Season 1: Episode 5 – The Black Hole with Jeff Goins

[00:00:00] Dr. Alissa: Welcome to thanks. It’s the trauma. 

Heidi: I’m dr. Alissa, and this is a podcast with 

Dr. Alissa: my friends, 

Heidi: Mickey and Heidi. We’re connected by a unique 

Dr. Alissa: and unusual experience. And we talk about it and other traumas with honesty, boos and cuss words. 

Heidi: Season one, episode five triaged interviewing us is Jeff Goins. The reason that we wanted to get you on today and.

Kind of pull some things out of us is because the moment following something, this traumatic and trauma looks different for lots of people. But the three of us identify finding out that our spouses, who we thought were men, you know, are when we’re going to be are our spouses forever, who we had children with.

That very abruptly finding out that they were transgender. [00:01:00] Put each of us into what we have identified in earlier episodes as like a black hole. The memories are there, but they’re, they’re hard to tap into because it’s so dark. And then. You know, many, many months of therapy for each of us following that.

And so we wanted to record an entire episode where we kind of go back in time to those black holes. 

Jeff Goins: So triaged is the moments when you were like, what is happening? I’m just trying to survive kind of thing. That’s that’s it? Yeah. 

Heidi: I would say like, I think. So for me, I go by dates. Like for me, it happened October 21st.

And I really don’t remember. I mean, if you ask specific questions that their memories are there, but like Thanksgiving, Christmas, new years, it was really probably March before I felt like I [00:02:00] was waking up. 

Jeff Goins: I’m still a little bit hung up on the fact that you told me you wrote a book about birth stories, and then you said, if you could just pull some things out of us, but I’ll, I’ll move past that and jump into the stories.

Heidi: Yeah, 

Nikki: it’s okay to laugh. Can we run,

Heidi: could you burn our stories? Oh, 

Dr. Alissa: okay. Are you ready to hear my story? I did tell it at your party and you have my boy listening to 

Heidi: it. Can’t imagine why 

Dr. Alissa: I have to make more drinks in the kitchen way over 

Nikki: here. I walked over for a second. Like now she’s like, Oh, that poor girl, 

Dr. Alissa: I feel terrible. 

Heidi: Curl. 

Jeff Goins: She has a name.

You traumatized her. She has a name. So is it fair to say that this news of your spouses. Being the other gender, your husbands realizing they were women. Like what was this? A surprise to everyone? 

Heidi: Yeah. Yep. A hundred percent. 

Jeff Goins: And is it like one of those things? Like once, you know, [00:03:00] you, you go, Oh, that sort of makes sense.

Or like, does it still not make sense? 

Heidi: No. No, really? It’s not like we’re all shaking her head. No, like no hundred percent out of left field. Yeah. No. 

Dr. Alissa: Yeah, it was a warning. 

Jeff Goins: And so like, what do you do? Like the next day? Right? Like, I’m sure you’ve told your stories. Right. So we don’t have to do that, but like, 

Heidi: Oh, let me start, stop you there.

We ended each of our stories with the delivering of the news. So like any previous episodes, we brought the listeners to that moment and then ended the episode. Right. So they have no idea. Like, so this episode will be triaged, like the moments after, in the months after, and then next week’s episode will be, where are we now?

What does our life look like now? 

Jeff Goins: What is the next day look like? Right. So you get the news, I guess you go to bed at some [00:04:00] point. And then like, what happens is this is a bad dream. Do you deny it? Do you like immediately start making plans? Do you tell people what happened? 

Nikki: The first thing that popped in my head was this is over.

Heidi: There’s what, 

Nikki: there’s nothing I can do here. I can’t, we can’t fix this and I’m not a lesbian and that’s not how I wanted to be married. So I wasn’t now it was just instant done. So how do we get out of this now? 

Jeff Goins: So I want to be sensitive to the pronouns, the best that I know how to be. So he told you. And then you like immediately thought I’m done.

Did he want to stay in a relationship with you? 

Nikki: He wanted to stay married. 

Jeff Goins: And then what did you do? What’d you say? 

Nikki: I said, I’m not a lesbian. That’s not what I signed up for. 


Jeff Goins: then what happened? 

Nikki: And then a lot of anger and guilt and shame. How do I tell anybody about this? How do I tell anybody about this?

[00:05:00] I didn’t tell anybody about it for a long time. 

Jeff Goins: You felt guilt and anger and shame, guilt for wanting to leave 

Nikki: and not being able to stay in support, anger for betrayal. 

Jeff Goins: Oh, you 

Nikki: felt betrayed by her. I felt betrayed. 

Jeff Goins: And then shame 

Nikki: because like shame, because how do I tell this story? 

Jeff Goins: Who do you tell us to.

