Lindsay Blount: A Family Secret and Finding Her Identity | Episode 43

Is your identity based on your history or based on your choices? What does it take to undergo a massive shift and then come back to yourself? What power resides in stillness?

In this podcast episode, Billy and Brandy Eldridge speak with Lindsay Blount about her family secret and finding her identity.

Meet Lindsay Blount

Lindsay Blount has a lot of labels: she’s a wife, a mom, a doctoral student, an assistant to a Dean, a writer, and a photographer. Recently, she had her identity completely uprooted when she took a 23andMe DNA test during the pandemic and found out some shocking news.

In the last year, Lindsay has taken a deep dive into identity and its meaning down to the root. She challenges everyone to consider identity as something that is not a fixed part of your being, rather it is something you can learn and relearn.

Lindsay is currently writing her first book on identity shake-ups and she hopes her story will inspire everyone to rip out the roots of their own identity and start creating a more true and authentic one.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • You are real
  • Sit in the stillness
  • Find joy outside of yourself

You are real

Everyone at some point in their lives will have a moment that shifts their world. When that time comes and you are suspended in the change before finding reality, remember to tell yourself “I am real”. In any major identity shift or change, your baseline remains the same; you are real.

No matter the change, betrayal, or knowledge that might try to disprove you, remember that where you sit and stand you are a whole person already and nothing can take that fact away from you.

Sit in the stillness

When we are faced with immense change and a shift in identity the first thing we do is run and distract ourselves. Instead, when we sit in the stillness of the storm, we are able to actually process the evolution and take it onboard instead of pushing it away simply because it may hurt.

I definitely was forced into stillness and it probably accelerated my growth because I was, because I had to sit with it and listen to a lot of Taylor Swift and Glennon Doyle. I’m grateful for it now, I’m grateful that I pushed through all of that. (Lindsay Blount)

Find joy outside of yourself

With any shift that draws you into its unyielding orbit, find joy outside of its pull. Do or try something completely new and different in order to reclaim yourself and prove to yourself that you are capable of surviving change and coming out the other side, stronger and changed for the better.

Had it not been for this massive identity shift for me to try get outside of myself and create a new identity I would never have found photography. (Lindsay Blount)

Chasing joy in a childlike way reconnects us to our inner own child, and it does take some healing to reach this place with authenticity, however, once we do, it is a way for us to reclaim our personage.

Books mentioned in this episode

Nancy Verrier – The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child

Glennon Doyle – Untamed

Are you ready to find the freedom to be yourself as a beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find strength as a beta? If you want to be comfortable in your skin and be the most authentic beta male, then our free beta revolution course is for you. Sign up for free.

Useful links:

Meet Billy Eldridge

billy-eldridge

Meet Billy, the resident beta male. For Billy, this is a place to hang out with other beta males and the people who love them. We’re redefining what beta males look like in the world. I have learned to embrace my best beta self, and I can help you to do the same. As a therapist, I understand the need to belong. You belong here. Join the REVOLUTION.

 

Meet Brandy Eldridge

brandy-eldridge

Hello, Beta friends. I am an alpha personality who is embracing the beta way of life. I feel alive when connected with people, whether that is listening to their stories or learning about their passions. Forget small talk, let’s go deep together. Come to the table and let’s have some life-changing conversations.

 

Thanks for listening!

