May 4, 2022

What Happens Now?

After going through the ebbs and flows of the different coping mechanisms, I am left thinking “what now?”. What happens now that all the chaos and the spiraling stops? What happens when everything has “calmed down”? In this episode I’m...

After coping through different mechanisms after the homicide of my brother, I am left thinking “what now?”. What happens now that all the chaos and the spiraling stops? What happens when everything has “calmed down?”

In this episode, I’m talking about what happened with my boyfriend at the time during the holidays, how I was dealing with my anxiety and taking medication, the reunion of the reality show I was in, and feeling something for the first time as I was traveling in Mexico.

In this episode I’m covering:

  • Coping and wondering what happens next [00:01:03]
  • Dealing with my anxiety and changes in the medication [00:06:00]
  • My boyfriend, Holiday celebrations, and the laundry list of events going on in my life [00:08:45]
  • The Reality Show Reunion [00:23:15]
  • Getting a new job and traveling to Mexico[00:44:30]
  • Feeling for the first time [00:49:26]

For full episode show notes and transcript, click here

Mentioned in the episode

YouTube | Andreas Roffler


Connect with Maya 

Instagram | @survivingsiblingspodcast | @mayaroffler 

TikTok | @survivingsiblingspodcast

Twitter | @survivingsibpod

Website | The Surviving Siblings


[00:00:00] welcome to the surviving siblings podcast. I'm your host, Maya Roffler as a surviving sibling myself. I knew that [00:00:15] I wanted to share my story. My brother's story. I lost my brother to a homicide in November, 2016. And after going through this experience, I knew that I wanted to share my story [00:00:30] and his story.

[00:00:31] And it's taken me quite some time to come to the mic to tell it, but I knew it was an important one to tell. So here I am to share his story and mine with you. And it's important that I [00:00:45] tell the story of the surviving sibling, the forgotten Warner, the story that has not told enough. So thank you for coming with me on this journey and thank you for listening to my story.[00:01:00] 

[00:01:03] All right. So here I am. And I'm coping with the loss of my brother, the best way that I know how I have [00:01:15] tatted myself up with his ashes. I've adopted this beautiful. Baby girl, dog. And I, you know, I'm connecting with my girlfriend [00:01:30] on a deeper level, not joining clubs that, you know, we ever wanted to join of loss.

[00:01:36] And I kind of, you know, I'm sitting on this couch again. [00:01:45] Going okay. What now? Because I did find that these things that I, I, I was doing to cope helped, and I do recommend them. It's interesting being a [00:02:00] part of. Support groups and stuff. Now I find that people do similar things. And if you don't or if you haven't done them, do what works for you would be my advice, but I just found myself again, [00:02:15] feeling.

[00:02:16] Alone. I did. And I had, I had a journey to still go on and I think grief is a journey. I say that all the time, but I was sitting on my friend Walter's [00:02:30] couch and I had my tattoo and I had Bonnie. And you know, of course my, my girlfriend was there for me all the time and both going through so many struggles and I officially.

[00:02:44] [00:02:45] Resigned from my job. I remember sending that email and that was official. And so all of this took place and I kind of just felt like what now? And I feel like that's probably the [00:03:00] theme of this episode already. It was like, what the hell do I do now? Um, because I felt so. No, I'm just watching these, like [00:03:15] Netflix shows that I couldn't even tell you.

[00:03:18] Like I see them come up sometimes now as I'm, you know, as Netflix is like on or something like that. And I don't even remember what they were about. I was in such a [00:03:30] trance and I felt that the things that I had done to start coping with the loss of my brother, Healthy and I have no regrets and I was really proud of myself now, [00:03:45] looking back on it.

[00:03:45] And even in the moment that I was feeling it and I was feeling everything, I was as much as I could, but I also felt very numb. And I remember being on a. You know, these, these [00:04:00] medications from the doctor and, you know, having to increase some of them because I was just really struggling. I was really struggling.

[00:04:07] I think this is something that we don't talk about. The what now? Like what happens when. Kind of the [00:04:15] spiraling of everything stops and the chaos of everything stops and the family's gone. And then even some of these coping things you do right away that I don't think are necessarily unhealthy, but okay.

[00:04:27] So now, like there's [00:04:30] true. I don't, it's not peace, but like I'm a quietness and you're there with your own thoughts and it's a scary time. It's a very scary time and I didn't have these Facebook [00:04:45] groups or support groups that are out there now that I'm so blessed and happy to be a part of. And maybe they were out there.

[00:04:52] And I shouldn't know, I was just in so much pain. I don't even know if I maybe could have even connected to it. I don't know, [00:05:00] but it was challenging. And I just remember feeling so numb laying on the couch. Have a lot of couch references on the couch references. The couch was like a comforting thing for [00:05:15] me, not always going to lay like in the bed for some reason was that I, not that finality.

[00:05:22] I make that connection now a little bit. And, and even then I think I knew it was a connection of finality and that was scary [00:05:30] to me and I wasn't also sleeping. I was, I wasn't awake, but I wasn't asleep. It was just an odd, an odd time for me. And I remember speaking to my doctor, my primary doctor at the [00:05:45] time, and they were recommending that I changed too.

[00:05:49] And I think this is so tough to talk about, especially for me. And this is something that I have had a challenging time [00:06:00] talking about in the past, and I don't as much anymore, but. Talking about medication and like what helps and what doesn't and everybody's show different. And so please don't, you know, take my advice about what you need to take [00:06:15] medication wise, but I knew enough about myself just mentally, already.

