Welcome back to Sister on! Hey, Bec, we really jumped into the deep stuff in our first episode. Like I think maybe I just need to tell some people about basics, like even just the names of our kids and our spouses and our cats, like things that are going to pop up again and again, in each episode. What do you think?
True? Like, we might have startled some people.
I mean, I'm okay with that. I think punchy is good.
So my spouse is Simon. And he's a scientist. And that's relevant because sometimes I might have scientisty things to say. Although, I don't generally have science things to say do I?
Well, science nuggets might just show up so that's fair.
I have two daughters: Elsie, who is the eldest and Violet, my eight-year-old. And I have a cat Coco. And I am a writer, producer, entrepreneur. Those are my basics.
Not at all basic. Those are exceptional. Okay. My "exceptional" details are that my spouse's name is Clifford. And he's from England. So we have a lot of fun just listening to his British accent. Everybody enjoys that part, including our son, Frankie, who at seven can now speak in a quite excellent British accent. And actually, he's now added a Scottish accent to his to his sort of repertoire. So that's been a lot of fun. Um, and my job I think I mentioned in the last podcast, I'm a teacher, writer, philosopher, but teacher first and foremost. And my cat's name is Marsh and our cats Marsh and Coco are definitive frenemies.
We tried to make them friends, but it didn't work out. And I I continue to just want the credit for saying I knew it wouldn't work.
But I would like to say that I have long term goals. And I think that over time, like those cats, that Dad mentioned, of our cousins who pretended that they hated each other and then died one week from each other because they were basically lost and lonely for each other at the end of their lives. I'm just saying I think that could learn to love each other by the end. So those are the specifics of my life.
Okay, and just checking in, was Marsh on a bender last night?
An absolute bender. We got home from the farm and she had been trapped inside for a week because she didn't want to be near Coco. And then she basically got home and said, I'm out and then didn't return this morning until, like 830. She sort of shows up going, "Hey, I'm here. I'm back. I've been to all my friends." So, yes for the bender.
We like to talk about Marsh's benders. We think we're funny when we say that.
So okay, so what's one of our biggest similarities? You and me. For people who are just trying to get to know us as sisters. What would you say?
I think we're both very empathetic people. That would be a big similarity.
I was thinking how we're both extremely analytical and extremely persistent. Like how you will persist with our cat friendship.
Exactly. Yeah, and it will and it will come to fruition. There you go.
Okay, and our biggest difference according to you?
I'd say that I am more precise in things that matter to me, and then less in things that matter sometimes to you. So for example, the way that I bake might drive you crazy, because I like to just sort of throw stuff together and make it work on my terms. But the way that I would keep my kitchen would look more orderly on the surface, as I kind of clean as I go. So, you know what, I'm just a confusing human when I really say that out loud.
No, I was I was thinking that too. I was going to say thatI think our biggest difference is that you are more orderly. And I'm more chaotic.
But yet you bake with very precise measurements. So I don't understand that part of it. So maybe that goes back ways where we're similar.
But yet I bake.
Just saying like, there's something in that right. So maybe that's like a crossover a bridge?
All right, what are we here for today?
I think today, I really want to spend some time talking about memories. I think that that's for me connected to place, because I believe that memories and places have a lot of power. And so building on what we talked about, in our last episode, where we're talking about reframing, I was thinking, okay, so could we maybe having had some various hurts in our lives and some experiences that maybe need to be reframed? Again, could we reclaim some of those bad memories by thinking differently about those places? Right.
So is that kind of our own version of like, PTSD therapy, for which we have no training? That we're doing here?
Yes, but we're not calling it therapy. We are reframing.
So it's language.
Yeah, we're gonna stick with language. And it's what we do as sisters.
Okay, so where should we go?
Okay, well, I'm going to suggest that maybe we start in our childhood backyard, on Vanderbrent.
Because that is a place that needs reframing for you?
Yes, because you locked me in a shed.
