Episode #70: Interview with Bailey Rose
Just over five years ago, at 19 years old, Bailey Rose was forced to choose between freedom and financial support from her parents. She chose freedom. In this episode, Bailey shares the story of what it took to break free from a narcissistic parent and the unexpected ripple effects of her decision. Bailey also offers validation and hope to others who may be caught in a narcissistic relationship.
Booth: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Freedom from Empty podcast, building strong, effective resilient leaders and humans. My name is Booth Andrews, and I'm your host. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode. If you are enjoying this podcast, I would be honored if you would take just a moment to subscribe and rate wherever you listen to podcasts.
When you subscribe and rate, you make it easier for other people to find this content.
Today, I am thrilled to welcome Bailey Rose to the podcast. Bailey was born in Tomball, Texas, but spent most of her home life moving around overseas, Louisiana and Texas before landing in Knoxville, Tennessee. She is a local business owner, serial entrepreneur, full-time dog, mom, and advocate for childhood trauma survivors. Bailey is [00:01:00] passionate about designing the life you want, regardless of background and hopes to help others to do the same. Bailey welcome to the podcast.
Bailey: Thank you for having me. I'm very excited to be here.
Booth: I'm so glad you're here, here. And before I ask you the first question, I'm going to tell you something that you don't actually know.
So, she hasn't heard this before. So I have toyed with the idea of bringing guests onto the podcast for at least a year. And I tend to kind of look for signs from the universe to proceed with things. Usually, particularly if I get something in threes, I'm like, okay, I need to pay attention. So not too long ago, Bailey and I had an exchange on Instagram that I kind of read as one sign, potentially that maybe this whole interview thing was something that I really needed to pursue. So I reached out to Bailey and asked her if she'd be willing to join me. And I'm really glad that she said yes.
[00:02:00] So as a starting point for today's conversation, will you just share a little bit of your journey with us?
Bailey: That's hard to figure out where to start it exactly, but like you said, I was born in Tomball, Texas.
I'm the second oldest of four. My older sister is my half sister, so I kind of have this like identity crisis of like a middle child and an oldest child. So after I was born, we moved overseas and lived overseas. Quite a few years which kind of started off my love of like traveling and just kind of being on the go.
I've moved a little over 30 times in my life at this point, after moving back from overseas is really when we got very focused into homeschooling and just kind of our home life. And I would count that as the time that everything really changed for us is, you know, getting back from overseas and kind of starting that life.
We joined a program at that point calledATI and IBLP, which is Institute of basic life principles. It was a big organization in the eighties run by Bill [00:03:00] Gothard that my mom had us join. And so that kind of took up the bulk of our foundational learning. We learned from what they call the wisdom booklets, which has a lot of character values and it really kind of set the stage for everything that would happen later on in our lives. So we joined that and then moved around Texas quite a bit. We were in a homeschool group and then we ended up moving way out into the middle of nowhere, Texas countryside, all of that. And then whenever I was 16, we moved to Louisiana and lived there from whenever I was 16 to probably about 18.
And I would say that that was the first time that we had really gotten out, you know, whenever we lived in Texas, it was always kind of out in the countryside. So this was the first time that we had ever lived in the city kind of around people. And also the first time that we had been around more of a variety of people. You know, up until that point, it had been a lot of people that were homeschooled or a part of ATI.
Booth: So you went from kind of living in a very isolated way, both as a [00:04:00] family, but also within the groups that you were connected with to then being exposed to just a broader range of people.
Bailey: Right? Exactly. We, all of a sudden we lived in the suburbs and we were around just what I would call normal people. Everyone was just living their little lives and the Rose family moved into the scene and we were, you know, very different. But it really opened all of us kids up to just getting to explore new relationships and you know, get exposed to just a different world than we had been a part of before.
Booth: How was it? When you say we kind of entered a different world, how was it different and how were y'all different?
Bailey: Just being in a city was different. We were before that we were living out in Cat Spring, Texas, which is a solid 15 minutes from the nearest, very small town. But a good 30 to 45 minutes from like a grocery store or anything like that.
So we went from being extremely isolated to moving to Louisiana. Like two weeks after we moved there, I got my license. So that opened up a whole new world [00:05:00] and. I started nannying a lot. So kind of spending time with young moms who you know, would become friends with as well. And then it also changed the dynamic of me and my two younger siblings relationships.
Cause I really took over, you know, I had my license. So now I you know, got them all around. And we just got more of a community than we had ever had before and just got to kind of get out and get away from our home life. And so I think that helped all of us just kind of grow up a little bit and see that there was other things out there than what we had already been a part of.
Booth: So I know from, from some of the conversations that we have had at some point you made the decision to leave home in a pretty significant way. So can you tell me more about that?
