How's Work? with Esther Pere - Since I Can't Be Myself, I Try To Be You

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How’s work is an unscripted one time counseling session focused on work?

For the purposes of maintaining confidentiality names, employers and other identifiable characteristics have been removed, but their voices, and their stories are real.


So I’m gonna listen to each of.

You see if I can discern your voices, the voices of identical twins.

We all see if she can figure it out.

Okay, let’s go.

So I’m older 30 seconds older.


We always like to dress the same like play the same sport Jewish has eyes like we just were so contained, happy being with each other.

Those kind of like the creepy twins.

You like to see in movies.

Yes, so one of you has a deeper voice than the other, my guess is you have the deeper voice as they started doing business together in their teens, in small-town, Texas.


We were 14.

Yeah, we started detailing cars.

My parents told us if we wanted a car that we would have to pay for it ourselves.

What made it flow for me.

It was like, there was not one of us in charge and one of us as a follower.



They’ve had three businesses since then and they’re still in their 20s.

They’ve asked for the session because they’ve been getting into more and more power struggles.

I don’t know if it’s going to work for us to work together with others.

Just like fighting like crazy.


We do understand it.

Is that one is the natural-born business person.

He has the talent, he knows to command the room and the other doesn’t seem to pull.

Wait, put me in a room of businessmen to pitch an idea or try to raise money.


I’m like, shutting down.

There has been such an investment as a unit Inseparable identical twins.

I think it’s even gotten to the point of like if we wanted to get married, our partners probably won’t ever understand this like the other one that is but there is more to this story whenever baby different says that’s like, observables.


That I’m gay and he’s straight differences of identity have impacted, not just their personal relationship.

Business relationship in ways that they have never spoken to or admitted to each other.


So before we go actually in the mug, give me a tiny bit more.

You know, what is the kind of the general broader culture that you grew up in so that context we grew up in was extremely, extremely Evangelical Christian.


We didn’t know anything different.

I got pretty sucked into church here.

That was just very, very, very divisive in that realm, just kind of hateful.

Say and then he came out as gay and all of a sudden it was like protection mode.


So I mean I’m thinking of the past six years.

That’s kind of my context for this broader background is very Christian background broken away from that and he said people were like come after him pretty aggressively and hateful way.


That’s that’s a context of trying to get straight into all the muck.


I feel similarly.

I think what I was going to add on is I think the context is like, we saw a right way to be like, look present yourself, the type of work you do and everything like that.


So it was a lot of the same, you know, my my dad successful was kind of like in that circle of people and so my culture for like what it looked like to be successful, or man was very I had to be that.


Way, so I would say that’s definitely what we absorbed for a really long time.

And that’s kind of been turned upside down in the last three years.

Our family just has completely come behind me after coming out as gay, like, so supportive.


I don’t even remember telling them because it was so not a big deal.

I think our family is as a result has lost a good number of friends since then, so I think the culture that we grew up in his I don’t like we belong anymore.

I agree.


We also that’s one of the reasons I think we’ve become so tight.

We’ve always been tight.

But whenever we felt outnumbered, you know, we always have each other to go to.

I still feel like I’m hyper aware and Hyper protective or maybe the past six years, which I think might caught have caused some issues.


And why is it three years in six years?

I’m saying six years because that’s about the time since we graduated from college.

And yeah, I so I’ve been like comfortably out open gay for three years, but the questioning the first three years was, probably a lot more questioning.


And I think, you know that I think I just understood something, but tell me if that makes sense.

While your brother is thinking about what he wants to do and what’s going to be the next business.

You’re figuring out who you’re going to be.


Yes, oh my gosh, because I have felt like behind like it.

Like, if he’s here and I’m here.

I feel like I’m trying to catch up, but that makes a lot of sense.

Because, I mean, I’ve I was forced to consider so many things that maybe you haven’t had to, you are in the midst of confusion in the midst of measuring the risks of what it means to come out as gay in the middle of a Christian Evangelical family and culture.


Peace thinking, what do I want to do next and you’re thinking about what am I going to be next?



