Trauma, Resilience, and How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage| With Tara Alan | Episode 30

Trauma, Resilience, and How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage| With Tara Alan | Episode 30

The title of this one about says it all. Join Kimber and Tara as they discuss Tara's traumatic childhood years  and how she managed to find resilience and become a successful business woman despite it all.

Tara is a human that has seen some shit.  She grew up in a split-personality childhood with an abusive mother on one side and loving but strict grandparents on the other.  As a grown-up person, she put herself through engineering school, went to therapy,  did a lot of hard work making her brain do things it didn't want to do (like love herself) and now helps women run businesses that do not, in-turn run those women.  When she's not bossing around business owners, she can be found hiking with her three teenagers and annoyingly perfect husband.

Make sure you stick around to the end to hear all about Tara's system to divorce-proof a marriage!

Follow Kimber on instagram @justbeyourbadself  or join the JBYBS facebook community here for more interaction!

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Tarah S

Kimber: Today, I'm going to be sharing with you an interview. I did with my friend, Tara, Stan, who is now my business coach, and she is incredible. Her story. Is every bit as incredible as she is. She has gone through a lot and her story just shows how. Resilient the human spirit is, and I'm really excited to share it with you today. Tara. Thank you so much for being willing to come and be on my podcast today. I'm so excited to have you.

Tara: I'm so excited to be here. Thank you for inviting.

Kimber: Can you tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do, what makes Tara Tara.

Tara: Oh, my gosh. That's such a hard question. Sure. So I am an industrial engineer and I help small businesses make big profits through process. So what that means is that anything that kind of gives business owners, headaches, like. Inconsistent sales or their employees are doing things the way that they want them to do them.

We can fix that. And so that's what I do with my company called field fab. I am a I guess you would call it in today's parlance, a kinship foster kid, which means that my grandparents raised me. I am the mother of three. I have a daughter that we are adopting. She's 15. I have, and then we have two.

That are 14 and 12. And I've been married for 14 years to my best friends. And that's kind of who I am.

Kimber: I know. I found Tara through a Facebook ad. And I got to know her from taking her course and then connecting with her over email. And I just fell in love with her personality. She's just the kind of person I like to talk to. And I thought would be fun to bring on the podcast. And I asked her if she'd be interested in talking about something and she said, yeah, and started telling me about her life story a little bit. And it really, really blew me away. And then I knew I really had to have her on the podcast. Cause I want, I want her to share with you all, some of the things she's, she's been through and overcome and, and some of the things that have made her. And how she's come out on the other side. So with that little intro, Tara, let's jump into your story.

Tell us about for you. Most people don't get to start from day one when they were born, but I think in your case, it's So let's, let's start there.

Tara: If you like them as a therapist, cows, right? Like tell me about your childhood. Yeah, so I my parents were not married. In fact, they weren't even dating when I was conceived. And so my mother very much was a single mom who didn't know what to do. And to, to know a little bit more about her. Cause I think it's important and irrelevant to my story.

My mother herself is an adoptee. She is native American and she was taken from her family and adopted into another family when she was five. And so she had a lot of trauma herself. And as a result of that, she has a lot of mental illnesses that are undiagnosed. So when I was born my. The umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck.

I wasn't expecting to live. My in fact, they didn't even clean me up after I was born. They handed me to my grandma who was kind of the other person in the room and said, hold her now because she's not going to live because this is, this is the one shot you have to hold her. And so. She did it. And my grandma has been my mom kind of ever since my mother ended up her first plan of action with me was to live in a car with me.

And my grandparents were like, no, you're, you're not doing.

And then plan B was to give me to my biological father, who my grandparents had never met. And they're like, you're not giving this baby to a strange man. Like, we don't know anything about him. We don't know. Like, does he even want to be, we have no idea. You're not doing that. And so like, well, you know, just give her to us.

You are going to be deployed in, in Germany. So while you're there just be there and we will take care of her. And so that's what happens kind of very early on. So it was with my grandparents and, and had a wonderful, I always call my childhood kind of a , split personality childhood, because with my grandparents, they were very loving and a very stable.

Family life, very, you know, blue collar, middle class, middle America, a wonderful childhood. And then when I was five, my mom my biological mom, she came back from the military and really wanted me back. My grandparents were like, let's get you settled. Let's see how this is going to go. Is this really what you want?

Because we will take care of her. And she's like, no, I want to take care of her. And that was really, that was hard for me because I didn't know her. I hadn't really met her. She wasn't mom to me. And so to me, this person was coming in and stealing me. And on top of that, she wasn't, she's never been a maternal person, right.

Like that part of her just doesn't exist. And so her. Image of having a child was to have somebody that would love you all the time that you could dress up in pretty clothes. Really. She just wanted a doll. She wanted a doll that she could dress up and play with. And when she was done or bored, that that dial would just sit in the corner until she was ready for them again.

