How did my accident change us?
When Harley-Anne was 16, she lost her left leg after being hit by a car while crossing a major highway. In the immediate aftermath, Harley-Anne and her mother disagreed about basically everything, and today they’re barely talking. Now, she’s asking her mom: how did my accident affect our relationship, and how can we each heal our mental health?
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Dr. Monica Band is the host of this show and consultant with the Jed Foundation. Chrystal Genesis is our supervising producer. Giulia Hjort and Rachel Lightner are our producers. Andi Kristindottir is our engineer. Tess Novotny is our associate producer. Mixing and original music by Bobby Woody. Additional music by Andi Kristinsdottir. Special thanks to Kelsey Henderson. Jackie Danziger is our VP of Narrative Content. Executive producers are Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs.
This series was created with The Jed Foundation, a non-profit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults. Find ways to manage your emotional health, cope with challenges, and support the people in your life at jedfoundation.org.
This series is presented by Hopelab, a social innovation lab and impact investor supporting the mental health of adolescents, ages 10-25, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth. Learn more at hopelab.org.
This series is also presented by the Stupski Foundation, returning resources to the communities it calls home in Hawaiʻi and the San Francisco Bay Area by 2029 to support just and resilient food, health, and higher education systems for all. Learn more at stupski.org.
This series is also presented by the Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Learn more at luminafoundation.org.
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Rachel, Dr. Monica Band, Harley-Anne
Dr. Monica Band 00:01
This episode includes conversations about physical injury and substance use disorder. Remember to be kind and patient with yourself. And if you need to take a moment to pause while listening. We’ll be here when you’re ready.
I was just super angry and just resent my mom for a long time. Me and her just haven’t had a great relationship before and after that accident, because she was a severe alcoholic. So um, she went to rehab about like a month and a half before my accident. And then after that I was just angry at her most of the time. So I definitely want to know, How did my accident affect our relationships and both of our mental health. Maybe she’ll take it the wrong way. Maybe she’s thinking about me wanting to have a conversation with her, maybe me blaming her, which I have no blame or whatever. I just want to understand why she did the thing she did and move past it.
Dr. Monica Band 01:58
This is Harley and she’s an 18 year old living in a tight knit community outside of LA. Just a couple years ago when Harley Anne was 16 she was hit by a car on a major highway near home. The accident left her in critical condition. This traumatic event put a ton of stress on Harley Anna and her mom Rachel and their already fragile relationship. Nowadays, Harley-Anne and Rachel no longer live together and they don’t speak often. But when they do, chances are they’ll end up getting into an argument. But they’re working on it, which brings them here today, Harley and wants to share some painful moments from the past. And she’s asking her mom to go there with her. I’m gonna be honest with you. This episode has many threads weaving together a tapestry full of grief, substance use disorder and changes and identity. Harley and lost her dad at a young age and watched her mom struggle with drinking before and after her accident. And now she’s adjusting to a new way of living. In other words, there’s a lot of trauma. As a therapist specializing in complex trauma, I frequently meet clients who don’t know where to start in their healing journey. Sometimes they want to unravel their entire life story all at once. So in this conversation, it is my responsibility and my privilege to find a safe place for us to start. There are many questions this mother daughter duo need to work through in time. But today, Harley Ian wants to focus on just one. By the end of our time together, we’ll start to get some clarity on Harley Ann’s question How did my accident affect our relationship in both our mental health? This is I need to ask you something and I am your host, Dr. Monica Band.
I was angry my whole life. You know I’m a kid so I’m not I’m not sitting there and looking at the bigger picture. You know, I’m looking at it as if like, Why didn’t my mom get with him when he’s not going to treat me like my dad did.
Dr. Monica Band 04:18
To better understand the anger that Harley-Anne has held on to since childhood. We need to revisit the past. When she was four, Harley-Anne’s dad, Dwayne, died in a motorcycle accident. A little while later, her mom Rachel met someone new.
I pressed forward with my life on and met a new man it was you know it was fairly soon after the accident. There wasn’t really much time to grieve. And you and for probably Harley you know she was only four so that was like really difficult on her I know. But like I said I moved forward I found an amazing man Harley Attach herself to him, she loved him. And so we got married about a year after the accident happened and had a baby Harley and his little sister, their relationship seemed to be strong. And then as she kind of grew older, like about eight or nine, things just hit her kind of a rough patch where you know, discipline is going to need to come into line. And you know, you can’t just always run over to grandparents house, maybe if you can’t get your way or so it was it was a little, a little rough patch there.
