Questions for Reflection
In each episode, we offer you a few prompts to think about how that day's conversation applies to you. Our supporters over at Buy Me a Coffee now have exclusive access to the PDF versions of all our Questions for Reflection. Join us today!
Beth Demme (00:03):
Welcome to the Discovering Our Scars podcast.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:06):
Where we share our personal experiences so we can learn from each other.
Beth Demme (00:09):
Our mission is to talk about things you might relate to, but that you don't hear being discussed in other places.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:14):
Our hope is that you're encouraged to have honest conversations with people in your own life. I'm Steph.
Beth Demme (00:19):
And I'm Beth. On today's show, we're going to have an honest conversation titled, "Did It Happen If I Don't Remember It?"
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:25):
Then we'll share a slice of life and the show will close with questions for reflection, where we invite you to reflect on the conversation in your own life.
Beth Demme (00:33):
Steph, can you hear me? Can you hear me? Is this thing on? Can you hear me?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:35):
I can hear you. I can hear you, Beth. Yes.
Beth Demme (00:38):
You can hear me? Because we're not in the same room, so I was afraid you couldn't hear me.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (00:41):
I know. It's the darn COVID. It is still a thing, so we're trying to be just a little extra safe since we're recording this at the end of December 2021, but from the great technology we have Zoom, so we can see and hear each other for this episode.
Beth Demme (00:58):
Yay. Yay for technology. Yay. When it works, it's amazing.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (01:02):
Yes. Exactly. So I wanted to start out by asking you actually a question, because you used to be a full-time lawyer, go into trial, cases, all of that. And so we're talking about memory today, and something that I've heard before is that because memory is not super reliable, eyewitness testimonies aren't that reliable. Tell me about that. Is that true? Have I heard that accurately?
Beth Demme (01:31):
That is something that is happening, that we're learning more and more about, is how unreliable eyewitness testimony is, because of how unreliable human memory is. But actually, when I was practicing law, it was still sort of generally accepted that eyewitness testimony was ideal. And I think that there are still a lot of folks who are like, well, if you say you saw it, then I believe you, right? Especially if you're a credible person. So I do think that eyewitness testimony still carries a lot of weight, but there's more and more science behind the idea of memory being malleable. So, for example, and we can put links to this in the show notes, but Malcolm Gladwell talks about this in his Revisionist History podcast, but they have done studies where right after a big event, like something big like 9/11, they'll interview people.
Beth Demme (02:23):
And they'll say, "Tell me everything that you were doing and thinking when this was happening." And they'll give one explanation. And then three years later, five years later, they'll go back and say, "Tell me what you were doing on 9/11." And it's a slightly different story, right? It'll go from being, "Well, I was on the street when I saw the tower fall and I was standing with my best friend, and we just stood there and wept together." And then a few years later it's "Well, I was in my house and I heard it on the radio," or, "I saw it on TV and I ran out so that I could see it for myself," and things like that that change, because memory is malleable.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (03:08):
Do you think it changes because people have seen so much footage, like for 9/11 example, people have seen so much footage and heard so many stories that it influences their memory and recollection?
Beth Demme (03:20):
Yeah. I think sometimes we hear things and just the way that our mind processes it, it becomes our own, even if it's not really our own. So then it's sort of like, well, perception is reality. So how do we know what we really remember and what has been implanted? And I don't mean that in a negative way. I'm not saying that there's this nefarious purpose behind implanting memories. I'm not suggesting that. I think that does happen, but in this example, that's not what I'm saying. It's just we absorb new information and as we integrate that, it influences our own memories of our experiences.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (04:01):
Yeah. And I think, especially with traumatic experiences, our brain tries to protect us from most things because they're so overwhelming, especially something like a 9/11, it is so unthinkable and so tragic, and there's just so much involved with it that I could see why a story would and could change. And especially with time, because with time, how you've dealt with that memory, it is either you've been able to explore it more or you have left it without exploring it, without trying to heal from it, and it could change from that as well. So I mean, that makes sense, especially, I would assume, in court cases, well, in a lot of cases, I would think it's a traumatic thing that happened, especially with a traumatic event, the brain is on overload and trying to protect you, but also you're trying to pull those memories. So that's interesting that it's still seen as credible, but also there's so much research showing that it's not credible.