So you said that in the conversation and then like, what does tomorrow look like? What was the next day look like? Thank you. 

Nikki: I don’t know. It was, it was a days I don’t, I don’t remember. You just go through the muscle memory of your, your life and go to work and feed kids and come home and walk dogs and 

Jeff Goins: know what you do.

You guys are still doing life as, as a normal family. 

Nikki: I just thought it was a midlife crisis. 

Jeff Goins: So you didn’t believe him. 

Nikki: I thought he’d snap out of it. Huh. And he thought I’d changed my mind and want to be married to a woman. 

Heidi: Yeah. So also [00:06:00] denials another stage of grief. Oh 

Nikki: yeah. Yeah. And I don’t know, Jeff doesn’t know my whole story, but my mother died by suicide.

So shame and guilt is very carried over very deeply. I mean, those are instant things that trigger back up. So. 

Heidi: Yeah, 

Jeff Goins: Alissa, what did the next day look like for you? 

Dr. Alissa: You know? Um, I don’t remember. I remember the day. And then, yeah, I remember w within the next few days, I do remember, like trying to find support, like very quickly trying to find other people who had been through something similar.

Like within, within days I created a fake Facebook account and I found two different Facebook support groups for spouses of transgender people. And I tried to find [00:07:00] anybody there who. Felt like they couldn’t do it. Yeah. 

Heidi: Who felt like they, that, that wasn’t for them. 

Jeff Goins: So, yeah. You created a fake Facebook account cause you didn’t want anybody to know that you 

Dr. Alissa: were going through it.

Well, I didn’t want to out my husband and I, it was a really afraid that like it was going to show up in groups I’m in or something. Sure. 

Jeff Goins: Yeah. And I mean, I, you know, we knew each other at the time. Weren’t super close friends, but I remember like seeing the announcement on. Facebook and yeah, and I feel like you’ve always been gracious about this whole process, Heidi, what was, what was the next day or the next moment like for you?

Heidi: Well, I feel like I should probably tell you what happened right in the moment, because like Nikki and Alissa, I feel as if it’s a little bit of a black hole, but I’m very ashamed of what happened the next day. So I would like to tell you what happened in the moment first. And my husband handed [00:08:00] me a letter and he said, I’m gonna read this to you.

And then I’m going to give it to you so that you could process it and read it again. And I just remember thinking, Oh my gosh, he is going to tell me he had an affair like this letter. That’s what it’s going to say in my mind. That’s the worst thing that could have happened. Sure to our marriage. And like, there was like this a moment where I really thought this is like a joke.

I mean, he’s kind of like a really fun person and there’s a lot of pranks. Like there’s a lot of really good stories of pranks. And so I thought, Oh my God, this is, this is, this is like the worst. April fools ever or something, you know, and then he just, then he started crying and then the letter went on and on and on, and I thought, Oh God.

And so I think I just started blacking out. But I did say to him immediately, I said, God made you [00:09:00] perfectly in his image and that this was not a mistake and that I love you. And then I said, and now you need to leave. Before I say something. Worse is going to come out of my mouth. And then I, I ended up actually leaving.

And so I think this is when I had an outer body experience. I don’t know about you Alissa or Nick key, but this is the club I’ve ever been to. I would say shock, I guess that’s what I was like, literally physical shock. Like, I didn’t feel like I was in my body. I remember thinking I’m in a coma in a hospital somewhere.

And this is I’m dreaming. Like I had this really weird, like hallucis in the 18. Yeah. Okay. Thank you. I was like, give me something there. So I had this really weird psychological thing happen where my body and my mind physically like separated and I felt like [00:10:00] they’re gonna have to hospitalize me in an institution like.

Cause I’m not right. You’re mental break. Yeah. And I have a friend in my neighborhood and I was, I do remember this. I was parked in the swim glove parking lot because I couldn’t drive and Oh, I’m going to back up. I walked out that front door and I drove straight to the fucking gas station. And I asked for Marlboro light.

Yeah. And I hadn’t smoked a cigarette like 15 years. He and the girl was like, what’s a Marlboro light. And I was like, for everyone listening. They stopped selling Marlboro lights apparently. And like 1997, they’re called Marlboro golds. Now Larry and they are signified they’re all of us older smokers.

[00:11:00] They’re like $10 back. And I didn’t have a lighter. I had to go back and get a lighter 

Nikki: because 

Heidi: I forgot you had to have a lighter and I didn’t even know how to order the cigarettes. And they wanted like a nurse. They wanted like an idea and all these things anyway. So all I know is I’m setting in my life, you know, white picket fence, suburban like vomit neighborhood, because what cigarettes like, Hey everybody, I mental breakdown.

Yeah. One of my friends came by with Xanax and that. And then basically I went to sleep until the next day. 

