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#MeTooWhatNow – Overcoming with Ed Squire
I’ve got a guy on here by the name of Ed Squire. He is involved with MeTooWhatNow, which has touched my heart because it talks about what now and that doesn’t happen very often. What do we do after we’ve had epiphanies, after we’ve had expectations? What do we do now? It affects so many things. He started MeTooWhatNow to raise awareness about childhood sexual abuse and mental illness. He wanted it to be mainstream in contemporary in his approach. He developed a niche for creating videos and documentaries that are capturing the attention of his target audience and other advocacy groups, writers, filmmakers and social influencers. One of his projects is producing a documentary about the public lawsuit he filed against one of his abusers who was his elementary school teacher and the school board that employed them, which touches my heart. It is my pleasure to welcome Ed. Ed, could you tell us your story and how this got started?
Thank you so much for having me on your show. I appreciate you highlighting the WhatNow part of what I’m doing. My mission is not to be stuck in, “This happened to me.” We’ve heard so much of that in our culture for the last few years and our culture wants to know where we go now. What happens next? I’m all about, “How are you doing? Are you getting better? How’s your health? Are you moving forward in your life as opposed as to whose fault is it and what side of the movement am I on?”
You’re talking about healing.
That’s all I want to know. If people ask me my opinion about Brett Kavanaugh or Bill Cosby, I stay away from them because I want to know how you are doing in your path to recovery. My opinions on some of those things don’t do anything for me when it comes to getting better. I’m still in the recovery process myself and I would rather get better than get caught up in these various movements that are taking place. They’re not all bad. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying that’s where my focus is and that’s where my nonprofit focus is getting better. Although I’m not a certified qualified healthcare professional, I consider myself a certified qualified recovery person who can speak into that. That’s a big part of recovery.
Tell us about your experiences with that. I know that you filed the lawsuit against the school board and the teacher that abused you as a child, which to me, people don’t realize how much in our school systems abuse goes on.
The statistics around it are mind-boggling. Without breaking it down into the school system in Canada alone, there are an estimated ten million survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In the United States, they estimate between 60 to 70 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse. That doesn’t include survivors from maybe colleges or the workplace, which is a big part of our culture now. It’s just from that one statistic. My story is horrible and it’s sad. It’s tragic. It did destroy the majority of my life. I tried to forget about it and think I was okay. I did the typical man up, get over it, don’t let this thing hang over your head, you’re bigger than it. I didn’t understand the depths of the psychological and physiological damages that it does to you in the developmental periods of your life when you’re growing up and they will stick with you.Find yourself. Live yourself. Give yourself. Click To Tweet
This is what we hear a lot in our culture now, which I’m glad that adults are experiencing triggers or events that are taking place that are bringing them back to the abuses that they experienced when they were a child. All of a sudden now, you have Brett Kavanaugh cases, you have my case, you have the women’s Olympic gymnastics team case coming up. All of a sudden, there are adults. Something is happening in our brains to cause this to happen. People aren’t making it up all the time. I say it that way because there’s always a small percentage of people that are faking and lying and making it up and that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
Even with the Neverland case with the documentary that was on HBO, those boys have triggered later on in life themselves. That brought them to work with that director and put together a documentary. For me, I was a consultant for Fortune 500 companies for fifteen to twenty years. I consulted in the United States, Canada and Europe. I consulted for global companies like Boeing and Pepsi Cola Global and pharmaceutical companies and big companies. It was operational improvement and industry best practice standards further operations. I went in and did analysis and design and created structures for them. That’s what I did.
At the beginning of around 2012, I started to lose my concentration and I began to slowly fall into depression. I was making good money. I was living what I thought was a wonderful life and I was angry. I began to have this anger come up within me and things would trigger me to cause me to have a post-traumatic stress disorder or outbursts of anger and they were extreme. Eventually, I took the time off and I told my employer, “I think I’m having a midlife crisis or something here. Maybe I need to take some time off.” The stress of my job is a lot. I travel and everything and I come to find out I was diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. It took no time at all for my entire healthcare team to point back to childhood sexual abuse.
It’s funny how life happens. Life seems to just happen. I don’t know how it scripts itself. Around the same time, I got a phone call from a childhood friend of mine. She and her brother lived down the street from me. Her name is Heather Young and Jim Young is her brother’s name. Jim and I used to play together all the time and we went to elementary school and high school together. He committed suicide when he was in his mid-twenties. I was living in Florida at the time when I heard this and I ignored this news. Being far away, I knew why he had committed suicide. It’s because he was sexually abused by the same teacher I was. We were molested at the same time countless times. I knew that’s what he had done and I was right. She contacted me in 2015 and she wrote a book. It was called Fireflies: Finding Light in a Dark World. It was her memoir that documented her efforts to try to prevent Jim from committing suicide.