And so she was just incredibly negligent and abusive. I mean, she, she lived in places. You know, I remember I remember my grandpa, my grandpa would always tell me growing up, like there, she lived in places that I wouldn't let your grandma go by herself because we were just in such terrible neighborhoods.

And one of the places she lived actually got condemned after she moved out, it was an apartment building. And I remember. Once I was, I was, I was a teenager and I woke up with this nightmare of cockroaches crawling all over my body. And I, it was so bad that I woke up. Yeah. I woke up my grandma cause I was living with them again.

I woke her up and I'm like, I had this terrible nightmare and I told her about it. She was like, tell her that actually happened. She's like, that's when you were living in that place downtown, but Papa wouldn't let me go to she's like you were sleeping on the floor. In this cockroaches infested apartment.

And like, that's how you lived. She's like, I couldn't take you away. And, and so that was that was a really big wake up call of all the things that I had. Forgotten or suppressed. I mean, my earliest, one of my earliest memories with my mom is actually weirdly enough, not even with my mom's like the absence of my mom.

She, we lived in ghetto, downtown Omaha, where there was a lot of drugs and gang activity in the early 1980s. And she, I still don't know what happened to be honest with you. Like she forgot me at the bus stop. I was. Five or six. I was in kindergarten. And the bus driver, let me off at the end of the school day on the corner and my mother wasn't there and she wasn't there long enough to where the woman who lived in the corner apartment right there on the basement corner apartment noticed me being there long enough by myself that she came and got.

Brought me into her apartment. Thank God. This woman was a good person. She came and got me and brought me into her apartment, gave me a snack, sent me like her couch was in the corner. I have a very vivid memory of this and sent me in the corner and said, just let me know when your mom shows up and I'll bring you out.

And so my very, in very, in many ways, the first memory of my mother is of her not being there. And so when during that same time we were living in a duplex apartment. My, our next door neighbor was my babysitter. She was a prostitute. Her boyfriend was a drug dealer. They had a child that was about my age.

And so that's just, that's, that's kind of the, the basis of how I grew up. And then when my grandma and my grandma ended up kidnapping me twice once was from that environment. And another time was when I was about, oh my gosh, I was in second grade. The second time that she kidnapped me because my mother, by that time, she had gone into the army reserves.

And so she had to go away for the weekends. And if she couldn't find babysitting for me, she wouldn't call my, our family. She would simply leave me alone for the weekend.

Kimber: At what age were you?

Tara: I was in second grade,

Kimber: Okay.

Tara: so she'd be like, oh, you can go play. But if somebody knocks at the door, but just pretend that I'm in the back and you have to ask me questions.

And so, yeah, that was the second time my grandma came and kidnapped me. So I kind of went back and forth. And then by the time I was 13 you could probably can't see it, but I have actually a three inch scar across my face right above my eyebrows. So I stole a car with a friend of mine. We borrowed it, it was really her parent's car with two girlfriends of mine and we drove it into a ditch.

And after that, my grandma was living with my mom at the time my grandma came and she's like, listen, you're dead. You're going down a bad path. And so you have a choice. You can stay live with. And go along that path or you can come live with me and live under my rules and I will do as much for you as I possibly can.

And so after that, I'm like, okay, I understand, like I, I got the assignment, I understand what I need to do. And I actually, I moved out of my mother's house when she was at work. I had a friend of mine who had a pickup truck come and help me move all of my stuff. When she was, she was. And I had a lot of guilt around that, that time.

I was, when I was 13, I also had my mother got pregnant again and had my little brother and I was raising him. So I guess it was 14 when my, my grandma gave me the ultimatum, but I was raising him, you know, she doesn't, she didn't take care of him at all. And so I had a lot of guilt that I had to leave him behind.

That was really. And between that, you know, my mother just, she would call, you know, her idea of, of teaching me how to not be afraid of a ball was to throw, like, have me stand 10 feet away from her. And she had this whole bucket of like softballs and she's like, you can't catch them and she's going to throw them at you.

Kimber: Okay.

Tara: because, you know, you know, I don't want you to be afraid of, of, of a ball. And I wanted to play soccer as a kid because all the little girls were playing soccer and she's like, no, you're too fat. You'll embarrass me. And so there was just a lot of, a lot of shaming, a lot of abuse. She very rarely hit me.

And her explanation to that was, especially after she had my brother was. 'cause, she didn't want my family getting involved. And so she knew that if she hit me, she and left a mark, then my grandparents would take me and my brother away. And she didn't want my brother to be taken away. That was her reasoning.

Kimber: It had do you.

Tara: Yeah, it didn't have anything to do with me. No, I mean, she's still got physical with me. I was probably, I was probably, I dunno, in first or second grade, when, you know, little kids, they have their own room and they're like, I want to get up and play. What are you doing, parents? What are you doing?