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Podcast Transcription

[BILLY ELDRIDGE…: Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice podcast network, a family of podcasts, seeking to change the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Hey Beta Male Revolution. Join Brandy and I today as we get to talk to Lindsay Blount. Brandy and I are a married couple. When we realized, we haven’t talked enough about that, sometimes people we’ve had people say, “You know, you have such a connection.” People that don’t know us talk about the podcast that, maybe probably because we’re married. And we don’t say that enough. And it was brought to our attention that for people who don’t know us or haven’t listened to the early episodes, we’re a married couple that do a podcast. It’s called Beta Male Revolution of all things. I’m a beta guy and she’s a bad-ass alpha wife. But beyond all that today on the podcast, we have Lindsay Blount. She is an amazing human being. We talk a lot on the podcast about who were you before the world told you who you were supposed to be, before you begin to layer things on top of yourself deal with life? The stuff we have to do as kids, and then we get to be adults.
And some of us started on a journey of unlayering that stuff to get down to our true, authentic self. But what happens when our identity is so wrapped up in our parents sometimes. What happens when you find out the person you thought was your father is not your father? Well, we talk about that today with Lindsay and she’ll give us insights and help us to go deep and even ask some questions of, “How much does my childhood have to do with who I am today? How much of it is DNA? How much of it is nurture, just the people who raised me?” Does it matter? Do we even have to have these conversations?” I believe we do. So, if that interests you, come hang out with us.
Hey Beta Male Revolution. Thanks for joining us today. Today we have Lindsay Blount on the podcast. Hey Lindsay.
[LINDSAY BLOUNT…: Hey, thanks for having me.
[BILLY] : Brandy’s here too. What’s up, Brandy?
[BRANDY ELDRIDG…: I’m so glad. Lindsay and I got to talk offline before this happened a few weeks ago and now we’re best friends. We are in love each other because we’re living in the same universe, I think. So, it’s so nice to have you, a kindred spirit, a sister, a soul, soul sister. All right, Lindsay. You’ve got a story to tell and we want to hear it.
[BILLY]: Well, first I want to know where do you live and what do you do in the world before we get into your story?
[LINDSAY]: Good question.
[BILLY]: I can’t wait to hear your story, but just give us a little context. Where do you live? What do you do? Are you married? Do you have kids?
[BRANDY]: Sorry, I forget we’re best friends, I already know all this.
[LINDSAY]: You already know all this because we’re best friends. So, I live in Virginia right now. My husband’s in the military, so we move a lot but right now we are in Virginia and we actually love it here. We bought a house. So, it feels permanent, which is very scary to say, when you live in military life. I have two little girls. They are six and seven years old, and I work at a university. I am the assistant to the Dean at a university and then I also am getting my doctorate at the University of William & Mary. Also, I’m getting my doctorate in higher education.
[BILLY]: Oh, well, I can see why there’s a kindred spirit here. Brandy has a Hartford education in leadership.
[BRANDY]: So, I do have to ask, like, what do you think about all the Joe Biden stuff?
[LINDSAY]: Oh my goodness. So, she has her EDD and that’s what I’m getting. I’m working towards my EDD is. So, when I saw that wonderful journalist call her kiddo, Epstein has his bachelor’s degree. So, I kind of just want to tell him to sit down a little bit, but I’m going to be Dr. Blunt one day. And I keep telling my husband, he’s a major in the air force, and I keep saying, “We’re going to go by Doctor and Major Blunt. That’s what we’re, like, it’s doctor first. And when we go to the restaurants, I’m going to be Dr.
[BRANDY]: Good for you.
[LINDSAY]: I earn that [crosstalk]
[BILLY]: Brandy’s on that same journey. And you know, I remember when I was in grad school and, you know, everyone there that had their doctorate of education we called doctor. They had earned it and they had put in the time and the and the work. And it’s a silly argument. I do believe of small-minded person who doesn’t have anything better to do than write nasty articles about powerful women.
[LINDSAY]: Well, she also, she’s a mom and she was a mom when she was getting her doctorate. And I feel that so hard right now because I’ve got little girls and I’m getting my doctorate and the mom guilt that goes with that is that’s intense. So, just to walk through that is interesting.
[BRANDY]: So, mom, guilt is for real, for real, when it comes to like, “I’ve got a study. Mommy’s got to write two hours today. I’m sorry, I can’t play with you. Sorry, I have to hire a babysitter so that I can do this.” And yeah, that mom guilt is for real.
[BILLY]: And then —-
[LINDSAY]: I also know that I’m, my girls know what I’m doing. I mean, they’re old enough to understand that mommy’s going to school and I know that they think it’s cool. So, and I know when they get older, they’re going to look back on that and see that as a woman, you can go after your dreams and be a mom and be a wife. It’s something you can absolutely do. She tells, we were at one of her doctor’s appointments for a checkup, and she told the doctor that her mommy’s going to be a doctor too. And he kind of looked at me and she said, “A doctor of knowledge.”
[BRANDY]: Oh, my God. That’s good.
[LINDSAY]: Yeah. Well, to all the moms doing it, you know, if it’s a bachelor’s degree, if it’s an associate’s degree, a working mom in school and kudos. Kudos. And to the dads these days doing it too. You know, you’ve got a husband like mine, who’s pretty hands-on and tries to be more emotionally available to his family. And it’s no joke anymore.
[BRANDY]: Oh yeah. When I was getting my master’s degree, we were living in Boston and I was driving back and forth into Boston every single night. And he, I mean, he did everything. He took care of the girls five days a week. He had to, and even on the weekends when I was doing homework. So, I would not have been able to get through my doctorate or my master’s or anything without him. So, yeah, holding down the Fort,