Jeff Goins: So you told a friend Heidi? I did immediately. So I’m curious about you, Nikki and Alissa, like who did you let into this part of your story? And at what point, because I think I’ll say you mentioned the second American, you say share this or not Nikki, but like, I would imagine there’d be a certain level of like fear, embarrassment, shame.

Who do I tell? When do I tell them. Et cetera. So how did you guys navigate telling other people about [00:12:00] what you were going through and who did you tell? 

Dr. Alissa: I mean, the very day that I found out, I called my best friend Lindsey, and I told her everything and sobbed and she was shocked and she cried with me.

And I know that I told other friends too, but it’s a black hole. 

Jeff Goins: You just don’t remember. 

Dr. Alissa: 

Heidi: just don’t remember. What is the next 

Jeff Goins: thing that you remember 

Dr. Alissa: after finding out after that first day? 

Jeff Goins: Yeah. Like how long does the black hole last? 

Dr. Alissa: It’s like, I’m in the black hole and then I 

Heidi: like pop out 

Dr. Alissa: for a minute and I have like a memory, like for a few days later when I go back in for a week.

Jeff Goins: What was the next memory? Do you recall? 

Dr. Alissa: Yeah, I mean, I remember making the Facebook account. Which was probably two or three days later. And then I think, you know, and now I can’t remember, it was a week or two weeks later, but I know at that point I had told my therapist, I told several [00:13:00] friends and then like, I was pretty clear.

With Jamie, like, you know, that this is not something I’m going to be able to do. And then Jamie was like, you know what? Nevermind, it’s all wrong. And like went around the house, like getting, you know, gathering all her things and throwing it away and being like, like, no, I’m just going to stay a man. Like, it’s fine.

Like if we can’t be together, like. Then, you know, I’m just going to stay a man. And I was like, I can not 

Heidi: ever 

Dr. Alissa: ask you to do that. And she was like, well, it’s too bad. I’m doing it. I can’t, yeah. I can’t remember now probably two. That was probably two weeks. 

Heidi: Talk more about that. 

Jeff Goins: So like she has stuff around the house at this point, like what 

Heidi: female 

Dr. Alissa: cloves.


Jeff Goins: and this is after the announcement. Yes. So 

Heidi: she.  

Dr. Alissa: two minutes, very quickly on 

Jeff Goins: things, right. And then like starts dressing apart and 

Heidi: in private 

Jeff Goins: as long. And then you said maybe two weeks [00:14:00] in. Yeah. As a change of heart, seemingly. Yeah, because, because you finally told her you couldn’t do this or just kind of hit or what happened 

Dr. Alissa: very clear.

I think from the moment I found out, I was like, I don’t know what this means for us, but yeah. Once I had like gone to therapy and thankfully I have a very fabulous lesbian therapist who is 

Heidi: able to. 

Dr. Alissa: Look at me and be like, you’re really not a lesbian. And I was like, Oh my God, I’m really not. 

Jeff Goins: Were you ever confused 

Dr. Alissa: about my sexuality?

You know, I’d always thought like, you know, everybody’s a little gay, right. You know, everybody’s like a little bit gay. Um, you always thought this. No, no, no, 

Nikki: that’s not true. 

Dr. Alissa: Thank you for calling me on that since leaving the church. Uh, I 

Nikki: wish that, 

Dr. Alissa: um, yeah, so, I mean, I’ve thought for a while, like, and I’ve even talked about that with Jamie, which I think probably confused her [00:15:00] in the beginning of this process of like, you know, I don’t know, like I’ve never kissed a girl, but like, Who knows what that would be like, you know, I might do some 

Heidi: crazy like that.

Dr. Alissa: Um, and then, you know, when it came down to it, I was like, Oh yeah. Oh, like, no, really no. And this isn’t about, it’s not about Jamie becoming Jamie. 

Heidi: It’s just about like, 

Dr. Alissa: that is not the, that’s not, for me. That’s not the relationship for me. And doesn’t the person doesn’t have the person who married, you know, that’s not the, that wasn’t the agreement, I guess, you know?

Jeff Goins: Yeah. Nikki. I can’t remember the first question, but I’m curious what, like the next memory for you was after. 

Nikki: I don’t know. We just carried on like normal. And then we actually were living in a, in a house and we decided to move. We’d lived in that house for seven years and we decided to move and we moved like normal, you know, we’re just going to go rent this house and [00:16:00] it’s going to be all fine and dandy.

It was kind of like, I’m just going to pretend it’s not happening. Cause I thought he was going to snap out of it. I really thought. Okay. I’m having a midlife crisis in, instead of having an affair and buying a fast car, I’m just going to do this, but no, and we had that moment two months later where he left.