I remember me and my mom like fighting all the time. And I remember like me and my stepdaughter being close, like she said, during the first couple of years, but then, um, I think it was just me realizing that like, my stepdad wasn’t my dad. He was very loving, you know, just everything but I just felt different treatment kind of, you know, some of the things that my sister would do, I feel like as if I’d do it, I’d get a different reaction or whatever. Once I started getting older, I felt like I just got gifts. That’s about it. I felt like, you know, a dad and his daughter usually bond or stuff, and I never got that bond from my dad. So I don’t know what that’s supposed to feel like. But when I see my sister and my stepdad, I see what a dad and daughter bond is supposed to look like. And I felt like I just kind of didn’t have that.
Dr. Monica Band 06:31
The more Harley-Anne observed the relationship between her stepdad and her sister, the more she realized just how much she was missing. At the same time, she was also witnessing her mom’s battle with substance use. And she feared losing a part of her mom, too. She started to retreat into herself spending less time at home and more time with both sets of grandparents who lived just around the corner. Dealing with all of these unexpected changes brought up complicated feelings for Harley-Anne. And after all, she was powerless to control any of these situations.
I was just super angry and just resent my mom for a long time, long time. During the hospital, it was even worse, I can’t imagine what I put her through because I was angry, just one at myself and then try to find every reason to be angry at her. And yeah, it definitely eats me up.
Dr. Monica Band 07:28
Yeah, I see that I visibly see that I want to check in with how you’re feeling at what’s going on for you. And you’re hearing Harley-Anne reflect on this?
Well, let’s start with the resentment from angle. My husband. She resented him a lot. And it’s not like he didn’t try he tried, he tried. But, you know, I always told her it’s hard to hug a porcupine. And, you know, there was just mean things that she would do or just attitude or just being like noncompliant. You know, we want to every kid, you know, every kid will do. But it was just it was extremely difficult. And there was a moment in time where he just gave up, there was many of arguments that we would have, and you know, so you know, you just have to keep trying, you just can’t give up? Because how would you like it if someone gave up on you. And I would never give up on Harley-Anne, as much as I have to separate myself from her sometimes, you know, so I can kind of gather my thoughts and and not lash out. And you know, the the BI tch mother. And you know, and I’ve had to do that in the past year and a half.
Dr. Monica Band 08:44
If I can make an observation. We’ve mentioned frustration and anger. And there’s oddly some common ground that you’re both feeling the same emotion for different reasons. And I want to point out too, that Harley-Anne is saying, hey, in spite of some of these decisions that we’ve made, and the feelings I have, towards my stepdad, or whomever, I realized this affects our relationship, and I want to work on that. So there’s gonna be moments when you are feeling like you need to justify your actions. While that’s important. I think it’s less about that and more about what got in the way of making a connection and feeling close to one another. So, Harley-Anne, could you paint a picture for us if you can of what happened the day of your actual accident? So was it a day like any other day you got up and
Yeah, so the day of my accident, I don’t really remember much, but I do remember that. I went over to my girlfriend’s house. And we hung out for like, I think like maybe four hours, five hours, and then I left my girlfriend’s house, and that’s when I got hit. I don’t remember much after that. So did that might be more of a question for her but that’s Really all I remember.
Thank you, Harley-Anne. And I didn’t expect you to remember everything. But I appreciate the details that you had outlined for us. And maybe to your point, that’s where mom, you know, Rachel, you can fill in the blanks for us as to what you recall of that day as well. Walk us through the moment when you got that call.
So yeah, that day, I was gonna go to an AAA meeting. And it was kind of important to me, because I had just gotten out of rehab and, you know, was leading the whole sobriety life. We just got into an argument and I was like, you know, just just Get the eff out of the car. I want to go to this meeting I had this is really important to me. You know, this is my 30th day or something. It was just a big turning point for me that I needed to go. So she got out of the car, I ended up not even going to an AAA meeting because I just ended up sitting in front of a liquor store crying. day goes on, I’m unpacking I jump in the shower, I get a call from detective and he says, Do you know Harley-Anne? And I said, Yes, that’s my daughter, says, well, there has been an accident, and we need you to come down to the hospital.
