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May 15, 2024 44 mins

We open this episode defining, accountability, and Elliott expounds on the importance of taking ownership over one’s choices in life both positive and negative, to truly be liable over our full human experience.

In this conversation, Elliott and Freddie discuss the importance of accountability within the scope of fatherhood. During the session, we delve into Freddie's journey of reconnecting with his children and his challenges in being consistent and dependable.

We explore the impact of past mistakes and the need for forgiveness and self-acceptance. The conversation highlights the importance of releasing the past and creating a positive future. Elliott encourages fathers who have been estranged from their children to reach out and begin the process of reconnecting.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
According to the Oxford Dictionary, accountability is when you take
ownership of what happens as a result of your choices
and actions. But to put that in real context, accountability
is when you accept blame for the things that you
have done wrong and accept that you can influence the

healing of those things. When you accept that you can
contribute to the process going better for you and other people.
It's when you don't pass responsibility onto someone else. It's
when you don't blame other people for the things that
you have done. It's when you literally own I made choices,

I did things that led to this outcome. But I
also know I have the influence to be able to
have an impact and make things go better moving forward,
and try not to think about it in terms of
right or wrong. Think about it like this. If I'm
hanging out with a friend and I take longer to

get ready than I said by the time we leave,
we pull out of my street and there's a police
officer there that pulls us over. My friend might turn
to me and say, this is your fault. Had we
left on time, this police officer would not have met
with us. Like did I do anything wrong?

Speaker 2 (01:21):

Speaker 1 (01:22):
But like am I accountable to the outcome of those decisions. Yes,
so I think accountability is when you just accept everything
good or bad, is a consequence of my choices and actions.
I also think it's important that we learned to take
accountability for positive things, which we tend to not do.

One of the things you're going to experience in this
journey with Freddy is he started accepting accountability and responsibility
for his flaws, but he had a very hard time
accepting responsibility for his positive traits and some of the
positive outcomes. And we all have a tendency to do that.
But the truth is, accountability means you accept your role

in everything, be it good, be it bad, it doesn't matter.
You are accepting ownership that life is a consequence of
the things you do, the things you say, the way
you behave, and how you conduct yourself. Welcome back to

Family Therapy. I'm your host, Elia, Khannie. What's been better
since you listened to the previous episode? Today is spent
directly focusing on Freddie, who is Jay's father. I'm very
excited for us to spend this episode doing a deep
dive into Freddie's life because we're about to go on
a journey of fatherhood. We're going to learn about his childhood,

about his traumas, about his tragedies, about his mistakes he
made as a father, but more importantly, about his desire
to journey back and heal some of the family relationships
that were severed throughout his life. This journey's gonna be difficult,
and in this conversation you're gonna start seeing the first
steps of a man trying to reclaim his family. Freddy,

what's been better since we last chatted?

Speaker 2 (03:26):
Oh? Man, you know, I just when I wake up
in the morning, I'd be like, I'll be blessed God
woke me up. Now the rest of the day is
up to me, So I gotta make the best of it.

Speaker 1 (03:36):
As you wake up every day like thankful and blessed,
what do you notice? It gives you a clue that
things are going in a direction that you're pleased with.

Speaker 2 (03:45):
You know, it starts off and I make my cup
of coffee. That kind of you know, puts me in
a great move, you know what I mean? It starts
my deal. Great.

Speaker 1 (03:53):
Okay, does that happen? Does that happen every day?

Speaker 2 (03:55):
Practically? Yeah? Every morning? Yeah? Actually, yeah, I need that
little pick me, get me start?

Speaker 1 (04:01):
Okay, what else has been going in a way that
you please with?

Speaker 2 (04:04):
Once I got to work, Uh my workload wasn't that that?
I have a big workload today? That said, like, you know,
a couple of repairs, I have one emergency. My my
thing went kind of smooth.

Speaker 1 (04:17):
What do you do to make sure your day keeps
going smooth?

Speaker 2 (04:20):
I try to have a positive frame of mind. You know,
I like a little little things annoy me, you know
what I mean, Like sometimes, uh, I let things annoy me,
you know, aggrevate me like this just dog is trying
to aggrevate me. Now they want me a pedal go,
but I throw your mommy go go.

