In this episode, you get to hear our first interview with a guy and his story of being stuck at fine. Brian Merrell’s account is very different from the stories you’ve heard in past episodes, and also very similar. We’re talking about why he didn’t leave an abusive marriage, why when he finally did leave, he still put up with abuse from others in his life, and how he finally made the decision to hold himself to higher standards.
Brian Merrell spent most of his professional life in sales. He hosts the podcast Tattooed in Business. He’s a former bar owner, an Army veteran and former Combat Medic. A single father, Brian’s daughter didn’t speak to him or see him for six years. In 2019, he buried 8 of his closest family members and friends and struggled to find a way to pull himself out of that darkness. By working with counselors and a coach, he learned how to open up and tell his story so others could learn from it. And to rediscover success through his failures.
Shoutout to Success Champion Networking, which is where Brian and I met. It’s a network of get shit done business leaders looking to scale and grow their businesses.
Listen, we have just passed 5,000 total downloads of Fine is a 4-Letter Word. Help me reach the next milestone of 7,500. If you enjoy this show, please tell 3 other people about it. The more listeners, the more publicity. And that means these stories get in front of more people who can benefit from hearing them. So they can know they’re not alone. And there’s nothing wrong with them.
It’s about building connection and community. We need that now more than ever.
Brian’s hype song is Remember The Name. Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbPNVEB8O7E
0:00:01.2 LORI SAITZ: Hello and welcome to Fine is a 4-Letter Word. My guest today is really special because this is the first interview with a guy. I told you all that in season two, I was gonna be talking to some men and we get it. Getting to hear their stories as well. So, Brian Merrell, welcome to the show.
0:00:22.3 BRIAN MERRELL: Thank you. I feel pretty honored. And I guess I'm the first guy, so I use...
0:00:27.1 LORI SAITZ: You should be honored. You know why we were talking about before I hit record was because Brian has been listening to the show for a while, and he was actually the first one who... To come and ask me like, Hey, I wanna be on your show, and I said, No, I'm only talking to women, and then after a while, he was persistent, maybe no, I don't know what was that. I just thought... And because other ones came to me too, and I'm like, Well, maybe we're missing out if we don't get stories from guys, and so that's when I started saying, Alright, Season two, in season two, in season two, and here we are. So yeah, so thank you so much for agreeing to come on. Let's jump right in with the first question. What were the beliefs and values that you were raised with?
0:01:15.6 BRIAN MERRELL: Oh was... I grew up on a small dairy farm in Upstate New York, single mom. So my parents divorced, it's funny as I've gone back and forth with counselors and I realized that I have no memories before 9 years old or that being together, so I can't even remember what it was like with my parents together. So I pretty much grew up in a single house, single female household, my mom worked, obviously, my grandmother lived right next door to the farm was right there, and so I spent a lot of time on my grandmother when I was younger, and I have an older brother and then I have a younger brother who's 14 years younger than me, but a real small town upstate in New York, so... Yeah.
0:02:00.3 LORI SAITZ: So what were the values and beliefs that were instilled in you as you were growing up? Yeah, So.
0:02:07.0 BRIAN MERRELL: Growing up on the farm, obviously, so I didn't have to work on the farm, so it's not like I had to do it, but my cousin who... His father was partners in the firm, he did, so if we were, say me, so I naturally gravitated where I worked on the farm, I loved working on the farm, so I learned basically at a really young age, what a dollar meant. I was always lucky because I was able to buy my own... Like I wanted my Air Jordan, so I'd save my money and I buy the stuff I wanted. But I liked working on it. But my grandfather, a very quiet man, but one to the stereotypical, didn't really ever express his emotion, but you always knew he loved and cared about you, and being around him and my grandmother and seeing my mom's work ethic... I always out I had a great life growing up. We were poor, but I guess I didn't know.
0:03:06.7 LORI SAITZ: Okay, and so then as you were growing up, how did those beliefs and how did those beliefs play into who you became as an adult?
0:03:21.3 BRIAN MERRELL: Yeah, so like most kids, I was a bad kid.
