Episode 17 a: Overcoming Adversity: The Inspirational Story of Vivace Max Victor

In this powerful interview, Vivace Max Victor discusses overcoming childhood abuse and their mission to inspire others through life coaching.

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Hello World and welcome to Choices Books and Gifts where “You always have choices” I am so, so, so happy today to present our guest who is the Vivace, Max Victor. Now, she is an old friend of mine. She comes into the store. We're friends, we've chatted. I've gone through a few of her interviews and her interviews. What do they call them for?

Vivace. When I go to listen to her speak her engagements. All right. So with that, I want to read a little bio on the Vivace and then get into it. I am delighted to introduce my next guest. You know, it's the Vivace. Max. Victor is an industrial leading life coach who has been featured on the series Million Dollar Listings and Buying Beverly Hills.

She is also a featured guest on Fox Business News, Fox Live, Fox Nation, News max Law and Crime TV and Court TV. The Vivace has a bachelor's and master's degree in biology. She graduated from Cornell Medical School as a surgical physician assistant. But 12 years ago, she left her career in medicine to become a life coach and now coaches some of the top real estate agents in the country, as well as clients in the fields of technology, finance, law, and medicine. That's quite a wonderful resume you have there.

Well, thank you so much. It's good to be here with you. I'm excited to talk to you and your audience and to bring some love and power into their lives.

Well, I know you. If anyone can create that. So I'm going to jump right in. But before I jump right in, I'm going to say.

Vivace made a wonderful film. She calls it her coming out film. And it's riveting. It's exciting, it's sad, It's happy. I can only say this. You guys have to watch this film. It's just 30 minutes and it's just amazing.

So that'll be matched up on our Web site. We will put it on our Web site. And otherwise, where else can they find it, dear?

Well, the video is on YouTube. It says the Vivace My story. It's also on my website, which is fierceselfconfidence. com

Excellent. So like I said, go and see this ad. It's just amazing.

So my first question is, what was the reason? and to just hold out the audience know, a lot of these questions you may think are far out, but they're asked because of the video. So this is a series and this particular podcast is based on this video. So what was the reason for them? Your family, your brothers, especially, to beat you? What was your dad's thinking around that?

So Jay just to give a little context, Jay is referring to my coming out video, which is on YouTube. So on this YouTube video, I explain my life how I went from being having PTSD and being suicidal, and how I got to the other side. So in it, I share my family of origin story, which was extremely challenging for me to do the

and especially to do it in the public domain. I'm Iranian. I was born and raised in Iran, so it is not part of our culture to share the intricacies of our family of origin, especially when they include incredibly bad behavior and a lot of violence and a lot of absurd rituals and torture and trauma. And so I created this video. Listen, my brother, my father had programmed my brothers to have this horrible behavior, and he would reward them for this behavior.

So they were just programmed by him. So that was just the norm where you grew up.

As I was going aware. It was a norm in our household. We were probably a very insane household in a normal environment. I'm sure your audience members can definitely relate to that. So we looked normal on the outside. My father was educated, he was dignified and he was wealthy, so everything on the outside was great, except the home was extremely abusive and very, very chaotic.

So he had two different personalities. There was a personality that he would present that was very dignified to the external world, and then he would become this psychotic human when nobody was watching. So he had all sorts of unacceptable behaviors that he shared very openly and all the time with us, unfortunately.

Understood. Understood. So what was that like for you watching the violence against you, your mom?

What was it? I was terrorized and terrified. Every moment of every day. When you are in an environment where you're constantly being beaten or the person that you love is constantly being beaten and you're being mentally and emotionally manipulated and you have all the worse things said to you constantly, There is a constant hyper-vigilance and agitation of like, when is the other shoe going to drop?


So it was extremely chaotic. I never knew when I would be safe, and I didn't know if I were safe, if my mother would be safe, and if we were physically safe and we were physically unharmed, then there was always a constant and predictable emotional abuse. So it was a very challenging to grow up. And we didn't have access to therapy.

That was we actually were not allowed to see my mom's relatives and my dad didn't really socialize. So we were very ostracized from normal human beings outside of going to school. It was very, very challenging. So it's not like you had a coping mechanism where you had a therapist or an advisor or someone else to talk to. This was like the family secret and you just didn't talk about it and you pretended you came from a dignified family.