I'm not even sure I remember this. I only remember because you remember, which is another thing about memory. Do you actually remember or do you only remember because someone else keeps telling you the story? Why did I lock you in that shed? Unknown: 7:35 Perhaps because I asked you to. And actually, I think this ends up coming up in a conversation that we have with a friend of ours on a future podcast - comedian Steve Patterson. And he actually didn't quite know what to do with that when we talked about it either. But okay, so yeah, perhaps I asked you to do it. And maybe you were seven. But the point is that you did it and then you walked away. So there's something for me to sit with, as I consider our backyard on Vanderbrent.
So it was like a really claustrophobic, scary moment for you.
Yeah, you know, what there was, there was some serious panic, and actually, it probably has brought me forward slash back into a scuba diving accident that I had, where, like, claustrophobia was a really big deal. Like I have actually had panic attacks, because of smaller spaces. So, I've got to deal with this one.
So maybe that's why it's so strong for you. And oh my gosh, that that's a lot that you people are gonna be like, oh, can that girl handle any more?
That was a lot. Actually. That was a bummer. Because my dad and I were on a boat. Right, we were up in Tobermory, which is Northern Ontario, really beautiful cold water diving, which is amazing and gorgeous and wonderful. But you need more equipment. And we were on this boat and going down to this super deep wreck dive. And so because it's so cold and so deep out there, the boat has to be able to hang out in a very specific spot while the divers go down on a line and the boat was having trouble. So basically it like circled for 15-20 minutes trying to get itself organized, which meant that the gas fumes were crazy. So everybody in the boat is like throwing up like off the side. It was horrible. And it was such a such a horrible thing that when they finally were able to make it happen, we all just threw on our gear to be able to get down into the water because we knew if we got in the water that things would feel better. But the problem was that in the midst of all the throwing up, probably somebody stepped on my gear. And so my hose got cracked. There was definitely no crack when I I picked it up. So as I'm going down, descending, I think I hit like 70 feet and water, and because it's cold water and everything sort of expands or shrinks. . . how does it work? Anyways, the point is the hole got bigger. So the water kept coming in faster and faster. So it was very scary. And then I panicked and that was not the right thing to do. But I just wanted to get to my dad, because that's the thing you want to do when you're scared even though I was like 30 or something. So I'm going deeper, but with more water. And then I did something really dumb. I pulled out my regulator because I guess in my crazy state, I thought that would somehow that would make it better.
Because you were trying to keep descending to where he was?
Yeah, he was ahead of me and he didn't see this, obviously. So anyways, I caught him but by now I'm like full on drowning.
So you took out your bag and kept going down?
Yeah, like it wasn't right. My mind. And I forgot that. Yeah. Yeah. So like I'm anyway, so dad saw my crazy eyes. And he saw that I had no reg in my mouth. And he tried to shove his extra reg in my mouth. And I didn't take it because I'm crazy by this point. Like I'm, you know, not in my right mind. So then he had to basically drop my weights and hit the surface, dragging me behind. So I'm still alive. So we're good. But it definitely was the most terrifying experience for him, I would say as a parent, but also it did definitely make me reticent to go into small spaces for a while because--
it brings back all the small spaces you've ever been in. So that's the shed on Vanderbrent right there. That actually makes sense that that's a thing for you. Although, I have a lot of positive memories when I think about that backyard, like the tire swing and the stepping stones. The orange flowers Do you remember any of that?
Like, okay, I remember the tire swing.
Do you remember the orange flowers? The Tiger Lily flowers or something? Or this is like that poem we brought up. Let's not even get into names. But no. Okay, so I you don't do you remember, like doing birthdays back there? No. Okay, it's so weird how we can we could have been in the same place. But remember things so differently, which makes me think is that the painful things that we remember? Do you think it's the painful things we remember most clearly? Should we do a test?
Yes, that's true test.
Alright, do you remember that motel in Florida? When I was like, I think I was about 10, let's say and there was a lot of tension in that motel. Do you remember? Florida tension? kitchen?
Nope. blocked that one out completely?
That is so weird, cause that's like a strong sensation I have about that place. Okay, what about this one? Do you remember what I'd like to call the earrings incident of 1991? It's mom's birthday. And I think birthdays are always kind of stressful for her because Dad grew up in a family where they didn't really celebrate birthdays, like birthdays were not a big deal. I also have experienced that because for Simon he his family didn't make a lot our of birthdays until recently. They don't make presents a big thing. He only learned to make presents a thing because of me, because of so many failed birthdays where I was upset.