Right. Like as parents, we know that kids just like they do that. And so one day I remember she got so upset with me and my bed was on the far side of the room, like catty-corner from the door. So she stood at the door. She threw me into my bed. Bodily it was like, it was such a crazy moment. So she, I mean, she just, as an adult, I understand that she has mental illness and and that in many ways it was undiagnosed and she had a lot of trauma herself, but as an adult who has kids.

Of their own who almost didn't have, because I didn't want to be like her. I would not put anybody else through that. I do not understand in so many ways how you count. Love yourself more than you love your kids and make decisions based on what you want more than what's best for them. Right?

Because, so for so much of my childhood, like she, I felt like a price she wanted to win as opposed to a human she wanted to raise and take care of. And that was, that was crazy.

Kimber: I saw, I saw a little I'm sure it was a meme on Facebook or something that just said, like, we. We are, I can't remember the exact words that used, but essentially we are hurt by people who have been hurt or w our trauma comes from trauma. Like we just had these generations of trauma, and I was just having this conversation with my own mom the other day about how first of all, parenting is so hard because. Oh my gosh, because when you're a kid and you, you obviously had a very, very, very different childhood than I did. But for me, when I was a kid, I kind of thought like, oh, my parents are, are grownup. They know everything. They like, you know, they, they know everything. So I, I do what they say because they know everything.

And as an adult, I realized like my, my parents were just humans doing the best they could. And luckily for me, My parents' best was, was able to be better than other parents best because like your mom I'm sure went through more trauma than my mom did. And, but we were talking about how she was talking about her relationship with her own mother and how hard It is.

And as adult, as an adult to hold space for the fact that you know, that your mom was, is, human and went through her own stuff and had. For being the way she was, but also hold space for the fact that that really hurt you, that really hurt your life. That was a lot of trauma for you. And it's hard to hold space for both of those things at one time.

Tara: It is, it is. And I think that's, it was just having a conversation actually with my, my husband the other day about the fact that, you know, I know.

I kind of veer off topic for just a second, because it'll make sense in context. So the Indian child welfare act wasn't signed until 1976. And what that, what that act did is said that native children can not be taken away from their families or their tribe without tribal consent. Right? And so up until 19 76, 19 78, whatever, whatever year it was, that was still happening.

Like native babies were still being taken away and given to white families to domesticate them or to make them less Savage. Right. And so my, like I have this in my head now is like, I don't know, like my grandparents. It might my grandma and her first husband had two boys. They wanted to have a little girl, she was told that she never be able to have another child because of her own sort of physical issues.

And so they went to an adoption agency and they got a little girl. Right. And so that's how they, they adopted my mom. And then right after that, she like, they got pregnant with my aunt which caused even more trauma for my mom. But that's beside the point, but now talking about holding that space, right?

Like. When I talk about the native stuff, particularly with, with my kids schools, because they want them to understand that they natives exist today and not just in the 17 hundreds. I have trouble holding space for both the fact that now as an adult, I'm thinking about it, like maybe. The story that my grandparents were told of why she was taken away from our family is not true.

Like maybe she was ripped away from a family in a nutso. Okay. Right. Very like anti-media way. And because she was adopted into a white family and how do I hold space for those students that, but also understanding that my grandparents, like my grandma and my Papa were really very loving and very like they were my parents.

And so that like, that, that's almost a harder dichotomy for me in so many ways, because like, I understand struggling with mental illness, I do myself, I struggle with depression, anxiety. And so like, I understand almost like, yes, I'm doing the best that I can. And I talked to a lot of my kids about like, I'm human and I make mistakes in the week, but when we make mistakes, we try to make them better.

But the harder one for me, like the whole space for both of those. Maybe my grandmother was a part, like, even if it was unwilling, right apart of stealing native children and this other side of like, but she was a really, she was my savior and somebody like

Kimber: Yeah,

Tara: weirdly enough. Right? Like she, she was my mom.

Like she there's, she was the person, the first person that helped me after I was born. She was the person that loved me through everything. Like I, it that's the hardest one for me to make space for.

Kimber: I just listened to. Like a talk, I guess like a sermon. I'm not into sermons, but this is one that my mom sent me. That was about this idea of. Of proving contraries or being okay with paradox and how we see that over and over again in life and in history that sometimes there's these two things that seem to contradict each other, that one can't exist without the other.

And that we need to get more comfortable with the idea of instead of it having to be either, or that we can use the terms. Yes. And

Tara: Yeah,

Kimber: yes. And this, and that's not something that I think we're used to, that's not really part of our rhetoric. But I think they, I think there needs to be some space for that, that both things can be true, even though it seems paradoxical.

Tara: Absolutely. And I mean, we have, so our, our daughter that we're adopting from the foster care system. And so she's, she's also had trauma. And her parents are parents, very loving. Unfortunately they've passed away, but you know, one of the things that, that we talk about, particularly the guilt that she has about decisions that she's made in her life, despite the fact she's only 15, like, it's like you do the best that you can.

In the moment with what you have, right? Like when you know better, you can do better. But in the moment, like you were, you were seven, you were nine, you were 10. Like you did what you had to do to survive. And while on a strictly like black and white mortality scale, maybe those weren't great choices. But for the moment they were the best choices that you could possibly make.