You know, it's it's amazing because I grew up in an Italian family and I had not a some of that some of that, honestly. But I can't even imagine what life must be like that just constantly walking on eggshells. So, you know, once again, that's just just an amazing thing. Well, Because it was the abuse within the household, but also Iran went through the Iran-Iraq war.

So suddenly our schools became segregated and suddenly there was tremendous amounts of violence in the streets and bombs going off and things breaking. And so at first it was the household, but then also the surrounding the Islamic regime. When they took over, then there was chaos and madness, like literally outside our home, we had people standing outside of our front door with machine guns pointed.

And so there was no sense of safety anywhere. But it's interesting, I felt less threatened by the Islamic regime that was murdering people than I did by my dad. I was actually more terrorized by my dad. I felt it was safer in the streets. Even they were insane.

That's I mean, I can't imagine that war at home and war in the streets. And you became who you became. Because I know you and you are truly a wonderful person. Why is it important to you and you mentioned this in your video. So like I said, we're jumping around a little bit that you you don't really want any sort of dependency on on men.

While my mom was financially dependent on my dad's income, although she was actually a dental hygienist and he was a dentist, so she worked for him. So theoretically, like a normal person would have, she should have gotten paid. She worked for him for 15 years. He never paid her. So he had total financial control. So he had dominion over us and in many different ways, because of a lack of financial power that my mom had. So my greatest coping mechanism slash survival technique was, let me get a job. So that no man can control me. So I will never go through with my mom went through or what I went through as a child.

That is perfectly understandable. And I get it. Believe me, I do get it

And, You know, you mentioned it already that, you know, your father had some wealth and all that. And my next question was going to be, what is your father do for work?

But he was a dentist and a successful dentist. Very successful. I mean, he was booked out for months ahead of time. I'm telling you, he had two different personalities. I'm sure a lot of your audience can relate where someone looks totally normal in one environment, but then you've seen them in an alternate environment and they're a completely different human being with totally different characteristics, demeanor, values, everything. It's like living in the Twilight zone.

I perfectly understand it. I've seen it my family as well. I'm just curious, because of the way your family treated you and whatnot, Do you still talk with your brothers, father, and mother? Is there any relationship there at all?

So thankfully and I don't mean to offend anyone, but thankfully my father died. So I'm very excited about that. And for anyone who's had an abusive parent, It's almost a relief, at least for me to is that he doesn't exist because not only was he torturing us, he was torturing other people. So I feel like the world is a better place. So that gives me some level of peace with my brothers. We text. It's hard. We don't have a relationship. We can't relate. We're extremely different. My one brother acts like nothing ever happened in our family that was bad. And so he presents to me a very Artificial yeah, an artificial reality to to the masses. And so he never talks about it. So if you were to talk to him, you would think he came from the best family ever.

My middle brother gets over-fixated on the minutia. He's a little bit and he's extremely smart. He's a little bit like Rain man, but he'll he'll pick on little things. And so it's hard to have a conversation with him because you will say 20 years ago on that date this happened and he'll just go around around in circles. So it's challenging to have a conversation with him.

I mean, I've told him I will have a conversation with you if we don't talk about the past. But then that conversation never happens because he just defaults to the past. In the past, it's very painful and it's overwhelming. And we're going to go around in circles. And so it doesn't allow me to feel excited to communicate with him, although I love him.

And so with my mom, there were a couple of stints of a couple of years where we didn't speak because of all the trauma and the abuse, and we were both handling it in that way. When I posted that, after I posted that video, when I wanted to post the video, my mother was going through radiation therapy and I knew that. And so I actually waited for her last treatment before I posted the video because I felt bad that this woman was going through cancer treatment and now I'm going to out her on YouTube. I like that. Tortured me. But at the same time, I felt like I had been silent for so long that I needed to speak my truth.

So I posted it and then I posted in January. And then in February, my grandmother, who was 96, but she suddenly died. And so I hadn't spoken to my mom and it was a whole story. My mom had told me that I wasn't allowed to come to my grandmother's funeral. So I was really always afraid that my grandmother would die and they would have a funeral and I wouldn't be there and I'd miss it. So tremendous anxiety about that. But anyway, I ended up going to the funeral and at there's a Jewish mourner's prayer that you do at the funeral site. And when they were doing that prayer, that prayer moved me so much, even though I don't think I'm religious at all. Somehow those words moved me and I went up to her and I hugged her and literally everybody was dumbfounded.