0:03:25.9 LORI SAITZ: Wait, wait, wait. Not most kids. Don’t throw me into that fire. I wasn't a bad kid.
0:03:35.5 BRIAN MERRELL: So I rebelled like everybody else, at some point, I didn't like I did. My mom married, she was very three times, second guy, absolutely loved, he was a great guy, treated us great, just really respectful to women in general, to us Be in... My mom's kids, my mom and she just wasn't in love with him, which I respect how out of her... For being able to walk away from that. And so my third step father, my third Father there, he totally different, he was very male chauvinistic, intimidating type guy, and I guess I always felt like he bullied my mom and he bullied us, and he didn't beat us or anything like that, but verbally. So I really kind of shaped. I always... Just to say that I'm not gonna be this way, I don't wanna be this way. And I got into some trouble when I was in school, so I was one of those kids who had to make a choice that you get joined the military or you better take your chances, so I wound up leaving and joining in the military right out of high school, and when I came back home, it was just... I was one of these people saying I live to work, but I have that mentality or that's where I kind of focus on and I try and just like my mom, my mom did a focus a lot on herself and her needs, and she kinda went through the motions, I always felt like...
0:05:10.0 BRIAN MERRELL: And I think I found very young, in a young adulthood that I probably did too, if I was... I stayed in the easy lane, so to say.
0:05:21.0 LORI SAITZ: When you say easy lane, so she lived to support her children. Yes, and then you took on that same role of living to support your family,
0:05:33.9 BRIAN MERRELL: so...Yeah, so I met my ex-wife right when I came home for leave in the Army when I was 19, a friend of ours introduced us... We obviously at one point were in love... You know what I mean? And I want to not going back full-time and going on the reserves and making a life and everything, but we had two kids before we got married, so we did everything backwards, right. I...
0:06:00.4 LORI SAITZ: Did you buy a house before you got married too?
0:06:03.9 BRIAN MERRELL: No, when I actually bought my first house, we were married.
0:06:09.1 LORI SAITZ: Ok, because I did that. My husband and I, we bought our house first, and then got married several years later, so yeah, I was like, we did every thing out of order, but it didn't matter.
0:06:19.9 BRIAN MERRELL: Right, yeah. Actually, when my son was born, we got married three months later, and it was one of those things where... I guess I came home one night. She was upset, and I'm like, What's the matter? I guess it's not a big deal for not married, you're not gonna leave. And I’m like, Well, if that's what will make it happy... Yeah, I'm fine with it. And at that time, we were in love and had the kids and stuff, but as time grew on that, so I bought the house and then we bought our second house, when we bought our second house, my kids, that was in 2007, and we slept on different floors, we just... We worked separate shifts. I tell people you'd be amazed in how much you can put up with when you don't... When you only have to see each other on the weekends...
0:07:19.2 LORI SAITZ: Yeah, and you know, so many people live that way, but they don't admit it, everybody looks great on social media. Facebook fake.
Yeah, I had dinner last night with an acquaintance... Somebody I hadn't seen in a very long time. And she's like, Oh yeah, so since last time I saw you, she told me about her whole story and I was like, Wait what... But you don't see it on Facebook or social media or anything, because a lot of us don't want... We don't want our entire life out there like that, it's not... For everybody's consumption.
0:07:55.2 BRIAN MERRELL: Exactly, and my wife and I, and she passed away three years ago, but she... Were total opposites, we were truly total opposites at all, and I can't honestly remember any time being together that we were actually in sync with each other, other than with the kids, and I found like I was in love with being a dad, and that's where... If you asked me, Brian, who was Brian Merrell? I would always say, Well, I’m Tara and Brock’s father, I coach their sports. I do through this, I do there that. And that was in my mind, my identity, and I can't speak to my ex-wife, but maybe she felt that her identity was mom, and that was her only an identity. So when we got divorced, I just wound up getting to a point where things were bad, we were fighting all the time, and I'm just like, why are we doing this? When she said was gonna divorce me for like six, seven months, and then she quit her job.
0:09:01.9 LORI SAITZ: Only six or seven months?