Beth Demme (05:10):
Yeah. That's an interesting point, because before I really thought much about this or looked into it at all, I would've thought, okay, well, a traumatic memory is going to be seared in to your mind, right? It's really going to be well-embedded, because it's an unusual thing, or it's a terrible thing, or it's a scary thing. And it's really the opposite of that. It's what you're saying, that our brain is trying to protect us. And so the way that those memories get embedded is not always as clear as we would think. There's a psychologist who's sort of been at the forefront of this. And I can't decide if I think of her as, I mean, this is sort of a binary way of looking at it, but I can't decide if she's a good guy or a bad guy, but her name's Elizabeth Loftus, L-O-F-T-U-S.
Beth Demme (06:00):
And she did a lot of groundbreaking research on this, and then she started testifying on behalf of people like Harvey Weinstein and Ghislaine Maxwell and folks who ... I don't consider them the good guys, right? She consulted on Bill Cosby's trial. Anyway, what's interesting is that in her own life, her mother died when this psychologist was 13, and even in her own experience and in her own family, there are questions about how her mother died. So her mother drowned. They don't know if it was on purpose. They don't know if she died by suicide. They don't know if it was an accident.
Beth Demme (06:42):
And there's discrepancies in this interview in the New Yorker, which I can also put a link to. They interviewed a bunch of people from her family, and some people said she died in a swimming pool, and some people said she died in a natural spring that was on the property. So even that kind of a detail didn't get really locked in for everyone, because the experience was so traumatic, right? Finding her, the loss of her. It's just really interesting when you start looking at how unreliable memory can be.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:18):
So what is her research showing? That memory's not reliable?
Beth Demme (07:22):
Yeah, that memory's not reliable. That it's like what you're saying, that our brain is wanting to protect us, and so the harmful memories don't necessarily get...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (07:31):
Beth Demme (07:32):
Yes, exactly. They don't get stored correctly. So there's a big responsibility, for example, for counselors and police officers, when they're dealing with children who have been through a traumatic event or who have been abused, right, to not implant events or memories or ideas, and that that's really hard to do when you're asking questions. And so that's kind of the direction of her early research. And like I said, I don't know, maybe she's gone off the rails now. I don't really know enough to be sure about that.
Beth Demme (08:00):
Well, Steph, in your book, you actually talk about uncovering repressed memories of abuse. So can you tell us about that? What that was like?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:09):
Yeah. So I think the biggest thing with memories, and especially when it comes to trauma and what I've kind of learned and seen is it takes time. Especially when a police officer is questioning somebody, that doesn't happen in that moment, "Tell me what you remember and see and dah, dah, dah." It doesn't happen like that. And it takes time and it takes effort and it takes years and years and years to fully get to the place where you can truly access those memories and the trauma that has happened. So we've talked about this in the past about my book, Discovering My Scars, I really share my kind of journey to learning about some abuse that happened to me as a child.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (08:59):
And I was sexually abused at two years old, and I had no memory of that. If you asked me that 10 years ago, I'd been like, "No." Well, actually I probably would've been very offended that you would even think that I had been abused. Like, "That would not happen to me. Not to me. That happens to other people." And obviously, my intense reaction to someone saying that to me is probably because it did happen. Well, it's because it did happen to me. And yeah, that would be a traumatic question to ask me. So I was dealing with non-suicidal self-injury for pretty much my whole adult life. I've been dealing with that. Whenever I'd have an emotional response to something, something happening in my life, I wouldn't know how to handle it, and I would injure myself, usually with a pair of scissors, so I could feel. I could say, "Okay, this is what feeling is."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:06):
And it was all warped, and my brain was all crazy and mismatched and all those things. And I didn't know at the time why I was dealing with NSSI with all my emotions. Good and bad things, I would just use NSSI to feel and to try to understand emotions. And it wasn't until years and years later, after I had been dealing with NSSI, had been in a mental hospital, had learned that I had post-traumatic stress disorder from my mental hospital, and I still was dealing with NSSI. And I was really at my lowest point, and I was just really upset and really just tired. I had done so much work and I was tired. I was tired of just going to therapy. I was tired of being the person that had all these issues and everyone else around me seemed to be fine.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (10:59):