Speaker 1 (04:37):
So how do you keep a positive frame of mind?

Speaker 2 (04:39):
How do you?

Speaker 1 (04:40):
How do you do that? I mean, we live in
such a negative, harsh world. It's kind of hard. How
do you how do you keep a positive frame of mind?

Speaker 2 (04:48):
Well? I don't. I try to stay mellow, you know
what I mean. I don't like that things good on
my skin, you know what I mean? Like like normally,
but I think like if I'm driving to work, its
my want buy me blowing the horn? I just pull
over the up and go past you know what I mean, gotcha?

Speaker 1 (05:05):
And have you always been that way?

Speaker 2 (05:08):
No? No, I you know I used to have road raised,
you know what I mean, being a car when when
I said the car was making a left turn, I
want to I want to make the term nowadays tomorrow,
trying to make a turn out, I slow down, now
make the turn, you know what I mean? Like, oh, man,
it ain't it Ain't that serious? Man, you know, it

ain't that serious. Some things people just take so seriously,
you know what I mean, when they really have to.

Speaker 1 (05:36):
When did you learn to be that way? I'm going
to ask you a really important question in a minute,
But when did you learn to to stop being about
the rose raids and taking everything so serious? When did
you learn to be that way?

Speaker 2 (05:48):
Well? I think about three or four years ago. Life
is too short to be angry at the world, you
know what I mean?

Speaker 1 (05:56):
Yeah, I agree. How did you develop that mindset?

Speaker 2 (06:01):
Well? I think about during this COVID time, so many
people leaving it, leaving this earth man, like wow, Like
almost every month, you know, either I had a tenor funeral,
you know what I mean, Or I heard about somebody,
uh I just passed away, you know, And it's just
like wow. Man. Like then I'd be seeing sometimes be

seeing some guys that you know, I went to high
school with, and they was like, damn, man, you look
you look the same like you you ain't you ain't
since high school. And then I'll be saying, I mean
in the back of my mind, like I can't sit
there and you look, you look, you know, look look
saying too, he looked like ninety nine, you know what
I mean. But you know, I thank God for that,

you know what I mean, the little gray heads, And
I thank God for that because like there's so many
my my people I grew up with that I went
to high school. They you know, they already gone, man,
and like I got, I gotta be thankful for that
because like it was one time in my life, man,
I was just living from hour to hour, you know
what I mean. I was just sorting so much stuff. Man.

You know, one time I was I was this, this
is the true story. I could an start crying out. Uh.
Me and a few of the fellass on the block.
We was, uh, we had a beef with some Jamaican guys,
you know what I mean. The one is to make
guys pull up stop busting shots. So we were running

he busting shots stuff. Right, So we get we get home,
I said, and if I get hit, nobody hit, right.
So I look at I looked at my shirt. I
got all these holes in it. I'm like like, huh,
you know what I mean, How the hell my shirt
have holes in it? And I don't got no holes

in it. Everybody looking at me, like you sure you're right,
you're bro mine. You know, I don't know if I
was running so fast my shirt wasn't it like like Batman,
if that was a situation or not. But oh my god,
it was just like it was. It was his mind bothered,

you know what I mean. You know, I've been in
so many such and gold things in my life, man,
and I just lived so recklessly, you know what I mean.
I'll just be amazed. I'm still here.

Speaker 1 (08:25):
That's an incredible story. Even if you were running in
your clothes, you know, got caught in the air like
Batman's cape, that still means the bullets came super close.

Speaker 2 (08:33):
To you hit me. Thank God for that, you.

Speaker 1 (08:40):
Know, Freddy. It makes me think you must, after all
the things you survived, you must really know that time
is precious.

Speaker 2 (08:52):

Speaker 1 (08:53):
Indeed, is that why because the last time we talked,
one of the things that was really important he was
reconnecting with your kids.

Speaker 2 (09:02):
Yeah, it is.

Speaker 1 (09:03):
Why reconnect with your kids is so important.