Now, I mean even from my perspective, that feels extremely accurate because I felt very, very torn because I’m thinking, I want to go do this and I want to build this and then I also know that all the crazy stuff that you’re having to go through.


And so I felt like I’d put all that on hold or give it away just because I knew all this stuff you were going through because you had free energy and her psychic energy was available.

He’s psychic energy was taken up with secrecy with being closeted with the fear of rejection, the fear of excommunication, etc.



When you’ve got so much psychic energy taken up for that.

You’re not as available to think about what’s going to be the next gig.

Ice that?

Yes, because I mean I’m even thinking about like it’s generally him that comes to me with a business idea for us.


And I mean, when you I’ve got a few agree, yeah.

Yeah, I agree.

Yeah, and and it I can’t think of a time where it’s been opposite like a legitimate business idea where I’ve come to you.

Yeah, we’re talking like more than just a one-off idea.


We’re talking about.

Let’s pursue this.


Yeah, I think so.

And he’s dead been okay, or was it interpreted as he is better at business.

He has a bet.

He has a better neck.

He’s the real one.


You’re the follower.

He’s the leader.

I mean that may be true.

But there’s a reason for this.

He’s free to think about ideas because he’s got nothing else.

That’s important to be thinking about Doing that time you’re trying to think about.

Am I going to keep my family is my mother going to be upset.


My dad going to be upset, you know, my community.

What price will my family pay?

What price with my brother?

Be who can think about the next business?

When you’re busy with all of that?

Oh my damn the way I mean, wow, I did say this in your own words because I’m just throwing this out there.


You tell me your experience in your own words or tell it to him because I’m not sure that that’s even something you guys have ever really talked about.


Yeah, I mean, I think you are so naturally gifted with business and you have the education to back it up.


And I don’t, and then, you know, on top of that, just kind of thinking about like the culture question.

I think I imitated you a lot because you looked and sounded like, and I mean, we look the same, but, you know, like you fit in way easier with those people.

And so, I mean, I think as a result I kind of just have imitated you in certain business scenarios.


Is it’s hard for me and I think I have this feeling that like, if businessman knows I’m gay.

They’re like not going to want to add, do any business with me.

And so I just have felt like there’s no way for me to be successful without you here.

Yeah, that’s I’m just let this land on you for a sec.



Thinking about that.

I’m thinking.

Oh, I have interpreted that I think the language that we use was like, follower right there.

That like one of us has these gifts the others kind of the one following.


It’s weird because I’ve known the context that you were in with all that.

I don’t know why it’s hitting me a little differently now, but maybe like maybe I’m just starting to grasp.

How horrible the time that was for you.

That I hate to say it but and that is how I have interpreted it.


As, you know, I come to you with.

Let’s do this.

Let’s do this.

This, this, you need to take this task.

I’ll take this.

Task will do, you know, go out this way.

I’ve taken that.

As you don’t really, it’s not really like it, a huge interest of yours.


It’s not something you really care about too terribly much.

That’s for sure.

Cause me hesitation, but now I’m sitting here thinking.

It’s interpreted this whole thing.

I mean, I don’t want to overlook either like the idea that, you know, you have the education and I think I can fake it, but I feel like I have to be you.


I think what I’m saying is I have no idea how I would ever go into a room and raise money from like a group of successful looking men at a bank without you there.

And I’m sure that folks like I would guess that feels like a lot of pressure for years.


This Out.

One of them is the talent, the natural-born business guy, and the other one just didn’t have much to contribute.

And so one feels like he’s doing it all.

And the other one feels like no matter what he brings.


It’s never really valued.

But as I listened to them, it becomes much more clear to me that maybe this is not just an issue of power and more, the sequences of identity.


This is a question.

I don’t know how to be because if I was me, I don’t think they would want to do business with me.

So I have to imitate you if therefore, or maybe question mark.


If I was me and knew that that would not become a cause for them not wanting to work with me.

Maybe I won’t shut down.

Maybe I don’t shut down because I don’t have the knack for it.

