Episode 50: Relationships, Dating, and the Apologies We’ll Never Get with Bethany Barton
Episode 50: Relationships, Dating, and the Apologies We’ll Never Get with Bethany Barton
Author Bethany Barton joins us on the podcast this week to talk about her brand new book, Apologies I Never Got. Alyssa and Bethany dive into a discussion on the wounds left by previous partners, both shallow and deep. Bethany gives advice on how we can accept the fact that we may never get the apologies we seek. She also gives advice on how we can move forward in life and find happiness and closure within ourselves instead of waiting on someone else to give it to us.
Bethany’s Website: www.apologiesinevergot.com
Bethany’s Instagram: @apologiesinevergot
Alyssa Scolari [00:23]:
Hello, hello everybody. Welcome back. We are at it once again with another awesome interview today. I’m really excited for this one. This one hits home for me as well as I’m sure it’s going to hit home for a lot of people out there. We’re talking about all things dating today, dating, relationships, and we have a special guest. Her name is Bethany Barton. And Bethany is a Los Angeles based author and a freelance writer that writes about all things dating and relationship. She has a book titled, Apologies I Never Got. And this book features dating and relationship horror stories phrased as apologies you never got from people who never gave them to you. It’s all about forgiveness and self-healing.
And I’m really looking forward to diving in and chatting with her today. When I saw the title of her book, I definitely got chills, because I feel like, and I think this is the case for a lot of people, is that we hold resentment and we feel like we should be given apologies. And you know what, rightly so. Many of us should be apologized to, especially those who had to endure trauma or who were in abusive relationships or who were just done wrong in relationships, so, so wrong. People who were abandoned, all types of things.
And I have a lot of experience with this, where just relationships in my life have been so, so ugly. And I felt for so long that I should have been given an apology. And I never got one, nor will I ever get one. So it’s been a long journey for me to have to figure out how I can come to terms with really getting going on, the apology I never got. So I’m looking forward to talking to Bethany today. I think it’s going to be an incredible conversation, and one that so many of you can relate to.
All right. So we are going to turn it over to our guest, hello, Bethany. How are you?
Bethany Barton [02:54]:
I’m great. Thank you for having me.
Alyssa Scolari [02:57]:
Thank you for being here. I’m, first of all, so jealous that you’re in Los Angeles. Can you tell me how the weather is right now?
Bethany Barton [03:04]:
Actually, you might not be jealous right now. It’s actually overcast and a little bit chilly. So you might be better off where you are today.
Alyssa Scolari [03:13]:
Okay. Yeah. The sun actually is out in New Jersey right now. Now, have you lived in Los Angeles your whole life?
Bethany Barton [03:21]:
No. No. I’ve actually been here, it’ll be three years this month, in May, actually. Today, actually, I moved on-
Alyssa Scolari [03:29]:
Bethany Barton [03:30]:
… the 31st, yeah.
Alyssa Scolari [03:31]:
Well, happy LA anniversary.
Bethany Barton [03:34]:
Thank you. Yeah. Before that I lived in Austin, Texas for about six years. Originally, I’m from North Carolina, that’s where I grew up.
Alyssa Scolari [03:43]:
Bethany Barton [03:44]:
Yeah, I’m a little bit all over the place. Yeah.
Alyssa Scolari [03:46]:
So East Coast, then the South, and now West Coast.
Bethany Barton [03:52]:
Alyssa Scolari [03:53]:
Now, what brought you out to Los Angeles? Was it your writing?
Bethany Barton [03:57]:
It was, yeah. It was just really kind of the drive to go all in and pursue that, and make it the center point of my life. And it took me quitting my social work job in Austin, leaving an apartment, leaving a relationship, just all of the things, and completely starting over in Los Angeles to get there.
Alyssa Scolari [04:22]:
Oh, wow. Okay. So you just said a lot of important things all in one sentence. So I guess maybe, take me back. So we’re here to talk today about this book that, oh, I can’t wait to dive into, because I just love the title so much. How did you get to this spot? Because, it sounds like you had quite a journey leading up to writing this book.