So he was a musician and he left to go play a show and came back and decided, he told me, I don’t want to be a woman. I want to be a man. I want to be your husband. 

Jeff Goins: So he did the same. He did the same thing that Jamie 

Heidi: did. 

Nikki: Yeah. And of course we have makeup sex, and. Literally seven days later, he said, I can’t do it.

Heidi: I want to be a woman. 

Nikki: And that was literally my. It’s like, if you could see the gauntlet throw down, boom, done cut. All cords are done. Cut. Done. We’re not, we’re going to recover. We’re not going to recover. Like, I kinda knew that like, you know, we carried on with daily life. So [00:17:00] I thought, well, okay, he’s going to snap out of this.

But then when that happened, I mean, it was like such a backstab and I let myself feel okay and we’re going to make it through this. And we’re just still Nicky and Jamie and know it that’s when anger came up real hard and stayed was right there. Cause I felt really betrayed then. It was like, okay, 

Heidi: well 

Nikki: I believed you.

Heidi: And, and I had sex with you. And now I just had sex with a woman 

Nikki: and yeah. And 

Heidi: Alissa, did you have sex with Jamie? 

Dr. Alissa: Oh, man. I’m trying to decide if I should want to share that. 


Dr. Alissa: mean, in the month, of course, you know, in the month between I’m questioning my gender and for sure I’m a woman. 

Heidi: Yes. Yeah. 

Jeff Goins: Wow. Do you want to try?

Nikki: And for me [00:18:00] it wasn’t, I didn’t think that I was having sex with a female. I found husbands back, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

Dr. Alissa: That, and that was the same experience for me was like, I really, like, I went, I remember I went to therapy. I was like, he’s not a woman. Like he was confused, you know, it’s like maybe some weird.

Like, like for sure that’s not happening 

Heidi: anymore. 

Dr. Alissa: Like, it’s just something he’s going to go figure it out in therapy and we’re still interviewing. Right. And she in all her graciousness was like, and if someday, you know, it comes out that 

Heidi: perhaps 

Dr. Alissa: he really is, then you’ll be more prepared. And I was like, no, ain’t happening.

That’s not what’s happening. Nope. Nope. That’s not happening. 

Jeff Goins: So I just want to get timelines straight. So Alissa, for you, it was sort of like a month. It sounds like, like Jamie told you there was sort of this limbo period at one point, she was like, no, I’m a man, but by the end of that month, it was [00:19:00] clear that this was the path.

Is that right? Yeah, 

Dr. Alissa: it was, yeah, it was about four or five weeks. Yeah. 

Jeff Goins: Okay. And then Nikki, how long was that? That period? Cause you said you guys have a year a 

Heidi: year. Yeah. We 

Nikki: stayed married for two years 

Heidi: after he told 

Jeff Goins: me we’ll come back to that, 

Heidi: Heidi. Wow.

Jeff Goins: Limbo period. Tell me what, how long was that? 

Heidi: So mine was a little but different.

It was in reverse. So my husband had attempted to take his life and we knew he was in a very serious depression. And that was early September, 2018. And it was about six weeks of him going to therapy. I thought for anxiety, depression, and suicidality, and the conclusion of those six weeks, he was seeing a gender therapist.

And I didn’t know that. And so I guess like her story would have been, you know, that this [00:20:00] was about a six week period from like, Their break of like finally addressing some feelings for the first time in their life to saying it out loud. To me, the spouse was about a six week period, but when Jay told me.

My husband did not change his mind and come back and we had great sex or anything like that. Like I just never lived with him again after that moment. 

Dr. Alissa: So great. I don’t know. 

Heidi: I’m hoping that the last time was great. I don’t know. So, um, now we did have sex one time in those six weeks, and that is a very big point of contention with me because he already knew.

And had addressed the fact that he was transgender in his own mind and body with this therapist and still had sex with me, with me, not knowing that. And so, like, I kind of feel weird about [00:21:00] that, but well, now that you know, almost everything about us, let’s hang out on social on insight. You can find us on.

Thanks. It’s the trauma podcast. Everywhere else, including our website just thinks it’s the trauma. And if you have any questions or want to email us, we would love to get back to you. Thanks. It’s the trauma

Jeff Goins: He went through this kind of six week period of Diana therapy. You thought it was for suicide depression. It was for gender questions. And then told you with the letter and the speech we’re reading a letter, and then you left, got the smokes. You said you never came back. Like 

Heidi: what happened? So I kind of at fuzzy black hole, but I think, um, I had probably told someone that he needed to leave, or I had told him he needed to leave and he went and got like a two week Potel, uh, like a longterm [00:22:00] stay at a hotel while he was looking for the right place to live.