Speaker 2 (09:08):
Not basically, yeah, but that's primarily not the only reason,
you know, because I'm a fairy family oriented person. You know,
as far as like where I was raised. You know,
I was raised with both my parents. You know, I
pretty tremendous. I would say childhood. You know, I don't
never remember the day I didn't get nothing for my birthday.

You know, we wasn't rich rich, but it wasn't a
place I don't ever remember we was going Hongry, or
we ain't had a fool or you know stuff like that. So, uh,
you know, and I think my father he wasn't how
would I say, uh, no emotional or like he didn't

really always say U expresses as his love for me. Verbally,
he expresses his love for me like uh being there
taking me places. Uh. It's funny because like I used to,
I used to hate coming home sometime because I used

to come home in my house be full of full
of kids and people, and and I never realized my
father used to take like we used to live in
the projects, and he used to like rind little little
buses and you know, take kids to the to the
beach with us and all that. I used to hate it,
you know what I mean. And at the time, I
didn't realize until I got older, while he was doing

those types of things, you know what I mean. And
and once I realized, you know, you little, you want
your father to be uh solely you know, all his
attention on you, you know, but he got all these
other kids, but you know, you know, he got a
watch and and stuff like that. And like I said,

I didn't realize that at that time, those those kids
probably didn't have a father and nobody take them nowhere,
you know what I'm saying. And it was and I
didn't realize that until I got old. And I remember
when we first got a color TV in our house
and and I don't think, uh, you know, big floor
of models with the record player, and my house is

always full with people, you know what I'm saying, because
I don't you know half of them. You know, that's
from TV for TV color TVs person came out, you know,
and I don't think half the people really even had
colored TVs. Then you know what I mean. I didn't
realize all that stuff I got older, you know what
I mean? Like, ah, you know what I mean? And
I just hate people always knocking on my door to
want to bo sugar or bread, and I and my

pa open that door. Look see who that is? I dow.
I just slam the door in people's faces and it's like, no,
we don't got it, we don't got who was that?
You know what I'm saying. Somebody want to ball some bridge,
Like I'm like, over that door boy, over up that
door boy.

Speaker 1 (12:05):
And the last time we talked, you actually talked about
It's funny. You just said like you're a family man,
or you grew up a family man, and your father
wasn't all lovey dovey, but he was like there and
you said you wanted to be there in your kids' lives.
What what are you doing now to take to take

steps to be that in your kids lives, in your
grandkid's life.

Speaker 2 (12:32):
Well, be perfectly honest with you, I haven't. I haven't
done anything since we talked. Uh. I suppose I went
to you know, to go see my grandkids, but something
came up which I couldn't really put that to the
side because it wasn't that repressing, you know what I mean,
something you know I'd done. But I could have put

that to the side. And like sometimes like I let things, uh,
sid sidetracking him, I might say, I facetimed there and
she didn't answer the FaceTime. So then my friend and
he lives like well maybe ten fifteen minutes away from me,

and and he said that he didn't have no heat
in his house. I said, oh, I said, and he
really don't know about the furnace that you know, powerl
like going out and all that kind of stuff. We
set the furnace. So I said, I'll be over there
in about you know, you don't live like fifteen minutes.
But I said, I be there in a minute. So
you know, I jumped in the corner and went to

his health you know, and and all you know it was,
you know, the friends like you know, went out. So
after that we sat up stairs and had a couple
of beds and started talking and I came home.

Speaker 1 (13:53):
Instead of hanging out with your daughter.

Speaker 2 (13:56):
Yeah yeah, so I could, like I said, I could
have went there, did the furnace and just left and
did what I was supposed to do.

Speaker 1 (14:05):
How come you let those things distract you?

Speaker 2 (14:08):
I'm not really sure?

Speaker 1 (14:10):
Do you want to continue being the family man? And
is it still important to you to be a part
of your kids' lives?

Speaker 2 (14:19):

Speaker 1 (14:20):
How are you gonna know when things have changed to
the point where you're not being distracted by those other
things and being in your children's lives is more important
than any of those other things that come up.

Speaker 2 (14:35):
Well, my my my intentions was just to go there
and just to lighten, uh, to see what was going on.
And once I realized that, you know, the power light
was out, it was you know, it was not extremely crazy,
you know what I mean? But I should have done that.
I should have just lit the power light and uh
and got my card and did what I was was

the rest of my day was going to be planning
to do.