A big portion of that book was documenting the abuses that she knew that her brother was experiencing to the best of her knowledge that she had heard stories of him that her brother had shared with her. I read this book because she contacted me in December 2015 and she said, “I wrote a book about Jim. I’m going to be releasing it and I would love if you would come to a book signing event and come and share your story of what happened with this teacher and support Jim and my release of the book.” I thought, “No.” The answer was yes, that’s where I was going, but I paused and I thought it for a minute. What happened in my mind was like, “I don’t want to go and talk about this.” She wanted me to do it in front of my hometown. I would love to say, “Heather, I would love to go and do that,” but my initial thought was, “No, I can’t do it. I don’t have the time. My schedule is busy. It costs too much.” I came up with an excuse.
I thought about it for a few weeks and I thought, “I need to do this. I need to do this for Jim and I need to do this for Heather. I need to do this for myself. I need to do this for other boys.” Nobody else was speaking out. This took place over a period of ten years. This guy molested I don’t know how many boys, but he’d molested ten years’ worth of elementary school boys. I say all of that to say that these events started to trigger me. It was about three weeks after I went to my hometown in Canada. I spoke at that event and I came back home to Denver and I found myself unable to work and unable to focus. I could not work. That’s when I got a well-known disability for post-traumatic stress disorder because of childhood sexual abuse, which is a very difficult leave of absence and disability to get covered before. That’s what I got and that’s how it started.
It can be repeated thousands and thousands of times both Canada and in the US and worldwide. One of my thoughts was how did you go about healing yourself? What were your expectations and what epiphanies did you have? Have you thought about that?
I’ve thought about it a lot. I completely unraveled in my life. It’s incredible how I used to think that I was okay. I’m okay. Look at the career I have. I’ve been married for thirteen years and I have good friends and family. I’m successful. It can’t be that bad. The truth of my story is when I was in my late teens, I was a youth leader in my local church. At the same time, I began to experiment with buying sex. I would go to church and then I go buy sex afterward. I can’t tell you the splitting. There was a psychological term that takes place in your brain when you do that. I continued to do that through my entire life and I continued to do that through my marriage. I continued to do that through my career and I thought it wasn’t a problem. How could you possibly think that is not a problem?
Men are very good at the segment in their brains.
We think we can control everything. We’ve got it under control and we’ve got it under wraps. You don’t realize that if you think you’re not hurting anybody but yourself, you’re wrong. One of my epiphanies is to find out how could I possibly be hurting anybody if nobody knows? I didn’t understand and realize at the time that if I’m engaged in those kinds of activities and lying and being deceitful and living a double life, I’m closing down a part of my heart, my life, my personality and my authenticity to every single person, even strangers. I’m denying relationships with people on an intimate level because I’m not who you think I am. That was one epiphany.
I want to read something to you that is taped to my computer. It’s about procrastination, but it has the same roots as what you’re talking about with lying to yourself and altering your expectations. It goes like this. It’s called Don’t Delay and it’s by Dr. Richard O’Connor. “Procrastination is a way for us to be satisfied with second rate results because we can always tell ourselves that we could have done a better job if only we had more time, etc. If you’re good at rationalizing, you can keep yourself feeling rather satisfied this way, but it’s a cheap happy because you’re whittling away your expectations of yourself lower and lower.” When we lie to ourselves and we don’t live to our core expectations, what we expect of ourselves, we start whittling away little by little at who we are. What happens is once we’ve whittled away our expectations, then we don’t live authentically and we have to start living to the expectations of others. Once we start living to the expectations of others, they control us. When they control us, you’ve got to do a lot of work to get out of it.
I am a professional of that. What develops out of this is codependency. What develops out of this is performance orientation, splitting of your personality. If you throw in bipolar and ADHD and PTSD on top of that, there’s no possible way you could become authentic if you don’t understand these things. It’s only been in the last few years that I came to a point where I was like, “Who am I?” I began to journal it back in 2007. Many of the papers I journaled, I just wrote down, “Who am I?”When you’re living a double life, you’re closing down your authenticity and denying relationships with people on an intimate level. Click To Tweet
That’s the epiphany. What you did with it relates to the same thing that we’re talking about because what do you do next? What do you do? Very few people do what you did and that’s what I’m interested in because that takes an incredibly strong special person.
I don’t feel that way. I don’t feel like an incredibly strong special person. I feel like a survivor. I feel like I have done what I needed to do to not kill myself.
You had to have faith and hope. Faith that you could come through it and hope in the future. That’s the thing. It becomes a mindset. Once you have a mindset to be aware of your expectations and to realize these epiphanies that we have, a lot of people think that epiphanies just hit you in the head. Epiphanies come to you every day because epiphanies are a precursor to your expectations.