0:09:03.4 BRIAN MERRELL: Oh, well, the whole time she always would throw it in my face. Like I always thought I was this horrible person. I mean, this whole time, the whole time in the marriage, I felt like I'm gonna show you, I'm not gonna be like my dad and I'm gonna stick around all these things like I'm not gonna... I love being dad, my father, he did his own thing. He left and it's not that he didn't love us or anything like that, he just... We weren't a priority to him, and for me, it was the opposite, my kids were everything to me, they were my priority, and... I don't know. It was really kind of crazy. And then when I finally said the words to her Look, I've had enough. She actually... She was physical with me, because she knew... And it's funny because people would look at us and they just assume... I'm kind of a bigger guy. I guess that some standards and people assume that I would be the one that if anyone would be abusive, I'm like, No, she... I'd walk in the house and she’d punch me right in the face, and I don't even know what was going on.
0:10:11.9 LORI SAITZ: Wow, see and this is another thing though that when we talk about assumptions, we assume that everything's great 'cause that's what it looks like, and then we assume that the man is the aggressor. Right, and I've heard many stories similar to yours too, not to minimize what you went through, but just to share that it's not always the man being the one who's abusing.
0:10:40.4 BRIAN MERRELL: And I can look back at this now because I didn't know any of this until after she passed away three years ago. I finally seen medical records, she was diagnosed with multiple personalities, and now that I look back at it... light bulb! These actions, they weren’t often, when this would happen, they would be completely out of the blue, and I would always be like clueless of what she was talking about. It got to a point where that was Thanksgiving Day, and it was so stupid. She was a hoarder... So we struggled with that, and a lid on a cookie jar broke, and for some reason, she was blaming on my son, and he was little at the time, maybe 10 years old, and she was going after him to hit him, and I'm like, You don't even know if he did. How do you know that? And I've seen her raise your hand and I got between them, and I don't know what she hit me in my head, it, but I went down to get the back of the head and that what... I was like, Okay, we're going to grandmas for Thanksgiving, so she never went to any of the family get together, she didn't wanna be around my family at all, and I remember when I was contemplating was gonna happen, I didn't realize that at this time, my head was bleeding, I had no idea.
0:12:03.8 BRIAN MERRELL: So, I don't know what she hit me with her... Maybe she had a ring on, I don't know. But I never just talked with my parents and they're like, Hey, I need to leave, and I still didn't wanna leave because I didn't wanna be a failure in my marriage, I don't wanna be a failure as a father, I didn't wanna... I felt like I was failing my kids, and then it took another... Well, finally we got in a big argument right after Christmas, and I said, Look, I met with a lawyer, a filing for divorce, the next thing I know, she filed, and that's where the world wouldn't help completely started. That was... She literally told me I had it on record, I thank God I did when I went to court. And I totally could take take it takes like eight months to a year, if I could get to your trial for your divorce is...
0:12:53.3 LORI SAITZ: It's different in different states. Yeah.
0:12:54.8 BRIAN MERRELL: Yeah, they watch it, and we've been in the court already six, seven times, and every time I'm like, Wait a minute, what's going on? Then I really long in the court, and I'll never forget it because I got physically sick to my stomach and started throwing up, she, we’re sitting on the stand and I was so blindsided the judge... My lawyer had said something to her along the lines of well, your marriage couldn't have been all that bad, you had two great kids, you must had some good times, and then she says, Yeah, if you consider being beaten, raped daily as a great marriage, and I just lost it. Oh my gosh. And I was like, Wow. First of all, we hadn't slept in the same bed, this was in 2014 and seven years, and I can honestly tell you, it had been at least two years... You know what I mean? And I'm not a cheater. I just, I don't know, they just doesn't... I don't know why I never did, but I just didn't. But I was physically sick to my stomach and I kept thinking, you don't give a shit if I go to jail, and then I remember...