Dr. Monica Band 11:13
Returning home from her girlfriend’s house that day Harley-Anne and had across a highway. But a driver was approaching and they couldn’t break fast enough the impact of Harley-Anne and with many injuries, including a damaged Blaine, a broken pelvis, a collapsed lung, and a severely damaged leg. Like she said, she doesn’t remember too much about that day. And that’s partly because she was a major shock from the accident. Harley-Anne ends mom who is about a month into her own recovery at this point, remembers every detail. Please keep in mind that this might be hard to listen to.
When she got hit by the car, she did not have any identification on her. She has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis also. So she had her medication on her. So they were able to track me through her medication. I jam down to the hospital. By the time I got there, they were just about to wheel her into surgery. They she was in so much excruciating pain that all the morphine and the cetaceans that they gave her. She woke up out of it and just screaming and it was heart wrenching. Just you know, he, this is your baby girl. She’s 16 years old, like she’s, and I’m seeing them, like take these different types of X rays. And they’re like, We need the surgeon. And now, five and a half hours later, they came in and said, you know, we have two ways. Either were going to have to amputate or we can do the best to try to save it. And I said, Well, gosh, she’s a dirt bike rider. She’s a soccer player. She’s a skateboarder. She loves to ride her bike, like, Heck, yeah, I just like tried to save my child’s leg. And, you know, about three weeks into constant surgeries, one of the arteries just failed. And so they came in to me, and they said, I’m sorry, we’re gonna have to have a date. I know she’s been miserable. She hated me even tried to save her leg because it would cause her so much pain and anguish and just you know, she was so unhappy. And you know, in the long run, like I probably should have just said ampion does amputated. But I wanted that possibility of maybe her having two functioning limbs. But it just it caused her so much pain. And that hurts me to see that I put her through that in a possibility that there was a chance. But they ended up amputating anyways. And she spent like about two and a half months in the hospital. And it was a complete freakin nightmare. It was hell. It was hell.
Dr. Monica Band 13:43
Rachel, can I just acknowledge that that is no words can describe just how difficult of a choice. I imagine that was for you. As a mother. I mean, I hear you saying Here you are kind of focusing on your own mental health journey at the top of this description you were sharing. I was really proud of myself for getting to that 30 day mark or that 30 Day point of sobriety, I really wanted to go to this meeting, it was going to keep me you know, safe in a way it was going to keep me on track. And then you got that call. And since that moment, there were multiple decision points to be made about your daughter’s well being and health. And Harley, I didn’t realize how active you know, you talk about sort of dirt biking and skateboarding. And you’re just generally like, being mobile and being around I can hear how Rachel you wanted to preserve that for your daughter. So you made choices, choices to try to save her leg and there are so many points and moments in that description you share. That could be awful, as you said the worst. Is there Whoa, a moment that sticks out to you that you just say now that was the worst part of it all.
And she had what’s called delirium. That basically she wasn’t herself. I’m just screaming out, you know, Fu, your A B word. You know, get out of my life. I hate you. Just nasty, nasty, nasty, nasty things. The nurses says, you know this what happens sometimes, and just please don’t take it at heart and it’s the hardest thing to hear. And that was the point where it’s like, I don’t know if I can do this. But I just sat by her and I just stuck it out. And it it was like daggers to your heart.
Dr. Monica Band 15:31
Okay, hold on to those feelings because Harley I saw you get tearful as your mom recalls that moment, and I think those are true emotions there. You know, can you tell me what’s going on for you emotionally right now hearing your mom recall some of the things you said?
Yeah. I do know I said some of that, but I don’t remember it. Like, that’s not me, though, is the angry me. So yeah, it definitely hurts hearing that I said that, because that impacts on why our relationship is the way it is maybe right now and why we can speak to each other? Because you know, so we’ve never really talked about how the accident has affected us and the things I said and the you know, the things I did, and I’ve disrespected my family so much. Just you know, blaming them for everything. And I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone in a million years, and especially my mom that went through it. You know, like that’s just heartbreaking. very heartbreaking.
Is there something you want to say to your mom right now? Yeah, that wasn’t me. And I would never say that to her. Never. That’s good to hear. And I thank her for being there. I thank her so much for being there and sticking around. I appreciate that. Because it definitely did help that you were there more than you think. Even though I was angry at the time. I appreciated it. Because I definitely needed someone there especially during COVID It was all happening during COVID. So I had no visitations or no one else visiting me it was just my mom. And I put my mom through. No, I never wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Dr. Monica Band 17:27
Thank you, Rachel, how is that to hear Hurley say to you right now.