Speaker 1 (14:59):
What is it that keeps you out of your children's lives?

Speaker 2 (15:05):
I think I lose focused on a lot of stuff,
you know what I mean, allow things to interfere like
I would like, lose focused like I was, Like I
said when I first got my cars, that I come
over there. In my mind, I go to the south
and knock it out, get back to my car and
go up north. But when I got there, I just

lost focused on what I was my intentions, but was
That's my main issue, you know what I mean? I
let things sidetrack me, or allow people to sidetrack what
what I'm gonna do? You know what I mean?

Speaker 1 (15:40):
How do you think that impacts your children when they
know you'll get sidetracked and not be connected to them.

Speaker 2 (15:50):
I know it's been extremely devastating to them, you know,
primarily because that's been my issue. Basically, I don't know
follow up on what I'm gonna say I'm gonna do.
You know what I mean. I might might make an
appointment to do something or make some type of arrangement,
and I don't just follow up, you know what I mean.

That's where my main issue, just to follow up on
my promises. And nine times our tendant don't even be
that sidetrack me. Don't even be like thight threatening or
extreme emergency or anything of that nature, you know what
I mean?

Speaker 1 (16:28):
Pretty would you be pleased to be that way?

Speaker 2 (16:31):

Speaker 1 (16:32):
Honestly, if you started making promises specifically and especially to
your kids and following up on those promises, would you
be pleased to be that kind of a person.

Speaker 2 (16:44):
Absolutely, And I think that probably would change our whole
dynamic of our relationship, you know, because I think that's
primarily the main issue where I'm filling with them. At
always tell her so, I'm gonna I'm gonna be better
with this and better with that, you know, and then
I still find out Damn, I'm still the same way,

you know what I mean, Like I said, I'm gonna
do this, and I all sure of doing it, you know.
And my fiance, Oh, she always telling me, I thought
you sposed it went up north? Today? I said, yeah,
I oppose that went, but I ain't go.

Speaker 1 (17:21):
Which one of your kids? Were you gonna go visit?

Speaker 2 (17:23):
Oh? I was gonna go to j.

Speaker 1 (17:26):
Yeah. How did she respond when you didn't show up?

Speaker 2 (17:29):
Oh? I think she was kind of upset with me
because I called her yesterday. I tried to FaceTime and
she didn't answer the FaceTime call. So I don't know
if she was busy or if she was like upset
with me because I haven't really talked to her since then.

Speaker 1 (17:45):
What do you think it would do to Jay to
have you actually showing up and following up with your word.

Speaker 2 (17:51):
A bigger pheel like, I'm dependable. I'm a man of
my word, you know what I'm saying. But I said
I'm gonna be there. I'm gonna be here, you know
what I mean?

Speaker 1 (18:04):
What do you think you would do to Jane and
the rest of your kids, even if you were doing
things like that for them, if you were like showing
up for them and helping them with their fixtures and
their pools and their kids and their you know, kitchen
appliances or whatever like, what would it do to Jane
and the rest of your kids to have you show
up for them like that?

Speaker 2 (18:23):
Well, I pulled you going to Jack Wheee house and
building this burrow, which I pulled. I pulled that. She
asked me to do it, I think like a month ago,
you know what I mean. Uh, And I haven't gotten
around to that yet. Jay does eyebrows and all that

kind of stuff. So she she wanted me to fix
a fix a room downstairs on basement. So I built
the room, put the floor down, painted, and now she's
able to do you know, she got a place for
her to do her eyelashes for people. So then she
wanted me to build another room, which I started. Uh,

but we're waiting on some more fundings, uh to finish.
I built the other room. I put uh a bathroom
down there and a toilet, a sink.

Speaker 1 (19:26):
When did you do all that?

Speaker 2 (19:27):
About two months ago? Well, I'm not really finished yet.
I still the project is delayed of none on my account. Uh.
Her car broke down, so she had to buy a
new car, so that kind of took some of the
fundings away from doing the room. So she said, well, okay,

when things picked back up, she's gonna we're gonna start
back doing.