And I was tired of it being so much work just to get out of bed and to just live life like everybody else, seemingly easy for them. And I just knew. I was like, "There's some reason why I'm still struggling so much within NSSI, and I don't know why, and I don't know why. And why is my brain keep going back to this?" And so I was at my lowest. So we've talked about this. I grew up in the church. I grew up going to church and ultimately accepted Christ for myself. And that was something that's always been very impactful to me and important to me is my relationship with God. And at this moment, I was done. I was done with everything. I was tired and I was yelling at God.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (11:50):
And I was like, "I have done everything. I've done all the right things. I've done therapy. I've done all these things, and I still am struggling with this and I don't know why, and I am over it and I'm tired of it. And you have to tell me, or I'm done." And I wasn't suicidal. It kind of sounds like I was done with life. I was just done. I was just tired. I was just like, I have nothing left, that I'm like a squeezed out orange. There's nothing left inside. And I talk about it in the book, kind of what that moment was like, but I just was quiet, and I was able to see the memory of me being abused at two years old.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (12:37):
And that was something that was revealed to me. And it was something that in that moment, I knew exactly that that was true and exactly that it happened and put all the pieces together for me. It all just connected. And it just an experience that I'll never be able to have the words to really describe what it was like and what it felt like and how I know how that it is truth, but it just all happened very quickly and everything just kind of came together. But that is not a memory. It is now, but it's not something that I was conscious of previously before that. This was, I was in my 20s and it was not something that I easily accessed this memory of when I was two years old.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (13:28):
It was not something that I could access previously. And so I struggled a long time with the fact this happened to me, but I don't remember it, but I do now, because it was revealed to me. But does this mean that did it really happen? Or am I just making this up? Why would I make this up? Am I crazy? And that's where I always got to was, am I crazy? Am I making up memories? What is this? And it took a lot of therapy, and a lot of times with my therapist telling me that I'm not crazy, stop using that word. And she would use the actual word. She would say you're not bipolar. You don't have multiple personality disorder, things like that, that could go along with making up personas or whatever.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (14:19):
But it took me a long time to face the fact that I had a memory that I couldn't consciously recollect without like divine intervention, without God showing me that this happened and me being in the right space to truly understand it. And that took a long time for me to process, to put it in my book, because putting it out in my book was like, everyone will read this. Everyone will make a choice whether they think that this happened, or whether they think that I'm making up a story. Everyone will get to have their opinion, and that was a really hard thing to realize. I spent a long, long time working on that, but I know it happened. I know I'm not crazy. And I wanted to share the truth.
Beth Demme (15:16):
And so that memory was repressed. You were not choosing to suppress it. It's not like, I don't want to think about this, like in Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O'Hara says, "Oh, I shall think about that tomorrow." It wasn't that. It was your heart and your mind were protecting you from the pain of that memory, and so it got repressed. Isn't that what we're saying?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (15:39):
Yeah. So we kind of looked into this, that repressed is something involuntary. You don't know that you're repressing it and pushing it down, because you don't really have access to it. And then there's suppression, which is voluntary. You're aware of the memory, but you're pushing it down and unwilling to work on it and to address it. So these were repressed memories that I was not conscious that I was involuntarily not working on. But that's ultimately where the NSSI came from. Non-Suicidal Self-Injury, one of the top reasons people deal with that type of coping mechanism is being sexually abused, which I had actually looked up years before and seen that and just disregarded like, "Oh, well, that's not my reason." Obviously I was not ready to face it at the time. And so just because the memory is not being accessed and dealt with doesn't mean that it's not coming out. And in my case, it was coming out in depression and NSSI and in inability to kind of move forward and fully live life.