I live that every day now. I literally am living my dream. That’s how I feel. I couldn’t ask for anything better right now at this moment other than what is the next moment. Jim Carrey has a saying that says, “Every moment you live is pregnant with the next.”
There’s such truth in that. It’s so difficult for people to live in the moment. You do that through having the expectation that moments count and they lead up to minutes, hours, days, weeks, months. We were talking about how young I look and I don’t believe you. One of the things that Vietnam taught me and being abandoned as a young child and not the traditional abandonment way, I learned that every second count and that I am in control of it. You don’t know my story, but I’ll give you a little bit of it. When I was nine and abandoned, I went to a hilltop and had a conversation with God. I asked God, “What is going to become me?” I was laying on my back on this hilltop above this dilapidated, run-down house that my sister and I were living in almost alone. I asked what is going to become me and I heard a voice inside of me that said, “You just have to be faithful, keep going and keep doing.”
I had to learn to figure out everything on my own because my parents weren’t the type of parents that taught us anything. They didn’t give us advice or any of those things. They did in some ways and they didn’t know. I love them dearly but their parenting skills were not good. After many trips up that hill, I began to believe in that voice and I trusted in myself that I was the master of my universe. I was the one who controlled it. What I’m going to say to you is that you are the master of your universe. You have your epiphanies and expectations. When you honor them and become true and faithful to them, it takes away the anxiety, it takes away the depression. It takes away that PTSD because you become your authentic self. My suggestion always when I work with people who are depressed or with PTSD, I have a lot of friends from Vietnam and the Marine Corps that suffer from PTSD and have lived lives just chained to that Vietnam War.
People ask me, “How did you get away from it? What’s the difference in you? Why are you always so happy about things? Why do you always have this glow about you?” It’s because I’ve always had the expectation that the next moment is going to be better no matter how bad it gets. I’ve been through some ups and downs. I spoke at Harvard. When you have people say to you that you’re living almost like such inauthenticity, you don’t find people like you very much. There are not very many people that have had the epiphanies and had the experience that you have and have been able to verbalize it. That’s why I am so honored to be able to talk to guys like you who have been through these terrible ordeals in your life, but it doesn’t define who you are. Ed, you are Ed Squire who has so many great talents. When I hear about your videography and all the good things you’re doing in life, that is the purpose that you were put on this Earth for. All those events that you went through brought you to being Ed Squire at this moment and being able to change the people that you choose to are in this world. I said my piece. This is about you.
We haven’t had a chance to connect a lot before and this is nice. I’m glad you shared that because it brings us to a closer connection on this show also as friends. It’s what I live for right now. I live for connecting with people that get its meaning that they know their authentic selves or that they know that they’re in the fight to find that. They may not be there yet, but they’re desperate to get it and they will. A few years ago, we never would have been able to have this conversation because I would have been trying to act like I’ve got a map to get it. I went through all this. I would have told you all the same story, but it would have come across like, “I’m fine now. Everything is great and I’m so excited for MeTooWhatNow.” Those are true but the reality is I still struggle. The reality is I’m still going through it and it’s okay because that’s part of the journey. It’s all part of the journey.
A couple of things you said that struck out to me was that you always knew all of your life that better was coming. For me, I never felt that way. I always thought my life is crap. I can make it look good. People always thought my life was great. I have done lots of exciting things and make them look good on the outside but on the inside, I was so self-loathing because of what I was doing. I’ve never believed I would ever get out of it. One day my sister said to me, “I don’t know everything you’re up to but I know you’re up to something. I don’t know how you can do that. How can you continue to do what you know is not good?” I told her, “I can’t stop.” Everything for me was self-soothing. Everything was fight or flight. Everything was about performance. Everything was about, “What do you think about me?” I could not stop long enough.
I’ll never forget my ex-wife now because our marriage didn’t make it. I went for a different type of therapy with the therapist who is my therapist now. She said, “You need to learn to live at the moment. You need to learn what that means.” I was like, “What do you mean? I’m in the moment. Rock on. I’m in the moment. Let’s do it.” I thought that’s what living in the moment was. I had another therapist looked at me and she heard me talk about all my problems and how terrible everything was. I stopped and she looked at me and she was dead silent. There was a long pause and she looked at me and she goes, “You need to learn how to live.” I was baffled by that.
I want to give you something to chew on. Start believing in the possibility of everything.