0:14:07.3 BRIAN MERRELL: Wait a minute, you recorded this argument you have, because it was like really, like she broke through our bedroom door to scream at me, and I had to hit record on my phone, and in that recorder, she says... It doesn't have to be true, I just have to say it in your life will be a ruin the rest of your life, you will be judged. And I fricking play that, and they heard Borealis tic because I just started playing it, I didn't like to hear no matter what. But I still got investigated. They have to, they should. And I just remember my daughter, because I didn't speak to me for six years, six years, she said I'm gonna live with mom or dad to me, and I was devastated.
0:14:49.8 LORI SAITZ: Backing up... What made you hit record on that, that's so that a sheeted see me.
0:15:02.3 BRIAN MERRELL: When she was standing outside the bedroom door and I bought a walk on it, and she's screaming at me, and I like, Look, I'm not talking to you, I'm not coming out. Or because you can just feel like you're being set up and then when she hit the door so hard, she broke it, I knew something was about to happen.
0:15:25.6 LORI SAITZ: To a tiny... Just hit record.
0:15:27.0 BRIAN MERRELL: Yeah, because that's how she was there, her parents, they record everybody, videotaped everybody there as they're always fighting with somebody, so.
0:15:37.1 LORI SAITZ: Yeah, a lot of thy God. So in my episode with Jenny, as we talked about drama and chaos and how she pulled herself, she got some help, she was used to living in chaos, but she didn't want to... She wanted to find a way out of that, and when she finally did and she was living in calm, she said something... She was like, I don't know what to do with this. I only know how to live in chaos, I don't know how to live in calm, and so then after you moved... Did you move out? And it was really... So after it was over, really when you weren't living together anymore and you could live in calm... Was that tethered? You go looking for chaos again, I think.
0:16:31.2 BRIAN MERRELL: We're up to probably a couple of years ago, I think, now that I can look back at it, I went to counseling the whole time, and honestly, I probably... The last time was at counseling was probably a year and a half ago, so I do counseling and I went to a psychiatrist at the, towards the end of it, where the light bulb finally went off and they explained he was just time, I was finally tied to come to grips with it, and then I realized that... Yeah, I looked for situations I knew were gonna fail, you look for situations that are gonna have some type of drama to it because you see that as the norm, and when I look at it, I met this girl and we were on and off again for three years, and she's a great person. But together we’re toxic for our behavior, and not that were mean to each other, but all of a sudden I'm like, I'm drinking every night in middle of the work week, all the stuff she didn't think they... Damn, I'm thinking, Oh wow, this is... But these were behaviors that I wasn't doing, that I was started doing and...
0:17:40.8 BRIAN MERRELL: And I even convinced myself I was a Lumiere and I even asked her to marry me twice, and she told me now twice, and I realized that, yeah, we're just basically, we're drinking buddies that we are, and I don't need a drinking buddy, and she doesn't really need me as a drink in one, we were crutches for each other, even though it doesn't seem like when we were together, we're always happy and have a good time, we're still negative for each other and personal growth. And it took a lot for me to get that.
0:18:10.5 LORI SAITZ: So since you mentioned personal growth to talk about some of the tools, so you said you went to counseling, what are some of the other tools that you've used to pull yourself out of, like the situations that are not healthy for you or to help in your development and growth, so you... 'cause I know one of them that you had shared, when we had a conversation before about removing yourself from that group of people that... Negative influences.
0:18:42.4 BRIAN MERRELL: Yeah, negative influences. So. It's funny is because I know all these things and you give all these tools, but until you're ready to start doing them and acting on them, it's all for nothing. Right, so I actually had two guys that are really great friends with, and the one of them I bankruptcies in kindergarten, and he's not so much of a negative towards me as the second one is, and I realized every time we go out, I'm just being beat down. Every time it's... They literally would sit there and I'm not trying to... I spent eight years in the Army. I'm not proud of everything I'd done, but you do things and new things, 'cause you have to... And I was a combat medic, and the one guy always tell me how I mentally so weak compared to him and all this crap, and then he called me a vagina all the time, and feedwater entertainment was putting me down in front of other people to make themselves feel better. And it's a long time I go around and I remember we had two incidents where we had a blow once we were... Every Halloween we go out together for somebody...