So he's upped his game for you.
But that time, I don't think Dad had a present or something. So I went to the mall with him and we went to this little store in the Woodbine Mall called Le Rouet. And it had like little art objects or something--as many art objects as could be found in Woodbine Mall and we bought earrings. And then we bought a second pair. Like this is what is so weird is we bought two of the same earrings just differently shaped. So I just remember that it that the feeling for Mom--I have no idea what was true, actually--but the memory I have is that we really drastically overcompensating by buying two of the same thing, just a little bit different as if "will you love me now that I'm getting you two?"
I know. I hope Mom doesn't listen to this one or Dad because, well I don't know. That's just what I remember. Like, I don't know what actually was going on. But I have this heavy memory of all that. Do you remember that?
I wasn't there for the shopping. But you have definitely told me the story before. So this might be similar to that thing of like, I now can remember the thing that you've told me as a memory. But what I do remember of my own is, I remember there being some stressful birthday dinner, which now in my mind might be attached to the earrings, but where there was some walking away from the table. That's what I remember. So I could make a link and connect that. Just the earrings.
But this is the thing, right? Like, I mean, so the mall for you that the table for me. I mean, like I'm into these located memories, because that was my whole doctoral work. My project was memory and education and traumatic spaces. Like I worked in a, you know, this, I worked in a youth prison. And so there was some stuff to unpack there in terms of what education looked like in a space like that. So. So that's one of the reasons why I find all this stuff. So interesting. And so I want to go back to Florida back. I just, I want us to return to that one for a second before we continue on.
Okay, Florida, Florida, when I was 10? Natalie Davey: 16:27 No, I want to go back to Florida when we were 16 and 18. So I want to go back to the space. That was Florida and I wonder if maybe, maybe we could like reframe it. Okay, so that's my thought.
Okay, I'm excited for a transformation.
Okay, let's try this. Do you remember doing a 24 hour road trip home from Florida? When you were 16. And I was 18. And we were driving with our boyfriends at the time. And then that cop? Because you were driving, pulled us over and gave us a ticket in the middle of the night in Georgia.
I do remember that. And I really appreciate that you're saying give "us" a ticket which I think so much represents our togetherness. Because I'm pretty sure he give "me" a ticket. And I think I was bare feet. Or barefoot. Or barefooted. I remember that was stressful because I wasn't sure if it was legal to be driving bare feet. But when I think k back on that incident, I think it I felt a bit excited. How did it feel for you?
Yeah, that was not exciting to me at all, because I had to leave you. And Simon in a jail cell?
No. Were we in a jail cell?
No, they locked you up in something.
Oh, really? I thought we were in an office.
Well, it looked like a jail cell to me. And it was the middle of the night in Georgia. They made me leave and go drive in the backwoods of like darkness in the middle of wherever to go and get cash to be able to pay your way out. They actually like literally made me leave the police station and go where I had nowhere idea to go and we didn't have GPS at the time. Like there was noone, so it's like going down some road and looking for an ATM. Like it all sounds really sketchy, right? So that was a seriously seriously stressful ride home until we're right back to you to get you out of this jail. But maybe it was just a desk.
Right. And we probably didn't have cell phones because we're that old.
Because we're old. Yeah, I think I got my first cell phone when I was 27. And this is like 10 years before that. Right? So yeah.
I feel stressed thinking about what you went through there. I think the person who had to do the action, like you had to go do something I was just sitting there waiting to be rescued. That just feels like so emblematic of us. You rescueing me from things. Remember overnight camp and I would try to weasel my way into your cabin. You would always rescueme. Okay, so what do we do with this? This seems to be your traumatic memory a little bit. So we need to reframe for you.
Okay, so this is how I'm going to try and reframe.
You should take some breaths or something that first.
Okay, so deep breaths. Here's the way that I'm going to reframe Florida. I think that I can look at it now as a place where I definitely learned that I can do everything in my power to protect my sister. So that was some deep learning there. And because I've stored it as a jail cell, right? And you're saying it was a desk?