“I do now. I’m there. I’m all in now. I understand this now. I get it.” She said, “You need to learn to be being.” “I am being. If I were dead, I wouldn’t be being. I’m alive. How can that be being?” She looked at me and she goes, “You don’t know how to be.” I’ve learned what that means. Meditation is a big part of my life. If people ask me, “What’s the number one thing that you attribute to your recovery?” there’s no question that it’s meditation which is a miracle for someone like myself.You need to learn how to just be. Click To Tweet
It brings you inward instead of outward. Once you go into yourself deep and you become mindful of what is deep inside you, what you expect has so much to do with it. You’ve got to be true to those core expectations you have. You have to be able to identify them and know what they are. Once you start doing that, people have to understand how transformative it is once you start expecting. Let me give you my basic belief. I believe that our expectations were given to us by the grace of God that He implanted it in every man, woman and child. They know no color, no religion. They know anything. They are purely ours. The one thing that you can count on in your life, the one thing that I had as a child that I could count on was how I expect it. Once you learn how you expect influences your life. When people tell me or my therapist told me not to expect, I go, “It’s impossible. You cannot expect.” I challenge people all the time, “Tell me one thing that you do that is not based on an expectation.”
You can’t avoid it unless you’re in a coma. You said something that struck a chord with me that I relate to. Back to when you said you had an expectation that things will get better and when you cried out to God and you said, “What’s going on here, Lord?” What happened for me, it was August 24th, 2012 when I was drinking and taking prescription medications. I was in depression and I was working. At my hotel room one night, I was so angry because I hated my life so much. I experienced panic attacks. I went to my hotel room that night and I threw my phone across the room and I started yelling, swearing and cursing at God. I was saying, “If you can make the planets, make the animals and make everything that surrounds me, why can’t you do something for me? Give me a break. You know my life is a pile of crap, Lord. Let’s be honest here. I am a complete waste of space. If you’re there, which I know you are, do something.” There were a lot of expletives in that dialogue and I didn’t care, but I’ve come to realize that God doesn’t care.
I didn’t realize at the time but I look back now. I know now that I didn’t hear anything. You said you heard an encouraging voice. I heard nothing. I was angry and nothing changed. My life got worse. I ended up losing my job. I completely unraveled over the next six or seven years. Looking back now, I know that He was saying, “I have been waiting for you to say that. I’ve been waiting for you to ask me. I’ve been waiting for you to say, ‘I can’t do this.’ Buckle up because it’s going to be bumpy for a little while, but I’m going to get you out of this.” That’s what he’s done and that’s why I believe the same thing and it came from expectation. I wanted it. I didn’t know how to do it but the deep desire was there. It’s planted in everybody as well and it can be interpreted in different ways by different people. I don’t care how you interpret it by vibrations or through Buddha or whatever. God is there and has designed that in everybody. I can’t deny that because there’s no question.
You have to be receptive. It’s being in a space and being void until you become receptive to what you’re open to. That’s why I said to you, “Believe in the possibility of everything.” Everything becomes possible then.
You don’t have to hit rock bottom. You don’t have to go through deep tragic things either. You just have to exercise that we all have.
Ed, there are people who have everything. You would look at them and say, “They’ve got money, they’ve got looks, they’ve got this, they’ve got that, they’ve got this beautiful life and they’re miserable inside.” Do you know why they’re miserable inside? They don’t have the expectation that their life is beautiful and they haven’t surrendered themselves. I worked when I was young. I was a council in a health facility. I used to volunteer in the free clinics in Long Beach, California. At the time, heroin was starting to come into the system. I became a counselor to heroin addicts. We had a girl come into the clinic one time that came from an extremely wealthy family. I’m telling you, it was unbelievable. She was going to college. This is in 1970. Her monthly spend that her parents gave her was $5,000. Every month they deposited $5,000.
She drove a beautiful car. She lived at the beach in South of Long Beach and Seal Beach, California on an apartment that overlooked this beautiful place. She had everything by every account of what you would call living the dream except she was unhappy. She took that unhappiness and turned herself into a heroin addict. She’s beautiful. She has long blonde hair, blue eyed, gorgeous in every sense of the word. She’s your California beach girl that you would fall in love with. I started working with her and it was the first time and I didn’t know it at the time that I started working with expectations. I started working with what her expectations were of herself and how she was dealing with her parental expectations. That’s when I started identifying that it’s your expectations at the core of you that matter more because she was trying to live to the expectations of her parents and she wasn’t doing anything that was making her happy.
I was making a very decent six-figure income as a consultant. The only reason I did it was because, “I can make six figures doing that.” If you’ve ever seen the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, Catch Me If You Can, they didn’t have Google back then. I literally googled my way on how to become a high-end consultant in business technology for Fortune 500 companies. If I didn’t know it, I googled it. I’m a good talker. That’s been my gift. I got through interviews and got hired. In the first few years that I started, I would have a senior project and program managers pulled me aside and asked me, “Have you ever done this before?” The reason why they were asking me is that they could tell that there’s something wrong. I didn’t know so I had to confess and say, “I’ve done work like this or similar to this,” but the reality was I hadn’t and I had to google it. My point is that it wasn’t a passion of mine.