[BILLY]: I’ve been so, we’ve been so lucky to have some just fascinating people from the military on our podcast and to hear how open they are to emotional availability and showing up for their families. And I guess I’d just been given the wrong image for a lot of my life of just this, you know, hardened type person and you know, this military guy that I would never relate to and military person after military person that we have on the podcast or resonate so well. And I’m so grateful for the service that they give and the sacrifice their family makes, but just to get to see the vulnerable side has been pretty cool too. And they’re learning how to do both. I’m sure there’s times you have to hold space and be that, but there’s times you can kind of put that where it needs to be come home, show up and be the kind of person you need to be. And that’s really all we’re doing, whether you’re in business, whether you’re a stay at home dad or just a guy trying to be better. I think a lot of times we get a rap that we don’t have to be emotional or we’re not emotional. And if we are, it’s a bad thing.
[LINDSAY]: I think, and I can’t speak for every military man, but the military men and women that I have come across, they’re joining the military because they have that immense love for their country. And I feel like the people that I’ve come across and especially my husband, if you could just take an ounce of that love, it’s tenfold for their family. So, yeah, it shouldn’t like it wouldn’t be a surprise to me to hear you say that you’ve come across a lot of military people that really love their families because they love their country and they love their families probably even more. But yeah, if they hold that space for their country, they’re going to hold it for their family.
[BILLY]: Thank you so much. That paints such a beautiful picture, and reframes that for me, someone who wasn’t exposed to, you know, my grandfather and my father were out of the military by the time I came along. And so, I didn’t get to see that active part of that. So, anyway, Lindsay, let’s get into your story.
[LINDSAY]: Yeah, it’s a story. So, when I was 12, my parents got divorced and when I was 13, my mom got remarried. To me, that wasn’t the best human being. He had a lot of faults and he told me when I was 13, that my dad, that raised me is not my real dad. I immediately called my dad and he said, that’s not true. He’s lying to you. So, I went through my teenage years sort of wondering, is my stepdad telling me the truth? Is my dad telling me the truth? Someone’s lying. And then when I was 18, my mom sat me down and she said that she used a donor and that my dad is not my real dad. I called my dad again. And he said, “Nope, that’s not true. I am your father.”
So, I spent my twenties really confused. My dad, he passed away seven years ago, but he was the most amazing human. And I love my mom too, but I sort of sided with my dad on the divorce. So, I believed my dad, about, few months before my dad passed away, we went for a walk. I was actually eight months pregnant with my daughter when he passed away. It was his first grandchild but a few months before that I was visiting and we went for a walk and I said, “You know, I’ve got this little baby in my belly and she’s got my blood and I just need to know the truth. Someone’s lying here.” And before I have this child who, this is their ancestry, this is their bloodline. I just wanted the truth. And he finally said, “Okay, I’m not your biological father.”
And I said, “Well, mom said she used a donor.” And he said, “I don’t know anything about that.” So, I’m assuming, and then he passed away. So, I’m assuming that he was thinking that maybe my mom cheated on him, I don’t know whether he just didn’t want to admit it. So, I spent seven years thinking that my mom cheated on my dad and that I’ll just never know who my biological father is. And then the pandemic hit and we were all sort of forced into this sort of stillness and silence. You know, I was working from home and that was even odd and I couldn’t use my normal tactics of not thinking about things like going to Target and, you know, doing those fun things. So, I said to my husband, “I feel like I’m going to die never knowing who my biological father is. And now we have another little girl, this is their ancestry. I just really want to know.”
So, I ordered a 23andMe kit, and in May 16th, I got the results back and immediately it popped up that I had six half siblings on there. So, either my biological father was having a lot of fun in the eighties, or I am donor conceived. So, I emailed all of the siblings and one of them got back to me right away. And she said, “You’re donor conceived. We’re all donor conceived. And she had the same story that my mom told me that it was a med student in Georgia in the early eighties.” And that’s all anyone knows. And then she told me, but there’s more. There’s another DNA testing center site called Ancestry. And she’s like, there’s like seven more on Ancestry. And then since then we’ve had four more come on board.
We know who the donor is now, which I can get into in a minute. He has children also, so, we are at 19 siblings. When my mom and my stepdad, when they got married, they had a baby. So, I have a sibling from that. So, I have, there’s 20 people in my life right now that are siblings.
[BRANDY]: Can I just ask a silly question?
[LINDSAY]: Yeah, no silly questions.
[BRANDY]: I don’t understand how it works. The donor, like, can they donate multiple times? Is it, I just don’t understand it.
[LINDSAY]: So, it’s sort of, unfortunately it’s still the wild West. They say that they’re putting a cap at 25, but, a number of sperm banks in the United States are not, are still not doing that. Australia and the UK are starting to crack down on how many times a donor can donate but if, the United States are still sort of the wild West and in the eighties, there was no rules or regulations. So, I can’t, so about my donor a few days after I found out that I’m donor conceived, there was a second cousin that we were all related to. That was also a DNA match and which would have made it the donor’s first cousin. So, I reached out to her and I said, “Hey do you know any med students in the early eighties?” And she’s like, “No, I don’t.” I said, “Well, do you mind if I do your family tree and maybe we can figure it out?” And she was amazing. And so, she’s like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” So, she helped me figure out we were missing someone on her family tree. And we were able to figure out who the donor is.