Bethany Barton [04:47]:
Yes, definitely. Definitely. So, yeah, I mean, like I said, I grew up in North Carolina and I had kind of a difficult family situation and that kind of plays into the book a little bit. The book is mainly about relationships and apologies you never got from that, but it really expands. We don’t get apologies from a lot of the people that we should get them from.
Alyssa Scolari [05:11]:
A lot of people, like, parents, grandparents, siblings, all the hurtful generational trauma that we experience-
Bethany Barton [05:20]:
Alyssa Scolari [05:20]:
… we don’t get apologies for.
Bethany Barton [05:22]:
Exactly. I left North Carolina, and I was in Austin, Texas working in social work, which also gave me a really good background for the book to be able to come at it from that standpoint. But I was in this job, in this relationship, in this life that just wasn’t mine. From the outside looking in, I had all the things that you’re supposed to have or want, and I hated it. I was absolutely miserable in every aspect. And all I really wanted to do, all I’ve ever really wanted to do was write.
But I just really didn’t know that was a possibility. I didn’t know that was an option as a career. I didn’t realize that was something I could make money doing. I just thought it was just something I was always drawn to do. But, yeah, so it took me, I left that job with no real backup plan. I left that relationship. I left Austin completely and moved out here. And just had to start over, figuring out, okay, this is the life I left that I didn’t want, so what is the life I do want. And having to kind of create that from the ground up.
Alyssa Scolari [06:36]:
Wow. So you essentially did what I think is one of the hardest things people can do and you deconstructed your life. You broke your life down to build it back up again-
Bethany Barton [06:52]:
Alyssa Scolari [06:53]:
… when you were an adult.
Bethany Barton [06:55]:
Yeah. Yeah. I was, I would have been, I had just turned 30. I had just turned 30 when I… Because my birthday’s in April, and I moved in May.
Alyssa Scolari [07:03]:
Wow. That’s a really hard thing to do, asking anybody to kind of break down their life. I work with a lot of people who are kind of like college age, so maybe like teenagers or very early 20s, and even that is tough. But I think when you get to that point of being like 30, I think it takes a lot of strength to be like, “Mm-hmm [negative], this is not how I’m doing the rest of my life.”
Bethany Barton [07:31]:
Yeah. Yeah. For sure.
Alyssa Scolari [07:34]:
So then where did you get… Because I love what you said about how, “All I ever wanted to do was just write,” and I think there are a lot of people out there like that, that have such a passion for writing, but truly don’t understand that with a lot of hard work and persistence, you actually can make money off of that. It can be a career. So how did you learn that for yourself? Did you first have the idea of, I’m writing this book? Or were you doing more like freelance writing before?
Bethany Barton [08:07]:
It was more writing the book and I did jobs here and there to help supplement it, and then got more into, oh, okay. I can do this freelance too. So it was kind of backwards, I think, of what people generally do. I think most people do freelance, and then they’re like, “Oh, I could write a book.” But for me the book was just ready to go, and it wanted to come out, so that was what came first. And then I was like, “Oh, okay. I can do articles around it. I can do just different things.” I really was just trying all genres, and drawing from my experiences in social work and whatever, the dating and relationship niche just really… things were taking off in that. And so it really kind of all fell together in a very backwards way, but it definitely came together.
Alyssa Scolari [09:00]:
Yeah. So you did things kind of like the opposite of the status quo, but it all came together for you.
Bethany Barton [09:05]:
Alyssa Scolari [09:07]:
So when did you start writing this book? Was this after you got to LA?
Bethany Barton [09:14]:
It started in Austin as kind of an inside joke with a group of friends. As you see in the book, it talks a little bit about my own stuff with relationships, and I was just having these really bizarre experiences. And so, my group of friends and I were just joking of, “Oh, that’s an apology I’ll never get,” just from these experiences.