Kimber: Yeah, is it? I can't remember if it's. I think it's, Bernay brown, Bernay brown or Anne Lamont or Glennon Doyle. They're all in this. Like I hold them all on pedestals, but one of them said something about, do you believe that everyone's doing the best they can. And I'm wondering if you believe that, like, especially with what you went through with your mom, do you, do you believe that she was doing the best she could. With what she had with what, where she was mentally, like, that's a tricky, that's a tricky one.

Tara: Yeah, I think that's, I mean, that's a really hard question for me, right. Because it's yes. And right. It's it's as, as an adult, knowing that we are all imperfect human beings, that I believe that in less, there. Is a reason for you not to write that your brain has trauma in some way, or you have mental illness in some way.

I strongly believe that everyone just as the best that they can and that their actions reflect the fact that they are trying to give a good or better life to themselves or the people that they love. All of their actions, stem from those things as a child who experienced a lot of trauma you know, and I didn't get into it, but you know, physical, emotional, and sexual trauma from my mother, I want to believe that she could have made different.

Kimber: Yeah.

Tara: And just didn't right. And so, and that's why that's where it's. Yes. And I, I think that both of those things are true because well, her and I grew up with very different trauma. I was able to make different choices and be very cognizant of. Raising my children and making sure that they had safe spaces.

And then another friend of mine will go, yeah, Tara, but she's not you. And you can't judge her on a scale of, of your own decision-making or your own resources or your own capabilities. And then that's also true. And that's also fair. Right. And so that's, that's where it's hard for me to say

Kimber: Totally. And I think you are the perfect, perfect person to talk to this about because you are. In my opinion, who would have had every excuse to continue that cycle of trauma. Right. And, and I could be sitting here talking about you saying, yeah, she was doing the best she could, but look at how awesome you're doing from the trauma you.

came from. And how do you, how do you do that? I, I had an adopted little brother who did not do so well and, and. The first few years of your life are. So what's the word

Tara: the formative years. Yeah, the first five. Yeah.

Kimber: Yeah.

They're so formative in the way you develop and like you, you actually, my little brother had reactive attachment disorder and it really affects your relationships and the trauma you go through.

He, he did not stop that cycle in a lot of ways, even though he was adopted when he was two and. You know, my parents did, did the very best they could. My, my brother my little, my other little brother, I have a few of couple. My other little brother is, is getting his PhD in communications and a big part of his study.

And his master's thesis was about parents. Who've raised kids, whether they're adopted or not. Who've been in, who've had to go to residential treatment center. And, and these parents feel like failures as parents because they feel like they did the best they could, and their kids still made their own choices.

And didn't do that. Do that. Great. Yeah. I'm trying to bring this back around my brains, like going so many places, but essentially I'm saying like what ma what makes the difference between someone who's doing the best they can and not doing that great. And someone who's doing the best they can. And. And really does something and really rises above the trauma they came from.

How did you do that?

Tara: I have so many ways to answer that question. I think I'm going to do the same thing. I'm just going to spin for a

Kimber: well, that's great. what podcasts are for.

Tara: Perfect. So. The first thing is that, you know, I'm just going to go back to my grandparents. Again, my grandparents were really, I think, especially for the time, cause they don't think that this was common in, you know, in the early 1980s one, they never spoke badly of my mother in front of me.

And so they never once said anything about her that put her in a negative light IX and I will even say. I don't want to say, except for, because if, you know, after I met my mom when I was five and they had a custody battle, I mean, in a very a very awful custody battle. And so I heard things through walls, right.

That they didn't know that I was necessarily a party to and My grandfather threatened to throw my mom through a wall. It was a whole thing that got kicked out of the hospital once, because they couldn't stop yelling at each other because I was in the hospital for asthma and everybody blamed everybody else, but it's asthma.

There's no blame here. So when I had things to say, my grandparents didn't excuse the behavior. Right. But they would think. Often listen. And then my grandma would tell me something. That's probably the most important phrase that she has ever used with me. And that is you can love somebody and not like them.

It is okay to love your mom and not like what she does. It is okay to love your mom and not like. Those are two separate emotions and there's two separate feelings and they're two separate actions and that's okay. You can have conflicting feelings. And that gave me the freedom in many ways to, to process my feelings in kind of a more complex prism that I think we often get to as a kid.

The other side of that is parenting, right? So I have two, I have two biological children. I have one. Child that's been, she's been we're foster home, number 11, by the way, for our daughter. So she's experienced a lot of trauma in her life and that fostering children, parenting children with trauma through trauma is a much different skillset than fostering neuro-typical children without drama, right.

It's just a whole different skillset. And so. No matter if you're doing the best you can. If you're, if you're trying to raise a child that has had trauma, even, you know, even gestational trauma where they're their parents, even if they were born and then given to an adoptive family or a foster family, right out of the womb, there's still trauma that happened inside the womb that you have to deal with.