Bailey: Yes. While we were living in Louisiana kind of towards like 17, 18, I started to pursue along with my mom getting into like modeling and acting. And so my last year at home was spent like kind of doing [00:06:00] training. And I joined a program called AMTC and, you know, we were, we were heavily pursuing that that life and the plan had become that I was going to move to New York and attend acting school and, and all of that. And somewhere in that time, we moved back out to Cat Spring.
Our, my, my dad's job ended in Louisiana, so we went from three or four years of a really great life in Louisiana. We all really enjoyed our time there to all of a sudden we were all back out in basically the scene of the crime. Like that's how it felt. It was very, you know, isolating, but we were all completely different people at that point.
So we moved back out to Cat Spring, right in the middle of kind of planning what my life would be in New York. And so the kind of the catalyst of it is we moved back out to Cat Spring and I wasn't just going to kind of sit around and hang out there anymore, the way that we had before I had my license now.
So I started hanging out with people and just kind of getting out more. I went ahead and got a [00:07:00] job at a boutique. So I was busy and I actually had, you know, a schedule. And so I had things that were kind of more in control of my time than had ever been demanded of it before. And so it was around that time that it was the first time that I ever said no to my mom.
And I met a boy. I met my boyfriend and meeting him. Was very upsetting to her cause she didn't pick him. And you know, she could tell that it was just giving me more courage, you know, like I was willing to go out more and just not lay down and do everything that they wanted me to so that it all kind of been happening.
And then around February, 2016 in Dallas, we had all gotten together. My sister came from where she was going to college. And at the end of that, like family weekend that we had gone and done, my parents like sent my, my two younger siblings into like an arcade or something. And they held me back in the car with them.
And at that [00:08:00] point I'll never forget it because they're sitting there and they, my mom did all the talking and she told me that either I was going to go to a college that they had picked for me. Like, you know, at this point they were mad enough at me that the acting thing wasn't going to happen anymore.
So they wanted me to go to a Bible college that was overseas. They wanted to send me away to that. And they would pay for everything and I wouldn't have to worry about anything and all of that. And then if I didn't do that, and I continued down the life path that I was choosing that they would not, they wouldn't house me, basically that I was done, that I would need to find somewhere else to live.
Booth: How old were you when that conversation happened?
Bailey: That was two weeks before my 19th birthday.
Booth: What was it kind of leading up? You said they were already so mad at you that the acting thing wasn't going to happen, but, so why were they mad at you?
Bailey: Probably for, I think it was New Year's cause in Louisiana, I didn't necessarily make any friends. I didn't have friends from probably early [00:09:00] teenage years until you know, that point. Like I didn't have friends at all, any friends going through all of my teenage years. So,
Booth: So it was basically just you and your family.
Bailey: And so my time as a teenager in Louisiana, while it was good, like the neighborhood or the neighborhood nanny, basically for like eight different families. And I raised my two younger siblings and like I worked out and that was it. So for New Year's Eve of like 2015, 2016, she wanted to go back to Louisiana, but my boyfriend and his family live in the town that we were in, in Bellville.
And they were having their own New Year's thing and you know, all these people around my age. And so I said, no, I'm gonna stay in Bellville actually. And that was a big, it was a big fight. I'd never, ever told her no before. And, and never held my ground with it either. You know, it was like, she really pushed back on me and wanted me to come, cause she didn't want me to stay there and I stayed and they went to Louisiana. And so in that time she had made me start doing some counseling with her over the phone with someone [00:10:00] and that just, it wasn't going very well. She was tracking my phone and she just could tell, was losing control.
And so she was like trying to double down on that and it just wasn't ...By that point I was over it. And I was just starting to feel like I'm an 18, 19 year old person. And all I want to do is just like, hang out with some people who are my own age. And I don't see that there's anything wrong with that. I'm not doing anything right wrong.
Booth: Right. It's not like you're out there causing harm to people or harm to yourself oranything like that.
Bailey: Right. Exactly. I'm still, you know, staying in touch and, you know, it would always be like, you're setting a bad example for your siblings getting, you know, getting home and you know, all of this and by that point, it started to just kind of opened up my eyes of like, if this is how she's acting with me, just doing a couple of things in our very, very small Texas town, what do I think is going to happen if I let them pay for everything and I move to New York and you know what I'm, I was homeschooled my whole life.
So I'm gonna be this like homeschool girl moving to New York and my parents are going to pay for everything. And I just sat there and I was like, that is not [00:11:00] going to go well.
Booth: So you were the one who made the decision that going to New York was off the table.
Bailey: Yeah because she had already started talking about coming up and visiting so much and bringing my little sister and it was really going to turn into and had already turned into her living vicariously through me doing modeling and acting.
And she had just, she had stopped by that point had stopped everything else that she was doing and was focusing fully on me doing that. And it hadn't even started yet, really. So I was like, oh boy, this is not. This isn't what I want. I don't want to be controlled by their money and have to do everything that they want and not be able to explore anything.