He is a very, very successful man. He’s very prominent, very Google-able. You Google him and a million things pop up. He’s very in the public eye in his state and because he’s so Google-able, we were able to really learn about his career and what he did in his like twenties and thirties. And so, he was a scientist. And so, he was working in labs and donating for about 15 years based on the ages that we are right now. Some of my siblings were born in the late seventies, some are born in the late eighties. So, right now, we know of 19 of us that have DNA tested. However, we’re thinking we’re probably in the hundreds just based on knowing where he was working and how long he was donating for. So, again, there’s, I’m not the only story there is. I’m finding there are a lot of people who have siblings that are in the 50, 60, 70’s amount of siblings. Some people have siblings that are 60 years old, and then there are other siblings 20. So, we don’t really know what’s coming at us.
[BILLY]: So, in the emotional journey, you go on, your parents get divorced, there’s a fracture there. Then you have this looming question on who your biological father or donor is, you know who your dad is but then you find out, and we’re all walking around the world trying to find out who am I? Why am I here? Did you ever have this gut instinctual thing that there was something that wasn’t right or was a complete surprise?
[LINDSAY]: So, I guess I kind of knew that my dad wasn’t my real dad and when my stepfather told me, and maybe I just didn’t want to believe it at the time, because I mean, I know I’ve already said it, but my dad was a really amazing, man. So, I really, even when I took the 23andMe test, I was, so my dad was German, a hundred percent German. He was actually, his mom was pregnant with him coming over here from Germany. So, he’s first-generation, and I was hoping that I would see some like German and know that my dad was my real dad even on that 23andMe test. So, I think there was a glimmer, like a little bit of a hope that he was my dad. There’s 0% German in me. I’m a hundred percent British, which is kind of funny, but, and my ancestors have been here since the 1600s. So, I’m, I’m definitely not second generation American but I did, for a long time my teenage years and my twenties, I was a flight attendant in my twenties. I would search for faces and think that could be my biological father or that person could be my sibling. So, I definitely, I think I was probably torn between wanting my father to be my father and then also having men come on an airplane and think, “That guy looks just like me. I wonder if he’s my dad.”
[BILLY]: Hmm. Yeah, I know we work with a lot of kids who’ve been adopted and a friend of mine that had been adopted turned me on to a book called Primal Wound about kind of that internal thing. And a lot of times it’s mainly for a separation from a mother because of the physical, but also that, you know, “Who is my dad? What’s he like?” So, take us on that journey and what that does, you know, you don’t just find out that there’s a donor, who’s your dad, you don’t find out, you just have one or two siblings. There’s like, there’s lots. So, what do you do with that information? And what does it do to you as a person in this journey of trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in the world?
[LINDSAY]: So, when I first found out not so much about my siblings, because I was kind of grateful for them. Once I learned who they are, there’s out of the 19, there’s 13 of us that talk a lot. The other ones are his biological children, which I don’t think they know, and we’ve sort of made them off limits. We’re never going to contact them because we don’t think it’s our place. They’re in their thirties, but it’s just not our place. And then the other ones we’ve sent emails to, but they don’t respond, which is fine. They’re on their own journey. But the 13 that do talk, run a text chain, we Zoom once a month, we’re really, really close and they are incredible humans. They’re, well-rounded successful, talented, just amazing people. So, I don’t think that I had, I struggled with that, but I will say, putting a face to who my biological father was, that face that I’ve been searching for.
And well, let me backtrack. We actually wrote him a letter. There was nine of us at the time that wrote a letter to him. We did a cover letter and then some of us put our own individual letters and some put pictures of our kids and pictures of us and the really heartfelt letters that we wrote to him. And we all, I think for the most part, all of us thanked him for giving us life and told him we don’t want anything from him. I can, I think I can basically speak for all of us that none of us are looking for another father. We’re not replacing our dads. We wanted medical information at best just to be able to fill out that dad’s side that we haven’t been able to for our whole lives and then maybe just knowing how many more siblings are coming at us, because I will tell you that when a new sibling pops up, it’s both exciting and then also sort of, like we kind of dread it because we’re having to open up that sort of wound of telling someone that their identity is not what they think it is.
So, that’s been really interesting. But having that face and seeing who he is, I mean, I know where my nose comes from, I know where my chin comes from. Just the physical things were really interesting, but also we, because he’s so Google-able, and we can know so much about him. There are so many things that I have done throughout my life that I’m like, “Oh, that makes sense. That’s because of my biological, that’s the DNA in me,” and my siblings can all say the same thing. So, I think I’ve been able to like, know who I am in a way that I’ve never really been able to do, like down to my root, which has been really empowering. I think I’ve sort of felt like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulder.
He did respond, he took about three months to respond and he actually emailed me. He and I actually run in the same circles. We know a lot of the same people. I think that made him nervous. So, he emailed me and he said, “I received your FedEx letter and I want to be empathetic when I say that I understand what you and your colleagues have gone through.” So, he has called his biological children and my siblings, colleagues. He said, “I am not the man you’re looking for, and I do not wish to be contacted further.” So, that was rough. Lots of feelings I can’t talk about that came out of that.
We do know that he is the biological father. While we don’t have the DNA, we DNA match with so many people on his mom and dad’s side. So, we know it’s him. So, I sort of have been going through a really interesting identity shift. Getting that email and that rejection was, I definitely was in a bit of a crisis, I would say, as a huge identity shift, but I think the empowering thing and the most empowering thing is, like I said, I’m sort of sitting in knowing who I am now.