If you, if you don't know how to. Look at their behaviors through that prism and then parent those behaviors through that prism, then I think it's very, very hard. And then on the other side of that is that we're all people, right? Like ultimately no one can make us do something that we don't want to do even as children.

And so my. You know, you can ha you can raise two kids in the same household. And one of them turns out to be an expert her and the other one turns out to be a Nobel prize winner. Like some of it just isn't isn't us. I was just reading an article the other day, like about so many things that your parenting doesn't matter.

Right because humans are humans and they have their own brain and they have their own thought processes and they have their own tools of dealing with things. And I think ultimately the only thing that you can do for a child, whether they're neuro-typical or a neurotypical, cause that one of my to my, my older boys have, or my younger boys, my boys have are on the autism spectrum very lightly, but it's still, there's still behaviors that we have to parent through or children with trauma is that all you can do is give them a toolbox.

To have ways to help them regulate their behaviors, help them regulate their own, like all of their minds, the head trash that that's going in, all you can do is teach them tools and practice tools and demonstrate tools and model tools and behaviors. And then from there they really have to take it away, right?

Like that's their responsibility. For me, The advantage, a huge advantage that I had that I didn't even realize until I was, I was probably 18 or 20, is that because I had this split personality childhood, I had one family that I'm like, wow, this is like, this is parenting done well, right. Not perfect, but well, and this is parenting not done well.

And so I had very much a huge dark contrast of what I wanted to be and what I didn't want to be. Right. And so I think that helped me. Really make choices in my own parenting about what, what my parenting would look like, because I had such different examples from almost completely on the opposite of the spectrum.

So there we go. I think I hit all of them.

Kimber: So the only, well, I guess you did kind of talk about if you, if you can have the toolbox, then It's your responsibility to keep going. So now the question is let's get back to your story because I want to hear how you came through this. You haven't really talked about your health challenges yet.

Tara: It's true.

Kimber: So let's talk about that.

And then. Yeah. I want to hear how you got where you are. So let's jump back into your story.

Tara: Yeah. So I was a really angry teenager. And I would, if I was past angry, I was a rageful teenager. I I don't know if it was lucky or not, but I found one of my dearest friends when I was about 12 and he was 13, we actually share a birthday. And he, he was also born into a family. His parents actively did not want him.

They told him that they did not want him, that they, like, they mistreated him. They allowed his older brothers to mistreat him. And so in many ways we, we understood each other from a very young age. And so our. Our rage was safe to let out with each other. And so we would get into these, like we would smack each other, like tell there was red hand prints on our faces.

I just stand in front of like go back and forth and back each other. And I'm sure like, looking back, especially as a parent of teenagers look like, holy shit, this is not healthy. This is not okay. But I keep going back and I look at it as like me from now. It's like, that was probably the healthiest, cause I didn't have access to therapy.

Right. And so that was probably the healthiest way to work out. Anger was somebody who was equally as angry, but also equally a safe person. Like he was not going to like, yes, getting slapped hurt. And I'm sure like for both of them. But we weren't going to hurt each other. Right. Like we weren't going to cross a line.

And so then that way we were very safe. And so that was in many ways. By the time I was 13, 14, I realized that I didn't want rage to too. Rule my life. And so I went on a, I guess multi-decade whereas this still there in many ways a multi-decade journey to figure out how I could just simply not feel so much rage in my.

All the time. And that was really hard. And so I ended up, like, I ended up self-harm harming on part of that journey. I put my fist through a wall and part of that journey right. Because I didn't want my rage to hurt other people.

Kimber: Yeah.

Tara: And so. Inward was kind of my first step, which I'm not saying that's a healthy step.

It wasn't at all. But if we're talking about steps on, on an imperfect journey like that, that was really the first one. In college, a friend of mine introduced me to the counselor on campus and she was the first one who really put me on a path of saying like, yes, these things happen to you. And like, that's true.

And you're allowed to be angry at them. But being angry at them doesn't mean that you have to be angry at yourself because it wasn't your fault that those things happen to you at around the same time. My grandmother said something. I don't even know what our conversation was. She kind of perked up. She was like, you know, you don't have to be perfect for me to love you.

Right. It was like a light bulb went on. It was probably 23. Wait, what? This doesn't seem right. Are you sure someone can love me if I'm not perfect? And so that was kind of like those, those two pieces were really kind of at the same time. The next, the next piece of my journey and my the counselor, because one of the things when I've kind of the, the results, I don't know if it's my particular special brain or my trauma.

I can shut off one side of my brain. So I'm either like I'm either completely emotional, not logical at all, or I'm very much like data from star Trek and like, And have no emotion whatsoever. And so, and I can switch between the two fairly easily, but they don't talk to each other. Now they do because I've learned tools to do that.