Alyssa Scolari [09:37]:
Bethany Barton [09:37]:
And so, even in Austin, I was kind of gathering them from friends and coworkers, because everyone has stories like that. Everyone’s got just some really bizarre dating or relationship scenario that they’ve been through. So I didn’t know what to do with them, but I eventually just started writing them down, and I had no idea what was going to happen. I thought maybe I’d start a blog with them or a Twitter feed or something, because they were just so funny. Yeah, and then they just started coming in more and more, and I started categorizing them, and then I was like, “Okay, this is going to be a book. This is what this-
Alyssa Scolari [10:14]:
Bethany Barton [10:14]:
… is supposed to be.
And then when I got out to LA, I think it took me letting go of all of the past stuff and the thought that I couldn’t do it and that I had to have this traditional lifestyle. It took letting go of all of that, I think, to really commit to putting it all together and writing it.
Alyssa Scolari [10:36]:
Wow. Wow. Now, so the book itself, if I’m understanding this correctly, is a series of different horror stories in relationships.
Bethany Barton [10:48]:
Yeah. So it’s dating and relationship horror stories, but they’re phrased as the apologies you never got from the people who never gave them to you, and then they’re separated into categories. And then at the end of each one, there’s just the background of where one of the apologies came from, and… For example, there’s a gaslighting category.
And then I go into what is gaslighting? And what does that look like? And how did that play out in this apology? And what can you learn from that? Just kind of the basic relationship aspect of the categories, and what’s going on kind of behind the scenes of that? Or first dates, what do you need to know about that? Or what can you learn from these apologies? What can you take moving forward, so you’re not making the same mistakes or ignoring red flags or whatever it is that kind of got the apology anyway? And sometimes there’s nothing you can do, sometimes people just do what they do. But how to recover from that and move forward.
Alyssa Scolari [11:55]:
Is there a particular story, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be something in the book, but is there a particular horror story or relationship moment, either in your life or somebody else’s life that you could share to give us an example?
Bethany Barton [12:17]:
Yeah. I mean, there’s so many.
Alyssa Scolari [12:17]:
That’s sounds… There’s so many.
Bethany Barton [12:19]:
I mean they kind of ranged-
Alyssa Scolari [12:21]:
My brain is thinking of all the jerks I’ve ever dated.
Bethany Barton [12:26]:
Yeah. Yeah. They definitely range as far as, some of them are short and funny. There’s the one that happens to my friend where, the date, he literally just left and went outside and stole a bike and rode away on it, and that was on a first date. And she was like, “What is happening?” So there’s definitely some of those that you’re just going, “What happened there?” I mean, this was like, I want to say we were probably about 28 when that happened. So this is not like, oh, we were 19.
Alyssa Scolari [13:01]:
Right. It’s not like we’re kids. This is like adult.
Bethany Barton [13:03]:
This is like… Yeah.
Alyssa Scolari [13:08]:
Oh my God.
Bethany Barton [13:09]:
Alyssa Scolari [13:10]:
So is she, I don’t even know how the law works, but I’m like, are you an accomplice in that situation?
Bethany Barton [13:15]:
Yeah. I mean, do you call the police? What do you even do?
Alyssa Scolari [13:19]:
What do you do? Like, “911, sorry, this guy I just met five minutes ago stole a bike.”
Bethany Barton [13:24]:
He stole a bike?
Alyssa Scolari [13:26]:
“My date just stole a bike.” Oh God, that’s awful. I mean, I love a good story like that. I mean, it’s horrible. Obviously it’s horrific, but it’s one of those things where it’s like, if we don’t laugh about this-
Bethany Barton [13:42]:
Alyssa Scolari [13:43]:
… we’ll sob.