Speaker 1 (19:57):
So what do you think it does the jay when
you show up for her consistently like that.

Speaker 2 (20:02):
It's funny because like she'd be working with me, explained
to her how to do it step by step with her.
Then we just work nine times out of ten, we'll
do it together, you know, and I'll be telling I
kind of do I kind of go do things like
that's what we could have that quality time together. So
like when the project is completed, you know what I'm saying.

It's nothing like putting your effort into something and then
when it's completed, you say, well I did that, you
know what I mean?

Speaker 1 (20:31):
Okay, wait, wait, you just said something brilliant, say that
one more time to sort to make sure I heard it.
There's nothing like say that it one more.

Speaker 2 (20:39):
Time, like me and her tackling a project when it's
completed and you said yourself, Well me and my dad
did that, you know what I mean? Or we did
this together, you know what I mean.

Speaker 1 (20:52):
So there's nothing like when you put forth the effort
and you see your task completed. Right, And can I
be totally honest with you?

Speaker 2 (21:00):
Sure you can.

Speaker 1 (21:02):
I'm trying to figure out how do I get Freddy
to work harder to be more connected to Jayden and
the rest of the kids. But starting with Jaye, how
can I do that? How what can we do to
help you work harder to make those relationships happen?

Speaker 2 (21:21):
Well, I think now, like I said once, I gotta
make sure if I say a bix of type of
arrangements for to do anything with any of my kids,
I gotta make sure that that time is solely for them,
you know what I mean. I don't have no things

to overlap it or nothing that's gonna intervene with it.
I gotta make sure that my schedule is arranged just
for them.

Speaker 1 (21:51):
I need to figure out a way for you to
do something for Jay that would look to her like
you keeping your word anything. What could it be?

Speaker 2 (22:06):
Mhmm. Well, I was thinking I was just gonna go
there on Saturday and just knock on the door, you
know what I mean, Like you know I'm here, you
know what I mean? Okay, because I don't I'm afraid

to say, hey, Jay, I'm gonna be there on Saturday,
and and I don't show up, you know what I mean.
I can't have that happen anymore.

Speaker 1 (22:41):
Well, how about we do the opposite. How about we say, hey,
jam up on Saturday, and then you do everything humanly
possible to show up, not get distracted nothing. I'm going
to show up because she needs to know you can
do that. You need to know you can do that.

Speaker 2 (23:01):

Speaker 1 (23:02):
So how about we do that. Let's tell her I
will show up on Saturday. She's probably gonna say I
doubted know you ain't blah blah blah whatever. But then
when you show up on Saturday, she'll be like he
did it, and you'll be able to say you did
it right.

Speaker 2 (23:17):
Because I cant explained to you. I wanted to tell
you something that occur my grandson's birthday was two days ago,
and uh, it kind of it kind of broke my
heart too, uh in a way because we was getting
through Facebook and they were singing happy his mother was

singing Happy Birthday Tom, you know, to k in front
of him on it at the table and the computer
facing him with like seven people on it their aunt's,
uncle's cousins or whatever, you know, on the room call.
You know, I was like, Wow, I said to myself, Wow,

I didn't even I didn't even get a invite, you
know what I mean. So I'm like, what what that
tells me? That's his grandfather, you know what I mean? Yeah,
you know I am not even part of his life.
He's only five years old, you know what I mean? Right?
And so I said to myself, you can't blame nobody

but yourself, you know what I mean. You can't feel bad.
You can't go in the corner and describe, you know
what I mean. You can't blame nobody. So what you
gonna do about that? What you're gonna do about next
year when he turned six? You know what I mean? Uh,
Well you're gonna you know, is it gonna be anything
different than right now? The way you feel me?

Speaker 1 (24:51):
You know what I mean, like and you'd like it
to be different next year.