Booth: So when did you, or did you tell her that you no longer wanted to pursue the acting thing?
Bailey: I kind of started hinting at it, you know, between like December and January. I was, I was talking about it saying like, I don't know if this is going to be a good option. You know, and by that point, really from the beginning of December to like end of January is whenever, like, by that, you know, beginning of February is when everything really dissolved.
So it was all very fast that it all [00:12:00] happened.
Booth: So then they sat you down and said, you have to go to Bible school overseas or we're cutting you off.
Bailey: Or if you continue seeing your boyfriend or, you know, any of this, you continue down this, this life path that we don't agree with, that we're not going to be giving you anything.
You, you know, you won't have any money from us, no help from us or anything like that. And I've always been like the headstrong one. My name means leader. I'm an eight an eight on the Enneagram. Like I've just always been the one throughout my whole life that is like, kind of buck's the status quo. And so really, to me, as soon as they said that, I was like, oh, so you're kicking me out.
It's it was never like, oh, we gave, you know, she'll say to this day that they gave me a choice, but the choice that they gave was not a choice at all. And so I immediately, after that conversation still had to like, stay in a hotel room with them and get back home and all of that. And that whole time I just started making a plan for what I was going to do to get out. And I spent the next two weeks just like getting a plan together and reaching out [00:13:00] to people that I knew that owned businesses so that I could leave. So a couple of weeks later, right after my birthday which is February 15th, they found out that I had lied to them about going and hanging out with my boyfriend and his family whenever I was supposed to be, you know, just at home sitting there.
And it turned into. A huge, huge blow out. She took away my phone. She took away, you know, every, every device that I had, car keys, all of it locked me into a room and told my siblings, you know, that I was the worst and that they couldn't talk to me. You know, it was like extremely isolating all of a sudden.
And so I probably spent like two days in that state. And at that point it was like paralyzing because it went from like, oh, I've got all this power, like I'm going to do this to, you know, just kind of having everything stripped away all of a sudden. But, thankfully, my sister at that point had been talking to her and was like, you have like, she's 19, you have to give her her stuff back.
So she gave me my stuff back a couple of days later. And by that point I hadn't had any contact with [00:14:00] anyone and I threw all of my stuff into my car and left. That was when I left. So, and then a week later, I think I started my first job.
Booth: Where did you go when you left?
Bailey: So I went to Austin, Texas. I knew some people that owned a business out there. And so they hired me on as their social media person. And then I also was nannying at the same time for someone that worked in that company. So I kind of, they, they just kind of split my time between the two so that I would have a full-time job. So I moved with everything that I could fit into my car and I went and lived on the floor.
Some people that I had just met, the people that I was nannying for, they turned their office space into a bedroom for me. So I slept on a mattress on the floor and there for months before, like I got my first apartment and all of that, but you know, the whole time, my whole like life is blowing up and all of this, I just like started a new job and just, you know, started this whole new life.
And those first couple of weeks were probably some of the hardest of my [00:15:00] whole life. But I made it through it.
Booth: When did you start to--cause I think based on our conversations--it took a little while for you to maybe start to see your childhood differently than you saw it while you were kind of in, in the middle of it, were the kind of the final conversations and the final interactions with your parents was that the catalyst for you to start to kind of look back and say, something's not right here. Or did you have an inkling before that was happening?
Bailey: It honestly, probably like those conversations right before I moved out were all just adrenaline filled. It wasn't like analyzing any of it. It was just like, okay, my parents are kicking me out, I need to find a job. You know, like I know I'm going to do this.
Booth: Total survival mode.
Bailey: Yeah, yeah. So it wasn't probably until middle of March, by middle of March, I had been gone for about a month. So I kind of earmarked like March 17th in my head is my actual like no contact date. Cause at that point I [00:16:00] kind of switched and was like, oh, this is like actually happening. Because I didn't move out with the thought in my head that all of this was going to happen. And that, you know, I was about to set off a huge range of motions, of, you know, things that were going to affect my whole family for so long. I didn't leave thinking any of that. I thought that I would just need to get some space and get away.
And then you know, her and I would talk things out and it would be fine. But over those four weeks, it was just a constant... just constant conversations of her trying to control everything that I was doing, her talking to my new employers, contacting me, you know, I worked really hard at that point. I was working with a friend, a family friend of ours, and she really helped me through that first year.
And she was very skilled and just kind of setting up boundaries and communication and all of that. So she helped me a lot with navigating these new conversations, because honestly, if it wasn't for her, I don't know that I would have, it's hard to navigate that whenever you're speaking to your mother, but all of a sudden you're [00:17:00] not really.
And so. I would try and set down boundaries with her and that wouldn't work. And she tried to use the car that they had given me to blackmail me into going to this like Christian retreat for three days, or, you know, for like a week that was supposed to fix everything, which was definitely like her MO.