Even though I may be interested in other things they said about maybe I should not because I realized that very very early on I’ve learned that you know, this thing called being a gay men isn’t going to get me business.


So of course I should and then I try to think.

How do I do what you do?

That’s not the only thing.

But basically, if you can’t be who you are, you have to be somebody.

She had and since you have him so close to you.


The easiest one to imitate is him.


I mean, especially like this idea that we’re like a unit, you know, so yeah, I mean we look the same.

We found similar people think we’re the exact same so I could think, of course, I would imitate you.


I mean, if the same time you were imitating me, I was imitating.

People trying to figure out who I was too.


So make sense.

So I guess my point is I was completely, I was completely making it up like, yeah, like every young person - yeah, that is part of the, you know, you looking at the business, dudes and thinking, you know, after they do that going to copy that, and he looks at you and he says, I’m going to copy that, you know, but he thinks you’ve got it figured out because you, at least, Who you are and you don’t have to hide it, so he didn’t, you sound so confident.


Yeah, and you’re saying, I’ve got the confidence of a 23-year old which means I’m arrogant.


Some people when they’re shy, shut down and some people.

When they don’t feel very confident, they become more arrogant compensate for it.


So you went in those two directions.

And while I’m saying this, I’m well aware that this is not just a matter of individual differences.


His threat detector is not mistaken.

When it tells him that the businessman in the room would probably not, give him a penny.

If they knew he was gay.

Not just shyness.


It shyness in the backdrop of homophobia, including that of his closest person, his twin brother.

There is a possibility.


Also, especially you are studying something completely different in studying, human behavior, and and human psychology.

Then maybe you’re not as interested.

And would that be okay?

Must you work together.


Must you do, business, five, six and seven together.

Are there.

Other ways that you can do some of them and not all of them.

Can you have separate careers?

That’s a question, too.

Yeah, that is like, I think I feel like that is the question and, you know, I think I’m a little afraid of that.


Question of, am I less interested in this because I think, if I’m being completely honest, I think I am less interested.

Part of me is like, I want to become a therapist.

And then it’s like, well then, what is it?

Where does that leave me?

I hate saying this, but I’m terrified.


You’re going to make a lot more money than me and I’m nervous that if we were to part ways that I’m going to get like left.

But yeah, but one sec if you are successful business guy and you make much more money, I am left behind because I am because I become a therapist, which is, by the way, when I do, I don’t consider myself left behind but exactly how you say, of course, of course, if you want to make money, never become a therapist, that is not okay to be.


Rich, you can survive and live.

Okay, but no, it’s not business.

That’s for sure.

You don’t become a therapist to make money, but that doesn’t mean your left behind.

What does that expression mean for you?

It’s such a good question.

I think feeling left behind would be like.


Looking back and having a regret that I didn’t end up making a decision to work with you.

And I mean honestly, I think Left Behind to me feels like I don’t make as much money.

I know that doesn’t even make sense, but unpack it a little bit talk about money.

We’ve already talked about sex.


We can talk about many of them.

Think about death will have covered their children and stereo, whatever it all carry it all.

I think we each have maybe a complicated relationship with money.

My family didn’t struggle for it growing up like that wasn’t.


I think that we like had issues with I do think that maybe the people we were around like sounds so basic, but like, it seems to me like, some of my memories of that happiest people.

We were realm have a lot of money.

Did you learn that?


You’re more valued.

If you have more bills in your pocket.

I think my dad had the idea that I would go to business school as well or that I would go to law school as well.

And I I just I knew early on I really didn’t want to do that but you were doing it and so I thought I should do it.


But I remember like conversations that I had about like no, I actually think I want to go to become a therapist and that it would always turn back to like well, you know you want to basically the idea like you want to make sure that you’re set up to do well.


And, and I think that like enough conversations at that made me second-guess so much.

Going this direction, which is probably why I’m, you know, could have gone when I was 22.

And on 29 Points minute.

It was always like, No questions asked and why you wanted to do that?


Like no, no interests regarding the whole profession and what that could look like.

