00:00 Introducing Denise Bernardini, wife of a man with alcoholism. Sean explains the afflictions of both sides of addiction: the addict and the ones affected by their behavior. Denise explains the feelings of blaming her spouse for all their marital woes and coming to terms with the fact that sometimes both parties play a role in the problem. She celebrates her now, ex-husband’s, achievement of long-term sobriety and their post-divorce relationship.

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08:40 Sean elaborates on the glimpses you have of the person you fell in love with that can give you glimpses of hope, only to have destructive cycles repeated. Denise explains dealing with a gaslighting husband whilst trying to cope with death in the family and feeling bound to this man when she discovers she is pregnant.

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13:00 Manipulation, blackmail and the complete unconsciousness of a spiraling alcoholic is depicted. To try and escape the weight of their burden on your life can sometimes feel like a frivolous task and Denise recounts her daunting journey to find a way out of what can seem like an endless maze of abuse. Property battles, paying rent, insurance and other struggles only add extreme stress to this type of situation, especially while trying to support children emotionally and financially.

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18:00 Denise finds redemption when she relocates her family, goes to school, earns a degree, and finds stability for herself and her children. Her parents wholeheartedly step in and give her the emotional support she needs. She expresses the guilt and hopelessness of trying to hide her ex-husband’s alcoholism for 14 years. Her unrelenting love for her kids is what kept her driven and motivated. Sean weighs in on staying or leaving in an abusive relationship, considering the debilitating effect it can have on children.

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27:15 Denise teaches Sean the difference between a trailer and an RV and her vehicular struggles that she faced with her ex-husband. She states you cannot be anyone’s mommy in a relationship and at a certain point the endgame becomes damage control. Sean quote, “I’m gonna love the demons outta ya!”

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32:05 Denise takes her kids to see their father for the first time after a certain level of harassment but maintains their distance and declares shared custody could never be a possibility. Sean relates his addiction history and personally he chose to distance himself from people he cared about that he could potentially hurt. He recounts past relationships he had with people in active addiction and emphasizes the disbelief that takes place when you see good people fall so far into an abyss. Denise expresses her empathy and extreme sadness she has for addicts and alcoholics but can never come to intellectually understand it. Sean talks about his experiences in Vegas and how it “chewed him up and spit him out”, as well as his relationship with a Higher Power.

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42:20 Denise reminisces about her experiences with an Evangelical College while getting her doctorate degree and the judgement she faced there in relation to her divorce. She talks about zealots in all religions and the oppression it can create in people’s lives. Sean expresses his grievances with government interference within the church and how it can be a money grab and the dire need for a legitimate third-party system in this country.

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Denise’s Bio:

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Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini has taught voice on the University level for 20 years.  She enjoys helping both musicians and non-musicians achieve optimal breathing, and giving them the tools necessary to embrace their mind, body and spirit. Her book and podcast with co-author Toni Crowder is called Mindfulness of Singing.  The book is to be released in 2021 the podcast can be found on most major podcast platforms and on YouTube as well.
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You can find Denise here:

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Podcast:

https://open.spotify.com/show/7dVqCLcywSdCqkCmO2UQP0

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Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/highnoteswithdr.b

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Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/highnoteswithdrb/

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Here is where you can find me:
 
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Show Notes Writer: Robert Trimpert
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