[BILLY]: Well, let’s look at it from two points. So, you mentioned the DNA similarities. So, I was curious about what kind of threads and similarities you see between you and your siblings and your biological father, and then the emotional impact of the letter of, “No, I’m not who you’re looking for.” Kind of the, was it an outright denial of, “This is not me. You’ve got it wrong.” Or?
[LINDSAY]: I don’t know. I have re-read that email probably a hundred times and tried to read between the lines. And he did not say, I am not your biological father. I wish you the best. He just said, I’m not the man you’re looking for. And in my letter to him, I said, I’m not looking for a father, but if you’re ever in town, let’s have coffee because we are sort of in the same industry and I’m following your footsteps and I’m getting this degree and it would be great to sort of have like a mentor. And I realized, I put massive expectations on him. He doesn’t owe me anything. He really doesn’t. But because I’ve been able to Google him so much and I’ve seen him speak and he puts forth this amazing person and interviews, so I thought that he would have a different reaction to me. So, the impact of that email, I mean, well, first of all, Taylor Swift came out with her album, right when I got that email. So, that was not fun, because that’s a very sad album. There was a lot of crying in the car.
[BILLY]: She has kind of raging she gives some unhealthy men in her life
[LINDSAY]: She is. And she’s just my spirit animal lately. Glennon Doyle wrote a book Untamed. And that book came at the most perfect time because when I found all this out, we’re at the height of the pandemic, I couldn’t use my usual tactics of coping like I said, like going to Target and just shopping or walking. Like we couldn’t even go to the park at this time. And we were in quarantine, everyone was locked down, couldn’t go to work, couldn’t escape my four walls. So, my husband, because he’s so amazing, he just said, “Go upstairs and just spend as much time as you need upstairs and I’ll handle the kids,” which was great because while we let our kids see when we’re upset, I couldn’t let them see me upset on this because I couldn’t explain it to them.
I couldn’t say, “Well, I’m, you know, sperm, and they were five and six at the time. They don’t understand reproduction. So, I just, he said like, “Mommy’s not feeling good.” And I spent a lot of time just sitting in stillness. I even told my siblings, like, “I need three days to not talk to any of you right now. Nothing against you. I just need some time.” And I, for the first time in my life, without any coping mechanisms just sat in it. And I listened to Glennon Doyle on Audible and there’s one part, and it’s interesting because you mentioned Elizabeth Gilbert, but there, those two are best friends. And she was, in the book, she was talking about something that was going on and she was talking to Elizabeth Gilbert and Glenn kept saying, “The one thing I know is that I’m real.”
And she kept saying that over and over again. And I’m sitting in my room and I’m like, “Oh my God, that’s it. I’m a real person.” Because when I got that email from my biological father, the person whose reason I exist is telling me I don’t exist was I felt unmoored. I felt like I wasn’t real, because this person basically told me I’m not in so many ways. And so, I needed to hear that and it came at the most perfect time that I am a real person. I am not a science experiment. I am not a donation. I’m not something that someone did 40 years ago that they just thought, “I’ll never think of this person again.” I’m so much more than what this man thinks I am. So, that was a huge, I think breakthrough for me was just knowing that I’m real.
And I just needed to know. I just kept telling myself, it became like sort of my mantra. I’m real, I’m real. and I think with anyone going through any kind of identity shift, which I would venture to say that all of us are going through an identity shift, the pandemic has the biggest identity shift that the world has ever faced. We can never go back to who we were before the pandemic. Like I don’t want to be the Target mom anymore. I could care less about all of those material things that I was so obsessed about. Now that they’re gone and I don’t have them anymore, it feels freeing. So, I think anyone going through the muck of that identity shift can kind of sometimes feel like they’re not real.
[BRANDY]: Yeah. I sent an email out to my staff before the end of this year, before the end of 2020 and it just said, “I don’t want to be the person I was in 2020. I want to leave that person behind.” And I got mixed feedback from people and they’re like, “I liked who I was before the pandemic,” and I was like, “Yeah, yeah, that’s not what I meant. I mean, like my eyes have been opened to so many different things and the Target mom, the black lives matter, just everything. I want to be a better person and I want to leave a lot of that stuff behind and watching people get sick, watching people react to different things, and just, I don’t want to be that person. And I think it’s like you said, our identity is always, it should be fluid and we’re always shifting and moving in this direction.
I do want to go back to that moment when you really found out, like when you really clicked on the ancestry or the 23andMe, and like, I want to know what you were feeling at that point, because I think it’s important. We all go through these shifts and our worlds are turned upside down very quickly. And for me, it was when my husband, me, he was on drugs and alcohol and needed to go to rehab. And I just remember like my stomach sinking and it felt like I was lost and the world was different. And I was outside of my body. I want to know, when you found that out, when you knew it was true and your whole world shifted for a minute, how did you get back to reality? What was that moment? What was that week? What was that all like?
[LINDSAY]: Yeah, I think we all have those moments that drop us to our knees and those moments where you’re like, “I’m going to be 85 years old and I’m going to remember where I was sitting when that happened.” And so, I can still very much see myself sitting in my chair in our library and not even, the 23andMe test came back two weeks earlier than it should have, so I wasn’t even expecting it. Somehow mine came back the quickest I’ve ever heard of it. So, I was just, I got a message from 23andMe and I thought it was going to tell me they were on the next stage of analyzing my DNA. And it said that it came up. I talked to other my other siblings about their moments. And I think I’m the only one that went right to the relatives.