It was always, you know, maybe you should go to business school to so that you can learn how to make money through it or has never really focused on.

Yeah, and I think you were getting like all that attention.


You were like you started getting like more questions.

Asked or like interest shown towards you.

Yeah, under percent.

I did.


Questions questions, that you would that, I would think given the conversation that’s engaging.

Like, well, how would you see this going?


Or, you know, how would you see this developing over the tension because your father can relate to what you do on Earth.

And so, he talked with you.

He’s interested.

He has ideas and etcetera, Etc.

Whereas you he doesn’t know what this is about.


Well, I think it’s probably worth noting that, like, when I told him I got into business school.

They’re like, Screaming over the phone jumping, so excited.

And when I got into Sarah Pasquale, they were excited.

But it was definitely a different reaction.


Definitely a different reaction.

Yeah, it’s not just that one, son was more talented or skilled than the other.


It’s also that the talents of one son.

We’re more valued than the other simply because the Apple fell closer to the tree.

And so if therapy had been valued similarly as being a business person or going to law school, but children would have grown up with the sense that they are both talented.


It’s hard to say.

This is what I want when you’re faced with a family who may not appreciate that choice and and you care about their reaction.


I think I’ve just felt kind of stupid.

I just feel like me going that route 10 years on the road.

I’m going to end up regretting it and you’re going to have had, you know, this great experience with business and I’m going to like, be just trying to make ends meet.


And you want to know how your brother, reacted, when you go into therapy school.

How did you react?

Are we asking your observation or just me?

I can do you know, okay.

I was thrilled.


I mean I think you know that but I was thrilled correct me.

This is wrong.

But what I remember is that I’ve been telling you you should apply to this program and go for the past three years now, right?

That laughter.

That’s right.



I mean whenever and business stuff I immediately Call him Ambassador with instincts of people or anything like that.

And because it really is what he is absolutely phenomenal at.

And so I mean, I was thrilled.

I finally felt like you were doing what you and actually wanted to do for so long.


Yeah, you are.

I can like if anything, you, you’ve been trying to talk me into actually doing it for a long time.

And then I talked myself out with, like, all the things.

I’m considering.


That, you know, it would.

Not be the most practical move.


I mean, to be fully honest.

I feel like I’ve run a broker role or a middleman role between explaining to our parents.

That know this is actually the best thing this would he is built for this.


You know, I got I mean out of our immediate family.

I’m for sure.

The only one ya.

Thank ya know.

I think you’re the one.

The only one who well, our mom, but like other than that, like you’re the only one who’s shown like genuine curiosity for what?


I want to do.

What I do.


Your brother says.

Any time I start a business even if you’re not equal with me in terms of the actual structure of the business itself, whenever I have an interpersonal question, I Turn to You.


So that to has value in a business, right?


Value is measured by all kinds of criteria contribution.

You know, 50/50 may not just be about how many hours you put in and how many hours he puts it.


Maybe it’s about how you save a certain situation.

Maybe it’s about how you know who to hire and not hire, you know, lots of other pieces.

That creates that give a sense of equity and equality and fairness in your Partnerships.


Yeah, and if you’re going to continue work together, maybe you won’t be 50%.

In terms of the full business.

You will have shares in every single one of them parts of you because you want to have other work that is not related just to the business, but you you will need to think about the richness of possibilities about You partner rather than just we’re going in it.


We both sweat the same way.

We both invest the same amount of hours.

We brought, you know, it’s not going to be about similarity.

It’s going to be about complementarity.

That makes a ton of sense.

I said that I would call you, if there’s any sort of, you know, interpersonal people issue.


Am I off on that?

Because that’s all it up.

It seemed a little like, oh, am I off on that?

I said my question.

No, no.

No, I don’t.

I think you’re.

I think you’re off maybe on that.

Maybe I don’t, I don’t feel like you considered that bringing value to the business.


I feel like I’m just your like first call.

Oh, no, that’s not.


That’s not what I think.

Is that?

I mean, is that?

Why you thought that?

Why you think that I’ll call you, or am I am, I am I missing something?