It was interesting and fun. I got to work with some of the most influential CEOs and CIOs of the largest companies in the world. That was fun and interesting, and we got to fly around, but it’s nothing that I wanted to do. I’m never going back to it again. I’m getting a lot of skills I’m using now with my nonprofit, which is going back to our conversation. Everything happens for a reason. It’s amazing because I failed high school. I didn’t quite finish college. I’m a great start to poor finisher because I’ve got ADHD to the max. That’s the way it is. I’m a risk taker. I act before I think except for the consequences later, but through all of this, I now understand this. That’s why I can have this conversation with you.
My life has slowed down now. I don’t have to act and react. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I can design a future for myself and make choices for myself. If you don’t like me, it’s okay. I don’t have to be shocked and try to do something to get you to like me. That is one of the biggest stressors in my life. It causes me depression and anxiety. It was like, “What are people thinking about me? How do I act around people?” If you’ve seen any of my videos, I don’t care what anybody thinks. All I care, is there somebody else that is suffering that’s getting benefit from what I’m doing? That is the only thing I give a rip about anymore and that’s the thing that fires me up every day. I have a different take on doing it and those would go off on a tangent.
My worship pastor told me, “You should journey your recovery on YouTube. That people would find it very interesting.” I said, “What? I don’t know. That doesn’t sound very interesting to me at all. I had a massive fear of what people think of me. I have all this mental health. How could you possibly think this would be a good idea?” He said, “I think it would be helpful to people.” I wasn’t doing anything because I’m on disability. I’m working on trying to get better. I never worked to a camera before either. I bought a camera and I sat down in front of it and I started doing what most people do. I started talking to the camera and then I found out that this is horrible.
The whole reason why I’m doing MeTooWhatNow is that when I started recovery, I did like a lot of people. There are 78 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse and not even counting people that are suffering from other mental health issues. We’re talking 200 million people between the United States and Canada. That’s a big audience. I went looking on the internet and I am sure there’s no statistic that can prove this. It’s fearful and shameful. I know that these people like myself go on the internet looking for help and information because it’s private. You don’t have to talk to anybody. You can do it in the privacy of your own home. You can type in, “I’ve been sexually abused, what happens now? I’ve got depression, what do I do?” You’ll be led to some fantastic organizations, nonprofits, people and influencers that are doing great things.You don't have to hit rock bottom and you don't have to go through deep tragic things to exercise that gifting that we all have. Click To Tweet
I found for myself that there were basically two types of content that were out there. One was information you could read on the five phases of recovering from trauma or how does childhood sexual abuse impact you or reading people’s stories. The other type of content was a video where nonprofits or other advocacy groups were posting educational videos on what to do and how to recover and then there were survivors telling their stories. All of these things were good. For me, I’m a very intense person and I like to be entertained. I didn’t find it very entertaining and I found it depressing. I would go and look for other content that was interesting. That’s when my worship pastor and I were talking. I just said, “There’s nothing on the internet that is being produced in video format that I want to return to again and again that is helping me in my recovery.”
That’s where our conversation started. He said, “You need to take your quirky personality and speak the truth like you are. Be authentic and vlog your life. Just vlog it as a survivor and begin to teach your experiences and how you’ve overcome the various challenges that you’ve had. You’ve got a crazy story.” I was sexually abused by my grandfather, my next-door neighbor, my elementary school teacher. I filed a lawsuit. My friend committed suicide. “It’s a compelling story if you tell it in your way,” he said, “I’m sure people would love to hear it.”
That’s what got me started. I realized that video is such a powerful exploding medium on the internet and it hasn’t even been peaked out yet. They’re estimating that by 2020, YouTube is going to have another 500,000 users on there and the number of views is astronomical. I went on YouTube and I started looking there and I looked everywhere on the internet and I couldn’t find anything on the topic of childhood sexual abuse and recovery from mental illness that was interesting, motivational, inspiring and even funny. I thought there are influencers on YouTube that are either bad people or good people. It’s interesting because good and bad are defined by the individual. I may call someone good who somebody else calls bad and vice versa. You can’t define your stereotype to anybody. They are what they are. I couldn’t figure out what is the common denominator that is causing millions of people to follow certain influencers regardless of the topic. The topic can be literally anything under the sun and people have millions of followers.