I think everyone else was like, I looked at my ancestry and then I looked at my medical stuff and I just went right to the relatives. I kind of thought maybe I’d find a biological father. So, I opened it and I think I probably put my hand to my mouth and just didn’t breathe for a little bit there. And I am also someone that needs to know everything right away. I am the most impatient human being ever. So, I just immediately emailed all of my siblings and I definitely felt frantic. My husband and my kids were, my daughter started horseback riding. So, they were horseback riding. They weren’t even home. Thank God because I was a hot mess. And then I was on the phone, the rest of the day with my siblings. I talked to, I think I talked to four of them that day, and my husband just gave me the space, but it definitely flipped my entire world upside down.
It’s a defining moment in my life. It will forever be. It’s a moment that you can’t go back to who you were, much like becoming a mom. I will never go back to the person I was before I became a mom. I got, I think I went through all the stages of grief. I felt angry. I wish that I never done. I kept saying to my husband, “I wish I never did this test. I wish I never knew.” Like ignorance would have been so much easier right now because I hate this. And now I’m so grateful I did it, but at the time it just, I think it’s because I just, I was already feeling uneasy because of the pandemic. And then having this, I just did not like the feeling of feeling completely out of control and uneasy about everything. I mean, it was interesting.
[BILLY]: Well, and the thing that COVID gave us was we had to sit with our discontent. You couldn’t run to the restaurant or go get busy at work. And you kind of spoke to that. You had to sit with this thing and you had to feel it, and you had to wrestle with it. And such a beautiful moment you described for us when, you know, you said I’m not a science experiment. I’m not this lab thing. That you are a person. You are real, you are human, you have feelings and you are just processing through that. And I don’t know if a lot of us would have gotten there without the solitude of COVID that forced us to have to sit and think and be, and listen to Glennon Doyle.
[LINDSAY]: I totally agree. Because I wanted to go to work. I’m like, “I just wish I could go to work and just escape all of these thoughts in my head right now.” And I haven’t drank alcohol in nine years. So, I also don’t drink and all of my friends are like, “Just have a glass of wine.” I’m like, “I have not drank in nine years. I’m not about to start right now.” But yeah, I definitely was forced into stillness and it probably accelerated my growth because I had to sit with it and listen to a lot of Taylor Swift and Glennon Doyle, but yeah, I’m grateful for it now. I’m grateful that I pushed through all of that. I mean, I’m still going through, I still have days where I’m angry and I’m like, “I do not like that Bio-data at all right now. I am not a happy person. I don’t like him. I don’t respect him.”
And then I’m like, okay, but really, as like, I kind of go back and forth and I still have my, I call them my muck days. They’re just mucky and gross. And and I’m sure I’ll continue to have those days, but I definitely have seen the beauty on the other side of this. And that is the relationship I have with my siblings. And then something I haven’t talked about yet, but my mom and I have grown so much closer because I had to apologize for not believing her all of those years that she was trying to tell me the truth. So, we’ve had to repair our relationship. And then my sister that I share a mom with, she’s 23 years old and she sort of had to struggle with having to share me and share her nieces with all these other new aunts and uncles.
So, I think we’ve grown way closer as a family because of all of this. And like I said, now I have these amazing siblings. One of them just visited me a few weeks ago. So, I got to meet my sister for the first time, which was incredible. We’re so much alike. There was like this innate comfortableness, as soon as she got off the plane and we went to dinner and I’m like, “I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. This is so weird.” Yeah, so, there’s beauty on the other side of this. And then I think what interestingly got me through this that I will forever use for the rest of my life is that I just started chasing joy outside of myself. So, when the pandemic hit and then I found all this out, I needed to do something that had nothing to do with my biological father, with my siblings, with anything that was happening with the pandemic.
So, I picked up a camera that, I had an old Nikon that’s been sitting in our closet since our wedding day and I just started taking pictures of nature because I couldn’t take pictures of people. And then I started taking pictures of my kids and then I started calling my friends that are photographers and saying, “Hey, how do I learn how to get off this auto mode? How do I do manual?” And it has sort of taken off and I’ve created my own business now. And it launches in February and I’m really excited. And had it not been for this massive identity shift for me to try to get outside of myself and create a new identity, I would never have found photography. So, I think finding something that forces joy or, and it’s almost like childlike when I would come home from photo shoots, my husband would say like, “Your eyes look wild right now.”
Not in a bad way, but like, like our kids when they’re playing, because kids, they live their lives chasing joy. There’s nothing else for them to do, but just chase joy. That’s one joy to the next. And so, he’s like, you have, our daughter, Caroline, he’s like, you have Caroline’s eyes right now, which I’m like, “Okay, I need to keep doing that,” because that’s just, it’s become sort of like my own high in a way; is to find something that I am passionate about that’s bringing me joy. And then my kids get to see that too. They get to see me do something that’s creative and fun and rewarding that is outside of something I’ve never done before.
[BRANDY]: I want to ask, first of all, that’s amazing. And we’re going to talk more about that later on you and me about chasing joy because I think that’s just so relevant of coming back to that place of that childlike. And I think it takes some healing to do that because I can just say for me I’m always chasing adventure, always chasing joy, but it’s for different reasons, it’s usually to escape something and I’ve had to learn like, “Hey, what am I running from?”