Am I in my head and my thinking that I asked you for your opinion on stuff a lot more than I actually do.

That’s a good question.

I think, you know, I think you do ask me.

No, you’re not off.

You do ask me, but it doesn’t feel like it didn’t feel like part of the business, just feels like our relationship.


Okay, so like in terms of it bringing value to the business, I wouldn’t consider that.

Okay, her didn’t feel like that to me.

It’s a very important thing that you just discuss, because what you’re saying is because talking about people, and having relationship talks, and having interpersonal, understanding types of conversations is what we do.


As brothers.

It doesn’t feel like it’s a full set of skills that I bring that contributes to the success of a business.

Whereas, your legal knowledge that can be measured.

It’s Quantified, separated delineated, but psychological knowledge.


That’s part of what every relationship has.


It’s what we just do.

As people and as brothers.


I’m just laughing because it’s it just, it seems like God.

No, I don’t interrupt you, sir.


Oh my God.

I didn’t have anything to say.

I think you, I think you have more measurable knowledge than I do.

I do too.

We were talking.

Talking the other day about being in control and decision-making and I feel like an asshole saying this for the majority of things.


I felt like I need to be in control.

Like, for example, how do we expand?

How do we raise money?

All of that?

I felt like, I needed to be the one in control for that and and as it really lasts much room.

For you?


Yes, I agree.

I agree.

I feel like you’ve Jen, you’ve tended to be in control.

I would say like and I don’t I don’t like that.

I’m not trying to be like, I don’t know.

No, I was just gonna say I mean, I think I sometimes wonder if you had like this if you had like this Instinct of being my twin knowing that like I had no idea how to show up in front of a group of men that intimidated me and it’s like you might have.


I wonder if you took on like a more like the leader of ice roll early on and it’s just hasn’t like going away.

I I think, I think I did but we had never it’s something we’d never explicitly talked about until I don’t know the past six months or something.


It sounds like you.

And I observe like didn’t really feel like you fit in with a lot of like guys who are, you know, we grew up with our in our class or played sports with their whatever.

I’ve just as long as I can ever.

Remember, I felt in protective mode, maybe a good way to explain it.


Is this whenever he To your therapy school.

I don’t know if I’ve told you this.

I was sitting with my therapist talking and she asks, how is it, you know, how is it with him being gone?

The way I explained it was I feel like I’ve been like a mean dog protecting you from people here for a long time.


I think it’s a much more pronounced and our 20s, but even early on whenever it was subtle.

I still feel like I always sensed that he was slightly different.

You didn’t necessarily know why and yes.

I think that he was more vulnerable and that you were the more conventional conforming gay.


And it wasn’t a stretch for you to adapt yourself to the rules of the game, and the Norms that were expected.

And so you wanted to protect him.


I mean from a for as long as I can remember.

It’s been like that and I’m tired.


I’m just tired.

I’m tired of I’m protecting you in became needing you.

Yes, that’s it.

Yeah, this is a tough conversation to have and I don’t think that much of this has ever been said between the two of you and and you doing really you’re doing good.


You’re doing fine.

They you know, the fear that if we put this all out there, what is this going to do to us?

You’re bound is so strong, you know, it will only get stronger.

Yeah, so Honest, okay.

So, whenever I think about going ahead with business, this is the intersection I think of is with all of that.


I guess, discriminations best way.

I know how to work that you’ve faced.

I’ve you always know where middle and I’m always going to go to bat for you even, but I’ve thought what happens in the intersection of we’re working together and you Need protection.


Let’s say let’s say you need someone going to bat for you.

And let’s say that those like one is going to demand everything.

You can’t do both.

And like I think I know where I’m going away and every single time, I know I’m going to choose you every single time.


And so, when I think about that in the business context, I think, Then this a easier for us to just not work together to not complicate those things so that it’s these goals.

I have aren’t held back.

I said feel like being a more accepting environment Maybe.


Yahoo being a more accepting environment.

I mean, like if it comes down to you versus the business, I will always choose you.

And so it makes me think, well, then is it better for us not to work together, so I don’t have to choose that I can do both.


