Life will never be rainbows and butterflies all the time, and what we see on the outside is not always what is on the inside. Author of What Goes Up, Mistie Layne thought she had her life flawlessly written out until she encountered a significant plot twist. From beauty pageants to black eyes, she went from becoming a prominent surgeon to facing forty years in prison after her horrific cocaine addiction forced her to rock bottom, all stemming from her failed marriage. Mistie used writing as her therapy which was instrumental in totally shifting her life for the positive. She unravels her extraordinary journey on working through the hurt and betrayal, ultimately redeeming herself after being in jail.
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With Mistie Layne Author Of What Goes Up
I am excited to be coming on with you because I have one of my really good friends who has come up with a book, What Goes Up by Mistie Layne. I get excited when I see my friends pushing it, stepping out of their comfort zone and doing what they feel led to do. Even when it means embracing something that’s dark and scary and like, “What are people going to think of me?” Step past that worry of judgment and stepping and owning your power, owning the things that hurt you, how you hurt yourself, how you’ve hurt other people. I am inspired by people who do that. Thank you, guys, so much for joining. It’s a blessing to have you all.
I’m grateful to have our guest and for the human being that she is. It takes courage to own the crap. It takes courage to own the things that have even happened to you. It’s one thing to talk about the bad things you’ve done, but I can’t figure out why people hold onto the bad things that have happened to them. It blows my mind, but at the same time, I’m so grateful to have people like her in my life because it inspires me. It encourages me and pushes me to make me want to continue being the best man that I can be, but also wanting to unearth. If there’s something that’s hiding, if there’s something that’s deep down in the dark that maybe I don’t want to talk about, having friends like Mistie inspires me to get rid of it because by getting rid of that toxic thing, I know what it’s going to elevate me to. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a great pleasure for me to introduce to you my friend and author of the book What Goes Up, Mistie Layne. How are you doing?
I’m awesome. I’m living life.
Your book came out. What’s this experience been like for you?
It’s been awesome. I carry this book for around twelve years. I had a fear of judgment. I’m too scared to release my truth. I seem to worry about what other people would think about me and to finally get it out there and no longer have it over my head, it feels such freedom.
What was the hardest thing for you to put on paper? As far as what the book is, what it is for you and to get to that place where, “I’m committed to writing this book,” what was the one thing that you would say held you back the most from writing the book?
Fear.Find out what you want to live up to be and go towards that. Click To Tweet
Fear of what? What subject?
Fear of being in front of me, the person that I was.
What is that person?
That person was a lot of things. I was incarcerated when I wrote the book. I was in a very deep place. I was in a place where I felt defeated. I wasn’t suicidal, but I felt guilty for being alive. I had that whole thing to do with I had no help and no therapy. Writing my story was my therapy. It’s what saved my life.
What was the one thing that was so hard for you to release? Not the book itself, but the subject. What was the one thing that was in the book that gave you the most fear about other people knowing?
I think my biggest fear was letting out the secrets of abortion that I had gone through, hidden and chose to ignore myself. That was hard. Letting it out on paper was even hard for me. It was hard for me to let other people know I had done that multiple times.
It’s obvious when people are holding back or not standing in their authentic truth. You are raising over the surface and it’s bugging me so bad because I know that you’re a strong woman. Everyone that’s reading this is not wanting you to skim. I know you. I know your heart. I know the love that radiates out of you, but you’re not doing anyone any favors including yourself by being so guarded. You want to open up because you’ve already put it in the book. Let people have it because there are a lot of people that don’t know who you are. Why did you write this book? You skimmed over abortion. What does it feel like to live in that much fear?
It’s a lonely scary, dark place. Confronting myself has been the hardest journey because I grew up thinking I had it all. I grew up thinking I was on top of the world. I had everybody telling me, “You’re so strong and successful,” but deep down I knew inside, I didn’t measure up to what they thought I was. It was very hard for me to come to terms with that and to try and figure out, “Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?” How are you going to pull yourself and pick yourself up? Either live to what they think you should or more importantly is to find out what you want to live up to be and go towards that.
Everyone’s born into this world. We’ve got this beautiful baby, we’ve got a family, everything’s hunky-dory. When did things shift in your life?
I would say I noticed the shift with my first marriage right after the adultery set in. I grew up in a protective life, so I didn’t see the agony in the world. For years, I thought that adultery is what catapulted me into this second type of lifestyle I started.
Is it your adultery or did he cheated on you?