And I said, no, I said, you're not gonna, you're not going to blackmail me. You know, you said that you gave this to me, like in love, and so you can't turn around and say that I only get to keep it if I get to go and do this, this thing that you want. And, you know, so it was through those kinds of conversations and a bunch of different other things that by around March 17th, I had said, you know, here are my boundaries, if you cross these, these, this is what's going to happen. And, you know, through those getting crossed several different times in several different ways that I had set up to see what would happen, it made the decision of saying, well, these boundaries that I've put in place have now been crossed and we're not allowed to talk anymore. Like we're not going to be
Booth: [00:18:00] honoring these boundaries.
Bailey: I'm trying to start a life. I'm trying to, you know, I've got a job now. I'm, I'm going to be focusing on this and you obviously can't respect that. And so we just kind of went no contact after that, or as much as I could, I've definitely still, you know, spoken to her since then, but not in that same way at all, not in the communication type type of way.
Booth: You talked about, you know, at the time that you moved out, you thought it would blow over in a couple of weeks. You didn't realize what was going to happen next. So once you got to the place of setting the boundary and saying, okay, no, no contact, what happened after that?
Bailey: After that I tried to make life as normal as possible, you know, I was still a 19 year old with a new boyfriend who I'm, you know, I've been with since then. And, you know, I was navigating just life, but during that she made my life hell basically really did everything that she could to make it as horrible as possible for us. But meanwhile, you know, posting on Facebook and making it seem like we're all one big happy [00:19:00] family and all of that.
But in that time, she completely cut off all contact that I had with my, my two younger siblings who I had been raising up until that point and was telling them, you know, God knows what about me and who I was and why I was doing what I was doing. And I find found out in that time, you know, at first, she had been speaking to my mothers or to my boyfriend's mother and, you know, going out to lunch with her and saying like, we need to make sure that we can break them up and that everything that she does fails.
So that, that way she'll come back. You know, all of that um praying that everything that I would do would fail. And in that conversation told, told her that she had put a tracking device on my vehicle and was talking to my employers to make sure that, that they knew that I was manipulative and that I was crazy and that, you know, basically they shouldn't have me on anymore that I wasn't capable of being there.
And she would send, like she would get the address of [00:20:00] wherever I lived and send packages to it that made it look like she was just like the best mom in the world, you know? And at one point in that time of her doing all of that, I had written them a letter because things were getting bad for my siblings at home.
And I just, you know, I never really saw that it was gonna all go this way. So I sent a letter of just like pouring my heart out and just saying, you know, I want us to be a family, like things aren't things aren't right. And how you're treating us isn't right. You know? And they never really responded to that letter.
All she did was type up a letter filled with Bible verses and sent a book. She sent, it's like so psychotic to me, but she sent two manila envelopes with the same exact contents in it to all the different addresses that she knew that I would be at to make sure that I would get it. And she addressed it to the like she addressed it to my employers and addressed it to my boyfriend's parents.
And the contents of it was this typed up letter with all these, all these verses about purity and talking about how my boyfriend was only using me for sex and that it had [00:21:00] a book in there about purity. And they said that basically until I decided to leave this, this path that I was on, that they had nothing else to say to me.
And so that was really the last, you know, after, after that, after the letter I had written them, you know, and knowing what I had said and all of that, and knowing that she could respond the way that she did to that, I haven't really tried since to have, you know, any kind of heart to heart or anything like that, because it doesn't really matter what I say.
It's always going to come back to her belief about the situation.
Booth: So when did you first come across the term narcissist.
Bailey: It was probably, a few weeks after I moved out. I remember being in that little office room. That was my bedroom. And my sister sent me an article about, just like, I think it was 10 signs that you're a daughter of a narcissist mother, a narcissistic mother or something.
Booth: This was your older sister?
Bailey: Yeah, my older sister, because she she stuck it out with me. At that point, she had been, my parents were still paying for a lot of the stuff that she did. She's five years older than me. So she had still been [00:22:00] involved in our, in our home life and still had a relationship with my mom. But after I moved out, she fully took my side of things.
And so, we just, we just started really researching it together and talking about it and being like, oh, this is not this isn't just, mom's crazy, you know, there's some actual issues here. And then I feel like since then I've just been researching it.
Booth: So what are some of the things that you learned that surprised you?
Bailey: I think the biggest thing was being able to just put a name to all of it, like being able to understand like how conditional her love always was. And, you know, I remember at the end, her, my, my dad had been having issues, like marital problems, which, you know, they always had and, towards the end of our relationship, I was best friends with her up until like the year that I moved out. You know, the year that I, the whole year before I would have told you that she was my best friend. And you know, being her best friend meant that she talked to me about all of her marriage problems and her personal problems and, you know, things that really a parent should never talk to [00:23:00] their child about.