Well, I don't know what maybe I was behind bars. I don't think so. But you know what, maybe, you know, I was also early on dating Simon, so it was probably exciting to be behind bars with him.
Ha! I wonder what Simon would say to that. But I, but I do wonder now--and I've never thought this before, so this is brand new for me--but I do wonder if maybe that was like, when the seed was planted for me of becoming like an anti-prison and sort of defund the police minded person, before I even knew what any of those terms meant, because I really do have a definitive memory of feeling like this was absolutely unjust like, you were 16. And it was the middle of the night, like to pull you over and make you drive to this unknown place. Like, I mean literally we had to drive on backroads and follow this cop there. Just felt such like such a power play. And that was so not okay for me. So I think that maybe if it were such a place of deep learning for me, then maybe Florida can be a place I can be grateful for. Because if that set me on some sort of a journey, that didn't really come to be until I was like, I didn't go back and do my doctoral work until I was in my 30s. Right. So I mean, that was many years later. But for a seed to have been planted so early. Maybe there's something in that. So I could reframe this, I could reframe Florida for me as a place of learning. I can go with that.
Okay, so when you say you can go with that, are you're essentially putting different words to something? And then how do you make sure those words sink in?
Hmm. So it's a bit of a process here. But I would say that reframing that place for me is using new words to expand meaning about place or like, growing new feelings for it, as opposed to sitting in old memories that, as you already said, as you pointed out, rightly, that may not be even true, right? I mean, like memory is so like, intangible. It's like water, right? You can't really hold it. And yet, it has so much power. So how do you find a way to, to turn it into water you want to swim it?
I like that idea of growing new feelings, like new positive feelings.
Okay, so what might be a place that you could return to and reframe in some way?
Well, the, I mean, one of the places that I think continues to have kind of a stronghold on me is Sick Kids Hospital. Like, it's a powerful place for me. Because that's where Violet had her heart surgery. And, you know, so many appointments. I've been there so many times. And I have a very strong attachment to that place. And I'm thinking of attachment in not a positive way. How does Dad describe attachments?
Things that negatively hold us.
And funnily Starbucks in the lobby is a heavy place of attachment. Because, you know, we would go to the Starbucks a lot.
Obviously to stay caffeinated.
And you would see all the doctors in line, like you could, you know, obviously tell when they're doctors or researchers. The researchers are funny, because they're always, this is actually pertinent to what I was saying about Simon being a scientist. He's in need of research. The researchers needed something from us to do their work. But that's also a thing is that they're, they're almost like, feeding off us as parents and feeding off the children because they need their bodies to do their research. Yeah. So anyway, so standing in line with those people and thinking that they don't understand how lucky they are to be regular people. And I am not regular, I am irregular with my child that is in crisis. That's, you know, that was kind of my victim-y feeling.
Or a true feeling that's located to that space.
So I guess I need to reframe that space for myself. And I'm wondering if a different way to look at it would be to just recognize the beauty of fragility, and our delicate place in the world. So, you know, all of our bodies are delicate and fragile. And maybethose researchers standing in line--I mean, I don't know what their lives were, but maybe they will recognize the fragility at some other point on their journey. But that happened to be the moment I experienced the fragility--very early on in my life. I didn't expect that my second child would need heart surgery. As a new parent, you just, you're not prepared to predict those things. So it's also just an ongoing one for me. I still get afraid. And I can say that about the delicate web of life we are all a part of, and that that's a beautiful way to reframe in a sense, but I also get scared often. Like even this morning. Simon was telling me about this idea from a dystopian future where antibiotics might not function anymore. I mean antibitics have been a very powerful tool in your life, right?