He cheated on me. After a ten-year marriage, I found that he had another woman pregnant and it devastated me. Writing my book, it went further back because I was in the beauty pageant system growing up and there was a lot of perfectionism that I stuck on myself. I learned very young the power that winning something gave a person in any competition. If I would win a pageant, that power that I felt, I thrived on it and I had to have it. It was a competitive thing I had to have. What I realized when I started writing my story is that in my senior year of high school, I started pulling my eyelashes out. I had no eyelashes at all on either eye. That was some type of self-sabotage. I’m not even sure where that came from, why it was there or if it was a rebellion against the pageant system or a rebellion against having to live up to everybody else’s expectations. It went back way further than that.
I grew up in the pageant world too. It’s a tough industry because there is a lot of judgment. We have a friend and they do it a little bit different. They have the right idea for pageants, but for the most part in that pageant world, it’s very hard. If you’re younger and you have the parents that are watching over you, they’re just as brutal as the judges are. Do you remember what that was like for you?
It’s fierce. My mother, I love her to death. She’s my biggest supporter, but at the same time, she can be the most toxic person in my world. My mother is old school. She grew up when you don’t put your stuff out on the streets, and everything had to look good from the window looking in.Putting a lot of great expectations on others tends to lead to failure. Click To Tweet
Not on the inside. “As long as you look pretty on the outside, I don’t care.”
Close the blinds at night and whatever happens, happens. What goes on in the house, stays in the house. She puts pressure on me, but I would say it was more so I was trying to please her. It wasn’t her. You hear about these dads with the athletes that just push. It wasn’t so much of that. I wanted to please her. I wanted to make her proud of me. I felt if that’s how I needed to do it, then that’s what I strive to do. I put a lot of pressure on myself.
How would you say the pageant world translated into your relationships with men? What kind of impact did it have? How did it affect you in dealing with men when dating and then when you got married?
Dating, I always had long-term relationships. I wasn’t the one to date around. It seems when I would get with a guy, I would stay with them at least a year. Even in high school, I always had long-term relationships. The thing that has hurt me repeatedly and I don’t understand or get it is I’ve been told, “You’re so beautiful. You’re so gorgeous. I’m so lucky to be with someone like you,” but yet they’re not loyal to me. They cheat on me. Every time that would happen, I internalize it like, “Something’s wrong with me. I’m not good enough. I’m not pretty like they say, or smart enough or funny enough. What is wrong with me? You’re telling me I’m beautiful, but why can’t I keep a man here?” Almost every guy I’ve ever been with, I’ve had that issue. Some say, “You intimidate them.” I’m sorry. I don’t buy that.
Would you self-sabotage a lot of the relationships that you were in because of the self-defeating thoughts?
Perhaps. I spent a lot of years blaming everyone else for my failed marriages, but I’ve shifted through this whole paradigm of thinking that I’ve been through. I realized I had faults as well. I had high expectations. I expected a lot from a partner. I say that, but honestly what I expect are loyalty, honesty and commitment. If I can give it to them, why can’t they give it back? Why can’t I find that one person? What I’ve learned is that I do put a lot of great expectations on others and that tends to lead to failure for me. They disappoint me. I’ll lose respect for them. Once I’ve lost respect for them, they feel that because I’ve had one tell me that, “I felt like nothing around you because you didn’t respect me.” It all goes together.
I do want to discuss the affair that your husband had. Was this something that was ongoing or was it an isolated incident? What was going on in your relationship when all this happened?
I was working very hard to get into medical school. I wanted to be a surgeon since age thirteen. I was always very driven and focused. He worked out of town a lot and I was either naive or didn’t want to know. The signs were there but it wasn’t until I found some phone numbers on a hotel bill when I was unpacking his bag that it was real to me. Even then, here’s the thing that gets me about my self-esteem. Being in the pageant, you’d think, “She’s got all going for her. She’s still beautiful,” but inside, I didn’t feel beautiful. When I found these numbers, I called the number and I talked to her and came to find out he had been seeing multiple women throughout our marriage. He got one pregnant. She actually lost the baby on Christmas Eve and I was pregnant with my second daughter at that time. It brings sadness to realize that my life wasn’t what I thought it was. I thought I had the perfect marriage. I thought we had the perfect family. We were raising our daughters. I was checking towards medical school. Everything was working out great, but it was another facade. It was another picturesque thing with a vivid frame. In the inside apparently, it wasn’t that.