So she, one of the things she said is like, Hey, write letters from your logical brain, explaining a situation to your emotional brain, and then write a letter from your emotional brain when you're in your emotional seat to your logical break. So I called them em, and low, right. And for emotional low for logical.

And so I would write letters back and forth using both my brains. And that helped me process. A lot more. And then when I I was one of my friends. I was out visiting here in New York where I live now, I was visiting a friend of mine and we were talking about kind of my childhood and why I didn't want to have kids.

And I was contemplating. This guy, meaning my current husband, she definitely did want kids and I'm like, I don't really want to get married and I don't want to have kids. And he was born to get married and have kids. Like he's very domesticated.

And John looked at me and he's like, you know, you don't have to be your mother. And I'm like, no, I had, again much, like I didn't have to be perfect. I, nobody ever told me that I didn't have to be hurt like that. We were two separate individuals and that I could choose different. Like I could make different parenting choices than she had made.

And before that it never occurred to me. And it's like, it's funny because those sometimes just that one sentence at the right time from the right person and the right moment can change. Your entire perspective. And for me, it's like, my journey has been filled with kind of those like right time, right moment.

Right, right. Sentence from the right person sort of situations. And then when when Jeremy and I got together, we ended up because it knew it, like I was, I was finally okay with having babies and and. He's still my best friend we met when we were 16 in Washington, DC at this, at this event. And we kept in touch and and so he's just my person.

And so being like him being my partner really helps as well, because I would identify with being like, I am depressed. He's like, no, Terry, you have depression, right? You are not your illness. You are separate from that. And so that was another piece, again, one another one of those sentences that really. Oh my gosh, I can start thinking about this differently.

And then also the, you know, one of another therapist that I had had After I was married. And one of the things that would happen to me is during intimate situations, not all the time, but like I would flip out, like I would just like go into fight or flight mode and I, I couldn't relax. And like, obviously that would end any sort of situation that was happening in the moment, which was not fun for anybody.

And so I started going to therapy again, That. And one of the things that I had a lot of self-hatred and guilt around is I, when I was 13 or 14, a and much older teenager, he was 18 or 19. Had sex with me, like that was my first sexual experience. And so I ha I had a lot of guilt around that and it happened to be a friend of the family, as most of the many of these situations are and her explaining what grooming was and her explaining that it wasn't really like, I like that as such a young, young teenage, personally, that wasn't my fault.

Like, I didn't do anything wrong that it was definitely like that it was. You know, his actions leading up to that made me feel like it was my choice, but it wasn't. And so being able to put a lot of guilt, cause I think particularly as a child who, who experiences trauma, like a lot of that you put on yourself like, oh, it's my fault because I didn't do this or I did this or I, you know, you feel like you have a lot of agency, but you as a child, you don't.

And so. It's it was important for me to hear that as well. And so all of those little pieces have really helped me along my journey.

Kimber: So tell us about what you're doing now. I guess went into it, but like, how did you, how did you, how did you find it? How did you such a passion for it? 'cause I can tell in your emails, like you are passionate about what you do. That's why I don't. I try to clear out my inbox every once in a while.

Cause you know, it gets crazy cluttered and I just, even if I don't have time to read yours, I like to save them because there's just so much personality and passion around this thing that I think most people would find weird and boring.

Tara: Yeah. So I really like. Fixing things. I was such a daddy's little girl growing up. Like my grandfather, he worked on cars, he was a truck driver. And so I felt like I was his shadow. I loved fixing things. I loved, he was the type of person that would always say. You could tell a lot from a man by the, by, by just looking at his garage because his garage was immaculate.

Like he, he could be working under a car and be like, Hey Tara, go into the third drawer of my toolbox and pull out the fourth thing. And that's what I need. And I'm like, holy, like, and so, yeah, so I loved fixing things as a kid. And then he would come home with these stories about. Oh, I did this drop at this factory and it didn't like the guys were telling me that management made this decision and didn't make any sense because I just talked to the guys in the floor.

They would have told them that this, and they would have been able to save a whole nother job. And I'm like, why didn't they just talk to the guys? This, this doesn't make any sense. Let's fix it. And so that kind of led me to my current career, which my current combat only career or my, my vocation, I guess my calling, which is industrial engineering and industrial engineering is all about right.

Most engineers design a thing, right? Engineers designed bridges, they designed cars and he designed aerospace, you know, jet engines. But industrial engineers design process. And so what that means is that anything that happens your life, right? You've got, you've got children, you know, that getting out the door with kids is particularly when they're younger.

A takes a lot longer than one ever thinks that it should. Right. But getting out the door with three small children is a process, but it's a process that can be fixed and a process that can, we can reduce the amount of time, reduce the amount of headache, reduce the amount of yelling that's in our house simply by changing the process.

And this to me is fascinating.

Kimber: I wish everyone could see your face right now. Cause you're like sparks are like shooting out your eyes. You're so excited about this. I love it.