And, you know, one of our last fights, I remember telling her, like, I don't want to know these things. Like you shouldn't be telling me this stuff. And she was like, well, I'm sorry that I'm, you know, just trying to be your friend. And all, you know, all of that. And so reading that article confirmed to me like, oh, I'm not supposed, I really wasn't supposed to know all of that.
I'm not supposed to be your emotional support animal. Like . . .
Booth: Right. Right.
Bailey: I'm supposed to be your daughter and you're supposed to be there to support me emotionally, you know, but it was never, it was never like that. And then really just the conditional love that if you do this, then you'll be rewarded with my love, you know?
And that was how we'd spent our whole lives. Just try to be these people that wouldn't rock the boat that would, you know, be worthy of, of getting the kind of reaction that we were looking for from her. So it was nice to finally be able to kind of put a name to all of that instead of feeling just like we were insane or that we weren't good kids or whatever.
Booth: What is it like to be a system breaker?
Bailey: It's heavy. I mean, it's really rewarding [00:24:00] and I'm really proud of myself for doing what I did and, you know, but knowing that I was coming on here, it's just kind of had me like reminiscing on the last like five years and just seeing how much of a ripple effect my one decision has had on, on so many different people.
And I mean, I, I, I think it's, it's really rewarding. Now my, my two siblings are engaged to people that I don't know that they would have met if I hadn't made that choice. And my, my dad is even kind of starting his own new life path now because of that choice. And, you know, so seeing all of that happen in these people that I love so much, be happy now and actually be able to like live the life that they deserve and be the people that they are.
Like, my, my siblings are so weird. We're all so different. And they're so quirky, but I love them so much because they now get to be their like weird quirky selves that like she would never accept of them. And then, you know, the flip side of it is that I still don't have contact with my youngest sister. [00:25:00] And she was 11, 12 whenever I left.
And now she's 16 or 17. And breaking that, that system is... I know, caused her a lot of pain. Cause she was a huge part of, she was just at a really young age and wasn't able to leave. And you know, I haven't been able to have the contact with her that I want to have. And. And so there's a lot of just guilt and heaviness of knowing that there is going to be a certain amount of trauma that she has from me leaving that, that we'll have to work through together eventually.
And I'm a part of that. And my, my choice was a part of that. I wish I could have been there to like protect her from all of that, but I always had to have that mindset of it's all going to be worth it. Like someday we're all gonna be together, you know? And knowing even five years ago, knowing that I probably wouldn't see her again until she was at least 18 or until she was ready.
And so, you know, dealing with that, I never take that lightly, like as much fun or, you know, like as happy as I am for my siblings or in my life like that choice had a lot of [00:26:00] consequences and I just am choosing to believe that it's all going to pay off in the end.
Booth: What would you say to someone who might be listening right now and wondering if perhaps they are caught in a dynamic, like the one that you were caught in and might be considering what to do next.
Bailey: I would say to start doing research because I feel like the more knowledge that you have, you know, a big thing with being a, a survivor of narcissistic abuse is that you really, it's hard to trust yourself.
Because you're taught constantly that what you think and what you're experiencing, doesn't matter. Isn't real. And so the more that you can research what the situation is and understand it, it kind of gives you that scientific backup for whenever your mind is like, no, this person loves me. It's all going to be okay if I just do this, like, you know, things will work out.
So I feel like though all of my research really kicks in whenever I kind of get [00:27:00] back into that place. And then also making a plan because. If you just leave, you're going to go right back. If you just, you know, you have to have other resources and start to kind of get a plan together so that whenever you do have that conversation of I'm going to leave now, and these are my boundaries, and then inevitably, whenever they cross those boundaries, you're prepared for that. And it's not a surprise. And you already have a plan in place. That's going to get you away from them, because if you don't have those things, like, the second that a narcissist loses control, though, they're going to do everything they can to get you back and get you back into that place and, you know, use every tactic that they have under their belt.
So it's not, it's not just going to be like a peace out, you know, and that be it. Yeah.
Booth: One of the things I've observed from, from other friends that have, have told me about their experiences with sometimes a narcissistic partner, is that, you know, at that moment at, at which control looks to be in question the behavior that comes after that is [00:28:00] beyond what one might expect, how someone would behave. But sometimes, as a third party, you know, looking from the outside in, I've been able to identify patterns. It's like, okay, first they're going to do this. And then they're going to do this and this and, and, and to be able to remind that person, okay, we're, we're at the part of the process where they, they now do this.
When you look back, can you identify any patterns? And the only reason I think it's helpful is because if you can start to identify the patterns in the behavior, there's an element of validation there, but there's also an element of, of the plan, right? If you look back and you're like, okay, every time this person starts to lose control, they do these 12 things in various order.
It helps you kind of think about mitigation strategies. Were you able to identify anything? Or can you in hindsight?