I asked a question because I think a lot of women take the blame for men cheating and they personalize it. It’s not something to take personally. I can’t tell anyone how to feel, but I was a cheater in the worst way. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t like myself. I didn’t like the person I was with. I didn’t want to be there. I also was unwilling to be honest about what I wanted, what I desired, what I thought I wanted, but then that changed with the wind anyway. What you said, I’ve heard from women before, “I thought everything was perfect. I thought everything was wonderful,” and I’m thinking to myself, “How many times did you say, ‘Will you just pay attention to me?’ and I blew you off?” I’m in my own head with all of the other things that are going on. It hurts me to hear you say that because it takes me back to the times that I’ve had these conversations with exes. I can’t say it enough that it wasn’t about you, it was about me. It doesn’t mean in a very selfish, narcissistic and awful way. I don’t know if that even helps them because as humans, we personalize everything so much, not understanding that it’s not about us. How did you work through the hurt of and of the betrayal?
Honestly, cocaine got me through it. That’s when I met my new best friend.
We’re not endorsing cocaine.
The one thing that was loyal to me was cocaine. For ten years I depended on it for everything. I numbed myself and never had to deal with it until it all came to a hit and I landed in prison facing a 40-year sentence thinking, “What happened? How did I get here? Who is this person in the mirror?”
This is an amazing thing. We all know you as this ray of sunshine, full of love. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t adore you and here you are facing 40-years in prison. The choices that we make and how quickly it can happen.
I’ve been on the side of the road. I say respect your moments of choice because they become your lifetime of decisions. It’s true because I was on the side of the road on the way to the Dallas Cowboys football game with the guy that I was dating. It didn’t matter the caliber of guy. Any guy that thought I was pretty, funny and smart, I was all over it. It didn’t matter what kind of person he was. If he was into me, that was what it’s all about. I was with this guy and he pulled out cocaine. I was 30 years old. I have been hit by a drunk driver at age fifteen, so I was anti-drugs. I was good at school. I was that girl they made fun of. I wouldn’t get high. I was such a little prude.We have to learn what we are willing to put up with and set our boundaries and know ourselves. Click To Tweet
I showed them all. On the side of the road, I didn’t give that choice enough time because I was vulnerable, I was depressed and I didn’t care anymore. I thought, “I did everything right for ten years in my marriage and that got me nowhere, so now let me see what it’s like on the other side of tracks.” I made that choice to try that line of cocaine. That’s all it took for me. It took that one time to show my mind. What it did for me is it freed me up all that. I no longer had to turn and analyze why? It went away. Like the book What Goes Up, the problem with that is once that high wears off and we come down, we’re all those things that we were before but now, we’re an addict too. We’ve compounded it. That started a whole another series of issues.
We have the author of What Goes Up, my friend Mistie Layne. It’s an amazing story. You can buy it on Amazon. You guys check this out. This story is not what you think. I’m looking at you going, “You’re this sweet, wonderful woman that I know.” What I read of the book so far, I’m like, “I don’t know that woman.” You’re in this car and you see cocaine and instead of taking that five seconds to let your brain kick in, you’re like, “Okay,” and then you do cocaine.
I did it. It changed my world. It changed a lot of people’s world. That one moment of choice affected many lives. It started an addiction. As any addiction will, it will progress. That progressed into crack cocaine. I’ve never smoked cigarettes. I wasn’t a coffee drinker. I was thinking, “I’m never going to get addicted to these things because I don’t have that hereditary trait.” I had to learn how to get the smoke in my lungs because I had never smoked. That was a challenge. I’m a perfectionist, so I had to get it right. By the time I’d gotten that technique down, I was a full-blown crack addict. At that point in my life, I couldn’t go two hours without taking a hit. That progressed to every five minutes. I couldn’t put it down.
In medical school, a beauty pageant contestant winner all the way to a Dallas Cowboys game. I do my first bump of cocaine, off to the races.
At 30-years-old and a mother of two.
Were you in pain at that time or were you just not thinking?
I was hurt. I was devastated. I was lost. It was my fault. I wasn’t good enough for him so he cheated. The thing that gets me, I’ve heard it more than once from guys is, “It didn’t mean anything. It was just sex. I love you.” Does that mean I can go do it too and it doesn’t mean anything? If I’m going to turnaround on a guy, it’s a whole other thing.