0:19:57.5 BRIAN MERRELL: Don't know how it started. And we went to a place, Steak House, and they thought it was funny to try to get the waitress in on it, and she was like, Oh, if you thought it was funny to sit there calling me a fricking vagina the whole time, and I'm sitting there going Okay, and then I sat there and I'd never done this before. I gave her a dollar tip on the bill, and I wrote right on there, and I said, By the way, you played their game or who is the biggest vagina, so maybe what you should have asked was, who's the only one with a job in a car that could drive here. And so that's how we... With every Thanksgiving, we got into a tradition where we like gambling on the night before things given, because we were all divorces, we got into a big... I don't remember how the argument... Oh, it was so stupid. I was... Were quite work her poker all the time, they were sitting there there, and the one guy coaches high school sports and he's all ship faith drunk and he's like Just got his coaching check up front, and he...
0:20:58.1 BRIAN MERRELL: Lillian, half of what I make for a lived were at the poker team, and I said, Guys, I hit my limit for the night, I'd get in, one goes to matter of in, he got a freaking... You don't got no money and all that, and he goes, here, what do you need? 20 bucks and flip the 20 bill at me in front of everybody in the casino, and I stopped them sitting there and I said, Alright, let's do... Alright, look, one more hand, so I take the 20 bucks and I get a chip, and I said, one more hand, I said, But we're gonna have a side bet going, I said, Alright. So first of all, I'm gonna put up... I'm gonna put up my gas be... So that's my first one. You gotta match it. Go, Oh wait, minimise put up my truck too, and... How about my boat? Oh yeah, and I'm gonna put up my Harley to... And I said, Okay, I said, Wait a minute, but you don't have a Harley, so I gotta take that back, or you don't have a boat, I better take that back to... And they said, Well, you don't have a truck is...
0:21:50.5 BRIAN MERRELL: You don't even have a car. 'cause I took it all back and I said, Wow, thanks for the 20 bucks, and I tip... The first guy I kept the dealer and I walked away.
0:22:00.0 LORI SAITZ: And it was that the last time you hung out with those guys... No, no. Slow learner are you? Yeah, absolutely. (Greg, take this out?)
0:22:07.2 BRIAN MERRELL: So we actually didn't, because of the big blow up right there, I guess he went and told everybody that because my daughter and everything would come back in my life that I didn't want anyone to bother me and be around me and stuff, so we went five months I didn't talk to him here from him, not them, but he told all my friends I didn't wanna hear from that meter, which I had no clue, so.
0:22:32.0 LORI SAITZ: You weren't hearing from them and you're like, Oh, I'm not hearing from my friends a.
0:22:35.9 BRIAN MERRELL: Little bit. I kind of was like, I'm okay being alone. And then I had a lot of things going on. I mean, it was just... It was a rough time in that they wind up with... He wanted up messaging me one day and I'm like, Look, I got no in the atelier, an asshole to me every time. So we finally said to sit down and talk about where to look... You find this entertaining, and you see, you say to me, so I have PTSD, and you wanna sit there and think it's funny to scream at me and tell me I gotta get out of my own hand, do you realize what you're saying to me? Because I could snap and you could no longer exist, like You just beat on me and beat on me, and that's not the way that deal if me and telling me... Because I don't wanna sit there and be called the vagina and put down and called a post, all these things in front of people constantly that I need to go, a thicker skin. I'm in sales, dude, I get to out myself all day long, all day, so why would I wanna come home to this crap...
0:23:37.2 LORI SAITZ: Right, right. You already got out of a marriage where you Berryessa it be on a daily basis right now. And now you're getting it from your friends...
0:23:48.4 BRIAN MERRELL: Yeah, so now you get up from your front one guy, the big guy that everybody would think would be the one that would be the jury isn't. And so we seemed to come to an understanding and things get really, really good and of course, just like anything else, and we end up going bad once again, so I actually had not spoken to them... Well, I've spoken to the one guy probably in the September, no care.
0:24:19.2 LORI SAITZ: Yeah, and I'm sure that's difficult for you actually, because these are your life on Friends... No.