[00:06:22] I had struggled with anxiety in the past. My anxiety was like on a whole nother level, but at the same point I felt so [00:06:30] depressed. And this one. Such a weird kind of paradigm to be in for me. And I, I didn't, I was feeling so numb, but I was also [00:06:45] feeling so deep at the same time. I don't know if you guys can relate to that.

[00:06:49] I'm sure a lot of you can though. It was like I had this dagger in my heart, but at the same time, it had been stuck in there now for. [00:07:00] Oh, my gosh. You know, I'm like looking at over a month at this point, I'm reflecting more towards the end of December-ish now, as I'm looking at my heart and all of that. So I remember being very honest about [00:07:15] that and talking about it.

[00:07:16] So we changed to an anti-depressant. That was a little bit stronger. I went on Lexapro, which I had not had a good experience in my past, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to feel very much on. [00:07:30] And I. Didn't know that was going to be a bad thing because I, I was just feeling so dark and so deep and like, oh, it was so freaking painful.

[00:07:40] Oh, it was so painful. And I think you do have to feel everything, but I was like, [00:07:45] okay, like, I've been, you know, sticking needles in myself as far as the tattoo, not myself, but like, as far as the tattoo. Right. And I've been like, that was like, maybe not deep enough. And like, you know, like, lemme give myself some grace.

[00:07:58] And I think this was maybe me [00:08:00] giving myself some grace, like going and being super honest, like I'm in so much pain. Like how do I get relief? And this was a way for me. And they really were like, look, you know, you're really struggling with it and your anxiety and some post-traumatic [00:08:15] stress, like serious, serious post-traumatic stress from what you saw.

[00:08:18] And so they increased my anxiety medication that I was. As well, not so much like the Xanax Klonopin, and this is, again, this is so raw for me to be talking about, but I think it's so [00:08:30] important that we talk about it and I'm not a very big girl. And so they took me, it was very strong for me, all of it. And I remember feeling like a change very quickly from changing these medications.

[00:08:43] And I would take them multiple [00:08:45] times a day and. As I went into the holidays. Christmas after. I mean, we had already been in Thanksgiving. I was still seeing the guy that I had been dating after leaving the [00:09:00] reality show, but I, you know, he was asking me to do some really serious things. He was asking me to go to Christmas with his parents and meet his family.

[00:09:09] And. It's oh, gosh, I hate that. I forget this, but I can't recall how many siblings he had, but [00:09:15] it was a lot, he came from like a Catholic family, which I actually went to Catholic school growing up. So I understood a lot of this and I really want it to go. I really want it to be a part of it. There was one side of me pulling this way, and then there was this other part.

[00:09:29] I just couldn't do [00:09:30] it. I couldn't do it. My brother had died like a month before that I was over. I was a wreck. And I remember also like around this time, knowing, and I hadn't [00:09:45] confided this in this guy was dating that I had gotten an email from the show that I had been filming, that we were going to the reunion in January and I.

[00:09:58] Horrified. I [00:10:00] was like, oh my gosh, I didn't even think about that. That, that wasn't even a thought that crossed my mind. Why would I think about that? They asked me to fly to LA and they wanted me to be a part of that. And I'm thinking to myself, oh my God, how can I, I [00:10:15] can't, how can I even be thinking about doing something like that?

[00:10:18] And I remember deferring to, you know, referring Walter and saying, you know, What should I do about this? Like, you know, I signed this contract. I don't really know, like, [00:10:30] you know, there's only, I guess, a few girls that get picked to do this, and I guess I wasn't, you know, kind of the drama of the situation.

[00:10:38] So I don't know what happened after I left the second time. So I'm dating someone else and [00:10:45] here's the big thing that's happened. I, my brother has been murdered. How do I go and film this last part of this show, you know, less than two months after my brother has been murdered. And he just looked [00:11:00] at me and said, you do what you need to do.

[00:11:02] In addition to the fact that the guy I was seeing, didn't like the fact that I had done this show. So I was like processing all of this information. It was so intense. It's just so much coming. On [00:11:15] top of this, I'm calling this crooked detective that, you know, is giving me different stories. Then he gave me, you know, in the hospital and he's starting to tell me that, you know, these [00:11:30] guys, cause I'm, I'm calling him before, before Christmas, you know, I'm saying the holidays, but you know, before Christmas and new year's and I'm like, what's going on?

[00:11:38] And he's like, well, you know, they're changing their story a little bit. It seems like there's something fishy here, so I'll keep you [00:11:45] updated. So I'm getting my hopes up there. So I mentioned the emotion that is happening within me. And there's probably so many of you out there that can relate to this, especially those of you who went through, [00:12:00] you know, an unknown situation or homicide or a murder, but it was absolutely crazy.

[00:12:06] And so I had some hope, but I also had so much darkness and. I mean, no, my career really had been everything I [00:12:15] focused on in my life and it's a lot of that way in my life now, presently. So I wasn't really working, you know, I've resigned and Christmas. And I've got all these [00:12:30] things going on, you know, I've changed these medications and I I'm trying to embrace this new relationship.

[00:12:38] And I also know that I've got to listen to my heart and think about, you know, [00:12:45] potentially going traveling to LA and so much is going on. And my relationship has with a very kind man really, really kind man. And. We have this Christmas together. And I [00:13:00] come again, like him come from a Catholic background and he wants me to go with him on Christmas Eve and meet his family.