Bethany Barton [13:44]:
Exactly, exactly. And the hope of it is to get to the point where you can laugh. And, obviously, that guy has some stuff going on, that has no reflection on her. That’s nothing to do with her. So, I mean, obviously, in the moment, it wasn’t as funny, but she was able to get to the part where it is funny. And eventually, I hope that we can all do that and just see that with the laughter, it’s not always on us. Sometimes people just have whatever else going on, and we can’t always take it so seriously, you know?
Alyssa Scolari [14:17]:
Yeah. Yeah. Which I love, I love adding that component of, it’s not a reflection on me. That’s a you thing, you know?
Bethany Barton [14:26]:
Alyssa Scolari [14:27]:
It’s not a me thing. But then I also think there are much deeper issues that I’m sure that the book touches on, where it brings up like abandonment stuff or cheating or things like that.
Bethany Barton [14:44]:
Yeah, definitely. There is a cheating category. There’s a gaslighting category. So it does definitely touch on some of the deeper relationship components and things that you might run into, and how to navigate your way through those and find the apologies and move on. And especially with things like gaslighting or cheating, those are really painful experiences to go through. And so, the book really kind of highlights, okay, that’s happened, how do I deal with that? How do I maybe keep it from happening again? And how do I get to a point where I can just move on from it and not take it into the next relationship?
Because that’s a huge component that I talk about too, is when we hang on to these resentments or wait for these apologies, then we’re just dragging all of that into our new relationships, and that makes them very crowded. And so that’s kind of part of what I talk about.
Alyssa Scolari [15:46]:
Okay. So, you know what’s happening to me right now. Have you ever had, I can’t be the only one that has this, where you can be in the middle of your day and suddenly you remember a dream-
Bethany Barton [15:58]:
Alyssa Scolari [15:59]:
… that you forgot?
Bethany Barton [16:00]:
Alyssa Scolari [16:00]:
And it just hits you. So this must have been on my mind last night, this conversation, because I’m just now remembering, as we’re talking, and as you said, “Letting go of those old resentments and not bringing them into your relationship.” My very first boyfriend ever, so I shouldn’t even be, not that I shouldn’t be that resentful, I think I have every right to be resentful, but we were kids.
My very first boyfriend ever, I had a dream about this last night, he broke up with me, and then a few months later wanted to get back together with me, and said, “well, the only reason I broke up with you on the…” I can’t-
Bethany Barton [16:43]:
He was scared.
Alyssa Scolari [16:44]:
He said, “The only reason I ever broke up with you in the first place was because you were fat, but now I think I’m okay with your fatness, so let’s do it.
Bethany Barton [16:54]:
Wow. What a charmer. What a charmer.
Alyssa Scolari [17:00]:
It’s so funny. I honestly haven’t thought about that in what am I? I’m 29. And I was, what was I? 16. I have not thought about that in over a decade. And I had a dream about that last night. So I wonder if I subconsciously Harbor some kind of resent.
Bethany Barton [17:20]:
Right, right. Yeah. It would be hard not to from that, for sure. For sure.
Alyssa Scolari [17:25]:
Yeah. But that’s one of those things where it’s like, I don’t think. Even he could understand how damaging that was in the moment. But it’s like working through… clearly I still have a little bit of resentment about that.
Bethany Barton [17:43]:
Oh yeah. I can see why, that’s horrible.
Alyssa Scolari [17:47]:
Oh, my God. Wow. That’s wild. But yeah, as a therapist, I think that’s one of the things that I deal with the most, especially among people in like their 20s, is these dating stories, where people are in relationships and then they get cheated on, or something goes south, or suddenly, they’re together for a couple of years and the person just leaves without rhyme or reason or explanation. And what would you say to somebody… because I have so many people that are like, “Well, how could they just get up and leave? How could they?” And, “I need an explanation.”
And so many people are on this… not this kick, but this desire. When the heartbreak happens, it’s a desire to make it not so. It’s like, “Well, let’s meet up for coffee, so I can ask you questions.”
Bethany Barton [18:45]:
Right, like the closure.