Bailey: I mean, I feel like first phase was that first conversation of we're kicking you out was her just trying to come up [00:29:00] with a new plan, which I'd seen her do a million, you know, I'd seen her do it with my sister, my sister, they moved her around for five years.
Because one thing wouldn't work the way that she wanted it to. So then my mom would find a new program that she was like, this is going to fix everything. So as soon as she gave me that option, I knew what it was and I wasn't surprised by it, but I also knew that I wasn't going to go and do what they wanted.
So just, you know, I think the first one would be that she tried to change her, her plan of control, you know, like change her approach. And then whenever that didn't work and we were in that kind of phase of, you know, she was kind of locking down on me and trying to take, take away things from me, she laughed at me a lot and treated me like I was crazy basically.
I remember I got, you know, I was just, I was just feeling so alone and, you know, I, I still have my car at this point, but I was still living at home. And so I had gone... they had taken away contact, I think from my boyfriend or something like that. And [00:30:00] at that point he was the only person I knew in Bellville.
And so I went to try and to try and see him. And I was sitting, I remember that day I was sitting there in the car just like crying and, you know, trying to figure out what to do and all of that. And I get home and like her text messages are up on the iPad and she had been texting with my boyfriend's mom and just laughing and saying like, oh, she's sitting outside.
You know like, hahaha, I wonder, you know what she's, what she's doing. What does she think is going to happen? Like we already know where she is, you know? And I just remember thinking like my whole world, everything about me inside is falling apart and you're like laughing at that. And then, you know, shortly after that, I moved out and it changed to being really nice to like, oh, I want to take you to this, to this retreat.
And we're going to go together and you know, it's going to be great. Like it's going to fix everything. And then whenever I said no to that, that's whenever I think after saying no to that is whenever real true colors came out of, I'm not going to go and do that. And you're no longer [00:31:00] in control of me and you can no longer tell me what to do.
Then it became, well, if you stay on our insurance, I'm going to sue you. And you know, um starting to talk to my employers and it went much more into, like well, if you, if I don't get to control you, then you don't get to do anything, you know? And that was the complete breakdown in that whole, that whole season of that lasted for a long time.
You know, it wasn't like it was every day and it was relentless, but she, she tried for a really, probably until early on the next year. Did she finally, after months and months of telling her, like, I don't want any contact from you. I don't want your gifts. I don't, I don't want anything from you, I just want you to leave me alone.
I, you know, still would hear from her and she would still show up places. Anytime I moved, she would send me something new, just so that even though I hadn't talked to her, she just so that I would know that she knew where I lived. And so it's not, it's not like it was just like an overnight thing or that she accepted it immediately.
It was probably a solid year before she finally got the [00:32:00] picture that I wasn't gonna, I wasn't gonna fall for it anymore. And then we finally were officially, like she stopped reaching out.
Booth: What kind of support structure were you able to find, or were you able to find a support structure to help you during that time?
Bailey: I had, you know, a couple of really, really close, like my boyfriend, my sister and then the family friend that initially helped me whenever I was moving out, those were my three people and pretty much anyone outside of that, it was, I, you know, I get that question a lot anytime I talk about this of like, well, what do you do if people, you know, stop talking to you because of this.
And like, I lost a lot of people, a lot of people stopped talking to me or a lot of people that I trusted before were calling me and saying, you need to fix this, you need to go back to your mom, like she's upset, you know? And it didn't matter what I told them. They were like, well, this is wrong.
You need to go back to her. And so those people, I just marked off as just not understanding exactly what was happening. So my, my circle, my support system was extremely small [00:33:00] and it's grown since then. But like I said, even my boyfriend's mother was working against us at the beginning before she finally even could understand how deep, you know, this like abuse was going and that it was an actual issue.
It wasn't just this like nice Christian lady, like worried about her daughter. But yeah, that first, first couple of years, at least it was just a couple of people who actually believed and understood and supported it.
Booth: Well and it doesn't take an army.
Bailey: No. Yeah.
Booth: But, but we do, we do need some ride or dies.
Bailey: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Just having like one or two people there who believe you no matter what and support you help a lot because there's times that you're going to be like, that you don't even know if you believe it, you know?
Booth: So why did you agree to be interviewed for the podcast?
Bailey: It's only been within these last probably six months that I've even started really talking, you know, started talking on my Instagram a little bit more and sharing some of my story. And you know, and that, like you said, we kind of DM'd a little bit, and I didn't even know if you had a podcast that I remember [00:34:00] saying like if you do, I'd be on it. But I think it's just that now I'm five and a half years past you know, that, that very beginning part, and I've been able to see a lot more of what the ripple effect of that decision has done. And it was, it was really worth it, even though it was really hard. And I also feel like I'm understanding it all a little bit more. You know, for so long, I was just in that survival mode of, of just what happened right around that beginning point.