Beth Demme (16:48):
So how did you come to terms with the idea, because you mentioned this, that in putting it in the book, everyone is going to make their own decisions about whether or not they see that memory from when you were two, whether or not they see that as valid. So how'd you come to terms with it? How did you get brave enough to put it out there? I mean, that's scary.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:11):
Well, so there was that that happened. The memory of the abuse that happened at two, and then the memory of finding out about it, those were two very precious things to me when they happened that I didn't really share with a lot of people at the time. And it took me years to really share it with a lot of people. Not even a lot. The close people. And it was a process. It was a process, because that was the first repressed memory that I became aware of.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (17:42):
And so it was during our Celebrate Recovery. We went through a 12-step program together, which is kind of like Alcoholics Anonymous. I think people know about that more. But it's basically dealing with any hurts, habits, or hangups is what we do in the 12-step program. In that, that I learned about some more abuse that happened to me when I was five. And I wasn't searching for the abuse specifically, but there was this one weird thing that I wanted to work on. And I had always felt like it was weird, but I never wanted to explore it. So I don't like sticky things. I don't like things that are like stickers.
Beth Demme (18:21):
Like sticky name tags. Yeah. I won't ask you to wear a sticky name tag. Yeah.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:25):
No. I will tell you my name. Yeah.
Beth Demme (18:28):
Yeah. And you recognize that, oh, it seems like nobody else really minds wearing a sticky name tag. Other people enjoy stickers.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (18:34):
Stop. You have said stick too many times, okay? Just, yes. Just even hearing the word. It still bothers me, by the way, even after all the work. I still don't love stickers. But it was this weird thing that I wanted to kind of deal. With and I had brought up in therapy before and my therapist, she just suggested we slowly build up your tolerance. There's a word for it. But she was like, "Put a sticker on you for a minute and then take it off." And she wanted me to practice doing that. And so we were dealing with the issue, but we weren't fully dealing with the issue. So ultimately, through exploring that, I learned about abuse that happened to me at five that involved duct tape.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (19:21):
And that's ultimately what led me to learn about that. And then also, I think in my next step study, I did two step studies, I learned about something that happened to me at 10, that I was actually aware of. So, that was actually a suppressed memory. I had suppressed it. I'd never told anybody about it. And I still remember it. It would still come up at different times in my life. I would remember it, but I never really could consciously figure out what it all meant. I just knew it made me feel really icky and gross. And it wasn't until I learned about the first two abuses that the stuff that at 10, I learned how much it impacted me because of what had happened to me previously. But so I feel like suppressed and repressed memories are both very harmful, because they're both something that aren't actively being worked on.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:18):
And I know for me, once I started to work on all of those things, my life got so much more healthy and I was able to move forward in a lot of ways, and I was able to be way more functional. And I still have bad days. I'm still deal with depression. I'm not this perfect human or anything, but all of those abuse and trauma that happened don't overpower me and control me anymore. I have control over them. Also, something that I thought was interesting, my therapist, when we started doing the podcast, I told her one of the first things we were talking about. I don't remember what.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (20:56):
Oh, I think it was our first episode or our second episode where I was talking about the mental hospital. And I told her, I said, "When I was editing it, it sounds like I'm lying because I keep stopping and going and thinking and leaving a pause and then saying um." And I'm like, "It sounds like I'm trying to figure out how to make up the next story." And she's like, "No, that's how memories work. When you pause and you um, you're trying to access the memory and trying to tell it as accurately as you can." And I was like, "Oh, okay. Well maybe I won't cut out all the ums and the pauses."