When I’m hearing him say and which may be one of the hardest things for him to articulate, as I love you.

I will always protect you but I’m not sure I want to work with you as a way to protect you.


That being business partners has been as much about creating an anti-discrimination Shield.

As it has been about creating Ventures together.

I’m trying to think of a situation where it would be like to protect me versus the business and having trouble thinking about that.


But I guess I’m wondering if it’s more like you since like it’s going to be conflict or the bit like appease me in a conflict or business.

Is that what you’re saying?

Yeah, I think the best, I think the best way to explain this is what our second business is that okay, that’s fine with our second business that I had done for about two years by myself.


He was going through a particularly.

This is probably the window of time.

That was most difficult for you.

Yeah, just just people coming after you like, I mean, it was awful like like being sent to conversion therapy and the same time that I’m trying to like.


Run a business.

Yeah, and yeah, I mean and so it changed how people sometimes say, some of the most painful things with laughed.

Oh, yeah.

That’s just it.

I did I’m doing it again.


I mean I am cringing just hearing this.

Yeah, because I talk about it and like I make jokes about it, but I mean, I was, it was awful and it was like, Relentless, I mean, It was I think just, you hear over and over and over again.


I’m saying this from what I’ve observed hearing, but you’ve heard a thousand times more kill.

That part of yourself killed, his partner yourself, kill this part of yourself, as part of yourself should die.

It’s right, you know, and just, I think that I’ve had the luxury of not having that told to me every week.


So you can think about business.

He’s thinking about surviving.

Yeah, and so it got to a point where I was my mind can just run away and so I was really worried about him.


And so I just said, said I said, you know, just was just half at what’s happened business, you leave, he was working at a job.

That was awful.

Just said, let’s just what’s happened.

And I guess that’s the way I think of with that with a scenario in the future or it’s like, do I do I have to choose lies in that situation?


I’m now rise.

I probably didn’t have to choose, but if I’ll get Ed, what did you have to choose between what and what?

It between keeping for ownership of my company and and going this route that I wanted to go, which was Raising, you know, money and just get totally different route.


And so I gave up half of about half that and then gifted it to me and gifted it to him just to.

So, we could in my mind.

I’m thinking, let’s just like go do this together.

Let’s get you.

You out of all this, you know, terrible situation that you’re in and and then it, you know, it also came down to decision power.


I think it kind of split 50/50 and I did that.

He never asked me to do it.

And I think I have quietly.

I hate saying this, I think I quietly resented that for a long.

Sorry, for a long time.

I feel kinda like an asshole saying this but I think part of me is like, why didn’t you know, well one, I mean, thank you.


Like I didn’t I don’t like an asshole for saying that.

I don’t know what you said, but like beyond that I don’t, I never asked you to do.

I never asked you to give me half of a business because he thought I was gonna like go off the deep end.

And what was your fear?

For him that he would die.


He would die from suicide.

One of my closest friends in the world died in that exact same month a Time, the same circumstances.

Not the exact same, but there’s a lot of overlap.


You know, just passed.

I would just picture it which is where my mind can run off.

But a big to the him, taking his life.


Yeah, I did.

And it was.

Yeah, you know, and so that sort of thing.

It’s like, okay, I’ll do and it’s, and II know you.


Now, I’m like, my, my mind ran away with this.

So I want to be clear that it wasn’t something where he’s coming, to me, being like, this is, you know, I’m thinking, That’s because I wasn’t the games, understand you.

I understand you.

It makes a lot of sense.


Yeah, you you taught, I need him close by.

I don’t want to lose him.

Like, I lost her.

I know what he’s facing or I don’t, but I have some vague idea of what he’s facing when he’s not saying it with laughter, and he’s not telling you how, but he’s facing because because he, I don’t know.



Actually, why don’t you?

I mean, you didn’t tell him what you were.

A going through week.

I don’t be filtered on this.

He wasn’t accepting at first when I came out to him, which is so interesting because like, I think of, like, biggest Ally now, it’s you, but it wasn’t that.