[00:13:11] And I ended up just having [00:13:15] the biggest panic attack I had had since. My brother passed, you know, in that time. But it was like, I don't know if this makes sense to you guys put like a silent panic attack. It was like, I was alone in my condo. [00:13:30] It was, you know, a short time and my friend ultra wasn't around during that time.

[00:13:34] And I was just like, I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do that. I just like repeating it over and over and over again to myself. I can't do that. I can't be around people. I don't know. I can't put up this front. I can't do this. It didn't [00:13:45] matter. And I had just started. You know, the new dose of medication and things like that.

[00:13:50] And it was not okay. But I realized even in that moment that, wow, at [00:14:00] least I was self-aware enough to realize I wasn't going to be okay around his family. This was not a healthy way to meet someone's family for the first time. And. Like whoa, dealing with way too much. [00:14:15] And he came from a really beautiful family from what I understood from his friends and also from him.

[00:14:21] And I was in these like traditional kind of like Christmas flannel pajamas. And I'm from a Swiss Swedish [00:14:30] background. And you. A lot on Christmas Eve as well. And I remember telling him, I'm like, I, I can't go to church with you. This was church. And then dinner. And you know, that kind of [00:14:45] celebration. He had a, a Mexican heritage and he was Catholic.

[00:14:49] And so there were, again, we had connections in some ways there, but he was very understanding about that. [00:15:00] And when he came over to see. Um, we decided to like exchange presents like that night together. And we, again, this was a really sweet relationship, but I felt [00:15:15] that night I kind of fell apart. And so I had to take.

[00:15:19] Some of the medicine to calm me down. And he had opened some wine and I was drinking some wine. And I remember like spilling it like everywhere because I, it, all this medicine like hit me [00:15:30] and I felt this, like having that cream couch at the time that I talked about earlier in earlier episodes and I spilled it and it was just like woke me up.

[00:15:40] And it was just, it was not a terrible night [00:15:45] how it ended, but it was. I realized I'm like, oh my God, I don't think I'm ready for real world interactions. And I think it's so, so much for me to like, open up about these like [00:16:00] embarrassing moments or he took it in stride though. He was like, it's fine. You know?

[00:16:05] And he really bought me some amazing, beautiful presence and he was just so kind to me, but I remember [00:16:15] thinking. I don't know if he's ever going to really understand what I'm going through. And that night I was like, oh my gosh, I just don't know. And the next day I still felt the same way. And that, that was my Christmas.

[00:16:26] And I remember feeling so like empty and kind of lost [00:16:30] and he needed to go spend time with his family. And he asked me again, no pressure. The pressure was like, whoa, like a valve just like released. And I told him, I said, I can't. He's like, look, I, I saw you, like, I guess. [00:16:45] He's like I get it. But I mean, he really didn't because he'd never been through what I had been through, but did he get it more than a lot of other people in my life?

[00:16:56] Sure. Because he came to the hospital and I'll never forget that night. [00:17:00] He knows. I'm grateful for that. He was a beautiful person, is a beautiful person. He's still with us. But, uh, it just, that was, that was a moment for me. And I realized not ready to be in that position. And I [00:17:15] remember spending the rest of Christmas with my friend Walter and.

[00:17:21] Telling him everything that happened and you know, that it was kind of struggling on my medicine because I'm like, I don't know, like, you know, if this is too much or I remember him [00:17:30] telling me, you know, I think you just had to pick like a lot of panic and that was a lot to be dealing with and a lot of pressure and it was, it was too much, I wasn't ready to be around a family and explain like, oh yeah, your son [00:17:45] and I were together in the hospital and he met my brother after.

[00:17:50] He had been shot and he was, you know, in a life support and we were sitting there together, holding hands, waiting [00:18:00] for my family to show up, you know, or my father was really the last one, but how do you, how do you meet a family like that? That was just too bizarre for me and too intense. And I think that really just, it [00:18:15] almost set my coping.

[00:18:17] And I think what I talked about in the previous episode, like the healing that I started, it kind of set it back and like, it was weird. Cause like this wind spilling on me on the couch, like it was like an almost woke me up, like [00:18:30] wake up. Like, I don't think this is going to work. And uh, long story short, we did, um, Not spend new years together because he was traveling for work.

[00:18:40] He's a very successful businessman, great guy. And we [00:18:45] tried to make it work a few more times, but it just didn't, it just didn't and it ended completely amicably. Yeah, we tried, but I just think when [00:19:00] you're going through something like that, It's really difficult. You've got to be with somebody who really accepts the situation is really empathetic to the, this at this situation.

[00:19:12] And I mean, beyond [00:19:15] empathetic to the situation, because sometimes people will kind of be dismissive or. Pretend like losing, like their grandfather is the same thing. I say that sometimes that [00:19:30] reference, because unfortunately he did do that and he used that reference a lot. And I think that kind of wore down on me quite a bit.

[00:19:40] And there were just things like that, but he was really sweet and kind to me. [00:19:45] And unfortunately I think it just, it was. And life goes on, but I do believe in that phrase, you know, there's a reason a season or a lifetime with people and he definitely was a reason. [00:20:00] And I appreciate him because I can't imagine, honestly, looking back on everything.