You know, it’s almost a fresh of breath, air. But it’s, it’s I’m glad that she does realize, like, all the time, the effort, the, you know, the pain that I went through just to be there for her. And you know, she would, she’ll do it for her son or daughter to if she does have children. Because things that you just do. And you know, it’s heartbreaking to you know, see her be affected by it so much and that, you know, she does realize as much as I hate to see tears coming down her eyes. No one ever wants that. You know, no one wants to see their baby girl cry or have heartache and just, you know, sad emotions and sad feelings. You know, you’d rather see them smile laugh than to see tears come down their eyes.
Dr. Monica Band 18:28
For two people who have had a rocky relationship for about a decade, validation feels especially important. Well, Harley and apologies are essential for Rachel’s own healing. I want to point out that Heartland also needs to be shown grace and validation for the traumas she’s experienced. Why is validation so important in these moments, it’s a recognition that what we’ve experienced matters and by extension, that we matter. After her accident, Harley N was diagnosed with delirium, which is disorienting and causes confused thinking and a lack of awareness. And let’s zoom out for a moment. Harley N was 16 when she lost her leg. At only 16. She had to deal with the frustration of her life being turned upside down again, and yet Harley and took on an excessive amount of guilt and shame for the things that happened during this time of extreme distress and pain. With all that said, I don’t think it’s fair for her to judge yourself so harshly for Harley and to let go of that destructive blame and for mom and daughter to actually heal. We need to look to forgiveness of self and the other are on that after the break. Welcome back. Before the break, we left off with Harley and apologizing for how she treated her mom during the two and a half months in the hospital. Now, I want to make space for Harley’s own healing. I would like Harley to be seen and to be heard.
I remember it just being difficult to learn the new things on what you’re having to do. Like you know crutches wheelchair, I was on a wheelchair, I don’t really remember exactly how long but I think maybe it was like a year but um, the healing process, even mentally and physically was very draining. I think the biggest thing was the mental part. And just first realizing that that just because the accident happened doesn’t mean I get to push everyone away and not proceed in my life, walking, getting up just doing simple things like dishes or cleaning or anything. I think that was just more of like, well, I don’t have a leg so I’m not going to do it, you know. And it was just more of learning how to do things. Just with one leg instead. Like you know, now I can do dishes, I can hop with the glass of water in my hand without spilling it. So I definitely think during the first year it was me grasping on to the fact that my legs not gonna grow back.
It’s life altering things.
Yeah, just like the first year was me more understanding than anything else. died three months after I got home from the hospital. I ended up moving out of my mom’s house. And moving down back to the mobile home park that I grew up in with my grandparents and my aunt and everything.
Dr. Monica Band 24:23
Can I ask what informed that decision to move out?
I think it was just even before the accident. I just moved into a new house miles and miles away from my grandparents and that are my world and everything. So you know you have that that feeling of home and that just didn’t feel like home to me. You know, I felt like my mom and my stepdad and my sister’s new home and then having their own life. And I’m just kind of middleman I guess you can say. So, I do remember the first day coming home from the hospital, and I remember I was just like, I don’t want to be here. Like, why am I here? And so, um, you know, eventually after a couple of months, I, you know, I ended up moving out. So, yeah, definitely the first year was just me, coming to terms with it.
Dr. Monica Band 25:18
Thank you for all that detail. Harley, I’m going to check in with your mom here, Rachel, you know, I am empathizing, that you went through months trying to make decisions to save your daughter’s leg to save what you imagined her future and her life to be. And then your daughter decides to leave? How did that make you feel?
It was it was really tough. Knowing that I put all this time this effort trying to not only change my point of views about the accident, and now this future life for my daughter. And it was hard mentally because I was trying to find a psychiatrist or a therapist or someone that she can talk to, again, this was COVID. So it was extremely hard for me to find someone for her to talk to, nor did she want to talk to me about it. She would have lashes out where she would like literally like throw water bottles everywhere. So when it came time, and she was like, I just want to move out, I want to go to grandma’s. I thought okay, then then then go. If this is what she wants, then I’m I’m gonna let her go. As much as I don’t want to, I have to let this little bird fly her wings, because obviously, she’s drowning here.
You know, I hear you trying to go back and forth of what might be the best decision for your daughter’s mental health. I have to ask. So how was your mental health throughout this whole experience? How are you doing, knowing that something you shared at the top of the time you were in recovery?