And so then she invited me to come to the lunch for the services after my grandmother's passing, which was weird because she had told me I wasn't allowed to come to the funeral. So I actually had coaching clients. I call my clients and I canceled because I went to this lunch to honor my grandmother. And so after that, she tried.

She was like sending me all these like, you know, love emojis and whatever. And I was overwhelmed. Like, we haven't spoken for a while. Where are these emojis coming from? It was overwhelming. So we went to her friend who was a social worker, and I think all your foreign listeners can relate to this. I was like, Let me have my mom speak to someone who's from her own culture, who understands her language, and we can speak in Farsi.

So I said, let's let's speak to this this friend, my mom's friend who was a social worker. They grew up together in Iran. So she understood that Iranian culture. She was also married to an American psychiatrist. I think it was a psychiatrist or some sort of therapist.

And so she understood both ways of communicating. And we sat with that video. I sat with that lady and my mom. We had a five-and-a-half-hour therapy session. It was devastating. And at some point during the session, I said to her, I said, by the way, put this video up on YouTube and I wanted to share the video with her.

And the lady was like, No, no, no, we're not going to we're not going to look at that video. And I was like, No, I want to share my mom, my thoughts. And she's like, No, no, no. And I said, Well, why are you so against this video? That lady somehow had seen it, so she wanted to make sure my mother wasn't horrified by the words coming out of my mouth.

So we sat together and then my mom was like, Where's this video? And my mom didn't know YouTube. So it was like, Where's YouTube? And so we log on to YouTube and we sit down to watch this together. And it was again, very challenging because afterward her first comment was, You didn't say anything nice about me. And it was hard. You know, I love my mom, but I said this was not like the Academy Award of I Love My Mother video. This was the truth video of what actually happened in our lives. And so after that, and during those five and a half hours, I started to learn that her trauma was a response, was avoidance, and the things that were so painful and traumatizing for me that I wanted to have a conversation about, she would shut down.

So as you saw and I don't want to do a spoiler alert for your viewers, but as you saw, I shared about being suicidal. And to this day, my mom will never comment on that entire time when I was suicidal and I told her I was going to take my life. We still have never had a conversation about it. She just kind of skips over that little chapter. And that was a very painful chapter for me. And so posting that video was extremely, extremely hard. And my impetus in doing that was I would go to these companies and I do these presentations and people would line up and thank me, and then they would all say, You're so confident.

Were you not confident? And I said, Well, I came from the abyss, I came from a dark hole. And so I also felt responsible that these people can't relate to me, because they think I'm happy. Go lucky, confident girl. They don't realize I was just devastated, desperate, suicidal girl because I never told them. And so when I posted that video, I was like, okay, here's the actual story.

How I went from being devastated and suicidal and almost taking my life to getting to the other side and being so empowered that I'm empowering others. So I don't know what your original question was even, but that's my answer.

That was a good answer in my original question. But as you said, I don't want to spoil a war was about your mom. And once you folks watched the film, you're on the stand. Why? The question was asked and also in your story and spoiler and a lot there was a great part that I absolutely loved when you sort of got your independence it was in the middle of it and and you tell the dime story, so I'm not going to ruin it bye-bye by saying that time. But maybe we can talk a little bit about it because it also reminds me of and it's not the coalition is a little bit different but the you know with the coin in 12 step programs, how they mean so much to us, how they've changed our lives. And watching that video the way I did several times you watched it several times.

Several times. God bless you. Most people don't have the stomach to watch it once.

Yeah, well, I found that riveting. I found it sad. It broke my heart. But then, you know, it also gave me hope and happiness and looking you looking at you and knowing you today is you wouldn't never, ever believed you went through what you went through.

And I think that is part of like I dated someone who was, in my opinion and alcoholic. So through him I went through AA because I wanted to take him to AA, So I'd go there and he'd be like, I'm not like them. I don't have problems as bad as them. So he would one day he'd say he wasn't alcoholic, The next day he'd say, Of course he's not.