[00:20:06] Ma, like I was here, was filming this reality show and then I walk out of it for the second time. So I thought, [00:20:15] because we're going to talk about the reunion in like 2.5 seconds, but I had him, you know, be so supportive in the hospital and he was there for me and he was there for me, you know, afterwards, but, and we tried, we tried through like February, [00:20:30] actually a couple times more, I suppose, went on for a couple months.

[00:20:35] And then I think, you know, I can only spoke and again, completely amicable, but when someone doesn't get it and you're going through something so deep, like that [00:20:45] sibling loss is a whole different level. It's a whole different level. And when people are comparing it to, you know, losing their grandpa and things like that, like it can get a little challenging and you're like, [00:21:00] oh, that's not sitting well with me because.

[00:21:03] You literally were there. And so it was tough, but he I'm grateful. There's a reason. There's a great, there's an amazing reason he was in my life. And I appreciate that. [00:21:15] And I'm sure a lot of you guys can relate to that too. Like those people that were there for you during certain moments and he definitely was one and my friend Walter was definitely there for me to pick up those emotional aspects to it because.[00:21:30] 

[00:21:30] That my boyfriend at the time, wasn't able to, because it was just totally different. He was able to physically be there for me now, like that guys, just like, you know, really be there, like, Hey, you need me to pick you up. He needs someone to [00:21:45] be there for you. You need someone to actually make you eat some food or like, make sure you're getting out of bed.

[00:21:52] Or shall I say off the couch today, those things or bounce the things off that, you know, Necessarily [00:22:00] I, my boyfriend didn't want to hear, and that was another problem too. Like he didn't accept me fully for some of the things that, you know, he is a prominent businessman and he didn't fully accept the fact [00:22:15] that I had done this show and I'm like, look, I didn't really like that.

[00:22:17] I did it either. That's why I will have to, so life happens and we have to love all the people that are in our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. And they're there for those reasons. [00:22:30] And I do love him for that reason cause he was there for a reason, but, and I'm S I will always be appreciative of how much love he, he shared, uh, with the entire family, but that I think is an important aspect to [00:22:45] share, because putting so much pressure on someone who's not ready or like throwing them into.

[00:22:51] In an environment that's going to trigger them. If you're someone listening that is not a surviving sibling, but you're trying to support one, you've got to [00:23:00] really come from an understanding place that there's going to be major triggers for them. And that was, I think that was very triggering for me. And, uh, looking back on the whole situation, that was really the beginning of the end, obviously, but [00:23:15] yeah, so I just kind of said what.

[00:23:18] After that, what now? Well then came the reunion. So I flew to LA, I think it was the second week, second week of the beginning of the second [00:23:30] week of January. That would be correct. I believe. And here we are still really fresh. I mean, that's so fresh still. It's not even two months after my brother [00:23:45] was murdered and.

[00:23:49] I did this reunions. So reluctantly, I did not, this is something I've spoken about a little bit, but I'm going to just speak completely candidly about it because [00:24:00] that's what this podcast is completely about is just speaking about my experience and my brother's story. And. I will be honest. I would not have shown up at that reunion or done that or [00:24:15] broken whatever.

[00:24:15] I saw his contract, whatever had my brother and not Ben who he was, but is I speak about him in the present tense as well, because he's still with [00:24:30] me. And that might sound weird. But the reason I say that is because. When kind of having the last talk with, you know, my friend Walter about this and you know, what do [00:24:45] I do?

[00:24:45] Do we do this or not? And I just really remembered my brother and my brother. You can look him up on YouTube and he is all over the place. Andreas Roffler look them up. We should actually link him in the show notes here on his YouTube channel. [00:25:00] He was a musician and he loved to be out there and he really enjoyed.

[00:25:06] He loved to put his music out there. He loved to put himself out there. He was quite the personality. And when I really kind of just sat alone with my [00:25:15] thoughts yes. On the couch again, and thought about this. I was like, you know what? I felt him. And I really felt him telling me, you go do this. Like you go do this [00:25:30] because this show was such, just a.

[00:25:33] Hot mess and full of a bunch of deception and lies and just so much craziness. And I was just like, oh, I [00:25:45] don't even want to deal with this right now. I remember feeling like I don't even have the energy to get off the couch, get out of bed, you know, but those things, but, you know, the couch was my go-to and [00:26:00] I remember feeling pushed by.

[00:26:03] I remember feeling pushed by him to go and to get some kind of thing that I thought was real at the time, you know, some kind of closure or something. And I'm like, I [00:26:15] told him, I talked to him, you know, very often then, and I still talk to him now, I believe in this. That's why I say he is that way. I do believe he's.

[00:26:24] So with me, and I do believe that your loved ones are so with you. I do believe in that I went through a time of doubt. [00:26:30] And I'm going to talk about that, but I was still talking to him then, even though I was kind of going through that already, and I just remember feeling like push, it was like almost feeling like he, my body is being pushed from the couch and [00:26:45] like, I was going to go pack my bag.

[00:26:48] Just travel. And I traveled for work for so many years and I guess I thought it was maybe the travel bug biting me again or something, but no, I really felt compelled to go do this. So I did. And so I [00:27:00] packed my bag and I felt really guilty the whole time. I'm like, why am I going to film? Show, like, I don't even know what happened.

[00:27:08] Like who cares? Like, oh my God, like these girls, like, they like hated me the whole time I [00:27:15] was on the show. God, I feel really sorry for these are all the things that are going through my head prior to like doing that or like, you know, going to the airport or even whatever. And I'm like, God, they probably like.