Case the beginning.

I think you were like shocked or to me.

It felt like you were shocked and disappointed.

And I remember at that time.

You told me like we should never work together again because you’ve been lying to me for however many years.


And I’m just finding out.


I didn’t actually tell him, he found out by coming across some messages with somebody.

I think I think you faults.

I mean to me it seems like you felt so like it was like I lied to you.

Yeah, that’s it.

I mean, yeah, I thought I don’t feel that way anymore to clarify.


But yeah, but yeah, at the time I was I was just like he’s been lying.

He’s been lying to me.

I can’t I can’t.

And I think after that to like I didn’t tell him stuff for probably another year or two, even though he already knew I was gay.


And all of that.

I think I was just like, yeah, I mean you made a deliberate point for good reason.

To say you’re going to your cut out.

This whole piece of my life.

I’m not telling you anything.

Don’t ask me.

I’m not going to answer that.


Will I forget about all that?


I mean for about a year and a half.

I guess, you know you made the All to cut me out completely.

So and that’s that’s all in that.


It’s all in that time where you know, I said, let’s split the business and then resentment slowly building up.


It’s like it feels like I would just flip back and forth between being like, why did I do like just resenting that?

And then being like, I do everything I can to make sure he’s okay.

And it was just like almost our and our flag.

So basically one of them says to the other, I’m gay.


And the first reaction is, why have you never told me?

You’d lie to me and then the other one says, well, if I can’t talk to you and you resent me for it, then I’m not going to tell you anything.

And then this one becomes aware of the challenges that the other one is going through with reformed therapy and a danger that his Other lives with and he realizes.


He’s got only me.

I’m the only one who can save him and protect him.

And I don’t want to lose him.

Like, I lost my friend, but then he gives him half the business, which he, then resents, because he experiences it as the only way to make sure that he could protect him and everything gets all mixed up.


Is he the only one with dark corners or do you have your own?

Oh my, yeah, I have I have my own.

Can we put those a little bit on the table too, so that you get a better understanding together of some, of your vicious fights, or intense fights.


They may not be vicious, but they can get really intense widely because they sit on all kinds of detonators.

Yeah, and he’s not the only one that Detonator you have some too.

Yeah, so six months after my friend died from suicide.


I was a rafting guide and was involved in an accident and 11 year old kid drowned and quite a bit of feeling responsible for that.

And so I mean I came.

I can own to this business that needed to be run that you knew respectable or not.


I’m sorry.

Where are you responsible?

No, no, I have been honest and therapist since it happened and I’m comfortable enough with that.

Okay, how I mean for you know, the immediate three years after I was like, this is my fault.


I could have changed it but more so I could have changed it.

That was what I just felt so intensely.

And so I mean I came back I’ve since learned a blood about trauma and Going through that a lot of those months and the year after just feel completely dark.


Like, I don’t even remember a lot of it was awful.

And I mean, you took care of everything.

Yeah, business-wise, but I on I don’t know why.

This is the first time I’m actually thinking of that piece.


Like I honestly don’t even remember rest of that year, you know, it was a it was awful.

And then and then I think there’s there’s it to a disk.

Just one sec.

Let this sink in just one sec.

So, I mean now I’m sitting here thinking, like that’s when you took care of me.


I felt like I had taken care of you for.

Well, maybe did a shitty job of it.

But but like, that’s I think that’s like when you actually took care of me and took care of.

The entire business.


What’s it like for you to hear him?

Say this?

Oh that makes me and I’m like sitting here.


Try not to get all crap.

I need to do but oh makes me sad.

It’s really sad because I look back and remember how anxious and how depressed and how like intense.


Those could feel at times but those feel like incidental.

I guess what I’m saying is like yes, I think I did take care of you a lot that you’re but it didn’t feel like much of a burden.

But you had an accident on the job, right?



It’s basically and you felt very, very guilty and responsible for the death of this child.

So you had been able to save your brother but not this kid.

Yeah, I know is all, I mean, it was all within six months that all this happened.


Probably the most pronounced thing.