So I went home at some point and we have two small children. So at the time I had a three year old, three and two year old and three and two or four and three, I can’t remember again, black hole, but young children. So just like Alissa and Nicky said, You know, I had to take the Xanax and go to sleep, but I still had to like wake up and go drop off every school in the morning and pack lunches and, you know, 

Nikki: there’s tragic shit going on.


Heidi: Yeah. I mean, literally, I mean, in the morning they still have to blow their nose and change their diaper and yeah. 

Jeff Goins: So you came back and then he moved out 

Heidi: after that he was gone and ironically we had, or he had, I don’t remember. Prescheduled. Marriage counseling [00:23:00] for the next shit for the neck. Yeah. So I would like to answer your question about the very first memory that you have after it.

So basically I was drunk. I smoked my smokes. I was drugged. I woke up and was preschool mom, and then I went to marriage counseling. 

Jeff Goins: Wow. 

Heidi: And he came. Yeah, I guess we, I still like, I look back on this moment and this is why I said, I wanted to say what I said in the first moment that I found out, which I felt like was very, I came from a very loving place and over 18 months of this happening have evolved to a very loving and affirming place.

But, you know, I have to tell the story because part of our story and our struggles. As what happened in this moment. So when you were in the middle of shock and trauma, do not go to fucking marriage counseling, who caused you this [00:24:00] pain? Because this is how it went. We sit down on the couch, there’s some exchanges and the therapist says to me and Nikki and Alissa, I’m sorry, this is going to be hard for Nikki to hear, but.

The therapist says, Heidi, what is your best case scenario here? And, and then atrocious vicious attack of words. I went this comma sweetest voice looked at the therapist straight in the eyes. And I said, I wish she would have just been brave enough to have done it. And now is talking about the day that she attempted suicide and didn’t commit to the, and that concluded our marriage counseling session.


Nikki: my husband also had ideation, so I know where you’re coming from. Heidi. He did it. I, I mean that because being [00:25:00] a child of a parent, who’s lost a parent to suicide. I wasn’t gonna put my, yeah. I want my kids to go through that. So, and that’s kind of where it all came out is like, we, he told me that and I was like, well, we got to start counseling.


Heidi: yeah. 

Jeff Goins: So Heidi, you guys went to counseling and to go into counseling, you said this in front of 

Heidi: her. 

Jeff Goins: And then like the counselor concluded the therapy session. Like, is that what 

Heidi: happened basically 

Jeff Goins: and said what, like, we ain’t going there or 

Heidi: like what happened? Like this is not going to be a safe. Place for anyone.

So this is over and we could pick this up at a different place. And then, you know, lots of regret about that sentence that came out of my mouth. But I will say that the last 18 months of. Therapy and healing and repair with our families. So [00:26:00] you would think, well, maybe you wouldn’t think I’m just being judgy right now, but like I have been sort of that moment made me the assailant basically.

So this for me and my story, it is not, everyone’s mad at Jay for not. Understanding their gender before getting married. It became, Heidi told Jay too. Yeah. Killer. So, 

Jeff Goins: so just to understand what you’re saying, I imagine Jay was hurt from that exchange and then started saying these things about you telling other people, like, how did you become the assailant and the story 

Heidi: he told his family.

Yeah. And then I. You know, told I’m an open book. So then I told all my friends and family what I had said, because I needed to process the regret. She mean [00:27:00] I was a toddler reaming out a parent, you know, in the middle of counseling. And the only thing I can say is that I was hurting so badly that. And whatever brain I was in in that moment, it was the only thing that I could imagine that would take place.

Ain’t no way. Yeah. Like looking back, I think like, why would I have ever said that? Why would I want the person that I love and is the parent of my children to take their life? I mean, it doesn’t even make rationally. It doesn’t make sense, but in that moment, I just. Needed the fear and that pain to go away.

And that was the only thing I could think. Like here I am 18 months later and we’re recording this podcast because each of us has found a way through and we want to [00:28:00] be an inspiration to others to find the way through and not the way out. But that moment was really dark of like, just make it go away.

That makes sense. 

Jeff Goins: And when you told people about this, it sounds like they didn’t react well, 

Heidi: no, 

Dr. Alissa: 

Jeff Goins: mean, I’m actually super hard. Like this comes out in counseling therapist is like, get out of here. He starts telling his people, you start telling your people and. And you said you became the assailant. Like I would imagine this is my projection.

I would imagine feeling really rejected by everybody at a really difficult 

Heidi: time. Yeah. Super rejected. My family, like, of course came around because they know me and they know that like sometimes I will fire off and mean [00:29:00] things in the heat of the moment that I don’t mean, you know, but yeah. I mean, it’s really.