[00:27:26] So I ended up with him and I feel so bad for this girl because [00:27:30] he like messaged me behind their backs and, oh my God, I, this is going to be such a mess. Cause I'm going to have to show all this stuff and it's going to be terrible. You're in a hotel room the night before, and you're in different hotels.

[00:27:43] And so [00:27:45] I, and those of you who listened to, um, my other podcasts that I put out before know the nitty gritty details of it, but they didn't know I was coming. Most of them are, you know, Today we were not as close anymore, [00:28:00] cause we're all married and have kids and stuff. I think I'm one of the only ones that doesn't have a kid, but, but it's, it's interesting how life turns out.

[00:28:10] And this is you you'll hear this and how this happened. If you didn't listen to [00:28:15] the other podcast, but. I kind of figured it was me when there was this like unknown person. I didn't know that at the time, because I didn't know how the show turned out. Like I'm sitting here dealing with the loss of my brother and like [00:28:30] here, I'm being thrust back into this and I'm like, why am I doing this?

[00:28:33] Oh my God. But I really did feel like, you know, this is something he, he would have loved. This was so my brother, so my brother and it kind of all makes sense. Now, [00:28:45] looking back on all of it. And I feel like when we go through loss and we go through life and we go through grief and we look back on these things, we realize they're with us and they're pushing us [00:29:00] to the things that we need to be doing.

[00:29:03] And I am glad that I went, um, unfortunately, you know, I was really struggling emotionally though. I was really struggling mentally. I wasn't like in a place to really dealt with what I [00:29:15] walked into because it was crazy. So the night before you're in different hotels, of course they don't want you to run into each other and see who's there and all that craziness.

[00:29:24] Cause like, I didn't know what had happened on the show since I left, but there was one [00:29:30] significant thing that happened. Personally. Oh, and I remember sitting in my room drinking wine, which we're not really sure that that was the best decision with the medication that I was taking. And again, this is me being totally raw.

[00:29:44] [00:29:45] And speaking to you guys as an audience that could be potentially taking stuff to help that's hopefully prescribed by a doctor. Um, might definitely. I have incredible doctors, [00:30:00] psychiatrists, psychologists that I saw for years. And I still see my psychologist. I've seen him for years and I was texting with my mom.

[00:30:12] Believe it or not. [00:30:15] And I let her know that I don't know why I felt compelled to message her about, I wanted, I wanted some kind, I think, cause I felt so crazy being out there in LA, I was going to shoot this whole thing. I don't even remember [00:30:30] what I told her about being out in LA. Of course I didn't. That was the wine I'm sure.

[00:30:34] But I remember the things that I said to her and I remember telling her that I love. And that this was really hard and that, you know, we really didn't see eye to eye about the situation [00:30:45] and that I will always love her. And if she ever needs anything that I'm, you know, I'm there for her, but I just can't support her relationship.

[00:30:54] And that was pretty much the conversation. It was not a [00:31:00] horrible conversation. It really wasn't. The worst conversation in the world, but I think I needed some kind of peace with her because I knew she was not going to like the fact that I was about to walk on a set and [00:31:15] be totally open and honest and be the Maya that you guys are getting to know that just OPES mentions it all and opens it all up.

[00:31:27] And I knew the way that [00:31:30] they edit things and stuff on reality television. The odds of it all airing it wasn't, it wasn't my story. I was a good tender on the show to date. So, but you'd never know what happens. And I [00:31:45] think there was a part of me that just wanted to get that out there and let her know, like, this is what's going on with me.

[00:31:50] Like, this is my story. This is how I'm feeling, and this is what I'm going through. And so the next day I felt a little different as I [00:32:00] was getting ready for. Reunion. And I was having, I don't, it was anxiety about sharing. What happens to my brother. I did not feel like because one, I didn't know who [00:32:15] was going to be there.

[00:32:16] And. I had been on several sets in the past, but they were like for live television, it was not for this, for reality television. So, I mean, for like a [00:32:30] reunion and I have to go on there and explain to them after being portrayed as like this villain, uh, oh, by the way. Hi, um, here's this guy that picked, I don't know which group.[00:32:45] 

[00:32:45] And sorry, he's a jerk. He was messaging me privately the whole time, even though I didn't engage, I came back to the show, but he lied to all of you. That's a whole Trump I've heard ever [00:33:00] day, but also why, how, why are you a wreck? Why are you like not yourself? Oh, how have you been? Oh, well let me answer that for you guys.

[00:33:12] I'm a mess. My brother was [00:33:15] murdered just over a month ago and I buried him a month ago. His ashes. Yeah. And so, because I was the quote unquote like surprised, like last, it wasn't like the last person that came on, but there was only like [00:33:30] five girls, the top five girls that were brought. I was like kept outside.

[00:33:34] And so I looked like very, like I done all this time on like my hair and stuff. And you know, here I was on this, like, anti-anxiety medication is tough and I hated it. I felt like really [00:33:45] out of it, I remember sitting in the van, they kept me in this van and I remember telling one of the guys, I was like, oh my God, like, I feel like I need a glass of wine or something.

[00:33:54] I'm having so much anxiety. I'm like, I'm like, I don't want to go on and talk about my life right now. [00:34:00] And they're like, Okay. We can get you that like, no problem. Like what's like what's going on. And I have to tell him one of them, I, you know, these production people, like you filmed with them. And I told them, I said, I lost, I lost my brother to a homicide.