Speaker 2 (24:55):
Absolutely so. And the primary stuff I take the hard ones,
you know what I mean. They're not hard ones, right,
you know, and like uh, then but like seven buttons
on the on the phone, you know, I used to

talk to them all time on on what's side, you know,
like last year you know what I mean, which have
a few things have probably developed from now to then,
you know what I mean, like uh. And sometimes people
take harsh measurements for the littlest reasons, you know, like
they like over over five hours over I forgot, I

forgot to do that, you know what I mean, And
they take hard, harsh measurements over that. And then you'd
be like, damn, was it was it that serious? Saying? So?
Maybe not to me, it wasn't that serious, but they
might have been serious as hell to them. That's all
you know. Little you'll be like judgmental with things, know

what I mean. I don't that don't bother me. But
that ship filled the ship out of somebody else, you know, like.

Speaker 1 (26:13):
And Freddy, it's making me think about something. And again
I gotta ask you a really hard question. Yeah I know,
I do, Man, I'm sorry, but how come you left
and went to Florida?

Speaker 2 (26:27):
Well, I think we I went to Disneyland and just
I don't know Florida, you know what I mean? You know,
I don't know about my life. Wasn't really that that
bad in Jersey. Let me tell you the story. Will
happened to this guy that I was talking to before. Yeah,

he's worked for for seven years and like you buy
houses and buildings or whatever you know, and just going
gout them out whatever whatever figures back up, you know,
and he has timeshare in Florida. So like he said, well, y'all, look,
what are you gonna do for for vacations? I don't know. Yeah, man,

it's so I said, love to take the kids to
this man. He said, well, okay, I got properly down there.
I said, what you mean, I probably probably like down
you know you're going go you know STADIU. I'm like,
this guy is something now, you know what I mean. Anyway,
Sorry for we get we pack up to playing tickets

and everything go do somewhere for two weeks. So when
we was down there, it was like, I don't know,
I'm just this measurement rize, like you know, this is
my first time being in Florida. But it was just
so I don't know, I don't know, maject, I don't know.
It just got me. And she was somewhat overwhelmed too,

I think. And so we went to the roster and
they started sitting us proper h when we got back
to back home. So there's one particular while week we
liked and and the numbers was pretty decent. It was,
you know, so we moved to Florida. We ain't know

nobody down So this me and her and the kids,
when we just moved to Florida. That's the story of Florida.

Speaker 1 (28:26):
Why while you were in Florida, how come you didn't
stay in contact with Jason and the other kids.

Speaker 2 (28:33):
Oh no, I don't really. I don't even know why
I didn't.

Speaker 1 (28:43):
If I if I showed you a way to fix that,
how happy would you be?

Speaker 2 (28:49):
Yeah? Yeah, mhm uh so happy I probably would. Un
I think one time I was in I was in
Vegas and I was I was doing that, oh, playing
the slot machine and you hear those ballance go off.

That's if you like, yeah, like you know, you know
what I mean, I'll be a winner, you know what?

Speaker 1 (29:21):
I mean, yeah, Freddy, I really want to help you
with that. I want to help you be a winner.

Speaker 2 (29:27):
All right, cool sounds great.

Speaker 1 (29:31):
I'm gonna have to ask you to do something hard, though, sir.

Speaker 2 (29:35):
Okay, you remember earlier in.

Speaker 1 (29:38):
Our conversation when you said you said, like, something small
will happen, like even something like five dollars. Yeah, and
it might not be a big deal to you, but
it'll be a big deal to them, and it makes
it hard. You remember saying that.

Speaker 2 (29:52):

Speaker 1 (29:53):
I think one of the reasons it's hard is because
they are hurt by something you in the past. So
even though this new thing might be small, it's kind
of compounded with the other stuff to them. Does that
make sense, Yeah, it makes sense. I want to ask

I want to show you how to fix that. And
I think you already know because you keep saying things
like I just want to know them and be a
part of their lives, and I the way to do
that is you have to keep calling them.

Speaker 2 (30:34):
I know, and I don't. I don't, I think, And
somebody else told me, uh uh h, that's the same.
I gotta do you know what I mean? At first,
they told me before you quote have your conversation drawing
out in your mind ready that you haven't gonna do

a play. Now you the first play that you are
you're right, and in the conversation it's gonna be a
good one as far as the conversation will go. Well,
you're gonna uh laughing joke and it's gonna be a
good conversation. And when you're gonna see some you know,

development from the conversation that you that you you have.
And then on this side you gotta have the play
not so good conversation uh argument to uh m hm
for fanity the whole whole ten yards, you know. So

now you gotta uh h have yourself in a fixation
where umhm you're gonna have the answer for that or
not the answer at that time, but not be uh

uh for victim of the anger and the things to
be able to be able to understand it and take
it in and use it and work with it and
not you know, be volunteer or or explode over you
know what I'm saying. Because they are releasing their feelings
and their emotion and the pain that they probably have
been built up in their lives for twenty years, you know.