Alyssa Scolari [18:46]:
“I need closure.” Exactly, you nailed it. It’s the, “I need closure. I need closure.” And what I find, 99.99% of the time, is that if you ever get that discussion, if the person who hurt you on the other end, ever even grants you the discussion, ever even allows for that to happen, it never gives you the closure that you’re looking for. In fact, it only leaves you more hurt than you were before.
Bethany Barton [19:22]:
Yeah. Because they’re not going to say anything particularly nice, even if it’s just, “I don’t love you anymore. I don’t want to be with you.” I mean, that’s the best case scenario. And everything else is just like, if they are telling you the truth, it could be very hurtful. Like, “Oh, I’m not physically attracted to you anymore.” I mean, how does that help you feel better about that scenario? Yeah, you have an answer, but it’s not an answer that’s going to help you, particularly.
Alyssa Scolari [19:54]:
Yeah. Even the cleanest of breaks, even if the relationship was great, even if that person sat down and said, “I’m just not feeling it. I’m not in it the same way. It was great. Goodbye.” Going back, isn’t going to give you… That person isn’t going to change their mind.
Bethany Barton [20:19]:
No. And I think that’s what a lot of people are hoping with the closure, that maybe they can like talk them out of it, or oh, if it’s this one thing I can change, maybe I can change it. Or even just… You’re so attached to this person and then they leave, and it’s like your ego and your attachment system are just creating these schemes, almost, in your mind, of like, how can I make this pain stop? And I think it’s so important to just realize that the pain is just going to be there for a minute, and having coffee with them or blowing up their phone or backing them into a corner of telling you the reasons why, it’s not going to make you feel better. It’s not going to give you the closure, the answers you want, and it’s not going to make them change their mind, ultimately.
And I think, honestly, the best thing to do is just allow that pain to be there for a minute, because it’s supposed to be, you’ve lost something, you’ve lost someone. But all of these little schemes that your mind comes up with, ultimately, just makes it harder on yourself. Because if they’ve broken up with you or if they’ve cheated on you, or if they’ve done any of these things, they’re telling you, very clearly, that they don’t want to be with you. And we just kind of have to learn to accept that, as painful as it is, but it’s a lot more painful to keep dragging it out and trying to get back with them or make them tell you. And the truth is, a lot of times people don’t know. Why do we just suddenly stop liking someone? We can’t explain that always. Why is it that this great person that we’re dating, we just don’t feel any real connection to?
I mean, there’s just not always a laundry list of reasons. It could just be beyond words. Like, “I don’t know why I stopped loving you. I don’t know why I don’t feel the way I did when we started dating.’ You know?
Alyssa Scolari [22:18]:
Yeah. I think that’s so important, because I was going to ask you, don’t you think that continuing to blow up their phone or request some kind of closure or text or even like stalking their social media all the time… I have people that go into these… And also by people, let may be clear, I was one of these people or I was not above this. I’ll circle back to that. But looking at like their Snapchat or their Facebook or their Instagram to see when they were last active, and things like that. Don’t you think that that only even prolongs the suffering?
Bethany Barton [22:57]:
Absolutely, it does. Absolutely-
Alyssa Scolari [22:57]:
Bethany Barton [22:58]:
… it does. I mean, and it really energetically keeps things going. It keeps your attachment system so activated and triggered, and nothing you find on that is going to help you. Nothing is going to make you feel better about them leaving or about them… If you see them moving on with someone else, that doesn’t help you either. It really, I think is good to just, the same way I talk about writing your own apologies, write your own closure. Whatever that story needs to be in your mind of, you know what, they just weren’t feeling it, or they wanted to be with someone else or whatever, just make that closure happen in your mind and move on.
Alyssa Scolari [23:37]:
Bethany Barton [23:37]:
Whatever it is.