That means the ego is there. Those words have come out of my mouth. You’re right. When it shifts, it depends. If someone said that to me when I was on drugs, it feels like, “Go ahead. Can I watch?” That’s completely inappropriate, but that was the truth. When you’re sober and you find out that your girlfriend, your wife or whoever slept with someone else, it hurts. “What if he was better than me? She’s going to leave me for him.” You internalize all that and you’re off doing it again. It’s the weak monkey brain is all it is. It’s dumb. It’s selfish. It’s not right.
It’s a normal life. It happens. We’re all humans. I’ve made mistakes as well. It all comes around. I think we have to learn what we are willing to put up with and set our boundaries and know ourselves. The thing about the whole porn addiction, that’s another thing that’s killing marriages too. I told him, “You do what you want to do because me dictating to you what I want you to do is not going to do anything but make you have resentment towards me. What I have to figure out is what do I want to put up with. Do I want to be with someone that has a porn addiction? Do I want to be with someone that gives everything to porn leaves nothing for me? Is that the kind of person I want to be with?” Ultimately, I shifted the blame from him having a porn addiction, to me choosing to stay with that kind of person. That’s what it is.
That is where you get to accept responsibility because you become an enabler. I’ve talked about boundaries a lot. Once somebody penetrates your boundaries, they own you. Deal with it until you say, “No more. I’m cutting it off.” When you’ve been on that cycle of emotions with somebody, when they’ve made you laugh, when they’ve made you cry, when they’ve hurt your feelings, charmed you and warmed you. They put you on this high of epic proportions and all through the lowest of lows. There’s this chemical addiction that kicks in. It’s worse than crack cocaine. Relationships are so bad about that. What I don’t understand is why cheaters don’t be open in relationships. I’m going to tell you why. I want to answer this question because I’m going to speak from the person that was a cheater and a narcissist and everything under the sun.
I was doing drugs behind girlfriends and wives backs. There’s not much and I’m not proud of any of it. I want to speak in terms of marriage. In the context of marriage, men are so scared to talk about those dirty little things that they want to do, that they fantasize about, that they think about. They’re like, “I want this, but that’s my wife and she’s the mother of my children. I don’t want her to do that.” They’re afraid to say, “I want you to put this here or do that there or any of that stuff.” It’s fear and they’re not willing to be honest. For me, battling my sexuality, not knowing if I was bisexual or straight, that caused a lot of lying, a lot of cheating, a lot of sneaking around and doing drugs and all of that stuff. I compounded the issue. In the end, it all goes back to we are not willing to be honest with who we are, what we want and what our expectations are. We don’t set that up from the beginning.
The problem is if we’re not honest with it upfront, it becomes so much harder a year, two, three or four years down the line. In the end, it’s being too immature, to be honest. That’s all it is. Here’s what I know about women. Men, give a woman 80% of your best. I promise you she’ll give you the world. I know that that women deserve 100% and all of that stuff, but they’re so used to getting about 40% to 50% that 80% seems like they won the lottery. Eventually, men are going to have to step it up and give it their all, all the time. Women are so used to being suppressed, held down and pushed aside, “Have me dinner on the table by 5:00,” and then shut up. That’s pretty much what life was like. “This is your role in the house, deal with it.” Women are CEOs. Women are beautiful. Women are stepping into their power and they’re owning it. They’re going, “You better treat me like a woman.” If a man steps up and gives any effort, a woman that is in her nature to provide that for you. Am I wrong?
No. Another thing about it is if you get married before you have children, you’re in one mindset in this section and on the bedroom, you’re one way. For me, after I became a mom, I did change because I was in mom mode. I was in protection mode. I was in nurture mode. By the time I got to bed at 10:00 at night from running around with two kids, I was exhausted. He wanted sex all the time. I was like, “Are you kidding me?” I think it shifts on us too. Another thing that men need to realize about women is we like things too, but there are a time and a place. You can’t always be on demand when you have kids in the house. We brought the kids in the world. We need to do what we need to do to raise them the way we feel we need to. Locking the bedroom door while they’re still awake for sex, I didn’t think it was appropriate.