It’s like, it’s an unforgivable thing to say, but thankfully at this point, I think, you know, Jay has forgiven me. Her family has said that they forgive me. I don’t know if they. Really mean it or not, but they say it and you know, and we’re trying to like move forward, you know, but if, if God help there is anybody listening.

Who’s in a similar situation. I think that the three of us could just share that like, Oh my gosh, just take it 10 minutes at a time because you will get through it. You will get through it. You will get through it. It just takes time. Tremendous amount of therapy. Oh, tremendous amount of work, emotional work to get through all of the stages of, [00:30:00] of grief.

So, so I was going to move away from the suicide conversation really quick, but I want it like Nikki a lot, like you, I mean, in the stages, right? Like I feel like it was this vicious circle of like, So I went through the denial stage, hard, hard core. And so like, Jay never went through that. Like, you know how, like Alissa, you said like Jamie was like, Oh no.

And you know, like your two were like, went through this process themselves of like, Oh no, you know, well, I feel like I went through that. Like I literally went to therapy and made my therapist go through like, is there any possible way I could be a lesbian? Oh, wow. Because I’m so [00:31:00] fucking in love. Hmm. That if I’m in love with a soul and I believe in heaven, How could I N and I asked God to unite our souls as one in a wedding.

How could I possibly walk away if like tomorrow my whole body gets infected with cancer and I’m about to die. Like, Does that soul in me and heaven give two fucking shits about gender and sex. Like, so anyways, so I went through this very, very, very long process of denial of not only Jay’s transgender furnace, but also like my ability to not be me.

Like I had to go through this, like, could I leave myself? To be something or someone for someone else for the sake of [00:32:00] love. Could I be in an asexual marriage? Could I be in a, so like, you know, Nikki and Alissa knew right away, like it was done. And for me, it’s like, I knew I was done, but I was in negotiation mode.

Like, okay. Well, I already had kids and I’m 40 and I’m in love with a human being. So like, I don’t know that that whole process took me eight, eight months, eight months, eight months. It was really remember, or the day that I was like, okay, I’m done trying to wrestle in my brain and therapy, whether or not.

My marriage is going to continue to be a marriage. Okay. 

Jeff Goins: Let’s come back to that. Nikki. We didn’t hear from you when you started telling 

Heidi: people, 

Nikki: how 

Jeff Goins: did that unfold? 

Nikki: I didn’t tell anyone until I told one cousin, my very close cousin. I told her [00:33:00] she knew every step of the way from, I think, pretty close to day one.

And I didn’t tell anyone because shame and guilt and shame for how long. 

Heidi: Oh, 

Nikki: gosh, I’m going to say, 


Nikki: mean, I can’t think of the timeline anymore, but I’m going to say six months, 

Heidi: ish. Well, 

Nikki: well, we did tell my boss who is a doctor, because I thought you need to talk to him about what is going on. He told him everything, everything, and.

That was the first person, the second person we told. And then one of my best friends is the person who sits next to me at work. And I told her eventually I don’t, I don’t even know how long it had 

Heidi: been six 

Nikki: to eight months before I told anyone. It was just very hard to, how do you bring that up? How do you bombshell somebody?

That cause nobody has gone through it. I mean, I [00:34:00] know anyone who went through it. 

Jeff Goins: Yeah. Question for all of you. So Alissa talked about this a little bit, like Jamie started moving quickly, buying ladies clothes, that sort of thing. What did that look like? Cause you all. Went through different kinds of periods of like, how’s this gonna work?

What do we tell? Is this happening? Is this not happening? Heidi? You talked about United that eight month stretch of trying to see if you could get lesbian or have some sort of a sexual marriage. So my question is like, talk about the transition, like in 

Heidi: the home, ELIZAs 

Jeff Goins: talked about this a little bit, like.

Body changes, clothes changes, whatever else kind of changes happen while you’re still in a relationship with this person in some capacity. I’m curious what that looks like during this period was a question for everybody, Alissa, maybe I’ll start with you and ask you the question like. What was the first thing that she brought into the house.

[00:35:00] Dr. Alissa: So she knew that I was very uncomfortable with the idea that she might at the time, it was like she might be trans. 

Jeff Goins: That’s how she broke the news to you. Not like I’m a hundred percent. 

Dr. Alissa: Yeah, it was, it was I’m questioning my gender. I might be a trans woman. She’s like, I’m going to start getting some, like things, you know, You know, I don’t know if you want to see.

And I was like, 


Dr. Alissa: absolutely do not want to see any of it. I did see a pink loofa in the shower, uh, which seems so benign, but, you know, um, but it was like, okay, it was, it was, I mean, I’m very, like, I can see it in my brain now. Like it was so distinctly. I was like, Oh, I don’t know. And also, and we’ve talked about this, maybe just personally a little bit.

It was like, that’s what you think it means to be a woman is by a pink Lupa.