[00:34:13] Like some, most [00:34:15] people knew it was kind of going around the production scene at that time. Like, as I was out there, cause they knew, I just wasn't like myself. And he was like, I don't think we should. Like be giving a glass of wine then, [00:34:30] or, and I wasn't really being totally serious. I was just like that on edge because I was taking this medication.

[00:34:37] I was just that out of it, like I was that out of it and nobody did anything wrong. I didn't, they [00:34:45] didn't, my doctors didn't, it was just very strong medication. And if any of you guys were on this to, to deal with these situations, like. The wrong thing. It's just very numbing and [00:35:00] it's D you're not really present.

[00:35:02] And sometimes you, I mean, this is my opinion. This is not a professional opinion. So don't take this that way at all. I'm not a doctor, but I think that that can be a coping mechanism, but it wasn't probably the [00:35:15] best coping mechanism walking into like a set. So I walked into the side and I'm like wind swept.

[00:35:21] Cause they had me like standing outside shooting. You know, B roll stuff. So like my hair that was like really pretty and [00:35:30] curly. Oh God, it was like a mess, but it. I walk in and I see this jerk that was on the show and, you know, I have to like hug him and they're like, how have you been? And I'm like, not good.

[00:35:41] And I just like, let it all out there, guys. I'm like, not [00:35:45] good. I'm like, I'm there. Like what's going on? And I'm like, I lost my brother to a homicide and I literally just say it all. And the girls that are sitting out there just like drop their mouths, like cannot believe. Yeah. [00:36:00] So I had to go through that, which was crazy.

[00:36:03] And then it was like zero empathy. So these like people that you see on this show that are supposed to be these psychologists and like [00:36:15] pastors and like that are so kind, and this is not everyone, but the two that were on there, it was like, what I said did not even matter. And I know they've got a job to do, but it's.

[00:36:27] You think you'd want to take five [00:36:30] after something like that comes out? No, they went straight in for like the text messages or like the private messages on Facebook that were sent. And it was so crazy. And so for me, it was pretty traumatizing because I was like, [00:36:45] I remember them being like, well, let's go through your phone.

[00:36:48] Like, let me, like, let's read these out loud. And I remember being like, okay, And I got really chastised for it when it aired, but I said no, but because I showed them to them, I let them see them [00:37:00] to prove it and I let all the girls see it, but I was like, I'm done. I'm done with everybody just being on me.

[00:37:07] Like I snapped kind of, again, it was so much, and I was just like, let me go, like take a seat over here. Like I'm over it. [00:37:15] And I remember them asking me, like, do you forgive him for being, you know, for doing all this stuff to. I'm like, I've got bigger fish to fry. I've got bigger things going on in my wife.

[00:37:24] Like I'm seeing someone else I'm like, I don't even care about this guy. Like [00:37:30] it's yeah. I forgive him. Like whatever. Cause I didn't know at the time, like who do you end up with? I didn't care and care about any of it. All I cared about was why did I feel compelled to come here? [00:37:45] Why, why? Because I've trusted.

[00:37:47] I was trusting my brother. And I also felt really out of it. And so I went and sat down and there was like a moment we all were like drinking a little glass of champagne and stuff. And I felt again, [00:38:00] that was like, whoa, I was like out of it. And then like this massacre scene happened, um, for people that watch this show, it was married at first sight.

[00:38:09] Second chance as the spinoff, which on of you guys. Watched that [00:38:15] show, some of you guys may be like, what is that show? But yeah, it was crazy. And I found out he didn't end up with anyone and it was really wild and they all knew he was a liar and crazy. And so we all became friends. The girls did, but it was really tough.

[00:38:29] So [00:38:30] that, that was really hard. But then I realized, oh my God, my brother was really with me. That was like the first moment that my brother had become. This kind of force with me, I think. And that was the first [00:38:45] time I started to have a different type of hope. And I know that sounds so weird that I had to go to this reunion that I absolutely hated filming this show because I didn't hate filming other things that I had filmed in the [00:39:00] past.

[00:39:01] You know, people ask me all the time, would you do reality television again? And I actually, I actually would, it was just, this experience was very tough because of everything that happened. But I thank him all the [00:39:15] time for compelling me to go do this because I understand there was this sense of. I don't know if justice is really the thing, but like I never going to guess.

[00:39:24] I'm never going to guess, like what happened or like what was going on, but a deeper thing. Like [00:39:30] I got to tell my story, whether that really aired or not, didn't matter, it launched my podcast. It launched a whole different world for me. And I knew I wasn't crazy for wanting to leave that show because it was a crazy [00:39:45] situation and it was not an individual that really knew what they wanted.

[00:39:49] And yeah. A lot of crazy stuff going on. And that's when I realized my brother had really become my true north and I have a [00:40:00] pretty good like sixth sense and like a good gut as I think you guys listening know, and you do too. I know you do. And I think you guys know this about me from going back to the dinner with my [00:40:15] boyfriend were, you know, it didn't work out, but the night before my brother was.

[00:40:19] I knew I needed to speak with him. That was my brother and this was my brother leading me to this. And then the girls in my hall had pizza and shared the messages and apologies went around and I [00:40:30] mean, pathologies on television. And I mean, it was a whole thing. And then we all became friends afterwards.

[00:40:37] It was a really wild situation. That was my brother. I believe that to this day I would not have gotten [00:40:45] on that plane if I didn't feel my brother and my brother always wanted to like do television stuff. Like he wanted to be a musician, all these things like that was never really like my thing that was, I [00:41:00] mean, I have enjoyed loved podcasting.