I found out what it was. It was their authenticity. If you’re authentic, genuine and passionate about what you’re doing, your channel can be all about scraping gum off sidewalks. I’m not joking. There is a channel about the different ways to scrape gum off sidewalks. It’s made by an engineer. He’s a street worker in San Francisco or something. He goes through all the different ways you can do it and he’s got hundreds of thousands of views and hundreds of thousands of followers. He’s very authentic. He’s like, “Here’s what I do for a living. My biggest problem is how you get this gum off the sidewalk. On this episode, I’m going to show you how you do it with this.” I thought, “Why not do that for childhood sexual abuse in recovering from mental illness? Why don’t I do that?” That’s what inspired me to do MeTooWhatNow.
I have humor on my channel. I have interviewed other survivors and other mental healthcare professionals. I’m beginning to put content up that is informational. I haven’t focused on that yet. I’m going to. I’m making documentaries. I’m doing my own thing. I said to my worship pastor, “The reason why nobody is doing this is that it’s a stupid idea or it’s because nobody is doing it.” That’s when I began to realize there is no other Ed Squire and there is no other Art Costello. Everybody is made individual like snowflakes. I felt that this is my calling to go ahead and do it. Just be yourself out there. If you’re in recovery, let it rip and let each moment happen as it happens. That’s how MeTooWhatNow got started and it seems to be working.
You found what your passion is, but it would not have happened if all the events prior to that had happened.
That’s the bizarre thing. That’s why it’s so hard for survivors, “Why did this happen to me? I didn’t deserve this.” Would Jim have killed himself? Probably not or maybe, I don’t know. There comes a time when you do this deep inner work like we were talking about and you ask, “Why did this happen and who am I? What is my identity?” My tagline for MeTooWhatNow is, “Find yourself, live yourself, give yourself.” On my website, I have a short video where I explained what that logo means. The word “Me Too” is in a black background. Underneath that, it says, “Find yourself.” I did that on purpose because when you first identify, “Yes, I was sexually abused or yes, I have the mental illness.” When you finally come to grips of admitting that you have a problem, typically you have an identity issue. That’s a lot of what we’re talking about, “Who am I?” I call that scenario darkness in your life. It’s very hard for you to experience the dark night of the soul. In my case, I had calendars. I had months of dark nights of the soul. You hit the bottom before you come back up.
For me, I hit the bottom and then I bounced around the bottom several times and then I found out it’s a false bottom and it goes deeper. The darkness that you’d go through in figuring out who you are and why these things happen to you and how could this be fair, when that gets sorted out, my logo says, “What now?” That’s in white background. Underneath “What now,” it says, “Live yourself. Give yourself.” Once you begin to understand who you are and learn your identity and begin to accept what life has given to you with thanksgiving, I am grateful for my life. I’m grateful every day and every moment of my life. I never was before. Now I begin to live in that identity and live myself. When you start living your true identity, I believe that you will naturally have an outflow of your life where it gives into other people’s lives. Find yourself, live yourself, give yourself. That’s what it’s all about.
Do you know that you just described Expectation Therapy?
I did not know that.
Expectation Therapy is based on a physics formula that I learned in physics that is identify, clarify and solidify. It’s when scientists are doing experiments. It’s the formula that they use to figure out the validity of the experiment and the expectation of it coming to fruition. It’s called the Formula of Expectation. It’s a mathematical formula that they use.
I came up with that because that’s the path for recovery from PTSD. There are essentially five phases that you go through, which is acceptance and grieving. I just called that find yourself, live yourself, give yourself, which is the same as the mathematical equation that you’re talking about. It’s a universal principle.The common denominator that is causing millions of people to follow certain influencers regardless of the topic is their authenticity. Click To Tweet
It is because it’s based on expectation.
I’ve always learned because I’ve been success minded all my life. A lot of people wonder why they don’t become successful. They don’t reach the success that they want and that was me. I knew all about affirmations and with the way we think and the things to do, but it has to get out of here and into here. That’s the difference that made for me. I began to believe it and not just say it and know it. You’ve got to expect it. That’s what it is. There’s a power in it.
In Expectation Therapy, it is identifying the problem, clarify it with thought and mindfulness and then solidify it with a written plan to move you forward. It is actionable where you can document it and keep on track. It’s almost like goal setting.
That’s what your book is based on.
You can heal yourself. When I lost my wife in 2006 to ovarian cancer, I was so devastated. I know my audience has heard the story over and over, but I know you haven’t heard it. When I lost her for three years, I went into this funk. I had lived such a great life. Losing her was so devastating to me that I started drinking and chasing skirts and hanging out at bars and not living the life that I liked. My kids came to me and said, “Dad, you promised mom you weren’t going to do this.” All those things. I went out on the lawn of the ranch and laid on my back and had that conversation with God again. I heard him say, “I’ve given you all the tools. Get off your ass and start doing as I told you.” I got up from that and it rejuvenated me. That’s when I started reviewing my life. When I started reviewing my life, I realized I had these expectations. After that, I started writing. When I started writing, out of that came the book, Expectation Therapy.