Beth Demme (21:34):
Yeah, if it were super polished and rehearsed, then it would be more like something that you were reading or making up.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (21:39):
That's what she said. She said, "When somebody tells a story perfect and has all the answers to everything, that's something that they're making up." And I was like, "Oh, okay. Well then."
Beth Demme (21:50):
But I think you're right that that's not how we normally evaluate people. If you think about a witness on the witness stand, we want somebody who's going to get up there and just really deliver the information. You don't want somebody who's going to pause or, well, I think it was this, or, well, let me about that. Because, well, what are they trying to work around, or what are they trying to work through? So, yeah, I think we don't do a good job of evaluating credibility in that way.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (22:19):
Which is why narcissists and sociopaths are so damaging and dangerous for our country and for us, because they make us, "Oh, wow. Well that was such well said. That must be true. They must be the best leader ever."
Beth Demme (22:39):
So how did you get to the point where you could tell the story of your abuse in your book? How did you get to a point where you were like, I know that this is true and other people may read that God revealed this memory of what happened to me when I was two, revealed that to me, and they may not think that that's true, but that's okay.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:02):
Well, it took a lot of years and it took a lot of therapy. I think we've talked about this. Oh, I mean, I know we've talked about this, is that I'm still in therapy. I go to therapy about once a month now, but I would go more before. And actually, we are going to have my therapist on the podcast pretty soon. So I'm excited and nervous about that. We're not going to talk about-
Beth Demme (23:25):
Yeah, it won't be like one of your sessions. We're not going to do an episode that's like one of your therapy sessions.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (23:30):
We're not going to be like, "So what do you really think of Steph? What is her diagnosis?" No, no. Or not that. But yeah, so I've been in therapy for a really long time and I think that's a great thing. I have no shame about that. I'm very proud of myself for doing that and for continuing it, because there's sometimes I'll go and I won't have much to talk about, but I'll be glad that I did it. It's a good practice, a good thing to sit and just talk about stuff. And I also went through Celebrate Recovery 12-step program twice. Was it nine weeks? Nine months. Nine months?
Beth Demme (24:05):
Yeah, nine months.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:06):
Yeah. It's a whole process.
Beth Demme (24:07):
I don't know how long it takes other people, but it took us a long time.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:10):
Yes. It's a process and it's emotional the whole time in the best of ways and in the worst of ways. And I also had a sponsor. I had a sponsor for seven years, I think. And a sponsor is kind of like a therapist, but I don't think that's a good connection, not a good analogy. It's somebody that's on the same road to recovery, working on their stuff, but they're a little bit farther ahead than you. And she really helped. She really helped me with a lot of this and working a lot of this stuff out.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (24:46):
And I would just practice saying things out loud to her and that was helpful. So it was just a process of constantly... And now telling my friends. I've talked a lot about this with my friends. A couple of my good friends, actually, Megan and Emily, we've had them on the podcast, I gave them copies of the book before it was finalized, and things like that. So I have some really good friends, accountability partners, sponsor, all of that went into me being able to share this in a public way.
Beth Demme (25:24):
Yeah. Just my observation on it would be that you had to do your own work first so that if you did tell someone and they were like, "Steph, you think God revealed abuse to you? Why would God do that to you?" Right? You can go, "Okay, well that's your discomfort." Right? Your discomfort is not my burden, because you know the truth.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (25:46):
Yeah. And it's hard, because you can't control what other people think and do. And it's a hard thing to witness. I have a friend recently that I kind of am not friends with anymore, because my openness was uncomfortable for her. And some things went down that I don't think we're at the same place. And it's hard. It's hard to see that. It's hard to lose friendships when I'm just trying to be me and not hide anything. I don't like to put on a show. I don't like the small talk of the world. I know you love the good small talk, but I don't love-
Beth Demme (26:27):
I love small talk. I do. I love small talk.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (26:29):
I don't love the fluff of things. Life is real and dirty and messy and true, and I don't like to just talk about the fluff when I'm around people and spending time with people. I want to be true and honest. So that's hard, and not everyone is going to respect that and want that. And so I knew I'd lose friendships and I have. I knew there would be people that would question it, judge it, shun me, whatever, and it's happened. But it's also brought me closer to people. And there's people that I hadn't talked to in 20 years that have reached out to me after reading my book and just said really positive things. And it's brought people in and brought people to trust me and be able to tell me things that they wouldn't necessarily have told me before, and feel comfortable reaching out to me in different ways. So I can't control what people are going to do. All I can do is control me and share what I know is true, and be available to people.