Why was I crazy? Anyway? I had dated him, so I became very familiar with the steps. And actually I when I had gotten the brain scan, which is also in that video, we went to the psychiatrist who interpreted the brain scan, and she had met him too. She told me, You need to go to Al-Anon. And I said, I don't have a drinking problem. He has a drinking problem. I'm not the one with the problem. He should go. And then she said, you're dating him, You need to go. And a light bulb went off. So I went to tons of Al-Anon, like 90, 90. I got the books, I got workbooks, I got AA workbooks. Even though I didn't have an alcohol issue, I still used the recovery workbooks because I had my own issues.

And actually, those workbooks were amazing. I used there's a 12 step workbook that I have that you sell that I bought from you. I use that with my coaching clients who do not have alcohol issues, but anytime they say I'm powerless over blank, I'm like, John, John, there's the workbook. So I love, love, love that workbook. It's amazing how you include a screenshot of it so you can post it when you create this video.

But I've bought multiple copies of that and I've done it for myself and for other people and it was extremely powerful. So thank you for selling that book and a little shout out to you for anyone who wants any recovery books and or tapes or, you know, coins, as you mentioned, please go to Jay’s Store. The way I met Jay was at his store. I used to love a few blocks away, so he is beautiful stuff and mugs with quotes on them. I bought those. So people love, love, love your store, but most people don't even know it exists.

Right. Well, I thank you. I thank you for that  pun for us  Go to Choicesgifts.com And buy the book that I bought , even if you don't have any sort of addiction issues, I swear to you, I think like every time we're stuck, it's an addictive thought pattern to being a victim or being not good enough or feeling like an imposter.

That to me, if you're feeling that over and over again, is an addiction, it's a psychological addiction. So the 12 steps actually do work for that, because I've used them on myself and I've used them with clients. So again, please go and buy that workbook. I hope it's not workbook.

I love that because, you know, for me too, I spent some time in program as well. And what I discovered is the program can work for absolutely any. It's just a way of life. It's just a wonderful way of life. And then I found this book and I loved it and I sold a ton of them. It's called 12 Steps for Anyone who Wants Them. So you don't need an alcoholic, a drug addict. Just if you want to live that type of lifestyle, we have books that that that just, you know, show you how to do that. All right.

Last week, she had left a partner who was not good to her. There was deception and lack of loyalty and lack of truth in everything. And she was she's like, I can't believe I'm still dealing with this. Why can I just shrug him off? And she felt emotionally so attached to him, but she was so disgusted by his vile behavior. So I actually pulled out the book and I said, Wait, you're powerless over this relationship. Let's just do the steps. And it's great because it makes a person feel like there's a solution for them that especially if they don't have money for therapy or a life coach, like literally that book, that workbook, things like 24, 95 or something, you can get that and do that on your own.

So for all your listeners to say you don't have enough money to get help for the love of God by that book, it was called The 12 Steps The Way Out.

Yes. I know it completely. I love it.

Excellent, excellent, excellent. And I do agree with you and everything you've said, I I'm not in a 12 step program as we speak now, but I practice the principles of that program and I practice the steps every single day of my life.

So I'm so grateful to to two of the different programs out there. Yes. So and you more or less answered this just now, which I love, because that's how things that's how things work. But you answered I was going to ask you about your 12 steps experience and what not so I will move to the next question. So helpful for me when before what happened around my whole suicidal time.

It was great to have a room to go to. And just that 3 minutes that they give you to speak and that 3 minutes was like, so healing. I don't understand how 3 minutes could be that healing. Or sometimes if you're in a big room, you only got 2 minutes that sharing and getting no crosstalk, which means no one can give you feedback. You could just share your truth and no one's going to say anything to you.

It was so liberating and so healing on so many levels. I did that for a long time. So shout out to the 12 step programs. Absolutely shout out. As you mentioned, those 3 minutes. You get the healing that comes from that, from you know, venting it all out and putting it in the world and then not having to worry. It's just amazing. And I think that's what we don't do enough of. We don't share with people. We don't talk to people.

We're afraid of the feedback. We're afraid that someone can tell us we're wrong. We're going to minimize our feelings. We're going to be afraid that someone's going to say, it didn't really happen that way. It wasn't such a big deal. Why are we bothered by it? We should get over it. It's almost like there is so much external stimuli coming in. You're better off just shutting up. But then all that stuff keeps festering in you and you just feel like crazier and crazier over time. And then you can't make the best decisions.