Tara: Like all the therapist's like, wait, we can change human behavior, which means like we can, but we don't have to, like, we don't have to. Rely on our willpower. We don't have to rely on somebody like innate. I'm putting an air quotes, right? Goodness. Or like, not goodness to whether or not they're going to do a good job.

Like no, no good person can beat a bad process. And it really like this idea that processes. Should be one should be replicatable and if they're replicate-able, we can predict them. Right. Particularly being a child of trauma, I like to know what's going to happen later on. And so, because we can predict them, we can change them and we can affect them.

So in business, when we're talking about like, oh my God, I have a rack sales. We can fix that. Right. Like you don't have, like, I always tell my kids, my kids get so annoyed with. Like all these problems that you're having had been solved before, we just have to figure out like, what's the best way out of all, the ways that people have figured them out for you to solve this problem.

That's all, you don't have to have a new idea, which is great because so many people are like, oh, I'm not creative. Oh, I don't, you know, I can't do this, but you don't have to, it's already been done. It's already been solved. We just have to figure out one your own like unique value system. The, the, the things that.

Enjoy the things that you don't enjoy, the things that you're good at, the things that you're bad at. And then we build a process around you or around your employees in order to make the thing, do what you want to do, whether it's have more sales, whether it's reduced lead times whether it's new product development and whether or not those launches are going to go well, all of those things can be predictable.

And that's that, that gets me really excited.

Kimber: Here. And you talk about this right after her. And you talk about your childhood trauma and kind of comparing the two makes me like, is that kind of, is that kind of what therapy is, is like a system, a replicatable system to help people overcome trauma? Or is it not quite there yet? Invent it, Tara, you need to invent it.

The replicatable system that helps everybody get. All of their crazy childhood.

Tara: Oh, my gosh, that would be me. I mean, I created a replicatable system to divorce proof of my marriage because I like, I don't want to get divorced. And so we had to engineer the hell out of that. So

Kimber: Oh, tell us, well, now people are gonna want to know, tell us about that.

Tara: Yeah, so I. It's funny because so many people think that I enjoy risk or that I'm a big risk takers. Not true. I like to mitigate risk. Right. And like, as a business owner, as a as a human, I like to mitigate risk, I don't like not knowing what's going to happen. And so we know that divorce rates are high, right?

We like, these are things that we know, we know that that divorce rates can be high. We also know that divorce happens fairly predictably. And so when we look at divorce rates and when they start to spike, they start to spike. Within the first year of marriage is the first one after your first child is born after your, your, all your children go to, to school for the first time.

When they're, you know, when they're out of the house for most of the day when your child's or when all of your children have left the home At retirement.

Kimber: Hm.

Tara: And so we know, we know kind of predictably when, when people start having friction in, in their marriages. And so we also know that marriage comes like why people get married?

People typically get married because they love somebody and they can fuse that love for something that will last, when love is fickle. And so taking a look at all of, kind of these data points, One of the things that I was telling you. I don't believe in getting married for love. I believe that you should love the person you get married to, but you should get married first to somebody that you respect.

Because if you an end, who respects you, right? Because if you don't respect them, you will not treat them well, you, you never treat somebody well that you don't respect and vice versa. And so, and then if respect is lost, it's a lot harder to get back, like to earn back. Respect is a much harder thing. So all of that is to say the first the first step was really to.

You're gonna laugh at me, everyone laughs at me. That's okay. So the first thing, what we did was when we moved in together, we mapped out our finances using in like in industrial engineering terms, the value stream map. So we mapped in how our money came in, how we both spent money. And then we can like, as a current state, which means like how we did it then and how we wanted it to go.

And along with our behaviors of making and spending money. And we figured out our financial system, right? Because the things that people fight most about money, sex, and kids, those are the, those are the things that, that people fight most about. Like, okay, let's fix that. Let's not fight about money. Let's figure out right now, day one.

How like mapping this crap out our feelings about money, how we make it, how we spend it. The other thing that things that, that typically happens in a marriage is that you find about the same five things, same 10 things over and over and over again. Right. And that, that creates friction. It creates bad feelings because then it really starts to erode your respect for your partner, because you're like, well, they can't respect this thing.

Like the thing that I asked them to do 50 times over the last three months, like, why should I pay 10. And so then we started using another tool which I always, like, I always talk about my emails, which is evaluation. Right. And so we would evaluate, after every argument we do what I call post-mortem. Which is okay, what went well?

Well, something went well because our argument ended, right? So something went well, what went well, what didn't go well, what was the root cause of the argument? Now the root cause is the argument is very rarely what the argument was actually. Right. It's not about whether you came in late or you didn't do the dishes or whatever it's because like you not doing that made me feel a certain way.

And so that's the second step. The third step then is to what can be improved, what can be improved so that this never happened. And then the fourth step for us was to make a rule around it. So we, my husband and I actually have ruled there he is. They actually have rules of engagement around, over our arguments.

And so those rules create guardrails for our, our, our arguments. So we, I mean, now we hardly ever hardly ever argue because we have rules. Like one of the things that I say things mean nasty things that you can't take back when. And so I need to walk away, but he had a relationship prior that she would do that.