Men sometimes deal with rejection, like little boys, but it sounds like you were married to a little boy essentially that he wasn’t emotionally mature. That’s why he was on vacation. He’s like, “Here’s an opportunity. I can get away with it,” not thinking of anyone but himself. I’m not passing judgment because I’ve been that guy. I know how horribly irresponsible, selfish, narcissistic, abusive and wrong it is. The consequences of our actions, it doesn’t stop with the person you hurt. Mistie, I want you to comment on this. You get cheated on, you find out about it. Here you are devastated, but you’ve got to show up as a mother. I don’t care what you say, but that cheating on broke your heart. It affected how you were with your children.All of your flaws, pain, and hurt have a much bigger purpose than you will ever know. Click To Tweet
Maybe you were a little bit less patient. Maybe you said something because you were so hurting inside, but you didn’t want your kids to know. Maybe you took something out on your kids. The ripple effect of the consequences of our actions create ripples that can go on for generations. It’s a problem. It’s not, “I didn’t love that girl. I love you, I just banged her.” That maybe cute and all, but the consequences from my monkey brain, they’ve stayed with me for a lifetime. A ripple effect of hurt and pain that I’ve caused, it doesn’t go away. No matter how much good I do in the world, I still did those things. The pain that I caused others and the ripple effect from that is going on. I can only pray that they were able to heal from it.
I know he did love me and still does. We get along. We talk. I have forgiven him and he’s forgiven me because I’ve done a lot of things through my addiction as well. Even when I went to rehab, he even found I was pregnant with my son by another man, the one that I went to domestic abuse with and that’s a whole other story. He wanted to build a house and raise that kid as his. I was like, “What do you mean?” He was like, “I love you. This is all my fault. I want you to come back.” I was like, “You hurt me. I don’t love you like that anymore. I love you as the father of my kids, but that part’s gone. You ruined it. You don’t get to have it both ways.” The thing I was going to say is you take it one step deeper when you talk about the cheating and how that makes you feel and you’re already down. For me, I’m already carrying all this baggage with me. Now, I’m in this cocaine addiction and I ended up with my drug dealer. It doesn’t matter the caliber of guy, they think we’re great. We’re all about it. At least, I was.
He talked about it with charm. This is my son’s father and he was the most charming person. We got along beautifully. We had so much fun together. I thought that was the person that I was with until about four months in the relationship and he broke my nose. It came out of nowhere. I had no idea he was like that. I have never been around that before. You want to talk about what that makes you feel like. I felt small, I wanted to hide behind anything I could because I was ashamed. People were judging me for it. It was horrible. What he would do, he would have such an insane, jealous rage. With hospital scrubs, I had to wear shirts under them because he was so scared someone would see under my shirt. If I’ve been over just right at 30 degrees, turn my head, they might see down my shirt.
He controlled everything about me. The cocaine was part of that paranoia. It makes you paranoid. I opened the mini blinds in the kitchen above the kitchen sink. He thought it was a signal for me to have the neighbor come on over and get some. I was like, “Why did you marry me if you think I’m giving it away like that?” He was his own hang-up that he would beat me and come back and be the one who wants to take care of me. He would be the best caretaker ever of what he had created, which I think was his own control thing. He would use the drug for me because we would be off the drug for two, three months and I’d check him out because he has you know what. He would hit me. I would have a black eye, swollen up shut. I kicked him out and he would leave. Two, three hours later, he would always come back with drugs because he knew I was in pain.
He controls me by giving me the pain and he brought me the antidote to relieve the pain, which got him back in the door of the house. Now that we’re back out doing drugs again, he’s still in. He’s not out anymore because he’s there providing me with the drugs. It was this vicious, horrible cycle that I’ve completely got lost in. I didn’t know what kind of music I liked. I found all this out in jail after I was separated from him. People would ask me, “What do you want to eat?” I would say, “I don’t know.” I was so used to him telling me what I eat. I didn’t know anyone. I’ve lost myself. I was gone. That Mistie wasn’t there anymore. The person that I saw there, I was scared of that person.
I remember the mirror looks of being strung out and going, “What kind of monster are you?” Give me more.
That’s why I wrote this. Honestly, that’s why my book is so raw in the truth because I did not know. When you’re in an addiction, the level of things you will do for your drug. You hear all the time, “We’ll do anything. We’ll prostitute.” People need to know it’s beyond that. You will do anything for the drug. I did things I thought I could never do. People need to hear that. If they want to go out to a party and get high, they need to know what they’re signing up for. They need to be educated because it’s not pretty out there on the streets. It’s not a pretty world. It’s dangerous.