Alyssa Scolari [23:38]:
Yes. This is not related to a breakup, specifically, this is actually related to the ending of a relationship with a former therapist that I used to have. I saw her for quite a while, and one day she was gone. She literally dumped me. I mean, I was devastated. She knew everything and I could not understand, how somebody who I had told, who knew more about me than probably anyone on the planet, just straight out dumped me.
And I wanted closure and I tried to ask for it. And I tried to say like, “Can we meet one more time, so I can kind of understand what’s happening here, because this is so out of the blue for me?” And she denied me that.
Bethany Barton [24:37]:
Alyssa Scolari [24:39]:
And at that point, I think, after a while she thought about it, then changed her mind, also, because it’s just highly unethical, and it’s something you can lose your license for.
Bethany Barton [24:49]:
Yeah. No, it is. I was thinking that.
Alyssa Scolari [24:52]:
Yeah, that’s client abandonment, honey, and we don’t do that. But I think she thought about it, and then came back and was like, “Yeah, let’s meet.” And at that point, I said, “I will give myself the closure that I need.” And I truly think that that helped me heal, by not even engaging in that anymore, because what could I have gotten from that? It prolonged my suffering immensely. And looking back now, it was hard doing that to me. It was truly the best thing she ever could have done for me. It’s a reflection on her and her issues.
Bethany Barton [25:29]:
Alyssa Scolari [25:31]:
Right, right. A total reflection on her and her issues. Not a reflection on me, but I’m actually so much better. I didn’t realize it, and I think this is what a lot of us don’t realize is that sometimes people in our lives are poison, and we don’t know we’re being poisoned until after they’re gone.
Bethany Barton [25:49]:
Alyssa Scolari [25:51]:
And do you find that sometimes people cling to these relationships for reasons that are more than the relationship itself? Because you mentioned attachment.
Bethany Barton [26:04]:
Yeah. Yeah. I think definitely. I mean, there’s so many reasons that we cling to other people, whether it’s from our wounds, whether it’s sense of stability and security, maybe even financial. Or just that deeper level of attachment and fear of abandonment and whatever it is, or maybe it’s even somewhat abusive of them making us think that we need them and that we can’t survive on our own or whatever it is. We have so many reasons that we’re with other people, when we maybe shouldn’t be. That make it more intense when we lose them or make us try to cling to it or look past things that we really shouldn’t, whatever the reason is. There’s so many of them.
And I think that’s an important part of the breakup process too, is to sit back and look of, okay, why am I feeling this way? What am I truly afraid of? Is it that I think I can’t afford my apartment without them? Or is it I just can’t be alone? Because once you kind of face those fears, you can start navigating through them and handling them. Because the truth of the situation, if they leave and you can’t afford your apartment and whatever else, you have to deal with that. It’s not a fun reality, but you have to deal with that.
And so at least you’ve begun the process of… You’re not waiting until you get evicted, because you’ve been trying so hard to get them to move back in, or you’ve been stalking them on social media, and not paying your rent or whatever it is.
Alyssa Scolari [27:36]:
Bethany Barton [27:36]:
It is just so important to make sure your life can move forward and not make it harder on yourself. And I think that’s a huge part of the breakup process is just, what is it about this that is truly escalating the way I feel? Is it because I love them so much? Or is it because X, Y, or Z?
Alyssa Scolari [27:57]:
Right. I have found that folks with like a trauma history or abandonment history or folks who don’t have a secure attachment style with our parents really have a much harder time with breakups. Because, what it is, is it’s like we’re reliving this abandonment from our childhood that we never dealt with.
Bethany Barton [28:21]:
Right. Right. And that’s like kind of one of the things I touch on, too, a little bit, is just that relationships show us these things. Relationships are meant to do that. They’re hitting on our deepest aspects of love, hate, abandonment, belonging, biological attachment. I mean, these are very human characteristics and the deepest parts of ourselves that we’re dealing with, intimacy, I mean, all of these things.