0:24:24.7 BRIAN MERRELL: That actually hasn't been with the one... And that's what surprises me, but one friend and I hit was literally bullshit, misunderstanding type thing, him and I are talking, but he's been my friend since kindergarten, he introduced to my ex-wife, the other guy... No, I guess I finally see, I guess, drama manipulation, his entertainment. And what's funny is with your other friends approach you and sit there and bring it up to you that, look, we're not true and sides, but look, man, what they're doing... He was bullshit, and I'm like, Wow, that's cool. I'm glad you think that, but I appreciate it. And that's how I can say. I think, God, you see, they're like, Dude, we've been seeing it for years, I'm like, but yet you never said anything to them, you do not like to ever eaten... We've made it. No, no, they're like... Now, when we go go out a wig night, they fight with each other because they don't have you to bully and pick on anymore, and I'm like... Yeah, exactly. I said, I took away. They're entertain that.
0:25:37.0 LORI SAITZ: And also because they have to still live in chaos, so they have to find some other way to bring that chaos in... Oh, absolutely. If it's not gonna be directed at you, it's gonna be directed at somebody and nothing... And yeah, so just going back to the whole thing of you decided to change... To stand up and say, I'm not taking this anymore. You decided to change the game, so to speak. That's the only way things are gonna change. In life, right? Somebody has to decide. Yeah, a decision. So nothing's gonna change. If nothing changes.
0:26:12.2 BRIAN MERRELL: Yeah, yeah, one of my favorite sayings is... Well, I got two of them. One is everything you ever want is on the other side of fear. The other one is something like, you don't change until the pain of change outweighs, or the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change. I was like, That's true, because you truly, don’t get me wrong, I don't hate anybody in this world, when my ex-wife died, I was seeing somebody and I had such a guilt about being happy and know it truly ripped me apart, and obviously she got tired of weight in which I can't blame him. But it changed my life that that year that my ex-wife died three years ago, I buried eight people in 10 months, and I was a basket case, and that's when I finally broke out of him, and I started doing the meditation, and I started changing the way I eat and I went back to exercise, I'm like, I used to like me, I used to be on on imminent. Do you get away from that? And I started going back to things that made me happy or made me forget about the bad things, and then obviously at the summit when Sean Crane spoke, I've...
0:27:37.0 BRIAN MERRELL: I've heard it a million times, but since then, we truly live in our lives by saying I get two versus have to, and it's a difference in the way I stopped talking to myself negatively like I used to before, and all these things, like I just... And I guess I got to the point where market being around me, you feel jealous or whatever, that's not on me, and I always used to be read about it, but the funding... So we have a younger girl that works with... And until Chief prays that Ted me one day, I never thought about it. And it's easy to be there for somebody when they're down and out, because then you can be on their level, but when things are going good for them, and everything's on the up and up, if you're not happy for them, then you have a problem. I'll never forget the last face-to-face conversation I have with this friend, we just just be the decision to buy a business, and the owner offered me to be partner in it, so I have a small ownership in it. And we're sitting there and he just did something really horrible to me that I was just like, Whatever, and we were sitting there and he's like a dorm and they're going on, they finally they started talking.
0:28:57.3 BRIAN MERRELL: I said, Well, by the way, guys, hey, so I guess I'm gonna move forward we’re gonna buy this place, so... So, welcome for me being broke again, and he just turned, looked at me, turned his head, took a drink and said “oh.” He wasn't happy for me that things are going good. He likes it when I'm down and out.
0:29:18.9 LORI SAITZ: Right, because it makes him feel better. And this is, right, so this is a really important point for people who are listening, which is that if you can't be around friends who are happy for you when things are going well, then those are probably not true friends.
0:29:37.4 BRIAN MERRELL: And that was so hard for me to get through my head. Now, the one guy that I’ve been friends with since kindergarten, he has saved to my life, he has been there for me when everything was bad, and he's also there for me any time anything that positive happened to me, he's one of the first people that tell me that he's happy for me, and that it was easy for me to reconnect when we have an argument versus the other guy and the other guy Don't... And I'm not trying to make excuse were, but he was absolutely going through how... Absolutely going through hell in a bad situation in him and his girlfriend moved in together, happy, and as soon as she moved in, she didn't wanna be with him anymore, and then one of the men.