[BILLY]: Authenticity, sometimes?
[BRANDY]: Speak for yourself [crosstalk] Mine’s pain. Like, I want to avoid any kind of pain. If there’s conflict, if there’s anything that is making me uncomfortable or there’s something I don’t want to deal with, like I’m chasing it for the wrong reasons, but I also know when that work that you’re doing and like for you and, and for me is that identity work, that ego work, that work, that we’re continually trying to figure out what it is and we become healthier. That we can really be present and understand true joy in those moments. But this is totally off. I wanted to talk about, I wanted to ask you about approval, like parental approval and what you feel like. Are we always seeking that? If so, what do you think it is? Because you had a wonderful father, you know, a real father, but then you find out about this biological piece of you that’s missing and this search for it, and this unknowing that you really need to find out. I mean, is this a thing that you think we just need to know? I think listening, if you’re an adoptive kid or if you’ve had this same thing or you have a bio parent that wasn’t there and you had these other people that stepped in and did the job of a father or mother, do we still seek it? Why are we seeking it? What is this in us?
[LINDSAY]: Yeah, this is a big thing in my life right now. It’s changing how we’re raising our kids, but I will say, so, when, before my dad passed away, my best friend had a baby. And I remember him saying, “I’m so proud of her because she’s such an amazing mom.” And I thought to myself, “One day, I’m going to have a baby and he’s going to say that.” And I just could not, for some reason, it’s such an odd, random thing, but I held onto that and then he passed away six weeks before my baby was born. I never got to hear those words. So, I think I was needing the pride and the approval of my dad that I am somehow a good mom. And so, then when this biological father came and as I’ve said, we are sort of running in the same circles, his rejection to me was disapproval of who I am or disapproval or not being proud of this biological child that he has, that is following in his footsteps and that is doing great for herself.
For me, it was sort of like in a way, he was saying like, I’m not proud of you. And I have really been really diving into what that means for my kids. So, like my kids started horseback riding and I noticed that they kept saying like, “Are you proud of me? Are you proud of me, mommy?” And I’m like, “Oh,” I will tell you. I’m so proud of my kids. It’s disgusting how proud I am of him but I don’t want their source of pride or approval to come from me. I want it to come from themselves. So, now I completely flip it on them and I always say to them, “Are you proud of yourself?”
Before they even hear me say, I’m proud of you, I ask them, are you proud of yourself? And that’s, my husband and I have been doing that and it’s something that we’re just going to continue to live by, that they don’t need approval from us. They need approval from themselves. And that, and I think that’s down to just identity. And I think that there’s a woman named Carol Dweck, she coined the term Growth Mindset. She talked about intelligence; that your intelligence is either fixed or a growth mindset. She believes it’s a growth mindset. Like you’re not born good at math. You can learn math and you can be good at it and you can grow in it. And I think that’s true for identity. I don’t think that we have a fixed identity.
I don’t think that our, the way we were raised or even our DNA is so very fixed that you can’t relearn it. And so, I don’t want my approval of my kids or my pride of my kids to be a part of their fixed identity. I want it to be something that they learn about their identity. And that really comes from my roots, literally being on earth, finding out that I’m not German, finding out that all of these biological things that I thought were real are not, and completely unearthed to know I’m trying to relearn this. I’m realizing that it’s not fixed and that we can continue to relearn our identities. So, that’s been crazy powerful for the way that we’re raising our kids. And I’m not claiming to be the perfect mom. I am not. However, it’s something that’s working really well for us and I hope that when my kids get older, they can, when they look for approval or they look for pride, they look within themselves and they don’t look for us first.
[BILLY]: Well, Lindsay, that’s a story of hope that we can rewrite our story or write our own story. And it’s not all predetermined, pre-wired, regardless of where we come from, what our background is, what traumas we’ve experienced what attachment wounds we have, what rejections we’ve had heaped upon us by the world. We can step up to the plate, deal with it and move forward and become as Glennon Doyle says, brutaful. It’s brutal, but it’s beautiful, the process. But on the other side, we become this thing that’s much richer, much deeper, much wiser because of it all. And it sounds like you’ve been on that journey.
[LINDSAY]: I will always be on that journey.
[BILLY]: Yeah, because it doesn’t resolve, does it? Because is there any perfect answer you could get? Any perfect letter, anything that would tidy it up with a nice little bow and make it all okay? I think we’re always searching for that, but there’s this ambiguity, this grayness that we have to get okay with in life that it just doesn’t give us that at least on this side of it all. I don’t know where we end up, but maybe we get those answers one day, but I don’t know that we have to get comfortable with the unknown.
[LINDSAY]: And I totally agree with that because I was actually talking to my sister the other day about this. She was saying, you know, my whole life I’ve been one, because she’s also known since she was 13. Her parents sat down and told her, and she’s like, “Almost my whole life. I’ve been wondering all, the only one thing I needed to know was what he looked like. And now I know, and now I have a thousand more questions.” And she even said like, “What if he responded, and like all of a sudden, now we’re having Thanksgiving dinner with him?” Like what thousands more questions would come up from that? You know, there’s always going to be this searching. There’s always going to sort of be this, I don’t, I think just being donor-conceived in general, there’s a lot that goes with that also.