But he was saying that, I guess the way bacteria is growing and the resistance that is growing, that there might come a point where you would be better to let a tumor grow, than cutting it out, because you couldn't count on the antibiotics working anymore. It's a dystopian future, which I think could be true at some point. But I went okay, okay, this is really big. But he's just telling me this as an interesting thing, as a random science article he listened to, but immediately I start to have like this slightly creepy crawly feeling, although it's just slight. But I'm starting to think, okay, well, violet might need to have her heart valve replaced at some point. And it could be mean surgery. And maybe they won't do have to do it that way. But what if they did? And would she be in danger now, if antibiotics aren't working anymore? And so I'm like, okay, hold on, Smon. Can you just assuage this fear? And he's like, oh, no, no, that's way in the future.
Yeah. But I think I'm just acknowledging I can't listen to that completely calmly. What's the word? Like, I still have that residual trauma or feelings still. So, yes, I want to reframe but, it's ongoing.
Yeah, I mean, I crack a joke there about the Starbucks. But it's interesting that that is the place that you hit on for yourself. So like, maybe maybe, it's not going to be about reframing Sick Kids as a whole, but about reframing one section of it. So I'm not being flippant when I say like, maybe it's about reframing Starbucks, in that space. Perhaps it is the space that allows for some semblance of togetherness, for everybody to come to sort of join in, I mean, like, you know, coffee or whatever, sort of like a morning ritual as like a thing that that binds people. And maybe that space can be something that instead of seeing it as--and you kind of already alluded to it a little bit--but like thinking of the lives that might be playing out for those researchers that you don't know, and whatever they're navigating in that lineup--instead of seeing it as like some creepy crawly space of fear, it can be the lineup towards togetherness.
We're all in this together and growing. Yes, yeah. And then that cheesy but awesome line that Brene Brown said on her last podcast: 29:48 "No one gets a free ride."
Yeah, even the researchers don't get a free ride. Could that be something though? Like, have we hit on something potentially here? Where if it's about trying to look at one part of a place, that maybe it's starting small, maybe that's a reasonable way to make that movement forward? Like don't try and maybe fix the whole big memory, but sort of attack bits and pieces of it to sort of help get to the other side of it, like building bridges? Starting with Starbucks, maybe?
I like that. Because to reframe the entire building seems hard, but going room by room or place by place is interesting. Also, just getting specific like that about the line that we're all in this together. I think it's a good visual. Can we find some memories that are not so traumatic? I'm just curious. Do we have some good ones? Like, is it all trauma in our heads, Natalie?
No. But I mean, they do make for good stories. And funny, we end up laughing with them, right? I mean, like there's, there's something sort of shared in terms of humor around them. But, okay, so let's make this a goal. Can we find a non traumatic memory?
Okay, as pastors kids, so we have, I don't know if we've formally said that. But we are pastors kids. They're called PKs.
And there are lots of memories attached to very specific church buildings. That's very true.
Yeah. So I have our particular church we grew up in as kids in my head, running through the halls of the church building, running around the outside during church picnics. Do you have any of those? Please tell me you have some of those.
No, I think I do have positive memories of that building. It was very pretty. So I do have like a visual in my head of like a pretty building. But I don't remember the hallway. I remember a bathroom in the basement that I remember like going into, and then sort of getting like reprimanded for being in there by myself. So I mean, that's like a memory.
Is the bathroom pink, like peach? And you got reprimanded for going to the bathroom by yourself, like alone? Like what are you doing here? So maybe it was like during the service or something?
Yeah, like maybe or maybe I interrupted somebody in the midst of like, their big trauma. And then they didn't want a witness. I have no idea. Okay, I'll keep digging. I do remember getting baptized. I was like, you know, I don't know, 12. And I've never had great eyesight. You've always had like these perfect eyes. And I've always had to wear glasses from when I was, like 10 or 11. Right.
And we should just say that getting baptized is normal in Baptist Church.
Yeah, as normal. It not like a Catholic thing where you get baptized when you're a baby. You're making a choice. But so I do remember getting baptized and then having to have my glasses off. And so I couldn't see anybody. Curiously, I can actually like close my eyes right now and remember coming up out of the water and I can't see anything.
Did you feel like you were in heaven?