This is the thing that I want people to truly know, and you’re an example of this. You think you know hell and then you go into deeper hell and then you think, “I’m not getting out of this so I’m going to go deeper.” It gets to this point where it’s like, “I may not try to cut my wrists, but I’m going to do so many drugs that I’m either going to numb out and my heart’s going to stop, my head’s going to explode.” It gets there. This matters because everything you’re talking about, prostituting yourself is like the cupcake version of how dark it can go. There are way darker things than prostituting yourself that you can do for the drugs or to try to escape your misery. We don’t need to go into it because I don’t want to trigger a bunch of people and either for you, but I want to tell you. You were an example of this that it’s never too late to turn your life around.
It’s never too late when you feel that urge to go, “I want to get high so bad. I want to fall on meth. I can start having sex. I can let go of all of it. I can escape this madness.” Say no to it one time. Walk away from it and then build from there, but I promise you it’s not too late to turn your life around until that time that you give in to that voice and then you die. You’re playing with fire. There’s no such thing as one more time when you’re playing Russian roulette with your life. There are a lot of people out there that are hurting. This is why I’m so proud of you Mistie because you put some stuff in that book that I haven’t even gotten to yet. You put stuff in that book that I’d know that people can relate to because there are a lot of people hurting.
The way that you’re using this is not only do you set yourself free, but you set other people free. Ultimately, that’s what this is about. It doesn’t matter how dark or how tame you think your life is. You have something inside you that is waiting to bless someone’s life and set them free because not everyone’s going to relate to your story or mine. I’m so proud of you. You were in jail and it is about as dark as it gets. Talk to us about your experience in general, what that was like for you. What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned from being in jail?
I landed in jail after being attacked and robbed. I lost control of my car. I had a car wreck. Someone got killed. Someone got hit, knocked under a house. I went to jail in a small country town I was not from. I had a lot of people who threatened me. It was in a drug neighborhood. The word on the streets was that this was a drug deal gone bad and I killed her. She was standing in her yard. I didn’t even see her. I could have stopped my car up ahead. I was sliding out of control. I got threats all the time. People say they’re going to give me a hot shot, which is a shot of heroin in your arm. When I was asleep, they had to move me into isolation to protect me because the people and her family were coming after me and I was petrified. What I was good at doing was putting on this great show of strength. The whole time I was scared to death. The whole thing the way it works with God, it’s a beautifully orchestrated ballet that God was doing the whole time.
I love how He works that way.
In the middle of the night, my jail cell opened up and a lady came in crying. She was drunk and I gave her t-shirts and boxers. I gave her some food I had from the commissary. I sat with her for about three hours and it was 2:00 in the morning. In the morning when the bars opened up and we went to the general population where everybody was, everybody was pointing their fingers on us. We looked at each other like, “Are we supposed to fight? Who are you? What’s going on?” They were like, “That’s the lady that killed your wife.” She was like, “That lady killed my wife? She’s a nice lady.” She was crying because she said her lover had gotten killed, that she had cancer and she had been suicidal three times. She missed her so much, but she was glad she was out of her pain. How she even got in there and put in myself to begin with is a mystery.
What that did for me personally was I told myself, “My belief growing up is if you commit suicide, you don’t go to heaven.” That’s just my belief. I said, “I saved her soul,” because she was suicidal. She was in a lot of pain and in turn, she saved my life. This lady found out she wasn’t killed in a drug deal. It was an accident. I found out the one thread of something I could wake up to every morning and not feel guilty for being alive anymore. It gave me that little bit of thread to hold onto and build on. That’s when I started realizing, there is a positive in everything out there. We have to find it. You have to find what the positive is and we have to monopolize it and use it because even in death there’s a positive and to me, that’s the most beautiful thing.There is a positive in everything out there; you just have to find it. Click To Tweet
I can smile because that’s a great definition of Gratitude: Unfiltered.
September 18th was the day I married my first husband, that ended in adultery and broke my heart. September 18th is the date of the wreck that happened and I killed someone. When I got out of prison because I was facing 40 years, I had to write this book in jail. My prosecutor got wind of it and came and saw me, which is unheard off. Your prosecutor doesn’t talk to you. He was like, “What is happening? This is not your life. You don’t belong here.” I said, “I do belong here. I killed someone.” He said, “Mistie, what happened to you? Tell me what’s going on. We’re going to get you help.” He went back to the judge and reduced my charge from vehicular homicide, which carried 40 years to negligent homicide, which carries five. I did two years in prison, three on paper. I was very blessed once again by God.