And so just being okay in the unsettlement of it all, being okay that even down to your root, it’s okay to unearth it. It’s okay to rip it out. My kids are super into Harry Potter right now. I don’t really think you stepped into Hogwarts at our house because it’s on 24/7. And so, but it’s funny cause I’m watching it and they have like this scene with the Mandrake roots, like the roots literally scream as they come out and that is so my tree right now. I feel like I’m just ripping out all these roots and it’s just a bunch of Mandrake roots that’s in my tree right now. But yeah, I think what I want on pulling out all these roots and I’m unearthing everything. I think what I’m putting in place is so much more powerful. Someone said to me the other day that right now I am the most recent ancestor of my line and what am I going to do with that? And that was really powerful to me because it doesn’t really matter who my ancestors were. It matters what I’m doing right now as the most recent ancestor in this line.
[BILLY]: Absolutely.
[BRANDY]: So, I have a couple, we have a couple of questions as we wrap up. I’m going to ask one, then Billy will ask one and then it’ll end on one. But my first one is, if you speak, if you ever get the chance to speak to your biological father, what’s the first question you’ll ask him? Or what would you say to him?
[LINDSAY]: Oh, I just, I guess my biggest question is why he did it and maybe I don’t want to know. I’m pretty sure the answer is going to be for science, but I guess I, I just want to know, has there ever been a time that he’s ever wondered about me, about all of his offspring, and what that means for him? There has to be a bigger thing, especially if we were science experiments, because we know he was experimenting and writing research papers on us and tracking our moms’ pregnancies. It seems as though we’re the end of the experiment where we have fulfilled his experiment and we’re all very successful. And what are his thoughts on that? I would, as a researcher, I just want to know what his thoughts are on that. Yeah, that would be my question for him.
[BILLY]: Well, I can tell you, since Brandy told me a little bit about your conversation and the time you had together before we got on the podcast, I’ve been wondering about you and I’ve wanted to know about you and everything came true. You’re a beautiful human being and you have a story to tell that I have no doubt is going to help set people free, whether they’ve experienced being you know, the biological child of a donor or not because it’s just, it’s human and it’s not a science experiment. You’re human and you have this beautiful story of trying to find out who you are and where you belong and how to set the tone of your life from here on out. And it’s helped us today. I can’t imagine it’s not going to help our audience. Thank you so much. And up into this point in life, when I have a question, then Brandy has one, what’s the hardest, but most valuable lesson you’ve had to learn up until now.
[LINDSAY]: Wow. There’s lot of lessons to learn. I think probably just being okay with being unsettled. I think okay to be in crisis. There’s growth through it and I have realized that without that catalyst, without that crisis, I wouldn’t be who I am right now. So, I know that whenever I am in it, I know that something beautiful is going to come on the other side of it and I’m okay. I’m okay, I don’t need to reach for a glass of wine. I’m okay, I don’t need to go to target and shop. I’m okay I don’t need to eat all the chocolate in the house. I think I have really learned that being still and being within myself is an okay thing and that’s taken me a long time to learn.
[BILLY]: That’ll preach.
[BRANDY]: I didn’t want to hear that. I don’t like, that’s uncomfortable.
[LINDSAY]: Yeah, that’s good.
[BILLY]: It is.
[BRANDY]: I’m excited about your story because it feels like it’s just beginning and I hope that you come back and start filling in some of the blanks as you find out what’s going on and how the story unravels even more. Because I feel like, you know, and I’m sure you do too, this is just starting. I mean, this was just a nay, you know, like there’s a lot to learn about this and I’m excited and thank you for joining us and doing this podcast with us. So, my next deep question is, I know you love some Taylor Swift. When the kids aren’t around, your husband’s not around, you’re in the car, jamming out, what is the jam that you’re doing right now? What is the song, and the album? What are you listening to?
[LINDSAY]: So, I have like a whole mix called car dancing. I am a professional car dancer. I don’t know if you’re familiar, but I am.
[BILLY]: I love it.
[BRANDY]: So glad to meet a professional car dancer. That to me is an episode. That’s a podcast episode.
[BILLY]: I hope to pull up alongside of you one day in the middle of the car dance.
[LINDSAY]: This happened the other day. I was car dancing and the guy next to me rolled his window down and we car danced together all, like every stop.
[BRANDY]: Oh, this is beautiful.
[BILLY]: It’s human. We need more of that.
[LINDSAY]: So, this is not my go-to song, but if I want to like get out of my head, I listen to Shoop from Salt-N-Pepa because [crosstalk]. I actually wrapped it at my wedding. I’m probably the only bride that’s ever done that.
[BRANDY]: No, I mean, this is the bride that we know?
[LINDSAY]: [crosstalk] Yeah, but my go-to song right now, that’s just, I listen to it and I’m like, “Okay, I’m good,” is Glorious from Macklemore. That song, it just makes me feel all good about myself and it makes me feel like I’m coming back and I’m better than ever. That’s my jam right now.
[BRANDY]: We love that song. That’s a song that our kids like, we’ll jam out to that with them. So I’m glad, I’m glad.
[LINDSAY]: I just love the idea of having a chance at another day. That’s kind of a jam
[BILLY]: Well, Lindsay, you are glorious.
[LINDSAY]: Thank you.
[BILLY]: Thanks for hanging out with us and sharing it with us and sharing your story. We look forward to many ongoing conversations in the future. We’ll talk to you soon.
[LINDSAY]: Thank you so much.
[BILLY]: Are you ready to find freedom to be yourself as a beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find your strength as a beta? If you want to be comfortable in your own skin and be the most authentic beta male, then our free Beta Male Revolution course is for you. Sign up for free at betamalerevolution.com/course.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guest are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

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