[00:36:00] I don’t judge Jamie. Cause she’s, she’s still figuring out this process of what it means for her to be a woman, you know, and in 

Heidi: some way, 

Dr. Alissa: Yeah. A lot of ways, you know, she’s just, she’s figuring out which, you know, you know, God bless her, but, but yeah, in 

Heidi: the 

Nikki: moment doing this a long time, you 

Dr. Alissa: know, it was like this really like a loofa, but yeah.

So I know there were other things and there’s a whole trash bag full of stuff that got thrown away. 

Jeff Goins: When she went, thought she was going to go back. Yeah. There’s a trash bag of stuff that when she thought she was going to go back, so she threw it all out. 

Dr. Alissa: Yeah. Whole trash bag full of stuff. It was like, Holy shit.

How does it so much?

And he’s like makeup, just a bunch of stuff. Yeah. She threw it away, threw it all away. 

Jeff Goins: How did you feel when you saw the pink loofa cause it, you said it was, you know, a small thing, but it sounds [00:37:00] like, I mean, you remember it. 

Dr. Alissa: I think it was a trigger to the trauma of finding out. I think it. You know, it was like, I don’t know.

It was like a flood. Yeah. It felt flooded, flooded with emotions. 

Jeff Goins: And just for some clear on timeline, as far as you can remember, maybe you said this, but I missed it. So she threw all that stuff away and then said that she wasn’t going to do it. And how long did that cause you were, you were like, not at all.

So I last, last that 

Dr. Alissa: lasted about two weeks. 

Jeff Goins: Got it. Got it. Okay, cool. So the question is for the rest of the group, When did you start seeing things come into your life or into the life of your then spouse? I 

Heidi: can answer that question. Jeff. We’ll probably wait for him. Yeah. Yeah. 

Jeff Goins: So you have this eight month period where you guys living together.

Cause you said he okay. 

Heidi: No. So like the letter was like the conclusion of us living together. But 

Jeff Goins: you still tried to make it work at least for years, year part, see if you could find a way to stay with 

Heidi: her. [00:38:00] Yeah. And I will say that, like, she didn’t know that I was even entertaining any of that in my mind.

Like, we were completely not in a good place after the whole suicide comment. Like it was basically like, we. Or just taking care of our children, you know, as best we could co-parenting and then dealing with our own emotions. Like from that point on, we just never talked about emotions to each other, getting, so my husband moves at a snail’s pace with all things.

So, I mean, just as like a, an example, He, she didn’t realize or come to the conclusion that she was a trans woman until she was 36 years old. And so, you know, the timeline for her transitioning has also been at a snail’s [00:39:00] pace. So like 18 months later, she is not transitioned other than, you know, just a few things.

So. The first thing I saw was red fucking toenail Polish. And it sent me right back to Marlboro lights

and all the things. And so we did have to have a conversation because I was like, She was in flip flops or whatever. And I was like, you can do what, I just remember, like being in this really terrible negative place with that, I’m not in anymore. So I just wanted to clarify that, but my emotions were just very sad and seeing something like toenail Polish was very triggering, just like it was for Alissa of reminding me that my marriage was over because you know, when he would just show up and his like, Baseball cap and like, you know, dad cargo [00:40:00] shorts, it was easier to forget the truth, but you know, red toenail Polish kind of brought, forced me to go back to that moment.

I didn’t want to ever go back to again, I’ve learning. My marriage was over and then there was the day that okay. I need to clarify this for the audience. We did a nesting divorce, so we did not live together, but our children were so little that we pretended that. So my kids didn’t know we lived separately.

So every night Jay would come home and we would eat and then arm together the family. And then we would give our kids a bath. And breastfeed and sing songs and read stories and we would put them to bed. He did that for over a year. Wow. How was our children? Great. I mean, they had great for our children. I mean, you know, awkward for [00:41:00] us, but great for our children.

Sure. They, we just felt like they were too. Yeah. And so, so one day there was like a few days here or there maybe where she, she spent the night, you know, For like in a getting guest, real like, Oh, I remember why I’m sorry, my job, I have a job that makes me work night. Sometimes I’m like, wait, I have this thing called a job.

Dr. Alissa: I’m like, why would I, 

Heidi: Oh yeah, I was working and I work nights often. And so when I was working nights, she would come and have to spend the night. And that’s when I saw the bra. And it was like a training bra that had like, The silicone like to make you look like you’re bigger than you are or whatever.

And I just remember it with like the underwear. And I just remember being like, you know, I don’t know, sail on me. So I guess first was toenails. Second was the bra and underwear. And then, and then the third thing that I could add ever that I could even remember, [00:42:00] and this is kind of a, was a pivoting moment for us was the vial of estrogen and the needle.