Beth Demme (27:38):
I think that's a really good point that when we think of doing something hard or scary, at least for me, I tend to think about the downside of it. Well, these are the 10 bad things that could happen. And really, there are maybe 12 good things that could happen, right? But we have to really have done our work and be doing our work so that we can see the potential for good, or get to a point where we're like, "Okay, well even if there isn't enough potential for good here, if I have some sort of way to weigh this out, I still need to do it for my own health, my own mental health, my own sense of self worth, my own sense of existing and being in the world, that it just has to be done."
Stephanie Kostopoulos (28:19):
Have you dealt with any kind of repressed memories that you became aware of?
Beth Demme (28:24):
I haven't had a situation where I became aware of a repressed memory, but I learned in working with a therapist that I was actively suppressing memories, and that I was actively almost engaging in a fantasy that some things had not happened that I didn't want to have happened. And not wanting to assign blame where really blame needed to be laid, so that I could then move through the process of forgiveness, right? It was like, well, I'm not going to blame them, but because I wasn't willing to blame anyone, I never got to where I could then forgive them for it. So I definitely have dealt with suppressed memories.
Beth Demme (29:04):
And sometimes I wonder, and maybe because we've been talking about this and preparing for the episode, but even this week, I just found myself wondering like, yeah, I don't know if I've dealt with that or I don't know if I've thought about that enough. I'm beginning to realize that suppression may be one of my top coping mechanisms. That I may be actively suppressing some things that I do need to face and deal with. Yeah. I'll be working on that for the next few months.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (29:33):
That'll be the follow-up to this episode. So being aware that you're suppressing memories, I think, is a huge first step, is actually knowing that you're actively suppressing. If you wanted to work on that, what would be your first step or your second step?
Beth Demme (29:51):
Yeah, so my first step is realizing it. My second step is calling my counselor and setting up an appointment and being intentional about that time with her to deal with some of those things. And then we'll see what happens. But I just have noticed in myself that attitude of, oh, I can't think about that right now. Oh, I can't think about that right now. Oh, it's the holidays. It's too busy. I can't think about that right now. And whatever it is, it's just waiting. Yeah. And sometimes it has to be dealt with more than once. And so sometimes it's like, well, I thought I dealt with that. I don't want to spend more time on that right now. Well, no, it's still coming up. I haven't fully dealt with it. And so it is going to require more time. It's going to require more intention around it, and that's okay.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (30:37):
That was the thing I learned after my second step study was I'm never just going to be everything's going to be fine. Everything's going to be cheery. I'm always going to be working on my stuff. And on the surface, that sounds like, oh my gosh, that sounds so ugh. Ugh. But it was actually really refreshing for me to realize, okay, there's always going to be new stuff coming up. There's always going to be stuff I need to deal with. And the more I deal with the stuff, the easier it becomes to deal with. And it reminds me every little thing, I need to be working on that. I need to be processing it, because if I allow all those things to just pile up, I'm just going to get back to where I was. And I don't want to be back to where I was. I want to be able to deal with these things and continue to grow.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (31:28):
So Beth, should we answer the question for today's episode? Did it happen if I don't remember it?
Beth Demme (31:34):
I believe that that happened to you. I believe that happened to you and I believe that God revealed it to you so you could begin your healing, your journey of healing. I believe you.