And, you know, in the last year of kind of getting away from that and getting more into a routine and more into a safe place. I've been able to process a lot more of how deep this goes, way, way beyond just how she treated us right whenever we left you know. looking back at our childhood and all of that, and it's definitely made me want to want to talk about it more because it was just, it was just going on for so long.
And I think it happens to a lot more people than any of [00:35:00] us would realize. And no one really has talked about it, especially not, I don't feel in like the religious, religious area, y ou know, that, that homeschool religious community is extremely isolating and it gave her a lot of power. And a lot of those teachings gave her a lot of stuff.
Bailey: Yeah. Stuff to use on us that, you know, that caused a lot of guilt and a lot of confusion on top of everything else. Now that I'm kind of not in that survival mode anymore. And I can look back at it all, I feel a lot more ready to talk about it and hopefully open either people's eyes who are going through something like that, or someone might know someone that could kind of help so.
Booth: So you've been through a lot and you've survived a lot. How have you learned to support your own well-being. And I totally recognize that when we're in survival mode you know, supporting our well-being may be [00:36:00] trying to get enough sleep and drink some water. I've been there, but as you've gotten some distance, what, you know, are there anything, any practices or any habits that you've developed to just try to support your health and well-being and your healing process on the other side of all of this.
Bailey: I think something that I've noticed a lot this year is that it used to, my mindset about healing and everything really used to be focused on, like, let's just get this done. You know, like I understand that something bad has happened to me and I need to figure it out so that I can process it
Booth: Can you please give me a checklist and I will mark it all off.
Bailey: Yeah. Like what therapist do I need to get? Like, I just need to get this over with so I can like move on and be normal. You know, like that's all I was, I was focusing on these last few years, it was just trying to get to this place of normal which doesn't exist, spoiler alert. But I feel like in the last few months, my mindset has really shifted to just allowing myself to process and that whenever memories come up or you know, I'm talking to my siblings or something and we do start [00:37:00] like reminiscing and talking about it instead of trying to just like push that away.
I just think about it. I let myself remember. And I let myself look back at it, not as the child that I was whenever I was going through it, but now like trying to look at you know myself as an adult, looking back at my younger self and trying to just feel sympathy for who I was and trying to change the mindset of how I think about the actions that, you know, the, the different things that happened.
Just changing the mindset to know that wasn't okay and you know, oh, now I can see why that was happening and why I reacted that way. You know? So I think really just giving my space, myself space to just process and remember and cry whenever I need to. And you know, talk out loud to people. The more that I like, the more that I have conversations with people about their childhoods and all of like, all of that. It all helps with healing and it doesn't have to be just this one, like sit down that [00:38:00] you do and you process, process everything. And then you move on. I found that it's a lot more like weaved throughout my day, and that has helped it feel a lot more manageable rather than I'm going to sit here and heal from all this right now, and then after that, I just shut it down and I don't think about it and I don't let myself feel any of those feelings or anything like that instead of just, I just kind of let it flow. And you know, I, like I said, it's only kind of recently that I started applying that and I, I've felt a huge difference.
Just in even how I think about being healed, you know?
Booth: Yeah. There's so much in the, in the trauma literature and, and the experience that, you know, for myself and with other people about, you know, one of the things that, that we do as trauma survivors is we hold shit together and we keep moving and we are, you know, we've learned what we can allow or not allow and we hold all of that. And we hold it in our body in perpetuity [00:39:00] until such time as it comes out sideways or it makes us sick or we learn to allow it. And so that process of allowing the thoughts, allowing you to feel in your body, what it felt like, you know, to be in those situations.
And, and I love what you said about, but also, you know, sympathy and empathy and caring and kindness toward that younger self who didn't deserve what was happening. Didn't really understand what was happening. Didn't have the coping skills or the support system in that moment. I'm really. I'm grateful that you are, that, that has brought you some relief that, that allowing. And I totally align with the, when I first landed in therapy, could you just give me a list of the things that I need to do to get better so I can get on with my life? Yeah, totally been there. But, so much of what I talk about in my own newsletter and podcast is [00:40:00] just about learning to just release and allow and allow, you know, allow the emotions to come allow the, the sensations to come and, and move through the body. But I also recognize that, that we have to be in a safe space before that can, can happen. As long as you know, and this is as much, this is as much for the listeners, but as long as we're caught in survival mode, our body can't heal and release it is, you know, too busy surviving.
And so if you're not at a place yet where you are safe enough, or you have the resources around you to support that processing, I don't want you to beat yourselves up because you're not there. Because your body has an innate wisdom about what you are, whether the system around you is safe enough to allow the processing of that kind of, that kind of pain.