I’m out of rebuilding my life for many years. My daughter called me and said, “Mom, I’m pregnant.” My oldest daughter, she’s pregnant with my first grandbaby and she was due September 18th. I’m thinking, “God’s replacing life with the life I stole.” My daughter goes into labor and something happens. My grandbaby was born completely blue and suffered oxygen deprivation for about twenty minutes. Eliana didn’t suck or cry. She’s blind and deaf. She has a feeding tube. She doesn’t regulate her temperature. She goes from 93 degrees to 100 in one day’s time. For the first few months of her life when I held her, I didn’t feel a connection and I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
Finally, it hit me one day and I was letting the devil convince me she was my punishment, that that was all my fault because September 18th could not be a coincidence. I let the devil steal my joy. What I say to people is, “Don’t let your past rob you of your future because it doesn’t own you anymore. You can’t let it. You have to break free from it and be a better person so you can go help that person that’s still stuck in their mess. You have to rise up above it, pull yourself out of it and get out there. Help somebody with it and quit wallowing in it.” That’s what I did.
This is why I love you so much.
I can’t help it. It hit me.
It’s funny because I always joke around. Most people will never assume any of the stuff about me. I look like a serial killer because I shaved my head. People were like, “What? No. That’s not going to happen.” I can’t have that reaction because I lived it. It’s funny because I look at you and as long as I’ve known you, there’s always joy, happiness, love and peace. You’ve got this life story, yet it’s so powerful because no one would ever expect this from you. Especially because you chose to use this now and bless other people. I can’t thank you enough for that because it’s not easy.
I didn’t even know it was my destiny until last April. I have a career in nuclear medicine and I love my career. Last April, Dr. V. I was at a conference and he said, “You’ve got a book, why aren’t you doing something with it?” I was like, “I don’t know. I was too scared of the judgment.” He was like, “You need to tell people what you’re thinking because that’s how you’re going to help them.” I never thought of it. All of a sudden, it was like God started laying yellow bricks down and form that yellow brick road. Every time I tried to procrastinate and every time Mistie said, “No, I’m scared. I’m not going to do it,” God is like, “Yes, You are. Here’s another brick, Mistie. Follow the bricks.” It’s my destiny and I feel it.
I was at the Habitude Warrior Conference at Houston with Dom Faucette and Chris Salem. It sunk in that it’s not about me anymore. It has to be about the person that’s still in it, I’ve survived it. I’m done with it. It’s not going to own me anymore. It is priceless knowledge that I can get out there and help somebody else that they don’t have to go through. They don’t have to kill someone. They don’t have to get killed in the process. They can start identifying what void they’re trying to fill up before it gets to that point. That’s my mission right there. I’m all about it. Look at me, I’ve been through hell and back. I’m a survivor. I’m strong. Why not be happy about that?
I would like to correct you about being a survivor. You’re a thriver.
I own it because I’m blessed. My kids are right alongside me, if not pushing me into this. I was worried about how they would feel if they aren’t ready for it. All three of them, Lauren, Amber and Austin are all amazing. That’s another thing I realized. Everything that I pulled my kids through with me, it has left them strong, independent, resilient, armored to face whatever is thrown at them. Look at my grandbaby, Eliana. My daughter is a superhero. She’s been interviewed with Lauren Harries before. I think some of you might know her. My daughter is a superhero. She’s the strongest person I know. I believe that the whole thing has been orchestrated. Lauren needed to be strong because Eliana was on the way. It might’ve been a crappy way to get her strong because that child is in through hell and back and she’s tough. You have to find the positive in it. There’s a lot of ugliness there, but there’s always a silver lining. Find it and monopolize it.
You’re a gift. You’re a blessing. The fact that I get to call you a friend is an honor to me. I love you. Guys again, What Goes Up by Mistie Layne. Everything that she discussed, it’s not even half of it. There’s so much more. The point is this, you want to buy this book because it’s going to hit home. Women, I think for you it’s going to hit home because you experienced some very similar experiences. If you can look where Mistie’s at, there’s light beaming out of every crevice of her body. Also, men, we’ve got to pay attention to this too because we get to learn how we’ve shown up and how maybe we’ve been in a relationship or marriages. We can learn a lot from this book as well. Mistie’s the real deal. She’s a gift. I don’t have any phonies in my life. I’m so blessed to say that I have nothing but world changes in my community of people. Mistie, you were right there at the top. I’m so grateful for you.
Thank you. I love you too.
Thank you for being here. I’ll see you soon.