Beth Demme (31:51):
We have a ton of fun making this podcast and we love knowing that you have fun listening. Some of you have asked how you can support us in this work. Well, actually, there is something you can do. We're now on buymeacoffee.com. You can go there and become a monthly supporter, or just buy us a one-time cup of coffee or tea for Steph.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:10):
Beth Demme (32:11):
To show our thanks for your support, we put PDFs of our questions for reflection, as well as pictures, outtakes, polls, and more. Your support helps cover production costs like professional transcripts we have made for every episode. And by the way, those are always available on our website, with a link in each of the descriptions of the episodes.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:27):
One of the great things about Buy Me a Coffee is that you actually get an email when we post new content. You can go straight there and you don't have to deal with ads or being bombarded with other content. You see exactly the content you are looking for without a bunch of distractions.
Beth Demme (32:41):
We post once or twice for each episode, and we're excited to get your feedback as members of our Buy Me a Coffee page. There's a support link in the description where you can find out more and a sign up.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (32:56):
Well, Beth, it is the end for us. We're recording this at the end of 2021.
Beth Demme (33:03):
Yeah, actually, so happy 2022. I mean really, when this comes out will be 2022.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:07):
Oh, yeah. This will be 2022. Yeah. So as we close out the year 2021, what is your biggest takeaway from this year?
Beth Demme (33:18):
I don't know exactly how to our articulate it, but I think the lesson that I keep learning over and over again, that I've learned over and over again this year, is that even though I really want COVID to be over, it isn't over. Right? And so what is it in me that is creating that anxiousness for it to just, okay, let's just be done with this and why does it mess me up that it's not just over? Oh yeah, I got to keep wearing a mask. Oh yeah, I need to not be in large groups of people. I need to keep living that way, and just the discomfort with that. What about you? Do you have a takeaway from 2021?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (33:56):
My takeaway is getting in nature. That is what I've learned this year, is I have really dedicated myself to being in nature, doing outdoor activities, and I have just fallen in love with kayaking. I finally got my own kayak in the fall and just any opportunity that I get to get on the water. And that's my way that I've been able to... So it is COVID related, because I don't want to be inside with people, and so that's the way that I'm able to be with people, be in nature, and there's just so much I've gotten from being outside and being on the water. If you never kayaked, you got to try it. Beth, I know. I'm not saying it to you, but I'm saying it to anyone listening. It's a very simple sport. I don't even know if I'd call it a sport. I think food eating is more of a sport than kayaking.
Beth Demme (34:54):
Wow. I couldn't disagree with that hot take more than...
Stephanie Kostopoulos (34:59):
It's so simple to kayak. You just sit there and you just move your arms a little bit. Well, if you want to do it right, you actually move your torso. Torso rotation is key to kayaking, is what I'm learning, because I've watched tons of videos on it now. But yeah, my takeaway from 2021 was getting outdoors, and I've loved it.
Beth Demme (35:20):
My other takeaway is that I really love it when we get a five star review. So if you're listening to this on Apple podcast where you can do a five star review, I'm going to invite you to just go down to the bottom and just click on that fifth star and just know that I am appreciating you as you do that.
Stephanie Kostopoulos (35:35):
Yes. And also we would appreciate if you shared this podcast with someone in your life that you think would enjoy it. You can share it easily through pretty much any of the apps. There's usually a little arrow button that says share, and you can text it to them, and it's free. It's a free gift for someone in your life. At the end of each episode, we end with questions for reflection. These are questions based on today's show that Beth will read and leave a little pause between for you to answer, or you can get a PDF on our Buy Me a Coffee page.
Beth Demme (36:11):
Number one. When you hear Steph talk about uncovering repressed memories, are you able to accept that as true, or are you skeptical? Why? Number two. Think about your own memories. Can you think of memories you might have suppressed or even repressed? Number three. Does the work in uncovering suppressed memories seem overwhelming to you? Why? And number four. What are your thoughts on memories being revealed through therapy or spiritual experiences? Does one way seem more trustworthy to you? Why?
Stephanie Kostopoulos (36:47):
This has been the Discovering Our Scars podcast. Thank you for joining us.