I remember about that year, following was just like You know, I could I could not, I would go to sleep and I would dream about it.

I wake up and think about it.

There’s no escape from it.

I caught I’m going to kind of felt like one of my only escapes was business just a focus on this stuff, but it was so follow me there and then I would just get, you know, go into this hole and go off the grid for four weeks at a time or something, but see, here’s the thing.


You missed a businessman.

Quiet, your mind think.

I’m always doing more.

I know it better.

I’ve got natural Talent.

You didn’t say, I gave it to him and you completely forget that for a year or more.


He’s running it.

And because he constantly thinks that what he has to offer isn’t substantive enough and doesn’t have enough business value.

And he’s constantly trying to prove to you that he’s worthy.

Of being a partner in business.


I’m not talking in life.

For a long time, he accepts the language of your gifted this to him in the company.

All, in all, how many years did it?

Last if you took care of it for a year and a half?

Then there was only another year and a half where you did more.

Yeah, it’s not like this is a 20-year business in which he did a year of of leadership.


Right, but your concept of I do more and his concept of I don’t do enough.

I married together.

That’s really interesting.

What do you think?

I need to think about it.


What do you think?

I mean, I’m relating to.

It was just that on my part.

Yeah, like trying to work my way to where it feels like, I guess equal value.

We think we have power struggles, but in fact we are afraid of loss.


I relate a lot to that.

What we really fighting about is, how do we find a better way to stay together?

Because I don’t want to lose you.


Okay, that.

Yeah, that, that follows really not about power.


It’s about loss.

Yeah, it’s not about which position is better.

It’s about how do we find a way to stay together, but not in that kind of together.

How do we continue to work together?

But nobody.


Not like this.


Yeah, so in a way you fight because that’s a way to stay connected.

If we fight, then we’re involved with each other.


Yeah, we start that other ways to be involved with each other.


You we may not fight nearly as much about these things, because when it comes to strategy on some level, he thinks you probably have a perfectly valid strategy.

Maybe it’s not the only one or the right one, but it’s fine.

Mmm, doesn’t care about the strategy.

He cares about you caring about him.


Oh my God, that is that is like Completely On Target.

I had like, you know, I’ve kind of said like at times, I felt erased by the business.

Yeah to me.

I did.

Yes, I do.

I don’t want to get like lost.

I don’t want to.

I feel like I would like Lou.


I just like, yes, I feel like it’s not a power struggle.

It’s a lot like if Like that, I would lose like, just be erased from it.

Yeah, I’m fumbling my words, but I think it makes sense to me.

I mean, I’m thinking of fights, we’ve had in the fight.

Used to the point where he’s thinking.


I want to I’m out.

I’m not going to do this anymore immediately.

I’m like, no, no, will will change it because I don’t I don’t want to work differently.

I just want to be Well, honestly, if I bought it, I want to be in charge and I want you next to me.


That is a very good way of putting it very articulate an actor who says, I don’t want to be in charge and I want you next to me.

It does it fits.

Actually it kind of fits, but you have to find formulas for it and for that, you have to become flexible and try out a bunch of different things.


Knowing that the one that you have now isn’t working.

So well.

So, as they leave the session, how can these two stairs clothes and as caring and protective of each other?


But create a bit of a separation between what needs to be done as loving brothers, who have such a powerful Bond, and business partners who are trying not to be cast in a bind.


Esther perel is a therapist best-selling author speaker and host of the podcasts.

Where should we begin?

And how’s work to apply with a colleague or partner to do a session for the podcast, or to follow along with each episode show notes.


Go to how’s work dot Esther

How’s work is produced by magnificent noise.

Gimlet and Esther perel Productions.

Our production staff, includes Eric Newsome, evil watch over Hewitt.


A gotama and Kristen Mueller.

Original music and additional production by Paul Schneider.

And the executive producers of housework are Esther perel and Jesse Baker.

We would also like to thank Lydia Pole, Green Colin Campbell, Courteney Hamilton, Nick oxen horn, Sarah Kramer, Jax all, and the entire Esther perel Global media team.