And sometimes you know, uh, your reaction can't be mum,
a hate one, you know, yeah, of course. And you
know you guys be able to be able to suck
it in because you did wrong, you know, you you hurt,
you hurt somebody, and they releasing their pain. They got

to release their pain so they can heal, you know,
and and and you've got to be a stable to that.
And sometimes you know, mum hum, That's what I'm fighting
with as far as that conversation, because like, uh, I
go over, I go over the conversation in my mind,
you know, And I was like, if I'm over it,

stand for all that, you know what I mean, if
I ain't gonna be a you know, to take the
pain that they have and and exhorbit and work with it,
you know what I mean? I know I pause every
part of it or majority of it, and on one
aspect of another. But therefore, can I be accountable for

my mistakes? You know what I mean?

Speaker 1 (33:43):
Do they know that you want to be accountable for
your mistakes?

Speaker 2 (33:51):
You know? I think I at one time or another I
expressed my feelings, you know, damn you know, you know,
you know, you know I messed up and some aspect
of your life, but I try to justify it or
oh look you still turned out. Okay, you know what
I mean. Just to eat my pain, you know this,

ease my you know what I mean, my guilt. You
know what I mean.

Speaker 1 (34:17):
Well, let's let's see if we can do that in
a better way, Freddie. And what I want you to do,
I don't want you to think about like the two conversations,
like you were just saying. What I want you to
do is I want you to call each of the
seven kids. And before you do, I want you to

remind yourself of the reason you're calling them, which is
to be in their lives. So if they express pain, hurt,
just remember I'm just trying to be present in their lives.
I want them to experience their father. I want the
grandkids have access to the grandfather, and I want you

to have them in your life. And I want you
to just remind yourself like I'm only doing this because
I want to be in their lives, and that when
you think about it in that way, then it won't
matter whether they're angry or happy or excited. None of
that stuff matters because you just want to get to
know them. And it might start with them being angry

because there's been hurt there. And there's a part of
you that is so eloquent. There's a part of you
that accepts like I probably cause some hurt and I'm
willing to acknowledge that, and a lot of people don't
say that. I want them to get to know that
part of their father, but you're gonna have to keep

showing up in order for that to happen. So my
challenge for you is, between now and the next time
we meet, I want you to reach out to all
seven kids. Can you do that?

Speaker 2 (35:54):
And I'm gonna do that, and then we're.

Speaker 1 (35:56):
Going to figure out a way to keep that going
so that you are in their lives.

Speaker 2 (36:02):
It's not a hard thing to do. And then it's like, uh,
you get so caught up in your daily day activities.
You're like, I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it,
I'm do it, and that i'm gonna do it never
comes you know what I mean?

Speaker 1 (36:22):
Yeah, and exactly what you said before, and then before
you know it, two three weeks have gone by. But
I'm gonna hold you accountable. I want you to call
each of the seven kids between now and the next
time we meet, and before you have each phone call,
I just want to remind yourself why you're doing this,
because I just want to be a part of their lives. Okay, okay,

Freddie was wonderful to talk to you, man.

Speaker 2 (36:48):
And likewise, man, likewise, appreciate your.