I started drinking again at about three months after the accident. So about a month and a half after she got home and then moved out, I started drinking again. I’m not nearly as heavy as I did where I needed to put myself into rehab. But I did start drinking again. Thank you, baby Jesus. I didn’t, you know, hit the bottle as hard as I did prior. But it was it was just mentally, it was hard. And she’d come home sometimes on the weekend. And it would just be a disaster. I mean, just fighting all the time.
Dr. Monica Band 27:37
You know, actually, I’m curious, I want to pull Harley into this. Because you know this, you were there. Right? Like, what would you say? And then what would your mom say in return?
Most of the time when I went up there, it wasn’t? Oh, Mommy, I want to come up there it was. I’m gonna go up there. Because my grandmother is telling me this is what’s best. So I should do it. So I think that’s why already it totally made me kind of angry was the fact that I wasn’t even going up there. Because I wanted to.
Dr. Monica Band 28:05
You know what I I’m hearing how you’re sharing how your anger shows up in relationships. And I wonder if a trigger for lack of a better word for your anger? is feeling like choices being taken away from you? Yeah, like you’re forced to do something, you know. And that makes a lot of sense. Because if we go back to the beginning, this extremely traumatic event, you both experience in very different ways. But there’s a part of you that is upset about that all of these choices, your future was taken away. So being told that your leg, for example, would be fixed and being told something was gonna go that way. And it didn’t.
Yeah, even when they told me about my leg, though, that there’s a chance or whatever I knew the chance is bullshit. Half of my leg was gone. And then once they told me like, oh, there’s nothing we could do. I kind of just was like I told you so or whatever. So with everything else, I think it’s kind of the same way when it doesn’t go that way that someone else says it’s supposed to go on, like I told you like, that’s why I shouldn’t have even done it or I shouldn’t even try.
Dr. Monica Band 29:11
Yeah, so let’s go off of that. Because based on what you’ve said, I imagine you wanting the amputation sooner than you received?
Oh, yeah, the minute I woke up out of that coma, I wanted that thing off.
Dr. Monica Band 29:24
Okay. So, you know, I’m hearing that and then I’m hearing how your mom worked really hard to try to make it work. And so maybe this is also to your point, haven’t really packed all this together yet. Maybe there’s a huge disagreement and the way that things ended up, Rachel. So tell me more about your feelings and reactions to that at this point.
Mine was you know, let’s stay positive. You might be able to get on your dirt bike and get on your bicycle skateboard, you know, run Gotta play if there’s this opportunity. Let’s, let’s take this chance. Let’s, let’s try,
Dr. Monica Band 30:06
Rachel, you know, you heard her daughter say, mom no more. And I hear you saying, but we got to be hopeful we got to remain positive is that what got in the way of listening to your daughter was trying to remain the hopeful one in this relationship?
Yeah. And, you know, there was times where she was like, Mom, just just cut it off. And I could, I could say, like, one more surgery, just one more. And I hated to see her in this pain, you know, she’s miserable. And so this was the last surgery that I was going to allow before I said, you know, what, just, you know, screw it. We’ve been here for so long. Just just remove it.
Dr. Monica Band 30:47
Harley, you know, I hear your mom saying I did it. Because I was trying to remain hopeful I was trying to be more positive than negative. All the while you’re saying Mom, I can’t just just do it. amputate it. What was it like not to be heard? In that moment?
I think it was just angry at the fact of not being heard. Just because, you know, I’ve been through multiple things, multiple pains, arthritis, pains and all that. And it’s a feeling that you can’t explain, you know, I felt like my foot fell asleep. But something had stabbed into me at the same time. You’re me describing all this pain and her seeing me go through the pain at the same time. I was just more of angry at the fact of why couldn’t she see that should just go away. Instead of her being hopeful. I pushed everyone away besides my girlfriend at the time. And so I was being heard by her. And I felt like I wasn’t being heard by anyone else. And so that that resentment and not being heard was anger. Just real bad. Anger, push, push, push.