She would never come back and then weeks later, like she would similar up against about something else and then bring up, you know, all of the, the, his sins from before. And so he's like, I don't like it when you walk away because. I feel like we're never going to resolve it. And then I'm just like, something's going to blow up in my face unexpectedly.

So the rule around that is I can leave, but within 24 hours after I've cooled down, I have to come back and then we have to finish the

Kimber: Mm.

Tara: So that's an example of a rule. And then the other thing that happens is that people for Julian long-term marriages, right? Like everybody's should keep.

As you as you age. But the trick is to grow together instead of apart, while still kind of maintaining your own interest, your own goals and things like that. So we have we have annual goals meetings,

Kimber: Oh gosh, I love it. cannot imagine getting my husband on board with this, but I think it's awesome.

Tara: Yeah. And like, they're silly. Like they're not super serious. We started with Liga chalkboard, like, okay, what are the things that we want to get? What are the things that we want to accomplish? Where are the places that we want to go? And we put every lake, like throwing spaghetti on a wall, just putting it all on there.

And then we crossed them off as we got them for that year. And the next year we evaluate like, do we still want those things? There was a radio. On our list for the longest time, because somebody put her phone down on there. I mean, nobody was ever going to get a raid gun, but like it's silly. And it's something like, along with like starting our college, you know, college funds for our kids.

All sorts of things on the list. And still go on the list. And then we usually have like quarterly, we call them if then meetings. And they're not meeting, like I say, a meeting because we do plan to have them, but we, so the quarterly, if then is particularly because as entrepreneurs, we don't always know like how our finances are going to go perfectly.

When our kids were younger and so we'd always have a plan. Okay. So best case scenario, this happens, what is, what is the next path that we take? Worst case scenario. This happens, what is the next path that we take? And so. That helps us to have conversations before they get emotional. Right? So for an example, our first when we were, when we started living together and we were gonna go share major holidays, which each other major winter holidays, we had that conversation in July, because the closer you get to the holidays, the more emotionally charged that that conversation becomes.

And so we figured out in July, Long-term okay. The years that we go to your family's house for Thanksgiving and new years, we'll go to my family's house for Christmas and then we'll switch off year to year. Right. And so we were at the other thing is like try to tie in conversation so that you can take as much emotion out of it as possible when you're not immediately right up against that.

And the last tenant, I guess, of our, of our relationship. Of our relationship engineering is like plan for fun. And so if we can't have a date where we can't get away for a weekend for long time, like I already know in March Jeremy and I are going away for a weekend, we planned that in November.

Cause we're like, holy crap. We've actually, don't have nothing is free until March, but we need to make sure that we have something to look forward to as a couple. That's it.

Kimber: I think it's fabulous. Tell people where they can find you, because I imagine anyone listening to this podcast episode and not wanting to know more about you and what you do, especially for the entrepreneurs who are listening, anybody that has anything to do with business or even relationships like. I loved the, I love all your online courses because I think they, they, you know, you, you view them through the lens of business, but I think so much of what you do as you just proved, can be applied to so many aspects of life. So tell people where they can find all your amazing stuff and get in touch with you.

Tara: Yeah. So my website is failed fam at Yeah, it's just failed. Failed, failed to Fail T O not the number two failed T O fab And then from there, you can actually find my teachable courses, my blogs on there. I think my Facebook is on there, but if not, it's it's also failed to Bev on, on, on Facebook as a business and then from Philip have on Facebook, you can find my personal page which I share with the world and you can kind of see.

All of my imperfect chlorine.

Kimber: That's what I love about you. That's I mean, honestly, That's why I'm having you on the podcast. That's why I signed up for your courses. That's why you keep your emails is because of, obviously I have a whole podcast around authenticity. That's like my highest value. And to see that come through from someone that I found, like I said, through a Facebook ad, it was just so refreshing and exciting to me.

That's what I get lit up about. And so I just, I think you're fabulous and I think everyone should. Do all the things that you, have anything to do with. So

Tara: Kimberly.

Kimber: if you have one big picture takeaway or not big picture, but just something that you can leave the listeners with today what would that be?

Tara: It is more important. To follow the fun than to follow the result, because if you don't achieve what you set out to achieve, you will still have, have memories along the way that you can look back on fondly.

Kimber: And that's coming from someone whose entire business is built upon creating systems that get results. So that is saying something that's awesome. I love it.

Tara StandProfile Photo

Tara Stand


Tara is a human that has seen some shit. She grew up in a split-personality childhood with an abusive mother on one side and loving but strict grandparents on the other. As a grown-up person, she put herself through engineering school, went to therapy, did a lot of hard work making her brain do things it didn't want to do (like love herself) and now helps women run businesses that do not, in-turn run those women. When she's not bossing around business owners, she can be found hiking with her three teenagers and annoyingly perfect husband.