Maybe like, I don't know. But you know what? There is something kind of beautiful in that it was Dad. Oh my gosh, this could kind of make me weepy. Like just Dad dipping me under and pulling me back up and I can't see anybody. So it's just Dad, me and Jesus. And there's something kind of lovely about that. Like in that, I think that definitely my own feelings around faith are connected very much to our really, really, really wonderful parents. So like, there's something about that. So yeah, I can remember that. Church picnics. I only remember all the boys I had crushes on and they never liked me back. So that was hard.
All right. What about New Year's Eve celebrations? Do you have any fond memories there? I feel like we're not gonna hit on any mutual ones. But New Year's Eve staying up all night and that like fun, nauseous feeling of being up for too many hours.
I do remember New Year's Eve where we all camped out with like our big group of friends when we were Like, you know, late teens early 20s, and it was in Simon's so your now husband's grandfather's cottage though. Yeah, it had like all those lawnmowers and living rooms so. So we were all lined up in the sleeping bags and surrounded by lonmark. So I do have a memory of that. I don't remember the Najah, because I just remember the lawnmowers, but you remember the one word.
Okay, remembering the lawnmowers. Now, yeah, and in the bathrooms it was always very hard to find the toilet because of the lawnmowers maybe?
So I blocked out the bathroom, so.
Do you have any memories that you would like to offer to me?
Okay, well, do you remember our friend Sharon? Do you remember learning to drive in her car? Can you remember? Like it was this Chrysler.
Was it blue?
Yeah. Okay, maybe. But I don't remember a lot. Oh, maybe in the parking lot of our local high school.
She taught you to drive?
Yeah, but she taught you to drive too.
I don't remember. I remember giving her makeovers. Do you remember that?
No. But you know what, maybe we're hitting on something here. If we are remembering lots of similarily connected people and places, but we don't remember the same thing--then isn't that the beauty? Of having these long term relationships like us, like our sisterly connections, to kind of help to fill in some of those holes.
Yeah, it is.
I mean it's fun. And I'm grateful to get to throw all these memories out with you and just see what, what's sticking for you and what's sticking for me and that we can do this together.
Last thing. And thank you, listeners, for playing the "remember when" game. Do you remember getting out at stoplights? And like running around and changing places in the car? No. Okay. This is This podcast is gonna require a whole other separate discussion. I think we need a flow chart.
Yeah, like one of those big maps. Yeah, it's true. Like on any television show where all of a sudden they start kind of linking things. And then we'll find the center and in it each other.
Okay, so, do we need to go back to the backyard at all? Or have we reframed that for you?
I don't think we did. And you know what, okay, so here's a claustrophobic space. Yeah, yes, I think I can reframe the claustrophobic space of the shed as being a place where I recognize that I'm good when I have boundaries, like when I write pieces, right, specifically, when I'm writing like academic essays, I find that when I have an outline, I can feel like really free because now I have like these walls within which to build my piece out. The walls make me feel safe. Like I've got somewhere to go. So maybe, and I'm going up here like a pointy tip your finger--
I just want to say this is Natalie's greatest skill at work creating links like she's doing right now. She's reframing herself being trapped in a shed as creating beautiful boundaries for her self.
And it's my favorite thing, but I think I can do this. I think that shed can maybe if I can return to that place and make some new meaning of it, I think it can be a place that's good for my mind. Because if walls, instead of being a place symbolizing fear, maybe they can represent, like the comfort and health as an adult of having some established boundaries. Boom.
Yeah, I think that's beautiful. I think I need to journal about that. For real.
I probably need to go for a walk and sit with my own thoughts and actually determine if I can make that real more than just in this conversation. You know what I mean? Like, like how you said earlier. Like, how do you make meaning of the words like actually sort of repeat them to myself?
Yeah, repeat them. And, you know, so it changes the way we live in a way. Yeah, I don't want to just talk. I don't want to just talk shit with you, Nat!
Yeah, I want it to mean something. I want to be able to circle back to something and constantly make it new and fresh. And possible. I think that's a good note back. I think people could do something with that if they wanted to.
Although we encourage you to play the "do you remember when" game with your siblings or anybody in your life.
You want to do that with because we've had some good laughs. Yeah, it feels good.
It does feel good. Okay, well, next time. I love you. Thank you for your mind for sharing it.
Love you. Okay, bye!