I started journaling around 2007. From then up until the last couple of years, I’ve lightened up on it. I journaled hundreds and hundreds of pages whether by hand or on my computer. I have documented years of what I went through. A big piece of helping me in my recovery is I go back and I review. I look at it and I read where my head was at and what was going on in my life and the difference in who I am now. It’s hard to believe. If I didn’t write them down, if I didn’t get them out of my head, I wouldn’t realize the progress that I’m making now because of that. The exercise itself is one of the number one things that they recommend in therapy.
It’s cathartic and it gives you a point of reference to go back and look and say, “This is how I was feeling at the time.” You could see progress and you can see regression by documenting. Documenting how you feel has so many benefits to people. Everybody that I work with, I suggest that writing doesn’t have to make sense. In writing down, you don’t have to let an English teacher and see it. This is about you being authentic to yourself. The more authentic and the less you lie to yourself, the greater you become.
That’s such a scary thing for people to hear that from you and me, “Just write down how you feel.” I look back now and there were many days where I would write, “I hate myself. My life is F.” The most dramatic thing I ever wrote was I took a pen and I deeply wrote a big scratch across it and it ripped through the paper. I put a date on it and that was it because I was loathing myself so much. I had no words. I go back to that page and I remember how I felt and how lost I felt, how depressed and how suicidal I was at that time. There’s another page that came after that and then another page that came after that. It was ups and downs and ups and downs. This is what it did over time. Here I am up here now.
That’s a slow grind.
It’s so worth it. I went out for dinner with a couple of friends of mine who haven’t seen me for a couple of years because I’ve been hiding away. I’ve been going through this from a lot of people. We went out for dinner and then I was telling my story and all this. His wife said to me, “It must feel so empowering to be so liberated. You’re not ashamed of anything.” I thought, “It is.” She said, “I don’t live that authentically.” It’s not like everybody has to get up on a podium and tell everybody what happened to them. Just to live whatever your authentic truth is, to whatever level you want to reveal yourself to people is a very rare thing to experience. I wouldn’t give this up for a Lexus, a Mercedes, for a fancy house or give me a big bag of money. I wouldn’t want it.
One of the things that I do when I start working with clients, sometimes if they can’t start getting into themselves and identifying in a traditional setting in an office or a space like that, I’ll take them out into a hilltop. Austin has a beautiful hill country around it. We could go over, layout and look over the lake, lay on our backs and just have a conversation. One of my goals is to have a retreat where we go. The water is such a relaxing thing for me. I can go overlooking a lake and totally get lost in my thoughts. I want to take people and take them back to where they can identify what they want out of life. Sometimes it’s to be happy. I want to be happy. It’s deeper. There’s something about it. I want to have a relationship with my spouse. It is so close that we have no fear of telling each other and communicating. I want to have a relationship with my work that is so passionate. I want to be an artist. I want to be a singer. I want to be a writer. I want to be a computer programmer.
If I was on a retreat with you and you were saying, “What do you want?” I used to say, “I want to be happy.” I get what you’re saying. What is going to make you happy? What you’re saying to me is, “I want to live.” To me, that’s what living is. What does life mean to you?To live whatever your authentic truth is, whatever level you want to reveal yourself to people, is a very rare thing to experience. Click To Tweet
That’s the ultimate goal I’m hitting because once you realize that living is ups and downs and curves. Once you learn that and you live that, then you become authentic.
One thing I love about doing MeTooWhatNow is I’m not doing it from a position of, “I have recovered so let me teach you what I’ve learned.” I’m recovering as I’m doing MeTooWhatNow. I’ve only learned that life has ups and downs. There’s no avoiding it. Don’t try to avoid them. They’re there for a reason to teach you something, to make you stronger, to change you in a certain way, to direct you in a different way because what you think may not be the way life has for you to go. Just go with it through the tragedies.
I had a friend of mine that I grew up with on the lake in Canada. On April 4th, he was at the lake with his family. He’s got three kids, beautiful wife, he turned out to be a wonderful and beautiful man and a lot of friends. He’s the type of person that has many friends. We do have power at the lake where we live in cabins or whatnot and the power was out. He went out to go check and see what was going on and he got electrocuted and died with his whole family there. There were so many people grieving for him. He had so many good friends. These things tear your heart out. Even when things are that bad, I may not be a fender bender that you got and you’re upset about things that are tragic. They are still there for a reason.
There are lessons in it.