Bailey: And I think a big part of it too, is, you know, being around a narcissist, there's so much perfectionism that you have to do [00:41:00] to get everything exactly, right, and, you know, in my case too, it was a lot of pressure on like who I would become in the future as well, a lot of expectations for that. And I think letting go of that has helped a lot with kind of coming out of that survival mode because then my survival mode became, I need to survive until I get normal.
I need to survive until I hit this, you know, this goal or, you know, this expectation that they set on me and that I've set on myself and kind of letting myself get back to the basics and not have. You know, I still have goals. I still have things that I want to do, but I am my worth is not tied to that.
And just stepping back and thinking about what kind of life do I actually want for myself? Like, do I want to wake up and have coffee? Do I want to do yoga? You know, like, do I want to have pets? All of those small decisions have kind of helped me to design this life that I now feel safe in. And that has allowed me to kind of come out of the survival mode.[00:42:00]
You know, but it took a solid four and a half years for me to even like, get close to that place. You know, even though I had it in my head and I wanted it, it was a place that I wanted to be in and I understood what survival and, you know, say like I understood it all. I just didn't actually get to that feeling until recently.
And I remember working out. You know, maybe a year or two years after because I didn't work out for a while. I gained a lot of weight after you know, probably a year after I moved out. And I'd finally kind of things had settled down a little bit, so I started working out and I used to cry through all of my workouts and it was like my body releasing that trauma that I hadn't had time to even think about yet, because at that point it was only like a year and a half, two years in.
So I don't cry as much whenever I work out now, b ut yeah, I think it, it does, it just takes a lot of time and there can't be. It's not like you're going to leave, and then within, you know, six months, a year expect to just be in this nice, happy, safe place. You'll be happier. You know, like I look back [00:43:00] on 2016 as like both a happy and really, really sad time in my life because I was happy that I was free and was able to, you know, start exploring and being myself.
But it's just, it just takes time.
Booth: It does take time much longer than we would like for it to take. Is there anything else you'd like to share with the listeners today before we wrap up?
Bailey: I used to get really frustrated that I was spending so much time in like thinking and talking about all of this. And again, just kind of wanted to be to that point of just done with it.
But I think whether you're still living in it or you're just on the other side of it just kind of embracing the fact that a lot of things, not everything, but a lot of things happen for a reason and that, you know, eventually there's going to be something good that comes out of this whether, you know, it's for other people, or it's just you getting to a better place that just embracing this as a part of your story.
At least it's helped me a lot to just kind [00:44:00] of let it go and flow and just accept that there's a reason, you know, that I'm on this journey and that it's something that has happened and that hopefully there's someone else that can benefit from, from hearing it. And that it's the same for someone else that could go through it too, that you, you know, you never know who you're going to meet and talk to who your story is going to impact and that alone can be worth it.
Booth: I think Brene Brown has a quote that I won't get exactly right, but something around the fact that if you don't own your story, your story owns you. And then I also thought, while you were talking about the fact that while the healing journey takes longer than we would like, and while sometimes we may feel like we are stuck just kind of constantly processing what has happened to us.
You know, it took, it took longer than a week for us to get where we were. Right. You know often we're dealing with traumas that were built up [00:45:00] over years and possibly even decades. And while it is absolutely possible to heal from that, it does take time and the right empathetic witnesses will not tell you that you have to rush the process.
And part of our opportunity to be an empathetic witness for ourselves is to just be gentle with ourselves for as long as it takes. I've also found in my own journey that it's not that I don't sometimes revisit the same traumas or the same experiences, but each time I do, I find a new opportunity to release something or to bring the tools I've developed so far to the table to hopefully allow another layer of processing and healing to occur.
I know that it can feel overwhelming sometimes. It's like the healing will never will never kick in, but
it does. [00:46:00]
Bailey: Yeah, it absolutely does. Yeah, no, I mean, I can talk about this without sobbing, so that alone is progress. Cause I used to not be able to do that.
Booth: Well, and I would take that as an indicator that healing has occurred.
And I also I've written about this or I've talked about this the first time my therapist ever told me that, crying was "good for me," I think I looked at her like she had horns. But just to underscore that benefit of allowing that physical release of, of whatever emotions are in your body allowing that that release to happen in, in a safe space is incredibly, incredibly powerful healing.
Bailey, thank you so much for coming on the podcast for sharing so honestly, and vulnerably, I really, really appreciate you being here and I'm going to put these links in the in the transcript that goes on the website, but you can find Bailey on Instagram @thebaileyrose, and then I'm also going to include some resources [00:47:00] that she has found to be helpful.
I think it looks like some other Instagram accounts that she has found to be really helpful on her own journey. So. Thank you again.
Bailey: Thank you so much.
Booth: I really appreciate you being here and thank you to all of you for listening today. And if you haven't already, please hit subscribe and remember to rate this podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts, when you subscribe and rate, you make it easier for other people to find this content.
I look forward to being back with you next time.[00:48:00] .