[00:41:02] I love the fact that. I've gotten the strength to tell my story and his story on this podcast, but I have another podcast as well, but his thing was always wanting to be in the [00:41:15] limelight. And so I, I know with all of my heart, that was him. And so it really had a beautiful ending. And I love that. I love that because I needed a good ending.

[00:41:25] I really did. And it was also a beautiful beginning to several friendships. And so I'm [00:41:30] grateful for that. And so I returned to Atlanta. Maureen live and it was what now another chapter kind of closed. My gut was right. That was a crazy [00:41:45] situation. Thank God. I got the hell out of that situation when I did.

[00:41:49] And I could really, you know, at least focus on the loss of my brother. What if I had stayed home? My gosh, I can't even think about that. Can't even think about that. But when now, [00:42:00] and I remember I started interviewing for some jobs. And my friend Walter was like, you've got to take some time. And I was like, yeah, but like, here I am on this medication.

[00:42:11] I feel like it's too strong. And I feel like, I [00:42:15] just feel like he, and he said, take some time for yourself. And so I did, I did. And I said, you know what? You're right. And I had been talking to a dear friend of mine [00:42:30] who is like, A great father figure to me and his friend that lives on and off with him in Mexico.

[00:42:40] And I had met him when I went to one of my [00:42:45] favorite places in the world. Kosta wake up for my, my 28th or 29th birthday. I dunno. So we hadn't known each other crazy long time, but he just became this instant, like, you know, father figure friend, like so many, so many different types of key mentors. [00:43:00] And he was like talking to me as well.

[00:43:03] I was really blessed. I am really blessed with these people in my life. So surround yourself, like I was talking about in the, in the last episode about coping, surround yourself with people that can help you and support you. [00:43:15] Like your grief support. It's so important. And anybody in anybody who, who can't support you, where anybody who has.

[00:43:23] I don't want to say anybody who can support you, push them away. I don't want to say that, but anybody who isn't supporting you, like you kind of [00:43:30] have to let it roll off. I had to start to realize that, like, they're just not right for you in your life and they might not be right for you ever, but they might not be right for you at the time.

[00:43:41] You know, life evolves in life changes, but that's something I [00:43:45] learned, but those people, like my wonderful friend in Mexico and his friend that, you know, stays with him from time to time, they were just like, come be with us, come to Mexico. And I love Mexico. My heart like is in [00:44:00] Mexico and. I've just had so many beautiful experiences there.

[00:44:04] And I had, I love Costa Rica too, but he lived there. He moved there, he retired and moved there. So I said to my friend, Walter, I said, [00:44:15] Hey, can you watch the girls? I'm going to go. I feel called to go, do I felt the push again, that same push that I felt to go to LA and film this. I was feeling to go to Mexico.

[00:44:26] And he said, of course, of course the parcel take care of everything. [00:44:30] I'm like, okay. And right before I went to Mexico, I ended up accepting a new job I did, but I said, I needed the time. I said, I needed a little bit of time, a whole, you know, two extra weeks of January, which [00:44:45] me and my work. That's something I balance in my life.

[00:44:48] I really do. But I went, I went for a week. I got on the plane and. There was a different feeling about me getting on this trip. I felt like [00:45:00] the trip to LA was forged full of so many different emotions. And I was also kind of feeling a little numbed for my medication. I was feeling a little more in sync with this trip because one, I was starting to understand the [00:45:15] feeling of my brother being, I don't know, that kind of push that's what I said.

[00:45:21] To feel. And I also want it to connect with myself and I knew it was going to be really hard to just be with my [00:45:30] thoughts. And I knew what it was like to be there in Mexico with my friend, my friend, same as Larry and Lisa, Lisa. I haven't seen them in a while. So shout out if you guys listened to this, I miss you guys both, and I love you so [00:45:45] much.

[00:45:45] And this trip meant the world to me and I was in so much. And I knew sitting on that flight was shorter, but sitting on that flight, I was really sitting in my thoughts because like so much had been, let go of just that drama that [00:46:00] was like, so that was like period, period. Okay. And I've got a new, like just any points is what I mean by the periods.

[00:46:06] And then I knew that I, you know, had a new upcoming role. With a startup where I was going to start all these new [00:46:15] programs for them. And that was exciting. So I really could just, I could preheat, but I was being pushed to go be here. And I knew why they're wonderful people. I was going to be a wonderful experience, but I was a little scared and I [00:46:30] had some trepidation.

[00:46:31] And the reason for that was there's a lot of quiet when you go to these places before. When I traveled with Larry and Larry and Lisa, um, [00:46:45] what would happen sometimes just Larry, but we would go out to these Eckler bomb and shits and pizza and bloom and all these places. And you had to drive out to all these places cause he lived in this [00:47:00] really cute home.

[00:47:02] That's just incredible out there. I started to a lot of time thinking. There's a lot of tequila too, of course. But, and I definitely have my medication under a better control at the time. So I wasn't like, [00:47:15] oh yeah, not the same story is LA, but you're with your thoughts. And that can be a scary thought when you are feeling like what now, but [00:47:30] getting there, there was a tranquility that came across me that I had not.

[00:47:36] In two months, it was like exactly two months when I went there and I really did feel like I was [00:47:45] processing what was happening the best I could in like baby step ways. I really believed at the time that I was truly processing what had happened with my brother. [00:48:00] Now was I truly processing it. It was the beginning of, of processing.