0:30:20.7 LORI SAITZ: That's not... That's not on you though, and this is shit to deal with and you... And no reason for him to be taking it out on you, 'cause that's not what... Again, that's not what friends do. Right. And so recognizing true friendship versus somebody that you're just used to hanging out with because you're so... 'cause it's habit.
0:30:40.1 BRIAN MERRELL: And you're in there.
0:30:40.8 LORI SAITZ: Because it's a... Right, because it's easy, it's just... He happens to be there. So I'll hang with them.
0:30:47.7 BRIAN MERRELL: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I noticed for probably two years at starting to drip because I don't wanna sit home and I love to watch sports, but I'm not gonna run home and then sit there and drink a 12-pack and watch again. I'm not gonna do that. It's a work, I don't wanna live that. Right, and that's every day for them, and I can't be... It's not that I think less of them. I can't be around it because I can't handle that and function on the level I'd want to...
0:31:19.6 LORI SAITZ: Right, that's not what you want for you, because you want to be a better version of yourself, and the only way you can do it is to hold yourself to different standards...
0:31:29.6 BRIAN MERRELL: Right. And I came up with, who am I and where do I wanna be? And how am I gonna get there? And I changed and I've changed the whole mentality. You didn't know me before any of this. If you could have met me a year earlier, you'd be like, This is a completely different human being. And his mindset and how he carries himself. Yeah.
0:31:57.6 LORI SAITZ: Interesting, okay, so just to recap, you didn't... You went to counseling. You did meditation. What inspired you to do that re-evaluation of, who am I... Where do I wanna be? Was it something you read? What was...
0:32:18.4 BRIAN MERRELL: I'm sure, I'm sure it had to do with a lot of things I was reading post like Facebook is a very negative space, it people put a lot of negative type of post there, and I look back and I realize I'm putting these down there too, like geez, you’re super depressed, I'm like, Or you are... And I guess part of me was the day when my daughter came back in my life, I went six years waiting for that day that I get that text... That call, and then I got it, and then her mom died and within the first 30 days like, Okay, so my name is not Brian anymore. It’s dad. You need to start calling me dad, and we had to go through... I had to take every bit of abuse of things she's ever wanted to say to me, I had to take that and learn to take it so that I could move forward because the fear of losing my daughter in my life again... Outweighed the pain of change. Yeah.
0:33:22.9 LORI SAITZ: Yeah. Good for you. For recognizing that you had... That was part of her way of getting it all out, directed at you, but not really about you, and being able to take it because you knew that that's what she needed to be able to move on to, so that both of you could now kinda start fresh.
0:33:47.2 BRIAN MERRELL: Yeah, and then they had this realization, like this whole time like my son... So going in the covid, have senior year in high school, and I'm sitting there going, Alright, so he had to put up with me owning a bar and being gone at night every night for almost a year, and then I get them back and we repeat relationship. I was a real shitty dad to him, I may not have been abusive or anything like that, but emotionally was a dare for him, and then I'm sitting there going... So to me, during covid, when we all get at home, it was a blessing, I got to spend and reconnect with my son, and he stood by me through the whole divorce, and I wasn't a great dad to him, I favored my daughter when we... When they were little, 'cause she was like me, and he's a total opposite, and he had to listen to 60 freaking years of his dad in him, Bitcoin crying that he talked to his daughter, and he was sitting right there by me. Wow. And I just said there one day and said, What an asshole I must be to do collect your own...
0:34:52.2 BRIAN MERRELL: Something like that. And we have a good relationship, but I had to have made him feel inferior her too.