Jeff Goins: did you see this? 

Heidi: On my children’s bathroom counter that my children were holding. My three year old was holding a, uh, well as a bag, a Ziploc bag and in the bag was a needle and estrogen because Jay had just gotten back from a trip and had their dopp kit at my house that they had left on the counter within, I guess in the stop kit was all the things, you know, Makeup and lotion and purple shave gel who needs that and the pink glue.

And so I go upstairs, like, you know, to go help my kids get to bed. And my three-year-olds like standing on the stool, like an, all the makeup and stuff is spread out all over the counter. And then they’re holding this bag of estrogen. 

Jeff Goins: Yeah. What’d you do 

[00:43:00] Heidi: freaked out. That was also not one of my best moments.

Jeff Goins: You screamed and chef, 

Heidi: it was more of like a parenting. Like I’m going to take away your parental rights because you just left a bottle of estrogen and a needle for our three year old. So I had this like terrible moment of panic and was, you know, basically like get out and we’ll talk to the lawyers about your parenting.

And then I took a breath, you know, that, that only lasted about 24 hours before I realized like, Well, yeah, I slammed my kid’s hand in the target door once, you know, or car door at target ones. And, you know, I, when they were six weeks old, they rolled off the bed and I also had some parenting mishaps that I had to remind myself of that like a human being could leave their medicine on the counter and that’s, while it’s devastating, you know, I’m not flawless.

And so, but yeah, that’s it. I mean, yeah. And now since then, there’s been so many more things, but from. Toenail Polish to estrogen [00:44:00] was like, I don’t know, 15 months or something like very slow. 

Jeff Goins: Nikki, do you want to share the first thing that you 

Heidi: saw? 

Nikki: Okay. The first thing was this gadget that he had ordered on.

EBay or something that basically suctioned into his chest to grow breasts. 

Jeff Goins: Whoa, 

Nikki: that was the first thing. Wow. I don’t know if I feel bad, but yeah, that was the first thing. And he would do it in front of me and I would be leaving for work and he would have this contraption 

Dr. Alissa: on. And your face 

Nikki: your face.


Dr. Alissa: you’re like 

Nikki: go to 

Heidi: work 

Dr. Alissa: in the morning what’s happening 

Jeff Goins: on the

Dr. Alissa: couch.

Nikki: Okay. So this was my dark moment was when I would have to go to work and put on this face that nobody knew. And I would, 

Heidi: um, Stuff 

Nikki: it [00:45:00] all away and pretend it wasn’t there. That’s hard. That’s hard to think about. Yeah. I hit a lot. I hit a lot from a lot of people for a long time.

I would walk out of the room and shut the door and I was like, God forbid the kids freaking blow through the door and find this. And then we moved to this house. And I don’t know what I was thinking. At some point I was trying to be supportive and I was like, here, I have an extra sports bra. Why don’t you take it?

Cause I 

Heidi: don’t ever wear it. They gave 

Nikki: it to him, did that too. 

Heidi: They found a sports bra, but I did that also. 

Nikki: I had this box of old that was just sitting in the closet and I didn’t offer it to him, but it was there. And he did go through it. And I found like a bunch of my stuff in his shoved in his closet cubbies.

And I was like, you’re taking my clothes. And he’s like, well, you weren’t going to use, you were getting rid of those. And they were stuff that you didn’t want anymore. So I just thought that I could, and we, we ended up having a fight and he put them all [00:46:00] back.

Heidi: Thank you to Jeff points for interviewing us today. You can find Jeff on Instagram at Jeff Goins. And we just want to leave you with a beautiful poem that Jeff wrote the quiet and incredible farewell by Jeff Goins. One day, if you are lucky, you will say goodbye to all the stories you ever told about yourself, about what a woman is an a man does when all the world is, as it should be.

It is a quiet and incredible farewell. You will give to the person you once were. It is a long and slow salutation. This becoming who you are, a hello to a whole new existence that you never before imagined, [00:47:00] except perhaps in a dream. One day when you are walking by yourself in a park at midnight, you will hear the sound of an old life echoing from a past that you swear, belongs to someone else.

You will listen to a voice telling you stories of a person you no longer recognize speaking in a language. You do not understand. And then on that day, you will know, as the butterfly exits the Chrysalis as the leaves of cold November, blow by without you’re noticing that you two have changed.

Nikki: Thanks. It’s the trauma podcast is not a substitute for therapy or mental health advice. If you or someone you love is in crisis, please call one 802 seven three. Talk [00:48:00] +1 800-273-8255. You can also text the word home to seven four one seven four one to reach a trained crisis counselor. 

Jeff Goins: You’re so wise.

Dr. Alissa: Thanks. It’s 

Heidi: the trauma.

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