[00:48:05] That's what I learned, but I climbed so many different, you know, like Mayan ruins and I dove into snow tase [00:48:15] and I. Frickin. And I took, yeah, it took a couple of good tequila shots and drank some Corona, but it was like all in, you know, not overboard. It was like, it was just life. I ate a lot of tacos and a lot of street [00:48:30] food and literally lived like a Mexican for like a week and loved it.

[00:48:34] And I just love it there probably why I got engaged there and I. Really experienced everything like diving into the snow day, like [00:48:45] the fish all over my body. And I really like that first time I smiled in two months, like besides getting Bonnie, it was the first time, you know, I really felt like invigorated running up [00:49:00] this, these ruins and feeling like I was a part of something bigger.

[00:49:04] And I remember. Sitting in the backseat of the car, driving out to one of driving up to echo bomb, which is one of the further out ruins on the east coast of [00:49:15] Mexico. And I remember just having the wind blowing my face and I have very, my hair's not as long now, but I had very, very long black hair at the time.

[00:49:26] And I just remember. I'm feeling. I had this [00:49:30] necklace of my brother's ashes, just beating against my chest. And I remember feeling him in my heart and I remember feeling him feeling, and I remember thinking, oh God, I'm feeling. And [00:49:45] just to feel after you've lost is a huge win it's something that is like, so.

[00:49:53] Difficult to describe, but just to feel after such a loss can be [00:50:00] so hard to do. And I was feeling, I felt like I was living, I had the sun burning up my pale little face and my hair and just, you know, Whipping through the wind and I [00:50:15] could feel him beating against my chest. And that's when I realized that he was, he was with me.

[00:50:20] I had done everything that I could in my power to commemorate him. And I was not alone. I was not [00:50:30] alone because I had these beautiful people that were supporting me. I had followed my heart. I had listened and. I knew what was working in my life. I knew what wasn't working in my life. I was [00:50:45] trusting the journey and what, I didn't know, a hundred percent yet was that this was a part of the grief journey and what I didn't know yet.

[00:50:54] And what I hope helps you is that this is the grief journey and that, yes, it does [00:51:00] last because I'm still sitting here telling you this five years later, but I can look back on that time. And that was only two months after he was. And I did smile and I did feel him. And I'll never forget how that felt, how [00:51:15] that metal of him on my chest with the ashes pounding against my heart, after doing things that brought me back to life, like being with these wild dogs in the streets and [00:51:30] being in Mexico, just feeling alive again, looking at the water that is.

[00:51:36] Gorgeous, which I'm sure most of you have experienced or seen? Of course, I think that [00:51:45] is what really started to make me realize that I could have hope that I would, I would live again. I would feel again, because I was feeling something diving into that cold, cold water and having these people that I hadn't known [00:52:00] that long.

[00:52:00] Just give me so much love. And know that there's so much good out there, even with all, all of the bad, I'll never forget Larry sitting on the beach with me privately before we kind of started the trip. And I just told him, [00:52:15] I said, I'm broken. I said, I, you know, I shared kind of my journey. I felt like this soldier that had been walking and was so sad on the journey and he shared a couple of things with [00:52:30] me and he said, you're not.

[00:52:32] He said you're not. And he said, you're not. He said, you're gonna make it through this. And on the other side, he goes, you're, you're not even going to believe who you are. And he shared a couple other things with me too. [00:52:45] He has lived a long life and he's been through a whole lot. He's been through divorces, he's been through deaths, he's been through his children and he said, you're gonna make it.

[00:52:55] He's like, you're so strong. And I said, why do I feel like I'm doing. [00:53:00] I remember him telling me something. He said it much more eloquently than I'm going to tell you guys. And I hate that. I wish I could say it like him, but I remember him telling me that I was going to feel alive again that week. And I absolutely did.

[00:53:12] And I think that's the best advice that I can give [00:53:15] in this episode is that when you're feeling what now, I had two. I had for myself to take another job and like line that up for myself because I was just in that mindset. And I think for myself, [00:53:30] looking back probably would've changed that or given myself some different advice, but I, I do ended up doing that.

[00:53:37] And so that's coming up in the next episode. I'm going to tell you about that and how I ended up going out on my own and taking some real leaps. [00:53:45] And so I kind of put the cart before the horse. However, I did some really cool things here and I followed my gut, which was also my guide, which is my brother.

[00:53:55] And I went on this crazy LA trip that I really want to just breeds contract. And I [00:54:00] go on and I also followed my gut and my guide as like call it. And I went to Mexico, which was such a, I just felt so amazing going there. And he was [00:54:15] right. I did feel alive again for the very first time and it was really worth it.

[00:54:23] And I'm so glad that I did it because I did come back to a lot and I was about to deal with a whole lot, [00:54:30] and I had a whole lot more to deal with.

[00:54:36] Thank you so much for listening to the surviving siblings podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, as much as I did creating it for you, then [00:54:45] share it on your chosen social media platform. And don't forget to tag us at surviving siblings podcast so that more surviving siblings can find us, remember to rate, review, and subscribe to the podcast.

[00:54:59] And don't [00:55:00] forget to follow us on all social media plans. We're on Instagram, Twitter, and tick talk at surviving siblings podcast. All links can be found in the show notes. So be sure to check those out too. Thank you again [00:55:15] for the support and until the next episode, keep on surviving my surviving siblings.[00:55:30]