly print them out on quality stock, re frame them, crop them, apply filters to them, and get something really cool.

Adrian: [23:17] There’s no reason why you can’t recreate that yourself for pretty damn cheap or get some decent artwork, from the local college or university.

[23:26] They’ve always had art students there that are selling their work for cheap and you can get some really good stuff for super cheap, that’s beauty and will make you feel better and it’ll be your own. You’ll get to help define yourself through that to a certain extent.

Tom: [23:40] Because at some point you’re going to go I remember when I bought that. I remember that was a tough time or that was challenging. I made it through and can you believe this thing and that thing happened since I bought that? It’s crazy. You can out mark your life. Yeah. That’s really helpful.

Adrian: [23:58] Keep the time line going for sure.

Tom: [24:00] That’s super helpful. Hope it is. Let’s talk about what we’ve got coming in an upcoming episode.

Adrian: [24:05] What we’ll be talking about next time is receiving and letting people give to you. That can be a tough thing for guys, in particular, is to receive things or to say hey…

Tom: [24:18] …I don’t think it’s tough at all man.

[24:20] [laughter]

Adrian: [24:22] I’m going up in my man cave. Screw you all, I don’t need anybody’s help, but how to crack that door.

Tom: [24:27] I’ll look forward to that. I appreciate the time that we’re able to spend. We appreciate you joining. In all sincerity, we that you’ll take a minute and give us a rating on your favorite podcast service or give us a review on iTunes.

[24:43] You can also reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you and until that time happens or until you download our next episode, I’m Tom.

Adrian: [24:51] I’m Adrian.

Tom: [24:52] Thanks for listening.

Adrian: [24:53] Thanks.

Announcer: [24:55] Thanks for listening to the “Over Divorce.com Podcast” with Adrian and Tom. The opinions expressed are theirs alone. They’re not professionals.

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[25:22] [music]