0:35:02.1 LORI SAITZ: And now you know better and now you can do better. We all are in these places where you look back and go and that was a poor decision, or I really messed up there, and one of my... I don't know what to call him. He's this guy that I follow sometimes called, his name is Peter Crone, he's known the mind architect, and he has this saying that the past... Oh man, now I'm gonna mess it up. What is it? The past, it couldn't have turned out and man, now I have to have Greg fix this, but it's... In a second, Peter cry, I look this up. Oh, what happened, happened. And it couldn't have happened any other way. Because it didn't... I also had a conversation recently with someone else who said, Yeah, you can beat yourself up, you can think about it for every minute of your current life now, but you cannot change the past how... No matter how much you think about it, you can't change it, so all we can do is go forward from this minute now, taking this new knowledge and being better... Yeah.
0:36:28.1 BRIAN MERRELL: I went through the whole... Why did you put up the front that you had this happy marriage and all this stuff when your kids are the ones suffering 'cause they're seeing what's going on behind closed door. And then I went through the whole thing with, What if I hung out a little bit longer? Would he still be alive? What if I was a real asshole during the divorce and I actually forced her to get out of the house like she was ordered to versus selling her the house, then I would have forced her to stop living the way she did, which he be alive. So I blame my ex-wife got on a lot of things that I did wrong, and like I said, I was guilty of being a good provider, a... Theres a provider, but I wasn't a loving husband, and that's my exit, and I finally sat down and kinda taught for the first time civilly, five years after the divorce and after why she made up all these things. And the answer was, I was angry with a... Eesti was allowed to coach sports to be around kids for two fucking years, because the things you said in doing, I was labeled as something that I was and then what if I did for some reason get something Del and killed.
0:37:52.6 LORI SAITZ: Or... Right, well, and all of these things are what if, what if. And know you can't go back and change...
0:38:00.1 BRIAN MERRELL: And you can't change any of that. I’m thankful for every lesson I've learned, and I don't even remember who convinced me of gratitude every day, I just be.
0:38:15.4 LORI SAITZ: In... It would have been me, but I didn't... I think you picked this up before we met,
0:38:21.4 BRIAN MERRELL: I don't know...It's funny is sometimes you just change the words right, but could... Now, you know what it's called, but I don't know. My uncle, my Uncle Danny was like like my brother, and he was one of the people that died on me... In three weeks before his death. Out of the blue, he had this conversation with me like he knew he was dying, it was like the last thing he wanted to make sure he said to me, and apparently had many conversations like that with people just before he died, and it was a tragic datas truck follow on him when he was working.
0:38:55.5 LORI SAITZ: Oh my gosh, I was... It's interesting how people know, like they know at an auto... Like a soul level. Even if they don't really know. Yeah, and that's a whole other... Entertain you for being here, Brian. But before we go, I gotta ask you, what's your hope Song? What it... You called it something else. What did you call it?
0:39:16.5 BRIAN MERRELL: It's called, I think the new solar member, the name?
0:39:20.0 LORI SAITZ: Yes. Well, remember the name, but what was... You had another term that you might have used before we got on and started recording, it wasn't hype song, it was something else, like your walk-up song, your.
0:39:32.2 BRIAN MERRELL: Hosiery sales go-to song, probably with something long. Right, yeah, 'cause it was like every time I was going on a sales call, the song brick and pipe on and it wasn't ever... I'm like, This isn't me. The next thing you know, I'm looking for it.
0:39:46.0 LORI SAITZ: Yeah, I hate you listen to when you need to get pumped up... Is that song alright? Well, we will put a link in the show notes if people wanna have more of a conversation with you, 'cause this resonated with them, how... It's the best place for them to reach you.
0:40:03.1 BRIAN MERRELL: Yeah, I just launched a podcast, a Tattooed in Business. So I have a Tattood business at gmail dot com, or you can always reach me, I'm on Facebook on my name, Brian or tattooed in business, they can message me through there or... Of course, Brian at GY 6 promotions.com.
0:40:23.8 LORI SAITZ: I put it all in the show notes. So it'll make it really easy. Cool, cool, thanks so much for being here, Brian. I'll think you hear that. Yeah, no, no, not at all. Alright, take care, we'll see you next time on Fine is a 4-Letter Word.
0:40:43.8 BRIAN MERRELL: So much.
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