And so, yeah, they’re going to hurt. They’re supposed to hurt. They’re going to show you where your work is or what you need to handle or deal with or whatever. They’re not always going to be smooth sailing. Even if you’re in a very good relationship, you’re still going to get triggered. You’re still going to have moments where you’re like, “Oh, this is something that I need to work on.” And I mean, it’s just always learning, always growing.
Even me in my relationship, I still have moments where it’s like, “Whoa, where did that come from?” You know? Or-
Alyssa Scolari [29:25]:
Bethany Barton [29:27]:
… just different work that gets shown to you ongoing, even if you’re in a good relationship.
Alyssa Scolari [29:34]:
That is such an important point, is that, right, even when you’re in a good relationship, that’s purpose of relationships. They are meant to, that’s not the sole purpose of relationships, obviously, but being in a relationship is going to bring up a lot of those vulnerabilities, whether it’s a healthy relationship, a toxic one, and those are teachable moments. Those are moments to say, “Hey, this might be an area I need to explore some more. Because you said something and I’m enraged, and I don’t know why.” Or. “I’m scared for my life, and I don’t know why.” Or, “I’m afraid you’re going to leave me, and I don’t know why,” stuff like that. It’s like, even in the healthiest of relationships, there still are those teachable moments.
Bethany Barton [30:23]:
Alyssa Scolari [30:24]:
So for you, what’s next? Because you will have done so much with your life, in such a short time. If I did the math correctly, you’re 33?
Bethany Barton [30:39]:
Alyssa Scolari [30:40]:
So young, living the LA life, do you love living in LA?
Bethany Barton [30:47]:
I do. I do like LA a lot. Southern California is definitely, definitely my jam.
Alyssa Scolari [30:52]:
California, I’m coming for you.
Bethany Barton [30:53]:
Alyssa Scolari [30:54]:
I am forever West Coast dreaming. One day. One day, I’ll be out there. But, so, for you, what comes next for you?
Bethany Barton [31:04]:
Yeah. I mean, that’s something I kind of still think about and try to figure out. The book actually has a sequel that I’m working on, because I did a submission call for some of it and friends, coworkers, and I just get sent stuff. People will message me or call me, and say, “I just had this really funny thing, and I thought you’d like it. And you can have it for the book,” or whatever.
So it’s got a sequel, and then it’s also got a companion piece that I’m working on called Pinkies Out. And it’s the classy breakup guide. So it’ll be all in that same umbrella of apologies.
Alyssa Scolari [31:43]:
Oh, that’s so cool. Oh, so you’ve got so much going on.
Bethany Barton [31:49]:
Yeah. I mean, I feel like there’s a lot of places it could go. And then I had a talk with a literary agent the other day and they had said something about like, “Oh, okay, well, have you ever thought about, too, most of the apologies are, well, they all are dating and relationship, but have you thought about expanding it into the more serious, into the family, into the like work?” And so I feel like, at some point, that is where it’ll go, once it kind of… I feel like right now, it’s kind of like niche driven as far as, it’s fun, it’s classy, it’s light and there’s serious stuff to it, but it’s also got that humor aspect.
And then, figuring out how to transition that into some of the more intense things, I think, will be a process. But I definitely could see it going into that, because there is such a huge aspect of the apologies we never got from friends-
Alyssa Scolari [32:43]:
Bethany Barton [32:43]:
… family, just everybody. And how do we deal with some of the deeper aspects of those?
Alyssa Scolari [32:51]:
Yes. And there is so such a need for it. Such a need for it, because that is so much what trauma work is about, I believe, is grief work. How do I recover from truly be apologies I never got there? The people who hurt me, whether it’s rape, sexual assault, the mother or father or parent who left me and I haven’t heard from him ever, or her ever? So, so needed. So I love that.
Bethany Barton [33:21]:
Yeah. I mean, I think, too, especially, because when I did work in social work, I worked in Child Protective Services, and I worked with-
Alyssa Scolari [33:28]:
God bless you.
Bethany Barton [33:29]:
Yeah, I worked with-
Alyssa Scolari [33:30]:
You’re an angel on Earth.