If you believe in God and you believe in something after, for me, it’s God. I know that we believe the same, but he didn’t go to church or anything. He knew who God was and he believes in the God on the Bible. There’s this great peace in knowing that his family knows where he is. We know other lessons in life too when it comes to religion. I hate that topic. As a matter of fact, my nonprofit is a nonfaith-based organization because I don’t bring my Christianity into it. If you want to talk to me privately, absolutely. What I do is I’m trying to help people find themselves because I believe in that process of finding yourself, you’re going to find a higher power. When you figure out that there’s something bigger than you, then you’re going to want to know more about that higher power. What’s the truth behind that higher power? I believe that’s what I found.
I want to give you a book to read. I’m going to give you some homework. It’s a book called Heaven by Randy Alcorn. Randy is a biblical scholar. My pastor gave it to me and my wife when she was dying of ovarian cancer. It’s a description of heaven according to very strict biblical. It is a difficult read. You would know it if you read it because it is so difficult to read. It’s biblically technical. It’s a very interesting book. It helped me realize some of the fallacies that were culturally taught about the hereafter and what is biblically correct about it. It’s very interesting but I found it very soothing and comforting. It’s a technical read. It’s not a small book. This is not a 200-pager. This is 700 pages.
In all honesty, I don’t look like it but I’ve read my Bible over 25 to 30 times cover to cover. I have Greek and Hebrew tattoos on my arms because I’ve studied both Greek and Hebrew. I’m a big fan of digging deep into the Bible. I want to know the truth about what it says. I get it so I’m very intrigued by what you’re telling me. I know I’ve heard of Randy Alcorn before.
I want people to know where they can get ahold of you and how they can get ahold of you. I want all your background.
These are the things to do if you can’t remember anything. All you have to do is google and type in MeTooWhatNow. I’m everywhere. I’m on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. If you go to YouTube and type in the same thing, you’ll find me or you can just type in my name as well. Type Ed Squire on Google or YouTube. I’m all over the place. That’s how you can find me. Whatever suits you. My thing is videos. I love creating the videos and I drive everything towards that. My website is a good place to start to introduce you to what it is that I’m doing and know what MeTooWhatNow is all about. I encourage people to feel free to reach out to me. My contact information is on my platforms. You can get ahold of me at Ed@MeTooWhatNow.com. If you’re on Instagram and Twitter, feel free to direct message me and connect with me.
I spent a lot of time, a couple of hours a day on average to communicate with other survivors and other people in the community that is doing similar things to what I’m doing. I’m certainly not the only one that’s working in this area. It’s a great community and it’s private. I’m not a professional or certified counselor or anything but on my website, if somebody is looking for that, it’s not a complete listing of everything that’s available, but there’s help on my website if you’re trying to find some help. We look forward to it. I would love it if people would subscribe to my YouTube channel more than anything. It’s not that I want to be a big social media person with a lot of people following, but with YouTube’s algorithms, the more people that are following and subscribing, the easier it is for people to find me and the higher I go up on the search engines within YouTube. I appreciate it when people subscribe.
It has been a pleasure. I can guarantee you this, we are going to do it again.
I would love to. I’m going to be releasing a documentary about this lawsuit. I’m going to do a little tour of screenings in three cities in my province, British Columbia before I release it publicly. I’m going to be recording that journey as well as I release it and speak at these events where people get to see it in private before released publicly. It would be cool to come on and talk about what happens after that or anytime. Give me a shout. I would love to talk with you more.
Folks, you know where you can find me, Art Costello, at ExpectationTherapy.com. You can find me on all my social media channels. Thank you for reading. This interview probably gave you more insight into how to help yourself than anyone I’ve done so far. For that, I am grateful. Thank you.
- Fireflies: Finding Light in a Dark World
- Expectation Therapy
- Instagram – MeTooWhatNow
- Twitter – MeTooWhatNow
- Facebook – MeTooWhatNow
- YouTube – MeTooWhatNow
About Ed Squire
Ed began his college education in business, computer information systems and marketing in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. This led him to owning and operating several businesses and in 2003; a career opportunity brought him to Atlanta, Georgia. There he worked as a consultant, providing strategic business management solutions for over 40 companies in 20+ industries throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.
Eventually, the childhood sexual abuse he suffered, caught up with him and he found himself unable to work and on disability in full-time recovery.
“When I reached my breaking point, I realized it was time to begin to tell my story. First, I had to acknowledge the truth to myself and then I told a trusted friend. Eventually, when I was ready, I told my family and some of my friends. That’s when the darkness in my life started to lift, and my healing journey from trauma began.”
Today he continues working on his mental health and has become an inspiration to other survivors. His priority is a daily commitment to continued personal growth, mindfulness and living authentically. His second priority is pursuing his passion of helping other survivors achieve the same healing in their lives.
“Breaking free from shame and living your true, authentic self brings a level of satisfaction and fulfillment that nothing else compares to”
Ed hopes MeTooWhatNow will do the same for survivors around the world.
He currently resides in Denver, Colorado.
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