And with a lot of my clients, I help them multiply their income by addressing these mental and emotional blocks, basically, these traumas that they drive. So it's self-confidence after trauma. The only way you can have that is to speak your truth. So speaking it even for 3 minutes is so healing. If it's your total truth for 3 minutes. Very powerful.

Literally. So this next question, once again, I don't want to do the spoiler alerts, so I will ask you the question and you'll say the let's save it or move on. your mom's reaction to your suicide, which you mentioned a little while ago to me was shocking. How did you process it? How did you forgive her?

Did you forgive her and how and why?

So when we had that five-and-a-half-hour session, so let's just do this spoiler alert. If people don't see the video. When I was suicidal, I went to my mom and I told her explicitly, I said, I am going to kill myself. Will you take care of my cats? And she said, No, we never talked about it again. And then I went to my grandmother and I said, I am going to kill myself. Will you take care of my cats? And she said, No, we didn't talk about it again. And then I went to my neighbor and I said, I'm going to kill myself. Will you take care of the cats?

And she said, Yes. And my neighbor and I actually keys to each other's apartments. We've been sharing a wall for many, many years and she taking care of my pets before. So at least I thought the cats were going to be okay. But I was so baffled that my mom didn't say, Well, do you want to talk about it?

She would go to a therapist and call the police like, What's wrong with you? What do you mean? What you talking about zero conversation about it. To this day, we've never talked about it, but again, in that five-and-a-half-hour thing with a social worker and I told the social worker, I said, we're going to drive you nuts because she was ping pong game between me and my mom going at each other. And we were crying. And this poor woman, God bless her.

I realized that's her coping mechanism. And it's interesting. It was hard for me to feel trust for her again, very, very hard. Especially as I said, she was sending me all these love emojis and it was just overwhelming me and feeling weird. And then like, like slowly and slowly, we started to get closer to each other and have a mutual understanding and respect.

And I understood that I couldn't demand her to process trauma in the way that I did. My father had beaten her for 15 years. He had routinely raped her. He would routinely tell us in front of us that he was going to murder her and strangle her and her. Strangled pockmarks would be on her neck. So I'm like, this woman was so terrorized for 15 years. My mom is actually very kind and thoughtful and considerate and nurturing and giving. She just can't talk about these couple of categories.

So I was able to integrate that together and since then. But it took a while. It wasn't overnight. She is my number-one advocate now. She I have had a lot of medical issues and I had other medical goals. She went to a lot of appointments with me when my other cat died. She was with me there when we went to euthanize the cat. So then we went to adopt another cat because the cats are like my source of life, because I've had so much trauma from humans that I rely on these animals for unconditional love. And I know that I do.

And they're my actual emotional support animal for real. So I just she's been so loving and so kind and so nurturing and there was a moment I remember I was on a coaching call with a client and she talked about she asked about forgiveness of her mother. So she said and her mother had done horrible things to her. She said, The Vivace, how do I forgive her?

And I said I'm not qualified to give you that answer because I don't understand the word forgiveness. And I haven't done that in my life, so I cannot help you with that. And she said, I really appreciate you being honest, Mike. I will help you with everything else. This one word, I don't get it. I don't understand it. I don't understand how it's possible. So the forgiveness came from grace. And again, she's extremely loving and very generous and very kind The day.

Yes, she was very mind fucking on those all those other things. And also, like she had an awakening. She would defend her family members. She would defend and protect people over absurd things that would drive me bananas.

And I was like, Wait, how are you defending this behavior? And then we'd get into a fight. And I think over time she started to understand that she had been covering up for so many people and she had been diluting herself. So she had her own come to Jesus Jewish Moses moment where she saw reality for what it was, and she stopped gaslighting herself. So by her not gaslighting herself, we were able to be available to each other and have a much more open relationship. And probably I think she makes much more mental and emotional concessions with me now than I do with her, because I think she's afraid of losing me because that already happened multiple times. So I'm very appreciative that where she can she's making 1,000% effort. And with a couple of categories, there's going to be no conversation.

Perfect. It sounds like during those five and a half hours, a lot of healing did take place. And I also feel like it didn’t feel like while we were both wailing; it didn’t feel like it at all.

You are today. So apparently it worked. And the only other thing I'd like to mention is, you know, with some people that their trauma is comes out in so many ways. And what it sounds like to me is hers might have been a little bit in denial, like not recognize there is a Problem mechanism. Right. Or to minimize over.

All right, cool. Cool.