Bethany Barton [33:31]:
Thank you. I worked with some of the parents, and a lot of them come from that background as well. They were in care or custody, and they just have these… No one in that scenario, generally, has had a great life up until that moment, you know?
Alyssa Scolari [33:51]:
Bethany Barton [33:51]:
So they would have these awful backstories. And there’s one that kind of sticks out in my mind of, any excuse to be a terrible human that you could ever have, she had it, she just had the most horrendous childhood. She was in and out of care, like three or four times. I mean, it was unreal. And I mean, but she wasn’t at all a terrible person. She just had some addictions and things going on, obviously, from that. And so, I just sat with her one day and we talked and I just told her, like, “I get it. I understand why you do these things or why you feel this way.”
But I’m like, “look around you. This is not your best life. This is not your child’s best life, but you deserve to have a good life. And addiction and trauma and all of these things are not helping you and they’re not helping your child, and you just deserve so much better. So I understand all of these awful things that happen to you, but the point of it is, if you keep holding onto them and using them as an excuse, look around, this is the life you’ve created from that place.” It’s like, “How can we get you to a different place?” And that was kind of the conversation that really, I think, helped it click for her of, like, “Oh yeah, this is not the life I want.”
And she really did turn it around. She was one of our success stories and no one believed in her. And I was like, “No, she’s got this.” And she did, she cleaned up. And as far as we know, I mean, I don’t work in that anymore, so I wouldn’t know, I guess, if she [crosstalk 00:35:27]-
Alyssa Scolari [35:26]:
Bethany Barton [35:27]:
… back in. But before I left Texas, one of my old coworkers had said like, she still will send pictures to the department and stuff like that, and so they were like, “Yeah, as far as we know she’s doing fine.” And it’s just like, that’s what we all deserve. No matter what we’ve come from, what excuses we have, it doesn’t really matter, because the point of it is how can you live your life? How can you make it your best life, your child’s best life? How can you put all of that behind you? Because keeping it around, it just doesn’t help. It doesn’t do anything except ruin your life continuously.
Alyssa Scolari [36:06]:
Yeah. It’s destroying you. It’s not serving you. It’s destroying you. And so, so many of us, myself included, have spent far too much time being destroyed over people who were never meant for us anyway.
Bethany Barton [36:20]:
Alyssa Scolari [36:21]:
So I love it. It’s so powerful. So, so powerful. I can’t wait to see the work that you do next.
Bethany Barton [36:29]:
Alyssa Scolari [36:30]:
So if people want to buy your book, where can they buy your book? Amazon, right?
Bethany Barton [36:35]:
It is actually still being played around with literary agents. So we don’t have a release date yet.
Alyssa Scolari [36:41]:
Bethany Barton [36:41]:
But the site, Apologies I Never Got, has all of the updates and details. And the Instagram is, Apologies I Never Got. So all of that has the most current info on it.
Alyssa Scolari [36:55]:
Perfect. And you said, it has a website? What is the-
Bethany Barton [36:58]:
Alyssa Scolari [36:59]:
Bethany Barton [37:00]:
Alyssa Scolari [37:14]:
Beautiful. So I will link Bethany’s Instagram and websites in the show notes for the listeners, so we can be on the lookout for when the book is released. Thank you so much for coming on and chatting all things, dating, relationships, trauma. I appreciate it.
Bethany Barton [37:33]:
Yeah. Thank you so much for having me.
Alyssa Scolari [37:36]:
Thanks for listening everyone. For more information, please head over to lightaftertrauma.com or you can also follow us on social media. On Instagram, we are @lightaftertrauma and on Twitter, it is @lightafterpod. Lastly, please head over to at patreon.com/lightaftertrauma to support our show. We are asking for five dollars a month, which is the equivalent to a cup of coffee at Starbucks. So please head on over again, that’s patreon.com/lightaftertrauma. Thank you, and we appreciate your support.