Yeah, everything that you’re saying Harley, it’s true. You’re totally validated. Like you, I should have honestly just said, you know, what, enough is enough. It’s not worth seeing my daughter go through this extreme pain, and then all the surgeries and you know, and and I don’t know if it was a selfish thing for me to do to be hopeful, optimistic that you could have, and I don’t want to say like a normal life because you still have a normal life. You’re limited on some things. But really, you can only limit yourself. But I do feel horrible. I wish I did listen to you, at the very beginning and said, You know what? Screw it. If she, if she wants it off, then do it. And then part of me was thinking, Okay, I’m going to say this. And then here it is. Maybe a year later. Why don’t you try to save it? And I battled that you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t
I totally understand that. I feel like if it would have been the opposite way, I would have said the same thing. And like said, if you’re damned if you do damned if you don’t so like I said, I was super angry for maybe the first year and a half almost, but it’s been almost two years and you know, just not holding any resentment towards anyone at all. And, you know, I remember I didn’t go outside for like, I think it was like maybe a month mommy right? I never had been outside of my room, just sitting in the bed. And I remember going outside for the first time, you know, just out there little garden area or whatever. And I was looking through the pictures and everything because I took pictures when I first went outside and I looked joyful at the fact that I was breathing fresh air and not hospital or you know, the cold hospital or you know, it just gets super annoying. And you know the flowers everywhere and the sun or felt the sun and it was just amazing.
Dr. Monica Band 34:04
For the better part of her life Harley Anne has experienced a lack of choice in one way or another. First losing her dad and witnessing her mom’s substance use disorder. Then her leg in the hospital Harley and interpreted her mom’s decisions as anything but hopeful she saw them as yet another limit to her autonomy, but little by little Harley and is reclaiming that autonomy by learning how to use a prosthetic leg and moving out of her mom’s house, physically and emotionally. She’s healing and part of that healing is in the validation we heard from Rachel. That validation helped unlock Harlands potential to let go of her self blame and resentment she felt towards her mom. Finally she’s letting herself breathe in that fresh air. She’s feeling the sun on her skin. more when we return. So here I am back with Harley and Rachel. You know, we started off with a question, which is, How did my accident affect our relationship, you and moms and both your mental health and it sounds like through this conversation and hashing out some details, but also getting to hear both sides of how your mom was certainly affected and even how you’ve shared with her. You know, I’m curious to know what our plans are and moving forward.
I feel like the reason why I mean her I’ve never really connected on how how we have felt about it, how it affected us is because even before that, we didn’t really have any communication, or we didn’t know how to communicate towards each other. I definitely have a problem with when I express myself. I do it in an angry way. And I don’t mean to and I don’t mean to make anyone think that I’m angry at them. But i Yo my emotions instead of speaking calmly about them in that’s definitely a not a good way at all to communicate.
I think the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. I’m a yeller. You know, let’s say, you know, pick up your shoes in the living room, please pick up your shoes in the living room, please pick up your fucking shoes in the living room, like why do you not understand? Can you not freaking hear me? You know, so I can go from you know, a negative zero to 100. Not quickly, but I will definitely lose my patience. So as far as yelling goes, I can talk through things. But if I’m not being heard or understood or acknowledged, then the yelling will come out.=
I’ve realized now more. You know, I do the exact thing if I feel like I’m not being understood, or I feel like my point is not getting across, that’s when I start yelling. But I feel like you know, it’s not a bad thing to feel angry for and wanting to be understood. But the way you come at it after the fact maybe is wrong. Now I definitely realized, you know, not understandable. Yeah, understandable. I realized that maybe you we maybe can speak to each other because we don’t. We don’t know how to sit and stay quiet like this and speak to one another. But I don’t want to put anyone at full. You know, you have family and you have things going on.
You are part of this family. You were never not a part of this family. It started just with you, me and Dwayne. And when he passed, it was just you and me. And then I met angle and things went fairly quickly. A little more than it should have been. I should have taken more time to spend more time with you and grieve with just one another. The way I grieve is I bottle a lot of things up I sweep it under the cover and I keep moving forward.
Yeah, I’m the same way.
Dr. Monica Band 39:30
You both have a lot in common.
Yeah, well, I have my grandma which is my mom’s mom told me all the time you guys are so much lighter is probably what you guys buttheads all the time you guys are like exactly the same. Like once she started sweeping stuff under the rug just like I do. Then the personality changes and everything changes.