Speaker 1 (36:54):
Fatherhood is the man's ability to live up to the
parental responsibilities that they have. It's having an influence on
your children. It's being there for your children. It's being
able to sacrifice for the betterment of your children. Fatherhood
represents all of those things, and for one reason or another,
those things were a significant challenge throughout Freddie's life. I

think the absentee father idea in the black community is very,
very prominent, and in some cases I think overstated and exaggerated. However,
Freddie represents the stereotype of the absentee father, but he

also represents what I think is very often understated, which
is the outlier to that stereotype, which is the father
that wants to create healing and reconnection and loves his
children even in adulthood, and wants to mend things and

takes act ability to acknowledge his flaws and acknowledges his
role in whatever has gone wrong. If Freddie were listening
to this, I would want to make sure he continues
to make himself available to his children and whatever emotions
these children want to express to him as he tries

to reconnect. If you're a father in a similar situation,
you have to go through this process without expecting to
feel comfortable, but also making the decision to be consistent,
which is I'm going to call my children. I'm going
to reach out to my children. I'm going to text
my children, and even if the response is negative and
or angry, I'm going to reach out again. I'm going

to reach out again. I'm going to reach out again.
The thing that children need to see as you work
on becoming dependable and consistent in their life is dependability
and consistency. They need to know that you're not going
to be gone again. So you have to show up
even when it's hard, even when it's uncomfortable, even when

you know that the conversation is going to go poorly.
And if you can do that, you have the opportunity
and you have a reasonable chance of healing those difficult relationships.
Forgiving yourself is one of the most important skills in

terms of mental health and healing. And the reason this
is true is because no one is perfect, so everyone
is going to make mistakes of varying degrees. And if
you don't forgive yourself for those mistakes, then you end
up having guilt, remorse, shame, resenting yourself. You end up

self sabotaging progress. You've got to accept that you are
a flawed human being and as a consequence, have made
mistakes along the journey, and understand that you have the
ability to correct, mend, and heal from those mistakes. Forgiveness
is the greatest gift you will ever give yourself, and

it is a gift that literally every single human being
on the planet needs to know how to give themselves.
It's very, very important to honor the past and to
acknowledge the past, but to not allow the past to
determine what you do in your future. In some ways,

we have to release ourselves from that past so that
we can create a different and in a lot of ways,
more positive future. One of the biggest mistakes that we
make is we think about our past and we have
these negative experiences, remorse, regret all those sorts of things,
and we allow ourselves to make current decisions from the
perspective of remorse and regret, and you can't do that.

You've got to just forgive yourself that had happened and
do the very best you can moving forward. Now, we're
never going to forget the past, and it should always
inform what we do, but not from a place of fear,
not from a place of regret, but instead from a
place of hope. If you can remember something went wrong
in the past, and I have a lot of hope

that I can make that situation better in the future,
then that's how you make decisions moving forward. And that's
exactly how you release the past and become the best
version of yourself today. If you are a father who
has experienced an estranged situation from your child, you've been
separated from your child from one reason or another, I

hope this episode would inspire you, and in fact, I
want to ask you to reach out to those children,
text them, call them, send an email, begin the process
of reconnecting those relationships. And we hear at the Black
Effect would love it if you would share those stories
with us by commenting on social media, commenting after you

listen to the podcast, or reaching out to us in
some other way, but we would love to hear those stories.
This is not just a podcast that I want you
to consume and be entertained by. I actually want you
to be inspired. I want you to be impacted by this,
and in fact, we can't help but be impacted by

the content we consume. So what I would like for
you to do is come on this healing journey with us.
Come on this journey of change rediscovery with us. And
the way to do that is to just pay attention
to the things going on in your life as a
consequence of listening to this podcast. Pay attention to things
in your life shifting in a more desirable way. Pay

attention to your desirable outcome becoming your reality. Pay attention
to evidence of your success, your resilience, and your strength.
And let us know in the comments what you're noticing
in your life as a result of listening to this
podcast and as a result of paying attention to these things.
I would love to hear from you about your healing journey,

your family, and your feedback. Leave a review, send a DM,
connect with me on socials at Elliott Speaks, and you
can also send me a text message to nine seven
two four two six two six four zero. Family Therapy
is a production of iHeartRadio and The Black Effect podcast Network.
Special thanks to our assistant Glendale Seppe. It's produced by
Jack Queis Thomas and the executive producer Dolly s. Fisham.

For more podcasts from The Black Effect, visit the iHeartRadio
app or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. The
content presented on the Family Therapy podcast serves solely for
educational and informational purposes. It should not be considered a
replacement for personalized medical or mental health guidance and does
not constitute a provider patient relationship. It is advisable to
consult with your healthcare provider or health team for any

specific concerns or questions you may have. You up
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