Dr. Monica Band 39:50
So as we begin to wind down in this conversation together, I am hearing a connection here between you both And, Rachel, you were using sort of this phrase of like, I’m guilty, too. And I heard your daughter say several times, it’s not about that, Mom, you don’t feel guilty about this. And in fact, I don’t think it’s always a bad thing. I actually think, you know, anger serves a driving purpose, right? It is a internal barometer that lets us know that our boundaries are crossed, or that to your point, like not being heard, there’s some injustice that occurred that we don’t feel control over. And it’s not wrong or bad to express our hurt. In Harley, I think what you said was really wise earlier, it’s being thoughtful and intentional about how it lands and the consequences of like your behaviors. Like if it does put someone you care about or that you love and pain or further hurt, then yeah, like, that’s where anger isn’t productive anymore. And it actually can just drive the feelings of being unheard, even more. And I’m appreciating and just witnessing you both kind of take turns back and forth communicating this way. Because it looks like you both have talked about this before, but maybe not. Maybe this is just the strength of your relationship or willingness to want to move forward in a lot of ways. So you know, with that said, I am curious to know, what are you going to carry forward in the future?
I definitely enjoyed this conversation. I love being able to, you know, listen to her voice, her opinions and everything. And we have talked, you know, about stuff like this before, it always seemed to end in an argument or, you know, me just having to go home, I because I can’t, I don’t know how to process this. And I’d rather walk away and say goodbye, I love you. Until next time, because it you know, there’s there’s times that it just ended up like that. But I I love her to death. I couldn’t imagine my world without her. And when the accident happened, I thought, Oh, shit, this is it’s like her dad all over again. You know, when her dad died, he didn’t have any ID on him. I had to go to the hospital and identify his body. And it was the same room that I sat in waiting for the doctor for Harley. So it was like deja freak. And Ville was like, Oh, my God, this is not happening.
Dr. Monica Band 42:12
Harley, I can see you taking that in, can I get a sense of what you’re feeling right now,
I wouldn’t have been able to be in that same room, if I was one to identify my dad, you know, and then to have your daughter be in the same room of the person who passed away. That’s just hell. And I could not imagine that. But this conversation probably will proceed into more conversations on how to speak to one another without yelling, because we both have that problem. And that’s where we butt heads. I feel like it’s just motivation for us to make our relationship better, you know, because I don’t know what I would do out there. She’s my mom, and I don’t have my dad anymore. So I love my mom to death. And I definitely do want us to have that conversation. And hopefully without mediator, you know, be ahead in life and not be angry at each other.
Good choices of words. We’re definitely going to take this and go forward with it and become just a better relationship. Mother and daughter.
Yeah, I definitely want a relationship with my mom. You know, I went through it, but she also went through it in the process. So hearing her side, definitely meant so much to me.
No, I love you.
I love you too.
Dr. Monica Band 43:35
It was a privilege to witness this initial conversation between Harlan and Rachel. I mean, this was the first time they were really able to process the effects of the car accident. But as you all know, it’s unfair to expect one conversation to repair years of hurt feelings. I see my clients once a week for an hour. When you put that into perspective, it’s really what we choose to do outside the session that makes the difference. In this case, Harley and and Rachel well, not my clients understand that this is just the beginning. Yes, there is a lot of unresolved trauma. And yes, it will take many sessions with a mediator or therapists before they can truly work through it all. But I trust it can happen for them. Because I could hear the authenticity in their words when they promised to simmer down and see the other side. What once might have ended in an argument now ended with I love yous and a promise for more conversations to come. If that’s not a testament to wanting to work through things. I don’t know what it is. That’s all for this week. Thanks to Harley and and Rachel for being with us. This is I need to ask you something. I’m your host, Dr. Monica Band.
There’s more I NEED TO ASK YOU SOMETHING with Lemonada Premium. Subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content. There’s so many things we talk about and we’re barely scratching the surface. Tune in to learn more about what it means to be a perfectionist, to be conflict avoidant. And how to ask for help. I NEED TO ASK YOU SOMETHING is a Lemonada Media original. I’m Dr. Monica Band, the host of this show and a consultant with the Jed foundation. Crystal Genesis is our supervising producer. Giulia Hjort is our producer, and Rachel Lightner is our producer and audio engineer. Tess Novotny is our associate producer. Mixing and Original Music by Bobby Woody, additional mixing by Ivan Kuraev. Special thanks to Kelsey Henderson and the members of our youth focus group. Maria Perry, […] Erica Familia, Kofi Green and Cloud Ben. Jackie Danziger is our VP of narrative content. Executive Producers are Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs. This show was created in partnership with the Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevent suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. This series is presented by HOPE Lab with, Stupski Foundation and Lumina Foundation. Visit I needtoaskyousomething.org or use the link in the show notes for resources related to today’s episode. Follow I need to ask you something wherever you get your podcasts or listen at free on Amazon music with your Prime membership